~ UPDATED PAGES ON THE BLOG ~
- What Works: Common Sense for a Stronger America by Cal Thomas
- Recovering Redemption: A Gospel-Saturated Perspective on How to Change by Matt Chandler and Michael Snetzer
- 20 – Jars of Clay
- When the Game Stands Tall, rated PG
- A Most Wanted Man, rated R
- The Lunchbox, rated PG
~ THIS AND THAT ~
UPDATES ON YOURS TRULY:
- Bucket List Update – due to the continuing fighting between Israel and Hamas, as well as the inability to obtain travel insurance to that area, I’ve had to drop out of the trip to Israel with Michael Card, scheduled for early January. While this is a disappointment, I hope to attend a future trip with Michael and his team.
- I’m Currently Reading – Heaven is a Place on Earth by Michael E. Wittmer. I’ve always got a number of books going, and a big stack in my ‘on-deck circle’, so click on the link for more info.
- WBNH welcomes Keith & Kristyn Getty and Friends and the Hymns for the Christian Life concert. This will undoubtedly be the inspirational worship concert of the year in our area! Keith and Kristyn appear at Grace Presbyterian Church, Peoria, on Friday evening, October 17, at 7:00 pm. The concert with the Gettys will feature their full stage band and full choir including members of the Grace Presbyterian Church! Tickets are on sale NOW! They are $15 for general admission, $10 each for groups of 10 or more. Children 15 years old and younger will be admitted free with a paid adult, but they will need a ticket. Tickets are available at WBNH, Route 9 at Mayflower Drive just east of Pekin; at Hoerr’s Berean Bookstore in Peoria; and at Christ Church, located at 1301 N. Linden Street just south of Raab Road in Normal. You can also order them on the WBNH website, www.wbnh.org. We saw the Getty’s lead worship at Moody’s Founder’s Week a few years ago. I can’t wait for this concert!
- Hall of Fame quarterback and believer Jim Kelly got good news on his cancer last week. Read about it here: http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/11383849/jim-kelly-no-evidence-sinus-cancer-doctors-say
- Downtown Disney was opened in 1975. The area is being changed over to Disney Springs, to be completed in 2016. Check out more about the transformation of the area here: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/travel/attractions/the-daily-disney/os-new-disney-springs-renderings-revealed,0,4916209.story
- In our weekly Mark Driscoll update, he has stepped down for six weeks while an investigation into the charges against him takes place. Read more here.
FERGUSON, MO. AND RACE RELATIONS:
- In this article “I Wonder if Seeing Really is Believing”, pastor Thabiti Anyabwile links to John Piper’s article “Power, Police, and Another Shooting” from the day before which includes real-life footage of another police shooting of a black man in St. Louis. Please beware that a life is taken in this shocking video and it also includes a lot of adult language. When you watch this you have to wonder what is going on with police shooting young black men in St. Louis? http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/thabitianyabwile/2014/08/22/i-wonder-if-seeing-really-is-believing/
- Justin Taylor offers his perspective on the Ferguson issue here.
- Christian hip-hop/rapper Lecrae adds his thoughts on Ferguson in this article: http://www.christianpost.com/news/lecrae-speaks-out-on-ferguson-at-times-it-feels-like-my-eternal-family-could-care-less-about-my-earthly-family-125241/
- Albert Mohler writes about the Ferguson, Missouri situation in his article “Lead with Empathy, Love Your Neighbor, Let the Truth Come Out – A Response to Ferguson”. Read it here.
- Here’s an article that talks about five easy steps for you to see if you are a racist:
- In light of the above articles, I thought that this cartoon from World Magazine was powerful:
ARTICLES, VIDEOS, PHOTOS and PRAYERS:
- Charlie Peacock gives us some thoughts about tolerance in his article “Intolerant Tolerance”. Read it here: http://godpeopleplace.com/2014/08/intolerant-tolerance/
- R.C. Sproul writes that “Jesus holds the keys to death, and Satan cannot snatch those keys out of His hand. Christ’s grip is firm. He holds the keys because He owns the keys.” Read the rest of his article “Satan Does Not Hold the Keys of Death” here: http://www.ligonier.org/blog/satan-keys-death/
- Here is a wonderful prayer from Scotty Smith about casting all of our anxieties on the Lord because He cares for us: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/scottysmith/2014/08/23/a-prayer-for-anxiety-and-care-casting/
- Tullian Tchividjian writes that we should “…Take heart, my worn out and weary friends–God only loves messed up people because messed up people are all that there are.” Read his article “Jesus ‘Did God’ All Wrong” here: http://www.pastortullian.com/2014/08/20/jesus-did-god-all-wrong/
- Tim Challies shares his favorites blogs that are written by and for women here.
