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This Week with Henri Nouwen – The Meal That Makes Us Family and Friends


Posted by Jason Rigby | Posted in | Posted on 11:23 PM

This Week with Henri Nouwen – The Meal That Makes Us Family and Friends: "

Van GoghWe all need to eat and drink to stay alive. But having a meal is more than eating and drinking. It is celebrating the gifts of life we share. A meal together is one of the most intimate and sacred human events. Around the table we become vulnerable, filling one another’s plates and cups and encouraging one another to eat and drink. Much more happens at a meal than satisfying hunger and quenching thirst. Around the table we become family, friends, community, yes, a body.

That is why it is so important to “set” the table. Flowers, candles, colorful napkins all help us to say to one another, “This is a very special time for us, let’s enjoy.” – Henri Nouwen

I hope you had a great meal with someone yesterday.


Regard For The Soil: A Poem by Peter Maurin


Posted by Jason Rigby | Posted in | Posted on 5:39 PM

Regard For The Soil: A Poem by Peter Maurin: "Regard For The Soil by Peter Maurin

1. Andrew Nelson Lytle says:

The escape from industrialism

is not in socialism

or in sovietism.

2. The answer lies

in a return to a society

where agriculture is practised

by most of the people.

3. It is in fact impossible

for any culture

to be sound and healthy

without a proper regard

for the soil,

no matter

how many urban dwellers

think that their food

comes from groceries

and delicatessens

or their milk from tin cans.

4. This ignorance

does not release them

from a final dependence

upon the farm."

Do you really believe in the deity of Christ?


Posted by Jason Rigby | Posted in | Posted on 4:41 PM

Do you really believe in the deity of Christ?: "

A guest post by Wesley Hill

If he came to earth tomorrow, would your God go out partying with sinners?

If not, then Jesus must not be him.


The only thing that makes you differ


Posted by Jason Rigby | Posted in | Posted on 4:36 PM

The only thing that makes you differ: "

“Christian! the only thing that makes you differ from the vilest being that pollutes the earth, or from the darkest fiend that gnaws his chains in hell, is the free grace of God!”

- Octavius Winslow, Jesus, Full of Grace


Mission and the Overflow of Grace


Posted by Jason Rigby | Posted in | Posted on 10:54 PM

Mission and the Overflow of Grace: "

“Grasping the external propulsion of God’s grace is crucial to our understanding of mission. It means that mission is not a duty (something we ’should do’) but a natural overflow of the gospel’s work inside us. If you aren’t motivated to love, serve, and speak the gospel to people, the answer isn’t to ‘just do it.’ The answer is to examine your heart, repent of sin, and discern where your unbelief is short-circuiting the natural outward movement of the gospel. As the gospel renews your heart, it will also renew your desire to move out in faith into the relationships and opportunities God places in your path.

To put it simply, the grace of God is always going somewhere—moving forward, extending his kingdom, propelling his people toward love and service to others. As we learn to live in light of the gospel, mission should be the natural overflow. God’s grace brings renewal internally (in us) so that it might bring renewal externally (through us).”

- Bob Thune and Will Walker, The Gospel-Centered Life (World Harvest Mission, 2009), 46.


Meditative Prayer: Filling the Mind


Posted by Jason Rigby | Posted in | Posted on 9:46 PM

Meditative Prayer: Filling the Mind: "

Prayer series: Click | View Series

'We have some idea, perhaps, what prayer is, but what is meditation? Well may we ask, for meditation is a lost art today, and Christian people suffer grievously from their ignorance of the practice. Meditation is the activity of calling to mind, and thinking over, and dwelling on, and applying to oneself, the various things that one knows about the works and ways and purposes and promises of God.'—J.I. Packer

Let God Speak to You

In personal prayer we speak to God, but in meditative prayer we allow God to speak to us through his word and his Spirit. Never before has there been such a need to rediscover the quiet art of meditative prayer.

If we are not careful, the many distractions of this world will drown out the quiet voice of God within our hearts and make us numb to our spiritual needs. We need to find a quiet place to be with God and hear his word. In stillness and solitude God speaks to our hearts and fills us with the refreshing presence of his Spirit.

Emptying vs. Filling the Mind

What do we mean by meditative prayer? Is there such thing as Christian meditation? Isn't meditation non-Christian? According to Richard Foster, 'Eastern meditation is an attempt to empty the mind. Christian meditation is an attempt to fill the mind' (Celebration of Discipline). Rather than emptying the mind we fill it with God's word. We must not neglect a vital part of our Judeo-Christian heritage simply because other traditions use a form of meditation. Christian meditation has its roots in the Hebrew tradition of the Bible.

There are numerous Biblical references to prayerful meditation:

  • 'This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night' (Joshua 1:8).

  • 'But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night' (Psalm 1:2).

  • 'I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways' (Psalm 119:15).

  • 'I will lift up my hands toward your commandments, which I love, and I will meditate on your statutes' (Psalm 119:48).

  • 'O how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day' (Psalm 119:97).

  • 'My eyes are awake before the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promise' (Psalm 119:148).

  • 'I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done; I ponder the work of your hands' (Psalm 143:5).

To be continued.

Re:Sound - Rain City Hymnal

Rain City Hymnal

The first offering from Re:Sound is the Rain City Hymnal. Listen online and get the record from the Re:Sound website. Find out more.



We preach a saving Christ


Posted by Jason Rigby | Posted in | Posted on 6:30 PM

We preach a saving Christ: "


“There is no inconsistency between believing that God has a special sovereign love before the foundation of the world that is efficacious and brings in all the Body of Christ and that there is too love for all men, and that no man knows to which of those loves he has been brought until he is converted.  In other words, it is the love of God in Christ that is proclaimed.  And theoretical problems about how is this consistent with that, and so on, are not really our concern.  And ultimately, we don’t even know the answer to that.  So, Robert Candlish (1806-1873), another Free Church divine, says, We don’t preach a limited atonement or a universal atonement.  We preach a saving Christ.  And when people come to Christ, then they find they have been redeemed and his blood has been shed for them.”

Rev. Iain Murray, in a recent 9 Marks interview with Dr. Mark Dever.

We preach a saving Christ is a post from: Ray Ortlund


Spiritual pride


Posted by Jason Rigby | Posted in | Posted on 1:45 PM

Spiritual pride: "
'There is no sin so much like the devil as this for secrecy and subtlety and appearing in a great many shapes undiscerned and unsuspected, even appearing as an angel of light. It takes occasion to arise from everything, it perverts and abuses everything, even the exercises of real grace and real humility. It is a sin that has, as it were, many lives. If you kill it, it will live still. If you suppress it in one shape, it rises in another. If you think it is all gone, it is there still. Like the coats of an onion, if you pull one form of it off, there is another underneath. We need therefore to have the greatest watch imaginable over our hearts and to cry most earnestly to the great Searcher of hearts for his help. He that trusts his own heart is a fool.'

Jonathan Edwards, Thoughts on the New England Revival, page 155, edited slightly.

LOVE - single by Jaeson Ma


Posted by Jason Rigby | Posted in | Posted on 1:11 AM

LOVE - single by Jaeson Ma: "
Long time emerging-missional church blogger Jaeson Ma and TSK reader [you know he has done something GOOD when I introduce him that way] has put out a single that has gone 6 figures and top ten Amazon download in its class. Heck Jaeson, I didnt even know you were a musician. Why didnt you tell me?

People are already sending in video and this one is the most popular. Buy on itunes or amazon


Pastoral Images and Aspirations In Need of Shattering


Posted by Jason Rigby | Posted in | Posted on 12:51 AM

Pastoral Images and Aspirations In Need of Shattering: "With the double honor of 1 Timothy 5:17 comes the double responsibility of James 3:1.

Matt Chandler, pastor of The Village Church outside Dallas, gave a powerful message at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary's chapel service yesterday morning. You can watch it here or listen to it here, and I encourage you to do so. It's worth anyone's time, but is especially good for anyone in church leadership or anyone aspiring to be in church leadership.

In his sermon, Chandler quotes from Eugene Peterson’s Working the Angles: The Shape of Pastoral Integrity:
For a long time, I have been convinced that I could take a person with a high school education, give him or her a six-month trade school training, and provide a pastor who would be satisfactory to any discriminating American congregation. The curriculum would consist of four courses.

Course I: Creative Plagiarism. I would put you in touch with a wide range of excellent and inspirational talks, show you how to alter them just enough to obscure their origins, and get you a reputation for wit and wisdom.

Course II: Voice Control for Prayer and Counseling. We would develop your own distinct style of Holy Joe intonation, acquiring the skill in resonance and modulation that conveys and unmistakable aura of sanctity.

