Friday, August 31, 2012

How to Interact with Introverts

This awesome graphic from 22words really explains a lot. Introverts and extroverts can benefit from this simple wisdom:

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Best RNC Speech So Far

(Updated with the full video)
The second half (the last 7-8 minutes) are absolutely amazing: "It doesn't matter where you came from, it matters where you are going"... every word from that point forward is true inspiration. Here is a transcript of the last part:
My fellow Americans, we do not have a choice.  We cannot be
reluctant to lead and you cannot lead from behind.
   Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan understand this reality.  Our
well- being at home and our leadership abroad are inextricably
linked.  They know what to do.  They know that our friends and
allies must again be able to trust us.  From Israel to Columbia,
from Poland to the Philippines, our allies and friends have to
know that we will be reliable and consistent and determined.
And our foes can have no reason to doubt our resolve because
peace really does come through strength.
   Our military capability and our technological advantage
will be safe in Mitt Romney's hands.  We must work for an open,
global economy, and pursue free and fair trade, to grow our
exports and our influence abroad.  If you are worried about the
rise of China, just consider this -- the United States has
negotiated -- the United States has ratified only three trade
agreements in the last few years, and those were negotiated in
the Bush administration.
   China has signed 15 free trade agreements and is in the
progress of negotiating as many as 18 more.  Sadly, we are
abandoning the field of free and fair trade and it will come
back to haunt us.
   We must not allow the chance to attain energy independence
to slip from our grasp.  We are blessed with a gift of oil and
gas resources here in North America, and we must develop them.
We can develop them sensitively, we can develop them securing
our environment, but we must develop them.
   And we have the ingenuity to develop alternatives sources
of energy.  Most importantly, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will
rebuild the foundation of our strength, the American economy --
stimulating private sector growth and stimulating small business
   When the world looks at us today, they see an American
government that cannot live within its means.  They see an
American government that continues to borrow money, that will
mortgage the future of generations to come.  The world knows
that when a nation loses control of its finances, it eventually
loses control of its destiny.
That is not the America that has inspired people to
follow our lead.
   After all, when the world looks to America, they look to us
because we are the most successful economic and political
experiment in human history.  That is the true basis of American
exceptionalism. You see, the essence of America, what really
unites us, is not nationality or ethnicity or religion.  It is
an idea.  And what an idea it is.  That you can come from humble
circumstances and you can do great things, that it does not
matter where you came from, it matters where you are going.
   My fellow Americans, ours has never been a narrative of
grievance and entitlement.  We have never believed that I am
doing poorly because you are doing well.  We have never been
jealous of one another and never envious of each others'
   No, no, ours has been a belief in opportunity.  And it has
been a constant struggle, long and hard, up and down, to try to
extend the benefits of the American dream to all.  But that
American ideal is indeed in danger today.  There is no country,
no, not even a rising China that can do more harm to us than we
can do to ourselves if we do not do the hard work before us here
at home.
   More than at any other time in history, greatness is built
on mobilizing human potential and ambition.  We have always done
that better than any country in the world.  People have come
here from all over because they have believed our creed of
opportunity and limitless horizons.
   They have come here from the world's most impoverished
nations just to make a decent wage.  And they have come here
from advanced societies as engineers and scientists that fuel
the knowledge-based revolution in the Silicon Valley of
California, in the Research Triangle of North Carolina, along
Route 128 in Massachusetts, in Austin, Texas, and across this
great land.
   We must continue to welcome the world's most ambitious
people to be a part of us.  In that way, we stay young and
optimistic and determined.  We need immigration laws that
protect our borders, meet our economic needs, and yet show that
we are a compassionate nation of immigrants.
   We have been successful too because Americans have known
that one's status of birth is not a permanent condition.
Americans have believed that you might not be able to control
your circumstances but you can control your response to your
   And your greatest ally in controlling your response to your
circumstances has been a quality education.  But today, today,
when I can look at your zip code and I can tell whether you're
going to get a good education, can I honestly say it does not
matter where you came from, it matters where you are going?  The
crisis in K-12 education is a threat to the very fabric of who
we are.
   My mom was a teacher.  I respect the profession.  We need
great teachers, not poor ones and not mediocre ones.  We have to
have high standards for our kids, because self-esteem comes from
achievement, not from lax standards and false praise.
   And we need to give parents greater choice, particularly,
particularly poor parents whose kids, very often minorities, are
trapped in failing neighborhood schools.  This is the civil
rights issue of our day.
   If we do anything less, we can damage generations to
joblessness and hopelessness and life on the government dole
(ph).  If we do anything less, we will endanger our global
imperatives for competitiveness.  And if we do anything less, we
will tear apart the fabric of who we are and cement the turn
toward entitlement and grievance.
   Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will rebuild us at home.  And
they will help us lead abroad.  They will provide an answer to
the question, ``where does America stand?''  The challenge is real
and the times are hard.  But America has met and overcome hard
challenges before.
   Whenever you find yourself a doubting us, just think about
all those times that America made impossible seemed inevitable
in retrospect.  Our revolutionary founding act as the greatest
military power of the time, a civil war, brother against
brother, hundreds of thousands dead on both sides, but we
emerged a more perfect union.  A second founding when inpatient
patriots were determined to overcome the birth defect of slavery
and the scourge of segregation.
   A long struggle against communism with the soviets even --
the soviet union's collapse and in the aftermath of 9/11, the
willingness to take hard, hard decisions that toward us and
prevented the follow on attack that everybody thought
   And on a personal note, a little girl grows up in Jim Crow
Birmingham.  The segregated city of the south where her parents
cannot take her to a movie theater or to restaurants, but they
have convinced that even if she cannot have it hamburger at
Woolworths, she can be the president of the United States if she
wanted to be, and she becomes the secretary of state.
   Yes, yes.  Yes.  Yes, America has a way of making the
impossible seemed inevitable in retrospect, but we know it was
never inevitable. It took leadership.  And it took courage.  And
it's a belief that our values.  Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have
the integrity and the experience and the vision to lead us.
They know who we are.  They know who we want to be.  They know
who we are in the world and what we offer.
   That is why -- that is why this is a moment and an election
of consequence.  Because it just has to be that the freest most
compassionate country on the face of the earth will continue to
be the most powerful and the beacon for prosperity and the party
across the world.
   God bless you and God bless this extraordinary country,
this exceptional country:  The United States of America.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Is complementarianism a gospel issue? - Reformation21 Blog

