Sunday, July 29, 2012

online meanderings: insular Christians, scary obedience, revealing worry, and more

Better late than never...There's lots here because I'm still catching up from when we were away. Let's start with 3 great quotes.

Quotes of the week
"If it is I who determine where God is to be found, then I shall always find a God who corresponds to me in some way, who is obliging, who is connected with my own nature. But if God determines where he is to be found, then it will be in place which is not immediately pleasing to my nature and which is not at all congenial to me. This place is the Cross of Christ." Bonhoeffer HT Ali.

"Christians have a remarkable capacity to live insular lives...I have asked people in name people outside of the church with whom they have had thoughtful conversations...I usually get a short or a very short list...We are called not to live insular lives. We are sent people, sent by Christ to the world. We are called to penetrate our communities with the message of Christ." Mark Lauterbach HT Vitamin Z

"Nobody who is a preacher lives fully what he preaches. That’s the danger of preaching. When we’re preaching, a lot of times we’re preaching to ourselves...I keep my focus on the holiness of God because it needs to be there because I’m not holy. I don’t focus on it because I am holy. I focus on it because I’m not." RC Sproul with Challies

Best new blog
The prayer project - A new blog by Wendy. Written prayers for you to use. It looks great.

Top 5 posts
Will everything turn out right if we obey? - " may be the death of us...but that doesn’t let us off from obeying.” CS Lewis quoted by Chris Brauns.

Worry - "What we worry about...reveals two things. First of all, it reveals what we value the most...But on a deeper reveals where we trust God the least." Craig Groeschel HT Vitamin Z

The pain of rejection - A woman abandoned by her husband talks about where to turn to for comfort when you've been rejected. Beautiful.

How to mentor - "Everyone needs a mentor, but not everyone is promised a mentor. However, everyone can be a mentor to others." A great post on discipleship. Jonathon Dodson HT Vitamin Z.

Fight for the time to read - "The fight to find time to read is a fight for one’s life...I, for one, am not a self-replenishing spring...For your own soul and for the life of your church, fight for time to feed your soul with rich reading." For pastors and others. Piper, Spurgeon.

And 10 more
Loving those who grieve - A compassionate and wise post. Justin Taylor.

Listening by WALKing - How to listen well. There are some helpful suggestions here. Garrett Higbee.

When hope hurts - “Like one who takes away a garment on a cold day, or like vinegar poured on soda, is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.” (Prov 25:20)...Hope isn’t something to be tagged onto the end of your counselling session." Winston Smith.

Humble says sorry first - Be the first to say sorry. Christ Brauns HT Vitamin Z.

7 ways to put on humility - I really liked this. Mark Altrogge HT Vitamin Z.

Lamentless faith
 - Singing laments in church. I've often wondered why we don't do this more, since laments are so prominent in the Psalms.

A woman writes about her struggle with bulimia - "The Lord began to show me my obsession with self and food was more than a “problem”—it was a worship disorder of the soul...He alone is my Refuge, my Deliverer, my Stronghold (Psalm 18:1-3)."

10 tips on solving mysterious Bible passages from Sherlock Holmes - Good stuff. Trevin Wax.

Holiness is the sum of a million little things - "...the avoidance of little evils and little foibles, the setting aside of little bits of worldliness and little acts of compromise, the putting to death of little inconsistencies and little indiscretions..." Kevin DeYoung. 

4 reasons men like porn - Odd questions, interesting observations. (If you struggle with this, male or female, read Tim Chester's book "Captured by a better vision".) Luke Gilkerson.

Thinking about time with an eternal perspective - "If close friends and family don't think they have access to me or can interrupt me, then I know I have things on my To Do list that shouldn't be there." Carolyn McCulley.

For wives
Why bother? He'll never change! - The importance of courageously speaking the truth in love to your husband. Keri Seavey

Responding to a husband's sexual sin - Helpful advice for a difficult situation. Julie Ganschow.

Raising kids
Encouraging mission-minded kids - I like the idea of going on a beach mission as a family. Marcelle Smith HT Gordon Cheng.

Teens and movies with sexual content
 - "Adolescents who are exposed to more sexual content in movies start having sex at younger ages, have more sexual partners, and are less likely to use condoms with casual sexual partners." Jim Liebelt HT Challies

Have our children forgotten how to play outdoors - “I like to play indoors better, ’cause that’s where all the electrical outlets are.” “Unlike television, nature does not steal time; it amplifies it.” Louv quoted by Albert Mohler.

Creativity and writing
The fight for glory - Why I write even though it brings temptation. "If the fight for my affection was going to be everywhere, I decided to fight in the place I loved. Jennie Allen interviews John Piper HT Lisa Writes.

Start doing stuff - How to be creative: Just do stuff. "Your voice will come with expression...You will find it and lose it and find it again, maybe even on a single page...You will be good and bad and good and bad. And they key in all this is this: just do stuff." Barnabas Piper HT Vitamin Z.

A digital free vacation - How you might go about it. Challies.

Is the internet making us crazy? What the new research says - "The current incarnation of the Internet—portable, social, accelerated, and all-pervasive—may be making us not just dumber or lonelier but more depressed and anxious, prone to obsessive-compulsive and attention-deficit disorders, even outright psychotic. Our digitized minds can scan like those of drug addicts." Tony Dokoupil.

I have just read a book about Rubber Duckies and loved it - and now I want to too. Meredith.

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