Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber join Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer on Saturday Night Live two weekends back.
Wouldn’t it be funny if it turned out they were related?
In addition to what you see here each week, I’ve recently updated the blogroll on the right hand side of the page. I’m generally looking to keep blogs which have been active within the preceding 30 days. It’s an ongoing process and suggestions are welcomed. Also, if you find yourself lost somewhere without your computer bookmarks, make your way to Thinking Out Loud and use our news, podcast and blog links as a portal to some great sites.
This week a slightly shorter list due to time constraints and the Canadian Income Tax Deadline on April 30th.
Oh… one more thing: A big shout-out to Michael and Jenine in North Dakota. Thanks for your note this week!
- Time bomb comment? The mayor of San Antonio, Texas says atheism is at the root of the city’s poverty…
- …In contrast, being a church-loving Christian is the secret to long life.
- Point/Counterpoint: Tony Campolo and Bart Campolo have released Why I Left, Why I Stayed: Conversations on Christianity Between an Evangelical Father and His Humanist Son available now in hardcover from HarperCollins. (Sorta like that Bible that Andy Stanley and Charles Stanley did together but with a lot more contrast.)
- Church Life: It’s not the music or the quality of the kids program after all. For Protestants, the hot draw is sermon content that illuminates scripture.
- Leadership Lessons: The ups and downs of ministry life is like a roller coaster.
- This year’s Templeton Prize recipient is Alvin Plantinga. “The Foundation cited Plantinga’s ability to recognize that religious beliefs do not have to conflict with philosophical work; instead, Plantinga has argued, faith can provide crucial contributions to philosophy.”
- A church in rapid decline: Predicting what the Church of Scotland will look like in 2047.
- Joyce Meyer Ministries confirms that her degree from Life Christian University was honorary, not earned.
- Gateway, the church founded by Robert Morris is cutting staff and overhead by 10-15%.
- Book Review (1): On the other Paul Young thing happening this month, this reviewer says, “Those who trashed this book have my pity…”
- Book Review (2): Top writers in Christian Fiction, Bill Myers, Angela Hunt, Frank Peretti, and Alton Gansky combined their talents for four individual but related novellas.
- Worship Workshop: Two articles by Tim Challies:
- Calling them “an extremist organization,” Russia has banned Jehovah’s Witnesses.
- A different kind of Christian film: Releasing in India, Warpath documents Australian Missionary Dr. Graham Stains who along with his two children Philip (9) & Timothy (7) were killed by being burned inside their car. (When you click be sure to read the full description.)
- Catholic Corner: The author of the book is credited as “Pope Francis.” The subtitle of the book is Inspiring Words from Pope Francis. And the title? Any guesses? Mother Mary.
- You decide: Is this a news article or an advertisement?
- Architecture: A look at a multi-faith “sacred space,” Snyder Sanctuary at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida.
- ♫ If you live in a radio market where 20 The Countdown Magazine is broadcast, listen this weekend for the 20 Top Praise and Worship Songs.
- Sword Drills, Jesus wept, Pentecostals, The Jesus Movement, emotionalism…all in a single devotional.
- Listicle of the Week: Five things to remember when interacting with non-churched people.
- Blog of the Week: Not sure how far this one goes, but the writer has been posting up a storm at HairMetalJesusFreak. (Yes!) The stuff is well written but the 3-column format just doesn’t work on my desktop.
- Provocative Headline of the Week: A tie between Bare, Naked Faith and Why the Lord’s Prayer is Offensive. (Both of these found at the weekly link list at Phoenix Preacher. Thanks Michael and Eric.) …
- …But they missed Bare With Me.
- Sigh! Franklin Graham says that U.S. President Donald Trump should not disclose his tax returns.
- Another moral failure at a high profile megachurch. (The language in this is somewhat blunt.)
- Tweet of the Week
- Finally, and I’ll be the first to admit this one is not for everyone, Matthew Pierce takes on the issue of whether masturbation is a sin. (It was 11:38 when I wrapped this up last night; blame this one on lack of sleep.)
Is it real or just a meme? “The Newest Testament” first came to my attention when Zach Hunt tweeted one of the covers
Click the image for the story behind today’s lead picture. Welcome to today’s WLL, which a Tuesday night internet outage and the season finale of Trial and Error couldn’t stop.
- Observation of the Week: Is your pastor burned out after a busy Easter season. Have you thought of inviting them over for dinner? Rethink that. “Even when we do try to do something nice – perhaps, we invite them over for dinner – we don’t realize that we are still taking his time away from quality (and very necessary) family time. And, we usually just end up talking about church stuff anyway, so he’s really not getting away from work.”
- Speculative Theology: Did a post-crucifixion Jesus go looking for a post-suicide Judas?
- Provocative Title of the Week: “Sunday Schooling our Kids out of Church.” Samples: “…kids and parents were separated from each other, having different Sunday experiences…” “…we shifted kids out of the main worship experience, en-culturated them in their own program, and robbed them of any touch points with the rest of the body of Christ. Another way of saying it: by segregating our kids out of worship, we never assimilated them into the life of the congregation.” …
- … A friendly response with an equally provocative title, Killing the Church with Sunday School.
- Couples living together. That’s an issue with younger generations, right? Actually, it’s trending most with the 50+ crowd.
- Memoir of the Week: This Christian high school’s baseball team did not have enough gloves; the Spanish teacher delivered take out after hours; and the school itself didn’t actually have a name.
- Knee-jerk reaction? Baptist Press reports the Bott Radio Network has canceled Hank Hanegraaff’s Bible Answer Man program following his outing himself as a member of a Greek Orthodox church. Most of the network’s repeaters are in Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska. The article also makes it clear that Hanegraaff has been attending this church for two years, and is adamant that his views haven’t changed.
- British writer Simon Loveday passed away in 2016 and didn’t get to see the release of his book The Bible For Grown-Ups: A New Look at the Good Book releasing this month from Icon Books. I don’t know anything about the man’s faith and I doubt you’ll find the book for sale at LifeWay or CBD, but it was the product of a decade’s work. Here’s the publisher page, and here’s one balanced review.
- Parenting Place: Andy Crouch’s The Tech Wise Family is about “putting technology in its proper place.” This could be the most important book released this month.
- Agree or disagree? Do the peeps in your church sit in the same place each week. This author says, “The space we regularly inhabit on Sunday is a sign of our desire to be both bodily and spiritually committed to the local church.” So the ones who roam around aren’t really committed?
