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The Vespers ‘Sisters and Brothers’ Arrives With Some Friends

My Kickstarter reward for backing The Vespers third album arrived today.
Autographed copies of all three of their albums, ‘Tell Your Mama’, ‘The Fourth Wall’, and ‘Sisters and Brothers’.

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Soul Fatigue (via John Ortberg)

John Ortberg on ‘soul fatigue’.
Excerpted from this post.

The soul craves rest. Our wills sometimes rejoice in striving; our bodies were made to (at least sometimes) know the exhilaration of tremendous challenge; our minds get stretched when they must focus even when tired. But the soul craves rest. The soul knows only borrowed strength. The soul was made to rest in God the way a tree rests in soil.
One of the challenges of soul-fatigue is that it does not have the same obvious signs as physical fatigue. If you’ve run a marathon, your body lets you know it’s finished. Our souls were not made to run on empty. But the soul doesn’t come with a gauge. The indicators of soul-fatigue are more subtle:

  • Things seem to bother you more than they should.
  • It’s hard to make your mind up about even simple decisions.
  • Impulses to eat or drink or spend or crave will be harder to resist than they otherwise would.
  • You are more likely to favor short-term gains in ways that will leave you with long-term costs.
  • You judgment suffers.
  • You have less courage.

Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Read the whole post here.


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Church As Destination Instead Of Vehicle

Skye Jethani muses about the development of modern cruise ships from ocean liners and how that change can be identified in the life of some contemporary churches which have become destinations where rather than “viewing the church as simply a means to an end (connecting people with God), they made the church an end in itself. The logic was simple: if the masses did not feel the need to connect with God then perhaps another “felt need” could draw them into the church: the need for community, or entertainment, help with their kids or marriage.”
His preliminary observation is that the growth of the kingdom is being consolidated rather than expanded in the USA.
He’s going to expand further on this observation in a future email.
My observation is that the trend is moving back to more smaller groupings (church plants and campuses) rather than fewer larger churches.
Read the whole post here.


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Dad Dances With Disabled Daughter In Pageant

Watch. This.

(McKenzie is 11 years old. She has a life threatening disease called mitochondria. Here is what happened when she and her dad danced during a pageant held in her home town.)
She has a website.
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Tissue warning on.


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Truth Matters – eBook Launch By David Cook

Truth Matters is an ebook companion to the Revitalising Preaching Conferences that are being led by David Cook.
As such, David launched Truth Matters at last week’s Sydney conference.
He writes about the content of Truth Matters, as well as responses to the conference at the PCA website.
Truth Matters can be purchased from the Christian Education Committee of the PCA.
It looks like a great resource to help individuals or groups grow in their knowledge of our wonderful God.


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Preaching Is Dialogue (via Paul Levy)

Paul Levy writes at Reformation 21 about why it’s a good idea to move forward and fill up the vacant seats at the front of the church.
In doing so he makes the following observation about preaching as a two-way communication:

Somebody recently defined preaching to me as a sustained monologue to a group of people. Isn’t that horrific? As minimalist definitions go it’s diabolical. Preaching is always, always dialogical. The faces of people talk. There are people praying for you while you speak. Most preachers can tell when they are not being understood and so need to state something more clearly. The smiles and nods and appreciative noises people make are important. The children who look at their parents and smile and their mother or father nods at them is a massive encouragement whilst you’re preaching, or the time they look up at you with utter bewilderment – there is a dialogue going on between preacher and people. The person whose eyes shut and head drops, you know you need to raise your voice or at least make a banging noise.

I think he’s right.
The hearers of a sermon are actively communicating all the time it’s being delivered.
And effective preachers engage with that communication.

Go read the whole article here, and you’ll get the bonus of a stunning anecdote involving a preacher who invited the congregation to come to the front, and what happened when they did not.


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Sweep The Leg

If you think that Karate Kid is one of the greatest movies of all time you’ll probably enjoy this film clip.
If you think William Zabka was really the star of the movie, you’ll definitely love this.
And here’s 30 facts about Karate Kid to mark the movies’ thirtieth anniversary from Mental Floss.
If you have no idea what Karate Kid is, save yourself the time.