Twenty Items of Interest (v.19)



1. Would you like to improve your reading ability?  Here are seven pleasurable ways.  HT: Jake Bouma

2.  Prodigal Jon explores why society tends to picture God as angry in his post “Painting God mad” at Stuff Christians Like.

3.  Flatulence is now considered bullying.  Jr. High boys of the world… beware!  (HT: Nuke)

4.  Evidently Obama’s uncle fought for the Soviet Army so he could liberate Auschwitz.  Velvet Hammer blogs on other Obama lies – numbering now 51 in this campaign.  Do we see a pattern here?

5.  Pistol Pete on what makes a great blog.  Caffeinated Thoughts has the honor of making his blogroll.

6.  A “Christian” T-Shirt concept that hasn’t quite caught on:

Source: Naked Pastor

7.  Straight Talk Express?  See below.  I don’t want it to be said that I give GOP politicians a free pass here.  There is much to criticize about John McCain as well.

HT: Stephanie

8.  Organic Faith shared some thoughts about Dr. Tim Keller’s message to last year’s Gospel Coalition regarding how pastors are losing focus in the pulpit.

Dr. Tim Keller said last year in a teaching to the Gospel Coalition that the difference between Gospel-centered preaching and lifeless pulpit talk is a focus on Jesus. He said that his wife told him that his best sermons are those that focus on the transforming power and example of Christ. He basically hit on an issue that I have been concerned about for a while. In the effort to be relevant, it has become all too common for preachers to deliver good messages on moral teachings instead of Jesus-focused calls to divine transformation and human repentance.

That is so true.  May that never be said of my ministry in the pulpit.

9.  Anne Jackson asks, “what is something you feel you can’t say in church, or around other Christians?”  She gets some humorous and serious responses. 

Some responses that caught my eye:

  • Anne started things off – “I suck at reading my bible.”
  • I can relate to Pete who said, “That sometimes when there is a dramatic pause in my message, and I look like I’m waiting on God to give me something really powerful to say, I’m not. In reality I’m just wondering if I zipped up my zipper before I went up on stage.” (I laughed out loud at that one.)
  • “Most people I know who claim to follow God are really sucky people who don’t care about anything but themselves and their comfort. It makes me not want to follow their rules.”
  • “When I’m leading worship, I sometimes think of all 31 flavors of ice cream at Baskin Robbins.” (Huh?  Ok then.)
  • “How I feel more alone than ever, when someone gets up to the mic and talks about the deep friendships that can be found in church small/care groups . . . and that just has NOT been my experience.”
  • “That law is easier than grace … just tell me what to do and not do and I’ll give it my best shot.  Grace is too big, to wide open and scary.”
  • “I don’t like Beth Moore Studies.” (It seems like every women’s Bible study I hear of is doing one.)
  • “Stop making Christianity a scapegoat for not developing a personality. Quit being judgement, flaky, egotistical, mean, rude, fake in the name of a God who was none of those things.”

HT: Rodney Olson

10.  An interesting way to get people to church.

And it is at a BAPTIST church!!!!  They reported their largest attendance ever (just kidding).

HT: Crummy Church Signs

11.  If you haven’t already found this gem, I highly recommend the Christian Classics Ethreal Library where you can read works by some great dead people.

12.  Here at Caffeinated Thoughts I am concerned about your health.  Nintendo is coming out with the Wii Fit.  Exercise for video game junkies.  Nice.

13.  You know you spend too much time blogging and commenting when…

HT: Smart Pastor

14.  I am all about networking.  It is in the name of the ministry I serve.  I have been a member of the National Network of Youth Ministries since 1998.  I have benefited from the youth ministry networks that I have been a part of or have led in my youth ministry career.  Since moving back to Des Moines six years ago I have been disappointed by the lack of a vibrant cross-denominational network for pastors in Des Moines.  Sam Rainer (a recent Southern Seminary grad – congratulations Sam!) blogs about the benefits of pastors who get together.

15.  No kudos for Indiana Jones…. just read over on Greg Stier’s blog some harsh, but likely well deserved, criticism of Indiana Jones: Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

I was tuned in from the opening scene through the final scene. But, and I hesitate to make this declaration, I hated Indiana Jones.

There I said it.

Don’t get me wrong, Harrison Ford did a great job in reprising his role as the combative and compelling archaeologist. Shia LaBeouf did a fine job as a whippersnapper whip snapper in the making. And the villain, Cate Blanchett, was very good at being vey bad. But the real villains in this movie were not the old school Communists of Russia but the lame writers of the movie screenplay. Indy should have hunted them down instead of the Crystal Skull and given them a good shalacking.

Please don’t misinterpret. I am a HUGE Indiana Jones fan. I really wanted this movie to be great. In the first thirty minutes of the movie I thought that it could be. The next thirty minutes made me start to doubt. Doubt turned into resignation over the next 1,800 seconds. The last cringe-inducing, please-don’t-go-there segment made me want to reach through the screen, grab Spielberg by the lapel and ask him, “Why? Why? Why?” The director of E.T. should go home, sit in front of his old school typewriter (the one he typed the screenplay of Jaws with) and bring back a plot worthy of his considerable talents.

I guess I’ll wait for the DVD, LOL.

16.  Are you frustrated with no signs of spiritual growth in teens?  Tim Schmoyer gives three reasons why youth pastors (and parents too) may feel this way.

