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A Few Good Reads

A Few Good Reads March 10, 2016

photo credit: solidether via photopin cc
photo credit: solidether via photopin cc

Now Trending: Pre-Midlife Divorce
Dean Inserra shares some great thoughts on a trend I have noticed in the last few years and didn’t have the insight to be able to describe- pre-midlife divorce. He walks through the issues he sees leading to this in both men and women. “The perceived symbol of freedom is standing right next to you, at the bar, on girls night. Your single best friend doesn’t have the kids tonight because they are either at her ex-husband’s house or at the grandparents. Of course you love your children with all your heart, but you have to leave a little earlier than everyone else because you still haven’t packed lunches for school tomorrow, and know your three year old is going to come in at 6:00am and ask to watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on TV. All the men around you are paying attention to your group while you are out together, and you can’t really flirt or participate because well, you’re married. Your single friends have regular conversations about how they’ve never felt more free and happy than they are since the divorce. The man bashing ensues and the glaring flaws of your husband pop into your mind.”

Andy Stanley Explains His ‘Stinking Selfish’ Parents Comment
Andy Stanley ruffled many feathers last week when a video emerged of him saying parents who take their children to small churches are selfish. In a candid interview with Christianity Today, he explains what he was trying to say and apologizes for what he said. Many will say this is simply spin and PR, but I think the brother is genuine and we should take his word at face value. “The Twitter response rightfully pointed out the absurdity and contradictory nature of my comments. A couple of the comments in that clip contradict my life’s work. In fact, what’s most heartbreaking to me about this situation is not what was said about me. I caused confusion and I deserved the fallout. What is most disturbing to me is that pastors, church planters, children’s directors, and student pastors took what I said as a criticism of what they do. That kept me up at night. Literally. I read numerous responses, and the reaction from pastors and church leaders was devastating. I’m not looking for sympathy here. It was devastating because my words undermined the importance, significance, and sacrifice of thousands of church planters and ministry leaders.”

Habit Graduation: How to Increase Your ‘Average Speed’
James Clear at LifeHacker makes a great point about how we can get more things done and be more effective by simply graduating to the next level in what we already do. “Here are some examples:
•    If your average speed is eating three healthy meals per week, can you “graduate” that to one healthy meal per day?
•    If your average speed is exercising twice per month, can you “graduate” that to once per week?
•    If your job is crazy and you only talk to your old friends on the phone once every three months, can you schedule those calls into your calendar and “graduate” that habit to once per month?
You get the idea. Habit graduation is about considering your goals and your current average speed, and thinking about how you can increase your output by just a little bit on a consistent basis.”

Return to Me
The New Studies in Biblical Theology series is the hands down best series of theological books on the market today. This series, edited by D.A. Carson, explores both biblical themes and the theology of individual biblical books. The entire series is great, but I have just started reading the new addition, Return to Me by Mark Boda. This work explores the Bible’s teaching on repentance and has profound implications for how the church presents the Gospel message and how Christians walk through the Christian life. “The key to understanding is not simply to be found in word studies, but also in the broader meaning of texts as these communicate through a variety of words, images and stories. The importance of repentance in redemptive history is emphasized. It is fundamentally a return to intimate fellowship with the triune God, our Creator and redeemer. This relational return arises from the human heart and impacts attitudes, words and actions.”


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