Thinking Out Loud

June 30, 2010

Wednesday Link List

Check your calendar:  The year is half over.   Just eighteen months left until the world ends in 2012.    Here’s where we were this week:

  • Without question my number one link this week is Francis Chan’s children’s book trailer — that’s right, a kids book — for The Big Red Tractor releasing in September from David C. Cook.
  • Pete Wilson pays tribute to a retiring staff member who he hired seven years ago to bring some experience and wisdom to an otherwise younger team; sharing some valuable lessons he learned from Tom Tyndall.  Here’s a sample:

    Great sermons will get you pats on the back. Savvy leadership skills will win you admiration from your colleagues. Hard work will catch peoples eyes as you separate from the pack. But if you don’t love you’re nothing more than a noisy gong, or a clanging cymbal. If you don’t love the people God has placed in your life nothing else really matters.

  • Andy LePeau at InterVarsity has a surefire way to increase the earning potential of your children and it’s not (directly, at least) education.   Check it out.
  • I really enjoyed Rick Apperson’s Blogapalooza throughout the entire month of June at Just a Thought, but especially this guest piece by Clay Crosse.  (Check out the other posts, too.)
  • Mark Wilson has a hilarious hypothetical conversation between God and St. Francis on the subject of lawn maintenance.

    GOD : They cut it? Do they then bale it like hay?
    ST. FRANCIS: Not exactly, Lord. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags.
    GOD:  They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?

  • Know somebody who is giving your pastor a hard time?  Probably not anything like this story.   This guy was a terrorist.  This is a book trailer for an upcoming non-fiction book, The Devil in Pew Number Seven by Rebecca Alonzo; releasing August 1st.
  • A 2006 iMonk column by Michael Spencer showed considerable insight in trying to bring balance to the young-earth/old-earth tensions in science vs. creationism.  He felt the Bible was a book about God and Jesus, not a book about science.
  • Here’s something you don’t see every day; a book about the ascension of Jesus and why it matters.   Check out Jeff Loach’s review of He Ascended Into Heaven.
  • First it was the hymn people versus the chorus people.  But recently there’s been more visible unrest within the modern worship community itself.   Michael Krahn comments,  in a blog post inspired by one by Canadian Chris Vacher.
  • New Blog of the Week:  Contrast by Terry Foote in Florida.   No particular post, though you might read a father’s perspective on the loss of a child.
  • Atheists have put the “under God” part of “One Nation Under God” back on the agenda with a billboard campaign .
  • There are parts of the Christian internet I’m sure some of you (us) never get to see. Not sure what to make of this one: The blog Enoch Route introduces us to “Billy” who offers some signs you might be in a cult.
  • Can you handle one more Drew Marshall Show link?   When the new archived interviews (from last week’s show) go up on Friday, it’s Drew’s first “Gay Day” with Justin Lee of the Gay Christian Network, Wendy Gritter from New Direction Ministries, and singer-songwriter Derek Webb, just back from a tour with Jennifer Knapp.  Click here after 7.2.10 and select the show from 6.26
  • Ruth Graham observes that the themes in Christian young adult fiction are creeping into the mainstream book market.  (Some critics felt it was the other way around.) Check out her article at Slate.
  • Some people have all the answers until you start asking spiritual questions.   Check out this Soul Chat promo.   More Soul Chat video content here.
  • If you’ve read the last chapter of the book version of Stuff Christians Like (as opposed to the website) you know the (somewhat) serious side of Jon Acuff (pictured at right). CNN’s Belief blog had him back again, this time to tell everyone why some Christians act like jerks online.
  • Late breaking item:  With too many contradictions in his Muslim-turned-Christian story, when Ergun Caner’s current term as dean of Liberty University Theological Seminary expires today (6/30) the job won’t be renewed, though he gets to stay on staff.   The Washington Post tells the story, additional background is at World Magazine.
  • Our cartoon today is a classic — in internet terms, it’s actually only from 2008 — Hi and Lois by Brian and Greg Walker.

If you were listed in the blogroll here at Thinking Out Loud, and your blog name begins with “The,” don’t panic, you’re still here.  Look for your blog’s title without the “the.”  (Requests to have it reinstated will be considered by a bureaucratic committee that meets in Switzerland twice a year.)

Last week’s link list got bumped from its home page position by another post, check it out here.

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October 9, 2009

Guest Blogger: Rick Apperson – Waking Up Is Hard To Do

Filed under: Church, guest writer — Tags: , , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 11:57 am

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I am not a morning person.  Oh, once I’m awake I am good to go, but it takes me a bit to wake up.  I would much rather pull the covers back over my head and sleep for another 30 minutes.  When I do finally step out of bed I head right to the coffee pot.  Only after I have a stiff cup of joe in my hand do I feel ready to tackle the day.  Sometimes even then I want to go back to sleep.

It’s kind of like how I use to be with church.  I wanted to pull the cover back over my head.  I wanted to sleep, fake an illness, anything to get out of attending the Sunday service.  Sometimes I did this even when I was the Pastor!

I was becoming bored to death with the routine.  There just seemed to be no life.  I could close my eyes at most services and walk through the exact order.  Opening prayer: check; worship: check; commercial break for the offering: check; message: check and done by lunch!

Where was the excitement?  Did God mean for church to be boring?  I believe He did not!  Of course part of this goes to our concept of church.  Sadly, too many today still feel like you have church when you attend a building with four walls and go through the motions of a service. I believe church is different.  I believe we — the people —are the church.   But somewhere we exchanged hillside walks with the Savior asking questions back and forth for sitting in pews and listening to someone else tell us how to do “religion”.

I am not attacking the “traditional church”.  I pastor a congregation myself and we have our routines as well (admittedly few), but they are there.  However, I truly believe Jesus came to give us life!  I want a radical faith.  I want relationship with Jesus Christ.  A relationship where we can express doubt, fear, concern and trust!  A relationship where Jesus is our everything and our only thing.  A relationship with highs and lows, good times and bad, where I know that through it all Jesus is still always there.

Are you with me?  Let’s get radical for Christ.  Let’s toss aside our lethargic attempts at religion and embrace the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!  Let’s get into the street and touch the sick, the needy and the downtrodden.  Let’s share a message and a life; ours and His!

Rick Apperson and his wife Sarah live in beautiful British Columbia where they work with YWAM (Youth With a Mission) and where Rick pastors Main Street Christian Fellowship in Smithers.   Visit and bookmark Rick’s blog: Just a Thought.

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