2010?!?! Who Knows!!

Last year I made the mistake of publicly proclaiming my resolutions goals for the year.  You may remember that I planned to learn some guitar and learn some greek.  The practice of Greek lasted a few more months and even helped my study and preaching but I did little with my guitar and am now contemplating whether I hang onto it, or sell it and wait for a better time in life (maybe when my kids go to college).

Anywho.  I don’t plan to be so bold this time around.  In general, I am not big on New Year’s Resolutions because spiritual growth is a day by day thing and long-term goals are a weakness of mine.

But I will share some reading goals.  These are things I have already begun in 2009:

I am currently working on Introverts in the Church:  Finding our Place in an Extroverted Culture by Adam S. McHugh and enjoying it immensely.  Some of McHugh’s content has been on this blog and more will come.

I have also started a little of Tim Archer’s book on the 7 Churches of Asia (Rev 2-3), entitled, Letters from the Lamb.  It is high on my list to finish.

Ironically, I began reading Getting Things Done:  The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen but haven’t “got it done” yet.

The Book of Basketball by Bill Simmons (Sports Guy at espn.com).  It’s full of great anecdotes, history, and amusing pop culture references.  It’s like having a never ending article by Simmons.

These next books are high on my list to start once I finish one of the others or just get in the mood for a different type of book:

Come to the Table: Revisioning the Lord’s Supper by John Mark Hicks.  I have been thinking about preaching a series on the Supper and have wanted to read this for a long time.

Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero.  Just happened upon this online but am excited about it.

Why Johnny Can’t Preach by T. David Gordon.  It’s short and focuses on the need for young preachers to learn how to read (bible texts as opposed to magazines) and write.  He wrote this when he thought he was dying.

And finally some history, Constantine the Great: The Man an His Times by Michael Grant.  I love history.  I love Roman history and church history.  His life was a tipping point, pivotal time in the history of the church, and this book is written by a respected History scholar.

Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman.  This has been around for 10 years and I have been curious.  Hope to finally read it.

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Some Links under your Christmas Tree

10 Web Trends to Watch in 2010

Top 10 of Everything in 2010

5 Ways to Show Love to Kids without Spending $$

6 Ways to Find Quiet During a Busy Day

Unreached Ethnic Groups (Joshua Project)

Why Christianity is Failing in America

Christamericans for Christ

The Youth Minister Conundrum (The Problem of Parents) by Yaconelli

Anti-depressants Change Personality (in a positive sense)

Introverts and Leadership at Forbes.com

Mormon Vampires

Lonelinesss Spreads in Social Networks (not social networking sites)

Wonder whatever Happened to This Guy who was disfellowshipped 50 years ago

Why I Left (the church of Christ. this guy chose to, unlike the previous guy)

Why I left the Contemporary Christian Music

Demons, Death, Powers (heavy reading)

The Anxiety of Gift-Giving

That was a little something for everyone on this Christmas Day.

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!!!

Boycott Update: “Happy Holidays”?!?!?!!?

I am getting sick and tired of the local Shop-Mart workers not saying “Merry Christmas”!!  Who do they think they are?!

What is “Happy Holidays” anyway???????????

Which Holidays?? Muslim?  Homosexual?

They might as well be sporting the little black mustache of their hero, Hitler.

But I was really shocked to hear this phrase in a “Christmas” song that is real old and doesn’t mention the Christ at all!!!!!!  I discovered the source of this pagan expression and it goes all the way back to the 1940s to a evil man named Irving Berlin.

Apparently he was a left-wing commie agitator.  I heard somewhere that he was going to be brought before Senator McCarthy’s panel but he managed to weasel out somehow.  Of course, being Jewish, he doesn’t care about the birth of our Lord and wrote this politically correct, “let’s please everyone by avoiding Jesus”, socialist, pro-abortion theme song.

Maybe not so shocking is that many of those liberal Hollywood types participated in the desecration of this HOLY-day by singing Herr Berlin’s communist anthem.  Famous Satan worshippers such as Bing Crosby, Perry Como, and even Edie Gorme worshipped at the altar of political correctness!!

I now declare that this song by Berlin and all songs by these Obama-loving, tree-hugging, socialist scumbags be banned.

Let your local radio station know that you won’t tolerate this!!!

Introverts in the Church by Adam S. McHugh

(Introverts in the Church: Finding our Place in an Extroverted Culture.  McHugh, Adam S.  IVP Books:  Downer’s Grove, 2009.)