- Sam Storms asks the question, “Is it OK to attend a ‘Gay Wedding’?” Read article answering that question here: http://theaquilareport.com/is-it-ok-to-attend-a-gay-wedding/
- D.C. McAllister writes that we should stop pretending that sex never hurts. Read her article here: http://thefederalist.com/2014/08/08/stop-pretending-sex-never-hurts/
- Check out these photos of some of America’s beauty in this article from USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/experience/america/best-of-lists/americas-most-stunning-views/12783167/
- Marshall Segall writes on the Desiring God blog that “True happiness — the kind that really anchors, satisfies, inspires, and lasts — is not something to be taken for granted. It’s not a reasonable, predictable, effortless expectation, not even heading into the freedom and rest of the weekend. Happiness can be very hard work.” Read his article “Four Habits of a Happy Heart” here: http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/four-habits-of-a-happy-heart
- Simon Sinek talks about the importance of empathy in his book Leaders Eat Last. Check out this one-minute video from John Maxwell on what empathy means: http://johnmaxwellteam.com/empathy/
- Eric Metaxas gives us a reason why we might not want to eat at Burger King. Read “Burger King Needs to Apologize” here: http://www.breakpoint.org/bpcommentaries/entry/13/25942
- I recently completed work on a MATS (Master of Arts in Theological Studies) degree at Covenant Seminary. Over the course of my time at Covenant I was required to attend some classes on site on Covenant’s campus in St. Louis. Covenant has now introduced an MATS that can be completed fully online. Read this article for more information: http://www.covenantseminary.edu/the-thistle/mats-online/
- Covenant Seminary is offering the opportunity to audit any approved seminary course at a new low audit rate of $48 per credit hour. This is a significant savings over the previous rate of $240 per credit hour and gives you access to a broader array of classes than before. To find out more read this article: http://www.covenantseminary.edu/the-thistle/new-audit-fees-2014/
- Last week I re-listened to David Platt’s challenging book Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream. It was the right book for me to listen to at this time, as I love comfort. Platt challenges to get out of our comfortable Americanized Christianity. If you have not read this book, I highly encourage it. It reminds me of John Piper’s Don’t Waste Your Life and Francis Chan’s Crazy Love, as books that have challenged me. You can see our review of the book under “Theology and Miscellaneous Book Reviews” and also check out additional Radical resources here: http://www.radicalthebook.com/
- John Piper’s son Barnabas recently released a book The Pastor’s Kid. Read this interview with Barnabas about the new book.
- During the summer Kevin DeYoung featured mini-interviews with several folks asking them about their favorite books, etc. He ends the series with interviewing himself. Check it out here: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/2014/08/22/books-bio-and-such/
- Upcoming concerts of interest are:
- John Wilson at Northwoods Community Church in Peoria on August 30.
- Switchfoot at Olivet Nazarene University on September 19.
- Brandon Heath at the First United Methodist Church in Springfield on October 23.
- Russell Moore writes “In recent days, singer/songwriter Vicky Beeching announced that she is a lesbian, and that she disagrees with the historic Christian sexual ethic. Prior to this, Beeching wrote many songs used as praise choruses in evangelical churches. Some are asking if they should continue to sing her songs in corporate worship.” Read the rest of his article “Should We Stop Singing Vicky Beeching Songs” here: http://www.russellmoore.com/2014/08/19/should-we-stop-singing-vicky-beeching-songs/
- Lecrae has released a fourth song from his forthcoming Anomaly album, to be released September 9. It is “Say I Won’t” featuring Andy Mineo, and it’s another good one. Can’t wait for the full album!
- Melanie Penn is the Creative and Events Director for City to City, Redeemer Presbyterian Church’s (Tim Keller’s church) church-planting ministry, and is also a singer-songwriter. Read more about her in this article titled “Singer in the City”.
- The Dove Award nominations came out last week. I’m torn on “Artist of the Year”, in which three of my favorites were nominated – Lecrae, Switchfoot and NEEDTOBREATHE. Read about all of the nominees here: http://www.ccmmagazine.com/article/2014-dove-nominees/
- In 1967, during the creation of the original Basement Tapes, Bob Dylan left a large number of long-lost handwritten lyrics unrecorded. Now for the first time Elvis Costello, Rhiannon Giddens (Carolina Chocolate Drops), Taylor Goldsmith (Dawes), Jim James (My Morning Jacket), and Marcus Mumford (Mumford & Sons) have come together to create and record new music to these lyrics. The album of 20 completed songs, Lost On The River: The New Basement Tapes was produced by T Bone Burnett and is slated for release November 11.
