I’ve been gathering all these links in my newsreader, thinking I was going to post something about each one. Silly me, instead I just keep gathering links without posting.
So, taking a cue from JP Manzi’s Weekly Blog Roundup, I decided to post regular lists of blog linkage that I found interesting or inspiring. So here’s the first installment of “BlogWalking’.
Back in November, Patrick Mead made two powerful posts at Tent Pegs. The first is called Faith Insurance and is a powerful story of what happens when someone who poured their lives into their church family gets struck by tragedy. Faith Insurance. Are you making your deposits?
Later, he posed the question Act or React? in relation to Hebrews 11:
These people did not merely believe (as some weak form of intellectual assent), but they matched that faith to a verb and so became great heroes.
In regards to someone treating him badly on the golf course one day and why he refused to respond in kind, he said this:
I decided before I left my house this morning what kind of person I was going to be. He doesn’t get to change that decision.
Also in November, Mick of Unveiled Face posted observations from Alexander Strauch’s Biblical Eldership. In it, Strauch challenges the notion that you can’t expect men to have careers, families and to shepherd the church. Strauch quotes R. Paul Stevens:
And for tentmakers to survive three full-time jobs (work, family, and ministry), they must also adopt a sacrificial lifestyle. Tentmakers must live a pruned life and literally find leisure and rest in the rhythm of serving Christ (Matt 11:28). They must be willing to forgo a measure of career achievement and private leisure for the privilege of gaining the prize (Phil 3:14). Many would like to be tentmakers if they could be wealthy and live a leisurely and cultural lifestyle. But the truth is that a significant ministry in the church and the community can only come by sacrifice.
As one who aspires to shepherd, this one hit home.
At the end of last year, Patrick Mead also posted at his main blog) reflections on his own private vs. public persona. I took quite a bit of comfort from the fact that he is content with a relationship with God and his wife that doesn’t match the Christian stereotypes. He’s not a prayer warrior and he and his wife don’t even talk much when alone. But they love each other and everyone knows it, and he loves his God and it is clearly evident.
One more from Patrick – at Tent Pegs he tells the story of how God made him buy a guitar, and the man (Bubba Angel he calls him) who’s ministry is in a music store and why the store owner lets him come day after day to share his faith. Amazing, inspiring stuff. What are you doing with the hobbies God has given you interest in?
As my wife and I enjoy our evenings together, frequently in silence (and separate rooms), and as my prayer times and Bible study fluctuates, I am encouraged to see a respected leader of a large, influential and effective congregation say that he’s a lot like me and he’s just fine with that.
Earlier this month, Keith Brenton observed that God created us to journey with Him, not settle down.
Also this month, Dan at Cerulean Sanctum weighed in on John Piper’s use of the impolite word for Donkey. To be exact, he said that sometimes “God kicks our ass.” Dan’s comments were more on how so many others were in a tizzy over his use of a ‘bad word’. Now, I’m certainly not comfortable throwing certain words around carelessly, but like Dan, I think to laser beam focus on three letters missed the point.
All this hoopla comes off as just another case of Evangelicals missing the point in their rush to appear holy. Do we think that 80 years of never uttering a “dirty word” is going to look good in heaven when every day we tear down another person with our supposedly clean words?
Later in the month, Dan manages to turn his son’s distress in receiving the ‘girl toy’ in his happy meal into a powerful lesson on the use of pain in our lives.
Your tragedy carries meaning for someone else. God never intends for us to squander pain. Be wise in knowing how to use yours to the benefit of another grieving soul.
That’s enough for now (Yeah, I’ve got more for later).