- Church and Politics: British newspaper The Independent reports on Americans leaving church following the U.S. Election, describing it as, “an enormous amount of churn in the religious economy.”
- Another Christian college, another LGBT issue. This time the entire faculty senate at Gordon College resigned in support of a staff members who felt that speaking out against college policy on the issue resulted in her being denied a promotion.
- “What if God is virtually everywhere, not just hovering over things, and closer than we ever imagined?” Text and 3-min audio from John Fischer.
- To homeschool or not to homeschool? Going against the Evangelical trend, this mom put her son back in a public middle school for Grade 8.
- At The Phil Vischer Podcast, guest Paul Pastor (my former Wednesday Link List editor) talks about his new book and the gang discuss the most recent appearance of Veggie Tales characters on Saturday Night Live.
- Leadership Lessons: A must read for pastors from David Murray, 20 cautionary warnings about overwork and burnout…
- …At the same blog, a reader brings a confession: “I’m a Master of Divinity and I don’t know my Bible.”
- What is 5Q? “5Q is a typology rooted in the fivefold or APEST (Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Shepherd, Teacher) described in Ephesians 4:1-6.” Download a free introduction at this link.
- People see different things. Looking at the new six-volume ESV Readers Edition, I see Bibliolatry; the making an idol of the book. Check out the edition that nobody actually needs.
- Your church receptionist’s greatest ministry impact this month might be a simple statement to the person sent to repair the copier or the UPS driver. Your tech director’s largest ministry accomplishment might be to with one of the vendors who sells the church sound and lighting equipment.
- Nothing to see here: Do unborn babies and young children who die go to heaven? Mark Driscoll introduces this topic on his website but doesn’t come through with an answer.
- Print Media Department: Remembering and relaunching Focus On The Family’s Brio magazine for girls.
- Bookmark This One: The classic IVP book, Hard Sayings of the Bible is now online with a Hard Saying of the Day.
- Unless a miracle occurs, St. Joseph’s Chapel across the street from the World Trade Center in NYC will close in June. Their rent is set to rise to as much as $230,000 a year.
- Missed this ♫ in our Easter collection. Check out Grace Has Now Appeared. (But you can learn it now.)
- Our regular ♫-of-the-Week is from the new Mercy Me album Lifer. The song “Even If” was posted just two weeks ago and is over 4 million views.
- The latest Saeed update.
- This is the survey they’re handing middle school kids in California. This is Carl Trueman saying it goes too far.
- Things Pastors Say: The absurdity of saying, “We just go by what the Bible says;” or “We just preach the Bible.” What they really mean is, “You are no longer questioning my views or interpretations, you are really questioning God himself and what God has written.” Nice default position if you can get it.
- LifeWay bookstore management is pondering some of the closing Family Christian locations.
- Next Tuesday (25th) Christian comedian Chonda Pierce is featured in a one-night-only 90-minute documentary Enough in 850 theaters in the U.S.
Friendly Atheist Hemant Mehta didn’t care for these kids acting out the crucifixion, calling it “Jesus Torture Cosplay.” Click the image to read his comments.
Silly Songs With Larry? This is the lower left quadrant of a larger March Madness parody called March Gladness, but then the blog writer simply stopped posting. (Click the image to see it all.) Turns out Matthew Pierce had one of these going as well and that one went the distance.
Welcome to the very last pop-up-free blog on the internet. Or so it seems some days. #obnoxious …Got link suggestions? Keep those cards and letters coming in, folks.
- Hank Hanegraaff aka Bible Answer Man surprised many on the weekend by being received into the Greek Orthodox Church. ” His chrismation took place on Palm Sunday at St. Nektarios Greek Orthodox Church in Charlotte, NC.” (Audio addresses this around 10:43 to about 15:55.)
- …What’s a chrismation? I already anticipated that question…
- …While we’re defining high church terms, how about What is a Tenebrae Service? (My wife and I went to one last year, so we already know.)
- Above Image: It’s not the cover of Rolling Stone, but it’s equally imposing. Click the image to read the interview.
- Podcast of the Week: “The end of the world. The end of the ages. The rapture. The Great 7 Year Tribulation. The Anti-Christ. The second coming. All of these themes come out of various versions of Christian theology. Some of them were embraced by [the Apostle] Paul. Many of them would seem absurd to him.”
- Essay of the Week: Preaching to people part of a culture of shame.
- Tech for Treasurers: Making the case for a variety of online giving options.
- Sermon of the Week: Skye Jethani on fashioning God in our image. We want a God who is much like ourselves.
- Photo of the Week: If this is legit it’s really the Photo of the Decade, not to mention a huge argument as to when human life begins.
- Phrase of the Week: “Collateral Lessons.” 25 Other things hidden in the texts for Holy Week.
- Pastor Place: Ministers often take a lot of verbal and written abuse from parishioners. The pastor’s wife often knows where it’s coming from. In those moments she is a hero.
- Quotation of the Week: Scot McKnight quoting and reviewing author Matthew Bates, “So, at the end of the salvation story, we do not find humans in heaven; rather we discover they are city-dwellers, still on earth.” The context is what some authors call New Earth eschatology, what McKnight calls New Creation teaching.
- Leadership Lessons: The people at this church got to watch the sermons of their prospective pastor that influenced the search committee.
- Just one verse takes ten minute to transcribe in Western musical notation. He wants to cover the entire Torah. This Kickstarter project was 0% funded as of last night.
- Disturbing Trend of the Week: The kids were asked to name their own baseball team. (No, it’s true. Here’s a longer version.)
- Jesus is back on the bus: London’s double-decker buses will feature the words of Jesus from now until April 24th. The “Quote Jesus” campaign will appear on 75 of the iconic vehicles. (Did you like how I put Quote Jesus in quotes?)
- Purity, self control and worship. An informal look at the challenge of absolute vs. fluid standards for Christian living.
- KidMin (1): For most people, Sunday is a day of rest. “…Sundays are socially and emotionally overstimulating for me.”
- KidMin (2): Five ways to keep families together on Sunday mornings.
- Rod Dreher currently has a much talked about book and apparently has a huge following online. In this very lengthy article, with the proactive title “Goodbye, Evangelicalism” there is much to consider, but I found myself scanning it instead of reading it because there were often no spaces between paragraphs. Still, if you want to know more about this writer, this is a good place to begin.
