Craig Groeschel from The Resurgence on being good stewards with our time. The truth is, we will always make an excuse to avoid what we don’t want to do and we will always go the extra mile for the things that we want to do:
Instead of our typical conclusion that we simply don’t have enough time, what if we embraced the truth, no matter how weird or counterintuitive it might seem?
You have enough time to do everything God wants you to do.
God has given you everything you need to accomplish all that he wants you to do, including enough time (see 2 Peter 1:3). We don’t need more time. We need to use the time we already have differently. You have time for what you choose to invest your time in. Every day most of us say, “I just don’t have time to work out/to read the Bible/to go to church this week/to meet for lunch/to add one more thing.”
Matt Chandler is interviewed by The Christian Post about Acts 29, replacing Mark Driscoll as President, and the future adjustments and plans that will need to be considered moving forward.
David Murray, reflecting on his encounter with one of the keynote Pastors at the T4G conference, talks about the tension between well-meaning, down-to-earth “celebrities” and their less-than-gracious entourages:
…In fact, he was more normal than many “normal” pastors I’ve met. He was warm, friendly, engaged in our conversation, didn’t try to get away after the initial pleasantries, and wasn’t continually looking over my shoulder for someone more interesting or important to talk to. And I have to say that most of the well-known pastors and preachers I’ve met have been similar.
The problem is often with those who surround these men. In my experience, it’s often the gatekeepers, the hangers-on, the media, PR & marketing guys, the organizers, the administrators, the “friends,” etc., that create the impression of superiority, aloofness, arrogance, and disinterest in lesser mortals.
Peter Berger commenting on the rise of the nones:
Let me, with all due respect for Campbell and Putnam, suggest a hypothesis of my own: Most “nones” have not opted out of religion as such, but have opted out of affiliation with organized religion.Among Christians (the great majority of all survey respondents) there are different reasons for this disaffection. The two authors are very probably correct that, broadly speaking, those who are turned off by Evangelicals and conservative Catholics do so because they don’t like the repressive sexual morality of those churches (the sexual abuse crisis in the Roman Catholic Church has not helped). But the “nones” have also exited from mainline Protestantism, which has been much more accommodating to the liberationist ethic. Here, I think, there has been frustration with what my friend and colleague Thomas Luckmann long ago called “secularization from within”—the stripping away of the transcendent dimensions of the Gospel, and its reduction to conventional good deeds, popular psychotherapy and (mostly left-of-center) political agendas. Put differently: My hypothesis implies that some “nones” are put off by churches that preach a repressive morality, some others by churches whose message is mainly secular.
Jonah Lehrer from ESPN’s Grantland takes a fascinating look at the medical side of sports and explores some of the procedures that big-name athletes have been undergoing in recent months and years.
Mark Altrogge from The Blazing Center looks at affliction and how we can react positively instead of negatively to them. In a way, this is one great way for us to discover evidences of grace in ourselves as well as in others:
When we suffer and trust God instead of grumbling or complaining like we would have in the past, it showcases God’s transforming work in us. When we’re afflicted and we don’t doubt God’s sovereignty or goodness like we did a few years back, it shows the progress God’s grace is making in our lives.
When we suffer affliction and we’re not shaken it demonstrates the reality of God’s work in our lives. When we experience deep peace and even a deep joy despite our trials it proves we haven’t believed a fable. God’s grace has really changed us and is truly at work in us.
When someone abuses us and we’re kind in return, it shows that God is real, for no one naturally responds to unkindness with kindness. When someone curses us and we bless them in return we can see how much God has changed us, for no one normally does this.