Friday, August 24, 2012

online meanderings: who should I marry, choosing grace, keeping vows, and more

We love the world, and it deceives us. We depend on creatures, and they fail us, and pierce us through with many sorrows. We enter forbidden paths, and follow after our lovers; and our way is hedged up with thorns; and we then say, “Return unto thy rest, O my soul; and now, Lord, what wait I for? My hope is in thee.” The enjoyment of a greater good subdues the relish of a less. What are the indulgences of sin, or the dissipations of the world to one who is abundantly satisfied with the goodness of God’s house, and is made to drink of the river of his pleasures?” - William Jay

As Christians, our Facebook wall should not be a boastful fa├žade, but a true reflection of who we are in Christ. We should not present ourselves as “perfect all the time,” but as striving for holiness because our Savior was “perfect all the time.-  Nicole Whitacre

5 top posts
It matters whom you marry - Marry the geek who loves Jesus and serves, not the cool guy who pours juice on your top. This is worth sharing with any young women (or men) you know. RVD.

When they don't love you back -When love and ministry don't bear fruit, "I can hold on to the promise that that Word will not return empty and that it will accomplish what God purposes, which is not necessarily what I purposed for that situation." Erin Davis.

When a sermon becomes a poem - This is a beautiful poem about Scripture by John Piper.

I choose grace - When a registered sex offender moves into the neighbourhood. John Thweatt (try saying that one).

Vows, promises and the problem of love - Who can possibly fulfil their marriage vows? Only the gospel enables us to love and covers us when we don't. Justin Holcomb.

And 12 more
Before you leave your church, read this. Mark Dever via Steve McCoy.

Before you leave your church (pastors), read this. Mark Jones.

A strange urge - Gutless. why we don't share the gospel. Dave Macca.

7 people lying at the side of the road -  I've been reading Bonhoeffer, and have been convicted about how we shut our eyes like so many in Nazi Germany. This post challenged me greatly. George Verwer.

The shelf life on preaching the gospel to yourself - Keep topping up with the word of God. David Mathis.

We're not reading the Bible (and why it's a problem). HT Sandy

How they preached the gospel in Acts - I led some studies on Acts and wanted to write about this, but Kevin De Young has done it much better than I would have.

Speaking the truth in love = speaking the gospel in love. Tony Reinke.

Preventing foot in mouth disease - What not to say to a cancer sufferer. Dave Mcdonald.

A little more of Jesus today - Every day, we grow in godliness just a tiny bit more. Encouragement from John Calvin quoted by Jonathon Parnell.

Thankfulness - It's not often that someone else's list of "thank yous" makes me thankful, but this one did. Thanks, Susie!

Before you phone your preacher - Pray before you complain to your pastor. I like this. Gaye Clark.

Time management
What successful people do with the first hour of their work day - Eat the frog first. Kevin Purdy.

Disability and the church
God is up to something - "The church, with only a few exceptions, doesn't reflect the demographic reality that almost one in five...lives with a disability. Too many churches continue to see people with disabilities as problems rather than who they are — image-bearers of God. Too many families experiencing disability still report they cannot find a church home." A helpful post on disability and the church by John Knight.

My top 5 books on special needs - Amy Julia Becker.

Ministry, small groups and theology
Discipleship teams - Interesting reflections on what small groups could become. Colin Marshall and Tony Payne.

30 suggestions for young theologians - "You’ll be tempted to come up with something that sounds new...Well, do it; get it out of the way, and then come back to do some real theology." John Frame.

Three leadership traits that never go out of style - Trust, empathy, mentorship. Three principles of great leadership. Vineet Nayar HT David Murray.

10 questions to diagnose the evangelistic health of your church - Thom Rainer via Vitamin Z.

Avoiding evangelical civil war - How to do theological conflict well. Mark Thompson HT The Briefing.

A pastor's Monday
 - A pastor's Monday (and an encouraging post for anyone who feels weary doing their work). Jared Wilson.

Self-denial and evangelical parenting - Teaching kids the self-denial and contentment that will help them in early adulthood (while always remembering that parents can be faithful while kids stray).

The psychology of social networking - "“Talking about ourselves activates the regions of the brain associated with the sense of satisfaction from food, money, or sex...Are we obsessed with social media, or are we obsessed with ourselves?" Marc Cortez.

25 collected insights from writers on becoming a better writer - I like the way these are all gathered in one place. Jocelyn Glei.

Fun stuff
10 things about church you should know (but no one had the guts to tell you) - Pedants unite. Useful. Kevin DeYoung HT Sandy.

That book index - "There is a pedantic, perfectionist place I can go to when I need to do tasks such as this." Me too. Ali.

Thomas Kinkade + Godzilla - They should make a jigsaw of this one.

If you just can't get enough links, or want to see my links as I read them, check out

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