Showing posts from September, 2010

Americans' Religious Knowledge

My bride sent me a link to an interesting article about Americans and their knowledge of religion. The statistics paint a dim picture of the mental religious make-up of Protestant and Catholic people of faith, however when you look into the data the findings aren't very significant.
In the end the study boiled down to this statement..."..., level of education was the best predictor of religious knowledge." In my opinion there is a strong correlation between education and religious knowledge. The finding that atheists and agnostics had the highest score on the 32 question survey shouldn't be surprising. These two groups tend to be more highly represented in circles of higher education. Higher education equals more exposure to teaching about different religion, where often times basic religion is taught in the context of philosophy or literary history or science.
The other problem with the way the survey is presented is the way it paints people of faith in a poor light b…

Becoming Great is Sticking To It

This post is classic Ben Arment blogging. Love the ideas/challenges Ben often shares on his blog.In Church in the Making, I share a little formula as it relates to church planters:Faith > Struggle = We Endure
Faith < struggle =" We">For the past 15 years, I've carried one, single quote in my wallet: "The greatness of a man is not determined by what he achieves in life, but by what it takes to get him down."Sometimes becoming great is simply resisting the urge to walk away.

Pastor as Shepherd

The whole of our ministry must be carried on in tender love to our people. We must let them see that nothing pleaseth us but what profiteth them; and that what doeth them good doeth us good; and that nothing troubleth us more than their hurt.
We must feel toward our people, as a father toward his children: yea, the tenderest love of a mother must not surpass ours. We must even travail in birth, till Christ be formed in them. (Richard Baxter, The Reformed Pastor)

Pictures of My New Hyundai

Here's a couple pictures of my new car. It is a 2007 Hyundai Sonata.
I am not the car buying type. I don't enjoy the search, the test drives, the interaction with salesman and dealerships. I would much prefer to avoid it all together. However, I needed a new vehicle, and I decided it was time to man up. The best part of the experience was having Andrew with me and spending the day together. He did a fantastic job at the dealership!
So far I am really enjoying the new ride. It is quiet, roomy and getting good gas mileage. It all has all kinds of amenities my old car didn't have, such as air conditioning, cruise control, and power windows and locks.

Car Hunting

I drive a 1993 Honda Civic hatchback with more than 218,000 miles. As we head into the winter season I'm thinking about buying a new vehicle. The Honda has been great, but I'm getting tired of the sound (hole in the muffler), the work-out (no power steering), and the claustrophobic feeling you get driving it. Not to mention, Stephanie HATES driving it.
I'm having a real hard time deciding what I'm looking for. I'd really like a truck. The problem is that I drive 35 minutes to work and I'm worried about the gas guzzling a four wheel drive truck might do. My other concern is with three kids I don't know I'd be able to get enough seats even with an extended cab. There aren't any cars I'm real interested though so I'm feeling kind of stuck.

Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones Family Worship

Martyn Lloyd-Jones: "If you love your children; if you would bring down the blessing of heaven upon your families; if you would have your children make their houses the receptacles of religion when they set up in life for themselves; if you would have religion survive in this place, and be conveyed from age to age; if you would deliver your own souls—I beseech, I entreat, I charge you to begin and continue the worship of God in your families from this day to the close of your lives... Consider family religion not merely as a duty imposed by authority, but as your greatest privilege granted by divine grace.(via: The Resurgence)

Communication Skills

Communication is something that I always considered myself good at. I've realized that the lenses I was viewing my communication skills through was very narrow. I am a good communicator as a speaker and a preacher. Give me a small amount of prep time and a stage and I can get a message across, usually with clarity, relevance, and meaning.
However, there are other forms of communication that I am not so adapt at. Communicating what I am thinking and planning is difficult. So is communicating my feelings and personal thoughts. I often choose to be quiet instead of speaking out. One of the things I'm working on as a leader is communicating to my peers what I want to see happen. I have the picture and plan in my mind, and sometimes I assume that others know what I'm thinking without verbalizing it.
Improving my communication is something that I can work on. It may never be a strength, but it is an ability I can develop so that it doesn't become something that will h…