Monthly Archives: December 2013

GREAT Resource for Bible Reading Plans

 

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Looking for a good, solid, ‘just for you’ plan to read the Bible through for 2014???

Look no further than right here. Justin Taylor has done ALL Bible readers a HUGE favor. I know of no other comprehensive list of reading plans than this one.

If you’ve never read the Bible through in a year, I strongly encourage you to do so.

I can almost guarantee you will find a plan that will fit you right here.

Have one that has worked for you? Let me know.

Gonna try a plan that you found here? Let me know.

I’d love to know what some of you are planning to do for 2014.

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Now THAT’s a Good Question! (Part 2)

What are your favorite books from 2013?

Yesterday I gave you the bottom half of my top 10 reads from 2013. I know you have been about to bust to know what the top 5 are. Well – wait no more. . .

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#5. The Speed of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything by Stephen M.R. Covey

Whether you lead a church, a company, a family, or yourself – READ THIS BOOK. It is a must. You will be glad you did. The FBC pastoral staff team will be going through this book together starting in 2014.

Unknown-4#4. Gripped by the Greatness of God by James MacDonald

MacDonald takes various chapters from the book of Isaiah and walks through the verses brilliantly. His purpose is to allow Scripture to point us to . . .you guessed it . . . the greatness of our awesome God. Great read, especially devotionally.

Unknown-3#3. Vertical Church: What Every Heart Longs For. What Every Church Can Be by James MacDonald

I was introduced to this book just before summer vacation in July. I read it in 3 days (that’s saying something when you take 3 kids to the beach!). I love what MacDonald has to say about what every heart needs and how churches can help them get it.

Unknown-2#2. Nobodies for Jesus: 14 Days Toward a Great Commission Lifestyle by Chuck Lawless

The title says it all. Lawless takes his readers through a 2-week journey, challenging us to give our lives to the greatest cause in the universe: making disciples of all nations. Want more of God’s heart for the nations? READ THIS BOOK! Don’t have God’s heart for the nations, but want it? READ THIS BOOK! Want to know your purpose for living? READ THIS BOOK!

#1. Not By Sight: A Fresh Look at Old Stories of Walking by Faith by Jon BloomUnknown

Looking for a extraordinary devotional book to kick start the new year? You won’t be sorry. God has gifted Jon Bloom with incredible insight and creativity to help make the Bible stories come to life. This book will challenge, encourage, and nourish your soul. It is – beyond a doubt – my favorite read of 2014.

What are some of your favorites from 2013?

Now THAT’s a Good Question! (Part 1)

What are your favorite books from 2013?

Whoah. Now THAT’s a good question! It’s no secret here on the blog that I absolutely LOVE to read. Call me a nerd – I don’t care. I. Love. To. Read. I consider reading. . . wait for it . . . my . . . hobby. There. I said it.

It’s not difficult for me to recommend some books from my personal reading. What’s hard is narrowing the books down. I want to give you my top 10 books. 5 today. 5 tomorrow. In case there are any smart alecs are out there – this list excludes the Bible. That’s a given, okay? So, in addition to God’s awesome Word – what follows (today and tomorrow) are my top 10 book recommendations from 2013.

           

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 #10. Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys by Stephen James and David. S. Thomason

If you have boys – any age – click the link above and read this book. You will be prepared, helped, challenged, and ministered to by it.

#9. Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average, and Do Work that Matters by Jon AcuffUnknown-3

Need a good kick in the pants to get started doing something you’ve always wanted to do? This book will do it, all while making you laugh. Seriously, this is a great and fun read for anybody.

Unknown-1#8. The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins

Yes. It’s true. I started and couldn’t stop. I admit it: Though the third book wasn’t my favorite, I LOVED reading through the first 2 books of this Trilogy. Fun reading for sure!

#7. David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm GladwellUnknown-4

If you’ve never read anything by Gladwell, you should. Start with this book. Especially the first section. Though not intended to be a biblical commentary or spiritual book – the first section is very revealing and telling about what actually took place between the small Israelite and large Philistine on that unforgettable day. It actually sheds light on how God works in and through various situations. Seriously – the first section is worth the price of the book.

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#6. Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work by Chip and Dan Heath

I love the way these brothers write and how they compile their research into their writing. This is both a helpful and very insightful read. You will enjoy it and know how to make better decisions along the way!

Okay – there you go. My #’s 6-10 reads for 2013. Tomorrow, God willing, I will list my top 5.

What are some of your favorites?

THANK YOU!

Thank You.images

Thank You.

Thank You.

Thank you for taking a few minutes and filling out the survey for the blog. (If you still haven’t, you can! Click here now!)

Your insights were EXTREMELY helpful!

I am looking forward to being more and more intentional in 2014.

 

Now THAT’s a Good Question!

 

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Would you do me – and yourself – a HUGE favor?

Now THAT’s a Good Question! 🙂

For obvious reasons (Christmas, Travel, Christmas, Family, Christmas, Food, Christmas) I am going to take the week off from the blog. What I like to do this time of year – personally speaking – is to evaluate areas of my life in effort to get better.  In other words, I like to ask questions such as: “What’s working?” and “What’s not working?” when it comes to specific goals and life trajectories.

“Intentional Pastoring” is intended to help me pastor at my full potential through social media. It’s a small thing – and a small part of pastoring – but something I enjoy and something I want to get better at doing.