- Here’s some early chatter about the new movie Exodus: Gods and Kings, in which one of our best actors Christian Bale will star as Moses. I’m sure we will hear a lot more about this film before its release.
TO MAKE YOU SMILE:
- Did you see Jimmy Fallon and Jason Statham play in a “Hamster Ball” race recently on The Tonight Show? If not, check it out here: http://www.nbc.com/the-tonight-show/segments/10481
- Read this article about a funniest joke competition in Edinburgh: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-28838287
“That’s cool but partner this just in
That you going live forever whether you want to or not
Some of us going end up holy some of us going end up hot.”
-“No Regrets” by Lecrae
Last week, Tammy and I completed our summer book club of Gary Chapman’s The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to a Love that Lasts. We covered chapters eleven, twelve and the rest of the book. Here are a few passages we highlighted:
Chapter 11 Love Makes the Difference
- Love is not our only emotional need. Psychologists have observed that among our basic needs are the need for security, self-worth, and significance. Love, however, interfaces with all of those.
- If I feel loved by my spouse, I can relax, knowing that my lover will do me no ill. I feel secure in her presence.
- My sense of self-worth is fed by the fact that my spouse loves me. After all, if she loves me, I must be worth loving.
- Feeling loved by a wife or husband enhances our sense of significance. We reason, if someone loves me, I must have significance. Without love, I may spend a lifetime in search of significance, self-worth, and security.
- When I experience love, I am more secure in my self-worth and can now turn my efforts outward instead of being obsessed with my own needs. True love always liberates.
- Love is not the answer to everything, but it creates a climate of security in which we can seek answers to those things that bother us. In the security of love, a couple can discuss differences without condemnation. Conflicts can be resolved. Two people who are different can learn to live together in harmony. We discover how to bring out the best in each other. Those are the rewards of love.
- Can emotional love be reborn in a marriage? You bet. The key is to learn the primary love language of your spouse and choose to speak it.
- What does your spouse do to make you feel more “significant”? How about what you do for them?
Chapter 12 – Loving the Unlovely
- In what many have called Jesus’ greatest sermon, I read the following words, which I call love’s greatest challenge. I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. . . . Do to others as you would have them do to you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even “sinners” love those who love them.
- Is it possible to love a spouse who has become your enemy? Is it possible to love one who has cursed you, mistreated you, and expressed feelings of contempt and hate for you? And if she could, would there be any payback? Would her husband ever change and begin to express love and care for her?
- I was astounded by this further word from Jesus’ sermon: “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
- “As I understand that, Jesus is stating a principle, not a way to manipulate people. Generally speaking, if we are kind and loving toward people, they will tend to be kind and loving toward us. That does not mean that we can make a person kind by being kind to him. We are independent agents. Thus, we can spurn love and walk away from love or even spit into the face of love.”
- That is why loving someone who is not loving you is extremely difficult. It goes against our natural tendencies. You will probably have to rely heavily upon your faith in God in order to do this. Perhaps it will help if you read again Jesus’ sermon on loving your enemies, loving those who hate you, loving those who use you. And then ask God to help you practice the teachings of Jesus.”
- “Perhaps it would be helpful for us to distinguish between love as a feeling and love as an action,” I said. “If you claim to have feelings that you do not have, that is hypocritical and such false communication is not the way to build intimate relationships. But if you express an act of love that is designed for the other person’s benefit or pleasure, it is simply a choice. You are not claiming that the action grows out of a deep emotional bonding. You are simply choosing to do something for his benefit. I think that must be what Jesus meant.
- Perhaps you need a miracle in your own marriage. Tell your spouse that you have been thinking about your marriage and have decided that you would like to do a better job of meeting his/her needs. Ask for suggestions on how you could improve. His suggestions will be a clue to his primary love language. If he makes no suggestions, guess his love language based on the things he has complained about over the years. Then, for six months, focus your attention on that love language. At the end of each month, ask your spouse for feedback on how you are doing and for further suggestions. Whenever your spouse indicates that he is seeing improvement, wait one week and then make a specific request. The request should be something you really want him to do for you. If he chooses to do it, you will know that he is responding to your needs. If he does not honor your request, continue to love him. Maybe next month he will respond positively. If your spouse starts speaking your love language by responding to your requests, your positive emotions toward him will return, and in time your marriage will be reborn. I cannot guarantee the results, but scores of people whom I have counseled have experienced the miracle of love.
- Choosing to love and expressing it in the primary love language of their spouse has made a drastic difference in their marriage. When the emotional need for love is met, it creates a climate where the couple can deal with the rest of life in a much more productive manner.
