Thinking Out Loud

January 23, 2013

Wednesday Link List

Christmas production at  First Baptist Church in Curitiba, Brazil as seen at Church Stage Design Blog.

Christmas production at First Baptist Church in Curitiba, Brazil as seen at Church Stage Design Ideas Blog. That’s one huge choir.

It all begins with a design template that looks like this.

It all begins with a design template that looks like this.

Lloyd the Llink Llist Llama Crashes the Party Exactly One Year After His First Visit Here

Lloyd the Llink Llist Llama crashes the party exactly one year after his first visit here

For the last couple of weeks there has been a weekend link list here. Some of the most interesting articles this month have been listed in those two editions.  So be sure to check them out.

  • I never know for sure when I check out new blogs if the writer is on our side or not, especially when the first post I see looks like this one at Loon Watchman.
  • Deans at other schools are fighting the possibility of accreditation for what would be Canada’s first Christian law school at Trinity Western. 
  • Why swear an oath on one Bible when you can swear an oath on two?  A writer at Think Christian notes: “What I like about these [Bible] selections is the way they point to public and private figures who influence or inspire President Obama, and whose faith probably all shape the way he approaches his faith and his work.”
  • You’ve heard of the dog who shows up for daily for a church service its late owner regularly attended. If not Fr. Z blogs the story, but notes that the dog’s appearance at the altar risks affecting the church’s ‘sacral character.’ 
  • Sometimes it’s hard to become a Christian knowing that, if you do, someone is going to starve to death. Here’s a dilemma for missiologists.
  • Don’t miss this one: J. R. Briggs gets an inspiring lesson on grace when he has to ask his 6-year-old son for forgiveness.
  • Tyler Braun notes that summing up the gospel as “Jesus Loves Me” is too me-centered, unless we include spreading that love as part of the gospel mandate. 
  • Zac Hicks has an interesting article about the role of Worship Pastor as Emotional Shepherd and the dangers of manipulating the congregation.
  • A central Pennsylvania Wesleyan church officially opens a $4M expansion including a fitness center, jungle gym, café restaurant and Christian bookstore.
  • So what exactly does it mean when you find a dead bird on the steps leading to your workplace?  Especially when you’re looking for more than, ““A dead bird on the step means either a cat loves you and has brought you an offering of food, or it means a bird flew into the window/door and killed itself…” 
  • By now you’ve probably had occasion to look up a favorite TV show, movie or actor at IBDb, but did you now there’s now a Christian Film Data Base (CFDb)? The site also has a blog that’s updated daily with reviews and interviews.
  • I’m writing this listening to an at least five year old song by Starfield – Reign In Us. Just clicked replay for the fourth time. 
  • And news last week that Jason Dunn from Hawk Nelson has a solo album releasing in May.
  • Meanwhile at American Idol auditions in Chicago Curtis Finch, Jr. impresses the judges with a brief gospel performance.
  • For church leaders and pastors, Dave Kraft’s website, Leadership from the Heart is must reading. Here’s a piece outlining three temptations that can undo you and your leadership
  • And here’s more good leadership advice from 9Marks on counseling people who haven’t crossed the line of faith.
  • Looking for a career in ministry? Check out
  • I suspect that Christian bands like Sidewalk Prophets love it when bloggers take one of their songs and use it as springboard for a devotional piece; like the writer at Journey of a God-Follower does with their song, He Loves Us Anyway.
  • Not So 31 is the name of a blog based on a reference to “the Proverbs 31 woman.” She does a lot of book reviews and book excerpts in particular, including some recent ones by Steven Furtick and Chris and Kerry Shook.
  • We linked to this picture — one of my favorite images of 2012 — late last year but never included it. Until today.  It was taken by Andreas Solaro for the Getty wire service and is captioned: Pope Benedict XVI caresses a lion cub as thousands of participants in the “Pilgrimage to Rome” festival – circus professionals, carnival people, street artists, pavement artists, bands and folk groups – gather at the Vatican on Dec. 1, 2012.  We think the Pope should have a few kittycats running around the Vatican the way the Queen has her Corgis at Buckingham.

Pope Benedict XVI - With Very Large Cat

September 2, 2012

Happy Father’s Day

…to all our readers in Australia and New Zealand

So perhaps that should read:

No, that doesn’t work.  How about:

Either way, it’s appropriate because today I want to post a blast from the past, a song that I sung at the dedication of our oldest; which is also appropriate today because this week both boys are off to university. [Grab box of tissue here.] Where did those years go?

The artist is Mike Johnson, and the album is The Artist/The Riddle on NewPax Records from 1976. It’s an old song. But I still love what this has to say, and I’m proud to pass it on to a new generation of fathers, both “down under” and “up over.”

Here are the lyrics (the lyric sheet has been chewed by mice; seriously!)

When you grow up
What will you remember
Daddy had time to show his love
When you were needing
His love and affection
Daddy made sure you had enough

Little boy, Jesus loves you
More than I am able to
I am learning to be a father
By my love show that He loves you

Will you remember
Daddy took you fishing
Having fun, sharing candy bars
Reading you words of love from the Bible
Telling you about
The one who made the stars

Little boy, Jesus loves you
More than I am able to
I am learning to be a father
By my love show that He loves you

When your mommy
And daddy did argue
Did you see that we had learned to forgive
Or did our words simply confuse you
Did you see the truth
By the lives that we lived

Little boy, Jesus loves you
More than I am able to
I am learning to be a father
By my love show that He loves you

Little boy, speak the truth of Jesus
Speak His words until He comes
We have learned by our little family
What it is to be called God’s sons

Little boy, Jesus loves you
More than I am able to
I am learning to be a father
By my love show that He loves you

May 19, 2011

“You’ll Never Know How Much I Love You”

Today’s item is probably a bit non-characteristic, although if you look at the early posts on this blog, it’s actually a little closer to where I began.  We’re going through a rather stressful time right now, and yesterday it caused me to be a little emotional. I can’t promise tomorrow will be back to normal.

I’ve been thinking about that phrase, “You’ll never know how much I love you.”  My parents said it to me.  And last night I said it to my youngest son.  Until you’ve had children, you don’t know the degree to which you were loved by your own parents, if you were fortunate enough to grow up in a stereotypical family, or if you were blessed to be raised by a single parent who loved you dearly.  And even as your kids begin to go out into the world and stake their own territory, their own independence, instead of “letting go” you want to just grab them and hold them close.  Just one more time.

You never stop being a parent.

Roughly translated, the phrase means, “Because of limited experience, you do not presently have the capacity to understand the nature and depth of the love that I have for you; but when your own life circumstances allow you to begin to understand it, my love for you will only have increased even more.”

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