Sorry for the lapse in posting. With my new responsibility of being interim pastor at Grace Evangelical Free Church in Indianola, IA, my work with Serve Our Youth Network and just being a dad and husband I’ve been behind in reading my blog subscriptions and news feeds, so that is why I missed a week.
1. Jeremy Taylor, a teacher at Sioux City North High School, is running against incumbent Democrat Represenative Wes Whitead to represent Sioux City in House District 1. He recently gave a great speech at the Woodbury County Republican Convention. Watch below.
Part I: 7 minutes, 32 seconds
Part II: 6 minutes, 1 second
I hope that he wins, and more people like him win to stop the craziness that is going on in the Iowa House before our state goes completely bankrupt both morally and fiscally.
HT: Matt Riesetter
2. The Barna Research Group has a new study out on Marriage and Divorce that finds marriage is norm among adults with only 22% having never been married. They also found, however, that divorce is widespread and has lost most of its stigma.
3. Wayne Larson on Worldview, Antithesis and Where We Get It All Wrong. He brings up some interesting points.
5. Condy Rice – McCain’s VP pick? That would be interesting. I think it would be a strong pick for him, but would rather see somebody with more domestic experience.
6. The picture below made me laugh out loud. Anybody else feel the same?
7. Also a good link I found from Jeff @ Smart Pastor. Ten Worst Ever Life Verses. Dang, I’m going to have to change mine. Guys, perhaps reciting #7 to your wife wouldn’t be such a bad thing. I mean it is scripture after all!
10. Hezekiah 13:7
“Ye that dwelleth in his name, observe the news of the Lord.”
9. Hosea 4:14
“I will not punish your daughters when they turn to prostitution, nor your daughters-in-law when they commit adultery, because the men themselves consort with harlots and sacrifice with shrine prostitutes—a people without understanding will come to ruin!”
8. Judges 4:21
“But Jael, Heber’s wife, picked up a tent peg and a hammer and went quietly to him while he lay fast asleep, exhausted. She drove the peg through his temple into the ground, and he died.”
7. Song of Songs 7:7-8a
“Your stature is like that of the palm, and your breasts like clusters of fruit. I said, ‘I will climb the palm tree; I will take hold of its fruit.’”
6. Psalm 137:8-9
“O Daughter of Babylon, doomed to destruction, happy is he who repays you for what you have done to us—he who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks.”
5. 1 Samuel 4:18
“When he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell over backwards from his seat by the side of the gate; and his neck was broken and he died, for he was an old man, and heavy.”
4. Matthew 1:9
“And Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias”
3. Acts 5:9
“How could you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.”
2. Leviticus 18:19
“Do not approach a woman to have sexual relations during the uncleanness of her monthly period.”
1. Ezekiel 23:20
“There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses.”
8. Having been a spectator (and sometimes victim) of congregationalism run-amuck as a form of church governance, I appreciated this post by Greg Gilbert over at the 9 Marks blog.
9. The unchurched prefer cathedrals over contemporary church designs according to a LifeWay survey. Interesting, exactly the opposite of what I would have thought. HT: Sam Rainer
10. Greg Stier on the James 2 faith-works dilemma. My take is that works don’t save, but saving faith will have works as fruit or the evidence so to speak of legitimate faith. That is a rather simplified summary of my interpretation of James 2.
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead, (James 2:14-26, ESV).
12. Adopt a Terrorist for Jesus
That’s what the new Web-based ministry Adopt a Terrorist for Prayer (ATFP) is urging Christians to do. Though ATFP agrees the government must fight terrorism militarily, it also believes the real war will be won in the spiritual realm. “Visitors can find a terrorist to pray for, as well as see how many others are praying for them,” said ATFP founder Thomas Bruce. “ It’s all about connecting these prayer warriors to each other to see how others are praying, to encourage each other, to spread the word, and fight this War on Terrorism in a powerful and spiritual way.” (From the Ministry Report Newsletter).
13. Also the first ever Amish emerging church – Solomon’s Barn. I kid you not.
14. Randy Alcorn does a monthly book giveaway, this month it is his book, Heaven.
15. Christopher Wesley has a series of blog posts over at the Purpose Driven Youth Ministry Community Blog entitled “Good to Great Youth Ministry” based on learnings from Jim Collins book, Good to Great. Here is a link to the first post.
16. Andrew Jackson on how Christians can engage in politics without losing their soul. He offers 10 biblical guidelines for how to do this.
17. Senator Barack Obama’s outreach efforts to evangelicals has been sabotaged by his former pastor (and I would also say a number of his policy positions). But it would seem his belief in liberation theology is hurting him.
Barack Obama’s church, Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, is dedicated to Black Liberation Theology and income redistribution. This liberal theology goes hand-in-hand with the liberal politics which Obama espouses. Obama’s faith is heavily based in the social gospel, meaning an emphasis is placed on the humanitarian example of Jesus. Humanity’s need for a savior to pay the debt due because of sin, which is satisfied by Christ’s death and resurrection, is relegated to the sidelines.
18. Foxfier on the death of Charleton Heston. Not only do two of his movies rank as some of my all time favorites (Ben Hur and the Ten Commandments), but also his work in conservative circles. Foxfier included a quote from “Winning the Culture War” in her blog that I’ll share here as well.
Who will defend the core value of academia, if you supposed soldiers of free thought and expression lay down your arms and plead, “Don’t shoot me.”
If you talk about race, it does not make you a racist.
If you see distinctions between the genders, it does not make you sexist.
If you think critically about a denomination, it does not make you anti-religion.
If you accept but don’t celebrate homosexuality, it does not make you a homophobe.
Don’t let America’s universities continue to serve as incubators for this rampant epidemic of new McCarthyism.
But what can you do? How can anyone prevail against such pervasive social subjugation? The answer’s been here all along.
I learned it 36 years ago, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., standing with Dr. Martin Luther King and two hundred thousand people.
You simply … disobey.
Peaceably, yes. Respectfully, of course. Nonviolently, absolutely.
But when told how to think or what to say or how to behave, we don’t. We disobey social protocol that stifles and stigmatizes personal freedom.
I learned the awesome power of disobedience from Dr. King . . . who learned it from Gandhi, and Thoreau, and Jesus, and every other great man who led those in the right against those with the might.
Disobedience is in our DNA. We feel innate kinship with that disobedient spirit that tossed tea into Boston Harbor, that sent Thoreau to jail, that refused to sit in the back of the bus, that protested a war in Vietnam.
In that same spirit, I am asking you to disavow cultural correctness with massive disobedience of rogue authority, social directives and onerous laws that weaken personal freedom.
But be careful … it hurts. Disobedience demands that you put yourself at risk. Dr. King stood on lots of balconies.
19. Awesome quote. When I first watched Amazing Grace I didn’t catch this, but Jemila Kwon over at Quirky Grace highlighted a quote given by Barbara, who is the woman who encourages William Wilberforce not to give up on his dream of seeing slavery abolished in Great Britain.
When they stop being afraid, their compassion will return.
20. Something that leaders don’t often like to do, but I think is vital in order to listen to a variety of viewpoints and have a plurality of feedback: encourage disagreement. Listen to opposing viewpoints. This isn’t saying that we should promote disunity. We need to be charitable toward one another, but I have far too often see a “group think” mentality occur when everybody thinks alike. Poor decisions are made when we lapse into that. We should seek to gather not “yes people” around us, but also those who will also challenge our thinking and push us beyond our comfort zone.