Links for Your Weekend Reading

Links I Like is a collection of blogs, articles and books I’ve come across recently and thought they were worth sharing. Click here for past Links I Like.

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9 lies in the not married life.

Singleness’s greatest sorrows are secretly reinforced every February in the souls of the not-yet-married still waiting for their wedding day. While many of our friends and family are inundated with dates, flowers, chocolate, and love notes, lots and lots of the valentine-less are overwhelmed with everything from impatience to bitterness, from shame to regret to confusion.

Rick Thomas on 5 sure fire ways to motivate your son to look at pornography.

Porn is first and foremost about the theater of the mind, where the young male can enter into his virtual world and be king for a day—or, in this case, king for a few minutes—as he satiates his mind with the risk-free intrigue of the cyber conquest.

Barnabas Piper on Why PK’s often hate the ministry and why so many are now in ministry.

Here’s what I learned from those PKs:

  • God’s grace is bigger than our frustrations and hurts (imposed on us or self-imposed) and bigger than our parents’ mistakes.
  • When we see mistakes our parents make that have hurt us or shaped us in ways we don’t like we become responsible for how we respond, either to follow Christ or not.
  • Whether or not our parents did a good job, being a PK is a unique blessing and creates an opportunity to serve God’s people that most don’t get.
  • The church is God’s people and part of God’s plan; to abandon it is to abandon what God has put in place.
  • Honoring our fathers and mothers is a really big deal and a really valuable thing. No, it doesn’t mean we must agree with them or imitate them, but it does mean we cannot resent them.
  • With few exceptions, our parents love us deeply. It’s worth figuring out how to connect with that love instead of holding on to hurt.

How Bill Hybels advises pastors and leaders to think about the Sunday service.

“Imagine if I could give you a newsflash, that the person you’ve been trying to invite to church for the last 3 years is coming this Sunday.” With those opening words, Willow Creek Community Church senior pastor Bill Hybels grabbed the attention of the 1000 leaders gathered at the Church Leadership Conference in Riga, Latvia. But Bill would then ask, and answer, a question that every church leader must come to terms with:  “What are you hoping will happen to that woman or that man during that one hour church service?”

Dan Black on How to maximize your personal growth time.

The most common reason I hear as to why a leader does not invest in personal growth is because they don’t have the time for it. Personal growth does not happen by chance but requires a few key ingredients.

Growing leaders crave silence and solitude.

When was the last time you had meaningful time alone?

No meetings, no appointments. No phone buzzing. No music in your ear buds. No distractions.

Just stillness. Solitude.

My guess is for many of us the answer is it’s been a while.

What if I told you that your effectiveness and maybe even your longevity as a leader depended directly on finding and establishing regular periods of solitude?

Keri Seavey on Your spouse is not Jesus.

Both husband and wife often start life together, from authentic love and commitment (and a bit of naïve self-assessment), blissfully aiming to meet or exceed every spoken or perceived expectation placed before them in their desire for a great marriage. They may even maintain their success for a while. Yet, given time, we all bump up against our (and our spouse’s) weaknesses, limitations, and tenacious self-centeredness. This is when things begin to get messy.

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What is the 30 Day Intimacy Challenge?

Last night, one of our next steps was to challenge our church to participate in the 30 day intimacy challenge. I wanted to take a minute to explain what it is, what we are challenging you to do and how to participate in it.

The 30 day intimacy challenge was originally developed by Relevant Church in Tampa, FL. The idea is to create a challenge that would move married couples to higher levels of intimacy while at the same time challenging those that are not married (single, dating, engaged) to higher levels of purity and integrity.

So here is the challenge.

If you are married, to do the 30 day devotional guide with your spouse everyday and have sex everyday for the next 30 days.

If you are not married, to abstain from all things sexual for the next 30 days. Self love, porn, oral sex, sex, fill in the blank for the next 30 days and while you are doing that, go through the devotional guide.

What do you do if you are engaged or dating? Do the singles guide because until you are actually married, you aren’t married. For more on the ways we make it okay to have sex outside of marriage, you can listen to tonight’s talk.

Now, how do you do this?

