Our opening graphic is from the blog Abandoned to God.
** Derek Webb, All Sons and Daughters, Robbie Seay Band, Charlie Hall, Shane & Shane and Shaun Groves are among the 45 artists on #SongsForWest, a fundraising album download for West, Texas with a suggested $10 donation.**
Here’s this weeks links:
- Opening Link: A pastor and his wife in Watertown, MA are caught in the middle of a shootout in the wake of the Boston bombings. “We were trapped, with active gunfire on three sides of our home.”
- Here’s another new movie to be aware of, opening in US theaters on Friday: King’s Faith.
- Watch (or listen to) a great sermon by Gary Burge preached midweek at Willow Creek a few weeks ago. Check out Acts 11:1–18. Once you’re 5 minutes in, I guarantee you’ll want to finish.
- An journalist who had originally interviewed Megan Phelps-Roper in 2011 before her departure from Westboro Baptist Church offered some additional detail and updates on her story.
- This one is disturbing. Seems that people serving at Steven Furtick’s Elevation Church are being asked to sign some type of loyalty/confidentiality agreement, with legal consequences if you break the contract. Never criticize your pastor.
- A Minneapolis preacher is still in the pulpit at age 105. “Noah Smith has no plans to retire — ever. He said he tried that once when he was 90 and it didn’t work out too well.”
- Here’s how one church kid defines his faith. But if you’re in Christian Education or Youth Ministry, his response is somewhat disappointing.
- By contrast, here’s Greg Koukl at Stand To Reason with a 7-minute video describing an appropriate response to the question, What is Christianity? (He actually gets to it at the 2:40 mark.)
- For those can’t enough of blogging, here’s the direct link to Faith Village’s Java Juice Blog House which we featured here a few days ago…
- …And if you’ve got friends investigating Christianity or just starting out, here’s Faith Village’s Square One.
- Pete Wilson’s Cross Point Church has a daughter church in India which he tries to visit as regularly as possible. Last week he suddenly learned his visa was denied, and he was summoned to India’s embassy in Washington, DC. Now he’s been granted a six-month visa, which isn’t quite the 5-year one he had…
- …And here’s a 2-minute audio clip on YouTube of Pete discussing people who leave his church, or arrive from somewhere else because they weren’t being fed.
- After ten years of keeping us aware on several social issue fronts, veteran Christian blogger La Shawn Barber moves on to other platforms.
- Your church needs to rethink tithing options in a world where nobody writes checks (or in some countries, cheques) anymore.
- Our blog discovery of the week is Anabaptistly. Established in Spring 2011, recent activity includes a number of Eugene Peterson quotations like this one.
- Another blogger notes audience reaction to the movie 42.
- The people who use GodTube sure like music reality show clips from X-Factor or [Name of Country]‘s Got Talent. Here Simon Cowell is led to believe a man is going to impersonate a whole choir.
- If homeschoolers aren’t already over-represented on social media, now they have their own theme song.
- Yea! We made another Top 200 Ministry blogs list!
- More links all week on Twitter.
- Finally, in our Truth is Stranger Than Fiction department, Jamie The Very Worst Missionary is breaking all her own rules and going on a women’s retreat. Say it isn’t so!
A closing word from Francis Chan:
Our opening image this week apparently dates back to the mid ’90s and was sourced on a Dutch website whose name translates approximately as End Time Space. Click the image to link.
Several possible links for this week were important enough to become their own posts here. Be sure to check back at topics covered since Thursday.
- First, please consider following my Twitter feed; not because of my great wisdom, but because I’m following some other really cool people.
- The radio host of “Canada’s most listened-to spiritual talkback show,” Drew Marshall takes to television this weekend.
- Is the Pope Catholic? This blogger dares to ask: Is the Pope born again?
- Here’s a good breakdown of pastor blogs fitting into ten (or eleven!) categories. Actually, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
- Just in time for Passover, the Maccabeats are back.
- If you or someone you know has been involved in a marital affair, here’s a reminder to skip the what questions and look at the why questions.
- This week the Dictionary of Christianese defines Godincidences. (They’re like God Winks.)
- This has been around for awhile, but if you haven’t watched this timely 3-minute video, check out Peter Rollins’ I Deny The Resurrection.
- A Canadian Mennonite pastor is dealing with a couple of strange baptism requests: “They don’t know much about Jesus, but they want to come to him, to sign up to follow, even though they don’t have much of an idea what they are getting into.”
- One hundred and eleven podcasts later, and you can still listen to episodes of A Christian and An Atheist.
- Here’s a good analysis on how the church should multiply (real growth) instead of simply poaching (transfer growth) from other churches.
- And on that same blog we found a link to a piece on how tradition(s) can trump what Jesus explicitly taught.
- Know a single who is saving their first kiss? You might identify with this video trailer, but trailer for what? (Found at TWW.)
- Russell Moore is asked whether or not reading fiction is a waste of time. He answers that fiction can “awaken parts of us that we have calloused over.”
- And congrats to Russell on his new title with the SBC.
- Pete Wilson and Cross Point Church have invaded downtown Nashville. Their new church building opened this past Sunday.
- For gay Christians, the F-word is fear. Read this two part post starting with the article and then, especially the author’s story.
- Pastors’ Corner: Five sources of ministry distractions, including Platform Jacking and Funny Money.
