1. Chaille Brindley recently traveled to Morocco and shared some random observations about the country, as well as a significant problem they have with their youth. Take time to pray for Morocco today. Chaille requests:
Please take a few minutes to pray for all the young women in Morocco that face the difficult scenario described above (see post). Pray that young people will understand the risks and be smart. Pray that the Moroccan government will allow humanitarian and aide organizations to get the permits and support to help with this often ignored problem. Please lift up the families involved that they will see their responsibility to love and support their “wayward” teens and young women. Pray that Moroccan guys will realize that they have an obligation to woman if they sleep with them. Most importantly, please pray that thousands of Moroccan youth will come to know Jesus.
2. Warner Todd Huston discusses the serious ramifications to not handling the illegal immigration problem now.
3. Info on Iowa Marriage Amendment – http://www.letusvoteiowa.com
HT: Matt Riesetter
HT: Justin Taylor
5. In an earlier post I linked to James MacDonald’s (the senior pastor of Harvest Bible Church outside of Chicago) post on why he isn’t emerging – part 1. He follows up with part 2 and then final thoughts on the emerging church.
6. Break Point Commentary by Chuck Colson on Sex Trafficking:
Tonya was only 12 when she was approached by a man as she walked down a city street. Over the next few months, his gifts and compliments impressed her—and soon, she thought she was in love.
The minute he gained Tonya’s trust, the man—who was actually a pimp—took her to another city and forced her into a nightmare world of sexual slavery. She was forced to sell her body to countless men. To keep her in line, the pimp beat her violently. He kept all the money she made—which came to a great deal because, as Tonya put it, “I looked like a baby.”
Tonya lost her childhood to this pimp. He controlled her for five years, until he was finally arrested.
Why am I talking about Tonya on Valentine’s Day? Because her trouble all started with false love and false promises that exploited a little girl’s dreams of romance.
Tonya is not the only child who becomes a victim because she is desperate for affection. Shared Hope International, which rescues girls and women from prostitution worldwide, believes there are as many as 300,000 girls just like Tonya in the United States alone. (Read the rest)
7. What makes the humble happy? John Piper answers here.
9. Over at Nuke’s News and Views – the Senator Gravitas Spendometer… if you are wondering how much an Obama administration will cost taxpayers check it out. Pretty scary… taxpayers beware!
10. A couple of cartoons, complements of Jungle Hut. Thanks!
11. Pistol Pete posts on Inspiring Pastors in TV and Movies
There is an abundance of popular entertainment that portrays clergy as, at best, buffoons and, at worse, predators. Now and then, however, a character emerges who captures the struggles of being human while also grappling with a divine calling. I thought it might be fun to list a few of these that have made an impact on me.
I agree with that sentiment. Seventh Heaven when it started looked like it was going to be promising went south in a hurry. I remember watching it on occasion how his “ministry” seemed to be more about self-help than the Gospel. The show was just ridiculous. I don’t know of a single pastor whose ministry or family life was like that… at least none who stayed in ministry.
You can read his list of favorites here.
12. A warning for parents who leave their children unattended in stores.
This made me laugh out loud.
HT: Jemila Kwon
13. David Hayward posts on “What Holds Us Together“
It can only be love, mutual love, that holds a relationship or a community together. What I am trying to say is that we have to get to the place where we realize that we just can’t expect people to remain committed to each other because it is expected, or promises were made, or there is uniformity in whatever area, or that there is a common goal we’ve set for them. People, especially younger people, aren’t interested in uniformity, conformity, or forms of any kind. There must be genuine acceptance, honesty, authenticity, freedom, and love for community to work. This requires intense energy from each person, and nothing outside of themselves can be called upon to ensure the relationship will work… no authority, document, ruler, goal, vision, practice, or tradition.
15. Greg Stier shared an awesome story about a chance he had to share the love of Christ on Valentine’s Day to a young couple in a restaurant.
16. For my fellow youth ministry colleagues who wonder how to have an effective ministry to the parents of the teenagers they serve. At least I hope they desire that! Tim Schmoyer presents a plan for helping parents reach their teenagers. Worth a read.
17. Would you support a ministry to strippers in your church? How would you feel if your pastor presented that ministry as one of the church’s major outreach initiatives?
18. Andrew Jackson asks Why do Pastors Preach “Relevant Messages”?
Pastors do not need to spend significant time in studying and meditating on God’s Word. Those who have specialized in “relevant” messages for numerous years, can write them with little time spent in the Bible.
Pastors often borrow (steal) a message from a fellow pastor or an internet pastor, including its title, all they have to do is polish it a little.
Pastors can talk and talk (many have the gift of gab, and hopefully get a few laughs), in the name of being relational, and say very little. Maybe quote a few Bible passages here and there. Often out of context. But what they say, once analyzed, contains little Biblical meat. Many congregations should all stand up in unison on a Sunday morning and yell, “where is the beef?”
Pastors can pick and choose topics that make many people feel good about themselves, and in so doing, simple dismiss significant portions of the Bible that might not be so positive in a Christian consumer crowd. In other words, many “relevant” messages are simply cut and paste jobs.
Pastors can simply take a popular book that is out on the Christian market (one by Bill Hybells or Rick Warren would do), and use it to provide them their title and 3 or 4 points they need for their message. Not to mention the use of the book’s stories and illustrations.
What do you think?
19. John Samson at Reformation Theology on the Blessed Man of Psalm One.
1) He does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly – he receives wiser counsel.
2) He does not stand in the path of sinners. His company is more select – he does not fellowship with evil (2 Cor. 6:14).
3) He does not sit in the seat of the scornful – he does not listen to the scoffing and mockery of others
Positively, his delight is in the law of the Lord. This is what he thinks about. His mind is focused on scripture, day and night.
Be sure to read the whole post!
20. Car update – I’m now the proud (?) owner of a 1999 Ford Contour. We’ll see if this turns out to be a praise report of a prayer request. But having this car certianly beats the snot out of having no car.