Six-Pack (50)

Welcome to the big 5-0! Since starting the Six-Pack back in March 2012, over 300 links and articles have been shared in this space.

So thanks for joining us for this silver edition. Here’s the latest collection of “best recent reads” on faith, ministry, and who-knows-what!

If six overwhelms, start with two. The *Picks of the Week* provide an easy starting point.

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

Today’s edition:

1) Slowly Putting it Back Together: How One Couple Rescued a “Love Lost” Marriage (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
Can a marriage on its death-bed be rescued from the brink? Megan Raines affirms that it can. Thanks to Gary Thomas, for both posting this story and for his ongoing work and writing toward strengthening and supporting marriages everywhere.

2) Three Things I Learned from Oprah
Steven Pressfield came on to my radar a few years ago, when his book “War of Art” was on a “Recommended Reading” list I received for a conference.  If you’re involved in any sort of creative process, he should be on your list too. Recently featured by Oprah, he observes what he noted from that interaction. Number three is: Oprah did not get to be Oprah by accident.

3) Seven Habits of Ineffective Leaders 
I’ve been entrusted with a number of leadership roles throughout my life. More than I care to admit, I’ve stepped up to those plates poorly. Here is a short and clear list of ways to go wrong. Let’s go do better!

4) The Silence of our Friends: The Extinction of Christianity in the Middle East
The Spectator’s Ed West does a great job highlighting just a few of the recent blows to Middle East Christianity, while asking the obvious question: Why aren’t we hearing or doing more about this?

5) The Audacity to Question God: An Interview with Greg Boyd (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
If you don’t yet know Greg Boyd, Jonathan Merritt wants to remedy that. You’ll be glad he did, as the two chat about doubt and how it pertains to Christians’ faith in the Jesus and the Bible.

6) Jack Handey Is the Envy of Every Comedy Writer in America
As I revealed in my last post (and elsewhere), I love comedy and those who “do it” in special ways. Jack Handey certainly makes that list. Don’t know Jack Handey? Start with these Deep Thoughts.

May the week ahead be filled with life, as the Father fills you with all you need!

Thanks for plowing through 50 Six-Packs with me!

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

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An Evening With Cosby

Several months ago, my wife bought me a birthday gift — a bucket-list-altering ticket to an event “some evening in the fall”.

Tonight is that evening, and it’s all tied back to a 2002 documentary.

Comedian-300x439Sometime after the end of his famous sitcom, Jerry Seinfeld was featured in a documentary called “Comedian”. It chronicled his journey, from sitcom star back to stand-up comedy. It provided anyone who cared a peek behind the curtain of what is involved in the creating and performing of a carefully crafted and painfully put-together stand-up act.  I found it fascinating.

Many of the best scenes feature Seinfeld in the back rooms of various comedy clubs, chatting with other known or lesser-known comics. They’re trying out jokes, analyzing what works and doesn’t, and shooting the breeze. Perhaps the best visit features Seinfeld and Chris Rock. The tone of the dialog suddenly changes; it gets slower, quieter.  They begin to speak of “someone”, someone whose comedy and career and character impresses them in an unusual way. They marvel at his longevity, at the fact that he had just performed what they thought was his greatest stuff yet. There is almost reverence in the scene, as they speak of Bill Cosby.

Bill-cosbyAnd that was when I made up my mind: I needed to see Cosby perform before one of us could no longer keep the appointment.

Tonight is that night, in Minot, ND.

Happy birthday, indeed!