Monday, February 10, 2014

All Around the Web - February 10, 2014

Christianity Today - Who Owns the Pastor's Sermon?
In the late 1970s, Sealy Yates was sitting in his California law office when Chuck Swindoll paid him a visit. Swindoll was then a relatively unknown pastor at First Evangelical Free Church in nearby Fullerton. He had run into some legal trouble and wanted Yates's advice. At issue: Who owned Swindoll's sermons—Swindoll or First Evangelical?

A few years earlier, Swindoll had allowed a friend to launch a radio program called New Standard for Living, which broadcast his sermons. The program had done well, and now Swindoll wanted to take a more active role by starting his own program. But his friend balked, and their dispute seemed headed for court. Swindoll wanted to avoid a lawsuit, and Yates asked if he could mediate the dispute.

Yates said, "I asked Chuck, 'Who owns your sermons?' His response was, 'I don't know.' " Yates eventually helped the two parties settle the dispute, resulting in two separate radio ministries. He also helped Swindoll launch Insight for Living, his popular broadcast ministry. After some legal research, Yates also crafted an agreement between Swindoll and the church that guaranteed Swindoll the copyrights and the intellectual property rights to his sermons. (There was a similar agreement crafted between Swindoll and Insight for Living.)

Daulphin Way Baptist Church - Carson's Journey | Dr. Dooley was my preaching professor at Boyce College while he was finishing his Ph.D. His son was diagnosed with cancer and is now, praise God, cancer free. Here is a video his church put together marking the occasion.


Carson's Journey Video from Dauphin Way Baptist Church on Vimeo.



Thom Rainer - 7 Mistakes Leaders Make
  1. ADAM: neglecting one’s family responsibilities. This conclusion is admittedly based on silence in Genesis 3, but we can only wonder why Adam did not speak up before Eve ate from the forbidden tree. His failure as a steward of creation and a leader in his marital relationship would bring disaster to creation. My guess is we need not elaborate on the stories of leaders who have lost their homes through neglect.
  2. MOSES: ignoring the commands of God. The Hebrews had no water, and God told Moses to speak to a rock to bring forth water (Num. 20). Instead, Moses spoke harshly against the rebellious people and did what he had done in the past—he struck the rock. His sins were probably several, but the bottom line is clear: he chose to follow God according to his own terms. Frankly, a leader’s frustration with rebellious followers often leads to his own sin.
  3. JOSHUA: not seeking the counsel of the Lord. Joshua 9 tells the tragic story of God’s people being deceived by the Gibeonites. Not only did the Hebrews succumb to the deception, but they also did so without having first prayed to seek God’s insight and direction (9:14). That’s always a risk for leaders who let down their guard. How many times do leaders act first and then pray second?
  4. DAVID: relying only on training and experience. Study the story of David as a shepherd boy, and you find a youth thoroughly trusting God to fight his battles for him (1 Sam. 17).  He knew God would deliver him from bears, lions, and even a Philistine giant. Study David as king, though, and you discover a warrior seeking to determine the strength of his armed forces (1 Chron. 21). That happens sometimes—the young man who trusts God comes to trust in self when he has gained some leadership training and experience.
  5. JAMES AND JOHN: wanting the best seats in the kingdom. Likely thinking wrongly that Jesus was going to establish an earthly kingdom (and certainly under the influence of their mother’s wishes), the brothers sought seats of honor in Jesus’ kingdom (Mark 10:37). Little did they realize that kingdom living for them would mean servanthood and sacrifice rather than position and prestige. Too many leaders make the same mistake today as they seek honor without humility, titles without trial, and power without prayer.
  6. SIMON PETER: speaking for both God and the devil. It was Simon Peter who best stated who Jesus was: “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God!” (Matt. 16:16). In this case, the apostle listened to God and spoke the words God had given him. It was also Peter, though, who rebuked Jesus when He spoke of His coming death in Jerusalem. Jesus strongly condemned him in turn for speaking the words of Satan this time (Matt. 16:23). It happens to us, too, you know. Leaders at times speak both God’s word and the devil’s words—sometimes in the same conversation.
  7. THE APOSTLES: being overconfident. Simon Peter is best known for his promise of faithfulness to Jesus when He spoke of his impending death, but don’t miss the last part of Mark 14:31: “But he [Peter] kept insisting, ‘If I have to die with You, I will never deny You!’ And they all said the same thing” (emphasis added). They ALL said they would die with Him, but ALL fled not long thereafter (Mark 14:50). None of the apostles kept his word when the danger level rose. Overconfidence led to trouble.

Frank Viola - Peyton Manning on Jesus
With all the fervor and bluster that Tim Tebow’s presence has provoked in the world of football because of his alleged Christian witness, a little known fact is that Peyton Manning . . . one of the most talented and beloved figures in contemporary football . . . is a also a devout follower of Jesus Christ.

At age 13, Manning committed his life to Christ Jesus, and according to his own testimony, “that faith has been most important to me ever since.”

According to Manning, his priorities are ranked in this order “faith, family, friends, and football.”
“I hope (and pray) I don’t do too many things that displease Him before I get to Heaven myself. I believe, too, that life is much better and freer when you’re committed to God in that way,” said Manning.

Washington Post - Is religion losing ground to sports?
“Some people go to Jerusalem. I go to Pittsburgh.”

So remarked Brent Osbourne in 2012 after his homemade Pittsburgh Steelers banner made him a winner of the NFL’s “Fan Flag Challenge.” The Army veteran, then 35, lived in North Carolina at the time, but his attachment to the team abides.

Osbourne’s devotion is hardly unique. American sports fans have forged imperishable bonds with the people, places and moments that define their teams. You might even call this attachment religious.
But that would be unfair — to sports.

While teams and fans are building powerful, cohesive communities — think Red Sox Nation or the legions of University of Alabama faithful who greet one another with “Roll Tide” — churches are losing followers. According to a 2012 survey by researchers at the University of California at Berkeley and Duke University, 20 percent of Americans “claimed they had no religious preference,” compared with an unaffiliated population of 8 percent in 1990. Roughly two out of three Americans, a 2012 Pew report noted, are under the impression that religion is losing influence in the country.
Sports are on the opposite trajectory. Fifty years ago, just three in 10 Americans considered themselves sports fans. By 2012, that proportion exceeded six in 10. Tens of millions of U.S. viewers tuned in to regular-season National Football League games last fall, with the most popular match-ups attracting upwards of 30 million viewers. Nearly 3 million people watched the National Basketball Association’s Christmas Day games. And for devotees of these and other sports, lifelong loyalty to a certain city and team is de rigueur. “Once you choose a team,” sports commentator Bill Simmons says, “you’re stuck with that team for the rest of your life.”

This is just amazing.

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