First, because nothing speaks to the advent of our Lord’s coming better than Hello Kitty:
Just one month today until the jolly fat man (not John Hagee) comes to visit.
- Kent Dobson, Rob Bell’s successor at Mars Hill Church in Grand Rapids, MI is stepping down. See the announcement here.
- Even though I write a weekly news feed, I miss some things, like the death in late September of John Kohlenberger, who has influenced every edition of the NIV Bible you have ever read. I will flesh this out later, but John had a huge influence on me, and others as well, including Randy Alcorn.
- Essay of the Week: Do pastors ever become jealous of the success of others? You bet they do. If you haven’t already, check out On Being Matt Chandler’s Roommate.
- Not three, or five, or even ten; but 20 discussion points on healing prayer from a two-decade-long charismatic.
- Jezehellsbells: First the website Jezebel attempts an exposé of sorts of Doug Wilson. Then at Blog and Mablog, Wilson responds.
- Lutherans at the Catholic communion table? Pope Francis says it is simply a matter of conscience…
- …But one former Protestant turned Catholic says Francis has “muddled things up and confused the faithful.”
- Instead of the usual weekend sermon, Wade Burleson tracked the 230-year old history of Sunday School. (Thanks, Deb!)
- In just a few days, the Roman Catholic Church will kick off the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, a year-long observance running December 8th to November 20th, 2016.
- Provocative Title of the Week: Author Jennie Allen’s One Lie That Will Shut You Down. (The problem I would call numerolatry.)
- The Gospel according to Peanuts was far more than a simple monologue from Linus.
- For the hurting: A September blog post from someone knows well what it’s like, for those of you dealing with sadness, who are alone, or just plain hurting.
- For the first time since 1970, the Hour of Power (or at least the 30-minute sermon portion) will be seen on an entire network, ABC Family.
- A 60-second commercial promoting a new Church of England website has been nixed by the country’s largest theater chain even though they had previously agreed it would be seen before screenings of the new Star Wars film.
- Greg Boyd Department: 5 different ways that the Bible can be seen to support Open Theism.
- Preaching Place: It’s hard to break old habits but this writer thinks sermons can improve if pastors avoid five over-used words (and you won’t believe the 5th one!)
- Leadership Lessons (1): Pastor, are you a rancher or a shepherd? Smaller churches want shepherds, but Carey Nieuwhof says that limits the church’s potential.
- Leadership Lessons (2): Spousal survival when the other’s ministry role necessitates travel away from family…
- …Also at the blog A Life Overseas, a frank discussion about how much missionaries should ask for money.
- Ten marks of a healthy worship team, with application to other teams at your church also. (More great praise team articles at Worship Links.)
- Women readers, don’t miss this: Jamie Ivey’s almost endless list (and podcast with Jen Hatmaker) of world-changing organizations where you can do your holiday shopping. (Great ideas for the guys here, too.) (Even if she does spell holidays with an apostrophe.)
- Kim Phuc, also known as “the girl in the picture” running from a Napalm bombing of her Vietnam village is currently undergoing laser treatments to remove scar tissue.
- Zondervan’s ‘spiritual’ versions of The Berenstain Bears have hit the 5 million mark in sales.
- Proceeds from the song, Your Word by Marcus Witt being translated into 10 languages are going to support global Bible translation efforts by the United Bible Societies. (Listen to 75-seconds of the song.)
- How to sabotage a church board meeting (or annual general meeting for that matter): Take a lesson from the CIA.
- Finally, how could I not click on a CT story titled, A History of Faith and Flatulence?
Our closing graphic is dedicated to whoever does PowerPoint at your place of worship: