2016 was a brutal year, especially for many who saw celebrities and cultural icons whom they idolized die. In the midst of a year of seeming tragedy, what hope does Christ offer? Quite a lot, in fact.
From Matt Foreman: "So what is the biblical lesson and answer in the face of a tragic reality? Can Christianity offer any hope in the New Year in the face of death? To the surprise of many, the Christian answer does not sugar-coat reality. The Christian Gospel has always been set in the midst of tragedy--from the cradle to the cross."
What does God look for from us - mere obedience or excited partnership? The latter. The story of Jonah helps show this.
"God isn’t after moralistic and merely obedient people—he isn’t about creating older brothers—he wants prodigal son type of worship. Slay the fattened calf. Celebrate. Party at the wonder of redemption."
John MacArthur has a new book out, "Brave Dad," and this article summarizes 10 essential lessons MacArthur thinks we need to be passing on to our children. An applicable and simple read for dads and moms.
Sara Bouma spent 6 weeks looking for a new church with her family and experiencing different church's guest relations. She has a number of takeaways, such as, "Followup, parking, signage matters." And more controversially for during service, perhaps, "Your people can chat with their friends before and after service."
In other words - ditch the in-service greeting time.