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What I Read Online – 08/16/2013 (a.m.)

16 Aug
    • Selecting good books for our kids to read is important to their growth in faith as well as in their literacy, knowledge, and emotional life. Teaching them how to do it themselves is even better.
    • What is the author’s worldview? Is it contrary to the Bible?
    • What kind of character traits does the book highlight and promote?
    • Is it good literature? Does it use words that help your child learn new vocabulary, or are they banal, everyday words?
    • For any book you don’t know if you can fully trust, read it together as a family.
    • “If all you’re singing and ever saying back to God is you want to do, and you’re never focusing on what He’s done and what He promises to do, I think ultimately your worship will be impoverished and your Christian growth will be stunted…

       

      … So often worship in our modern day is basically like a pep rally trying to stir up your emotions to keep you fired up for Jesus through the week. That’s not what it’s about!

       

      I always tell people, when we do weddings, we don’t dress people up and try and whip their emotions into such a state of height that will sustain them through 30, 40 or 50 years of being married to a sinner. No day can do that!

       

      But we hopefully point them to the One who makes promises to them, to love them for richer or poorer, in sickness or in health… promises that are not ended by death but were actually secured by death and therefore can never be broken by death. That’s what we want to do in our worship, that’s what we want to point people to.”

    • I’ve spent the last 3 Sundays going to church with my family and  sitting with them. I want to recommend it to those of us who are  preachers
    • I’m a firm believer in children being in church,  worshipping with their families, listening to sermons.
    • There are certainly weeks when it’s not so good but, speaking from a  preacher’s perspective, adults are far more disruptive than children in  a service
    • I realise children can be noisy and distracting to  other adults in the congregation but I want to say that they have as  much right to be there as you have. We believe children are part of the  church and we treat them as such. I was delighted to see Robbie  Castleman’s book Parenting in the Pew is back out in a reprint,  Timothy Sisemore’s works are excellent too plus John Piper  gets in on the act with a helpful article.
    • It’s very easy to be hard to understand. It only requires that you not know what you’re talking about. And if you don’t know what you’re talking about, nobody else will either.

       

      It’s very hard to be crystal-clear because in order to be crystal-clear you have to have mastered the text.

    • “I do not give a fig for the simplicity this side of complexity, but I would give my right arm for the simplicity on the far side of complexity.”
    • Guard your heart from using ministry demands as excuses
    • Guard your heart from ignoring sin in your heart
    • Guard your heart from dismissing your wife’s concerns
    • This seems like a particular good question to ask when we consider mercy ministry.  During the last generation, there has been an ever-increasing focus on helping those in need—assisting the poor, feeding the hungry, etc.  These good works, we are told, are critical if we are to show the world that our faith is real.

       

      But, if there is any ministry that we want to make sure is really-Christ centered, then surely it is this one.  Why?  Because the ministry itself is about doing good works, and thus is particularly vulnerable to morphing into a moralistic crusade void of the gospel.

    • In light of the rapidly increasing focus on mercy-ministries in the modern evangelical church, we need to be willing to ask the tough questions: How Christ-centered (really) is our mercy ministry? Are we any different than the United Way?
    • First, we need a Christ-centered motivation
    • Second, we need a Christ-centered message
    • This does not mean, of course, that every single act of mercy must be accompanied by a sermon or gospel tract, lest it be invalidated.  No, it’s not that simplistic.  What it does mean, however, is that the central thrust of our good works is always that the gospel message might go forth
    • Father, Thou who used Egypt as a place of refuge for Thy Son, Jesus, when Joseph led Mary and the little Christ-child there to escape a madman named Herod, grant the same refuge and peace to Thy people in Egypt this day
    • As of August 15, Crossway is pleased to announce the appointment of Justin Taylor to the position of Senior Vice President and Publisher for Books, held previously by Allan Fisher.
    • I’ve noticed that SGM’s “sound” has evolved from their earlier albums. It’s hard to generalise (and I’ll probably get it wrong to some degree), but when you compare say their Psalms CD with “Grace Has Come”, they’ve definitely got more of an alternative, blues and indie influence to their style than before (e.g. the bluesy “Glory Awaits” with Hendrix-sounding guitar, the Enya-sounding “Our Only Hope Is You“).
    • Slightly unrelated, but one day I hope SGM will put out an album of their most popular songs, but record them in a way that’s transferable to small music teams (Emu Music’s Songs for Little Rooms is a good example of this).
    • Intended to introduce children to significant figures in Christian history, Simonetta Carr’s Christian Biographies for Young Readers series (Reformation Trust) is an excellent primer. Her latest volume, Anselm of Canterbury, is the series’ sixth installment (others include AthanasiusAugustine of HippoJohn CalvinJohn Owen, and Lady Jane Grey). With historical care and beautiful illustrations, Carr and illustrator Matt Abraxas bring these individuals, their stories, and their significance to life.
    • You can get a fuller answer to this question here, but in a nutshell church history is necessary to help children understand God’s providential hand on his church and on the development and refining of Christian doctrine.
    • This is largely because I’m first a mother, not an author. And without a degree in church history, I can’t rely on anything I’ve learned before.

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

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Posted by on 16/08/2013 in Current Issues

 

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