The Early Bird Gets The Link

Brothers, We’re in This Together
There are two key factors that often lead to a pastor’s short tenure: loneliness and a feeling of ineffectiveness. 

Why Christians Should Freely Participate in Thanksgiving and Black Friday

As I see it, Christians should view Thanksgiving and Black Friday as different sides of the same coin. Both holidays provide a unique opportunity to be thankful for God and his gifts while at the same time refusing to be more thankful for his gifts than we are for God himself.

8 Ways to Persevere in the Parenting Marathon

Parenting is like a marathon. Before the race you are fresh and rested. You start with excitement. But this is not a sprint.

There are painful moments. There are times you hit a wall and think you can’t keep going.
But one day, it’s over. Infants are grown. Bedrooms are empty. The house is quiet.
My Husband is a White Evangelical

So in these tense times, we all need to beware of broad sweeping generalities that pit us against each other. What I’d like to say to those on the front lines but operating behind the scenes, as well as to those who are on the front lines and in the public, though we are disheartened we are better together.

Giving as Gain

For Christians, the stewardship of our lives is a gift and a responsibility from God. The temptation to serve the gift, rather than the Giver is ever-present.

This ‘Hipster Nativity Set’ Is Quite the Commentary on Modern Christmas Culture

A hipster Christmas 

The Early Bird Gets The Link 

Give Thanks
Allow me to share with you just five blessings that deeply touch me every year and prompt me to thank God. Perhaps it’ll catch and you’ll be able to rekindle your gratitude!

How Christianity Flourishes

Christianity grows best under hardship. Christianity is in decline in America, and Christendom is already in ruins in Europe, but in the East and in Africa, where it is new, a grassroots movement, and/or under persecution, it is spreading like wildfire. I sometimes wonder if God has set the growth of Christianity to work this way to keep in the forefront of our minds the treasure and glory of heaven over and above the treasure and glory of earth.

“I Want My Old Church Back!”—Five Responses

Here some practical advice on how to respond.

Help Me Teach the Bible: Phillip Jensen on 1 Timothy

Very helpful discussion.

Are We Living In The Last Days?

The Early Bird Gets The Link 

The Common Sin of Middle Age Believers
In the midst of these challenges, it might be helpful to be aware that there are also unique temptations to sin that are more age-specific. Without denying any sin can tempt any believer at any age, can we not identify one sin in particular that is perhaps most common in the church to each of these ages?

That Is Not Evangelism

Therefore, it’s essential to understand what evangelism is and what it entails before passionately supporting a ministry or mission that falls beneath this category. While it’s a good thing for a church to be engaged in various endeavors such as mercy ministries, that alone is not evangelism.

2 Reminders from the Korean Church about Prayer

Here is a good reminder.

Pastors Library: Hillbilly Elegy, book review

One of the great ironies of the 21st century is that we are connected to more people than ever while building a bubble for ourselves where we don’t encounter people with opposing viewpoints or people who have a different way of life from ours. 

10 Things You Should Know about Physician Assisted Suicide

Physicians assisted suicide passed in CO, very easily, and is coming to ballot near you. Here are 10 things you should know. 

Watch This Cross-Country Runner Get Trucked By A Deer

This was strange! 

The Early Bird Gets The Link 

Preach About the Church to the Church
The Christian life runs on twin engines—both our individual relationship with the Lord and our congregational relationship with other local believers in a covenant community, a local church. Certainly, we must emphasize the individual nature of the Christian life, but that’s too often where we stop.

Four Reasons Sunday Attire Is Important to Christian Millennials

Christian Millennials as a whole care deeply about reaching their peers. But many of them don’t feel their friends would be welcomed or comfortable in their own churches.

7 Books That Changed My Life

Note, these are not (necessarily) the best books I’ve ever read. They are books that came around at just the right time to change things for me. In this list, I’ve excluded older works and classics; I’ll deal with them in another list. These are all post-World War II works. I’ve also excluded fiction and poetry, and will deal with them in another list as well.

Four Daily Prayers for Your Children

Consider with me this Spirit-inspired verse, a perfect, four-part summary of our prayers for our kids to become like Christ in every way. Let’s examine each of these in turn.

7 Qualities to Look for in a Church

Understand that involvement in the local church is a vital non-negotiable. Consequentially the next question is how can we spot good churches among all the bad ones?

The Early Bird Gets The Link 

You Are Never Too Young to Live for Christ
Society had lied to me. It told me to wait until I was “older” to live a Christian life. The great untruth the world speaks to us is that we can find more joy if we delay or neglect a life spent for God’s glory. It feeds us the lie that fulfillment is found in what proves to be a wasted life.

My Saddest American Moment in 2016 Hasn’t Been the Election

When did this happen in our country? There was a time when it was virtually impossible in America to rise to any significant political office without serving in the military or being a hero in combat. That makes perfect sense because such a person has already demonstrated loyalty and willing personal sacrifice for our great nation. It is hard to gain the kind of sober, practical wisdom that military service provides in any other walk of American life.

5 Easy Steps to Begin a Daily Quiet Time

It really isn’t as complicated as we often make it out to be. The main thing is simply to do something, but in case you are one of those still wanting to but not sure how, let me offer a few suggestions.

Neither a Republican Nor a Democratic Church

Let me get very specific. Some members of our congregation are happy with the results of this last week’s election, some don’t care, and some are scared. It’s our job as a congregation to live out the covenant we’ve taken before the Lord, and to show that the Christ we share is more important to us than the politics we don’t. This church has survived close elections before. It was here when Teddy Roosevelt was elected, and when his cousin Franklin defeated President Hoover. We survived Truman v Dewey, Kennedy v Nixon, and Nixon v Humphrey—all close and contentious elections. I was here when we survived Bush v Gore, and in those days we had had Mr. Gore’s scheduler as our deacon of sound while the Republican Senate Majority leader sat right down there! 

12 Ways to Pray for Yourself Everyday

I wouldn’t call myself a prayer warrior, but I’ve made tremendous efforts to grow in prayer over the past several years. All Christians are commanded to do so, and few hours of the day are more enjoyable than my quiet alone time with the Lord.

The Early Bird Gets The Link

Don’t Try and Improve on God’s Methods 
Our gracious Lord is not playing “catch me if you can” with us. He wants us to be sure of Him, come to Him, and draw strength from Him so that we can live fully for Him. But He does not give Himself to us in any way we might devise. 

Loved This From Ernie Johnson

Structural Racism

John Piper helps us understand structural racism, “My strategy is to show that, if your mind is Bible-saturated, you would consider it absolutely astonishing if structural racism were not pervasive wherever sin is pervasive. In other words, Bible-shaped people should expect to see structural racism almost everywhere in a fallen world.”

David, Jesus and You

Stop Calling Yourself a Christian

If you have a consistent lack of genuine fruit and find yourself aligning with the majority of these questions in this list, it would be wise to stop calling yourself a Christian.