- Canada Corner: Former staff at a high profile Christian camp operated by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship in Canada want to strike a rule forcing counselors and instructors to condemn homosexuality if campers ask. Because of the “narrow” approach, many staff won’t return this year. The alumni group wants to see more support for LGBT campers. (They also have their own website.)
- Education: Kids sit in classrooms all afternoon hungry. Why? “Lunch ladies have been forced to throw out students’ hot meals because they didn’t have enough funds on their student accounts.”
- Saeed Abedini is back on the radar again; this time for some rather random and badly spelled statements on social media.
- With a DVD due to release in just a few days, here’s a review of the film Is Genesis History?
- Book Biz: HarperCollins is celebrating its 200th birthday with a commemorative website, 200.hc.com. Its timeline page includes subsidiaries gained through mergers and acquisitions, so the history of Zondervan and figures largely into the big picture.
- More Book Biz: The real top selling Christian books. (Scroll to the bottom to see how these lists came about.)
- A balanced response to a question that keeps coming back: What happens to our pets when they die?
- Blog of the Week: Out of hundreds listed at Faithful Bloggers, I thought it was interesting that only two had men as their target audience. Check out this one, The Power of One Man.
- Revisionism: Warren Throckmorton sees Mark Driscoll as spinning the reasons for the demise of Mars Hill.
- YMin: Youth Pastors’ top goal is spiritual instruction and discipleship. The parents? They just want a safe place.
- 🎬 More high praise for The Case for Christ movie.
- Buried Treasure: A link to the discussion/study guide for Brant Hansen’s Unoffendable, just in case your small group wants to tackle something topical.
- Well, this was a God-shot: The “Christian way of talking” aka “Christianese.” An extremely detailed look at the language of Christian spirituality. (2o minute audio; the report really begins after 3:10.) (Are you a P31 woman?)
- The Florida teacher who got fired: I mean it wasn’t all bad … all she was trying to do was prepare her 6th Graders for their next trip to a gay bar.
- Finally, the challenge for all of us who do this type of thing: “… it has gotten harder to tell satire and hoaxes from the real thing…” Some great examples of Catholic satire follow.
Below image: The church sign prompted a comment on Reddit: “Even I think this is in poor taste! And I’m an atheist.” Another comment, “that pastor must’ve been ‘hammered.'” (So is it real or a sign generator?)
We’re back with a whole new set of diversions and rabbit trails. As to the above picture: My wife found this “Armor of God” plush bear in a thrift shop yesterday. Fortunately, it stayed there. By the way, she is a great help in so many ways to producing the content you enjoy here on the blog and today’s her special day. Join me in wishing her a Happy ■■th Birthday.
- Okay, we start with a leftover from April Fool’s Day. When January went by, we thought Englewood Review of Books had forgotten the annual book cover awards — which they had, sort of — but we were wrong, sort of. Instead, they issued The Very Worst Christian Book Covers Hall of Fame.
- You’re alone. The restaurant is full. No tables. But you can order lunch at the bar. Do you abstain from the very appearance of evil? The Bible doesn’t actually demand that.
- A Jewish perspective on Christians holding Passover Seders: “It’s a lot like people doing a sweat lodge or sun dance that are not Native American. To me, you haven’t walked that path with that people. You’re taking the benefits without having suffered…”
- Worth considering: 3 reasons to ban mobile devices from your small group meeting and 4 reasons to allow them.
- Britain’s National Health Service funds hospital chaplains to the tune of an estimated £25m annually, with 916 full and part time posts in 2015. With hospital budgets squeezed some are questioning their value.
- Despite close ties to the Graham family, a Vancouver pastor was among those who could not support Franklin Graham’s Festival of Hope in that city.
- Essay of the Week: On the Church and video games. “I’ve felt an oversight in the U.S. evangelical church—regarding video games, we have largely dismissed (as harmful) or ignored (as meaningless) one of the largest cultural phenomena of the past 40 years… The pulpit, the blogosphere, and informal discussion seems to provide regular thought regarding other pervasive media types, such as movies, or fiction books, or sports, or social media. But sadly, I see a disproportionate amount of careful, nuanced thought on an industry so extensive…”
- A fresh idea: From what we always call “the other Thinking Out Loud,” Jim Thornber asks the musical question, what if it wasn’t the pastor who baptized new converts, but the people most influential in that conversion?
- From the Archives at Mental Floss: With Passion Week approaching, here’s 15 things you need to know about DaVinci’s Last Supper.
- Problems trying to apply “The Billy Graham Rule” in 2017 where things have changed.
- Jory Micah is a strong advocate for women in ministry. She announced this week she and her husband Luke are starting a church. Well a sort of church. Having been down this road with my wife (we planted two) I think she knows what she’s doing. Until…
- …along comes this blogger who is… like… “Ms. Micah doesn’t have time for repentance and the traditional marks of the church in her headlong rush to fashion the church into the likeness of herself.” (Ouch! That wasn’t encouraging at all.)
- Skye Jethani finds an increasing number among the disillusioned. “I think about how often I have seen godly, well-meaning people restrained by policies, bureaucracies, budgets, or attorneys. I think about Christian ministries making decisions driven by the shadow mission of survival rather than the kingdom mission of God. And about how desperately we need leaders and institutions that will empower a new generation of Christians, but how difficult that is when the funding comes primarily from a generation with different values. I know I am not alone. I meet more like me every week.”
- An early review of Bruxy Cavey’s new book. I’m a fan so I’ll be mentioning this often between now and May…
- …Here’s a text sample of what Bruxy’s parishioners experience each week at The Meeting House.
- Parenting Place: This isn’t a Christian website or writer, but I loved this account of author Reif Larsen taking his son to the airport.
- Sometimes we’re not able to get you the ideal link to a story. Like this time. Stephen Baldwin produced a stage show: “Heaven, How I Got Here: A Night with the Thief on the Cross,” which based on a book by Colin Smith. That one says the DVD is ‘coming soon’ but a press release about the film version of the stage show indicates it’s available at ChristianCinema.com. But a search there yielded nothing. Anyone love a mystery?
- Rachel Held Evans guests on the Bible for Normal People podcast where she and Peter Enns talk about sword drills and violence in the book of Judges. 51 minutes.
- An English teacher in New York who has been assigned to 20 religious schools since 1991 was fired from a Muslim school for saying the story of Adam and Eve is a myth and showing the Muslim children a painting depicting the couple naked…
- …Meanwhile in Australia, another clash of cultures: “A refugee who raped a ten-year-old boy has claimed he did not know sexually assaulting the child was wrong as it was ‘culturally acceptable’ in his homeland.”
