Saturday, December 06, 2014


Comic Art

Iconic Covers

Really? Do They get any more iconic?

Friday, December 05, 2014


Moving Beyond

Mark Roberts:
I’ve reflected a bit lately on how we often assume that if something is difficult, we’re doing it wrong and need to change course. While that’s true for some things, of course, we sometimes forget that many things are difficult because they’re worth doing – work, projects, relationships.
Then he quotes Charity Singelton Craig:
According to business strategist David Waldschmidt, doing the hard things is exactly what moves a person from the middle ground of mediocrity into the heights of success.
I think this lesson can be applied to our faith as well. If it is easy, we are not being excellent Christians. Now, that is not to be confused with us making ourselves better Christians, but it is to say that Being a Christian can and should be difficult.

The difficulties will vary, they will come from different angles and in different ways, but they will come. If they are not, we need to ask what's wrong. Do we do that?

Christians are often analogized to soldiers. Soldiers define themselves as people that run to the gunfire when everyone else is running away from it. Christians could analogize themselves similarly. Most people avoid difficulty. But we have resources most people do not. We can handle the hard stuff, with God's grace. We can become excellent, with God's grace.


Friday Humor

Thursday, December 04, 2014


The Place of Anger

Mark Roberts:
As we saw in yesterday's reflection, the first sentence in Ephesians 4:26 reads, "In your anger, do not sin." More literally, the Greek original could be translated, "Be angry, but do not sin." The main point is simple and direct: When you are angry, don't sin. This wording seems to imply that it is possible to be angry without sinning.


So, given my experience, I was once inclined to believe that all anger is sinful, at least to an extent. That's all I knew....But then there's the little problem of Jesus. The Gospels show us that our Lord became angry at times....When I was in college, one of my InterVarsity leaders, Steve, helped me see anger from a new perspective. He talked about how he felt when he witnessed injustice, when he heard of children being abused, when he saw people intentionally dishonor the Lord. Steve helped me understand that, indeed, feelings of anger could be a righteous response to sin, and therefore not sinful in and of themselves.
YES!, Indeed I sin when I am angry, but I grow increasingly weary of people that tell me I am a sinner when I am angry instead of asking the question, "Why is he angry?" It seems to me that they use such as a doge to avoid looking at themselves or their contribution to the situation.

I agree with Roberts here, anger is not a priori sinful. Most of us, myself included, do not handle our anger well and sin as a result, but our anger is often rooted in real injustice. What a different place the world and the church would be if, when we witness anger, rather than declare the angry person as sinful, we asked what triggered their anger. If we used anger as a signal that there is something wrong in the situation. All we have to do is put ourselves inteh shoes of the angry person.


Illuminaed Scripture

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Wednesday, December 03, 2014


The New Role

Nine Marks - "Nine Marks of a Healthy Worship Leader"

Your worship leader should meet the biblical qualifications of an elder.

Your worship leader should be musically capable.

Your worship leader should be invisible (almost).

Your worship leader should be committed to gospel-anchored liturgy.

Your worship leader should work in close tandem with the preacher.

Your worship leader should be committed to the expression of a vast range of emotions

Your worship leader should be committed to the explicit worship of Jesus.

Your worship leader should encourage and enlist congregational participation.

Your worship leader should be chiefly concerned with honoring God and upholding Jesus and the gospel, more than reaching the next generation or any other pre-determined demographic.

You know, I understand the whole transition in music. If nothing else organs are massively expensive, and it's hard to find good organists anymore. The transition away from choirs I understand less. It is arguable that they discourage participation of the congregation, but does a "worship team" really help? But I honest to goodness do not understand why the title "musical director" changed to "worship leader."

Let's face it - that is what we are talking about here. Why else would they need to be "musically capable? Is worship merely part of the service? Is singing worship and and hearing the sermon not? Music is a part of worship, but it is not the whole of worship. Does the "worship leader" teach Bible Study? Does the "worship leader" hold us to obedience in those situations where we find obedience difficult?

I could go on like this for a while. I think the point is made. We attach names to things for reasons and in this case I think it is important to understand what we are missing by attaching this name to this person.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014


Making "Sense" Of Scripture

Clever Title Here:
It is not uncommon to find ridiculousness in the pages of Scripture. In addition to complex metaphor, vivid imagery, and storytelling that raises even 21st century eyebrows, there’s also stuff that just plain makes no sense. Why on earth would you leave part of your harvest in the field—you need the food and income! And besides, isn’t that just enabling the poor to be lazy? How could you give to everyone who begs from you—isn’t that a recipe for ending up a beggar yourself? Why would you pray for people who want you dead, or invite someone you don’t like to a dinner party—that certainly is not in your own best self-interest.

And there we have it, of course: self-interest. Large swaths of the Bible are nonsensical because we’re supposed to take care of ourselves, reward ourselves, pay ourselves—first. We have been taught to serve our own happiness, which means doing more, getting more, having more, even if we have to close our eyes to the person standing at field’s edge or strike back at someone who tries to take what’s ours.

So of course Scripture makes no sense to those of us who are “wise in this age,”...
What makes me sad is that int he modern age when we leave gleaning in the field, fights often erupt over who is going to get them. Even charity results in self-interest.

It is a stunning trait of modern times that the less hard we have to struggle to survive, the less we realize the necessity for cooperation in order to survive. People used to take what they could get becasue it was all they could get. Now they know they can get more so they fight over what they have. Does that really make sense?

I don't think the Bible is ridiculous, unless you are completely self-centered. And you can only be self-centered if you fail to realize your sinfulness. And therein lies the rub.

So why don't we preach about sin?


Kitty Kartoons

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Monday, December 01, 2014


Becasue They Are Idiots?

Os Hillman asks:
Why don't Churches See Equipping their Members as a Priority?
The answer I give in the title to this post is perhaps a bit dismissive, but sometimes you have to wonder. Hillman himself never really answers the question he asks in the headline to his piece he just launches into the necessity to do so. Which raises a more interesting question

Is "Why?" a useful question? The examination of motives is often necessary for one to undertake on a personal level to purge certain behaviors. But even then it is often a question one asks oneself. When you start probing the motives of another things can get ugly fast. When you ask it on a corporate level, you often run into the personal motives of many involved and again, things get ugly fast.

But don;t they need to? Don't organization need to discover their motives so they can purge themselves of them?

I talk a lot here about God being in the little things. Spiritual formation is less about what we do and more about who we are doing things. Among the attributes that are so needed there is an attribute of being willing to accept criticism. We have to be willing to hear where we have screwed up. How many of us are?

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