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April 2010

April 30, 2010

Free Stuff Fridays

Tempus fugit, as they say. Every time a new Friday comes around I’m struck by how short a time it has been since the last Friday. There’s a lesson there, I suppose.

With this new Friday comes a new edition of Free Stuff Fridays. This week’s sponsor is Quickverse. You know Quickverse, I’m sure, as the manufacturer of Bible study software. Today they are giving away 5 copies of their Standard edition software, compatible with both Windows and Mac computers.

Quickverse

“QuickVerse is Bible study at its best. Streamlined features give you instant access to scriptures, commentaries, definitions, and even the original Greek and Hebrew text. With audio pronunciations you can hear those difficult Biblical references — over 6,500 audio words are simply a click away. Keep track of all your prayers, prayer requests, and answered prayers. New believers will appreciate the many interesting quick-Bible facts and the key gospel promises with scripture references. Get the most from your studies with QuickVerse’s multiple tabbed windows, multimedia and synchronization features. Gain a deeper understanding of scripture and take your Bible studies to the next level!”

You can learn more about the software at the Quickverse site.

Rules: You may only enter the draw once. Simply fill out your name and email address to enter the draw. As soon as the winners have been chosen, all names and addresses will be immediately and permanently erased. Winners will be notified by email. The giveaway closes Saturday at noon.

April 30, 2010

How Will My Son Be Saved? - I think I’m pretty much linking to everything Greg writes at his Wrestling with an Angel blog. What can I say? I find it all so good. In the latest post he wrestles with how his severely disabled son will be saved.

Lessons from H1N1 - TIME goes looking for lessons from the H1N1 panic of last year. Their response seems to tend toward the politically correct. Nevertheless, it’s worth reading. “Yet catastrophe never came, and the total U.S. death toll from H1N1 — about 13,000 people over the past year — was considerably smaller than the 36,000 people who are estimated to die each year from the regular, seasonal flu. Millions of doses of H1N1 vaccine expired unused on doctors’ shelves, and health officials are now under fire for over-hyping what seemed like a harmless bug. So, was H1N1 much ado about nothing?”

The Coming Meltdown in Higher Education - Seth Godin pens a good article on education. “For 400 years, higher education in the US has been on a roll. From Harvard asking Galileo to be a guest professor in the 1600s to millions tuning in to watch a team of unpaid athletes play another team of unpaid athletes in some college sporting event, the amount of time and money and prestige in the college world has been climbing. I’m afraid that’s about to crash and burn.”

Reflections on Leading at T4G - Bob Kauflin reflects on leading 7,000 people in worship at the recent Together for the Gospel conference.

April 29, 2010

This morning we come to our third reading in Richard Sibbes’ The Bruised Reed. Though we’re still early in the book, already I’m seeing so much evidence as to why Sibbes was known as a physician of the soul or, to use the title given to him in his day, “The Heavenly Doctor Sibbes.” I don’t know that I’ve ever read a book that is more comforting, more pastoral in its tone. Sibbes has an amazing ability to bring comfort and hope through carefully crafted words.

Summary

Our reading this week included two chapters, the first of which is titled “Christ Will Not Quench the Smoking Flax.” Here he speaks more of the term “the smoking flax” by which he refers to that spark of faith that exists in those who have been newly saved. He assures the reader that Christ will never extinguish such beginnings of faith for two reasons: “First, because this spark is from heaven: it is his own, it is kindled by his own Spirit. And secondly, it tends to the glory of his powerful grace in his children that he preserves light in the midst of darkness, a spark in the midst of the swelling waters of corruption.”

April 29, 2010

5 Books to get Mom for Mother’s Day - Here are five books you may like to consider getting mom (or wife) for Mother’s Day: One (if she likes being challenged—see the other titles in this series as well), two (if she’s a note-taker), three (if she likes biographies), four (if she’s into self-examination) and five (if she’s meant to mentor). And here’s a bonus if she really likes longer biographies.

Healing - Ali has a story to tell from her work and ministry on a hospital ship.

Miss Whitebread Was Wrong - Andy Unedited: “ ‘Always make an outline before you start writing.’ Isn’t that what your fifth grade teacher told you? Well, I’m sorry to break this to you, but Miss Whitebread was wrong. In my continuing series of Stupid Things You Were Taught in School let me deconstruct this bad boy.”

