Mess of Pottage Blog

Luke's "Pro" Blog

Thoughts on the beginning of Lent

Somewhere I read a line that said: Instead of giving things up for Lent, take something on.

That’s a good word. But if you still want to give something up, here are some ideas: Forty things to give up for Lent.

Here’s a “college-friendly” list of things to give up. Here’s another list that reminds us it’s not a second crack at New Year’s resolutions.

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“We Are Not Enough in Awe of God”

In support of his new book Miracles, an interview in Christianity Today with Eric Metaxas.

I began with the parting of the Red Sea, healing a tumor, curing blindness—things that aren’t fluffy like a kitten in the sunlight. People say life is a miracle, and yes, this can be a cliché that doesn’t mean anything. But if you look at it in a different way, it’s a miracle and maybe the most hard-to-fathom and mind-blowing miracle.

H/T: E.M. on Twitter.

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What to Sing During Advent

Reaching people during Advent. How (especially during Advent) does the church reflect and embody Jesus’ mission to the lost?

Churches that refuse to sing Christmas carols until December 24 are in danger of being the only venue where such music is not sung during December. The church, therefore, becomes a place people may avoid, since the experience of hearing and singing this music is offered abundantly elsewhere.

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Majoring in the Majors

The color of your Advent candles doesn’t matter. Nope.

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Tab Sweep

Eric Metaxas: Bonhoeffer in eight minutes.

Princeton Seminary alum Dharius Daniels: From Church Plant to Congregation of 3,000 in a decade.

Hey! I took a missional theology from Darrell Guder too!

Joseph Yoo: Does Membership Matter Anymore?

Shane Raynor: Schism: Good or Bad, Don’t Believe the Hype

Thom Rainer: Seven reasons your church needs a social media director.

Six tips for your Easter sermon. Most of these are pretty obvious. Makes you wonder if these are news to preachers.

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Kirsten Powers’ Conversion Story

Via Donald Miller, the fascinating story of Kirsten Powers’ conversion to Christianity:

I sometimes hear Christians talk about how terrible life must be for atheists. But our lives were not terrible. Life actually seemed pretty wonderful, filled with opportunity and good conversation and privilege. I know now that it was not as wonderful as it could have been. But you don’t know what you don’t know. How could I have missed something I didn’t think existed?

Read the whole thing. There’s even a Presbyterian connection.

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Bad Caveman Diet

A low-carb diet violates God’s principles, according to Pat Robertson.

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Newsboys at Fusion Alaska 2013

On my other blog, I talk about last night’s Newsboys concert.

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Gallows Humor

People who are going through tough times apparently have better senses of humor than people who aren’t, according to the cartoon editor at the New Yorker:

One of the ideas about humor is that it’s our way of coping with negative feelings. In a control study we found people who were primed with negative emotions, through images of illness and death at a subliminal level, create more and funnier captions than those who were not. (Via.)

My chaplaincy training included the idea that humor is good. People in the hospital don’t want a stand-up act, but they would rather have visitors who bring some levity than people who are weighed down with gravity.

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Child Shootings – Not Just in Connecticut

Richard Fernandez at Belmont Club makes some good points on children being shot:

Statistically most children killed are from the inner cities and mostly black. The Children’s Defense Fund notes that the firearm injuries rate for children and teens is 5 per 100,000 for whites and 51.1 per 100,000 for blacks. And most of the deaths don’t happen in Sandy Hook, in universities or theaters in Colorado but in (by descending order) New Orleans, St. Louis, Oakland, Newark, Baltimore, Richmond, Miami, Washington DC, Detroit and Cincinnati. About 2,800 children and teens are killed per year. Every year.

The shooting rate is 10 times higher for black children than for white kids. There’s no way to defend that.

Read the whole thing.

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