- The Environment: It’s a mall in Sweden devoted entirely to repaired or recycled items. “Products are then sorted into 14 specialty shops that include furniture, computers, audio equipment, clothes, toys, bikes, and gardening and building materials; all garnered from second-hand products.”
- YMin: The $5 mission trip to the mall. The kids couldn’t spend the money on themselves.
- Video Flashback of the Week: 2012, Candi Stanton’s Hallelujah Anyway. Why? …
- …Because it’s the title of Anne Lamott’s new book, Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy…
- …An interview with Anne this past weekend at Willow Creek.
- A year later, Trevin Wax and Brandon Smith are still producing Word Matters, a podcast devoted to troublesome Bible passages.
- Bible translation is tough going on the best of days, but chapters 3-41 in the book of Job can be somewhat tedious.
- This one is from last October, but if you’re new to the liturgical calendar, this week is a great time to jump in.
- ♫ The Ultimate Christian Rock Quiz: I was doing fine on the first ten questions, but not so well on the last ten. See how well you know CCM.
- Scripture make you uncomfortable? You could always try the Happy News Translation.
- Bee of the Week: It’s not what the Hebrew letters mean, but how cool they look.
- So…about today’s closing image: I don’t foresee this Christian products retailer opening branches in Europe or North America anytime soon, at least not under that name. (If you don’t get it, don’t worry; ignorance is bliss.) Here’s the story: “CUM Books has become a much-loved and popular name in South African homes for many years. This chain of Christian family bookshops began when six NG Kerk-boekhandel shops were bought. In 1993 CUM Books began to enter major shopping malls. The first shops were opened in Westgate and Greenacres. Since then… there are now over 40 branches countrywide and an online store.”
Digging a Little Deeper
From the creator of Thinking Out Loud, check out Christianity 201. Guaranteed distraction-free faith blogging with fresh posts every day. www.Christianity201.wordpress.com
What to do with nine year’s worth of T-shirts collected in student ministry? You could make a quilt. Full story at Baptist Press; click image to link.
Satellite campus churches are cool, but what if one time you could get everybody together in one place? That’s what Andy Stanley and North Point Community Church did on Sunday night. Six churches. One service. First time in 21 years.
Time Magazine cloned one of its own iconic covers causing Sam Allberry to Tweet, “You can’t have one without the other. The more the first is denied, the more the second will disappear.” Click the image for Time’s coverage of its cover.
Welcome to another Wednesday. Not all stories included this week come with endorsement, but they’re things I felt were worth a look.
- Religion as virtual reality game? A writer suggests this is possibly the worst description of Christianity ever…
- …Related: This your brain. This is your brain without God. Sample: “Religion works exactly like a drug—like cocaine, or methamphetamine—or like music, or like romantic love,”
- If all the talk about “The Benedict Option” (and the book of the same name) is leaving you feeling out of the loop, this article is an excellent place to begin…
- …There’s also this interview with the author on the Eric Metaxas Show.
- Staged his own burglary: “A Columbus pastor who claimed his family was robbed of about $11,000 in cash and valuables while he was preaching at church has been arrested on felony charges of insurance fraud and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.”
- Discovery of the Week: Ever heard of The Crescent Project? Bridges is described as a powerful curriculum paving the way for fruitful relationships with Muslims.
- The Charlotte Observer keeps close tabs on all things related to Steven Furtick and Elevation Church. In their latest piece, they note some details usually included in an annual report are missing.
- Parenting Place: When Christian kids want to rebel, do they do it by smoking, drinking, or staying up late at night? Try this on instead: “Essentially, one of the great draws of witchcraft is that nobody holds you accountable for anything and you can do so many of the things that the Bible commands you not to do. So for those that wish to rebel against their conservative Christian upbringings, getting involved in witchcraft can seem quite natural…”
- Leadership Lessons: The trend toward part-time clergy. “Relearning how to do effective congregational ministry with part-time clergy is no easy task, and denominational officers have no easy answers… More and more congregations are likely to face this issue.” …
- …Also at Faith & Leadership: A major city-wide event is being planned; a demonstration; a march; and it’s a cause the church should support. But clergy find it hard to sit on the sidelines. Community organizers suggest that “…faith leaders could support the movement by offering authentic action within our existing spheres of influence. Don’t displace or duplicate the efforts of existing and emergent frontline leaders…This can be uncomfortable for faith leaders who are accustomed to being in charge, or to being gatekeepers of institutional power.”
- Testimony of the Week: LGBT Christians are giving up on church. Part of it is being told they can’t serve in certain capacities.
- British Director David Baty talks about the making of the film, The Gospel of Mark. “Mark is much more like a superhero movie, fast-paced and action-packed, just lining everything up.”
- Fake news? How about knowing when you’re dealing with fake apostles.
- Canada Corner (1): Roman Catholic Archbishop Cardinal Thomas Collins to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: It is “arrogant for powerful, wealthy nations to dictate what priorities developing countries should embrace.” This follows Canada’s pledge of $650M to enable access to abortion in developing countries.
- Canada Corner (2): Two schools just outside Edmonton, Alberta are being told they must establish “Gay Straight Alliance” clubs, even though no student has requested them to date.
- The next major Bible translation to undergo an upgrade is the NASB. The Lockman Foundation reports it is in final editing stages, with a release expected in 2018.
- In Fulton County, Georgia, a couple wants to give their child a last name that is neither the mother’s nor the father’s. Added complication: They want her last name to be Allah.
- Currently Reading: This is one Advance Reader Copy that I will treasure. Bruxy Cavey’s book re(Union): The Good News of Jesus for Seekers, Saints and Sinners releases in early May from Herald Press.
- The internet in the not-so-distant future: Your internet service provider will be able to sell your browsing history to advertisers.
- If you’re tired of people debating the theology in The Shack, take heart. A new book by Rob Bell is less than 60 days away!
- Links we Missed; 4-Months-Ago Edition: This guy does evangelistic ministry deep in the heart of Mormon country.
- Here’s a more recent health update from Nabeel Qureshi.
- ♫ Video of the Week (1): Unfinished by Mandisa. This was also Jon Rivers’ “Future Favorite” on this week’s 20 The Countdown Magazine.
- ♫ Video of the Week (2): I wanted to make more people aware of King of My Heart by Kutless because it’s not available on an album, only as a single.
- I meant to include a link last week to Jon Crist’s Church Hunters video:
- Missed it by one day: Bill Gaither turns 81.
