Your Favourite Things in 2016

‘Tis the season to review my blog posts. To give a second life to the more interesting ones written this year. And get a few more clicks to make this my most successful blogging year yet. [Thanks to you.]

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I saw another Christian site’s Top 10 and their Top 3 all had Trump in the headline. I promise my list is Trump free… except for that one with the small “t” trump. So here we go:

 

1. The Gospel Inside Out

A guest post from Brandon Fredenburg as part of the 2016 Summer Blog Tour. Download an ebook containing Brandon’s article and others on the theme “Inside Out” HERE.

“When Jesus omits “and the day of our God’s vengeance” (Isa 61:2b) and rehearses God’s blessing of a foreign widow and an enemy general, he turns the gospel of God his hearers expect inside out. “He isn’t just our God and he blesses our enemies,” Jesus reveals. Their reaction, like their “God,” is one of deadly vengeance.”.

 

2. Worship: When Words trump Silence

“While I’ve spent most of the last 20 years worshiping without instrumental accompaniment, I’ve never found silence to be a very good teacher. Arguments over how we should interpret silence seem largely ironic.” .

 

3. Reviving a Marriage Inside-Out

A guest post from Richard May as part of the 2016 Summer Blog Tour. Together with his wife, JeannaLynn, they run WGHJ Ministries. I encourage you to check out their website and blog for practical marriage advice.

“The years that our marriage was a disaster, each of us believed that a change in behavior or attitude of the other person was the key to our happier future.  At some points we could have said that the change in the other person was the key to our future relationship status. We were thinking Outside-In. We nearly divorced.”.

 

4. A Tale of Two Christmases

“Family is important. God wants us to live within loving families. Traditions, myths, songs, and movies encourage people and provide shared experiences and values. But for Christians, Christmas first and foremost is about reminding ourselves that God loves us immeasurably. Sometimes family reminds us of this truth. Sometimes family causes us to question this truth.” .

 

5. 5 Steps for Effectively Preaching With Notes

A little preacher geekiness escaping in this light-hearted article that mirrors the numerous articles encouraging preachers to preach without notes.

“With your manuscript in front of you now you can speak clearly to your congregation. The presence of your notes doesn’t eliminate the option of speaking from the heart as the Holy Spirit moves you throughout the sermon. The notes serve as a compass to keep you on track.” .

 

6. Father to the Fatherless

Contains links to as many Church of Christ affiliated ministries to parentless children as I could find.

“In Psalm 68:5 God identifies himself as “Father to the fatherless”. The name “Father” is often attributed to God throughout Scripture. While it’s true that he is the Father, or Originator, of all humanity, God makes the point that the name is more than a description of origin. He is Father because it’s a role he willfully adopts.” .

 

7. We All Have a God Box

“Cleopas listened with amazement when the women returned from the tomb and said they’d found it empty. He pondered the message of the angels who told the women that Jesus was alive. But after John and Peter went to the tomb and came back empty handed, Cleopas gave up.” .

 

8. God Bless You

“If you attend a church service near you, you’ll likely hear the word “blessed” about 27 times, with a particular concentration as the offering plate is about to be passed.We use the word “bless” in a wide variety of settings with quite a larger range of meaning. Despite the common usage, if you’re like me you struggle to articulate the biblical meaning of the word.” .

 

9. What if… God Isn’t Like That?

“Too many Christians travel through life convinced of their UNrighteous rather than confident of our righteousness. We fear that if we invited God to examine us according to our righteousness that he’d see only sin and darkness.” .

 

10. How to Rewrite the Bible

“What I have in mind when I speak of rewriting the Bible really isn’t as heretical as it sounds. Rather it’s a challenge to recognise that the Bible’s stories become our stories and each time they do we have an opportunity to write our own ending.”

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