Morning Mashup 04/24

Morning Mashup

A daily mashup of book recommendations, articles, and videos for your information, edification, and enjoyment.


BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS

The Tech-Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in Its Proper Place | Andy Crouch

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Reset: Living a Grace-Paced Life in a Burnout Culture | David Murray

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ARTICLES

A Legacy of Forgiveness | The Washington Post

Jemar TisbyHe was walking home from an Easter meal on Sunday when a man walked up to Robert Godwin Sr., asked him to say a name and then shot him in the head. To add to the horror, the killer recorded the shooting and uploaded it to Facebook. Thousands of people saw the slaying before it was removed over an hour later.

The family’s grief, particularly that of Godwin’s children, was on display, too. But so was their love. In a baffling demonstration of grace, three of his children publicly forgave their father’s killer the next day.

Is the Enemy of My Enemy My Friend?| Ligonier

Albert Mohler: In a time of cultural conflict, the enemy of our enemy may well be our friend. But, with eternity in view and the gospel at stake, the enemy of our enemy must not be confused to be a friend to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Truthing in Love | GoThereFor

Lionel Windsor: Truthing in love means speaking the gospel, speaking the implications of the gospel, and speaking in a gospel-shaped way within the whole network of loving relationships characterized by God’s love for us in Jesus.

Three Lessons from an Intentional Life | ERLC

Lauren McAfee: I have the privilege of working in the company that grandpa started more than 40 years ago. There are many things I’ve learned from him over the years, but here are three specific lessons I’ve gleaned from his life:

10 Reasons to Be Humble Toward Opponents | TGC

Andrew DavisGod doesn’t will for us to give in for an instant on issues of biblical truth. It’s not humilty but self-serving cowardice that causes us to back down from doctrinal attacks. We must fight like lions for the truth of the gospel—the souls of our hearers are at stake. 

I think it’s unlikely for a work of church revitalization to go on without overcoming significant human opposition. But God commands us to be humble toward our opponents, entrusting ourselves to him. This is among the greatest displays of grace. And it’ll be instrumental in transforming your church.

As personal conduct goes, I believe there are at least 10 reasons we should be humble toward our opponents.

VIDEOS

Morning Mashup 07/12

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A daily mashup of Kindle deals, articles, and videos for your information, edification, and enjoyment.


KINDLE DEALS

Family Worship: In the Bible, In History, and In Your Home | Don Whitney | $3.99

Family Worship Book

Bringing the Gospel Home: Witnessing to Family Members, Close Friends, and Others Who Know You Well | Randy Newman | $2.99

Bringing the Gospel Home Book

ARTICLES

What’s Going On? | Tony Carter

“Brothers and sisters, we are pro-life, not simply because black lives matter, or blue lives matter, or unborn lives matter, but because Christ matters, the kingdom of God matters. We are pro-life because God is. Let us not make it a black thing (though the world does), and let us not make it simply a justice thing (though it is that). But let’s always make it a God thing, because it is. Let’s make it a Christ thing. And remember Christ is no respecter of person, race, or class.”

Alcohol Abuse, Perry Noble, and the Church’s Response | Ed Stetzer

Grieved by numerous pastoral moral failures in recent months. I’ve openly disagreed with much of Perry Noble’s ministry, but the news of his struggles with alcoholism and his removal as pastor has only led me to bow my head in sorrow and prayer.

Church Attendance Spikes Nationwide Due to Influx of Pokemon GO Players | Babylon Bee

You can always count on the Bee for much needed comic relief!

Grieving Racial Injustice as Citizens of the Kingdom of God | Jarvis Williams

“Christians, we must not hate, although we mourn. We must not fight violence with violence, although we want justice for all of the lives lost last week, and over the weekend. But we must hold fast and hold forth the life giving and life changing power of the gospel of Jesus Christ, with our words and with our actions. And we must seek to live in community with our brothers and sisters in Christ who don’t share our ethnic postures so that the world might see that we love Jesus, that we belong to Jesus, that we love one another, and that we are citizens of the already-not-yet kingdom of God.”

Two Kinds of Voting, Two Kinds of Disruption, and Two Kinds of Unrighteousness | Sen. Ben Sasse

Thank you, Senator Sasse. This needed to be said.

The Playschool Tragedy for Twentysomethings | Marshall Segal

“We all live for something. Some purpose statement hides beneath all our desires and decisions, whether we know it or not. We do everything we do out of love — for something or someone. The question is whether that purpose (or person) is worth all the time, money, and energy we’re spending.”

You Are Smart Enough to Study the Bible | Ryan Higginbottom

“You don’t need seminary training. You don’t need a full bookcase or years of experience or an understanding of Greek and Hebrew. You don’t need a high IQ or a big vocabulary. You don’t even need a high school diploma. I don’t dismiss any of the education, intellect, or training God gives. But only a few things are necessary to study the Bible. You need a Bible, a pen, paper, a heart that seeks God, and the Holy Spirit. Gather the first three, ask God for the last two, and you’re ready to go.”

