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What’s Important to You – Idols

April 23, 2013 Leave a comment

These are very helpful for diagnosing your idols – what are those things that are more important to you than God.  They come from Tim Keller.  The Gospel in Life: Grace Changes Everything, Study Guide (Zondervan, 2010).

“Life only has meaning/I only have worth if…
  • I have power and influence over others.” (Power Idolatry)
  • I am loved and respected by _____.” (Approval Idolatry)
  • I have this kind of pleasure experience, a particular quality of life.” (Comfort idolatry)
  • I am able to get mastery over my life in the area of _____.” (Control idolatry)
  • people are dependent on me and need me.” (Helping Idolatry)
  • someone is there to protect me and keep me safe.” (Dependence idolatry)
  • I am completely free from obligations or responsibilities to take care of someone.” (Independence idolatry)
  • I am highly productive and getting a lot done.” (Work idolatry)
  • I am being recognized for my accomplishments, and I am excelling in my work.” (Achievement idolatry)
  • I have a certain level of wealth, financial freedom, and very nice possessions.” (Materialism idolatry)
  • I am adhering to my religion’s moral codes and accomplished in its activities.” (Religion idolatry)
  • this one person is in my life and happy to be there, and/or happy with me.” (Individual person idolatry)
  • I feel I am totally independent of organized religion and am living by a self-made morality.” (Irreligion idolatry)
  • my race and culture is ascendant and recognized as superior.” (Racial/cultural idolatry)
  • a particular social grouping or professional grouping or other group lets me in.” (Inner ring idolatry)
  • my children and/or my parents are happy and happy with me.” (Family idolatry)
  • Mr. or Ms. “Right” is in love with me.” (Relationship Idolatry)
  • I am hurting, in a problem; only then do I feel worthy of love or able to deal with guilt.” (Suffering idolatry)
  • my political or social cause is making progress and ascending in influence or power.” (Ideology idolatry)
  • I have a particular kind of look or body image.” (Image idolatry)

Thanks to Z

Categories: Andrew's Blogs

Helpful for Conversations About Abortion

November 2, 2012 1 comment

Conversations about abortion rarely go well – most people who are talking about abortion usually disagree.  So this article is helpful for when you do have a conversation: Why Your Friends Are “Pro-Choice” (And What To Do About It)

Scott Klusendorf responds to this often used statement:

“I’m against abortion and will never have one. If one of my friends gets pregnant and wants an abortion, I will do everything I can to talk her out of it. But I don’t want the government involved in taking away a woman’s choice. I guess that’s why I’m against abortion and am pro-choice.”

Scott suggests we respond with a simple question and you’ll have to read the article to get it.

H.T. Challies

Categories: Abortion, Andrew's Blogs

The Key to 21st Century Evangelism

October 2, 2012 Leave a comment

The key to 21st century evangelism:

Not Stadiums.

Not Tent Meeting Revivals.

Not Door to Door.

Not Telephone Book Tearing Strong Men AKA The Power Team.

Not Street Preaching.

Not Televangelist.

The key to 21st Century evangelism is Hospitality – invite them to dinner.

Read this: Hospitality and the Great Commission.

Categories: Andrew's Blogs, Evangelism

Regretting Your Marriage?

August 27, 2012 Leave a comment

Ed Welch helps you think about your difficult marriage here.

Take note!  He does not encourage us to give up.  Here are his main points:

  • Ask for prayer and wisdom from someone who will do more than simply commiserate.
  • Be careful about focusing on your regrets, and even be careful about focusing on your marriage.
  • Bring more scrutiny to yourself than to your spouse.
  • Search for the good in your spouse.
  • Then, after these steps, talk about your marriage with your spouse.

And if you want more help for your marriage, read this book:  What Did You Expect? by Paul Tripp.  It is – hands down – the best book I have read on marriage!

Categories: Andrew's Blogs, Marriage

Psalm 88: For Those Who are Alone and in the Dark

August 1, 2012 Leave a comment

If you are feeling like you are at the bottom of it all with no way out or no answer from God, then Psalm 88 is for you.

  • What will you do when there is no easy way out?
  • What will you do when burden grows each day and lasts for months and even years?
  • What will you do when trouble comes and the trouble stays?
  • And what will you do when you pray and pray and pray, and ask and ask and ask, and the trouble grows worse and worse and worse?
  • What will you do when darkness is your best friend and the walls of the pit rise above you and it seems that not even God is listening?

In a world of quick solutions and simple answers Psalm 88 reminds us that we need to go to God even when it seems like He is not working on our behalf.

If you need perspective and encouragement listen here: Psalm 88 Alone in the Dark (# 3 in this series) or right click and save link as.

Here are some summary thoughts from this Psalm:

  • Psalm 88 most importantly teaches us that true faith turns to God and continues to turn to God even when we don’t experience His immediate rescue.
  • Psalm 88 teaches us that we do not always have fairy tale lives or fair tale endings.
  • Psalm 88 teaches us that feelings are checked by truth.
  • Psalm 88 teaches us that we should not read one Psalm only – we need to read Psalm 89 with it (and many others).
Categories: Andrew's Blogs

Psalm 42 is for Tearful Eyes that Look Upward

Psalms are for real life.  Psalms connect so well to our hearts because they were written by real people going through real life and many of them are rooted in hardship and longing, looking to God for hope and comfort in the midst of great sorrow.  Psalm 42 simultaneously mingles sorrow with hope, tears with longing for God.  This song captures it well.  Read this Psalm and put your tear filled hope in God.

Psalm 42 (NIV)

As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?
My tears have been my food
day and night,
while men say to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”
These things I remember
as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go with the multitude,
leading the procession to the house of God,
with shouts of joy and thanksgiving
among the festive throng.

Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior( and my God.

My soul is downcast within me;
therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep
in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
have swept over me.

By day the Lord directs his love,
at night his song is with me—
a prayer to the God of my life.

I say to God my Rock,
“Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning,
oppressed by the enemy?”
10 My bones suffer mortal agony
as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”

11 Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.

Categories: Andrew's Blogs Tags:

In the Wrong Place Emotionally?

Chris Brauns helps us see how Psalms move us when we are stuck emotionally.

If you need to be moved from one place emotionally to another: (1) Identify a Psalm that relates to your experience.  (2) Systematically memorize it over a period of time.  (3) As you do so, experience the movement of the Psalm and be transported by the Spirit in conjunction with the Word.

Read more here.

Categories: Andrew's Blogs

Sucked into the IPhone Portal

From Jesus Creed

. . . the iPhone is a kind of portal, one that can cause me to be mentally, emotionally, and spiritually distant, even when I’m physically present. How often do I want to have that portal open?

More here.

Categories: Andrew's Blogs

“a collection of families who collaborate”

Parenting and schooling opinions always raise the temperature of any conversation in church circles.  We all have our reasons for what we do, but these educational parenting opinions don’t need to divide us.  Rather they should make us stronger and better and should spin outward to bless the whole community.  Logan Gentry writes a nice article on schooling options and here’s the money quote:

As each Christian family decides how to educate their child, the gospel of Jesus Christ gives them the freedom to have confidence in their choice without condemnation of those who do not choose the same as them. When a church is filled with families who have confidence in their families approach to education, they can be a collection of families who collaborate for the holistic flourishing of the children in the church and in their city.

I particularly like this line: “they can be a collection of families who collaborate for the holistic flourishing of the children in the church and in their city.”  Maybe we should stop Read more…

Chuck Colson Remembered

April 22, 2012 Leave a comment
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