This—the controversy and shameful public behavior, not the not being a prophet—has been an ongoing frustration for me. Why? Because the whole thing casts a dark shadow on our witness. And that’s got to stop. We need to be less about whatever bonehead move Celebrity Pastor X made this week and more about the gospel.
So in a resolution revolution, I decided to scrap the whole idea and instead choose just one word to focus on all year long. I figured that one word would at least be memorable, and could serve as a touchstone, something to keep returning to when I needed clarity.
I wanted one word to be the filter through which I made decisions, the lens through which I chose to see myself and others, and the compass pointing me to true north.
It wasn’t about something I wanted to do as much as it was about who I wanted to become.
The only way to lead any kind of symphony is to turn your back to the critics – the ones across the street, the ones in your family tree, the ones in the front row and the ones down the hall.
To turn your back to the ones who are assessing your kids, evaluating your address, weighing your work, judging your merits — or lack thereof.
I am sitting there and it’s like my own taut strings are played and it’s like a haunting: sometimes the critic you have to turn your back to is the inner one.
He concedes that “there were and are racist missionaries . . . and missionaries who do self-centered things.” But adds: “If that were the average effect, we would expect that the places where missionaries had influence to be worse, than places where missionaries weren’t allowed or were restricted in action. We find exactly the opposite on all kinds of outcomes”
In the meantime, every minister needs good local elders, men whom he has not chosen, who see him each Sunday, who hear him preach and pray, who connect with him during the week, who see how he treats his wife and his children, who observe how he speaks to visitors, who know how he relates to his neighbours, to keep him accountable both to the Word of God and to congregation which he serves. Anything less, anything other, is simply unbiblical and in the long run a recipe for disaster.
Routines help us to be more effective. They help us to create the sermons that are going to speak to people who are longing for God’s word on Sunday. They will, as Currey says, “starve off the tyranny of moods.” No matter our emotional state our routines help us to get to work and be productive.
We’re about two weeks into the New Year. Right now, many of you who made a resolution to read through the Bible in 2014 might be starting to question that commitment. If you started at the beginning of the Bible, you’re well into the Books of Moses, where countless well-intentioned would-be Bible readers have floundered on a sea of ancient legal codes, genealogies, and stories that are sometimes strange and upsetting.
Are you starting to regret your commitment? Have you started to fall behind schedule with your reading? Are you starting to dread your Bible reading?
If so, take heart. Here are six ways to save your floundering Bible reading commitment.
Both sides believe they have the American mainstream on their side. But when Second Amendment supporters argue it is unconstitutional to bar convicted felons from acquiring guns, the American mainstream stops listening. When Second Amendment supporters argue it is unconstitutional to require any training whatsoever before carrying a concealed firearm in public, the American mainstream stops listening. Likewise, when anti-gunners call for the repeal of the Second Amendment and the prohibition of citizen firearms ownership, the American mainstream stops listening. When extremist anti-gun and anti-hunting voices aim death threats at the children of those who would bid on a license to legally cull an African game animal and donate the proceeds to endangered-species conservation, the American mainstream cringes.
A British woman attempted to sue her former lawyers for professional negligence, claiming that, alongside a number of other allegations, they failed to advise that finalising divorce proceedings would inevitably cause her marriage to end.
Here’s the important part, though: Cats think you’re just a a slightly big, dumb non-hostile cat. Quite specifically, he says that they treat humans as if they were their Mama Cat.
All that rubbing up against you with their tails up is apparently no more than a hopeful check that you really are just another big, fat, slovenly cat who doesn’t intend to eat them with their Welsh Rarebit.