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Archive for September, 2010

CCEF is a great resource all around. Parents of young kids will hopefully find these few principles helpful.

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Ken Burns has added an addendum to his baseball documentary with another 4 hours called The 10th Inning. It premiered on Monday and Tuesday nights. Anybody see it? The whole thing is here.

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Christians and Halloween

It’s a month away, and we have spent almost a full month getting hammered by the black and orange advertising in the stores. Halloween 2010 is almost upon us.

Honestly, there’s not much I like about Halloween and never has been (except Almond Joy). I used to rebel as a kid when it was time to head to fall festivals dressed up as Bible characters. I would go dressed like a tennis player (so I could serve in the King’s court) or a bandit (thief in the night) trying to avoid wearing another shepherd-still-in-his-bathrobe scene that the church was already full of.

As an adult, I have tried to avoid the whole scene too, even before kids. Christie and I have sat in the dark and ignored the knocking before, and that was probably wrong on our part. We were wasting Halloween.

The last few years, I see how I’ve been wasting it. This article I read yesterday was very helpful:

Living with missional intentionality means that you approach life as a missionary in your context.

We should creatively engage our neighbors with the Gospel. This is a great way to get started (read those last three words again).

Read the article here: Why All Good Christians Should Celebrate Halloween

And this is the same tone, Halloween – Trick or Retreat?

The first link requires an HT to Tim Challies, and he authored the second article (2007).

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Sacrifice

The idea of sacrifice has come up recently in SS and in my cousin’s blog. I’ve been musing about it, whether God requires it, whether it must be a constant state of mind, whether it exists at all (yes, it obviously does). For the last decade, the first thing I’ve thought of when I hear the word is the end of David Livingstone’s lecture at Cambridge where he said,

For my own part, I have never ceased to rejoice that God has appointed me to such an office. People talk of the sacrifice I have made in spending so much of my life in Africa. Can that be called a sacrifice which is simply paid back as a small part of a great debt owing to our God, which we can never repay?-Is that a sacrifice which brings its own blest reward in healthful activity, the consciousness of doing good, peace of mind, and a bright hope of a glorious destiny hereafter?-Away with the word in such a view, and with such a thought! It is emphatically no sacrifice. Say rather it is a privilege. Anxiety, sickness, suffering, or danger, now and then, with a foregoing of the common conveniences and charities of this life, may make us pause, and cause the spirit to waver, and the soul to sink, but let this only be for a moment. All these are nothing when compared with the glory which shall hereafter be revealed in, and for, us. I never made a sacrifice. Of this we ought not to talk, when we remember the great sacrifice which HE made who left His Father’s throne on high to give Himself for us.

Here’s the rest.

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Here’s a fun, fully weird, double-error play that happened last night in baseball.

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Burn Your Netflix Account

Douglas Wilson says you should if if you use it like most people do.

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A boy raised on great literature is more likely to grow up to think, to speak, and to write like a civilized man.

Tom Spence wrote a great editorial for last Friday’s Wall Street Journal, “How to Raise Boys Who Read.” It’s worth the read if you know any kids. Boys are way behind girls on reading habits, and I don’t know that I would even be satisfied with girls’ reading habits.

The publishing companies have started throwing the paper version of “shock and awe” at our boys with unconscionably, base content. Instead of trying to sell books by the true, good and beautiful path; they are following the private-things-made-open route. Proverbs says that, “Folly is joy to him that is destitute of wisdom; but a man of understanding walks uprightly.”

One obvious problem with the SweetFarts philosophy of education [read the linked article for more info] is that it is more suited to producing a generation of barbarians and morons than to raising the sort of men who make good husbands, fathers and professionals. If you keep meeting a boy where he is, he doesn’t go very far.

The little boy in this picture belongs to me. He would love these base books. He and his other three brothers could sit and laugh and scorn and chortle with them all day long. It would make him very happy.

But if I have received a commission to parent him, if I am going to be held accountable for how I do it, if I believe Proverbs, if all this important speak in Scripture is true that children are a heritage unto the Lord, then I must not allow him to revel in these things or allow them to shape his thinking. I must not let him to be saturated in it, because he would be all-in, and the desire for perverseness would roll bigger and bigger.

There is so much truth, goodness and beauty to revel in. There are so many heroic stories he must learn, so many brave hearts that he must meet, so many honors that must captivate his mind. I must put the best before him.

