Friday, July 4, 2014

All Around the Web - July 4, 2014

Happy Independence Day!


The Gospel Coalition - When the Transgender Issue Comes Home
Begin with love.
Acknowledge that a response is necessary.
Don’t respond only according to personal experience or feelings.
Ground yourself in faithful explication of the Bible.
Confess your own sin and recognize your need for God’s grace.
Involve your local church.
Assess your personal situation.
Respond in love.
Do your part to keep communication open.

Kevin DeYoung - 10 Promises for Parents
1. “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness” (James 1:2-3).
2. “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you” (James 4:10).
3. “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain” (Psalm 127:1).
4. “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward” (Psalm 127:3).
5. “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1).
6. “Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city” (Proverbs 16:32).
7. “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:30).
8. “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God” (Hebrews 13:16).
9. “Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox” (Proverbs 14:4).
10. “But he gives more grace” (James 4:6).

Real Clear Politics - Megyn Kelly vs. Bill Ayers: "You Sound Like Osama bin Laden"

Megan Kelly - Megyn Kelly vs. Bill Ayers, Part 2: Won't Rule Out Bombing U.S. In Future

Chuck Lawless - 12 Church Parking Lot Problems
  1. The parking lot entrance is not easily visible. Sometimes the location of the church building itself is not the best. At other times, the location is not poor, but the entrance to the parking lot is difficult to see from the road. Perhaps a line of trees blocks the view. I’ve visited other churches where the church sign is actually the obstacle.
  2. The landscaping is poorly tended. Frankly, it’s amazing to me that church members look past landscaping at their church they would never ignore in their own yard. Uncontrolled weeds, dying flowers, uncut grass, and old mulch are not a good witness to the community.
  3. Not enough parking is available. Generally, the 80% rule about church facilities applies to parking as well: when 80% of the parking spaces are full, it is likely that attendance will plateau until more space is available. Many churches, though, do not monitor these important data.
  4. No guest parking is available. The church that has no marked guest parking is inadvertently saying (a) we do not expect guests, or (b) we see no reason to treat guests in a special way. The former suggests a lack of faith, and the latter implies a lack of concern.
  5. Guest parking is available, but hard to see. When a guest pulls into a parking lot, he is not likely to know guest parking is available. Unless someone is directing him to that parking or those spaces are immediately obvious, he is likely to miss that benefit for guests.
  6. No greeters are in the parking lot. In many ways, a greeter in the parking lot is more important than a greeter at the door. Without being overly intrusive, parking lot greeters can welcome guests, direct them to an entrance, answer questions they might have, provide umbrellas when it’s raining, assist families with children, and help the elderly.
  7. The church has parking lot greeters, but they are not easily identified. Name badges are helpful, but they are not enough to identify parking lot greeters. Because the parking lot typically has a large number of people wandering around, greeters should be clearly identified by something like a vest.
  8. The traffic flow is poor, and no one is directing it. This problem is often more acute in congregations that have worshippers from multiple services entering and exiting at the same time. Parking lot attendants who direct the traffic can make a big difference.
  9. The walk from much of the lot to the front door is long, and the church provides no shuttle option. Obviously, this problem exists primarily in churches with large parking lots. Those arriving later than others frequently find open spaces only in the distant areas of the lot, and the walk is long. A golf cart might be a wise investment for this church.
  10. Churches miss the opportunity to have welcome centers outside the building. If the weather permits, setting up a portable welcome center in the parking lot is a good strategy. Not only does it avoid the crowd inside the building, but it also becomes an exciting central place to which to direct guests from the parking lot.
  11. The church provides no security in the parking lot. An unattended parking lot during a worship service is regrettably an open invitation for thieves. Security personnel can serve as a deterrent to crime while also being available to direct guests who come late to the service. They might also pray for the families represented by each car as they walk the lot.
  12. No one is praying for this ministry. This work is just that – a ministry – and churches should prayerfully and wisely recruit workers to do these tasks. Moreover, they should commission these workers and pray weekly for them as they serve God in the parking lot.

Washington Post - After Hobby Lobby, here are four other festering church-state issues
The Supreme Court’s ruling Monday on the religious rights of private for-profit businesses ends two cases that have garnered loads of national attention because they involved President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, one of the symbols in 2014 of partisan divide.

Hot-button as it was, however, the issue often short-handed as “Hobby Lobby” — after the evangelical-owned crafts chain that was one of the parties suing the White House — is just one sign of many that the relationship between church and a much more diverse American state is being renegotiated.

To some it feels like the place of religion is being demeaned or threatened, but church-state experts say the truth is more subtle, that U.S. society is simply becoming more complicated, and that major cases today sometimes boost religion and sometimes limit it.

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