I am doing some year end analysis/reflection/prinking and I thought I would share the top books I read in 2010. I would recommend any of these as solid reads!
"Transformation: How Glocal Churches Transform Lives and the World" by Bob Roberts
(I am finishing the year with this book, and it is a great one to finish on)
"Vintage Jesus" by Marc Driscoll
"Leadership As An Identity" by Crawford Loritts
"When Helping Hurts" by Brian Fikkert and Steve Corbett
"Forgotten God" by Francis Chan
"The Cross Centered Life" by CJ Mahaney
What were the best 3 books you read this year?
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Monday, December 20, 2010
I posted these questions in January of this year, but to be honest I really didn't put any "feet" to these questions after I posted them. I have printed them off for myself this year, and I hope to spend some time in the next two weeks thinking and praying through them. These were initially shared on Floyd McClung's blog (he is a missionary who currently serves in Cape Town, South Africa).
1. What’s one way, you could utilize time, to increase your enjoyment of God?
2. What’s the most humanly impossible thing you will ask God to do this year?
3. What’s the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your family life this year?
4. In which spiritual discipline do you most want to make progress this year, and what will you do about it?
5. Who are three people you can disciple more intentionally?
6. What is the most helpful way you can build community with a few other followers of Jesus this year?
7. For whose salvation will you pray most fervently this year?
8. Who is the person you most want to encourage this year?
9. What one thing could you do to improve your prayer life this year?
10. What single thing can you plan to do this year that will matter most in ten years? In eternity?
**Note on picture: I had not caught a fish in Montana in approximately 7 years, so the fact that I caught one in 2010 is a great accomplishment! So...
Friday, December 10, 2010
Saturday, December 04, 2010
I have been reading through "Vintage Jesus" by Mark Driscoll and have really been blessed by it. Today I was reading through the chapter entitled "Where Is Jesus Today?" and I appreciated the perspective he shared on our glorious "urban future" and our current perspective on an ever-increasing urban world and its significance to Gospel mission. Driscoll states the following on pp 156-158,
"As an aside it is important to note that the new creation will not be the idylic rural lifestyle that has dominated so much American vision of faithful Christianity. Rather, at the center of the new creation will be a grand metropolis from which Jesus will rule over the earth 30. The entire storyline of the Bible is not from garden to garden, but rather from garden to city. The Bible opens in its first few pages with a beautiful garden. But the Bible closes in its final few pages with the vision of heaven as a dense city filled with people - the ultimate goal of creation is an urban paradise.
Practically speaking, a city is marked by both greater density and diversity than suburban and rural areas. For the first time in the world's history, roughly half of the world's population is urban. That number is expected to swell to 60 percent by the year 2030.
Sadly, most Christians associate the city with vice, not virtue. In truth, cities have long been seen as a haven for violent crime, sexual sin, and drug abuse. But sin is often most clearly seen in the city because it is more concentrated in the city than in suburban and rural areas. As a result, the related need for God is most clearly seen in the city. The rawness of the city makes it exactly the kind of place that God would use to convince people of their need for Him. Furthermore, by revealing the unveiling of the city upon His return, Jesus intends for Christians to love cities in the meantime.
Unlike today where Christians have largely fled the cities in favor of homeschooling about the rapture amidst large stacks of canned goods readied for a hunkering down at the unleashing of Armageddon, Christianity has historically been an urban religion. A reading of the history book of the early Christianity, Acts, reveals that Christianity began as an urban movement led by Paul, whose itinerant church planting ministry was almost exclusively urban as he moved from city to city and bypassed the rural areas.
Indeed, God's people should bring the gospel to any place where there are people, because God loves all people. But since there are more people in the city, it also makes sense that bringing the gospel to cities would be a priority.
One of the reasons Christians in our day are to love the city as they await the unveiling of Jesus' city is that the city is the most strategic place for Christians and the gospel. If culture is like a river, then cities are upstream, creating culture that then flows downstream to the masses. Because government, law, education, healthcare, information, media, arts, sports, entertainment, trade, travel, population, and industry are concentrated most in a city, cities are the fountains from which culture flows. Therefore, for Christians to flee from cities then to only complain about the kind of culture that is flowing into the culture from the cities is both foolish and hypocritical. The answer is for Christians to love the city, move to the city, pray for the city, and serve the city until Jesus returns with His city from which all culture will emanate throughout the new earth."
My former urban ministry professor Dr. Fuder used to share with us that he prays that more men and women would give their lives in the city for the sake of the Gospel! Amen.