Thinking Out Loud

October 7, 2015

Wednesday Link List

Life on Mars


  1. For those of you really into links, note that the blog aggregator Alltop has been reformatted. You can read the intro or a summary (depending on the source) to each article now by simply waving your mouse over the links at their site. Check out Alltop Church and Alltop Christianity. (So grateful to be in such great company at this site!)
  2. If you missed it, this past Saturday there was a shorter Weekend Link List
  3. The #IamAChristian graphic below is sized-ready for your Facebook profile pic and ties in with the UCC shooting last week, a rather sobering thought as you post it.

I Am a ChristianNow, on to this week’s catch…

We end with a personal favorite from the new Christmas Worship Volume Two by Paul Baloche. In this song Rita Baloche combines beautiful lyrics with a classic tune:

September 30, 2015

Wednesday Link List

Bruxy Tattoo - Leviticus 19 28

Bruxy Cavey, pastor of Canada’s fastest growing church movement, The Meeting House family of churches, got a tattoo over the summer. Click the image to see the verse reference.

…And now, I hereby declare these links officially open. 

UPDATE: 8 AM, Wednesday: Of all the various things I could link to this morning concerning the execution earlier today of Kelly Gissendaner, the one I bring you is simply the brief Twitter thoughts of one of the three media people called to witness the lethal injection, Jeff Hullinger of WXIA-TV.

Got a link suggestion? Try to get it to us by 7:00 PM EST Tuesday.

Sporting Events

September 23, 2015

Wednesday Link List

Annual Christmas PageantIf the thought of planning another church Christmas pageant leaves you nauseous, you might want to pick up a copy of the above book. Details at the aptly named Church Marketing Sucks

Anyway, last week on Twitter when we did that week’s “most clicked” list, I noted that we seem to have kept many readers from the PARSE days, based on the links you find most interesting, so this week we have an extra dose of church leadership articles.

...We're going to assume by this that North Point Community Church topped the Outreach Magazine list again this year.

…We’re going to assume by this that North Point Community Church topped the Outreach Magazine list again this year. (Yes, they did.)

We apologize. A link appeared here earlier in the day from a blogger who has specifically asked us not to use his material.

September 16, 2015

Wednesday Link List

Children Texting

Would you like to know how one regular Wednesday Link List reader, just by submitting news and opinion link ideas could win $500? So would a lot of people. We don’t have that contest. But we do love those of you who submit suggestions.

Kim Davis Billboard

Which then led us to this one:

Don't Let Beliefs Interfere With Your Job

September 9, 2015

Wednesday Link List

bae ain't bae if bae don't pray



Here’s what some people wrote about since we last linked:

Lego Vatican

September 2, 2015

Wednesday Link List

Bluegrass Baptist Church

Last week’s link list was really, really long. I promise that won’t happen again. [Sits at computer and starts writing not knowing if he can fulfill the promise.]

Post Christian Cereal

August 26, 2015

Wednesday Link List

As we often are, today we’re indebted again to the multimedia team at InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, aka Twenty-One-Hundred Productions for a list of recommended “life verses” depending on your Myers-Briggs personality type. Click the image to source.

Myers-Briggs Life Verses

Portions of today’s link list were pre-recorded for later broadcast.

ORU Prayer Tower

August 19, 2015

Wednesday Link List

Sorry, our run of 50,000 of these is all sold out!

Sorry, our run of 50,000 of these is all sold out!

Don’t forget to check Paul’s Twitter on Thursday or Friday to see which stories got the most clicks.


August 17, 2015

The Perils of Being the Guest Speaker

guest speakingI was coming to my third point when I noticed my mouth was getting dry from all the talking. Sometimes at work, I just push past this, but out of the corner of my eye I saw the glass of water that had been placed there.

I paused, picked up the glass, hesitated, and took a small sip. You guessed it. It was water that had been sitting there from the previous Sunday. Were some in the audience aware of what had just happened? Should I acknowledge the distraction? With the adrenaline rush that you get when you’re speaking before a group of people, I simply continued on in my message.

I did not get sick that day. I’ve often wondered if in this denomination, it’s the pastor’s responsibility to refresh the water glass himself. As a guest speaker, it’s certainly an occupational hazard.

0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Over the course of a couple of years, I had become the default speaker when the pastor, who had ministry interests both in Europe and Central America, needed to be away.

The first Sunday I arrived wearing a dress shirt and dress pants, but no jacket or tie. I was fairly certain this wasn’t normal for that church, but I wanted to make a statement.

The second time I spoke there I also went business casual, but this time, in my introduction, I explained how my work and my writing put me in contact with dynamic churches and pastors across North America and how the church is changing, being very careful to emphasize changes in church architecture, ministry philosophy, music and dress. I think I even acknowledge my own lack of a tie as example of this.

The third time — or just before the third time via email — one of the members told me that a few of them had been part of a discussion resulting in the decision that they would chip in and buy me a suit. “Where else would I wear it?” I asked. Even at the last wedding and funeral I attended, a sports jacket had been sufficient. “I think I do indeed own a suit;” I told them, “But that’s not the direction the North American church is moving.”

The fourth time I simply donned the sports jacket as I was leaving the house. When I arrived at the church, I noticed a few smiles.

…We got to hear John Wimber a couple of times in Southern California in 1989. They were both Sunday evening services, and he was wearing a track suit. Actually, he played with the worship band and then got up to preach, and if someone had said to you, ‘One of the people in the band is the pastor and tonight’s speaker; now guess who it is;” unless you’d seen his picture on his books, I guarantee you would have gotten it wrong.

Andy Stanley wears jeans for the most part, though not yesterday. In the south, it’s all very natural. Rick Warren has his trademark Hawaiian shirts. Bill Hybels is always very corporate, but I’ve never seen him in a suit, and not sure if I’ve seen him in a jacket and tie. (A quick scan of Yahoo Images bears this out, but for the one shot that I’m sure was taken at a banquet.)

The church in question now has a new minister so my guest-speaking and clothing-paradigm-smashing days there appear to be over. What I hope they remember is that the messages were good, but if my name is mentioned, what I think they may remember will have nothing to do with the Bible expositions I brought.

August 12, 2015

Wednesday Link List

A realistic look at Psalm 139 from Greg at the blog, Loose Him and Let Him Go:

The Real Psalm 139

Here are this week’s links:

Bacon Shirt from Red Letter 9 Apparel

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