Here are some other blogs from around the inter-webs that I really enjoyed this week:
Searching for Jesus in today’s Church – Boz Tchividjian is the grandson of Billiy Graham and the brother of very popular pastor/author Tullian Tchividjian. He has long been an advocate of victims of abuse within the community of faith. This was a powerful piece with all that is going on regarding the scandal involving Sovereign Grace Ministries.
I grieve that much of the Church is asleep and doesn’t even realize it. I grieve that it is so hard to find Jesus in the midst of all this. For too many precious souls, inside the Church has become like Narnia – always winter, but never Christmas.
Better to tell the truth than stories – I found this piece by Aaron Armstrong very helpful. He references his work with ministering to kids, but also I see in here some great practical advice for everyone, especially preachers who have shifted away from expositional preaching and into sermons dominated by stories.
While I obviously want to do all I can to make what I’m saying relatable and interesting, I don’t want to put me at the center of the teaching…I’d rather be accused of being boring because I’m not telling funny stories, if it means the kids get to hear the gospel.
Using the “H” Word – My friend J. Allen Murray here writes a great post on the quickness in which brothers in Christ are quick to assign the title of heretic to other brothers. There is much Godly wisdom here.
An impassioned scripture-less fit filled with malice is no good medicine for the brother in error, and it proves no avail for correcting genuine heresy.
Simple Faith, Simply Beautiful – This is a post I posted earlier in the week about the beauty of simple faith I saw exhibited at the hospital while with my family. The post really seemed to resonate with folks, which is what I’m after with every thing I write.
Today what I saw was my family simply trusting in the God they read about in the Bible. I saw them trusting, and resting in the promises of God. And you know what? God was faithful, and he delivered. God comforted and brought peace. God granted strength where it was needed. For our part, the throne of grace was approached boldly, and God was praised and worshiped as faithfully as we knew how. I’m not sure that God really asks for much more than that.
The Whole Truth – This might be my favorite thing I’ve read all week. Michael Newnham makes an attempt at telling the “Whole Truth” about Christians, while admitting that none of really do. He mentions some of the frequent generalizations people make about Christians and some of the scandals of the day. He also muses about celebrity preachers, and gives a shout out to the faithful Christians in the trenches whom you hear nothing about. Simply a powerful piece that I think you all should read.
The true Christian faith isn’t represented by celebrity preachers or well known converts.
It’s represented in the heart of the neighbor who brought you dinner when you were sick…after putting in their eight hours on the job.
It’s represented in the hearts of millions who support children here and abroad who don’t have the resources their own children do.
It’s represented in the hearts of those who use vacation time to go to foreign countries to dig wells and plant crops and those who go next door to check on you.
It’s represented in the heart of that pastor who is not “successful”, but will be faithful to be there to care for you.
It’s represented by all the pastors and lay people alike who hate the scandals and the shame because they smear the name of our wonderful Lord and stall the work of His kingdom.