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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Saturday Six-Pack (20)

Back from a two-month absence, I have a stash of articles waiting for their spots in the Saturday Six-Pack.  Let’s get rolling!

As per usual, this weekend’s Six-Pack features a half-dozen online offerings that I recently enjoyed.  These articles are mostly faith-focused or ministry-geared, with a bit of disorderly-pile-of-who-knows-what tossed in!

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

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

Today’s edition:

1) 6 Reasons Why Mormons Are Beating Evangelicals in Church Growth
With the presence of Mitt Romney in the recent American election, Mormonism received even more media attention than usual.  David French, for the Gospel Coalition, offers this concise take on why the Mormon Church is “outdrawing” the Evangelical Church these days AND what we can learn from this.

2) Ranting is Not Preaching
The title says it all, but Tony Merida spends a few more lines fleshing out the temptation toward this lesser form of communication and the very real dangers that arise when pastors give in.

3) 10 Proven Practices for More Productive Leadership
In this guest post on Michael Hyatt’s blog, JD Meier offers a sharp list of practices relevant for every leader.  From his role at Microsoft to whatever role you fill, something (or likely SEVERAL somethings) from this list will speak to your current leadership challenges.

4) Lost in Translation (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
For Relevant magazine, Berlin’s Ben Stevens ponders why so few Christians, particularly those who tie great importance to the Bible’s authority, have ever considered learning Greek. His observations may surprise you.

5) Does Quantum Physics Make It Easier to Believe in God?
(*PICK OF THE WEEK*)

One more entry from TGC, this post summarizes a larger article posted at Big Questions Online by Stephen M. Barr, a professor of physics at the University of Delaware who specializes in theoretical particle physics.  To consider how cutting edge science intersects cutting edge theology, start here today. You’ll be glad you did.

6) Seven Habits of Highly Prolific Writers
This brief piece by Henri Junttila will inspire those of you thinking about putting words on paper to but your butt on the chair and get ‘er done!  If the thought of writing appeals to you, this post will nudge you toward the reality of it.

It’s good to be back, my friends!  Enjoy your weekend through renewing yourself and reverencing God.