- This book has everything but the kitchen sink: “The book, a murder mystery set in the shadows of the Catholic Church, illuminates the problems with many of today’s Christian arguments about transsexuality.” Read more about Sam Jane Brown’s Forgotten Word.
- Okay, you didn’t think of it: The Gospels on Circuit Board.
- Finally, we’ll leave you with our Tweet of the Week:
Thanks for tuning in this week. As always, no animals were injured in the preparation of this week’s link list. Your mileage may vary. Professional driver; closed course. Do not take if you are allergic to Wednesday Links.
The picture is titled, “Destiny.” The artist is unknown. Click the image for a devotional inspired by the painting.
Your library as fashion statement: The orange look is in. Absent for photo: The End of Me by Kyle Idleman. Any others you can think of?
The Original Wednesday List Lynx
Welcome to this week’s list and thanks to the usual suspects for your suggestions.
- You don’t want to be on the receiving end of a letter like this one.
- Christianity is growing again in Europe. You won’t believe where the converts are coming from.
- Essay of the Week: Actually, it’s a letter; a pastor writing to himself, in the future, in the event that his ministry should suffer cataclysmic failure.
- Back at the Shack: I know, can you handle one more article? This is Brittany Odom, she writes for Relevant and looks at the different literary devices fiction can employ.
- Coming this May to an adult elective class near you: Forensic Faith by J. Warner Wallace is a departure from his other books featuring the option of an eight-week, DVD-driven curriculum for adults and small groups.
- Testimony of the Week: “I began to see how alcohol-centric our culture has become.” A Christian author chronicles her lifelong journey with drinking and her decision to pour the last bottle down the sink.
- Reality in Alabama: “The 4,100-member strong Briarwood Presbyterian Church, located in suburban Birmingham, contends it needs its own police force to counter any potential threats because it is also home to a K-12 school and a theological seminary with 2,000 students and teachers.”…
- …Maybe it would have helped in this case: A 48-year old Catholic priest in Melborne, Australia was stabbed as the 11:00 AM Mass was beginning.
- Buried deep in the internet: A history of Pentecostal and Charismatic praise and worship.
- Clarification needed? Anne Graham Lotz writes, “The Bible warns that in the days before the return of Jesus Christ to earth there will be a unique attack on women.” There’s a reference to 2 Timothy 3:1-9, but I’ve never heard this stated before. (Comments?)
- A look at people bridging the gap and standing as peacemakers in a polarized world: A social media collection of writing, videos and podcasts. (Take time to scan this even if you can’t watch very vid clip.)
- Congratulations to YWAM (Youth With a Mission) on the acquisition of a new ship to transport medical volunteers. This vessel has history: “The MV l’Astrolabe was formerly a scientific research vessel in Antarctica.”
- Controversy in the Making? Interesting to see if this book, Building a Bridge, makes waves with its June release. The subtitle: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity.
- Did Dr. Russell Moore have anything for which to apologize? Apparently he thought so.
- Conference Crawl: This week we picked Exponential East, a church planting conference in Orlando featuring 75+ speakers, 125+ workshops, and 9+ tracks. Speakers include Francis Chan, Wayne Cordiero, Louie Giglio, Alan Hirsch, Matt Chandler and many more. Conference runs April 24 -27.
- New in Books: Abandoned Faith: Why Millennials are Walking Away and How You Can Lead Them Home from Focus on the Family looks at why millennials are… well I think you get the premise.
- Canada Corner: Zondervan author Ken Shigamatsu left a Fortune 500 company in Tokyo and now is a pastor in Vancouver. He writes about setting a life rhythm that minimizes stress.
- Leadership Lessons: A woman church planter writes, “Knowing that you’re not alone can be enough… to sideline opposition… to pursue a difficult calling… to break the barriers of gender, race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status… It can be enough to propel you forward when the winds change, the crowds leave, your legs get heavy, and you begin to look around and start to wonder what the heck you’re doing.”
- Podcast of the Week: (last week, actually) Preston Sprinkle looks at Bethel Church. “What are the issues surrounding Bethel? Do they have unbiblical practices?” Starts at 20:20 running to 39:46.
- Marriage Matters: Amy and Craig Groeschel have decided one of the best things they can do together is to practice generosity.
- Rob Bell Department: A look at where the Bible came from. Sample: “someone wrote something down.”
- Parenting Place / KidMin Korner: What the church needs to be doing for families with special needs children.
- Apologetics Alley: (read slowly) “If our answer to the question of why we became a Christian is simply how you became one we have a problem.” (a one minute read!)
- Worship Workshop (1): Why the audience isn’t singing. Five reasons worth considering.
- Worship Workshop (2): A pendulum swing as very young church members “are losing interest in their praise band and very much wanting to experience an organ and more ‘traditional music.'”
- The Phil Vischer Podcast continues their ‘authors who also work at LifeWay’ theme with guest Trevin Wax.
- ♫ Video of the Week: This isn’t new (September) but this Elevation Worship song is highlighted with the release of their new album.
- Non-Music Video of the Week: Micael and Sarah from Holy Spirit Activism explain their reasons for being vegan. (It’s actually a response to this vlog.)
- Startup of the Month: Her app would link Christian songs to the scriptures they’re based on.
- Internal Links Department: It’s been 3 months. Did you find any messages buried in the worship slide credits?
- Zach Hunt’s American Jesus Madness has wrapped up for 2017. “I don’t think I can think of a better snapshot of the past year in the life of American Christianity than Alternative Facts beating out Jesus.”
- …Speaking of madness, in our Bee of the Week: Charismatic Prophet Has Zero Teams Left In NCAA Bracket.
- Bee of another kind: Left Behind‘s Kirk Cameron has agreed to host Season Two of the National Bible Bee. (‘For 20 points, where in the Bible does it say there will be a rapture?’)
- The T. D. Jakes Show has been cancelled.
This week we caught up with David Hayward aka Naked Pastor… this really speaks for itself:
Finally, when it comes to Christian music tours, what’s in a name? Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction:
For those of you who celebrate round numbers, this is Wednesday Link List #350. Our upper image and lower image today are just two of five. Fred Clark at the Patheos blog Slacktivist imagines the five points of TULIP Calvinism as a pulp noir mystery series. Click here to see all five.
Also, I can’t remember if I shared this last week, but wearing my other, non-writer hat, I was interviewed for this Christianity Today news story about the bookstore biz. (My second time and with the same reporter as did the first, which was about my writing…my writing the very weekly column you’re lookin’ at!)
