Friday, October 30, 2009
12:09 AM Culture
I have made it a tradition to republish this post about Halloween from Tim Challies
I think that it is important to re-read this post as a reminder to us all as tonight as our communities celebrate Halloween.
I am guessing my neighborhood is all-too-typical in that people typically arrive home from work and immediately drive their cars into the garage. More often than not they do not emerge again until the next morning when they leave for work once more. We are private, reclusive people who delight in our privacy. We rarely see our neighbors and rarely communicate with them. . . . In the six years we have been living in this area, we have never once had a neighbor come to the door to ask for anything. . . .
Yet on Halloween these barriers all come down. I have the opportunity to greet every person in the neighbourhood. I have the opportunity to introduce myself to the family who moved in just down the row a few weeks ago and to greet some other people I have not seen for weeks or months. At the same time, those people's children will come knocking on my door. We have two possible responses. We can turn the lights out and sit inside, seeking to shelter ourselves from the pagan influence of the little Harry Potters, Batmans and ballerinas, or we can greet them, gush over them, and make them feel welcome. We can prove ourselves to be the family who genuinely cares about our neighbours, or we can be the family who shows that we want to interact with them only on our terms. Most of our neighbors know of our faith and of our supposed concern for them. This is a chance to prove our love for them.
The same contributor to the email list concluded his defense of participating in Halloween with these words: "One night does not a neighbor make (and one night does not a pagan make), but Halloween is the one night of the year where the good neighborliness that flows from being in Christ is communicated and reinforced. We are citizens of another Kingdom where The Light is always on."
The truth is that I have several convictions regarding Halloween. I despise the pagan aspects of it. I am convicted that my children should not dress as little devils or ghosts or monsters. But I am also convicted that there could be no worse witness to the neighbours than having a dark house, especially in a neighbourhood like ours which is small and where every person and every home is highly-visible. We know that, if we choose not to participate, the neighbors will notice and will smile knowingly, supposing that we feel too good to participate.
. . . Our door will be open and the light will be on. And we trust that the Light will shine brightly.
My encouragement to you today is to think and pray about this issue. I do not see Halloween as a great evangelistic occasion. I do not foresee it as a time when the people coming to your door are likely to be saved. But I do think it is a time that you can prove to your neighbors that you care about them, that you care about their children, and that you are glad to be in this world and this culture, even if you are not of this world or this culture. Halloween may serve as a bridge to the hearts of those who live around you who so desperately need a Savior.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
12:18 AM Missions
“There is a recognition that we are losing the children of the world spiritually. ... So this becomes a very critical moment to aim lower at the 4 to 14 [age] as the beginning place and come back to there with significant concentration. ... God is calling us to radically change the way we view children and to respond to their strategic importance and rightful place in His Kingdom.”—Mission strategist and Transform World Connections’ international facilitator Luis Bush, on the “4/14 window”
Luis Bush believes the church must now target the 4/14 window if it hopes to fulfill the Great Commission. Bush, who coined the “10/40 window” term more than 20 years ago, believes the key to advancing God’s kingdom today lies in capturing the hearts of those within the generation of children ages 4 to 14—widely known as the most formidable years. Though the native Argentine doesn’t believe Christians should abandon focusing on the geographical regions between 10 and 40 degrees north of the equator (his ideal vision is to reach the demographic 4/14 window within the geographic 10/40 window), Bush says it is essential for the church to fully capture these future “agents of transformation” before they become part of the majority of 15- to 24-year-olds abandoning their childhood faith.
When I read stories like this, I shake my head and cry out, "Lord please come quickly!"
A Baptist Church near Asheville, N.C., is hosting a “Halloween book burning” to purge the area of “Satan’s” works, which include all non-King James versions of the Bible, popular books by many religious authors and even country music.
The website for the Amazing Grace Baptist Church in Canton, N.C., says there are “scriptural bases” for the book burning. The site quotes Acts 19:18-20: “And many that believed, came and confessed and shewed their deeds. Many of them also which used curious arts, brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.”
Read the Full Article HERE
(ht: Bag of Nothing)
Thursday, October 22, 2009
2:30 PM Technology
The obituary, long a staple of newspapers, has taken an evolutionary twist, thanks to Iles Funeral Homes of Des Moines and the local division of Clear Channel Outdoor.
“This is not anything I’ve ever heard of,” said Jessica Koth, spokeswoman for the National Funeral Directors Association in Brookfield, Wis.
Obituaries have broken out of print in recent years with the advance of technology, notably the Internet.
Funeral homes publish obituaries on their Web sites, and Koth said she’s heard of funeral homes that post obituaries on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. But she said advertising on billboards is new territory.
Although my death will probably be tweeted, I would like my obit to go beyond merely 140 characters.
(ht: Bag of Nothing)
12:32 PM Timothy Keller
Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Church in NYC is one of the most relevant, biblical and compelling preachers in the country.
Now his sermons are online for free.
Now his sermons are online for free.
Redeemer’s Sermon Ministry has been faithfully recording, cataloging and reproducing all of our sermons for the past 20 years. To celebrate all 20 years of our history, and to meet the growing demand for our church’s teaching in New York City and around the world, we have created this resource of 150 sermons and lectures covering a broad array of topics, completely free to download and share.
The recordings chosen for the Free Sermon Resource were culled from classic sermon series as well as lectures and seminar addresses delivered to various Redeemer ministry gatherings, and are intended to present to the listener the full scope of teachings they would receive over several years of active involvement at Redeemer.(ht: Resurgence)