~ THIS AND THAT ~
MARK YOUR CALENDARS:
- Good friend Jim Lauher (who I have known since high school, but have gotten to know much better recently) has joined our friends Ed and Diane Quijano in the band Wagon Load A Trouble. They played their first gig together at the Farmer’s Market in downtown Bloomington on July 5. Check out where the band will be playing next at the band’s Facebook site. Love that western swing!
- Dave Ramsey will be presenting The Legacy Journey LIVE! In Grand Rapids, Michigan at DeVos Hall on September 11. Dave’s daughter, New York Times best-selling author Rachel Cruze, will also share how to raise money-smart kids in a debt-filled world. To purchase tickets, go to http://www.daveramsey.com/events/ljl-grand-rapids-20140911?et_cid=3361310&et_rid=0&linkid=http%3a%2f%2fwww.daveramsey.com%2fevents%2fljl-grand-rapids-20140911
- Keith and Kristyn Getty will bring their “Hymns of the Christian Life” Tour to Grace Presbyterian Church in Peoria on October 16 at 7:00 pm. The concert is sponsored by our good friends at WBNH radio. We’ll let you know when tickets become available. You can get more information, including a downloadable tour poster, at https://www.gettymusic.com/tour.aspx#
- The Gettys will be bringing their Joy: An Irish Christmas Tour to Wheaton on December 1. Read more here: http://www.gettymusic.com/tourchristmas.aspx
- Mannheim Steamroller brings their Christmas show to Braden Auditorium on the Illinois State University campus on December 13 – http://www.ticketmaster.com/artist/944139?wt.mc_id=EML_NTF374147_15[ta_list_name_20
- The Ligonier Ministries’ 2015 National Conference will be held at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort February 19-21. The theme will be “After Darkness, Light.” Speakers for the conference include Alistair Begg, Kevin DeYoung, Sinclair Ferguson, Robert Godfrey, Steven J. Lawson, Russell Moore, Stephen Nichols, R.C. Sproul Jr. and R.C. Sproul.
- Check out upcoming faith-based movies at http://www.menofaim.org/movies/2014movies/
- Fernando Ortega’s previous label will be releasing a Greatest Hits album on August 5th. The album will include 15 songs from the Hymns of Worship, Storm, This Bright Hour, The Breaking of the Dawn and Home albums. This would be a great way to introduce someone to Fernando’s wonderful music.
- Lecrae’s new song “Nuthin” “is a clarion call to the rap industry and its consumer about the empty nature of the genre.” The song was released last week and is from his upcoming album Anomaly, which will be released in August. Listen to it here: http://www.urbanfaith.com/2014/07/lecraes-nuthin-calls-out-rap-music.html/
- The Peter Furler Band and Petra will both be appearing on the Lincoln Stage at the Illinois State Fair on Sunday, August 17. Petra will appear from 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm and the Peter Furler Band from 8:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Here is the complete schedule for the Lincoln Stage: http://www.agr.state.il.us/isf/lincolnstage/
- Christianity Today profiles 33 under 33 years of age. Rapper Trip Lee is first on their list. Read more here.
VIDEOS AND EASY LISTENING:
- This video is now a few years old, but still powerful. If you haven’t seen Francis Chan’s “Just Stop and Think” video, check it out here: http://www.juststopandthink.com/francis-chan-video-just-stop-think-the-movie/
- Here is a nice 4-minute video of my graduation ceremony at Covenant Seminary: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=635550109847312
- R.C. Sproul was recently interviewed by Michael Horton on The White Horse Inn. Listen to the interview here: http://www.whitehorseinn.org/blog/2014/06/29/whi-1212-an-interview-with-r-c-sproul/
ARTICLES AND PROBING QUESTIONS:
- Check out this article about the coming collapse of the PCUSA denomination: http://theaquilareport.com/the-coming-collapse-of-the-pcusa/
- Read Albert Mohler’s article on the Supreme Court’s decision on Hobby Lobby here.
- What is your mud pie? Tim Challies writes that it is one of C.S. Lewis’ most powerful and most enduring illustrations: An ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. It is a vivid illustration and one that is simple enough to see in the lives of other people—those people who settle for lesser pleasures when the greatest of all pleasures awaits. But I, at least, find it far more difficult to see in my own life. You may find it just as difficult. It is worth asking: What is your mud pie? Read the entire story here: http://www.challies.com/articles/what-is-your-mud-pie
- Would you like freedom from resentment? Here’s a helpful prayer from Scotty Smith: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/scottysmith/2014/06/27/a-prayer-for-greater-freedom-from-resentment/
- Do we pervert the grace of God? Find out here: http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/do-you-pervert-the-grace-of-god
- Want to know how to read the Bible? Read this article from R.C. Sproul: http://www.ligonier.org/blog/get-basic-overview-bible/
- John Piper’s son Barnabas recently released the book The Pastor’s Kid. Read about the book in this article from Barnabas “Will You Be There?”: http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/will-you-be-there
- During July, Reformation Trust is giving away the ebook edition of Richard Phillips’ Jesus the Evangelist: Learning to Share the Gospel from the Book of John. To get your copy, go to the Ligonier.org website.