VIDEOS

Pulpit Aflame: Essays in Honor of Steve Lawson | Reformation Heritage Books

 

Propaganda on Racial Justice (Part 2) | The Verge Network

The Practice of Peacemaking: 7 Principles to Resolve Conflict

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The only means for peacemaking in our daily lives is the peacemaking of the cross. The humble substitutionary sacrifice of Christ is the fuel for all of our peacemaking. We can combat daily conflicts because Jesus stood at enmity with his Father in our place. By bringing us close to God and remaking us in his image, the perfect image of God, the work of Jesus motivates us to resolve conflict and teaches us how to resolve conflict.

With the cross as our means and motivation for peacemaking, there are tangible and practical ways that we can make peace in the midst of our conflict with others. Gospel-centered peacemaking requires self-emptying humility, self-surrendering sacrifice, and self-forsaking satisfaction in Jesus. What we are after in peacemaking is reconciliation. Since conflicts are to be expected in a fallen world, we must be ready to live out the gospel by seeking peace and reconciliation when we sin against others and when others sin against us.

Seeking and offering forgiveness can be sticky, messy, and confusing. While we desire to live peaceably with all, there are times when conflicts must remain because convictions cannot be compromised. But in order to practically seek and offer forgiveness and reconciliation during conflict, some guidance is helpful. Ken Sande offers a helpful guide in seeking peace and reconciliation in a way that is humble, self-sacrificial, and Christ-centered.

In what he calls the “Seven A’s of Confession,” (The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2004. pp. 126-133). Sande provides a practical guide that flows from the peacemaking work of Christ on the cross to help us pursue reconciliation. Here I list his seven steps and provide brief comments below each of them.

1. Address everyone involved.

If we have sinned against a group of people, then we address everyone involved. We don’t just go to those we like. Partiality has no place in gospel-centered reconciliation. In my own life, if I have been hard to get along with in a staff meeting, it isn’t enough to only come to the lead pastor and ask his forgiveness. Before the whole staff, I need to say, “Guys, I was a jerk in that last meeting. Please forgive me.” It’s not enough to only address one person in a group you have sinned against. Address everyone involved.

2. Avoid if, but, and maybe.

When you meet with someone to seek reconciliation, you don’t need to set conditions on your forgiveness or request for forgiveness. Conditions lack humility, sacrifice, and ultimately faith in Christ. Peacemaking requires taking sin seriously. When you place conditions like “if, but, and maybe” on forgiveness and reconciliation, you are making peace, but accusations, which will lead to greater conflict.

3. Admit specifically.

This is crucial. Asking forgiveness for “messing up the other day” is not enough to encourage peace. When confessing sin to others, be specific. You sinned. You know what you did. Be transparent and clear. Specifically confessing sin communicates that you recognize how you have wronged someone and how remorseful you are because of it. Again, in this we see the humility and self-sacrifice of Christ. Pride wants to stay as general as possible. But humble faith in Christ dies to self and admits specific sins.

4. Acknowledge the hurt.

Something I have learned in the early years of my marriage is that it isn’t enough to just ask my wife for forgiveness. I need to truly sympathize with her hurt. The sweetest moments of reconciliation usually come on the heels of silence on my part. Listening to how she feels when I say or do certain things shows that I actually want her forgiveness and that I really want to be reconciled with her. Going through the motions doesn’t fool anyone, especially wives, guys. Humble genuineness goes a long way toward making peace.

5. Accept the consequences.

Reconciliation doesn’t always mean that the relationship goes back to the way it was. There are always consequences to sin. When you sin against someone, you need to accept the fact that there are going to be consequences, and sometimes this means the whole dynamic of the realationship has shifted. Reconciliation is still possible, even if the relationship changes. Accept the consequences.

6. Alter your behavior.

The cross redefines your relationship with God. By no merit of your own, Christ reconciles you to God by the blood of his cross. But this unmerited favor, or grace, isn’t only powerful enough to give you new standing with God. No, this grace empowers you to live out the implications of this new relationship every day. And a reconciled relationship with God means we can have reconciled relationships with others. The grace that reconciled us to God works to reconcile us to others. So, we don’t just ask for forgiveness and then go right back to what we were doing. The gospel demands that we repent. Repentance is the natural vibration of the Christian life. So, from the position of peace with God based on no merit of our own, we should change the way we interact with others. If we are harsh with our tone, ask forgiveness and then change the way you speak to others. Repentance is an expression of your trust in the peacemaking work of Jesus.

7. Ask for forgiveness.

Simple, yet profound. A beautiful expression of Christlike humility and self-sacrifice is to simply walk up to someone you have wronged and say, “Please forgive me.” Whether they actually forgive you or not is irrelevant. We do need to be prepared for the moment when you follow all of these steps, but sometimes you will not be forgiven. If someone doesn’t forgive you, this would not be the time to jump in defense and say, “Hey bro, I humbly repented and asked forgiveness. It’s your job to say, ‘I forgive you.’ Get with it!” No, all you do when someone doesn’t forgive you is love them, bless them, pray for their good, and show them grace. As Paul would say, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all” (Rom. 12:14). As one who has received peace by the blood of Christ, you are to pursue peace regardless of how the other party responds.