- Breaking just as we go to press: Jesus is not American.
- Between the lines: When you read the Bible, a number of things are taking place, both with the people who brought what you’re reading into a form you can read it, and also in your mind and heart as you read. Here are five things taking place at once as you read the Bible.
- Sermon of the Week: Kyle Idleman’s 32-minute message on grace also ties in to the release of his latest book.
- On my Twitter this week: An urgent prayer request from Francesca Battistelli.
- One time visitor or future member? Eight ways to make sure guests return after Easter.
- My favorite headline of the week: “Uproar over Theology Misses Powerful Lesson on Grief, Healing in ‘The Shack’” because at the end of the day, “it’s about healing.”
- If you get the teaser, you’ll click: Michael Bird would argue that instead of a Benedict Option we need a Thessalonian Strategy.
- Marriage Matters: Listicles from Jim Martin:
- Multi-faith actions of religious devotion: An evolutionary anthropologists conducts ethnographic fieldwork — pause for deep breath here — and discovers how these outward acts (pilgrimages, sacrifices, etc.) are seen as reflections of people of character.
- One word makes a difference: Jesus is our savior, but “‘Jesus is Savior’ is often deeply personalistic and privatized. ‘Jesus is Lord’ retains the personal dynamic, but spreads out to impact everything and everyone around me.” ‘Jesus is Lord’ “summons people to a lifetime of devoted discipleship.”
- From last month: Change your mind on one key issue and you find yourself disinvited from certain conferences.
- Recommended Reading: The Atlantic on America’s Empty Church Problem. (Recommended by Skye Jethani.)
- Essay of the Week: Meet the real Satan.
- As George Costanza would say, “World’s colliding!” Happy Rant Podcast’s Barnabas Piper guests on the Phil Vischer Podcast.
- KidMin Korner: You’ve got the kids for only 1 out of 168 hours in the week. Part of the goal of Family Ministry is to resource and equip the parents for those remaining 167 hours.
- On my own blog: ICYMI, I love Zondervan, but think they really blew it with this kids Bible.
- Parenting Place: 84% of Millennials currently in college say they can’t cope.
- No longer news: Now when Pat Robertson makes outrageous statements nobody notices. Except for this guy.
- Catholic Corner: Four years in, here’s Pope Francis’ highlights reel.
- Baby Steps: Christian recording artist Jimmy Needham guests at Desiring God with Five Lessons for New Christians.
- Conference Crawling: This week we spotlight Awakenings; April 27-29, 2017 in Virginia.
- New (to us) Blog of the Week: The writer seems to be a one-issue candidate — I think it exists solely to promote his book — and the blog layout is about the least readable of any I’ve seen. Still, if the subject of tithing interests you, consider Kleptomaniac: Who’s Really Robbing God?
- Bookstore Bust: It’s not just Family Christian. The Parable network of stores is a shadow of its former self, as indicated in this profile of a store owner. When she took over the store ten years ago, “there were about 100 Parable stores. To this day…they have one of the 17 such stores left.”
- Canada Corner: These refugees like their new home so much, they named their baby after the country.
- Provocative Headline of the Week: Why aren’t there more Jewish superheroes?
- The daughter of a high profile Christian author has a book of her own: Andrea Lucado’s English Lessons is an autobiographical look at her time in Oxford, England.
- Video of the Week (1): A live, in-studio version of David Dunn’s I Wanna Go Back. ♫
- Video of the Week (2): The Brilliance video (released in November) for See the Love. ♫
- Finally on this Mennonites-meets-The Onion site, hundreds of casualties after a Dutch Blitz tournament.
Germany’s Bernhard Lang took to aerial photography to capture this image of the slums of Manila. Up close the image of the church would look pristine and serene, but pull back and the surrounding neighborhood paints a different picture. Click the image to read the tragic story of what happened on February 7th.
Miss it here? You can always catch it at Internet Monk’s Saturday Brunch on the weekend. (It’s okay…it works both ways! Hi, Mike and Daniel.)
- Two really great interviews with The Shack author Paul Young:
- What “courage of your convictions” looks like: Shane Claiborne’s case goes to trial on June 28th, but already, he says he would do it again.
- Completed: Documentary on Bill Gothard founder of Institutes in Basic Life Principles and (homeschooling group) Advanced Training Institutes. “The Cult Next Door” is 32 minutes detailing a very controlling organization.
- Human rights and religious freedom:
- A teacher in France is suspended for reading scripture portions to primary students. Was he trying to convert them?
- A pastor and his wife in Cuba were arrested for homeschooling. This in a country that provides sanctions for leading a minor to “…be absent from school, refuse educational work that is inherent to the national system of education.” Choosing your child’s education is part of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
- Things to think about: If it’s true that “Recent polls reveal the majority of Christians don’t read the Bible” then when we sing songs in church how do we know that theologically we’re verbalizing truth? This article begins with a quote from Tozer, “Christians don’t tell lies – they go to church and sing them.”
- A Study in Contrasts: The day before he was part of a march with 50,000 people. The next day he’s a hired musician at a church that would be on the other side of the politics of that event. Knowing his ideological differences, should the guy take the gig?
- A medical missionary working as a dentist in Rwanda is constantly reminded that everything they are building in the clinic can be gone in a moment.
- Essay of the Week: – see lower image to link.
- At the northern edge of Scotland is the Isle of Lewis, where it’s now learned a prominent pastor hanged himself after his 54-year-old wife Anne accused him of having up to seven affairs with churchgoers at the same time.
- Uncensored: An NPR report says church leaders turn to podcasts to say the things they can’t say in church. (And apparently you can curse, too.)
- Most Provocative Opening Paragraph: “The German bishops have done something that altogether exceeds their authority: They have undermined the sacramental discipline of the Catholic Church.” At issue is people involved in “irregular sexual relations.“
- Even when the research is well done, reporting on churches who teach against medical intervention with children is complicated journalism.
- In Memoriam: Four stages (not five) after your church plant has failed.
- Quotation of the Week: “…It struck me that many of the people attending the Oscars and many of the universities represented on the track would fully applaud the transgender agenda. And yet, here they are with their antiquated categories of Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress and their old-fashioned ideas of men and women running the mile in totally separate races…” (Kevin DeYoung)
- Some positive takes on the Syrian refugees:
- Breaking Up is (Not) Hard to Do: Three ways not to leave your church.
- Boys abused in Hampshire, England: Eight boys said “they had each been hit about 14,000 times over a period of years.” John Smyth, now 75, “stands at the center of a widening scandal of sadistic abuse of dozens of boys over three decades that has ensnared the leader of the Anglican Church, the Most Rev. Justin Welby…”
- Dissecting Christianese: A closer look at the phrase, “Touch not the Lord’s anointed.”
- The difference between “essentially Christian” and “fully Christian.”
- Crossroads, Canada’s leading producer of Christian television is going web-only with a program for women á la The View with the new See, Hear, Love.
- Though it didn’t focus a whole lot on her faith, if you’ve got kids who are into gymnastics, they will enjoy Willow Creek’s weekend interview with Simone Biles.
- A Video ICYMI Moment: This song was played as part of the countdown to one of the nights at Franklin Graham’s Vancouver thing last week. Crowder’s Run Devil Run (I Got Somethin’ Make the Devil Gonna Run)…
- …Speaking of the Vancouver Festival of Hope; MC for the three nights was Philadelphia’s Jasmine Tate. Check out her music at YouTube…
- …For an entirely different YouTube experience, Lenny Smith of Great Comfort Records offers a unique (and labor-intensive) approach to the classic worship song, Our God Reigns…
- …Meanwhile, my friend Diane is always light years ahead of me at finding great worship songs. (Except this is such a great listening experience, I’d be afraid to try it congregationally.)
- While there have certainly been hints before, Disney is offering their first overtly gay story line in a forthcoming film remake…
- …causing one Alabama theater to opt out.
- Finally, March Madness, Theology Edition. Who will win?
“…At the most basic level, this is a classic example of a false equivalence, which itself is the basis for so many internet memes that try to equate two unrelated issues based on a shared trait. Despite being a logical fallacy, the seemingly straightforward checkmate power of the false equivalence has made it the crack cocaine of many a political debate – especially on the internet… Had even the slightest bit of effort been put into this pseudo-exegesis, its proponents would have noticed a rather inconvenient truth: according to the book of Revelation itself, the gates of heaven are never closed…” Click the image to read at source.
Welcome to WLL#348. It’s also Ash Wednesday. We have an unusual number of mid-month pieces here today even though the list was prepared the day before. So not fresh off the press, but we thought worth including. Don’t forget to try to get your suggestions to me by 6:00 PM EST on Monday; but later ones do get considered.
- The sermon not heard around the world. Not streaming this week’s sermon probably brought it more attention. Here’s what Andy Stanley said. (Also a dozen quotes in the “likes” section of my Twitter feed.)
- Of course, the big news this week was Tim Keller stepping down from Redeemer Presbyterian in NYC, and the breaking up of the 8-location body into three smaller churches.
- Franklin Go Home: Signatories representing half of all Christians in Vancouver, Canada wish Franklin Graham wasn’t coming for a weekend crusade.
- Quotation of the Week: You have to listen this. If you’re in ministry full time, or even if you aren’t go this sermon and jump to 28:16 for a minute or two.
- Sincere congratulations to Julie Anne at Spiritual Sounding Board on five years of investigative blogging and championing the cause of people who have suffered spiritual abuse at the hands of authoritarian churches.
- Parenting Place: When your kids ask, “Is _________ a Christian?” Sometimes you don’t know where to begin. Take the awards show a few weeks back with Chance the Rapper: “On one hand Chance has numerous songs with profoundly Christian lyrics, and he talks openly about his faith journey as a black rapper. Some even say he ‘represents Millennial Christianity.’ But on the other hand, Chance doesn’t hesitate to drop F-bombs, or rap about drinking and smoking weed. He even collaborates with extremely profane rappers like Lil Wayne and 2Chainz.” This is an excellent article on how to respond to this and similar situations…
- …Here’s a 15-minute interview Chance did with Katy Couric.
- The Chain of Grace: You just never know what your influence might be, or where an evangelism effort might lead.
- The Small Screen: A special needs parent examines ABC-TV’s Speechless.
- The funniest stuff around lately has been Garrison Keillor’s explorations into the faith of Donald J. Trump. One three weeks ago was inspired by The National Prayer Breakfast…
- …while a more recent one has Trump simply lapsing into Biblical language. “…here I am with goodness and mercy following me every single day of my life, not just mercy but goodness too, and we’re making tremendous progress, great numbers getting bigger every day, multitudes gathering everywhere I go, touching the hem of my garment…”
- So very sad: “Congregants of the [Spindale, NC] Word of Faith Fellowship were regularly punched, smacked, choked, slammed to the floor or thrown through walls in a violent form of deliverance meant to “purify” sinners by beating out devils, 43 former members told The Associated Press in separate, exclusive interviews. Victims of the violence included pre-teens and toddlers — even crying babies, who were vigorously shaken, screamed at and sometimes smacked…”
- …Not related: A 21-year old Oklahoma missionary has been sentenced to 40 years in Nairobi for the sexual assault of 3 girls and a boy in a orphanage. The case has had “a chilling effect on the lives of dozens of foreign volunteers in Kenya and elsewhere who must now live under the cloud of suspicion.”
- History Lesson: As of this week, this video trailer had been on YouTube for 4 years with less than 1,000 views. Koinonia Farm was “a small Christian community in Southwest Georgia where whites and blacks chose to live and work together as equals… Possibly the most daring social experiment in the South during the last century.”
- Richard Rohr (pronounced RROARRR) believes we are at the precipice of a paradigm shift he terms “a Trinitarian Revolution.”
- From a few months back: “When life collapses it doesn’t always catch you off guard. Sometimes you can feel it coming from a long way off.”
- Dialing for Doctrine: What to tell your kids (and unchurched friends) what we believe about angels.
- Listicles (complete with annoying pop-ups) at BeliefNet:
- Repairing a holy site in Christendom, Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre: “So who do you choose for such a restoration, when the stakes are so high? Whom do you call when the site in question is the holiest site on the planet for millions of Christians?“
- While churches and charities ramp up donation appeals at year end, another time to consider increasing your own giving is tax refund season.
- Video of the Week: 10 minutes on The Shack book and movie. “Should you go see the movie The Shack? Why wouldn’t you.” I like the balance in this discussion. (Another Shack link below.)
- Bible Time: For those who think they’re too busy, reading times for each Biblical book.
- Parsing terminology: Neo liberals, liberals, centrists, conservatives and neo conservatives defined. Then a suggestion that moderates need to be heard over the voices of extreme ideology.