- If you’re thinking of being in Vancouver, British Columbia from July 29 to August 2, 2013, you could sign up for this business ethics course.
- When you are trying to make it as a writer, a rejection letter can be crushing, and create a need to reaffirm your calling.
Congratulations to Pete Wilson, the leadership team and the congregation(s) of Cross Point Church in Nashville on the occasion of their 10th anniversary. Yesterday the church celebrated with an all-campus, two-hour long service which was also streamed online from the Municipal Auditorium with guests Natalie Grant and Carlos Whittaker. While many churches trace their roots back to starting small, this church had very humble beginnings, but has grown by leaps and bounds… and the best is yet to come!
Click the image above to learn more about the comic book version of the book In His Steps, where the whole WWJD thing originated.
- A really heartfelt story from Shaun Groves describing the somewhat atypical process whereby their family of five became a family of six.
- A follow-up report on the aftermath of the Waldo Canyon fire on Navigator’s Eagle Lake Camp and Glen Eyrie Conference Center.
- Tim Stevens introduces a cool church property rebranding that reflects a heart to reach the community: Granger Community Church is now Granger Commons.
- The Evangelical church gave thousands of kids their dreams of being a rock star and made up this new staff position called “Worship Leader”. According to Carlos W., it’s time for some to lose that dream.
- Philip Yancey encounters Hanna, a woman both blind and autistic, on her first visit to the United States.
- Here’s a very well-written look at confronting our fears in the wake of the event in Colorado and similar events elsewhere.
- And in the wake of the shooting, a most unusual good news story about a girl who was saved by a birth defect she never knew she had.
- Really enjoyed the Pete Wilson podcast, particularly the question from an aspiring pastor who asked if he could come to Cross Point as an intern.
- Nearly 15 years ago, ‘print on demand’ technology was supposed to bring back many out of print books, including Christian titles. The technology works, but where are the books?
- Ouch! Every year dozens of boys in South Africa die from botched circumcisions. I read the article but skipped the video.
- A Canadian version of the oft-repeated story wherein the owner of a Bread and Breakfast refuses to rent a room to a gay couple, and pays the price in court.
- Doing camp ministry in North America this summer? Here are six reasons why it would be quite different if you were in Slovakia.
- If you like your Christian music LOUD, then you need to visit all the new lyric videos posted last week by the band House of Heroes.
- Randy Morgan finds a great book excerpt from Garrison Keillor, speaking in the voice of Guy Noir, Private Eye; on the subject of modern teenagers.
- Zondervan continues its Counterparts series with Four Views on Christian Spirituality, comparing Eastern Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism, Evangelicalism, and Liberal Protestantism.
- A large auditorium is a large auditorium, right? Not in Wisconsin. A Federal court has ruled that school graduations that took place in churches were unconstitutional.
- Here’s one of my own pieces at Christianity 201, about getting the nerve to ‘pop the question’ to someone with whom you’ve shared your faith.
- And another one at C201 about what kind of people get picked to spread the good news.
- Wanna be a priest, a minister or a rabbi? (No this isn’t a bad joke.) Well, if you have a smart phone, you could always download Ordain Thyself. Tony Jones spotted a mention of it at CNN.
The link you won’t see here today concerns the announcement that Christian publishing giant Thomas Nelson is in the process of being acquired by HarperCollins, which already owns Zondervan. The story bears on so many other issues in Christian publishing, that I decided an additional day’s worth of reflection would bring something substantial to say about the news. So you’ll have to tune back in tomorrow!
- The Genesis Code, a faith-based, creation science focused movie opens Friday in theaters in Indiana, Illinois and Missouri. More at Christian News Wire.
- More on the Mars Hill trademark issue from David Fitch, who feels that branding is “the ultimate anti-missional act.”
- Francis Chan tells young pastors, “You’re teaching way better than we did…;” but then gives some advice.
- Pete Wilson wants to know what your greatest concern is about a world with a population now exceeding seven billion.
- Video discovery of the week: Check out this contemporary version of the very old hymn, My Anchor Holds by Katie and Jacob who call themselves… wait for it… My Anchor Holds. More at their webpage.
- Our above Venn diagram is from This Is Indexed by Jessica Hagy.
- The picture at right is from a set taken at Occupy Wellington (New Zealand) by Penelope Lattey who went to the protest with a whiteboard, a marker and an idea.
- If you thought Monday was merely Halloween, and don’t know why it was also Reformation Day, this short music video might teach ya a little church history.
- What does it mean to bring a Christian vision or perspective into a public setting; into a pluralistic world? Miraslav Volf previews his new book, A Public Faith in this video preview.
- Eric Douglas has a great set of four questions that you can use when meeting up with people of other faiths or no faith. He calls it Talking to an Atheistic Huffalump.
- How do you feel about the therapeutic (aka healing) power of house pets and animals? Author Neil Abramson uses this as the topic for his recent book, Unsaid. For Neil, the story becomes intensely personal. While not a Christian book, a handful of Christian booksellers carry this title.
- We close with this item from Mike Gilbart-Smith: “Spurgeon came across someone who claimed to have reached sinless perfection. When Spurgeon trod heavily on his foot his perfection dissolved!” Mike then adds this:
There once was a man from Tangiers
Who said he’d not sinned in ten years.
So I poked his right eye
And his foul mouthed reply
Shows he’s worse than he sometimes appears