Friday, August 26, 2016

Church Sign of the Week 8/26/16

Must be some passionate sewing enthusiasts in this congregation.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Don't Forget Significant Beauty In Front Of You


Once upon a time, a man loved a woman. He was smitten with her beauty and pursued her with a ravenous desire. He wrote her poetry and sang her music, dripping with promises of fidelity and everlasting love.
Yet, once his love had captured her heart, this man slowly began to lose the ability to see her beauty.
And this man slowly stopped being able to see what was right in front of him.
The Orthodox rabbi and counselor Shmuley Biotech works with a lot of marriages in trouble, and in his experience this is the major problem that marriages have.
We grow too familiar with one another. He points to the Old Testament practice of mikveh, in which the woman would separate from her husband during her menstruation cycle (which is not a topic I thought I’d ever be writing about).
To modern readers, this sounds incredibly mysogynistic and repressive. But Boteach says that most Christians reading this have misunderstood the purpose behind the commandment. According to Orthodox Judaism , this is not a practice concerned with a man becoming unclean, but for a different purpose all together.
It was meant to prevent the couple from becoming overly familiar with one another. It increases the mystery that the lovers feel for each other.
You can read the rest.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

College Students Need Campus Ministry AND a New Church


First, resist the temptation to keep your membership in your home church. Join a church in your college town, as soon as you find one with a commitment to Christ and the Scripture.
Second, find a church where some people will know your name, and will know if you aren’t present. Find a place where someone will kindly ask “Where were you?” if you miss a week.
Third, spend some time with people in your congregation who aren’t in the same place in life as you—a lonely senior adult, a harried 30-something mom, a sarcastic 14-year-old kid.
Fourth, humbly pester the leaders of the church for some way for you to exercise your gifts in the congregation—and let the leaders recognize and encourage your gifts. This means submitting yourself to serve the body in whatever way the church deems necessary. Most often, this will be something more Christlike than glorious, such as cleaning toilets or serving in the nursery.
Fifth, find a campus ministry that seeks to work alongside the church. Look for a ministry that wants to enhance what’s already happening in your life in discipleship and spiritual growth and mission in your congregation. Be very wary of a campus ministry that isn’t constantly asking you, “Where are you in church—and what’s happening there?” And be very, very wary of a campus ministry that seems to resent the time you spend with your church as “competing” with their ministry.
You can read the rest.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Glorifying God and Coming in Last Place


Already lauded as one of the top sportsmanlike moments of the Olympic Games, Abbey D’Agostino's run in the women’s 5000m will continue to be talked about in years to come.

Not because she won.

Not because she finished despite being injured.

But because she thought of her fellow racer first.

You can read the rest.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Generation K: America's Lost Girls?

Earlier this month Samuel D. James, Communications Specialist at the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, raised the question, “Where have America’s young men gone?” In his thoughtful First Things piece, James notes that young men have unplugged from careers and marriage because of the false sense of reality and satisfaction found in video games, pornography, and other screen time.
Instant gratification and the false sense of reality that James thoughtfully identifies isn’t only affecting boys. His article got me thinking about how girls are suffering too.
This is not to say that young women aren’t a vibrant part of the workforce or don’t desire marriage. They are absolutely achieving big goals, but I worry perhaps that with the over-exposer to unrealistic images and unattainable lifestyles flooding their screens, the upcoming generation of girls aren’t just entertainment-absorbed, but self-absorbed.
I’ll explain what I mean.
You can read the rest.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Church Sign of the Week (8/19/16)

It seems a bit aggressive, and I don't think that's how baptism works.

Is there another way to get baptized?

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Dangers of Dividing By Generation


The bridge between ages seems rickety these days. We’ve grown accustomed to dividing up people by generation: the Builders and Boomers, Generation X and the Millennials – now the biggest generation in American history.
Overall, I’m grateful for good research and analysis on generational commonalities and differences. Some stereotypes are too broad to do much good (“Boomers are self-centered,” “Generation X is neglected,” “Millennials are entitled,” etc.). But at its best, generational research can help us live on mission in the world God has placed us. We come to understand similarities among people who share the same generational sliver of time, just as missionaries note the commonalities among people who share the same geographical space.
You can read the rest.