Saturday Six-Pack (30)

Welcome back to the Six-Pack, my friends!

I must say that this post represents arguably the strongest Six-Pack I’ve served up thus far.  Generally ministry-minded or faith-focused, with a dash of who-knows-what, here are a half-dozen recent reads that I think are worth your time.

If six is more than you can handle today, begin with my two *Picks of the Week*, and move from there.

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

Today’s edition:

1) How I Learned to Not Be Overwhelmed (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
Donald Miller shares the story of how Dr. Henry Cloud owes his doctorate degree to an ant farm his friend gave him. This practical post will inspire anyone who is feeling pressured by their “to do” list today.

2) How China Plans to Wipe Out House Churches
The Communist government is sharpening its edge against China’s massive House Church movement. Christianity Today notes the latest trends and trajectories for underground believers in a fearful nation.

3) Multi-Tasking: Productive?
I have long declared, “Multi-tasking is a myth.” Now I have a slick infographic to support my case. Thanks to Scot McKnight for discovering and posting this.

4) 7 Common Time and Energy Wasters for Leaders
This list, compiled by Ron Edmondson, may well apply to everyone. But some of these can be especially hindering if you are in leadership.

5) Michael Jordan Has Not Left the Building
Wright Thompson, of ESPN, penned this piece that has been recommended to me by a handful of friends in the past week. On the occasion of the 50th birthday of the NBA’s biggest icon, this piece speaks powerfully of man’s pursuit of significance, often a path paved with futility.

6) Fresh Air (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
That is the title of a new book, from Jack Levison, on the Holy Spirit. This great conversation about the Spirit was initiated and posted by Mark Stevens (on his great blog). No subject has my attention lately like that of the Holy Spirit; I found this interview well worth the read.

Blessings on you, my friends.  May your weekend be refreshing in rest, play, and worship.

YOUR TURN: Direct other readers to the best stuff above by making a comment below, or weigh in on what you read.  Your input makes this post better!

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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.