In this edition of Exploring Hope, Keith Whitfield talks with Sam Williams about how the church can love and support the mentally ill within and without its membership. How can your church, how can you help? What does God say about mental illness?
1) Thomas S. Kidd discusses professors and the new public square. In his post Kidd writes:
E-mail, Twitter, blogging, and podcasts have dramatically lowered the structural barriers between professors and a potential reading public. But these are only possibilities unless academics avail themselves of them, and it remains to be seen whether they will…Academics who want to reach a broader audience will have to get used to the idea that they need to reach out to their prospective readers.
2) In this post, Joe McKeever reflects on his single biggest regret from 53 years of ministry: Making time for his family.
The minister who learns to say ‘no’ in order to protect his time with the family will occasionally anger a self-centered, demanding church member. But it’s a small price to pay, and in the long run, works out best both for the family and the immature member. Only a strong pastor can do this. I sure wish I’d been one.
3) Keelan Cook reflects on Muslim immigration in this post.
The least reached peoples are now in arms reach. And for the first time in our history, every, single member of your church can impact the nations in this way. Believers who never could go overseas no longer have to in order to share Christ with a Muslim, or a Hindu or Buddhist for that matter. We now share space. We share a marketplace. This is not bad news, if your heart is to share the good news of Christ.
4) Ed Stetzer discusses discipleship of new believers and how to focus on spiritual growth and transformation in this post.
More often than not people respond to Christ because they are in a life crisis, not just because they wake up feeling the need to be closer to Christ…every church needs a pathway which will provide direction for their discipleship plan, and also show how they grow together as a church.
5) Cameron Stanley, a member of a team of SEBTS students serving this summer in San Diego provides his take on the limitless boundaries of God’s love from a quick trip across the border.
One of the main lessons I was able to learn from that day was that God’s love transcends all boundaries. Regardless of the language barrier, the actual land boundary, or any other self-construed boundary pretense, we were able to share Christ, only by His grace. If we live life on mission with the idea that God’s love transcends all boundaries, pursing Him in all that we do, there is nothing that He can’t use us for.
J.D. Greear recently published an article on how, “Every one of us is preparing for marriage.” In it he states:
Single Christians are preparing for marriage—but marriage to God, not to another person. Seen from this perspective, in fact, we’re all preparing for marriage. Some of us won’t experience marriage on this earth. But that doesn’t mean singles miss marriage completely. No, they will simply skip the shadow of earthly marriage and go straight to the substance of the heavenly marriage with Jesus Christ.
The ironic thing about preparing for marriage to Christ is that if and when you do find your spouse, you’ll be ready for them. Far too often we obsess about finding the right person, when Scripture counsels us to become the right person. As Andy Stanley says it, “Are you the person that the person you’re looking for…is looking for?”
Practically speaking, what does this kind of “ultimate marriage preparation” look like?
To read the entire blog post, head over to J.D.’s blog.