June Miscellany (Vol. 1)

(What I Read, Discovered, Laughed, and Was Confronted By In June) 

According to Siri, in two and half weeks from today, my summer vacation ends and training at my new school begins. I’m excited about teaching 8th grade English for the first time, since I have taught HS in the past 2 years. It has been great having an extended time of recharging, resting, and spending quality time with my wife and daughter. However, I’m eager to return to the classroom. One of the ways this summer I have tried to keep my mind fresh and engaged in through reading. If I’m not reading a book, or article, reminding my daughter not to chew books, I’m posting articles for others to ponder and react.

June was one of the craziest months that I have ever seen take place in the world. A variety of opinions and thoughts emerged on what our country and world is facing. An easy response would be to force one perspective or lens on everything that is taking place. However, there is more nuances in our ever-changing world. Another response could be to sweep everything under the rug, or retreat into a bubble is not what Jesus had in mind when he said his community was to be the light of the world, a city on a hill or salt of the earth. Christians need to be bold and courageous to bring the light and love of Jesus into the darkest corners of world, because there is not one single part of society and culture where Jesus is silent. More importantly, by being informed of all sides of a story and what is happening around us will allow us to have a  glimpse of the ongoing work of Jesus in the hearts and minds of every man, woman, and child. That being said, here’s a collection of things I watched, listened or read that that challenged me, made me think or marvel, or simply laugh out-loud. If you find something that you’d like further discussion on, by all means contact me and I’d love to hear what you think about it.

In this debut edition you’ll find articles on same sex marriage, parenting and marriage, pastors and church, doctrine and theology, history, sports, loving others well, and some other surprises along the way!

Enjoy!

Same Sex Marriage Becoming Legal In The USA 

This is a topic that needs to be discussed within our churches, but with compassion, grace, and understanding. I kept telling myself to stay quiet because of the unending debates that are taking place online and offline on a variety of issues that is causing shock-waves in our world. However, I am reminded of the wise and timeless advice from a mentor: “The Kingdom of God is never threatened.” All of us have planks in our eyes but we can all take a deep breath because it will never be threatened because the one who holds it all together is not the church or our lawmakers. Any time we place a higher value on American values than Kingdom values, we show our fear and trust is not in the one who holds it all together. American and Kingdom values are not the same. In a world filled with rhetoric and noise we can sleep in peace in knowing our chaotic world will never drift away from the loving and merciful arms of Jesus. (See Colossians 1:16-17). Instead of only listening to one view on this delicate and challenging subject, try to explore other opinions that are outside of your comfort zone.  The articles listed below are not the only perspectives on this topic, but are some that I read and would recommend reading before using Facebook as a platform to announce to the world your agenda.

Come on Christians, It’s Time To Let Go of Your Aversion to Gays

Aren’t Gay People Made in the Image of God Too?

After Obergefell: A First Things Symposium

The Supreme Court Just Gave American Evangelicals a Gift

Why the church should neither cave nor panic about the decision on gay marriage

To My Evangelical Friends Upon the Legalization of Gay Marriage

Yes, Mark Woods in the UK Understands the USA’s Marriage Challenge

Gay Marriage is the Law of the Land- And God Isn’t Going to Freak Out About It

When Love Wins Everywhere Except the Church

Gabe Lyons and Andrew Sullivan Share Apology (VIDEO)

If Your Straight Marriage Is Threatened By Gay Marriage, It’s Probably Time To Check Your Straight Marriage

Distorted Love: The Toll of Our Christian Theology on the LGBT Community

With Same-Sex Decision, Evangelical Churches Address New Reality

Dear Pastors planning on preaching an entire sermon on where your church…

An Evangelical Pastor At His First Pride Parade

Do you disagree with SCOTUS’s decision about marriage? I have questions, so many questions…

Let’s Be Honest… “Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner” is Really Just Hate

Christian radio host Bryan Fischer has mental breakdown on Twitter over same-sex marriage ruling

ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church In America) presiding bishop offers letter on Supreme Court marriage ruling


Marriage and Parenting

 

The dark side of living ‘childfree’

This is a very sensitive issue, because we know many couples who have chosen not to have children yet. Being a parent is difficult, but I would not trade it for anything in the world.

