links of the week (4.30.10 edition)

Links of the week

  1. Mark Batterson’s thoughts on God’s speaking his promises in past tense is awesome.  What great things has God already that we haven’t seen come to fruition?
  2. Sometimes we don’t have the luxury to think outside the box.  So Elevation Church’s worship blog points out that we should follow U2’s example and think inside the box to work what we’ve got.
  3. As Christians, we aren’t honest about our walk with God.  We know how relationships work so why don’t we put more time into them when it comes to God.  Perry Noble does a great job at pointing out the times or the danger signs that our walk may be a limp.
  4. After reading Ben Arment’s book Church in the Making, I have been realizing that our churches should not just focus on our theology but on our networks of relationships or our sociology.  I enjoyed this post by Ray Ortlund about translating our theology into sociology.
  5. I tend to remember all of my failures.  This is a great post by Donald Miller talking about the importance of owning our successes.
  6. Attitudes are contagious.  Pete Wilson says that you can tell the attitudes you are conveying by looking at the attitudes of those around you.
  7. If you love the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People from Stephen Covey, then you might like the 7 Habits of Highly Evangelistic Christians by Thom Rainer, because you will probably, more than likely, like lists.  By the way, this was via Joshua Harris who got it via Kevin DeYoung.
  8. Stop worrying about being creative.  Steven Furtick’s message in this blog post about creativity is great because he gets rid of the idea that we always have to say something new or at least in a new way.  He uses the analogy of the musical scale to say that we should “just put the stuff that’s already out there together in a way that moves you.” Because, “chances are, it’s going to move someone else, too.”  After all, there’s only 12 notes.  It’s all about perspective.
  9. I am now officially excited about M. Night Shyamalan’s new movie because of the new trailer for the Last Airbender.  Wow.  I didn’t know the kid from Slumdog Millionaire was in it.
  10. I used to love going to conferences.  Now I don’t get to as much but I don’t necessarily miss it that much with all the free things that I can get online.  But I love it when conferences post their videos.  Here is the footage from the most recent church planters’ conference called Velocity.
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prayer from 3 years ago

I was recently reading through some of my old blogs and I was astounded at the quality that some of them were.

Some were good.

Most were okay.  Not really captivating or anything.  But one phrase caught me.

Tomorrow, let me get up and receive a passion for You, God, before my feet hit the floor.

It was a prayer I made in May, 2007.  I love it.

So I am making that my prayer for today.

You could say that my prayers from the past are what I hope my realities are for the present.

Thanks, me, for that insight 3 years later.

quotes of the week (4.29.10 edition)

There were just a few quotes this week that hit me.  Two from Tozer and one from Maxwell.

I am beginning to consider a new way of showing you the quotes.  I’ll let you know what I am came up with.

  1. “Prayer at its best is the expression of the total life…. All things else being equal, our prayers are only as powerful as our lives.  In the long pull we pray only as well as we live…” – A.W. Tozer
  2. “Christian believers are called to be burning bushes. They are not necessarily called to be great, or to be promoters and organizers. But they are called to be people in whom the beautifying fire of God dwells, people who have met God in the purifying crisis of encounter!” – A.W. Tozer, Men Who Met God, 77
  3. “If you are at the top all alone, you are a hiker, not a leader; leaders are where the people are.” – John Maxwell

links of the week (4.23.10 edition)

As always, the internet provided me with some great links this week.  I am going to share them with you and I hope that you get a chance to look at them.  I found these very beneficial either through inspiration or through rethinking things that I have known for a while.

Enjoy:

