Michelle Lesley takes a good look at “verse mapping.” This is a bible study technique I had never heard of until reading about it today on her blog. She gives some fair warnings here. Worth the read!
Entreating Favor Book Review
The Pastor as the Public Theologian “For many today, the general assumption is that brainy, theologically-minded scholars belong in the academy, while rugged, servant-oriented pastors belong in the churches. However, this distinction is a false dichotomy. In their book, The Pastor as Public Theologian, Kevin Vanhoozer and Owen Strachan unseat this two-pronged myth, and make their plea for a robust amalgamation of both realities simultaneously existing in one pastor.”
Watermelon Sugar Cookies
You’ll notice I follow my fare share of baking blogs. But can you blame me? These are cutest!
A Field Guide for Making Friends
I loved Christine Hoover’s, The Church Planting Wife. This one is on my list now too!
“To open Messy Beautiful Friendship, Hoover tells her own story. She found friendship easy as a child and young woman, but it became hard as an adult. She describes seasons of neediness alternated by apathy and, throughout, a desire for the perfect “one friend to rule them all.”
Hoover exposes this “one friend” idea as a fantasy. She uses Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s term “wish-dream” to describe the desire we all have for a best friend who makes friendship easy, fun, deep, and utterly fulfilling. Instead, she maintains, you have to be prepared to take friendship as God gives it—imperfect, difficult, and ultimately, sanctifying:
We must look to serve rather than be served, which means it’s possible that we might not be served in ways we hope. We must be ever willing to broaden the circle, which means we must have an eye for the outsider rather than an eye for how we can be insiders, and it’s possible we might be forgotten in the process. We must be willing to address sin and conflict in an appropriate way, which means it’s possible we might be rejected. We must be willing to be vulnerable, which means we might be misunderstood and grace might not be extended to us. (43)”
For the Car Ride
Encouraging Others, Part 1 Chuck Swindoll’s message at Insight for Living: “Before Paul put the final period on his first letter to the Thessalonians, he issued a double-edged command: “encourage . . . and build up one another” (1 Thessalonians 5:11). In a world more sinful than saintly, such a command is necessary because the spirit of discouragement, which seems to be the default setting, is dangerous. A single word of criticism can do untold damage to a person’s spirit—and potentially impact his or her entire life. The opposite is equally true: one can live a long time on a single word of encouragement. Those who encountered a first-century man nicknamed Barnabas can testify to that truth.” (27 minutes)