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Ten Books That Screwed Up The World (via Ligonier Blog)

Those of you who like big ideas and literary references may be interested in the book Ten Books That Screwed Up The World (and Five More That Didn’t Help).
Jump on over to the Ligonier Blog where Carl Robbins will introduce you to it.
As it’s authored by a Roman Catholic, Benjamin Wiker, it probably won’t be turning up in a Koorong Catalogue (although these days you wouldn’t be surprised).
Although published in 2008, it’s still in print and is available at reasonable prices, according to booko.com.au


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Preparing For Holidays

According to this photograph and the advice it contains all of my body parts need repair.
(Except for lax grip, I don’t smoke.)
So what sort of holiday should I have planned for next month?

via


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Keeping Fresh (via Wayne Connor)

Wayne Connor from Dubbo Presbyterian offers his thoughts on these six points about keeping fresh as a pastor.
I think they’re pretty appropriate for any Christian, actually.

1. Find fresh spiritual disciplines.
2. Take regular time off. You aren’t called to work harder than your Creator.
3. Get proper exercise and sleep.
4. Relax. The relaxation response is the opposite of the fight/flight response.
5. Join a small support/prayer group.
6. Cognitive restructuring (i.e. changing one’s thinking).
7. Have fun!

Read all Wayne’s thoughts here, along with the original reference which sparked his ideas.


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A Problem For Preachers Who Don’t Use A Manuscript…

I don’t generally use notes when preaching.
This usually works well.
Except for yesterday.
Having thought of a topical matter which I thought illustrated the point I was making I launching into recounting the topical matter and then realised that I had completely blanked on the point I was trying to make.
Incorporating material on the fly is fun, but this time I’d run up a blind lane and had nowhere to go.
A couple more seconds of searching around and… nope, still nothing.
Blank. That’s never really happened before.
So I had to stop, tell everyone that I’d lost track of my train of thought, go back pick up my original stream of thought and a minute or two later the relevance of my original digression reappeared.
Everyone was highly amused.
One of my daughters said she was following and knew where I was going and was going to call out and tell me, but didn’t (wisely, I suppose).


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How Long / We Have Sung Our Songs Of Victory – Sunday Songs

Tonight we sang Stuart Townend’s How Long (We Have Sung Our Songs Of Victory). This has been noted as Refugee Week and though social justice is not the Gospel, it does flow from the power of the Gospel. It is also rooted in the hope of the Gospel. I don’t anticipate a fully just society will be realised by human effort, but by the return of Jesus and the fulfillment of all God’s purposes for the renewal of creation. That being said, we anticipate that transformation by seeking justice and comfort for the oppressed and marginalised now.
I like the way the themes of present commitment to care and justice and the future hope of Christ’s complete fulfillment are expressed in this song. The chorus is neither sentimental or truimphalistic, but hopeful. It seems like a social justice song, but it’s really a song about the full expectation of the Gospel hope.

The lyrics:
1.
We have sung our songs of victory,
We have prayed to You for rain;
We have cried for Your compassion
To renew the land again.
Now we’re standing in Your presence,
More hungry than before;
Now we’re on Your steps of mercy,
And we’re knocking at Your door.
Refrain.
How long before You drench the barren land?
How long before we see Your righteous hand?
How long before Your name is lifted high?
How long before the weeping turns to songs of joy?
2.
Lord, we know Your heart is broken
By the evil that You see,
And You’ve stayed Your hand of judgement
For You plan to set men free.
But the land is still in darkness,
And we’ve fled from what is right;
We have failed the silent children
Who will never see the light.
Refrain.
3.
But I know a day is coming
When the deaf will hear His voice,
When the blind will see their Saviour,
And the lame will leap for joy.
When the widow finds a Husband
Who will always love His bride,
And the orphan finds a Father
Who will never leave her side.
Final refrain.
How long before Your glory lights the skies?
How long before Your radiance lifts our eyes?
How long before Your fragrance fills the air?
How long before the earth resounds with songs of joy?

Stuart Townend
Copyright © 1997 Thankyou Music


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Westminster Shorter Catechism – Lord’s Day 25

Westminster Shorter Catechism – Lord’s Day 25

Q & A 42
Q What is the sum of the ten commandments?
A The sum of the ten commandments is, to love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our strength, and with all our mind; and our neighbor as ourselves.*1

Matthew 22:37-40.


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What Kind Of Christians Do Contemporary Services Produce? (via Christianity Today)

Article by D. H. Williams from the Christianity Today website ponders, if the medium is the message, what sort of Christians are being cultivated by contemporary worship services?
I thought it was basically irenic and makes a few worthwhile points, but wouldn’t be surprised if the article isn’t too popular with the ‘all of life is worship except Sunday morning, which is a gathering sort of like TAFE, but with better coffee’ folk.
Read Contemporary Music: The Cultural Medium and the Christian Message