Sweet Farts is admittedly getting too much attention here, even in this post. It’s on the cusp. But there are plenty of other low-level books our culture is reading and loving.

(Now go read the article at the link above.)

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This is a fantastically, creative summary of the book Where Good Ideas Come From (releasing next week). The presentation is outstanding, but so is the content.


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Do things well. Do less. Do things better by not doing all things.

I’m pretty loud about my ability to not multi-task. It was good to read this editorial about single-tasking in your work. I’m not saying it’s achievable, but I am saying we should pooh-pooh the notion of slowing down, doing fewer things, doing them better.

It’s hard to paint a masterpiece. It’s even harder when you’re rebuilding your engine at the same time.

The Case for Single-Tasking

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Look what Denard Robinson has done in his first three starts! Let’s see what happens today.

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U.S. Capitol Tour

David Barton gives spreads some truth antidote on the wave of human secularism.

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The Gospel Song

Beautiful simplicity transforms lives.

Here are the lyrics:

Holy God in love became
Perfect Man to bear my blame
On the cross He took my sin
By his death I live again.

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The Funny Thing About Truth

It just sounds mundane. We all talk like this all the time.

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Yes, says Stephen Altrogge…

You’re sitting in a coffee shop, sipping on a latte, when you see a hip looking guy a few tables over reading a Bible and writing in a Moleskine journal. You can tell that he’s puzzled, and you ask him if he understands what he’s reading. “No I don’t,” he says. “Can you help me?” You grab your backpack and sit down at his table. He tells you that he’s reading in John 1, and you say that you’ll pull it up on your Bible software. You pull out your Dell laptop and place it on the table in front of you. The hip guy looks at you, then looks at your computer, then says, “You know what, I think I’ll just keep reading myself. Thanks.”

Apple helps you be missional.

Read the rest.

HT: Jason Kenney

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I live near four of them. And they all represent museums that are open to the public with no admission charge this Saturday, September 25th.

Go learn something new with your kids this weekend!

Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day

(Nashvillians, please note that the TN State Museum is worthy of all acceptation, and you should go. But it is free every day.)

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33 Miners

Here are more photos.

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Wendell Berry said,

You’re not in community with someone until you’ve pulled their cow out of a ditch or spanked their child.

(From a Rabbit Room post by Andrew Peterson)

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Are You Game?

Is free-climbing a radio tower your idea of a good time? Take the one-question poll after the video.

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There’s a website devoted to this one bridge/underpass. This video summarizes what the site is all about.

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I’m listening to a biography of Harry Truman by David McCullough. I’m only about 10% in to the story and am enjoying it.

This quote means little to the whole of the book, but it grabbed me hard today with past implications–and future implications of the grandpa I am becoming.

With such a grandfather a boy could hardly imagine himself a nobody.



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Things We Say Wrong

Listen carefully

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Our kids wish to casually recommend the Liberty’s Kids series to you and your kids. We don’t watch very much TV, but this is an animated series that we watch through Netflix (via streaming, but probably available on discs).

The show is 40 episodes of a mix of historical fact and fiction from the American Revolution period–a period which should not be so foreign to us because we are only 5-6 generations removed from it. The series portrays actual events of the Revolution as they pertain and are witnessed by fictional, teenage characters.

Though the theme song is a little narcissistic, I think you would enjoy the program. Some of the episodes are available on YouTube, if you are willing to watch it in parts.

Also, here is the official website and the helpful Wikipedia page.

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The new CPR is much less intimidating. It might be worth your time to watch this; you could save a life. This would be a good video to go viral.

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1. Your opponent is weak.

2. He doesn’t know the rules.

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Facebook. In so many areas of life it’s no longer an if, no longer an option. With 500 million users it is quickly becoming a near-essential tool for families, for businesses and yes, even for churches.

The good news is that Facebook has a lot to commend it; there many things it does very well and thus there are many ways in which Facebook can assist pastors and other ministry leaders. The bad news is that there are also (and inevitably) ways in which it can hinder ministry if not used well. Today I want to look at Facebook as a ministry tool and suggest a few ways in which it can help and hinder. Because of practical limitations I cannot tell you how to go about setting up an account, but at least I can give some suggestions on what to do once you’ve already joined and started to be active.

Read more: How (and How Not-To) To Use Facebook for Ministry – Tim Challies

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