A Prayer For Friday (June 7, 2019)

Father of compassion and God of all comfort,

Help me Lord, to show to others the mercy I’ve received from you. Help me to console as I have been consoled, to comfort as I have been comforted.

Let me not shy away from suffering, Lord, but use it to learn to better serve others in the midst of their suffering.

Grant me more compassion for others, Father.

In the name of He who suffered for me,

Amen

Links To Go (June 7, 2019)

Of course they’re wrong

Culture, by its very definition, isn’t the work of being right. It’s the work of being in sync. Culture is people like us do things like this.


How and When to Offend

Rather, my point was that I want to bring the offense of the gospel to bear on everyone I encounter. Faithfully confronting sinners with the depth of their depravity, the cost of their wickedness, and their desperate need to repent is rightly offensive. I want my speech and my behavior to adorn the gospel, and to let its offensive truths do the offending.


The History Of Humankind Proves Masculinity Is A Powerful Positive Good

The modern narrative of “toxic” and “tyrannical” masculinity is misguided at best and a terrible lie at worst. If the modern narrative were in any way true, then why would the man in the cave venture forth into danger? Why would he not leave his wife to fight for her survival? The answer, of course, is the same as it is now—because he loved her.


Many Churchgoers Fail to Intentionally Serve Others

The 2019 Discipleship Pathway Assessment study from Nashville-based LifeWay Research found few Protestant churchgoers say they strongly agree they are personally taking actions that indicate a life of service to God and others.


The preachers getting rich from poor Americans

It was during these sessions that Ole started to note a common thread. When people were on the verge of homelessness in the heart of the Bible belt, a surprising number offered the last of their cash to televangelists who promised them financial salvation.


Six Possible Second Jobs for Bi-vocational Revitalizers and Replanters

The six side jobs we discuss are:

  1. New economy delivery service (Uber Eats, Shipt, Postmates, Amazon Flex)
  2. Driving services (Uber, Lyft)
  3. Rent your own assets (Turo, Airbnb)
  4. App-based handyman or cleaner (Handy)
  5. Virtual assistant or bookkeeper (Belay)
  6. Survey taker (VIP Voice, Survey Junkie)

iPhones Harvest And Transmit Massive Amounts Of Data While You Sleep

With the help of privacy firm Disconnect, Fowler encountered over 5,400 trackers in just one week – mostly within apps, that send his information to third party companies. Over the course of a month, the unwanted trackers were on track to upload 1.5 gigabytes of data.


You’re probably answering these 5 common interview questions wrong

No matter what sorts of jobs you applied for, you can expect certain interview questions to pop up again and again. But just because you’ve answered these questions before doesn’t mean you should skip the prep work. In fact, some of these super-common questions are the hardest ones to get right.


Denied trip to Disney World, teen takes family himself – baking cupcakes

Isaiah, who had already shown an aptitude for cupcake creation, went on a spree. At $20 a dozen, Isaiah sold enough cupcakes to pay for airfare, hotel and Disney World tickets for his mom, dad, sister, brother, sister-in-law and nephew – seven people in all.


Louisianans Called the Police When Their Local Taco Bell Ran Out of Tortillas

Local law enforcement in Slidell, Louisiana entered crisis mode this week when area residents called 9-1-1 after discovering the town’s Taco Bell restaurant was out of both hard and soft-shell tortillas.


Sense of wonder

Wonder. I need to recover a sense of wonder. That goes for much of my spiritual life, but especially as regards Bible study. Specifically when thinking about the Book of Revelation, which I’m preparing to teach in the very near future.

I need to see the monsters and disasters and events, then proclaim “Wow!” like the boy in the above video. Then I need to remember that they are tiny compared to my God.

That should make me erupt in “Holy, holy, holy!”

Who are “my people”?

I wanted to share one more thought on nationalism and faith, then I’ll leave the topic for now. I’ve written a lot about citizenship, because I believe when we understand where our true citizenship lies, we will have a different outlook on the world and the people around us.

People often bring up the apostle Paul and his citizenship. “Look!,” they say, “Paul freely claimed to be a Roman citizen.”

That’s true. As I mentioned, I see that as a bureaucratic reality. Paul used Roman citizenship in situations where that legal status was to his benefit. Yet did he identify as a Roman?

When Paul writes, “For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race,” (Romans 9:3) is he talking about the Romans? Other citizens of the empire that he was a citizen of. Nope. Let’s finish the sentence: “the people of Israel.” (Romans 9:4)

Excuse me, Paul. You weren’t born within the territory that belonged to Israel. You are a citizen of Rome. You are writing to people in Rome. Let them know clearly who your people are.

“I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I make much of my ministry in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them.” (Romans 11:13–14)

Paul makes a sharp contrast between “you Gentiles” and “my own people.” He was a Roman citizen, but the Romans were not his people. The Jews were.

That said, Paul embraced Gentile Christians as sharing in the same citizenship that he held: “For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven.” (Philippians 3:18–20) Many of the Philippians were Roman citizens, but Paul doesn’t remind them about sharing that. The important citizenship Paul shared with these believers was their heavenly citizenship.

Paul never spoke of “my fellow Romans,” at least not in what is recorded in the New Testament. Roman citizenship was a technicality. His Jewish heritage defined his race and his people. A shared faith defined who his co-citizens were.

How about you?

A Prayer For Friday (May 31, 2019)

Lord Most High, Creator of heaven and earth,

You remember, O Lord, that we are dust; help me to do the same. You know, O Lord, that we were made little lower than the angels; help me to understand that. You see, O Lord, in every human the reflection of Your image; open my eyes to that truth.

Help me to love my enemies. Give me a heart for the hurting and the powerless. Help me to see the plight of the poor, the orphaned, the widowed, and the immigrant.

Remake me in the image of Your Son.

Amen.