  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Forgetting that growth is a process.
  • We are watching the process close up.

17.  David Innes of King’s College suggests that John McCain should tap Bret Schundler, the three-term mayor of Jersey City, NJ as his running mate.  An interesting suggestion, I’m not so sure a Mayor would be a good choice, but I do like his credentials.

18.  Gay Marriage by Judicial Decree – Stuart Taylor, Jr. on the recent California Supreme Court decision.  (HT: Mere Orthodoxy)

19.  Rick Warren – It is your skill, not preaching and prayer that will grow your church.

Ugh.  I think I just vomited in my mouth a little.

HT: Irish Calvinist

20.  Quote: Abraham Piper at 22 Words

If unapplied theology is worthless, we shouldn’t claim to believe truth with arguments, until we’ve proven we believe it with our lives.

 

Connect with Caffeinated Thoughts!

  • http://www.bestnewspolitics.com Jamie Holts

    Do you do blogroll exchanging? If you want to exchange links let me know.

    Email me back if you’re interested.

  • http://www.bestnewspolitics.com Jamie Holts

    Do you do blogroll exchanging? If you want to exchange links let me know.

    Email me back if you’re interested.

  • Guest

    The flatulence story cracked me up some, LOL!

  • Isaiah

    The flatulence story cracked me up some, LOL!

  • Isaiah

    The flatulence story cracked me up some, LOL!

  • http://principalitiesandpowers.blogspot.com D.C. Innes

    As for #17, I must say it looks a little too much like the Dole-Kemp ticket. Schundler reminds me of Jack Kemp, but he is a much better communicator and he is an Evangelical (I don’t know Kemp’s religious affiliation). But if McCain wants a seasoned Evangelical who can take up the health care reform issue and address it from a faithful and effective market oriented, consumer-driven standpoint, Schundler’s the guy. And he has Bill Buckley’s imprimatur.

    As for Rick Warren. Yes. A little vomit. Otherwise, speechless.

  • http://principalitiesandpowers.blogspot.com D.C. Innes

    As for #17, I must say it looks a little too much like the Dole-Kemp ticket. Schundler reminds me of Jack Kemp, but he is a much better communicator and he is an Evangelical (I don’t know Kemp’s religious affiliation). But if McCain wants a seasoned Evangelical who can take up the health care reform issue and address it from a faithful and effective market oriented, consumer-driven standpoint, Schundler’s the guy. And he has Bill Buckley’s imprimatur.

    As for Rick Warren. Yes. A little vomit. Otherwise, speechless.

  • http://principalitiesandpowers.blogspot.com D.C. Innes

    As for #17, I must say it looks a little too much like the Dole-Kemp ticket. Schundler reminds me of Jack Kemp, but he is a much better communicator and he is an Evangelical (I don’t know Kemp’s religious affiliation). But if McCain wants a seasoned Evangelical who can take up the health care reform issue and address it from a faithful and effective market oriented, consumer-driven standpoint, Schundler’s the guy. And he has Bill Buckley’s imprimatur.

    As for Rick Warren. Yes. A little vomit. Otherwise, speechless.

  • http://shanevanderhart.wordpress.com Shane Vander Hart

    Isaiah – me too.
    D.C. – I think Kemp is Catholic, but not 100% sure. Yeah that is a good comparison.

    The more I listen to things Rick Warren says the more I end up shaking my head. I appreciate some of what he is wrote. I mostly agree with the principles in Purpose Driven Church, because who can argue that a church isn’t supposed to do evangelism, discipleship, fellowship, service and worship? I don’t agree with some of his methodlogy. I also don’t think he is careful handling scripture, and that would be my chief complaint.

  • http://shanevanderhart.wordpress.com Shane Vander Hart

    Isaiah – me too.
    D.C. – I think Kemp is Catholic, but not 100% sure. Yeah that is a good comparison.

    The more I listen to things Rick Warren says the more I end up shaking my head. I appreciate some of what he is wrote. I mostly agree with the principles in Purpose Driven Church, because who can argue that a church isn’t supposed to do evangelism, discipleship, fellowship, service and worship? I don’t agree with some of his methodlogy. I also don’t think he is careful handling scripture, and that would be my chief complaint.

  • http://shanevanderhart.wordpress.com Shane Vander Hart

    Isaiah – me too.
    D.C. – I think Kemp is Catholic, but not 100% sure. Yeah that is a good comparison.

    The more I listen to things Rick Warren says the more I end up shaking my head. I appreciate some of what he is wrote. I mostly agree with the principles in Purpose Driven Church, because who can argue that a church isn’t supposed to do evangelism, discipleship, fellowship, service and worship? I don’t agree with some of his methodlogy. I also don’t think he is careful handling scripture, and that would be my chief complaint.

  • Diane Olson

    Re: #19. God calls us to be “faithful” not skillful. (i.e. Moses) He enables us to do what He wants us to do. The results or success in church growth is up to HIM!

  • Diane Olson

    Re: #19. God calls us to be “faithful” not skillful. (i.e. Moses) He enables us to do what He wants us to do. The results or success in church growth is up to HIM!

  • Diane Olson

    Re: #19. God calls us to be “faithful” not skillful. (i.e. Moses) He enables us to do what He wants us to do. The results or success in church growth is up to HIM!