I don’t usually created a new post to share a single cartoon. But today is New Year’s Eve and this is the kind of stuff people think about as they reflect on another year past. Today is Saturday and tomorrow is Sunday, but when the calendar turns over people tend to think in larger terms. Coffee with Jesus reminds us that important depends on your point of view. One might even interpret that ours is skewed and should be more like his, but now I’ve quit preachin’ and gone to meddlin’.
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Coffee with Jesus is a product of Radio Free Babylon. Join the Resistance.
For those of you looking at the website, you know that lots of stuff hangs out in the sidebars. Some of that content is updated daily. I don’t post as often to the blog as I used to because much of what I write is on my church website. The Unity Baptist RSS feed shows links to recent posts at the top of the left-hand sidebar. You see those links if you visit The Master’s Table. I also realize many followers subscribe using feed readers or through email. Those folks will never see any content that is not posted.
So this is kind of like a Read & Share File for my own stuff. These links are to the two most recent Sunday sermons and a newspaper editorial from about a week and a half ago. If you have read them already or follow both blogs, great. If not, just FYI.
The Heart of Man, Feb. 7th sermon
The Heart of God, Feb. 14th sermon
God’s Great Love, newspaper article, Feb. 6th
Not as many links for this post as I’d like but think these are certainly worth sharing. Click any image to read the related article at its source.
The first is a list of reasons Thom Rainer thinks we should reconsider keeping the old fashion church bulletin. It’s all about making guests feel welcome which may bring them back.
- Worship times. Many bulletins are retained for future use. It is thus imperative for the worship times to be prominent in them.
- Physical address of church. You want to encourage the guest to return, so include the physical address of the church for their GPS.
- Website and social media links. This is a primary means of communication for our culture. Your church must be speaking that language, and guests need to know where to find you online.
The verse of the day from Bible Gateway is Psalm 46:10 – “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
The Our Daily Bread devotional for this day is also focused on being still, quiet, and waiting for the Lord to act.
From deep in The Master’s Table archives: Jesus, often known for saying exactly the right thing at the right time, also knew when to keep silent. Click here for more.
Read James 3. Perhaps we would all be wiser to say less.
Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise;
when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.
We live in the Information Age. Pretty much the whole of recorded knowledge from all time is available in a few clicks. Most of us use the technology that makes this feat possible to look at funny cat pictures and argue with total strangers. The proliferation of social media and instant publish platforms means that any one of us can have a global audience, but you need a sensational event to document if you want your Facebook post or Instagram pic to go viral. Case in point: How many have seen this image in the last week which supposedly shows Houston under water?
The actual title of the article published by the Pew Research Center is America’s Changing Religious Landscape. You can read that article here, at their own website, rather than second or third hand if you wish. The story was reported by media outlets, such as CNN, with attention grabbing headlines like “Millennials Are Leaving the Church in Droves.”
Russell Moore takes a different perspective, suggesting that actual faith is not in decline but rather the false pretense of it. People without true faith have quit going to church to make a show. He suggests people are no longer attracted to “almost Christianity” but that real faith is alive and well. There are not more atheists than there used to be, there are more honest atheists. Please do read his article here.
Ed Stetzer posted a similar story in USA Today, arguing that while Evangelicals make up a smaller percentage of the population than they did a few years ago their overall numbers have actually grown. While I think Moore’s article is better written, both make the point that raw data doesn’t tell the whole story. How we interpret that data is equally if not more important.