So, would you do me a HUGE favor? By doing so, it would be doing yourself a favor too. Would you click on this link and take a REALLY quick – anonymous survey? Over at Survey Monkey, I have put together a super brief, super easy – 8 question survey – to give you the opportunity to write whatever you want about the blog with NO ONE (even me!) knowing who you are! That’s right – I REALLY want to know how I can best serve you – the readers – and add as much value to your life that I can in the way God has gifted/wired me. So please be brutally honest!

If you would be willing to do me (and yourself) a HUGE favor click here, take the 5 minute survey, and then kick back with some egg nog and peanut butter balls.

I’ll meet you back here (God willing!) next week!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!

Five @ Free Flow Friday!

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It’s Friday!!!!

It’s my 7 year old’s Birthday!!!!

It’s Christmas Break for my kids!!!!

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It’s 5 Days ’til Christmas!!!!

I’m HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY!!!

Speaking of which, have you heard about what happened to Phil?

Below are 5 articles written from a Christian’s perspective on the ordeal.

What do you think?

#1. You Have Been Warned – The ‘Duck Dynasty’ Controversy by Al Mohler

Another interesting parallel emerges with the timing of this controversy. The current issue of TIME magazine features Pope Francis I as ‘Person of the Year.’ Within days of TIME’s declaration, Phil Robertson had been suspended from Duck Dynasty. Robertson’s suspension was caused by his statements that homosexual acts are sinful. But Pope Francis is riding a wave of glowing publicity, even as he has stated in public his agreement with all that the Roman Catholic Church teaches, including its teachings on homosexual acts.

Francis has declared himself to be a ‘son of the church,’ and his church teaches that all homosexual acts are inherently sinful and must be seen as “acts of grave depravity” that are ‘intrinsically disordered.’

But Pope Francis is on the cover of TIME magazine and Phil Robertson is on indefinite suspension. Such are the inconsistencies, confusions, and hypocrisies of our cultural moment.”

Think about that for a second: The Pope is ‘TIME’s’ Person of the Year (Hello? Do you know what Catholic’s believe about Homosexuality?) and Phil Robertson gets ‘canned’ from a ‘Reality’ TV show – WHAT????

 

#2. Duck Dynasty? by Russell Moore

If I don’t like that he’s gutting a deer in front of his granddaughters, I can turn the channel. If I don’t like that he goes to a church with a different view of baptism than mine, then I can go on the Internet and say why I think he’s wrong. And if you don’t like his religious views on sexuality (views held also by Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and evangelicals as well as by many Orthodox Jews, Muslims, and the Dalai Lama), you’re free to say why you think he’s wrong. And you’re free to change the channel.

Let’s have genuine diversity, meaning let’s talk honestly with one another about what we believe and why. Muting one another isn’t what debate is for in a free society. It’s what remote controls are for.”

Amen, and Amen. 

 

#3. Duck Dynasty Star Fired Over Remarks on Homosexuality by Joe Carter

Religious believers who think they can avoid the issue are deluding themselves. While we may not have a hit reality show that we can get fired from, we will be pressured in numerous ways to make it clear that we will not speak or act publicly in a way that supports the biblical view of homosexuality. The objective of the activists is to marginalize Christian views on sexual norms until they can be outlawed in the public square. Many Christians have already and will continue to gleefully work to ensure this becomes a reality. But for faithful Christians, allowing our biblical witness to be silenced is not an option. Like Phil Robertson we must all say, ‘My mission today is to go forth and tell people about why I follow Christ and also what the Bible teaches, and part of that teaching is that women and men are meant to be together.'”

Do you think Carter is right??

 

#4. Why Suspending Phil Robertson Will Backfire by Trevin Wax

Recent polls show that half of Americans are now supportive of gay marriage. I suspect that two-thirds of that number are Libertarian-minded people, like the guy I talked to a few weeks ago who told me, ‘I don’t care who gets married to whom. Live and let live. As long as they don’t push their views on me or my family.’

That’s a simplistic analysis of the debate over marriage in our society, but it’s popular. There are plenty of people who feel the same way about any number of cultural issues. ‘Just leave people alone.’

That’s why I believe the Duck Dynasty suspension will backfire, and Phil’s days on the show aren’t over for good. You can’t claim the right of free speech for the obscenities of Bill Maher and then try to shut down conversation in Louisiana.

Disagree with Phil Robertson all you want. Take to blogs. Change the channel. But firing a lovable ‘heretic’ is not the way to go in a society that promotes free speech.”

Question: Is it loving to to ‘just leave people alone’ on such issues?

 

#5. ‘Duck Dynasty:’ Let’s Deal in Real Reality by Jarod C. Wilson

I sometimes wonder what believers in the 2/3 world would think if they knew Western evangelicals get uptight about this kind of thing. We need to watch our rhetoric. It of course will not serve us well to pretend like the cultural wind isn’t shifting — indeed, it’s already shifted — but we need to be sober-minded. The firing of a millionaire reality show participant isn’t just a first world problem — it’s a one-percenter problem. As the cultural winds shifted against the early church, the believers in the Bible did not protest so much as praise. And what they suffered — and what our brothers and sisters around the world daily suffer — make this concern pale whiter than Miss Kay’s dumplin’s.”

Boom. Wilson’s right on. . . but I could sure go for some Miss Kay’s dumplin’s!