Yesterday was a big day! First of all, my youngest sister Shannon, turned 18. When I moved out of my parents house she had just turned 7, so it’s pretty crazy to think that she’s a big bad adult now. I’m very proud of the young woman she is becoming. Yesterday was also graduation day here is Santa Barbara, and I had the privilege of seeing several students from our church graduate. I’ve really enjoyed sharing life with them through their last two years of high school, and I’m excited for them as they begin this new season of life.
All of that being said, here are a few links that caught my eye this last week:
Welcome to America, Please Be On Time: What Guide Books Tell Foreign Visitors to the U.S.- This post talks about what travel guidebooks tell foreign visitors to the U.S. I found it amusing, and it helped highlight some of the quirks of our culture. “Vigour and passion are animating forces in politics and culture here. While this tendency has deep roots in the country’s religious heritage (modern evangelism was perfected here), it affects everything from the firm opinions people hold over even trivial matters, to the public stand they make over God, government, guns, and other incendiary topics.”
The Offense of Selfless Love- This post is about the reaction to the story of Ian and Larissa, a couple profiled by Desiring God about a month ago. Ian suffered a traumatic brain injury while they were dating, but the couple went forward with marriage. Their commitment to each other is inspiring. “Perhaps if more Christians viewed marriage this way, our rates of marital breakup would differ more markedly from those of the world. Marriage is not a contract in which each person expects to receive equal benefits in return. It is a covenant meant to mirror the relationship of Christ and his church, in which each partner lives selflessly for the good of the other (Eph. 5:25-32).”
6 Things You Think You Need to Get Healthy…But Really Don’t- I know that there are many people who are not physically healthy through no fault of their own. They have legitimate long term illnesses or injuries or responsibilities that prevent them from taking care of themselves the way they would like. They get all the sympathy in the world from me. However, I’ve found that for every one person in that category there are a dozen unhealthy people who have made up some CRAZY excuses for why they don’t take better care of themselves. I’ve heard plenty of people complain that they aren’t healthy because they lack one of the six things on this list. Turns out, you don’t need them! At the end of the day, people that really want to get healthy find a way to, and people that don’t will always be able to find an excuse.
Why Getting the Bible Right is Critical for Our Faith- This guest post by J.R. Daniel Kirk on Peter Enns’ blog (and the post that follows it) offers some important thoughts about how to read and understand the Bible. I like what he has to say about reading the Bible as a story with Jesus and his life, death, and resurrection at the center. I don’t know that I’m quite as down on seeing the Bible as a source of systematic theology as he is (I’m more inclined to think story and systematic theology can coexist), but nevertheless I appreciate Kirk’s thoughtful approach to this subject.
15 Questions for Pastors to Ask Themselves- I know that a handful of you who read my blog are pastors, and many more of you are lay leaders at your churches. These are good questions for anyone who serves their church to ask themselves.
And finally, thank you Michael Hyatt for this reminder this morning: