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The Past Is A Nice Place To Revisit, But A Terrible Place To Live (via Jared Wilson)

Churches should be places of thankful remembrance; the shared knowledge of God’s faithful blessings in the past are a great encouragement to present and future ministry.
Thankful remembrance should not give way to nostalgia. Thinking that the best is behind, or that present or future hope are only attainable by a return to what was of a past season is destructive.
Our past experience equips us to navigate present circumstances; and the good old days generally didn’t feel that good when they were happening either.

From Jared Wilson.

Anyone stuck in a nostalgic space is stuck in unreality. And the truth is, much of our nostalgic dreaming is fantasizing about a fantasy, not anything actually experienced. There is a kind of nostalgia that is actually harmful.
A church stuck in the “good old days,” for instance, is in great danger of death. Nostalgia is toxic to a church.
Similarly, the cold hard truth is that there is no such thing as a “golden age.” For every “simpler time” many people look back in hopes of recapture, there is a large number of people who experienced it as anything but. Sometimes white folks love to look back to the 50’s and 60’s as the good old days, willfully oblivous to the institutional injustices against black folks for whom nostalgia isn’t an option.
In this way, there are personal moments or experiences we might look back to and think upon fondly, but the time that the Lord has drawn out for us is relentlessly linear. We cannot — we dare not — live in the past. But it is helpful to remember it, to be cautioned by the reality as well as selectively instructed by the hopes.

Read the whole post here.


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Duckless Duck and Prawnfree Prawn

Plant based products are an expanding product range at the supermarket.

Usually they come up with some sort of quasi-name like ‘duk’ or ‘prorn’.

These ones dispense with that affectation.


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Teach Us Your Ways (featuring Leslie Jordan from The Porter’s Gate – Neighbor Songs Album)

Teach Us Your Ways is a simple and profound track from Neighbor Songs, the second album released by a collective of musicians under the name The Porter’s Gate.
It features Leslie Jordan on vocals; Leslie used to be part of duo All Sons And Daughters.


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When The Church Feels Smaller, But Is Actually Larger (via Sam Rainer)

Sam Rainer observes the impacts on congregational life and ministry activity that flows from a contemporary change toward less frequent attendance at corporate worship by active Christians.
The reality challenges traditional practices of pastoral care and congregational communication.
For example:

The church feels smaller but is actually larger.
Consider a church that has four hundred people attending four out of four weeks. This church has an average weekly attendance of four hundred. Take the same church with the same people but change only the attendance frequency — lowered to two out of four weeks. The church’s average weekly attendance is now two hundred.
The true size of your church could be double the average weekly attendance, if not higher. Many will wonder Where is everyone? on a Sunday morning, but pastors and church leaders will experience an increased ministry load. As attendance frequency declines, the congregation will feel smaller while getting larger. The people coming less frequently still email, call, and set up counseling appointments. They still ask you to do funerals and weddings and come to the hospital.

Read his other observations at Sam Rainer.
He’s promising to address the situation.


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Be Still My Soul – Sunday Songs repeat

Be Still My Soul is one of the tracks on EMU Music’s new album of traditional hymns Praise Without Ceasing.
I’ve previously featured this hymn on a Sunday Songs post, but want to include it again in recognition of EMU’s representation of the song.


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New City Catechism Question and Answer 47

Question 47
Does the Lord’s Supper add anything to Christ’s atoning work?

Answer
No, Christ died once for all. The Lord’s Supper is a covenant meal celebrating Christ’s atoning work; as it is also a means of strengthening our faith as we look to him, and a foretaste of the future feast. But those who take part with unrepentant hearts eat and drink judgment on themselves.