- If you only get one tattoo and love irony, this is the one to get.
- John Piper Encyclical of the Week: You need to get rid of your dog. Right now. It’s distracting you from your Christian life. Bye, Bye Bowser. (But the Pipester himself is keeping Dusty. She is an eight-year-old golden doodle.) …
- …And now, the official response to Piper from Dee Parsons at Wartburg Watch. Full disclosure: Dee is owner of Lily, Petunia and Tulip (double entendre intended, bless her heart).
- Media Month: “It was reported that the swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated alone now generates more profit than all the other issues throughout the year combined.”
- This is why the Wednesday Link List doesn’t contain a “Where are they now?” feature.
- Finally, a review of The Shack by someone who didn’t read the book and hasn’t seen the movie and decides to simply guess what the film is about. #NoSpoilerAlertsNeeded
Our extro image is from the Twitter feed Unvirtuous Abbey:
Did you miss us last week? Subscribers will have one free week added to the end of their subscription.
- Essay of the Week: A must-read from a Millennial Generation writer on why 59% of his peers have dropped out of church. On each of 12 points, author Sam Eaton offers solutions.
- Dialog of the Week: Internet Monk’s Chaplain Mike talks to “a concerned Christian” about “allowing Gays” to attend the church.
- Media Watch: Who is reading Christian books? Watching Christian television? Attending Christian movies? The percentage of non-Christians is surprising.
- The bad news: Scot McKnight on signs of Evangelicalism’s demise.
- How much should the pastor get paid? “30 percent of pastors have student loan debt averaging $36,000.” Should that be a factor? …
- …On the same topic, this study of American and Canadian churches.
- An advocate for those who have suffered abuse in the church pleads with publisher David C. Cook to stop selling books by Tullian Tchividjian.
- A conference at Liberty U. next month is under fire because of two of the invited speakers. (A shorter summary at Christian Post.)
- Are they false teachers? Or just a bit confused? Or maybe just totally lacking in discernment? Perhaps we need the discernment before we use the false term too quickly.
- Godbey. Worsley. Sawyer. Worrell. Recognize any of them? They’re alternative versions of the New Testament that you won’t find elsewhere. (Check out the pull-down menu.)
- Speaking of different versions, let’s talk about wineskins. Why is that in each of the synoptic gospels, Jesus seems to be saying something quite different?
- Trending in education in the UK: “Muslim pupils outnumber Christian children in more than 30 church schools.” The reason? “Muslim parents are sending their children to Christian schools to prepare them for ‘life in modern Britain.'”
- ♫ New Release Today presents seven powerful worship songs on video… ♫
- ♫ …If you like that, you might also like NRT’s modern hymns video collection. ♫
- Bible Quiz! Well, actually it’s a New Testament Apocrypha Quiz. Ten questions. You should easily beat my score.
- Kari Jobe shares the story of what was going on her life as she recorded her new album, The Garden.
- You wanted to know: Why the Baptismal Font has eight sides.
- In yet another “gay wedding cake” case, a Washington state Christian florist who was ruled against by nine judges in that state’s Supreme Court now stands to lose her life savings. (Well, you know the saying…)
- Quotation of the Week: “American evangelicalism has invented pious fictions like “the Roman Road” and the Four Spiritual Laws and the “prosperity doctrine” because they promise everything and ask next to nothing in return. A nod of assent and an eternity in heaven is ours.” A Baptist News look at N. T. Wright.
- Women’s Words: Liz Curtis Higgs guests at Ann Voskamp’s site. On loss: “…we could not save him and arrived too late to say good-bye. Even now, years later, the missed opportunity and the tragic loss still weigh heavily on our hearts. It’s an ache that never goes away, a missing piece that can’t be replaced…” (Be sure to read the whole piece, there are many photos by Ann throughout the article.)
- This Episcopal church has no paid clergy, so lay people do some preaching. (1 min. video)
- Whatever it is that Andy Stanley’s planning to say to his congregation this Sunday, it won’t be streamed live or rebroadcast that day.
- I found this at an apologetics blog which was new to me, God from the Machine. This recent article looks at Askton Kutcher, Sex Trafficking and the common thinking that sex is morally neutral.
- Marriage Matters: One of the best articles on midlife crisis you’ll read, I promise.
- Preaching Place: Rehashing the sermon on the drive home often brings discouragement to clergy. Here’s 7 Things to remember if you think you just laid an egg.
- I thought this was a post-Christian period we’re in. This free, all-day Saturday symposium at Biola University is titled Art in a Post-Secular Age. (March 4th)
- The story continues: “On Monday [2/13], Saeed Abedini pleaded guilty in Ada County Magistrate Court to violation of a restraining order taken out by his estranged wife, Naghmeh.” The judge “sentenced Abedini, 36, to 180 days in jail but suspended all but five days.”
- Catholic Corner: A French priest with rather outspoken views on abuse now faces charges himself…
- …While in another part of France, a priest declares that God wanted him to live with a woman he had fallen in love with.
- No, not the south. Racism is alive and well in the northeast as well.
- Another great Phil Vischer Podcast, this time with former Christian radio personality Melinda Schmidt.
- Is Foy a common name? It took me awhile to track down what this new book is all about.
- ♫ Gospel Grammy winners this year included songs as performed by Tamela Mann, Hillary Scott, Kirk Franklin, and Joey + Rory. The full list, with nominees is at grammy.com …
- … Because it’s that first name, Tamela Mann, that readers here may be least familiar with, give a listen to Grammy winning song God Provides. (Kirk Franklin wrote this which means he won twice, as did Hillary Scott.) ♫
- Non-Music Video of the Week: The Gift of Cerebral Palsy. I encourage you to stay with all 6 minutes of this.
- Book Excerpt: Cosmopolitan offers the story of Joey + Rory’s proposal from the book This Life I Live.
- John Piper Nude Selfies! Oh wait… it’s an article by John Piper on why you shouldn’t send nude selfies.
- Provocative Headline of the Week: Elmo Goes to Church – What Sesame Street Can Teach Us About Worship.
- A North Carolina Baptist pastor is worked up over American Girl releasing a boy character doll. (Don’t tell him about G.I. Joe.)
- Finally, let’s face it. Some people go to church to meet people of the opposite sex. But in Nairobi, scantily dressed single ladies are targeting married men, and the wives are having to be extra vigilant.
The item in our top and bottom image was found in a candy store and originates with LaughRat.com (viewer discretion advised).