Saturday Six-Pack (28)

Welcome to the weekend and to the latest Six-Pack of recent gems I wanted to pass on. Typically ministry-minded or faith-focused, be prepared for a bit of who-knows-what as well.

If six choices overwhelm you, 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) Balancing Acts (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
Two of the “pastor books” that generated big buzz in 2012 were Andy Stanley’s “Deep and Wide” and Timothy Keller’s “Center Church”.  This interview, from Christianity Today, gives both authors some space in which to respond to questions tied to those contributions.

2) A Circle of Honour
By regularly giving people praise and recognition, we reflect Christ’s ministry and the relationship of the Trinity.  So says Robert C. Crosby in this piece for Leadership Journal.  How could you be a more steady source of such positive forces?

3) They Cuss in E.T.?! WTF!
Is violence now more permissable than swearing or nudity in our movies? Psychology Today explores the evolution of “what goes” in our entertainment.

4) The Top Five Career Regrets
Regardless of how you earn your paycheck, you’ve almost certainly dreamed of other jobs, perhaps even that “dream career” that isn’t yet yours.  Or maybe you’re in that job already, just looking to give your best and taste of the resulting satisfaction and success.  Whatever your specifics, it never hurts to learn from other people’s mistakes.  This HBR post offers you that opportunity.

5) Saved from Meritocracy  (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
Western society is constructed largely on the ideal of meritocracy, the conviction that if one works hard enough, he can become or achieve anything.  While the moral of countless films and stories, the snag is that this teaching runs completely counter to the Gospel of Jesus at several key junctions. The Red Letter Christians offer this perspective on this struggle to “fit” the grand Gospel into our small system.

6) Share the Gospel and Your Life
Writing to the Thessalonians, Paul comments: “So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us” (1 Thess. 2:8). The Resurgence offers this piece on how to go about this, the essence of true evangelism.

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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Sunday Six-Pack (18)

Welcome to the weekend after a week in which even sitting to type a short blog post was an impossibility.  Here’s hoping that your weekend (a LONG weekend in Canada) allows you a chance to sigh.  Thanks for showing up for some “Wandering & Wondering”.

This week’s Six-Pack features the usual: A half-dozen of the best things I’ve read online in the past seven days.  As is the norm, most of these articles are faith-focused or ministry-geared, with a bit of who-knows-what tossed in!

If you need help prioritizing, note my two “Picks of the Week”, and roll on from there.

Today’s edition:

1) 4 Things I’ve Learned about God Through My Baby Who Was Born Blind
The Resurgence‘s Mike Anderson opens this piece like this: “It’s not often that you get the opportunity to empathize with God; I recently experienced that bitter-sweet insight when I found out that my eleven-week-old baby girl was born almost completely blind.”  His brief but sharp observations are worth a stop today.

2) Serving Communion to Former Cannibals
Tony Merida recounts the powerful story of missionary John G. Paton (1824-1907). *PICK OF THE WEEK*

3) Pastoral Advice from a Professional Wrestler
Pastor Jay Sanders reflects on one sentence of profound pastoral advice from Nikita Koloff. *PICK OF THE WEEK*

4) They Cuss in ET.  WTF?!
Is violence now more permissible than swearing or nudity in our movies?  Steven Schlozman thinks so.  And then he wonders why.

5) 24 Creativity Quotes to Bring Out Your Inner Artist
I love great quotes.  (If you do too, subscribe to my Twitter feed @jasonbandura, and I’ll keep ’em coming for you.)  This batch may serve to fuel the quest toward fresh thinking and imaginative inventing.  Enjoy!

6) Who are the Coptic Christians?
Perhaps you’ve heard of the Coptic Christians in Egypt.  If you have but have been unclear on who these people are exactly, The Guardian’s Jonathan Jones would like to help you out, while giving you an art education at the same time.

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