Six-Pack (53)

Welcome to the latest Six-Pack! I am so grateful for every reader who stops by to check out the latest assortment of “best links”.

As regular readers already know, these pieces are generally centered on faith or ministry, though we leave sufficient license to include who-knows-what as we discover it!

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) Strange Fire and Churches of Christ (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
Jonathan Storment enters the “Strange Fire” discussion to consider how it links to our shared heritage. There’s some provocative stuff here, particularly comments made by historian Mark Noll.

2) Why the Psalms Matter, Even the Violent Ones
NT Wright was recently in Seattle to teach about the Psalms. A very brief summary of his material, along with a recording of over 60 minutes is provided here for anyone who thinks that might be too good to pass up.

3) Creating Excellence in Ministry on a Small  Budget
Every church I know is striving to do more with less. How do you effectively stretch your resources without snapping something or doing a second-rate job on a first-rate priority? This article has a number of practical suggestions.

4) C.S. Lewis Reviews “The Hobbit”, 1937 (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
In 1937, CS Lewis reviewed a freshly published novel by his friend Tolkien. He is what he said.

5) Big Promises Can Lead to Better Experiences
A $75 bottle of wine tastes better than a $14 bottle of wine, and it has little to do with the wine. Seth Godin explains.

6) Quotes and More Quotes
Last month, many marked the 50th anniversary of JFK’s death. C.S. Lewis died the same day. Here are Ten Quotes from JFK and Fifty More from Lewis.

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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Butter on Bread

In our home, “Lord of the Rings” is the standard by which every other film or story is measured.  Within the earliest portions of that tale is a conversation between Gandalf the wizard and Bilbo Baggins, the hobbit.  Bilbo has a secret plan:

“I’m old, Gandalf. I know I don’t look it, but I’m beginning to feel it in my heart. I feel… thin. Sort of stretched, like… butter scraped over too much bread. I need a holiday. A very long holiday. And I don’t expect I shall return. In fact I mean not to.”

Butter spread thin over bread: There’s an easy image to grasp.

Unlike Bilbo, I’m not sure I really need a vacation, and I don’t feel old, and I’m not sure if I look it, and I don’t intend to leave.

But I do feel like butter spread too thin.

Current days are wonderful ones: I work a job in which I find significance and satisfaction much of the time, I love a wife who is better than I deserve, I cherish three little ones that are true treasures to me, and I enjoy a circle of friends who add much to my life.  I am healthy, wealthy (by every reasonable standard), and wise (in the sense that my mind DOES work)!

That said, life is full and fast right now.  Every day ends with a dozen things I should have done but didn’t.  One of those is blogging.  That bugs me because I love stringing ideas together and pressing them into words.  I enjoy drafting posts; I love editing them.

And I cannot get to either lately!

Despite my desires to grow the site (I’m working on completely new design–another task that has been temporarily pushed to the margins), time is simply not available at present.

So in an effort toward some inner quiet, I am striking this item from my daily list for a couple weeks.  Perhaps stating this here publicly will allow me to be less disappointed with myself each time I fail to make it happen in a day that provides next to no flexibility.  I know this is a season: Short nights, long days, three little ones under four, a string of wedding weekends and family visits.  Eventually, my early hours will again be dedicated to blogging and not to tackling work that won’t fit into the normal office hours.

But that is not now… not quite anyway.

My activity on Twitter will continue to be steady (the time commitment isn’t nearly the same), and I will strive to keep the Saturday Six-Pack rolling over the next two weeks as an outlet to share worthwhile items I find online.  And as soon as even a sliver of light peeks through, then I will begin tackling the list of ideas I have for original posts aimed at fueling you along the journey toward deeper life and clearer perspectives.

If you wish to subscribe to my Twitter feed (for a steady stream of article links and thoughtful quotes) or this site (to be aware of when full activity resumes here), head over the right side of this screen.  I look forward to interacting with you.

Grace and peace, my friends.  Live today in the assurance that God will always give us sufficient butter for our bread!