  1. 9 leadership lessons from baseball by Mark Driscoll.  This provides some great input that I would love to see implemented in churches across this nation.
  2. I thought that there were some great insights in this article about breaking up with a church.  I was glad to have read this when I did to help a friend out in his time of need.
  3. This article was great.  I really want to raise a brilliant kid that is not a nerd but cool.  How to raise a nerd will help.  Thanks to Chris G for sharing this with me.
  4. This is a great video interview with Francis Chan.  If you don’t know, he is stepping down from his church and going off in a new direction.  He is one of the most passionate pastors I have ever seen.  Anything he puts out stirs my soul to serve and love God more.  Please check out this interview.  He is going through a time of searching and he does a great job of conveying that mindset.  A funny part of this interview is that the interviewer didn’t know that he was going to say that.
  5. If you know me at all, you know the tv show Lost is a big deal to me.  Here is a great article on Wired.com about the show.
  6. Five tips for making ideas happen.  I am not sure how I heard about this blog but I enjoy its insights on how to deliver on what you promise.  This blog is more of a business and computer savvy one but I sparks an interest.  I don’t think I fit in this category by any means but I consider it learning outside the box.
  7. If you blog, here is some blogging advice from one of my favorite bloggers, Anne Jackson.
  8. The website Shrink the Church is pretty cool. It has a bunch of resources for leaders in the church. There are so many things that the church can do better.  Instead of getting larger, lets stay focused on each individual person.
  9. Holly Furtick is the wife of Steven Furtick, who is the pastor of Elevation Church.  To me, she is communicating a lot of great truth over at her blog about what being a pastor’s wife is like.  This is a recent post that had me floored about making sure that I always keep my relationship with God at the forefront of my mind.  I believe that this post not only benefits pastor’s wives but all Christians everywhere.  Check it out here.
  10. This is my favorite link of the week.  It is Perry Noble, who is awesome.  And it is about excitement.  This is a must read for church leaders.

Piper’s prayer

There are certain things that we need to be mindful.  And one of those things is to always remember why we are doing what we do.  We must continually reevaluate what the purpose of what we do is.

This prayer by John Piper, as he begins his 8-month sabbatical away from his church and from his writing so he can spend time with his family and friends, sums up a lot for me:

Would you pray with me for a great awakening that results in hundreds coming to Christ, marriages being reconciled and renewed, wayward children coming home, long-standing slavery to sin being conquered, spiritual dullness being replaced by vibrant joy, weak faith being replaced by bold witness, disinterest in prayer being replaced by fervent intercession, boring Bible reading being replaced by passion for God’s word, and lukewarm worship being replaced by zeal for the greatness of God’s glory?

What kind of things do you tend to pray for these days and if you dare, what should you be praying for instead?

quotes of the week (4.22.10 edition)

I am loving the fact that I get to read great quotes everyday.  I am not sure why quotes always hit me more than anything else but I simply can’t get enough quotes to spur my mind unto greater things.  I guess quotes are easier for me to remember and sum up what I am learning.

This week has a few good quotes in it.  Here they are:

  1. “We only believe the parts of the Bible we do.” – Rick Warren
  2. “While purporting to ‘see through’ others’ facades, cynics lack purity of heart. A significant source of cynicism is the fracture between my heart and my behavior. It goes something like this: My heart gets out of tune with God, but life goes on. So I continue to perform and say Christian things, but they are just words. I talk about Jesus without the presence of Jesus. There is a disconnect between what I present and who I am. My words sound phony, so other’s words sound phony too. In short, my empty religious performance leads me to think that everyone is phony. The very thing I am doing, I accuse others of doing. Adding judgment to hypocrisy breeds cynicism.” – Paul Miller, A Praying Life, page 91
  3. “Humility is assesed by your prayer life. Pride is thinking you can live without constant prayer & going hours without it.” – Rick Warren
  4. “A godly man is never threatened by the gifts of a godly woman.” – Rick Warren.  I know he has 3 quotes thus far this week but they are all really, really good.
  5. “To encounter Christ is to touch reality and experience transcendence.” -John Stott
  6. “Position doesn’t influence.  Love & depth of caring does.” – Tony Robbins
  7. “What we are is God’s gift to us. What we become is our gift to God.” – Eleanor Powell

Luther’s prayer as a pastor

As you all know, I am a big fan of quotes.  But as you might not know, I also look out for great prayers to pray that communicate great truth in short form.  Here is something I found on the internet.  It is Martin Luther’s prayer as a pastor.  Very great to prayer through and think through.

“Lord God, You have appointed me to be a pastor in Your Church.
You see how unfit I am to undertake this great and difficult office,
and were it not for Your help,
I would long since have ruined it all.
Therefore I cry unto You;
I will assuredly apply my mouth and my heart to Your service.
I desire to teach the people,
and I myself would learn ever more and diligently to meditate upon Your Word.
Use me as Your instrument,
only do not forsake me,
for if I am left alone I shall easily bring it all to destruction. Amen. ”

– Luther’s prayer as a pastor

I found this on Trevin Wax’s blog.