Friday, December 6th, 2013. Nineteen days ’til Christmas. Perhaps you will find yourself waiting in line in a store somewhere this weekend or beside the warm fire. Either way – you might have a few minutes to read some (in my opinion) helpful articles. This week – the blog’s got it all: From raising children and singing in church to rap, money, and impressing people.
#1. “Raising Christian Kids in a Sex-Filled Culture” by Marlena Graves
“I believe the porn pandemic and other forms of illicit sex are really a result of our failure to love God and our neighbors. Consequently, we cannot merely fixate on “Don’t do this, don’t do that” instruction or on isolating our children. They need to know deep down why we do what we do or don’t do.
Instead, our teachings about porn and sex must be set in the broader context of love and justice—of shalom.”
Oh how important it is for parents to think through these things so carefully!
#2. “3 Critical Truths about Our Money” by J.D. Greear
“I am often asked how much Christians should give. Some who ask this are looking for wisdom, but many are looking for an out. They want to know how much is enough to get God off their backs, to fulfill their duty. And that attitude is miles away from the gospel. . . A lot of people who ask, ‘How much do I have to give?’ labor under the delusion that God needs their money. In their minds, God is like the government, endlessly low on funds and constantly seeking more funding. But God doesn’t need our cash.”
By the way, how much are you giving to Lottie this year???
#3. “Why Is It So Critical That We Sing Together?” by Mark Altrogge
“The gospel dwells in us richly through teaching, preaching and admonishment. But Colossians tells us the word of Christ also dwells in us richly when we sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness together. Our weekly times of corporate singing are times of steeping in the gospel. Times of meditating on all God has done for us through Jesus. Times to refocus our minds on Christ.
And music does this in a way that preaching can’t.”
What do YOU think? Believe Altrogge is right?
#4. “Thinking about Thinking about Rap – Unexpected Thoughts over Thanksgiving” by Al Mohler
“Bach was writing music that was understandable to the culture of his day, and not just to the elites. As a matter of fact, many among the elites did not like his music, accusing Bach of using crude structures, lowly themes, and of borrowing from unworthy musical sources. And then there is the issue of his pounding music as found in his famous organ works. Those pedal sequences in his toccatas are jarring to the senses and physical in reception and impression. Hardly appropriate for use in church and the service of the Gospel.
And the people who would argue now about the unworthiness of rap music often think of Bach as the quintessential Christian musician.”
Powerful article here and extremely thought provoking. Hard to believe church people would argue over music?!?!?!?!
#5. “Does Trying to Impress People Make You Sad?” by Donald Miller
“Interestingly, the more impressive we try to be, the less we really know ourselves, apparently. And the less we recognize what others think of us, the more happy we are. The bottom line is if we obsess with getting people to like us, we’re less likely to be happy.”
Not that I have a problem with this, but I thought some of you might. 🙂