You can go to our website, download and print out the married guide and the singles guide.

The reality is that one of the main reasons many marriages end or are unhappy is because of their sexual relationship. Many of the problems that couples experience begin before they get married and often, before they even meet the person they are married to.

If you are a couple that has lost some ground in your sexual relationship, are on the edge of adultery, dealing with sexual addiction, need to spice up your relationship or want to raise the level of your sexual relationship, then this is definitely for you.

If you are not married and are struggling with not having sex, you are struggling to keep good boundaries, struggling with sexual addiction, then this is something you should definitely do. This will help to create good boundaries, while at the same time working through the issues that sex outside of marriage brings about.

Here is a great way to know you should do it, if you don’t want to. That is the clearest sign that you need to do this as a couple or individual.

Any questions about this, let us know.

I’m Single, Should I Attend “The Vow?”

I get this question a lot whenever we do a series on marriage and relationships. I’ve gotten it a lot in the last month as we are getting closer to kicking off The VowI’m single, should I attend? Will I learn anything?

The answer is yes and yes.

A few reasons. The idea of biblical manhood and womanhood is bigger than marriage. It is for everyone, single or married. As a man, God is very clear and specific what that means, how you should live, what you should strive to be, whether you are single, dating or married. The same for women. In addition, the goal of life is not to get married. In fact, Paul in 1 Corinthians points out that everyone shouldn’t get married, some should stay single, be on mission and give their life away. If you don’t get married, you have the opportunity to not only become who God has called and created you to be, but to encourage that in others you are in community with, both men and women.

Some people who are single now, will someday get married. The kind of person you will be when you get married, is largely being decided right now when you aren’t married. You are deciding who you will be, and who you will marry. Many women have no idea who they should be in Christ, but they have even less of an idea of what they should look for in a husband. The same is true for men.

In this series, we are spending the first 2 weeks looking at what God calls a man and woman to be. In the 3rd week, we are going to look at how our past gets in the way of our future. Most people don’t realize how their past, the past of their parents, grandparents and on down the family line, how that affects their future. It affects how we see ourselves, potential mates, careers, goals, community and ultimately our relationship with God.

The last week, we will look at how (if you get married) to protect your marriage and enjoy it. We will also look at how someone who is single protects their heart, mind and body, regardless of if they get married. Many people, married and single, give their hearts away, give up their bodies and mind. We do this through a variety of means, but in the end it keeps us from experiencing the life God dreams for us.

Ultimately, each week we will come to the reality that you can’t become the person God created you to be without the gospel. It is the hope of our lives.

So, married or single or divorced. You need to be at every week of The Vow

This Weekend @ Revolution

This Saturday we wrap up our 22 week series through the book of Nehemiah. I’m excited about what lays ahead for the summer at Revolution, but I am also sad to see this series end. God has done so much over the last 22 weeks.

This week we’ll be looking at Nehemiah 13:23 – 31 and looking at the role a man and a woman play in a family. We’ll look at what husbands and fathers are to become, what wives and mothers are to become. We’ll also uncover if you are single what you should be looking for in a husband or a wife. What makes someone worth marrying.

I think it is interesting, and not at all an accident that Nehemiah ends with this passage. The importance of the family and the home have huge implications on our church and the world we live in.

So, do whatever you have to do to get to Revolution this Saturday night (and don’t forget to bring a friend with you)! To use an e-vite, just go here.

Remember, we meet at 5pm at 410 S. Pantano Rd.

See you then.

P.S.
Don’t miss our next series Unstoppable that starts on June 12th.

Links of the Week

  1. Scott Lindsey reviews The Shack
  2. I am Second (this is a great website)
  3. Craig Groeschel on Lukewarm leadership creates lukewarm followers
  4. Jason Mitchell on Thoughts on Aids & Advent & Giving the gift that sucks
  5. Dan Kimball on Missional misgivings
  6. Tim Keller interview
  7. John Piper on Why John Piper is on the planet (& you too)
  8. Tony Morgan on 10 reasons I don’t like Christians
  9. Shane Duffey on Advice for singles
  10. Wayne Daley on Communion (Wayne’s in our community, this is really in depth, great stuff)