Peacemaking requires humility. Peacemaking requires sacrifice. Peacemaking is only possible through the blood of Christ. Pursue peace in all of your relationships. And know that when you fail in your efforts to reconcile, know you belong to one who perfectly offered himself as the perfect image of God to die in your place so that you might eternally be brought into the presence of God where there is fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore. In the macro and micro conflicts in your lives, run to the ultimate Peacemaker who makes peace by the blood of his cross.


Mathew Gilbert (B.A. Boyce College) is Associate Pastor for Children and Preschool at The Church at Trace Crossing in Tupelo, MS. He is married to his high school sweetheart, Erica. Mathew and Erica live in Tupelo with their son, Jude. You can follow him on Twitter @mat_gilbert.

Morning Mashup 10/27

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This edition of Morning Mashup is coming to you from the Atlantic Coast. It was hard to finish this post with a view like the one above right in front of me. Is there anything more beautiful than a sunrise at the beach? However, there were some really interesting articles and one really fun compilation of maps that were too good to let pass. So, as I go down to enjoy the sun, beach, and ocean, I’ll let you guys peruse the following links at your own discretion. But as my buddy, John Calvin, says below, I will try not to enjoy the gift of this mini vacation above the Author of all that I see.


The Pope and the Precipice – Ross Douthat, a conservative Catholic, writes on the Catholic doctrine of papal infallibility, the future of the Catholic Church under Pope Francis, and the inevitable action weighing on conservative Catholic shoulders.

On Halloween, Don’t Be that Parent – Dan Darling gives some practical advice to Christian parents on Halloween.

When Dad Doesn’t Disciple the Kids – Jen Wilkin with some encouraging words for the wife of the believing father guilty of spiritual absenteeism who desires both to honor her husband and spiritually equip her children. Sadly, this post is very necessary for many wives and mothers.

Pastor, Why Not Visit Their Workplace? – Greg Forster contends, “[Your congregants] visit you in your workplace regularly. Why not visit them in theirs?”

Point People to Christ – San Francisco Giants executive, Bobby Evans, says, “You want your life to point people to Christ.”

Forgotten Providence – After recently teaching this doctrine, I can wholeheartedly agree with the concerns of this writer when she says, “We seem to have moved past needing to talk about God’s providence—we’re quite sophisticated these days.”

ERLC Conference – The 2014 ERLC Conference begins today. It features excellent speakers on many important topics, some absolutely crucial for the church and Southern Baptist life. If you have time, check it out via livestream.

25 Maps that Describe America – This is a really cool compilation of maps that describe America in different ways. Have fun with this one!

For nothing is more preposterous than to enjoy the very remarkable gifts that attest the divine nature within us, yet to overlook the Author who gives them to us at our asking. –John Calvin

Morning Mashup 07/25

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7 Signs We May Be Worshipping Our Family – Leading a family as parents in the way of the Lord is both one of the most thrilling things and frightening things in the world. While parents are called to love their family, it is easy to fall into family worship, as in worship of the family. Jason Helopoulos offers seven signs that may indicate heading into worship of the family.

Being Single to Give God Glory – Owen Strachan: “We don’t live a single life as a man or woman to gratify our deepest urges or shirk responsibility. Whether single or married, we embrace the life God gives us in order to live it for his glory.”

Iraqi Christians Appeal to World for Help – My heart breaks for Christians in Mosul and I boldly stand with these suffering brothers and sisters even as they fill up the afflictions of Christ (Col. 1:24).

Two Ways to Reduce Student Loan Debt – Rick Segal of Bethlehem College and Seminary says their are two ways to reduce student loan debt: “their way and our way.” I love what Segal proposes and I tip my hat to this kind of vision for higher education. As a student accruing loan debt by the semester, I pray that such a vision would become a reality in many institutions.

The Hero Story – Jim Hamilton: “When we consider the Messiah in the Old Testament, our minds are confronted with the answer to the world’s questions, the fulfillment of all yearnings, the satisfaction of the universal desire for beauty and joy and peace and, and well, everything. You could say it’s Hitchcock’s McGuffin – something everyone wants, needs and looks for at all costs – but the McGuffin may not be profound enough to capture the weight of this, the real thing. Jesu joy of man’s desiring. Indeed. Jesus is the ultimate object of C. S. Lewis’ Sehnsucht – he is the one who fulfills the inconsolable longing for we know not what.”

Please Don’t Say These Six Things at My Funeral – While I hope my funeral is a long way off, I echo the sentiments in this post. I pray to one day minister to people who want God glorified a their funeral, rather than them.

“If our hearts and our minds pant like a hart after the water-brook of God’s deep mind, it may not be pride, it may be worship.” -John Piper