In Case You Missed It

At the Intersect Project, Nathaniel Williams shared about the beauty of a child’s enthusiasm for work.

“Dad, when I grow up, I want to drive a trash truck.”

 

My four-year-old told me this with a straight face. Upon further examination, I discovered that he didn’t want to drive just any trash truck. He wanted to drive a “flying purple trash truck.”

 

I love that his career aspirations are so broad; he hasn’t yet fallen prey to the lie that white-collar vocations are somehow better than blue-collar. But I also love that he’s so genuinely excited about work. On some days, he dreams of driving this elusive flying purple trash truck. Other days, he wants to be a teacher, or a choir director or a farmer. Just yesterday, he had papers, toys and craft materials strewn about a table. When I asked him to clean it up, he told me matter-of-factly, “Dad, this is my desk. I have to work here. My boss won’t want me to clean this up!”

 

There’s something beautiful about his childlike enthusiasm for work. To him, work is not an obligation. It’s not a chore. It’s not even about making money. To him, work is thrilling. The world is teeming with possibilities, and he can’t wait to get his hands on it.

 

At the Center for Great Commission Studies, Anna Daub shared some advice about engaging singles during the holidays.

When I was a child, my parents went to great lengths to ensure we had beautiful Christmas memories and fun family traditions. One tradition was that Christmas Eve was always an open invitation to people who had nowhere else to go. My mother would cook a Tex-Mex feast and invite the single professors from the university nearby, the elderly woman who lived alone, and the Muslim man who sold cell phones in the mall to join us. Most of the time, only one or two would come, but this tradition instilled in me a reminder to always look for those who had nowhere to go for the holidays.

 

In a post at the Intersect Project, Tami Gomez warned Christians about being cultural copycats.

“Engage the culture.”

 

It’s what Christians are continually being told we need to do more. We need to look to our culture and use it creatively to reach our lost friends, family members and society at large. After all, if we can make music as catchy as what’s on the radio or movies as spectacular as Hollywood’s, then we will have won the culture wars; people will come for the party, but stay for the substance. At least that’s been the theory. Unfortunately, this has only lead to “Christian culture” being a stuffy, retooled version of styles that used to be trendy. Christians need to stop thinking in terms of engaging an already-existing culture and start thinking in terms of creating culture.

 

In a post at his blog, Scott Slayton shared why we should live in the Psalms.

In our distracted and fast-paced world, many Christians struggle to gain depth in our spiritual lives. If our devotions happen, they are usually hurried, so we don’t often make the unhurried time that we need to soak in God’s word and linger before God in prayer that we so desperately need. The result is that we often evidence a weak and shallow Christianity. We may be able to fake depth for a while, but eventually, the hard times come and expose us for who we really are.

 

The Psalms provide a welcome antidote to our craving for shallowness. The Psalms, which seem so easy to understand on the surface, invite us to deep study and contemplation. They show the blessing of cultivating a deep and abiding trust in the Lord and beckon us to leave behind our life of distraction so we can know and love God more deeply.

 

Here five reasons that our hurried and forgetful hearts need to live in the Psalms for a while.

 

At the LifeWay Facts & Trends blog, Joe McKeever shared thirteen things a pastor should never say to a congregation.

In addition to the obvious no-no’s, such as profanity, heresy, racism, sexism, and the like, no pastor should ever be heard to utter any of the following from the pulpit.

 

At his personal blog, Chuck Lawless shared ten reflections of a formerly single pastor.

For the first ten years of my pastoral ministry (ages 20-30), I was unmarried. The Lord had called me to preach when I was 13 years old, and the first church called me as pastor at age 20. Here are my reflections on those years as a single pastor.

Michael Bird and Bruce Ashford – The Benedict Option: Two Reflective Responses

Michael Bird, a lecturer in Theology and Czar of Postgradistan at Ridley College in Melbourne, and Bruce Ashford, Provost and Professor of Theology and Culture at Southeastern Seminary, participate in The Evangelical Voices in the Academy Lecture Series. The topic of this talk is The Benedict Option: Two Reflective Responses. It is sponsored by The Society for Women in Scholarship, The L. Russ Bush Center for Faith & Culture, and Kingdom Diversity. An introduction to this talk is given by Ashley Gorman, member of the leadership team for The Society for Women in Scholarship, and Ken Keathley, Senior Professor of Theology and Director of the Center for Faith and Culture at Southeastern Seminary.