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!

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

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Six-Pack (49)

Well, I missed the weekend deadline, but here is the most recent Six-Pack, all the same — a half-dozen of the best recent reads on faith, ministry, and who-knows-what! 

If six is too many, start with my two *Picks of the Week* as an easy entry 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) Syrian Fight Focuses on Christian City that Still Speaks Jesus’ Language
My blog has had unusually high traffic recently, mostly due to a past post titled Malula and “The Passion”. In case you’ve not yet heard of this Syrian city, the link above will initiate you in one click.

2) Boobs on the Boob Tube
Whatever you expect this piece to be about, I’ll bet you’re not quite on target. I also bet that some of you will click the link just because this is the first time this blog has ever featured the provocative word above!

3) Remembering Robert Farrar Capon (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
Sometimes I show up late. That appears to be have been the case with this fine life. Capon, an Episcopal priest, whose strikingly powerful thoughts on grace, Creation, and other spiritual truths have only recently been added to my world, passed away earlier this month. If you, like me, were  unaware of this man, it’s time to remedy that.

4) N.T. Wright Wants to Save the Best Worship Songs
Wright’s latest work is an effort to draw attention back to ancient Israel’s hymnal. Here is why he feels this is necessary and important.

5) I’m Rich Gelfond, CEO of IMAX, and This Is How I Work
Lifehacker presents this little post from a series called “This is How I Work”, a fascinating little peek into how leaders of all sorts go about their roles.

6) Superman Pastors are Bound to Fail (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
Let’s just allow this title to speak for itself, shall we?

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

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 (37)

Welcome the another week’s end, friends! Here is the latest installment of the Saturday Six-Pack.

As has become custom, most of these pieces are ministry-minded or faith-focused, with just enough room to allow for some who-knows-what.

If six options disorient you, start with my two *Picks of the Week*, and roll on 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) Devoted to Destruction (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
If you’ve ever wondered how to handle the “destroy everyone” passages in the book of Joshua, this article is a bit thick but certainly provocative. Thanks to Richard Beck for stirring the pot.

2) 32 Leadership Quotes from Michael Lukaszewski
Michael, from the Rocket Company, was recently a presenter at the Orange Conference. One listener quickly grabbed these notes.  More recently, the Rocket Company ran an excellent online seminar for eager-to-improve preachers. Their resources are certainly worth checking out.

3) The Real World: Leadership Lessons from Disaster Relief and Terrorist Networks (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
This brilliant piece, from Margaret J. Wheatley, is long but fascinating to any who desire to lead in ways that really make a difference in the real world. And how often do you get to draw lessons from terrorists anyway?!

4) May It Be Done (Let it Be)
Within our home, the music of Steve Bell is among the most-played. On a recent road trip, Steve blogged this piece about the Feast of Annunciation.

5) Quotes from the Master: Seth Godin
John Richardson is a huge Seth Godin fan! Here, he compiles some of Godin’s best quotes. Here are some gems from an unusually sharp (and blatantly unusual) mind!

6) Jerry Seinfeld’s Productivity Secret
Lifehacker shares this Seinfeld-secret, created and crafted when Jerry was still a largely-unknown comic, just trying to make it.

Blessings on you, my friends.  May your weekend be refreshing in rest, play, and worship.

YOUR TURN: Direct other readers to the best stuff above by making a comment below, or weigh in on what you read.  Your input makes this post better!

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

Sunday Six-Pack (34)

Saturday escaped me, but the Six-Pack is rolling out before this weekend passes me by, all the same!

The best ministry-minded or faith-focused articles I could find this week? Here they are, with some grace space for a bit of who-knows-what.

If six options stuns you, start with my two *Picks of the Week*, and pick up steam 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) Providential Accidents
Edward Fudge was writing about the doctrine of hell long before it became trendy. Here is an interview, with Scot McKnight, on his path and findings.

2) 42 Successful People Share the Best Advice They Ever Received
The Business Insider offers this pile of wisdom, much of which your mother may have shared with you back before you were paying attention.

3) Three Ways to Go Further, Faster (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
Michael Hyatt offers the single most important move he’s made toward gaining on, and accomplishing, some of his life goals.

4) Why are Some Words More Persuasive than Others?
Lifehacker offers this piece on the psychology of language. Fascinating read for any communicator who cares about getting their point across as effectively or powerfully as possible.

5) The Most Overlooked Key to a Growing Church (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
In this short piece, Rick Warren reminds of a simple, easy-to-forget characteristic that should never be forgotten.

