Six-Pack (46)

After an unscheduled blog break, it’s good to be back at it.

From a small stockpile of articles that had collected, here comes the latest Six-Pack of faith-focused or ministry-minded pieces with enough room for some who-knows-what!

If you need an easy in, start with the *Picks of the Week*, and move from there.

For a steady stream of such links, follow me on Twitter ( @JasonBandura ) to the right of this post.  Sharp quotes and solid articles are tweeted 3-4 times daily.

Today’s edition:

1) Would You Know a Revival if You Saw One?
Justin Taylor shares this clip and video from J.I. Packer. For anyone craving revival in their here-and-now, there are some great thoughts here on what to desire and how to discern it.

2) An Atheist in the Pulpit (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
Plenty of the tone in this piece makes suggestions I disagree with. Even still, there are enough fascinating descriptions of the movements between faith and doubt to make it well worth the read.

3) Why Fewer Churches Offer Vacation Bible School
It all appears to come down to one word.

4) Ten Things I’ve Learned about Pastors
Thom Rainer highlights a list of things he’s learned about pastors over the past couple years. Any what you’d expect? Any that surprise?

5) Why MLB Hitters Can’t Hit Jennie Finch
This SI piece breaks down reaction time and why baseball’s best can’t touch fastball’s first lady.

6) Stunning: Comparing US and World Covers for Time Magazine (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
Well, this brief and picture-filled piece is disturbing, if not slightly expected.

Pleasure to be back with you, friends. Enjoy the Six-Pack, and may your final week of August be wonder-filled!

YOUR TURN: Which link above was most intriguing–why that one? Direct others readers to the best of the bunch. Your input makes this post better!

[You can subscribe to this blog via RSS or email, in the upper right corner of this page.]

Saturday Six-Pack (44)

Welcome to the weekend and to the Six-Pack. Below is the latest installment of best-of pieces I’ve recently read online.

As per usual, most pieces are faith-focused or ministry-minded; for the rest of them, you get a smattering of who-knows-what!

If you need direction, begin with my two *Picks of the Week*, and move out from there.

For a steady stream of such links, follow me on Twitter ( @JasonBandura ) to the right of this post.  Sharp quotes and solid articles are tweeted 3-4 times daily.

Today’s edition:

1) Christopher Hitchens’ Lies Do Atheism No Favours
Salon featured this intriguing piece, by professing atheist Curtis White. It is his call for greater intellectual integrity among those believing in no-God.

2) I Am a Preacher (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
Thank you Jonathan Martin for giving language to some of the bizarre aspects of being a preacher. If you are a preacher or know a preacher, this may be enlightening.

3) Here’s Something about the Bible of the First Christians I Bet You Didn’t Know
If you love the Bible, then Peter Enns wants to give you a crash course on this word: Septuagint. Count this as your “something new” for today’s learning.

4) Why Christians Make Miserable Addicts (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
For the Huffington Post, Heather Kopp says that addiction wields power in some uniquely destructive ways for people of faith. Here’s why.

5) World Crokinole Championships: The Great Paternal Experiment
Ominocity recently featured this piece by my friend Nic Olson, on a most unique road trip.

6) A Brief History of the Demise of Battle Bots
Remember those UFC-for-Robots shows? I possess no skills to create such contraptions, but just enough geekiness to appreciate those who do. Here, from PopSci, is how that odd trend of programming wound toward extinction.

Another Six-Pack served.  Have at it!

May your weekend be full of awareness and enjoyment of the One who loves you deeply. Grace and peace, my friends.

YOUR TURN: Which link above was most intriguing–why that one? Direct others readers to the best of the bunch. Your input makes this post better!

[You can subscribe to this blog via RSS or email, in the upper right corner of this page.]

Saturday Six-Pack (17)

Welcome to the weekend, a prime time for some “Wandering & Wondering”.

This weekend’s Six-Pack features a half-dozen of the best online bits I’ve read recently: About faith, about ministry, about who-knows-what.

If you need help prioritizing, note my two “Picks of the Week”, and roll on from there.

In this edition:

1) Winged Enemies
Each Sunday, Skye Jethani‘s four-year-old daughter warns the family, “We’re going to church. Watch out for poop.”  And with that introduction, I suggest you go read the rest of this article on spiritual warfare.

