Articles, book reviews, heck, I may even write a traditional blog post occasionally if the mood hits.
My wife and I recently began watching a show called Good Girls. Three suburban women, struggling with extreme personal and financial pressures, rob a grocery store. Complications ensue and before long they are laundering money, smuggling prescription meds—and occasionally re-robbing that grocery store. The show is well acted and an interesting watch, at least for … Continue reading Three Questions to Ask of Any Conspiracy Theory
How could I go over fifty years being this unaware of something so important? I never really thought that much about Islam the religion and never even considered how little I knew about the world’s second-most popular religion. And then I received my review copy of 40 Questions about Islam, and I must admit I’ve … Continue reading 40 Questions About Islam
Five suggestions for filtering out truth in a world of mixed messages. Saturday I read an article about Sweden’s response to the coronavirus from one of the news sources I trust, one which leans right politically. When I finished it, my Google News Feed suggested another article on Sweden from another of my more trusted … Continue reading Different Perspectives One Truth?
How and when should churches reopen as the Corona restrictions are eased? It’s one of the most challenging decisions church leaders have been confronted with in recent memory. Here are six views from six pastors in six very different contexts. About two weeks ago, a small-town pastor in Montana noticed that the governor of Idaho … Continue reading How Pastors Are Thinking About Reopening
With Governor Cooper’s 3-phase reopening plan, we can begin to strategize toward our path to whatever the new normal will look like. Here are the NC Phases, along with a framework for what that could (emphasis on could) look like for Spout Springs Church. For now, we will stay with multiple online services each weekend … Continue reading SSC Path Forward
What should a Christian who is not suffering from the economic effects of the Coronavirus slowdown do with their check? This article will make you think. Here’s a tease from the article by Matthew Soerens in Relevant Magazine: It’s very natural in times like these to think about how to protect and benefit ourselves and … Continue reading A Challenging Article on Government Checks
This is our moment! And here’s an article that gives a more subdued version if you’d prefer reading to watching (Though you should watch the first five minutes of the video at least.)
Here are some points from the video: For over a year, our church has been in transition, moving from a church concerned with how large we could become to how large an impact we can have. The transition is embodied in three phrases. Helping you become the person God created you to be so you … Continue reading SSC Coronavirus Update
I hope you don’t mind if I post a few articles that aren’t about Covid-19. Way More than You Can Bear A common myth in Christianity is that God will never place more on you than you can handle. I don’t know of anything further from the truth, as this author points out. Recently, I … Continue reading Khmer Music and Overwhelming Trials
Once or twice a year here in central North Carolina, there’s is a snow panic. Forecasts call for the potential of 1-5 inches (which is a big deal here). Our population immediately seems to fall into one of two camps. One group laughs, scoffs, and yells, “Bring it on.” The other immediately blockades themselves in … Continue reading Church, Common Sense, and COVID-19
I spent a couple months publishing a single article every weekday, but it seemed that people preferred it when I did one post a week linking multiple articles. So, we’re back. Speaking Truth in the Midst of Our Messes By Scott Mehl in Relevant My entire life I have been surrounded by messy people with … Continue reading Truth, Tattoos, and Transgender Issues
By Amanda Hurd I think its fair to say that most people in Christian communities have heard about the disciple Thomas. You know, the guy who wouldn’t believe his friends when they told him Jesus rose from the dead. And consequentially got named “Doubting Thomas” by all the grace filled Christians that came after him. … Continue reading ‘Doubting’ Thomas Just Had Questions … Just Like You
First off, this book is gorgeous! I’m required to tell you I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, but this was not what I was expecting. I expected a little paperback copy that was marked as a review copy and still brimming with typos. When I opened the box, … Continue reading A Worldview Approach to Science and Scripture: A Review
As a multi-denominational church, we have people who grew up with Ash Wednesday and Lent as central to their celebration of Easter, and people who make jokes about giving up cleaning out their bellybuttons for Lent. I grew up in the latter camp, but I am learning to appreciate the former. For those of us … Continue reading Ash Wednesday for Evangelicals
Here are the notes in case you want to follow along. “I Have a Dream” As I mentioned in my sermon, Martin Luther King’s most famous speech can be divided into two sections. If you watch the video below, up until the 10:45 mark or so, you can see him frequently looking down at his … Continue reading Words Matter
My little brother Kerry had Down Syndrome, so articles like this one always strike a chord with me. By Samuel L. Caraballo In 2008, my daughter Natalia was born with 47 chromosomes, a condition is usually known as trisomy 21 or Down syndrome. Before her birth, all I knew about Down syndrome came from my high … Continue reading Down Syndrome and the Image of God
One of the biggest shifts in the past few years has been the increase in people who classify themselves as “None of the Above” when asked about their religious affiliation. While most experts expected the trend to continue into the near future (at least), preliminary data suggests the trend may actually be slowing. Is the … Continue reading Is the Rise of the Nones Slowing?