Confused by Complementarianism? You probably should be. - Reformation21 Blog
Prolific writer, pastor, seminary professor and chair of church history at WTS, Dr. Carl Trueman asks and answers a question that has been on my mind for quite some time:
"Given that the issue of complementarianism is raising its head over at The Gospel Coalition, it provides an opportunity to reflect on an issue that has always perplexed me: why is the complementarian/ egalitarian debate such a significant bone of contention in parachurch cobelligerent organisations whose stated purpose is to set aside issues which divide at a church level but which do not seem to impact directly upon the gospel?" 
His article is excellent and well worth reading.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Tired of everything being "Gospel"-this, "Gospel"-that?

Thabiti Anyabwile has a thought-provoking article over at The "Gospel" Coalition, taking a self reflective look at everything always being about the Gospel. His criticism hits home for me in a sense, because it's very easy to use a label or shorthand to try to communicate something that requires quite a bit more depth and actual application to help people grow in their faith.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Passive Agressive Posture vs. Cruciform Love

timgombis has "been exploring some of the dynamics associated with passive-aggressive postures." He has found that this way of relating is quite common among American evangelical church cultures.

Such relational postures seem acceptable because very ofthen a person can be self-deceived into thinking and feeling that “I had suffered the greater wrong, and was showing a noble character by being ‘patient in suffering’.”

What makes being passive-aggressive a vice, however, is inside,we secretly grow angry, nursing perceived wounds, feeding resentment, and deriving hope and promise from the prospect that the other person will someday get what’s coming to him.

He goes on to show how this is ultimately a failure of love that we are called to as Christians.
Quoting,1 Corinthians 13, he says, genuine love “keeps no record of wrongs” (v. 5). Genuine love forgives and refuses to harbor resentment. "It no longer camps on actual or perceived insults and injuries."

Check out the whole article to read about the true cruciform posture that invites resurrection power accompanied by the restoration and renewing power of God’s Spirit.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Do Good in This World By Loving the Next

Do Good in This World By Loving the Next

C.S. Lewis: "If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. . . . It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this."
Read the article at The Gospel Coalition Blog

Friday, August 10, 2012

Enough with the quiet times...

A great devotional piece over at Take Your VitaminZ warns us not to overly press the "quiet time" issue. A suggestion for faith in action, one might say.
"Gospel soldiers don't read and memorize the Bible like one collecting antique swords; they collect to wield them — to fight. An arsenal is being built because the Enemy prowls (1 Peter 5:8). The cosmic forces haven't gone quietly (Ephesians 6:12). Therefore, we train. We wield. We fight."

Check out the whole piece>>

In Christ Alone (still only 99 cents)

Update: This sale has now ended.

In Christ Alone - Sinclair Ferguson’s excellent book In Christ Alone has been marked down to $0.99 in the Kindle edition. Still on sale! Great read, especially the last few chapters -- really good stuff. Thanks, for the HT.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Chick-fil A Redux

I've been thinking about this for a few days. While looking back through Barry Danylak's great book, Redeeming Singleness: How the Storyline of Scripture Affirms Singleness, I couldn't help but reflect upon the ultimate reality we have in Christ. With regard to this whole debate regarding the definition and validity of marriage, I see Jesus' words as transcending controversy altogether:
Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven." - Matt. 22:29-30

I believe that if the evangelical church caught a greater vision of Christ with regard to this subject,  we might have a different message to share, one that doesn't just talk past or down to the other side of the debate. Like Jesus, we can take the dialogue to a higher level -- transcending cultural and socio-political trends.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Hunger Games: Appetite and Identity

Winston Smith at CCEF has written the best article I've read so far on The Hunger Games.
He neither glorifies the story, nor berates it, but rather applies a Biblical worldview with surgical precision. Here is an excerpt:
So ask yourself and your teens, “What is my personal hierarchy of needs?” Is mere survival enough, or is it fame, wealth, prestige, or power? Or maybe something a bit more noble like country, kin, or romance? Whatever you need the most, whatever you hunger for, that’s what you will construct your life around. Of course, pondering those questions is easy in dispassionate moments. You can give the “right” answers, or at least the answers you think you’re supposed to give. But the more accurate answers emerge when you face trials and temptations, especially when you face death itself. And that’s what the arena does in The Hunger Games, it is the crucible that exposes one’s deepest needs and appetites, and reveals one’s truest self.
 As good as that observation and application is, he doesn't end with just that insight. There is much, much more, including how trusting in Christ actually matters... Check it out!!