Course III: Efficient Office Management. There is nothing that parishioners admire more in their pastors than the capacity to run a tight ship administratively. If we return all phone calls within twenty-four hours, answer all the letters within a week, distributing enough carbons to key people so that they know we are on top of things, and have just the right amount of clutter on our desk—not too much, or we appear inefficient, not too little or we appear underemployed—we quickly get the reputation for efficiency that is far more important than anything that we actually do.

Course IV: Image Projection. Here we would master the half-dozen well-known and easily implemented devices that that create the impression that we are terrifically busy and widely sought after for counsel by influential people in the community. A one-week refresher course each year would introduce new phrases that would convince our parishioners that we are bold innovators on the cutting edge of the megatrends and at the same time solidly rooted in all the traditional values of our sainted ancestors.

(I have been laughing for several years over this trade school training with which I plan to make my fortune. Recently, though, the joke has backfired on me. I keep seeing advertisements for institutes and workshops all over the country that invite pastors to sign up for this exact curriculum. The advertised course offerings are not quite as honestly labeled as mine, but the content appears to be identical—a curriculum that trains pastors to satisfy the current consumer tastes in religion. I’m not laughing anymore.)

Only and always for Christ’s sake


Posted by Jason Rigby | Posted in | Posted on 11:55 PM

Only and always for Christ’s sake: "

“There is nothing in us or done by us, at any stage of our earthly development, because of which we are acceptable to God. We must always be accepted for Christ’s sake, or we cannot ever be accepted at all. . . . This is not true of us only when we believe. It is just as true after we have believed. It will continue to be true as long as we live. Our need of Christ doesn’t cease with our believing; nor does the nature of our relation to Him or to God through Him ever alter, no matter what our attainments in Christian graces or our achievements in behavior may be. It is always on His ‘blood and righteousness’ alone that we can rest.”

- B. B. Warfield, quoted by Elyse Fitzpatrick and Dennis Johnson in Counsel from the Cross(Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 2009), 19.


Captains of the Church


Posted by Jason Rigby | Posted in | Posted on 8:21 PM

Captains of the Church: "

Mike Foster thinks we should stop calling ourselves “Pastor.” In a tweet last summer he wrote: “If I don’t make employees/clients call me ‘Creative Principal Mike’ then why do some expect ‘Pastor’ in front of their name?”

He’s not the only one dropping the “Pastor” prefix. Erwin McManus is known as the “Cultural Architect of Mosaic.” I’ve also met a few executive pastors who are the”Chief of Staff.”

Maybe they’re all on to something. After all, “pastor” doesn’t carry the cache it once did. According to one survey the profession of “pastor” is near the bottom of the list of most-respected professions…just above “car salesman.” To make matters worse, pastors don’t seem to think very highly of their profession either. The following stats come from The Fuller Institute, George Barna, and Pastoral Care Inc.:

* 90% of the pastors report working between 55 to 75 hours per week.

* 80% believe pastoral ministry has negatively affected their families. Many pastor’s children do not attend church now because of what the church has done to their parents.

* 33% state that being in the ministry is an outright hazard to their family.

* 75% report significant stress-related crisis at least once in their ministry.

* 90% feel they are inadequately trained to cope with the ministry demands.

* 50% feel unable to meet the demands of the job.

* 70% say they have a lower self-image now than when they first started.

* 70% do not have someone they consider a close friend.

* 40% report serious conflict with a parishioner at least once a month.

* 33% confess having involved in inappropriate sexual behavior with someone in the church .

* 50% have considered leaving the ministry in the last months.

* 50% of the ministers starting out will not last 5 years.

* 1 out of every 10 ministers will actually retire as a minister in some form.

* 94% of clergy families feel the pressures of the pastor’s ministry.

* 66% of church members expect a minister and family to live at a higher moral standard than themselves.

So, what should we do about this dilemma? Based on a recent commentary I saw by John Hodgman, I’d like to propose a change. Rather than calling our church leaders “pastors,” let’s start calling them “captains.” Think about it…captains are all very respected and liked characters in our culture:

Captain America

Captain “Sully” Sullenberger

Captain James T. Kirk

Captain Kangaroo

Captain Caveman

Captain Stubing

Captain Jack Sparrow

Captain CrunchIn addition, they are very strong leaders often depended upon in life and death situations. They must set vision, direction, and hold the course in a storm. From time to time they must face the threat of mutiny. And to top it off, captians are qualified to marry people.

So, forget about “cultural architect,” “spiritual leader,” or even “cheif ecclesiastical officer.” The next time you see your pastor, greet him or her as “O Captain my captain!”