Links I Like

Links I Like is a collection of blogs, articles and books I’ve come across recently and thought they were worth sharing. Click here for past Links I Like.

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A Side to the Super Bowl You Won’t See

This is horrible and it happens every year.

Denny Burk on What Macklemore got wrong…And right.

The lyrics to Macklemore’s song took aim at Christians and their views on marriage. To be more precise, it takes aim at the God that Christians worship and offers another god in His place—a god that bears no resemblance to the God of the Bible. Nevertheless, these performers were obviously grasping for divine approval. All of the trappings of Christianity were invoked to bless “same love”—a stage decorated to look like a church, a “minister” presiding, and a gospel choir singing the words of 1 Corinthians 13. You might say that it had the form of godliness while denying its power (2 Tim. 3:5).

Diana Bass on The Obama doctrine (this is long but eye opening).

Despite his inability to implement important policies this past year, President Obama has already accomplished something that future historians may well consider one of his greatest achievements. In his second term, President Obama is helping to reinvent American civil religion, the way we think about God and national purpose. Call it the Obama doctrine of American civil spirituality.

Gracy Olmstead on Why millenials long for liturgy.

“If you ask me why kids are going high church, I’d say it’s because the single greatest threat to our generation and to young people nowadays is the deprivation of meaning in our lives,” Cone says. “In the liturgical space, everything becomes meaningful. In the offering up of the bread and wine, we see the offering up of the wheat and grain and fruits of the earth, and God gives them back in a sanctified form. … We’re so thirsty for meaning that goes deeper, that can speak to our entire lives, hearts, and wallets, that we’re really thirsty to be attached to the earth and to each other and to God. The liturgy is a historical way in which that happens.”

Yancey Arrington on Compliments and criticisms (a day in the life of a preacher).

I often tell young preachers that if there is only one person in the room that believes what they are preaching please let it be them. Those called to preach must root themselves in their identity in Christ, the bedrock of their calling, and the grace God gives in the preaching event. Why is this important? Because often you may have people who will be encouraged by what you say and people that will be irritated by what you say – and many times it will be over the same part of your message. So are you to feel encouraged or discouraged?

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You’re One Choice Away from Wrecking Your Life

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Last night I watched on twitter as the news of Pastor Isaac Hunter became public. He was a megachurch pastor in Florida who resigned because of an affair and on Tuesday night, tragically took his own life.

I was immediately filled with sadness for this man, his family and his church. I’ve never met him, but I can’t imagine the pain they are going through. How do you adequately explain this to a church? How do you help people struggling with faith who see their leader take this path? How do you help his kids understand why he cheated? Why he killed himself? How do you console his wife in the midst of the affair and now a suicide? For his parents, having to bury a child, something no parent should endure.

Here’s why this hit home for me:

  • Isaac was 36. I’m 34.
  • Isaac had 3 kids. I have 5.
  • Isaac was a pastor. I’m a pastor.

Many people will get up on their high horses in this situation, questioning his character and salvation and faith. The reality is, we are all like Isaac. We are all one choice away from wrecking our lives. 

Every moment, we are one step away from ruining our marriages, career, calling and reputation.

I remember a few years ago when the story was of Gary Lamb and his situation. I sat there with Katie and we talked about how to make our boundaries stronger in our marriage.

Don’t get on your high horse. Situations like this should bring tears and humility. They should cause us to stop and imagine what happens if we make that dreadful choice and wreck our lives.

I’m always amazed at professional athletes and their willingness to try and cheat with PED’s, get caught and lose millions. They are playing with fire. So are many others in smaller ways, but in equally damaging ways.

Remember, you are one choice away from wrecking your life. 

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Links to Start the Week Off

  1. The gospel coalition on How to win the public on homosexuality. I think the points made in this article as to how we should engage this debate is right on. Our view of this reveals so much about our view of ourselves, God and his plan for our lives. 
  2. What sermon prep really looks like. Yep. 

Links of the Week

  1. Video: Darrin Patrick on Wisdom for Church Planters and Preaching.
  2. Our president (past and present) show that leaders are readers. Fascinating article on what presidents read.
  3. Great fathers make great pastors. This is a great series from Acts 29 on the call of fathers.

Links of the Week

  1. Ed Stetzer on What a pastor does. There is a lot of confusion on what a pastor should do, because many of the opinions have little to do with what the Bible calls a pastor to do.
  2. Craig Groeschel on The benefits of hiring from within, the downside of hiring from within, how to hire from the outside and the disadvantages of hiring from the outside. I would prefer to hire from within, takes a lot of surprises out of the equation, but sometimes hiring from the outide is the right move. Great thoughts to keep in mind.
  3. Bert Decker on the Power of story.
  4. Sam Rainer on College majors and church attendance. This is a fascinating study that shows depending on your major in college will dramatically affect whether or not you attend church while in college.
  5. Winfield Bevins on Missional Christianity.
  6. Bert Decker on Obama, the Teleprompter and Authenticity. A must read for any communicator, great reminder about authenticity.

Links of the Week

  1. Mark Labberton on Praying for our new president
  2. Rick Warren’s prayer for the new president
  3. Kids media usage in 2008
  4. 2009 Oscar nominations are announced
  5. John Piper on How Barack Obama will make Christ a Minister of Condemnation

Historic Day

Right now, at 12 noon eastern time, history will be made and Barack Obama will be sworn in as our new president.

I love this picture because it reminds us all of the weight of a leader, the weight our president carries and regardless of your feelings on the man, he needs our prayers.

Links of the Week

  1. John Piper wrote a book on marriage
  2. David Dunbar on what missional is  (this is a great article)
  3. Scot McKnight on Obama, Warren and that inaugural prayer
  4. Out of Ur on Rick Warren at Obama’s inauguration
  5. Anna Meadows on Believe & lead
  6. Todd Rhoades Top 10 lists (A must read for leaders)
  7. Perry Noble on 8 signs of a lukewarm blogger
  8. Scott Williams on A leader vs. the leader

Links of the Week

  1. Tim Sanders on work offline, get things done
  2. Rick Warren on Gay marriage and divorce 
  3. Gregory Boyd on Why I believe in the virginal conception of Jesus
  4. Tim Stevens on Obama’s most important leadership decision
  5. Brad Cooper on Get off the nipple! (Great post)