Thursday, February 14, 2013

Desiring God, Meditations of a Christian Hedonist --by John Piper

I've found myself quoting and recommending this book every few days for the past week.I think that means that it is both practical and worthy of recommending to you all.

Often as our new heart struggles with the old flesh that still clings to us we are tempted to turn obedience into something it was never intended to be: a back breaking burden.

But the two goals of both glorifying God and and enjoying him seem so naturally in conflict with one another.

In Piper's book he seeks among other things to help us understand that these two dual purposes for mankind not only can get along but in the end they kiss one another.

 One of the most memorable quotes from the book for me:

"God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.

Take a closer look

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

My Train Wreck Conversion

"As a leftist lesbian professor, I despised Christians. Then I somehow became one."

I ran across this article by accident and it left me speechless and with tears in my eyes as I contemplated the power of God to redeem us.

It was too valuable not to share:
This interview with the author is at once funny, insightful, encouraging and convicting.

My Train Wreck Conversion

The word Jesus stuck in my throat like an elephant tusk; no matter how hard I choked, I couldn't hack it out. Those who professed the name commanded my pity and wrath. As a university professor, I tired of students who seemed to believe that "knowing Jesus" meant knowing little else. Christians in particular were bad readers, always seizing opportunities to insert a Bible verse into a conversation with the same point as a punctuation mark: to end it rather than deepen it.

Stupid. Pointless. Menacing. That's what I thought of Christians and their god Jesus, who in paintings looked as powerful as a Breck Shampoo commercial model.

As a professor of English and women's studies, on the track to becoming a tenured radical, I cared about morality, justice, and compassion. Fervent for the worldviews of Freud, Hegel, Marx, and Darwin, I strove to stand with the disempowered. I valued morality. And I probably could have stomached Jesus and his band of warriors if it weren't for how other cultural forces buttressed the Christian Right. Pat Robertson's quip from the 1992 Republican National Convention pushed me over the edge: "Feminism," he sneered, "encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians." Indeed. The surround sound of Christian dogma comingling with Republican politics demanded my attention.

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Top 10 Reasons our Kids Leave Church

I just read this article and it nails the reasons that we are losing 70% of our young men and women. As they exit high school they are also exiting the church. If you are concerned at all for the church or for our covenant children I strongly recommend you read this blog post

Top 10 Reasons our Kids Leave Church

"We all know them, the kids who were raised in church. They were stars of the youth group. They maybe even sang in the praise band or led worship. And then… they graduate from High School and they leave church. What happened?

It seems to happen so often that I wanted to do some digging; To talk to these kids and get some honest answers. I work in a major college town with a large number of 20-somethings. Nearly all of them were raised in very typical evangelical churches. Nearly all of them have left the church with no intention of returning. I spend a lot of time with them and it takes very little to get them to vent, and I’m happy to listen. So, after lots of hours spent in coffee shops and after buying a few lunches, here are the most common thoughts taken from dozens of conversations. I hope some of them make you angry. Not at the message, but at the failure of our pragmatic replacement of the gospel of the cross with an Americanized gospel of glory. This isn’t a negative “beat up on the church” post. I love the church, and I want to see American evangelicalism return to the gospel of repentance and faith in Christ for the forgiveness of sins; not just as something on our “what we believe” page on our website, but as the core of what we preach from our pulpits to our children, our youth, and our adults."

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