#IAmGoing Weekend Reading

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Not just a ring — a choice for the King: Peter Link Jr.

Apart from the decision to surrender one's life to Christ, few earthly choices define a person's relationship with God as greatly as selecting a spouse. Marriage joins two persons into genuine unity and diversity, man and woman.

We must not, if we are to be faithful to God, follow the blind passion of a moment or the tide of our generation's muddied thinking into choosing a spouse, because in marriage we make more than a bed. We make an outpost of God's Kingdom -- a prophetic picture of heaven on earth. Fallen yet redeemed sinners become one with each other because they both have a real union with God and accept a calling to uniquely and sacrificially express their love for God in caring for each other.

In biblical marriage, therefore, our deepening affection for God should always manifest itself in an expanding love for our spouse. We should sacrificially be and do that which is good in God's eyes. …Read More.

5 Reasons to Encourage Your Children to Pursue Financial Goals: Art Rainer

Young children are probably not old enough to understand the importance of setting aside money for retirement, but this does not mean that they are not old enough to understand how money works.

If fact, your young kids can get a better grasp on some financial principles than you probably realize.
Recently, two of our boys (ages 7 and 4) each asked if they could get a particular Wii game. Our 7-year old wanted a football game, and our 4-year wanted a soccer game. Both cost around $18.

My wife and I decided to take advantage of this opportunity to teach them about money. We gave them a list of chores that they could (not required) do each week. Every completed chore was worth $0.25. So it was a cost effective proposal for us as well.

Now, each boy had a financial goal ($18) and a way to reach the goal (chores).

Here is why we were happy for our kids to pursue a financial goal, like being able to purchase a Wii game. …Read More.

Social Media + Ministry: Sam Morris

Pastor, have you ever been asked to join a group of older gentlemen in your church for coffee at McDonalds on Thursday mornings at 6:30am? Ministry leaders, have you ever been asked to join your people regularly to just hangout and chat?

Now, imagine that you told them, “No, I would never be caught dead drinking coffee at McDonalds.” Or “No, I don’t have the time to hang out and chat.”

What do you think would happen? …Read More.

Work: Pushing Back Against the Curse

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I don’t often win theological arguments with my dad; with an MDiv from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and over thirty years of pastoral ministry, Phillip Herring is highly versed in the intricacies of the faith. The one moment when I was right sticks in my mind: we were arguing over the nature of work.

“Work came after the fall, which makes it part of the curse,” he insisted.

“No! Work happens before the fall, so it’s good,” I maintained. Rarely can theological controversies be solved by just “looking it up,” but this turned out to be the case. We discovered that work begins in Genesis 2, and therefore I won the day.

I’ve thought back on that conversation several time over the years, because people often do not enjoy their work. “O no – Monday is coming!” might be an attitude made popular by Garfield the Cat, but it shows up all to often in the real workplace. In contrast to this negative attitude towards work, the Bible presents work as God’s vocation given to his highest creation. …Read More.

Giving Up Lent for Lent

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I’d never heard of Lent until I was in college, and even then it was spoken of as “something Catholics do.” Over the past few years, however, I can’t spend more than a few minutes on social media in the month of February without seeing someone’s post about what they are “giving up for Lent” this year. It’s a trend that many evangelicals have now written about, including a recent Lifeway study. (See also here and here.)

I confess that the rising tides of Lenten observance once swept my wife and me along with the current. For a few years we joined the throngs of people who willingly ‘gave up’ something in preparation for Easter. We also prayed every day, and we read from a delightful Lenten devotional by one of my favorite scholars. It was a mostly positive experience.

But this year (like last year), I’m giving up Lent for Lent. Here are some reasons why. …Read More.

On the Changing President of the IMB

By now, most would have heard that Dr. David Platt has asked the trustees of the International Mission Board (IMB) to begin searching for a new president. (Click here for news story) For many, this news comes as a shock. For some, it may even be a point of frustration and fear. The IMB is, and will remain, the flagship organization of our denomination and any change at the top is certainly a matter for prayer. In this post, I want to provide a couple thoughts from one who has been involved with IMB for the better part of the past two decades. …Read More.

By now, most would have heard that Dr. David Platt has asked the trustees of the International Mission Board (IMB) to begin searching for a new president. (Click here for news story) For many, this news comes as a shock. For some, it may even be a point of frustration and fear. The IMB is, and will remain, the flagship organization of our denomination and any change at the top is certainly a matter for prayer.

In this post, I want to provide a couple thoughts from one who has been involved with IMB for the better part of the past two decades. …Read More.

When Black and White Turns to Shades of Grey

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As a Christian leader I have followed the developing story of the #MeToo movement with great interest and some degree of hope. Perhaps this is because I have counseled women with similar stories over the course of my years in ministry, and I have witnessed first-hand the devastating effects of sexual abuse. I am deeply saddened by the number of women who have experienced sexual abuse and harassment, and I applaud their courage for calling out their abusers. …Read More.