- Christianaudio.com offers a free audiobook each month, introducing it on the first day of the month. This month, the free audiobook is Lion of Babylon by Davis Bunn. Read here on how to download your copy.
- Bill O’Reilly continues his Killing series (Lincoln, Kennedy and Jesus) with Killing Patton: The Strange Death of World War II’s Most Audacious General, to be released September 23.
The 5 Love Languages Book Club Week Two
Tammy and I completed week two of our summer book club of Gary Chapman’s The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to a Love that Lasts last week. We covered the first love language, Words of Affirmation. Here are a few passages we highlighted:
- One way to express love emotionally is to use words that build up.
- Verbal compliments, or words of appreciation, are powerful communicators of love.
- The object of love is not getting something you want but doing something for the well-being of the one you love. It is a fact, however, that when we receive affirming words we are far more likely to be motivated to reciprocate and do something our spouse desires.
- Giving verbal compliments is only one way to express words of affirmation to your spouse. Another dialect is encouraging words.
- The latent potential within your spouse in his or her areas of insecurity may await your encouraging words.
- Life’s deepest meaning is not found in accomplishments but in relationships.
- Perhaps your spouse has untapped potential in one or more areas of life. That potential may be awaiting your encouraging words.
- Encouragement requires empathy and seeing the world from your spouse’s perspective. We must first learn what is important to our spouse. Only then can we give encouragement.
- Of course, encouraging words may be difficult for you to speak. It may not be your primary love language. It may take great effort for you to learn this second language. That will be especially true if you have a pattern of critical and condemning words, but I can assure you that it will be worth the effort.
- Love is kind. If then we are to communicate love verbally, we must use kind words.
- Sometimes our words say one thing, but our tone of voice says another.
- Our spouse will usually interpret our message based on our tone of voice, not the words we use.
- Forgiveness is the way of love. I am amazed by how many individuals mess up every new day with yesterday. They insist on bringing into today the failures of yesterday and in so doing, they pollute a potentially wonderful day.
- The best thing we can do with the failures of the past is to let them be history.
- Forgiveness is not a feeling; it is a commitment. It is a choice to show mercy, not to hold the offense up against the offender. Forgiveness is an expression of love.
- Love makes requests, not demands. When I demand things from my spouse, I become a parent and she the child.
- When you make a request of your spouse, you are affirming his or her worth and abilities. You are in essence indicating that she has something or can do something that is meaningful and worthwhile to you. When, however, you make demands, you have become not a lover but a tyrant. Your spouse will feel not affirmed but belittled.
- To know that my spouse loves me enough to respond to one of my requests communicates emotionally that she cares about me, respects me, admires me, and wants to do something to please me. We cannot get emotional love by way of demand. My spouse may in fact comply with my demands, but it is not an expression of love. It is an act of fear or guilt or some other emotion, but not love.
- Thus, a request creates the possibility for an expression of love, whereas a demand suffocates that possibility.
- Words of affirmation is one of the five basic love languages. Within that language, however, there are many dialects.
- Psychologist William James said that possibly the deepest human need is the need to feel appreciated.
- Words of affirmation will meet that need in many individuals.
- The love language of one person is not necessarily the love language of another.
Each chapter ends with a helpful discussion question.
Next week we will cover the second love language, Quality Time. Won’t you join us?
Integrating Faith and Work:
- Check out this article on “Gospel-Driven Productivity” by Matt Perman: http://thegospelcoalition.org//article/gospel-driven-productivity. Matt is the Author of What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done, which I am currently reading.
- Read this article on “How to Glorify God at Work” by John Piper: http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/how-to-glorify-god-at-work
~ UPDATED PAGES ON THE BLOG ~
- Kingdom Calling: Vocational Stewardship for the Common Good by Amy L. Sherman, Reggie McNeal, Steven Garber
- God and the Gay Christian? A Response to Matthew Vines. Edited by R. Albert Mohler Jr.
- The Duck Commander Family: How Faith, Family, and Ducks Built a Dynasty by Willie and Korie Robertson
- Happy, Happy, Happy: My Life and Legacy as the Duck Commander by Phil Robertson with Mark Schlabach
This week we look at two vastly different films: Ernest & Celestine and Snowpiercer
Mid-Year Best List
We are just over half way through 2014. Below are my tops in the music, books and movies categories thus far:
There have already been a number of excellent releases this year. However, in my mind, three have risen to the top. They are:
- Neon Steeple – Crowder
- Rivers in the Wasteland – NEEDTOBREATHE
- Fading West – Switchfoot
Everyone’s a Theologian: An Introduction to Systematic Theology by R.C. Sproul
Edge of Tomorrow
What do you have as your favorites in these categories?