Bruce Ashford recently posted a guest post at Chuck Lawless’ blog, sharing a way to make Scripture memory manageable and meaningful. Dr. Ashford writes:
It happens to most of us church leaders. Gradually, and without notice, we slip into the habit of viewing the Scriptures more as an object to be dissected than a spiritual feast to nourish our souls. As an antidote to this temptation, I recently wrote about a four-fold pattern of Scripture intake that helps us to receive the Scriptures as the nourishing word of for our souls. The four-fold pattern—read, reflect, pray, obey—is an adaptation and modification of an early church practice.
Keelan Cook posted at The People’s Next Door earlier this week explaining that church is not a spectator sport.
College football season is once again upon us. This week, I am traveling to do some missionary training and last night, I found myself laying in a hotel bed, listening to my team play their opening game on the radio. The Tennessee Volunteers, a top ten ranked team, were getting man-handled by Appalachian State, a nowhere near top ten team. Fortunately, the Vols snagged a “W” in overtime, but the whole time I was talking to the radio, telling the team what they should be doing.
This is how football works: a small handful of folk on the field, trying to win the game, while millions of us sit in an armchair and tell them what they are doing wrong. Truth is, I have never played football, but you would think I knew something about it by listening to me. After all the sports shows, commentators, and games I have watched, I think I know something about it. However, if you put me into that game, it would not take long to realize I do not.
At the Intersect Project, Nathaniel Williams published an article explaining that God is greater than your fear of sharing the gospel. Nathaniel writes:
I know I’m supposed to share the gospel. But fear always seems to get in the way.
To wit: I once had a conversation with a staunchly liberal (and probably unsaved) lady in my town. I invited her to my church and mentioned how faith inspires us to love the least of these. As I walked away, though, I realized I had only wanted to talk about topics she wanted to hear. I held back the portions of the gospel that caused friction with her worldview — namely, that Jesus is the only way to the Father.
On another occasion, I discussed faith with a deeply conservative (and probably unsaved) man. After I explained my interest in international missions, he said, “I hope you don’t leave the country. I hate any country that’s not America.” I didn’t know how to respond, so I didn’t. I held back the portions of the gospel that caused friction with his worldview — namely, the parts about Jesus saving us to share his good news to the ends of the earth.
In both instances, fear prohibited me from sharing parts of the gospel my listeners didn’t want to hear. So I stayed away from controversial topics. And both of them heard something less than the full gospel message.
Randy Mann shared the most encouraging post-sermon comment he has ever received.
Last Sunday, I received the most encouraging sermon comment I have ever received. It came from a 5 year old body (who I later found out was attending his first corporate worship service). He came up to me with his mom and said, “I really like what you said in your sermon today.” I asked, “Was there something special, or did you just like it in general?” He stopped for a minute and replied, “You made me think about Jesus.”
In a recent interview with Steve Noble about an article she wrote for The Exchange, Amy Whitfield tackled the question: “How should Christians use social media?” Follow this link to listen to the interview, or you can read highlights at the Intersect Project website.
I have a megaphone when I put something out on Facebook or on Twitter, but I don’t feel it in the moment. If I’m sitting in a room full of people, and I have a particular opinion about something but I know that it’s bombastic, or I know it could be hurtful, and I’m looking at everyone, then I know. I have some sort of check in my conscience that triggers me.