Thinking Out Loud

March 7, 2012

Wednesday Link List

As Harpo Marx once said, “

  • A mother of four is yanked out of a Georgia church for breastfeeding. Meanwhile, Caryn at ThinkChristian wonders how Jesus handled this situation (if there was one) say, while giving the Sermon on the Mount.
  • Also at ThinkChristian, Karen says we shouldn’t sweat the new TV show, GCB, because it doesn’t have the right mix of ingredients to last.
  • I though we’d send some traffic to Reylo, the latest blog at Alltop Christian, and to get you there, he’s got the official trailer for the Blue Like Jazz movie.
  • “Ring by Spring or Your Money Back” — If you’re at a Christian college and not yet engaged, you just have a few weeks left.  Brittany Johnson guests at SCL.
  • 50 people, representing 10% of the head office staff, have been laid off at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, as the organization focuses more on online initiatives.
  • “I can do all things through Christ…” says the opening part of Phil. 4:13. But Bill Mounce points out that for Paul, it wasn’t true. “There are many things Paul could not do. He couldn’t fly. He couldn’t remove the thorn in his flesh. He couldn’t get released from his second Roman imprisonment…”  So in a departure from every other translation, check out what the NIV 2011 does with this text.
  • Kirk Cameron does his best to defend his beliefs as Piers Morgan relentlessly goes after Cameron’s views on gay marriage and homosexuality. Here’s a response to the show’s repsonse from Denny Burk: “Are we really at a place where a Christian who is pressed for his views on a matter can no longer state those views without being tarred and feathered?”
  • Worship Leaders: Carlos Whittaker offers you ten-plus-one ways to improve your worship leading. Of course, his title was a little more blunt.
  • Digging deeper into worship, Internet Monk has an article expressing the limitations modern worship has expressing lament.
  • At the above article, a reader offers this song as an example of worship in the wilderness. (click the mp3 link to play)
  • Catch the irony: A pastor loses his temper while preaching about God’s love. Or did he? The scene is one every church-goer would like to see happen at least once. The blog is A Brick in the Valley.
  • William Hamilton, the Oregon theologian who declared in the 1960s that God is dead, is dead. Another individual for whom, “The image of God as all knowing and all powerful couldn’t be reconciled with human suffering, especially after the Holocaust.”  Story at Oregon Live
  • An new Amish ‘fish out of water’ story, though not sure who is the fish and who is the water. An Amish woman decides to raise money by teaching quilting to a mix of people from the broader community. The new book by Wanda Brunstetter really should be made into a film.
  • In other publishing news, Justin Bieber’s mom, Pattie Mallette releases her own story Nowhere But Up, in September with Revell Books and a foreword by Justin…
  • …Meanwhile, basketball sensation Jeremy Lin has the book Linspired coming in May from Zondervan in both an adult edition and kids edition; though the latter is not even on the corporate website.
  • “You can’t get to heaven in a mini-skirt.” A good devotional post, but with a lead line like that, I just wanna see how many clicks it gets. The blog is called Moment of Selah.
  • Another edition of David Platt’s Secret Church happens on April 6th and you can simulcast the six-hour event where you live. Check the website or read more at Desiring God. In the book Radical, David admits that there’s nothing like seeing thousands of people quietly taking notes in church at 12:30 in the morning!
  • In Ontario, the most populous province in Canada, you can’t shop on holidays, which include New Year’s Day, Family Day, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Victoria Day, Canada Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. The City of Toronto, the most populous municipality in Ontario is surveying residents to see if they want that to change.
  • The cartoons today are classic Rob Portlock, from Way Off the Church Wall (IVP, 1989)

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November 13, 2011

Not All Local Churches Look Like Ours


Mental exercise. Imagine it’s Thanksgiving Day. You’re seated at the table at home with your family. You’re looking at the biggest feast you’ll have all year. It’s nice and warm inside, snappy cold outside. The house smells wonderful and all of your favorite relatives are there. The Thanksgiving service on the weekend was great. Fantastic music, good sermon.

Got the picture? OK. Time for some cut and paste.

Cut the turkey, potatoes, gravy, stuffing, salads, pie and all of the food on the table. Paste in spicy chicken, rice, dumplings, stir fried vegetables and fresh fruit.

Cut your house and paste in one that’s half the size or smaller. Or a 3 bedroom apartment containing 6 beds. Cut the new dining room suite and paste an old table and a bunch of chairs that don’t match.

Cut your TV(s), VCR(s), DVD(s), computer(s), game system(s), stereo(s), iPod(s), portable(s) and paste one small b&w TV and an AM/FM radio.

Cut the local Christian radio station and paste silence.

Look around the room and cut half of the kids. They died in infancy, so they’re not there. Paste in the woman next door and her 3 children. Paste an empty chair for her husband. He was arrested 6 months ago for telling somebody at the factory about Jesus. She hasn’t been allowed to see him for two weeks, but she keeps trying every day. In the last half a year she’s aged 10.

Cut your church building and paste an empty lot.

Cut the recent church service and paste 8 people in a living room reading the Bible while one keeps peeking out the window.

How many Bibles do you have in your house? Cut them all. While you’re at it, cut every book by Max Lucado, every worship CD, everything recorded by the Gaithers, every poster, card, plaque or T-shirt that has scripture or the name of Jesus on it. Paste one very worn and much mended paperback Bible that has somebody else’s name written inside the cover. It was given to you years ago by a Canadian “tourist” when he was told that you’d given your only Bible to somebody who needed it more. You’ve since heard that it was ripped up into sections to be shared. You’re very happy about that.

Got the picture now?

OK. Bow your head to say grace. “Thank you God for…” What? That none of it’s true? That, try as you might, you can’t even really imagine it?

Sunday November 13 is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. For our brothers and sisters for whom it is true. Take time to find out what you can and do what you can to support these Christ followers.

There is much we can learn from them.

~Ruth Wilkinson

The following groups are actively serving the persecuted Church. We urge you to use the links below to get more information about these groups and to visit their Web sites. They are your key to active involvement with the persecuted Church.

Christian Freedom International

Christian Solidarity Worldwide

Christians in Crisis

Compassion Radio

Fishhook International

Gospel for Asia

Greater Calling

International Christian Concern

Iranian Christians International

Jubilee Campaign

Mission India

Open Doors

Persecution Project Foundation

The Voice of the Martyrs

World Bible Translation Center

World Evangelical Alliance

The Last Harvest

Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. Hebrews 13:3

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