Thinking Out Loud

March 7, 2012

Wednesday Link List

As Harpo Marx once said, “

  • A mother of four is yanked out of a Georgia church for breastfeeding. Meanwhile, Caryn at ThinkChristian wonders how Jesus handled this situation (if there was one) say, while giving the Sermon on the Mount.
  • Also at ThinkChristian, Karen says we shouldn’t sweat the new TV show, GCB, because it doesn’t have the right mix of ingredients to last.
  • I though we’d send some traffic to Reylo, the latest blog at Alltop Christian, and to get you there, he’s got the official trailer for the Blue Like Jazz movie.
  • “Ring by Spring or Your Money Back” — If you’re at a Christian college and not yet engaged, you just have a few weeks left.  Brittany Johnson guests at SCL.
  • 50 people, representing 10% of the head office staff, have been laid off at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, as the organization focuses more on online initiatives.
  • “I can do all things through Christ…” says the opening part of Phil. 4:13. But Bill Mounce points out that for Paul, it wasn’t true. “There are many things Paul could not do. He couldn’t fly. He couldn’t remove the thorn in his flesh. He couldn’t get released from his second Roman imprisonment…”  So in a departure from every other translation, check out what the NIV 2011 does with this text.
  • Kirk Cameron does his best to defend his beliefs as Piers Morgan relentlessly goes after Cameron’s views on gay marriage and homosexuality. Here’s a response to the show’s repsonse from Denny Burk: “Are we really at a place where a Christian who is pressed for his views on a matter can no longer state those views without being tarred and feathered?”
  • Worship Leaders: Carlos Whittaker offers you ten-plus-one ways to improve your worship leading. Of course, his title was a little more blunt.
  • Digging deeper into worship, Internet Monk has an article expressing the limitations modern worship has expressing lament.
  • At the above article, a reader offers this song as an example of worship in the wilderness. (click the mp3 link to play)
  • Catch the irony: A pastor loses his temper while preaching about God’s love. Or did he? The scene is one every church-goer would like to see happen at least once. The blog is A Brick in the Valley.
  • William Hamilton, the Oregon theologian who declared in the 1960s that God is dead, is dead. Another individual for whom, “The image of God as all knowing and all powerful couldn’t be reconciled with human suffering, especially after the Holocaust.”  Story at Oregon Live
  • An new Amish ‘fish out of water’ story, though not sure who is the fish and who is the water. An Amish woman decides to raise money by teaching quilting to a mix of people from the broader community. The new book by Wanda Brunstetter really should be made into a film.
  • In other publishing news, Justin Bieber’s mom, Pattie Mallette releases her own story Nowhere But Up, in September with Revell Books and a foreword by Justin…
  • …Meanwhile, basketball sensation Jeremy Lin has the book Linspired coming in May from Zondervan in both an adult edition and kids edition; though the latter is not even on the corporate website.
  • “You can’t get to heaven in a mini-skirt.” A good devotional post, but with a lead line like that, I just wanna see how many clicks it gets. The blog is called Moment of Selah.
  • Another edition of David Platt’s Secret Church happens on April 6th and you can simulcast the six-hour event where you live. Check the website or read more at Desiring God. In the book Radical, David admits that there’s nothing like seeing thousands of people quietly taking notes in church at 12:30 in the morning!
  • In Ontario, the most populous province in Canada, you can’t shop on holidays, which include New Year’s Day, Family Day, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Victoria Day, Canada Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. The City of Toronto, the most populous municipality in Ontario is surveying residents to see if they want that to change.
  • The cartoons today are classic Rob Portlock, from Way Off the Church Wall (IVP, 1989)

February 19, 2012

Person of the Week (2) – Jeremy Lin

Filed under: current events, sports — Tags: , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 7:12 am

The words “overnight sensation” rarely apply, since they don’t reflect the years of practice and training; but Jeremy Lin’s meteoric rise to super-stardom in the National Basketball Association is truly an inspiration to players of all sports who wish they could get off the bench and into the game.

Not lost in this story is Lin’s identification as a Christian.  His Wikipedia writeup states:

Lin is an evangelical Christian who was a leader in Harvard’s Asian American Christian Fellowship during his time there. Lin would one day like to be a pastor who can head up non-profit organizations, either home or abroad.  He has also talked of working in inner-city communities to help with underprivileged children. 

The Christian Post gets into more detail:

Jeremy Lin, while enrolled at Harvard University and playing for its basketball team, was co-leader of a Bible study group.

Lin was involved in a Bible study group run by the Harvard-Radcliffe Asian American Christian Fellowship, according to a 2010 interview with the online publication StudentSoul.org.

“I became a co-leader my junior year and I’m co-leading again this year. The group is a mix of believers and seekers,” said Lin to StudentSoul.org.

“Our fellowship has about 80 people and our purpose is to know God and make him known. We’re trying to do that in a way that is relevant for everyone on our campus.”

The blog Think Christian picks up more of the story:

Like any good point guard, Lin knows the art of the pass – distributing the praise to his teammates and to God.

“I’m just thankful to God for everything,” Lin said in a recent post-game interview. “Like the Bible says, ‘God works in all things for the good of those who love him.’”

Lin’s passing reference to Romans 8:28 was caught by his longtime pastor, Stephen Chen of Redeemer Bible Fellowship, a ministry within the Chinese Church in Christ in Mountain View, Calif. Chen describes the church as full of first- and second-generation immigrants, like Lin and his parents, who are “conservative in nature” and evangelical in faith.

“Very early in his life he decided to pay heed to the call of Christ to take up the cross daily and follow after Him,” Chen said.

Lin credits his parents with teaching him to play “godly basketball,” which measures success by sportsmanship, not stats. That means putting teammates first and showing respect to opponents and referees.

As his star rose, first at Harvard and then with the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, Lin shared his faith testimony with youth groups and churches near his California home. In a 2011 appearance at River of Life Christian Church in Santa Clara, he quoted from the works of John Piper, a prominent neo-Calvinist pastor in Minneapolis, and spoke of trusting in “God’s sovereign plan.”

Lin already uses his social media platforms to spread the Word. His Twitter account’s description is, “to know Him is to want to know Him more.” His account’s avatar depicts Jesus telling a young man, “No, I’m not just talking about Twitter. I literally want you to follow me.”

As a professional sports player who is upfront about his faith, many have pointed to the similarity between Lin in basketball and Tim Tebow in football. Jim Denison at the blog Faith Village notes:

He is the son of godly parents who insisted that he attend worship each Sunday morning, even after late games on Saturday night…  His Facebook page quotes Colossians 3:23, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.”

Does our culture need more Tim Tebows and Jeremy Lins? You and I may not make sports headlines today, but our character is on display within our own circles of influence. Jesus said, “While I am in the world, I am the light of the world” (John 9:5). Now that he is in heaven, we are “the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14), called to reflect his light to our dark and fallen culture.

Have you prayed today about your influence?

Be sure to click the links to see the full text of each blog post.

The Silver is the New Black Theme. Blog at WordPress.com.