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Changes (via Poorly Drawn Lines)

It was a year ago (53 weeks, actually) that a visit to the doctor resulted in me making some lifestyle changes.
Things have lasted for longer than a week, but I live with the lingering fear that relaxing will see me backslide to where I was before, which I know is not a reasonable fear, but my OCD tendencies are still in control.


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Getting Rid Of The Messiah Complex

If you’ve talked to folk in churches that have a culture of decline they generally all agree there’s one reason that caused it and one solution to fix it: their pastor.
They seem oblivious to every choice they make as a church that cultivates decline, and wistfully yearn for the person who will see people come to their church while they continue to exercise the same churches that have resulted in decline.
What’s more disastrous is when the incoming pastor embraces the same narrative.
Churches so often get indulged in their disfunction.
That’s why this point from this article on five essentials to turn a declining church around by Joel Rainey appealed to me:

Get rid of the Messiah Complex.
There is a parable about a new pastor who, upon moving into his office, found three envelopes in his desk drawer. Each was marked to be opened for the first, second, and third major crises he would face. Before the end of the first year, he opened the first envelope in response to a major kerflufle to find these words; “This is from your predecessor. Blame everything on me.” It worked! But only for another six months. So when he opened the second envelope he read these words; “This is from your predecessor. Blame everything on my predecessor.” Again, that tactic managed to assuage the division. But three months later, in the midst of some of the nastiest conflict he had ever seen, he found himself opening that third envelope, where he read these words; “This is from your predecessor. Take a little time before you leave to prepare three envelopes for the next guy.”
The point? Presuming we are somehow “better” than those who came before us and thus will “save the church” is both arrogant and dangerous. In revitalization, we have a critical role to play, but just as former pastors aren’t solely responsible for a church in decline, we can’t be solely credited for bringing it back to life. That is the work of God alone. At the start, a number of God’s people will try to place you on that pedestal. For your own good, and theirs, refuse to sit on it.


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Buddy At Dinner

Buddy is a people cat, a social animal.

He chooses not to avoid interaction with loud and excited children, and doesn’t get too sharp or bitey about it either.

The aftermath.

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Body Clock Linked To Mood Disorders (via BBC News)

This report by James Gallagher, a health and science correspondent for BBC news is based on a Lancet Psychiatry study of 91,000 people “found a disrupted body clock was linked with depression, bipolar disorder and other problems.”
Significantly, the report does note that “the study cannot tell if the disruption is causing the mental illness or is just a symptom of it”.
I’ve pretty much locked in my sleep times now, waking the same time every morning without an alarm (and getting up), and generally going to sleep within an hour or so of my preferred time most nights.
I think it has helped my well-being.
I didn’t really ever have trouble sleeping, but I am more rested and less tired these days.
Read the article here.

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Why Plurality In Church Leadership? (via Dave Harvey)

The church I belong to believes that local churches are served by a group of leaders, a plurality in older language.
It’s not led by paid leadership or staff, with lay leaders performing like a consultative focus group or a board of directors.
Why would we believe that God desires this model of ministry for the local church?

Dave Harvey at Desiring God:

Of all the ways God could organize local church leadership, why plurality? It is not about simplicity, ease, or efficiency. When one considers all of the polity options God could have chosen for governing churches, it’s easy to see that he gave the church a plural leadership with a different set of goals in mind. But I believe God chose plurality because he loves humility.
“This is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.” (Isaiah 66:2)
If I’m right, God chose this method of church governance because, to work well, plurality requires what God values. Humility, contrition, word-trembling leadership — these are the kind of leaders to whom God looks. It’s no surprise to discover that these are also the values he requires for an effective plurality.


It’s been my privilege to experience that plurality, that grouping of leaders again tonight.

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Miracles Leaning On Lampposts

The quotes from Harvey:

From the cab driver: After this he’ll be a perfectly normal human being and you know what stinkers they are.

From Dr. Chumley: Fly specks, fly specks! I’ve been spending my life among fly specks while miracles have been leaning on lampposts at 18th and Fairfax!

From Elwood: Miss Kelly, you know, when you wear my flower you make it beautiful.

If you want any more, you’ll have to watch it for yourself.

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Remember And Proclaim – Sunday Songs

I’ve included Remember And Proclaim from Andrew Peterson’s Resurrection Letters Vol. 1 in Sunday Songs because it’s a song about the Lord’s Supper; and I think the Lord’s Supper is best thought of in the context of corporate worship.

The lyrics:
As we gather round this table
We remember and proclaim
Christ has died, Christ is risen
Christ will come again
There’s nothing to fear and everything to gain
And so we gather here to remember
To remember and proclaim
Every footstep tells the story
As the people join the feast
We remember his blood and body
Broken for you and me
One step and we remember
The other we proclaim
His death until He comes
O He’s coming back
He’s coming back again!
And every time we break the bread
We drink the wine,
I can hear the song in my heart and my head,
And I sing along…
We remember, we proclaim
His death until he comes again!
We remember, we proclaim
Christ has died, Christ has risen,
Christ will come again!
Now we join with friends and neighbors
To celebrate again
Around a different kind of table
We remember just the same.
This feast, it is a battle
That we wage against the night,
This joy is just a shadow of the resurrection
Of the resurrection life!
And every time we break the bread,
We drink the wine,
I can hear the song in my heart and my head,
And I sing along…
We remember, we proclaim
His death until he comes again!
We remember, we proclaim:
Christ has died, Christ has risen,
Christ will come again!
We remember, we proclaim
His death until he comes again!
We remember, we proclaim
Christ has died, Christ has risen,
Christ will come again!

Andrew Peterson | Andy Gullahorn
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