Why I Predict Complementarians will Lose this Theological Battle

Gender roles within Christianity is never a fun discussion to have, but it is one that needs to happen.

How I Learned To Stop Worrying About The Billy Graham Rule And Love Like Jesus

Billy Graham once said that he never travels or meets with a woman alone, while my wife and I have adopted the same policy for us, here’s another take on it.

The Head of the Woman is Man

A scholarly but easy to understand discussion around a misunderstood scripture on headship.

Luther on the estate of marriage (A concise and important summary of Martin Luther’s thoughts on marriage.)

Rearing Slaves, Rearing Sons

Odd title, serious message on parenting. Guilt and fear cannot be in the foundation in which we raise our daughters and sons in this world.

Fathers

My thoughts and attempts to understand Father’s Day (and show off an adorable picture of my daughter too).


Pastors and Church

Before I became an English teacher, I seriously considered becoming a pastor and for right now, I am okay with the fact that I am not pastoring at a church, because caring for and loving my family is my main priority. My conviction is that if I am not pastoring my own family well, I cannot pastor God’s family.

But For the Grace of God: Tullian Tchividjian and a Better Gospel Through Guilt

Smart Phone Addicts Make More Ministers

the one reason why Mark Driscoll will just keep on going

8 Ways Pastors can Refresh Their Tired Souls

Check Yes or No: 7 Things Churches Should Not Ask In a Pastoral Search Interview

Cautions Against Bi-vocational Ministry

The Dangers of Bi-Vocational Ministry

Dear Church, Here’s Why People Are Really Leaving You

Christianity Under Attack? (VIDEO)

10 ways a church can control people without them knowing it

Staying Put In The Presbyterian Church

Governor Abbott Signs Pastor Protection Act Into Law

LOCAL CLERGYMEN TELL ARPAIO: “WE DON’T WANT YOUR PROTECTION”


Theology and Doctrine 

The Bible’s Rough Neighborhoods: Navigating The Scary Stuff In Scripture

The Execution of Michael Servetus & My Primary Deal-Breaker with Calvinism

Missio Alliance‘s Two Part Discussion on The Atonement, Part 1 and Part 2

8 Signs That You Might Be An Evangelical Reject

Afraid of doubt? John Piper’s son says he fears for your faith

The Apologetics Lie my Daddy and Me Used to Tell

DR. MICHAEL BROWN V GARY DEMAR DEBATE: “HAS THE CHURCH REPLACED ISRAEL?” (AUDIO)

A response to Al Mohler on Postmillennialism and Nazi Germany

The ludicrous, self-defeating hypocrisy of flying the Confederate battle flag


Loving Others Well

 

ISIS and the Lonely Young American

Dear Christian Evangelist, Whom Are You Trying to Save?

I Don’t Know What To Say

Why I Can’t Say Love the Sinner / Hate the Sin Anymore

On Violence And Living In A “Racialized” Society: Silence Sends A Clear Message When We Have An Opportunity To Act

The 1 Thing White People Can Do to End Racism

How to Treat Others? There are 3 main ways.

Why You’re Completely Unable To Judge Caitlyn Jenner (Or Anyone Else)

How To Talk About Your Religious Beliefs (And Not Be A Total A-Hole)

Is God Anti-Gay?

A Pastors apology to the #LGBTQ community.

The Lost Christian Art of Giving a Damn


Odds and Ends

 

Strange, fascinating and intriguing stories.

The Science of Bacon (VIDEO)

Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn Cover Europe’s The Final Countdown (VIDEO)

Wheel of Impressions with Seth MacFarlane (VIDEO)

Ideas for Your Next Christian Tattoo (Part 2)

5 Mysterious Cases of Bodies That Never Decomposed 

*NSYNC Appears To Have Secretly Ended Up In A ‘Star Wars’ Movie

Here’s why they don’t sing the ‘Happy Birthday’ song in movies and TV shows

I used to be a huge music pirate — here’s how I finally grew out of it

Brief history of strange moments for kickers, punters

Mike Napoli says umpire ejected him for not picking up bat after strikeout

How To Convince Anyone Of Anything In 10 Seconds

‘This Is Crazy!’: Hecklers Take Turns Interrupting Joel Osteen During Church Service

What 17 Successful People Read Before Bed

8 things you didn’t know about the Confederate flag

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