Last year, Paul Washer (an itinerant preacher and the General Director for HeartCry Missionary Society) stunned the audience of a youth event in Alabama with a piercing message about sin among Christians and our need for true repentance. The hour-long version of that message, labeled “Paul Washer-Shocking Message (full length)” has been viewed over 175,000 times on YouTube. Various excerpts and mashup versions of that message as well as a related interview with Kirk Cameron have been viewed by thousands more.
Hi, my name is Tom, and I’m an addict.
I don’t have a problem with the bottle or with any kind of pharmaceutical product, legal or illegal. No, my problem is with games. I’m addicted to them.
When in high school I was obsessed with bowling, to the point where if I saw a group of people standing around, I automatically calculated where I’d need to aim the bowling ball in order to knock them all over.
I am a wannabe reader.
For some reason, I never developed an addiction to books, though I desperately wish I had. My job involves massive amounts of reading, which causes me to associate reading with work instead of pleasure. But perhaps a bigger roadblock is the matter of choosing. With limited hours for reading and unlimited choices (Eccl. 12:12), picking something worthy to read seems an overwhelming task — and so I read nothing (or Boundless).
Last week, a certain blog post ministered to me in a moment of discouragement. In the “The Question God Always Answers,” Carolyn Mahaney writes:
In difficulty, my first question is often “Why?” I can be tempted to demand an answer from God. Sometimes He makes his purposes clear: in many cases, our trials are indeed “preparation for the task.” But God is not obligated, nor does He always tell us why.
This seems particularly poignant in times where you feel like God pulled a bait and switch.
Is there a perfect age to marry? Does waiting until your late twenties or thirties give you greater maturity and a stronger financial foundation? Does marrying at a younger age give you a better shot at having prime energy for the parenting years and avoiding sexual sin?
The Washington Times ran an article last week called “Knot Now, Americans Say” [no longer available online] that holds up some of the benefits of marrying young to those who may have a bias to wait until a later age.
Even though summer isn’t over till the 21st of September, in my mind, today is the start of fall. I’m ready for crisp air, ripe pumpkins, apple cider and sweaters. The sun may be beating down and it’s probably 80 degrees outside, but in my heart, it’s autumn. And that means back-to-school and back-to-routine. Ah routine. I long for it. Especially after three months of relaxing the pace.
The best thing about routine is early to bed and early to rise, because it’s only when I get up early — 5 a.m.
According to a National Marriage Project study that’s a few years old now, men have a hard time committing because of the following reasons:
They can get sex without marriage more easily than in times past.
They can enjoy the benefits of having a wife by cohabiting rather than marrying.
They want to avoid divorce and its financial risks.
They want to wait until they are older to have children.
They fear that marriage will require too many changes and compromises.
We know worship is about God, not us. But in his article “The Real Worship War,” Mark Labberton considers the connection between worship and loving our neighbor.
For all of our apparent passion about God, in the end much of our worship seems to be mostly about us. We presume we can worship in a way that will find God but lose track of our neighbor. Yet it was this very pattern in Israel’s worship life that brought God’s judgment.
I wanted to pass on another insight that came out of our interview with Dr. Scott Stanley. At one point I made the observation that we often think most of the hard work of marriage will be on the front end — selecting the perfect mate God has for us and and then hoping it will be easy after that. Dr. Stanley responded by talking about dogs.
Yep. You know, we all fall in love with the front end of the puppy, but every puppy has got a backend.
My coworker, Matthew John, published an article today called “Entertainment: The Gospel of Avoidance.” He talks mainly to the guys in this one, but the point of the article is relevant to all of us. In it, he mentions how easy it is to be distracted by different forms of media. We’re constantly looking to avoid boredom, and in our culture today, being entertained often seems to be the most important goal in life:
We are a highly entertained lot.