Best of the Blogosphere for the Week of March 17th

Matthew Paul Turner
Here are the top 5 posts I read this week plus one moving video.

1. People of the Second Chance’s “Motivational Yeller” gives an important reminder of the affect yelling has on our children.

2. Matthew Paul Turner’s “YOU ARE STRONG. YOU ARE BRAVE. YOU ARE GOOD. YOU ARE LOVED” and why he shares those words with his kids everyday.

3. Ray Ortlund’s “What Just Happened” regarding Pastor Mark Driscoll’s letter of repentance and what that means for you and me.

4. Richard Beck’s “On Christian Celebrity” talks about the need for pastors who are introverts to suck it up and be available after speaking engagements.

5. Shauna Niequist’s “She’s Not A Megachurch, She’s My Sister” regarding the powerful role the church of her childhood has played in her life.

And finally, the best video I watched this week

The Crowd Is Untruth by Soren Kierkegaard

The Crowd Is UntruthThose looking for the encouragement needed to stand up against opinions blindly accepted by the masses will find a welcome friend in this little gem of an essay.

I found the The Crowd Is Untruth by Soren Kierkegaard to be both autobiographically revealing and refreshingly contrarian. Known to be a loner, and standing at odds with the intellectual climate of his time, Kierkegaard provides a brief defense for offering viewpoints that stand in direct contradiction to prevailing intellectual norms.

Kierkegaard writes,

There is a view of life which holds that where the crowd is, the truth is also, that it is a need in truth itself, that it must have the crowd on its side. There is another view of life; which holds that wherever the crowd is, there is untruth, so that, for a moment to carry the matter out to its farthest conclusion, even if every individual possessed the truth in private, yet if they came together into a crowd (so that “the crowd” received any decisive, voting, noisy, audible importance), untruth would at once be let in.

To Kierkegaard, simply because an idea is broadly accepted does not add a greater sense of credibility. That’s because crowds can be easily swayed. As the author writes, “For to win a crowd is not so great a trick; one only needs some talent, a certain dose of untruth and a little acquaintance with the human passions.” [Read more...]

Make A Commitment To Finish Things

finish what you start“Discipline brings freedom,” said Richard Foster.

I’ve spent a lot of time lately meditating on those three words.

To me there’s a difference between being organized and being disciplined.

Most people who know me would say I’m pretty organized. I handle paperwork quickly and efficiently. I’m timely in completing tasks, returning emails and phone calls. I stay focused on reducing clutter and keeping my laptop files in order. In fact, one friend told me recently that she thinks I’m one of the most organized people she knows.

Truth be told, however, I may be organized, but I am sorely lacking in discipline.

Discipline, to me, is about forcing yourself to make the most important priorities routine. It’s about doing them consistently, so that over time your life begins to bear the fruit God wants it to bear.

Organization cares little about what’s truly important; it only focuses on becoming more efficient at whatever your hand finds itself to do. [Read more...]

Can Christians Eliminate Same Sex Attraction Feelings?

reparative therapyI’ve lost count of the number of conversations I’ve had in the last year with Christians that have told me they’re attracted to the same sex.

Sometimes I think people feel comfortable sharing their struggles with me because I’ve set the bar pretty low. Know me very long and I’ll give you an inside glimpse into my own sins, struggles, habits and hang-ups. I’ve always thought that’s what good pastors should do – be role models – but in reverse. But mainly I think people open up to me because they know I get paid to keep secrets for a living.

The conversations I’ve had all went something like this:

“Can I share something with you? I know what the Bible teaches and all, but I’m gay.”

Slight pause.

“Okay.”

“Well, I’m wondering whether or not you think God can take these feelings away if I ask him?” [Read more...]

The Domino Effect

Here’s week one from our series about evangelism called “#SecondChances.” What’s your evangelistic style?

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Pete Rose To Appear At CCV March 30th

Pete RosePete Rose, Major League Baseball’s all-time career hit leader, will return to Philadelphia and appear at Christ’s Church of the Valley in Royersford on Sunday, March 30, 2014, to talk about how everyone deserves a second chance.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, March 12, 2014

Pete Rose, Major League Baseball’s all-time career hit leader, will return to Philadelphia and appear at Christ’s Church of the Valley on Sunday, March 30, 2014. Rose will appear live and be interviewed during each of the church’s three services that day: 9:00, 10:15 and 11:30AM.

This event is free and open to the public. Pete’s visit marks his return to the Philadelphia area, where in 1980 he helped lead the Phillies to their first ever World Series championship.

Rose is recognized as one of Major League Baseball’s all-time greatest players. He holds the league’s records for most hits (4,256), games played (3,562) and at-bats (14,053). [Read more...]

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami

What I Talk About When I Talk About RunningI have this theory that goes like this: sometimes we find books, and sometimes books find us.

Oftentimes I’ll pick up a book, read a few lines, and quickly close the cover. I’ll instinctively know that no matter how much I want to read it, that book’s message was meant for a later time. And sure enough, years later, I’ll spot the book on the corner of my shelf and be moved to pick it up, only to find exactly what I needed to hear. It’s funny how life, and reading, works that way.

Other times I’ll find a book in the most random way – through a footnote or a random citation in an obscure periodical, for instance – and that book’s message will be exactly what I needed to hear at that moment in my life.  That was certainly the case with Japanese novelist Karuki Murakami’s wonderful little book, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running.

While training for the New York City Marathon Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami decided to write about it as well. What materialized was a unique memoir that discusses his twin passions of writing and running, and the interesting way they nurture and inform each other. [Read more...]

What Happens If We Don’t Fix This?

Here’s the second message from our series, “MARRIEDish.” If you want to have a truly dynamic marriage, this is one of the most important things you need to do…

Click HERE to subscribe to Brian Jones Uncut, my sermon podcasts through iTunes.

5 Reasons We Don’t Send Our Kids To Christian Schools (but you might, and should)

christian schoolRecently a friend asked why we’ve never sent our children to Christian schools. She and her husband are weighing whether or not to send their daughter to a Christian elementary school, and since I’m asked this question a lot I thought I would share my response.

Hi ________,

Thank you for asking my advice on this extremely important question.

Before we sent our oldest to Kindergarten my wife and I made the decision that we would send our daughters to K-12 public schools, and then upon high school graduation send them to private Christian colleges.

I’ll share why we made that decision, but I first want to say that when we talk with parents at CCV (we get asked this a lot since I’m a pastor and my wife is the Principal of a public elementary school in our area), we always say that we encourage parents to do what is best for their child. Each child is unique, just as the schools in which a family lives are unique, and there is no “one size fits all” approach to making this decision. We are for whatever works best for your daughter – whether it’s a Christian school or a public school.

That said, if all options seem equal, we have always been strong advocates for Christians to send their children to their local public school.

Here are five reasons why:

1. Quality of Teachers

A school, when it is boiled down, is a teacher teaching a student. And it’s not a well-kept secret that many Christian schools hire teachers who couldn’t get jobs in public schools. [Read more...]

Is This A Hill We’re Willing To Die On?

Here’s week one from our series, “MARRIEDish.” Couples who go the distance focus on this ONE thing…

Click HERE to subscribe to Brian Jones Uncut, my sermon podcasts through iTunes.