What I Read Online – 02/27/2013 (a.m.)

    • When someone lets you know about the latest viral hit or top-selling album, it’s tempting to feel out of the loop if you didn’t know about it (I have yet to investigate this Harlem Shake thing, don’t tempt me…).

       

      For example, the way worship leaders at our church choose songs is mainly driven by the preaching themes, the contours of the gospel message, and a desire to apply Colossians 3:16′s “sing the Word” principle.

       

      So our church music library only has half of these top 25 songs (italicised in the list above). As a result, we’ve only sung five of them in 2012 (in bold), and at most 10 of them in the past two years.

       

      It’s tempting for some Christians to wonder if they’re missing out by not singing the songs that everyone else is singing, as if the wisdom of the crowds solely determined what was essential for growth as a Christian.

       

      No – what we need the most in our songs are words and melodies to “let the word of Christ dwell richly in us, teaching and admonishing one another…” (Col 3:16). If it comes from well-crafted songs from the top 25, that’s fantastic. But if it comes from from less-popular songs, from hearing the Bible read and explained, and from sharing how God’s working in our lives – that’s fantastic too, and we’re not missing out at all.

    • I was the one who put the edges together, but it was God who coagulated the serum. It was God who sent the fiberblasts out across the skin edges. It was God who had the fiberblasts make collagen, and there were probably about fifty other complicated processes involved about which you and I will never know. But did God come down and instruct the fiberblasts to behave that way? In a sense, he did. But he did it through his natural laws, just the way he makes the grass grow, the rain fall, the earth quake. The question, then, is not, Does God heal? Of course he heals! We are concerned with this question: Granted that God heals, is it normally according to natural laws or an interruption of those laws (i.e., a miracle)?
    • Nevertheless, the phenomenon is part of God’s natural law. Can you interrupt or alter God’s law of nature? It may indeed appear that you can. You might accelerate the process or slow it, but you cannot avoid it. Whatever happens, it is according to God’s providence.
    • A surprising number of Christians are convinced God will not be believed unless he makes tumors disappear, causes asthma to go away, and pops eyes into empty sockets. But the Gospel is accepted by God-given faith, not by the guarantee that you will never be sick, or, if you are, that you will be miraculously healed. God is the Lord of healing, of growing, of weather, of transportation, and of every other process. Yet people don’t expect vegetables without plowing. They don’t expect levitation instead of getting in a car and turning a key-even for extraordinarily good and exceptional reasons.

    • Affliction is part of the Christian’s life just as much as the nonbeliever’s (sometimes more so). The proper response of Christians to affliction is not to demand healing but rather to witness to the world that through the grace of God a Christian is able to accept affliction, trusting in the sovereignty, grace, and mercy of God in time, knowing that all of these things will be removed in eternity.

    • If miracles were commonplace, they would cease to be miracles. And I repeat what I said earlier: It is always God who does the healing, but he does not regularly do so in a miraculous way. He heals providentially. God can be, and should be, glorified when healing of illness takes place. But he should also be glorified when healing does not take place-and even when death ensues, in spite of the pain and grief it may cause. I don’t say this flippantly. I lost my own son to a rock-climbing accident, and I have learned how essential the doctrine of God’s sovereignty is in such circumstances. God was greatly glorified by that tragedy in ways I could have never predicted.
    • Leaders who talk about the real world as opposed to the digital world are making a mistake, a category error. While we are right to prioritize real face-to-face conversations and to find comfort and grounding in stable authorities like the printed book, the digital world is itself a real world, just real in a different way.
    • If the leader is not leading in the digital world, his leadership is, by definition, limited to those who also ignore or neglect that world, and that population is shrinking every minute
    • Even more amazing is the fact that more than 1.6 billion search queries are performed on Twitter each day. For many Americans, Twitter represents the leading edge of news and communication.
    • So much information and entertainment is available so instantly that it seems that the entire globe is developing an attention deficit problem
    • And yet, if you are not present on the Internet, you simply do not exist, as far as anyone under 30 is concerned. These “digital natives” rarely receive and even more rarely write letters. They know nothing but instant information, and studies indicate that they multitask by instinct, utilizing several digital devices at once, often even when sitting in a classroom.
    • And it is one of the most important arenas of leadership our generation will ever experience. If you are satisfied to lead from the past, stay out of the digital world. If you want to influence the future, brace yourself and get in the fast lane.
    • By now, just about every church, corporation, business, school, or organization has a presence on the Internet. If not, realize that you just do not exist, so far as untold millions of people are concerned
    • As leader, consider establishing your own Internet presence as a part of your organization’s Internet site. If this seems self-aggrandizing, just recognize that this comes with the territory when you are a leader. Visitors want to know what you think, how you communicate your organization’s mission, and whether you inspire trust
    • Just as the Gutenberg Revolution granted the generation of the Reformation unprecedented new opportunities to communicate their message, the Digital Revolution presents today’s believers with tools, platforms, and opportunities that previous generations of Christians could not have imagined.
    • But our imperative to fulfill Christian leadership in the digital world is not technological. We should not use this technology simple because it is there. Our driving motivation must be a Gospel imperative – to see the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the full wealth of Christian conviction, and the comprehensive reach of the Christian worldview set before a sinful world. In other words, the Christian imperative in the digital domain comes down to this – sharing the light in a world of darkness.
    • Maybe you will be called upon this week to give account for your faith. Give it time and most of us will need to say something. What we must not do is allow the world to dictate what is and what is not a socially acceptable view on sexuality. The world may do that anyway, but we can at least play a little defense by refusing to play the game on their terms
    • It’s about what is coming in our future. At some point (and many points actually), Christians need to simply take it on the chin, not back down, affirm the truth, put in a good word for Jesus, and keep on smiling
    • 9. The military-style uniform worn by surgeons generals had fallen into disuse until they were revived by Koop, who thought they would make people take him more seriously. The U.S. Public Health Service—which began in 1870 to serve merchant sailors—is a uniformed service and the surgeon general is the equivalent of a three-star admiral.

         

    • More than that, it displays his remarkable depth as a lay theologian as well as a medical expert. To me, Dr. Koop was a model of distinguishing his two callings without separating them
    • The old ideas of preaching the gospel, with the solid foundation of holy living (pursued in the fear of God), Christ-like love in our churches, and benevolent mercy to the lost, may seem lame and old fashioned in light of the many new ideas promoted today. Nevertheless, God has used plain gospel preaching in the past, empowered by the Word and the Spirit to reach the lost, and I am confident that He will bless it in the future.

       

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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About Joe Fleener

Lover of Christ & His Gospel, Husband to Mandy, Father to three wonderful children, Servant to the Local Church, Bible College Lecturer
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