To be a Christian means to model you positions on the Christ. This author believes that to stand with Jesus we have to stand for refugees. I’m with him and Jesus on this one. Why Anti-Refugee Sentiment Within Christian Circles Is Anti-Jesus When U.S. Christians promote the message that the comfort and traditions of Americans … Continue reading Is it Anti-Jesus to be Anti-Refugee?
Loneliness is almost an epidemic in our culture, which should provide a door for us to reach out to people where they are hurting. And it looks like where we work could be a great place to make connections. Most Americans Are Lonely, And Our Workplace Culture May Not Be Helping More than three in … Continue reading More Than 3 in 5 Americans Are Lonely
With all the controversy over the term “evangelical” and the way our church attracts people from every direction, I’ve been wondering how we can best describe ourselves. Who knew a trip back to the 70’s might provide the answer. Study: ‘Born Again’ Isn’t Just for Evangelicals Anymore A new study has found that “born again” … Continue reading Born-Again Makes a Comeback
Normally, I quote enough from an article for you to get the main concepts, then give you the link. This time? Nah, you got to read it. (It’s well worth it.)
For years I’ve wished there was a book I could give to the “God-curious” people in my life, but there just wasn’t anything. Either the book was written by someone who apparently hadn’t met a non-Christian since the first Bush administration, or the writer assumed that their specific brand of Christianity was the only viable … Continue reading Christianity for People Who Aren’t Christians, a Brief Review
We say living God’s standards is the best option, but is there evidence to back that up? Yep. Here’s some solid evidence you can use in discussions (or for helping affirm your own faith). One disclaimer. This is a heavy article. They are reporting on their own study, “Does Religious Affiliation Protect People’s Well-Being? Evidence … Continue reading Christianity Is Good for You
by Seth Godin (Note: Normally, I quote part of an article then give you a link to the rest. But Seth writes such short, powerful blogs it doesn’t make sense to quote part of one. I will give you the link so you can go browse around. He says the most amazing things.) The thing … Continue reading The Dominant Media Narrative of the Day
One of my favorite shows of the past few years was The Good Place. It ended recently, and I must admit mixed feelings. I’ll miss the characters and enjoyed them each getting a rather satisfying send off. But the philosopher in me was troubled by the ending, as was my inner theologian. Here is another … Continue reading The Good Place’s Odd Ending
This article is a cheat, since we’re technically finishing our 21 Days of Prayer, but if you’re looking for something to pray about for our culture, this could definitely make your list. Honestly, I think the author misses the boat on why the songs are getting more negative. (Not sure if she’s been on Twitter … Continue reading Songs Are Getting Sadder. Why?
How about some good, practical tips to being more fulfilled in your time with God? Ten Tips to Help Your Prayer Life Greg Koukl For a few hardy prayer warriors, talking with God is as easy as breathing; it happens almost effortlessly. When you ask them how they do it, they simply shrug and reply, … Continue reading Improving Your Prayer Life
If you want a concept explained so anyone can understand it Rick Warren is your go-to guy. Here he takes on how to make your prayer life more powerful. Normally, I quote a good bit from an article to get your attention, but this article is so concise I’m just going to send you straight … Continue reading A More Powerful Prayer Life
By John Ortberg If you ever feel guilty about not praying enough, raise your mental hand. If someone at a party were to ask you: “How is your prayer life these days?” (which, by the way, is a great way to kill a conversation at a party), what would you say? Is the state of … Continue reading Getting Good at Prayer Isn’t the Point