2) Risky Sex
Talk of “safe sex” is foolishness, according to Michael Hidalgo.  Even more, if it DID exist, who would want it?  Risky sex is where it’s at! **PICK OF THE WEEK**

3) Unequally Yoked
That is the new blog title of Leah Libresco, a prominent atheist blogger in some circles, who recently caused ripples with her post, “This is my last post for the Patheos Atheist Portal”.  In it, she briefly recounts her gradual conversion to Catholicism.  A summary by Scot McKnight can be read HERE, and Google can quickly provide you with more than a pile of responses and replies.

4) Why Smart People are Stupid
The New Yorker presented this piece on how your smartness may actually work against you.

5) It’s Not About the Dream
VeggieTales creator Phil Vischer turns to a jellyfish for new inspiration, new ventures, and a new way of doing business.  This is the story behind the man, behind Larry the Cucumber and Bob the Tomato, and it involves more convicting and repenting than you might expect.

6) Are You a Saint or a Scorpion
The memorable fable drives home a great point… or several! **PICK OF THE WEEK**

Enjoy your weekend, friends, through renewing yourself and reverencing God.

Saturday Six-Pack (13)

May’s final weekend–unreal!  Still, it’s another great day for some “Wandering & Wondering”.

As usual, this Saturday Six-Pack brings a weekly dose of online pieces, written to inform or inspire.  I typically choose faith-focused or ministry-geared articles, but my “disorderly pile of who-knows-what” nature gets a say every so often too!

Today’s pile:

1) Can We Prove the Existence of God?
For all the arguments over this topic, some finely nuanced discussion of topics like knowledge, certainty, and evidence is needed.  Some of that is found here.

2) Being a Pastor to a Pastor
Diane Roth recounts when the table turned on who was caring for who.

3) How Grace Motivates
Grace gets a reputation as soft, something that gets taken advantage of.  A reassessment might help us see it as the most motivating force in all the world.

4) Quebec: Canada’s Prodigal Province
Christianity Today explores Evangelical Christians are aiming to impact this blatantly post-Christian region of the continent.

5) Why Finding Your Passion is a Myth
Been longing for a life lived in perfect unison with your natural passions?  It might be waiting for you… right beside the Loch Ness Monster and Iraq’s WMD’s.

6) Boringness: The Secret to Great Leadership
With that title, I’ll just nudge you to click on this insightful piece from Joel Stein.

Have a great weekend, friends–renew yourself and reverence God.

Saturday Six-Pack (4)

Another week down, another weekend up!  Thanks for returning for some “Wandering & Wondering”.

Having just concluded a fantastic week with Arrow Leadership, my past days have been spent on an island off the West Canadian coast, where internet was spotty at best.  Here are six articles that I’ve enjoyed since my return to the mainland yesterday.

As always, these articles generally are faith-focused or ministry-geared, but I reserve the right to live up to the “disorderly pile of who-knows-what” tagline at the top of this page!

In this edition:

1) Why Facebook is Killing God
This Psychology Today offering by Nigel Barber is an intriguing read, though I confess that it comes across as a fairly weak assessment of “religion”.  Tweaking that comment, perhaps it IS accurate of RELIGION.  But it certainly displays a gaze far too small to grasp even a sliver of who Jesus Christ is.

2) Early Christians Speak of the Spirit
My friend Kirk Ruch has a great blog, where he frequently explores the place of the Holy Spirit within the Christian life and community.  His latest post scans a few sources that reveal some telling views that the early church held, in regard to “gifts of the Spirit”.

3) Christian Kindness Flabbergasts Critic
The Athens Review reported this story from San Antonio.  I cannot be the only reader that thinks, “We could use more of these stories unfolding in our world.”

4) The Homeless God
Blogger Frank Viola tweeted a link to this over-a-year-old this week.  Its point?  God is looking for a place to dwell.  Is He welcome in your church?  Your life?

5) The Irony of Atheism
If you’re reading this in Washington, DC, you have the unique opportunity to attend a local “Atheism Rally” today if you’d like.  Along those lines, Carson Weitnauer contributes this offering from the book “True Reason”, a compilations of some Christian thinkers’ responses to the latest and popular reincarnation of the no-God movement.

6) For Anyone Not Living a Cushy Life
To any who are suffering, Ray Ortlund offers this brief piece toward re-framing the hurt.

Have a great weekend, friends–renew yourself and reverence God.