6) John Wesley’s Secret to Making Disciples
Gary Thompson‘s post shares the list of questions that used to guide Wesley’s “accountability groups” before the term even existed. Could this still work today to mature followers of Jesus?

Blessings on you, my friends.  May the week ahead be filled with God in ways that you can sense. Tune yourself in, and walk on!

YOUR TURN: Add a line below to direct other readers to the best stuff above or to highlight the piece that gave you something worth keeping.

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 (25)

Welcome to Wandering & Wondering!

Here it is–the final “Saturday Six-Pack” of 2012, with one last dose of the best online offerings I’ve found before the calendar runs out.

As usual, if a half-dozen options paralyzes you, begin with my two *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) Why Discomfort is Good for You
Michael Hyatt makes the counter-intuitive (and counter-cultural) assertion that comfort is highly overrated.  Here is why I think he’s right.

2) Narrative Numbness (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
The language of “story”, significant as it is, has almost been sapped of its power by overuse. That said, this piece from Relevant Magazine nails squarely the key component that cannot be missed as Christians consider their roles in carrying the Jesus-story. Insight is sharp in this brief offering.  Thanks for sharing, CJ Casciotta.

3) 50 Motivational Quotes That Will Put Your Motivation on Overdrive
With January 1, and its spoken or silent resolutions, perhaps one of these fifty quotes, served up by LifeHack, will be just what you need to make that change stick in the year ahead.

4) The Death of a Child: A Parent’s Worst Nightmare (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
In light of the recent tragedy in Newtown, this piece, by a parent who tasted loss, will offer some insight to any pastor or friend who ever has to walk this road with someone.  Read it, and then pray you never need it.  But if you do, walk that road as well it can be walked.

5) 4 Things I’ve Learned about God through My Baby Who Was Born Blind
This article opens with this: “It’s not often that you get the opportunity to empathize with God; I recently experienced that bitter-sweet insight when I found out that my eleven-week-old baby girl was born almost completely blind.” And on it goes from there.

6) Work Less and Do More by Applying the Pareto Principle to Your Task List
The Pareto Principle says that in most situations roughly 80% of effects come from only 20% of the causes.  Translation: There are a few things in your life that can make all the difference.  Are you aware of what those are?  Lifehacker wants to know.

Happy New Year, my friends.  May the year ahead be unusually full of an awareness of God and how very close He is to you.

Blessings on you, my friends.

YOUR TURN: Direct other readers to the best stuff with a comment below, or weigh in on what you read.  Your input makes this post better!

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

Sunday Six-Pack (18)

Welcome to the weekend after a week in which even sitting to type a short blog post was an impossibility.  Here’s hoping that your weekend (a LONG weekend in Canada) allows you a chance to sigh.  Thanks for showing up for some “Wandering & Wondering”.

This week’s Six-Pack features the usual: A half-dozen of the best things I’ve read online in the past seven days.  As is the norm, most of these articles are faith-focused or ministry-geared, with a bit of who-knows-what tossed in!

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

Today’s edition:

1) 4 Things I’ve Learned about God Through My Baby Who Was Born Blind
The Resurgence‘s Mike Anderson opens this piece like this: “It’s not often that you get the opportunity to empathize with God; I recently experienced that bitter-sweet insight when I found out that my eleven-week-old baby girl was born almost completely blind.”  His brief but sharp observations are worth a stop today.

2) Serving Communion to Former Cannibals
Tony Merida recounts the powerful story of missionary John G. Paton (1824-1907). *PICK OF THE WEEK*

3) Pastoral Advice from a Professional Wrestler
Pastor Jay Sanders reflects on one sentence of profound pastoral advice from Nikita Koloff. *PICK OF THE WEEK*

4) They Cuss in ET.  WTF?!
Is violence now more permissible than swearing or nudity in our movies?  Steven Schlozman thinks so.  And then he wonders why.

5) 24 Creativity Quotes to Bring Out Your Inner Artist
I love great quotes.  (If you do too, subscribe to my Twitter feed @jasonbandura, and I’ll keep ’em coming for you.)  This batch may serve to fuel the quest toward fresh thinking and imaginative inventing.  Enjoy!

6) Who are the Coptic Christians?
Perhaps you’ve heard of the Coptic Christians in Egypt.  If you have but have been unclear on who these people are exactly, The Guardian’s Jonathan Jones would like to help you out, while giving you an art education at the same time.

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

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.