The Death of a (Former) Atheist - Dr. Mohler looks at the life of Antony Flew. “The death this month of Antony Flew brings an end to one of the most interesting lives in twentieth century philosophy. Throughout the last half of that century, Professor Flew was recognized as one of the most significant philosophical advocates of atheism, eventually writing at least 35 works, many arguing for the non-existence of God. Then, at age 81, Antony Flew changed his mind. God, he explained, probably does exist.”

Liberty U Taps Glenn Beck - Here’s an odd one: “Liberty University has tapped radio host Glenn Beck to address its graduating class next month despite knowing that such a decision will be contested and criticized given the well-known conservative’s Mormon faith.”

April 28, 2010

A day late but never a dollar short, here is episode 3 of the Connected Kingdom podcast. This is the first of two episodes in which David and I discuss disability; we first talk about the theology of disability and then move toward looking at some of its pastoral implications (which is what we will focus on in our next episode). It is also the first episode in which we have a guest with us. Enjoy!

If you want to give us feedback or join in the discussion, go ahead and look up our Facebook Group or leave a comment right here.

You will always be able to find the most recent episode here on the blog. If you would like to subscribe via iTunes, you can do that here or if you want to subscribe with another audio player, you can try this RSS link.

April 28, 2010

Battery - Take this pitcher and this catcher, put them together and you’d have quite the battery.

More Spiritual Than Religious - USA Today looks at a new study and finds that most Millennials are more spiritual than religious. “If the trends continue, ‘the Millennial generation will see churches closing as quickly as GM dealerships,’ says Thom Rainer, president of LifeWay Christian Resources. In the group’s survey of 1,200 18- to 29-year-olds, 72% say they’re ‘really more spiritual than religious.’”

Page CXVI - Page CXVI has a new albums of hymns for you to download. You can also get their previous release for free.

Why Apple Needs To Loosen Up - Here’s a good perspective on Apple’s dominant control of every aspect of its hardware and software. And while we’re on the subject of Apple, here’s a good way of getting an iPad stand for less than a $1.

Is Faith Necessary? - Kevin DeYoung tries to suggest how he would have answered the question Larry King posed to Joel Osteen about whether people of other faiths are going to hell.

April 27, 2010

Expository ListeningAs Christians we (rightly!) have high expectations of our pastors as they preach the Word of God. We expect that that they will dedicate themselves to studying and understanding the Bible, that they will live lives marked by their commitment to holiness, that they will expend the effort necessary to craft Gospel-centered, Spirit-empowered sermons. In short, we expect that they will come to the pulpit prepared, having dedicated themselves to the task they’ve been called to. How odd it is, then, that we are content to have such low standards for our own preparation and our own diligence in listening. We expect to turn up at church and be blessed by the preaching of the Word, even while we have expended no effort in seeking to prepare ourselves to hear it and even while we sit passively throughout.

Having read many books dealing with the preaching of sermons, it was a blessing to me to read a book on listening to sermons. After all, I spend just a handful of Sundays each year preaching and all the rest listening. And I know I need to be a much better listener. Ken Ramey addresses just this in his new book Expository Listening: A Handbook for Hearing and Doing God’s Word.

April 27, 2010

Taking a Step of Faith - Dan Phillips offers some valuable thoughts on Francis Chan’s recent announcement that he is taking a step of faith and moving on from his church.

Swapping Is the New Shopping - USA Today on the rise of swapping and bartering: “The rise of the quid pro quo possession comes courtesy of a host of reasons: budget-tightening during a persistently sour economy (swapping is mostly free, save for shipping costs or, for face-to-face fetes, a nominal entry fee); eBay, consignment-store and yard-sale fatigue (you might only get a few dollars for all the effort required); hand-me-down headaches (rifling through a garbage bag of kids’ clothes is daunting and inefficient); environmental awareness (swapping, of course, is the ultimate form of recycling) and fashion experimentation (it’s a frugal way to try out trends).” (HT:Boundless)

We Need Gospel Movements, Not Just Better Churches - Darryl Dash pens a good article on working with local churches. “We all need to learn from others. We’re used to learning from big and successful churches in other countries. It’s much more effective to learn from good churches in our own contexts. That means that I can probably learn more about effective ministry in my city from other churches in my city, and places like it. The resources I need may not be found within my own movement, but within churches that belong to other movements.”

Should We Marry If We’re Theologically Divided? - Russell Moore consistently posts real-life questions that are very good opportunities to attempt to think biblically.