Here are some quotes and summaries.  I am just gonna share now, and maybe provide more response and interaction after I have read more, but I am enjoying it and highly recommend it. (the author discusses in the introduction that he is speaking in broad generalities, so he is not saying all churches are bad extroverts and introverts are better)

from the Introduction

  • “…pastoral ministry requires a person to move quickly in crisis situations, to float from one circle to the next, to mobilize people of contrasting personalities.  In other words, I knew that ordained ministry required social skills, and I wasn’t sure I had them.  Even when I was able to muster enough energy and warmth to connect with people, I was soon drained and exhausted, ready for a nap.” (The book is written from a personal perspective by an introvert who struggled with his identity in ministry.  I can relate.)
  • “…it is my experience that evangelical churches can be difficult places for introverts to thrive, both for theological and cultural reasons.”

Chapter 1–The Introverted Church

  • When college students were asked to rate Jesus according to MBTI (Meyers-Briggs), most rated Jesus according to their own placement except that 97% rated Jesus as extrovert, although only half the class were extroverts.  Meaning:  Jesus, the perfect man, is perceived as being extroverted even by introverts. (p. 15)
  • “People who enjoy reflection and solitude, and listen more than they speak, are often viewed as enigmatic, antisocial and passive.”
  • One introvert’s experience in an extroverted church:  “The idea of ‘intimacy’ in this community was people constantly together, and the implicit assumption was that the more activities and social interaction a person engaged in, the closer she was to God.”
  • “Three  theological anchors…that are often expressed in strikingly extroverted ways”:
    • A personal relationship with God:  “…sometimes our value for community life can become a substitute for relationship with God.” (concerning an extrovert-biased mentality)
    • Centrality of the Bible:  “A love for the Word of God easily translates into a love for words about God..and words in general.  Put more bluntly: Evangelicals talk a lot.”  “Our (introverts-bpn) spirituality may be grounded in Scripture, yet is quieter, slower and more contemplative.  In an upfront, talkative, active evangelical culture, we can be viewed as self-absorbed, or standoffish, and we can feel like outsiders even when we have faithfully attended a church for years.”
    • Personal Evangelism: “A disinterest in small talk makes us reluctant to approach strangers, and we do not always have the energy to engage people in long conversation.  Confrontation is not usually a comfortable approach for us, as our inner processing slows us down in a debate format.  Our sense of personal uneasiness about evangelism is compounded by a spiritual guilt that creeps in when we fear we are neglecting the Great Commission.”
  • Mark Noll quote:  To put it most simply, the evangelical ethos is activistic, populistic, pragmatic, and utilitarian.  It allows little space for broader or deeper intellectual effort because it is dominated by the urgencies of the moment.”
    • often heard about Christian culture, “busyness is next to godliness”
  • the author was told during an interview for position as associate pastor:  “This is a really high-octane environment.  We’re looking for someone who is excitable and high energy…We work full throttle.” (just go read listings for churches seeking minister for our fellowship.  “energy” will come up often-bpn)
  • a therapist who has many introverted pastors as clients says they “struggle to find balance in their lives and often wrestle with depression”
  • One final quote is a good summary of the first chapter and the problems that introverts face in the church:
    • “…the up-front piety of evangelicalism, and the expectations for outward, emotional displays of faith, can feel invasive and artificial to introverts.
    • Meanwhile the anti-intellectual stream can alienate some introverted thinkers who find that their love of ideas, comfort in solitude and powers of concentration translate into a life of intellectual pursuits.
    • Furthermore, the pragmatism that seeks measurable, tangible gauges for success strikes many introverts who appreciate depth, as superficial and oversimplistic, and our action-oriented culture does not always value people who are thoughtful and reflective.”

One Solitary Life (author unknown)

He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman.

He grew up in still another village, where he worked in a carpenter shop until he was 30.

Then for three years he was an itinerant preacher.

He never wrote a book.

He never held an office.

He never married or owned a home.

He didn’t go to college.

He never put his foot inside a big city.

He never traveled 200 miles from the place where he was born.

He did none of the things one usually associates with greatness.

He had no credentials by today’s standards.

He was only 33 when public opinion turned against him.

His friends ran away.

He was turned over to his enemies and went through the mockery of a trial.

He was nailed to a cross between two thieves.

While he was dying, his executioners gambled for his clothing, the only property he had on earth.

When he was dead, he was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.

Twenty centuries have come and gone, and today he is the central figure of the human race, the leader of mankind’s progress.

All the armies that ever marched,

All the navies that ever sailed,

All the parliaments that ever sat,

All the kings that ever reigned,

put together,

Have not affected the life of man upon earth as much as that…One Solitary Life