- With empty love tanks, couples tend to argue and withdraw, and some may tend to be violent verbally or physically in their arguments. But when the love tank is full, we create a climate of friendliness, a climate that seeks to understand, that is willing to allow differences and to negotiate problems. I am convinced that no single area of marriage affects the rest of marriage as much as meeting the emotional need for love.
- The ability to love, especially when your spouse is not loving you, may seem impossible for some. Such love may require us to draw upon our spiritual resources.
- For a free online discussion guide please visit: http://www.fivelovelanguages.com
Frequently Asked Questions
- What if I cannot discover my primary love language?
- What if I cannot discover my spouse’s love language?
- Does your love language change as you get older? I think that our primary love language tends to stay with us for a lifetime. It is like many other personality traits that develop early and remain consistent.
- Does the five love language concept work with children?
- Do children’s love languages change when they get to be teenagers?
- What if the primary love language of your spouse is difficult for you?
- Are some of the love languages found more among women and others with men?
- How did you discover the five love languages?
- Do the love languages work in other cultures?
- Why do you think The Five Love Languages has been so successful?
- What if I speak my spouse’s love language and they don’t respond?
- Can love be reborn after sexual infidelity?
- What do you do when a spouse refuses to speak your love language even when they know it?
- Can emotional love return when it has been gone for thirty years?
- I’m single. How does the love language concept apply to me?
The Five Love Languages Profile for Husbands and Wives. An interactive version of this Personal Profile is also available at www.5lovelanguages.com.
Next week we will start a new book Visions of Vocation: Common Grace for the Common Good by Steven Garber. Garber was the speaker at my graduation ceremonies at Covenant Seminary in May. Won’t you join us?
“Every time I look in the mirror
I’m in a shadow of doubt
Maybe I’m as lost as the next guy
Just have to find, just have to find out.”
-From “Reckless Forgiver” by Jars of Clay
Integrating Faith and Work
- The 2014 Center for Faith and Work Conference will be held on November 7-8, 2014. The theme is Making All Things New: Imagination & Innovation Required. Looks like a great conference. Is anyone planning on attending? Let us know.
- What do you do when decisions don’t go your way at work? Read this article from the “Love at Work” series.
- Here is a sermon from John MacArthur on “A Theology of Work”. You can watch the video or read the transcript of the sermon: http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/80-362/A-Theology-of-Work?Term=work
- This article from J.B. Wood suggests three ways to beat the stress you are feeling at work.
- “Understanding our calling is not just about finding purpose in our work but finding purpose in everything we do – understanding that we are on a mission for God.” Read this article “Are You Connected to a Higher Purpose at Work?”, the final part in the “Four Ways to Change How You See Work”.
- Here’s an excellent “Tuesday Tip” from Dr. Alan Zimmerman, indicating that leadership is not about the leader. Read it here: http://drzimmerman.com/tuesdaytip/leadership-its-not-about-you.php
- Glen Brooke discusses 1 Corinthians 16:13-14, which contains 21 words that describe Christian leadership.
- John Piper writes that it is “…the task of parents and Sunday school teachers and small group leaders and pastors to teach people what happened to them. Never assume that people understand how God saved them.” Read more in his article titled “Teach Believers What Happened to Them in Conversion” here: http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/teach-believers-what-happened-to-them-in-conversion
- In this fourth article in the “Idols at Work” series, Greg Ayers writes that “It’s strange to think of someone treating their anxieties as idols. People don’t consciously worship their lack of confidence. So how is insecurity an idol? More importantly, how does insecurity impact our ability to serve God through our vocations?
- If you struggle with an irritable, argumentative spirit at work, this article titled “The Challenge of the Christian Curmudgeon” gives you four things that might help.
“Grouches of the world unite!
Stand up for your grouchly rights!
Don’t let the sunshine spoil the rain
Just stand up and complain.
Let this be the grouches’ cause: Point out everybody’s flaws!
Something is wrong with everything
Except the way I sing!”
– “The Grouch Anthem” by Oscar the Grouch
What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done by Matt Perman
We continue with our overview of this new book on productivity from a Christian perspective. I’ve highlighted a number of passages and would like to share some of them from chapter 10.
In last summer’s “Calling, Vocation and Work” course, taught by Professors Williams and Matthews, I got my first interest in seeing how I could integrate my faith with my work. Recently, I started a book club at work with a few friends to read and discuss The Gospel at Work by Sebastian Traeger and Greg Gilbert. My hope is that this book club will be the beginning of a local “Faith and Work Movement”. Read the highlights from Chapter 3 “The Gospel in the Workplace”, which we discussed in our second session.