Six-Pack (60)

Welcome to the latest edition of the Six-Pack, delivered right to you! No need to grab it from your snow-covered front step or venture to the mailbox. It’s arrived!

This week’s collection features the usual mix of ministry, faith, and anything else that piqued interest. I think you’ll be pleased, provoked, and pushed.

If six ever feels overwhelming, start with my two *Picks of the Week*, and move out from there.

For a steady stream of such links, follow me on Twitter to the right of this post.  Sharp quotes and solid articles are tweeted 3-4 times daily.

Today’s edition:

1) The One Thing You Have to Stop Doing if You Ever Want a Harvest (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
Ann Voskamp: That woman can write. And this piece displays that small message by beautifully communicating a far larger one.

2) 23 Things We Learned from “The Matrix” Commentary
Matrix fans will need to read this. Others? Maybe.

3) The Innovation of Loneliness (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
This short video is a powerful and thoughtful exploration of how our “Facebook world” is changing who we are and how we function.

4) Turning Around a Church is Really Tough
With most churches plateaued or declining, most pastors I know need to read articles like this.

5) John Mark Comer and the Multi-Site Church
Scot McKnight highlights a recent conversation on the need for sound theological thought within our pragmatic decision-making processes, using multi-site churches as a case study.

6) Baylor’s Extraordinary Season and Lives Changed
Baylor is still alive in this year’s March Madness bracket. But after a horrendous 2-8 start to their season, the real story unfolded off the court in this tale of transformation, with a Canadian connection.

May your week ahead be filled with life, as you seek the One from whom it flows!

leaveacommentYOUR TURN: Your input makes this post better!

  • Which link above was today’s best-of-the-best?
  • Why that one?

Direct others to the best of the bunch with a quick comment.

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Saturday Six-Pack (19)

On a beautiful summer weekend, you are most welcomed to this installment of the Saturday Six-Pack, a collection of stuff I’ve recently enjoyed online.  Most is faith-focused or ministry-geared; the rest is who-knows-what!

If you need help starting, begin at my two *Picks of the Week*, and move on from there.

For a more steady stream of such links, follow me on Twitter to the right of this post.

In today’s edition:

1) Real Churches and Real Pastors
This is a post upon a post upon a post.  Mark Stevens started it by asking, “Are Mega-Churches Real Churches?”  Scot McKnight then added a post of response to the unfair accusations being leveled at mega-church pastors in light of a recent pastor in Singapore being busted for stealing money from his congregation.  Stevens then re-entered the discussion with a response that McKnight posted under the title, “Mega-Church Pastors: A Petersoninan Perspective,” alluding to the far-reaching influence of Eugene Peterson on what pastoring looks like.  I pastor in a nowhere near mega-church, but all of this was relevant to my journey into this role.  Maybe you too. *PICK OF THE WEEK*

2) Can You Separate Jesus from Religion?
As trendy as it is to pit Jesus against religion, the match-up is somewhat misleading, for Jesus WAS undeniably religious.  How are we to understand this relationship if it’s not a cage match to the death?  Alastair Bryan Sterne has a few ideas.

3) Four Cringe-Worthy Claims of Popular Penal Substitution Theology
Penal substitution theology is everywhere.  For decades gone by, it has been the primary lens through which most of western society has viewed and explained what took place as Jesus died on the cross.  In a nutshell, it emphasizes that Jesus died in our place, for our sins, taking our punishment.  This is valid.  However, it is not the only lens that exists for processing Christ’s death.  Many would argue it isn’t even the best one for clarity of the “big picture”.  For the Huffington Post, Morgan Guyton offers this critique of some of the misleading messages that are created by our heavy emphasis on penal substitution.  *PICK OF THE WEEK*

4) Hearing God in Permanent Silence
One believer asks a church for the deaf why they don’t pray for healing.

5) Specific Plans Do Not Always Help
For anyone who is geared toward productivity-pursuits and goal-oriented living and list-making, this article, from Psychology Today, may speak into your never-ending quest.  You don’t just need plans; you need the right kind of plan.

6) More Connected and Never Lonelier
Chaplain Mike shares a snippet from Stephen Marche’s article, “Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?”  The entire article, from The Atlantic, can be read here.

Enjoy your weekend, friends, through renewing yourself and reverencing God.

Saturday Six-Pack (4)

Another week down, another weekend up!  Thanks for returning for some “Wandering & Wondering”.

Having just concluded a fantastic week with Arrow Leadership, my past days have been spent on an island off the West Canadian coast, where internet was spotty at best.  Here are six articles that I’ve enjoyed since my return to the mainland yesterday.

As always, these articles generally are faith-focused or ministry-geared, but I reserve the right to live up to the “disorderly pile of who-knows-what” tagline at the top of this page!

In this edition:

1) Why Facebook is Killing God
This Psychology Today offering by Nigel Barber is an intriguing read, though I confess that it comes across as a fairly weak assessment of “religion”.  Tweaking that comment, perhaps it IS accurate of RELIGION.  But it certainly displays a gaze far too small to grasp even a sliver of who Jesus Christ is.

2) Early Christians Speak of the Spirit
My friend Kirk Ruch has a great blog, where he frequently explores the place of the Holy Spirit within the Christian life and community.  His latest post scans a few sources that reveal some telling views that the early church held, in regard to “gifts of the Spirit”.

3) Christian Kindness Flabbergasts Critic
The Athens Review reported this story from San Antonio.  I cannot be the only reader that thinks, “We could use more of these stories unfolding in our world.”

4) The Homeless God
Blogger Frank Viola tweeted a link to this over-a-year-old this week.  Its point?  God is looking for a place to dwell.  Is He welcome in your church?  Your life?

5) The Irony of Atheism
If you’re reading this in Washington, DC, you have the unique opportunity to attend a local “Atheism Rally” today if you’d like.  Along those lines, Carson Weitnauer contributes this offering from the book “True Reason”, a compilations of some Christian thinkers’ responses to the latest and popular reincarnation of the no-God movement.

6) For Anyone Not Living a Cushy Life
To any who are suffering, Ray Ortlund offers this brief piece toward re-framing the hurt.

Have a great weekend, friends–renew yourself and reverence God.