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Archive for November, 2006

Starbucks Backlash

I just read a good post (in addition to the comments) on an “anti-Starbucks” movement and how it relates to the church. It’s interesting and worth some thought and conversation.

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ABC aired A Charlie Brown Christmas this evening, and I, for one, am glad they did.

Charles Schultz, creator of Peanuts, had a lot to do with my understanding of Christmas. I didn’t grow up in a Christian (or even church-going) home, so my thinking about Christmas was limited to Santa Claus, reindeer, and Burl Ives.

Jesus – the real reason for the season was nowhere to be found. That is, until I watched Charlie Brown! Linus’ explanation of Christmas and his recitation of Luke 2 was where I found at what Christmas was all about.

Something about it fascinated me. The program was (and is still) my favorite Christmas special. Linus’ part was always my favorite, too (even long before I was a Christian). I know why now. The Lord was drawing me to Himself, even though I didn’t know it.

Thank you ABC. Thank you Charles Schultz. Most of all, thank You, Lord.

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“I recently read an article in Psychology Today stating that ‘reading fiction, it turns out, is a surprisingly social process. A study in press at the Journal of Research in Personality showed that frequent readers of narrative fiction scored higher on tests of empathy and social acumen than did readers of expository non-fiction. A follow-up study showed that fiction could actually hone those skills.”

Until the last ten years or so, I didn’t read much fiction at all. I read what I was assigned in school (including university), but very little more. As time has went by, I’ve read more and more fiction, although I’m still partial to non-fiction. I’ve realized that you can learn a lot from stories (whether they’re presented in the forms of books or movies) and communicate truth and a worldview in ways you can’t in straightforward non-fiction.

Just another step in the growth process.

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The story of Squanto should be required reading – especially near Thanksgiving (and I hope we haven’t completely blown right past it). A fabulous story!

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Please don’t call it “Turkey Day” (or heaven forbid, “Tofurkey Day”)! It’s Thanksgiving – the day we set aside to give thanks for the myriad of blessings God has given us.

Take time to give thanks to the Lord for His bountiful blessings before you dig into your meal. Think about something you’re thankful and grateful for that you weren’t when you first experienced it. In other words, something that you never would have thought you’d be thankful for, but now you are.

I’m thankful for the sovereignty and goodness of God. He’s in control and He’s good – I can absolutely count on it. I’m thankful for my wife Karen. She’s a blessing from God which I do not deserve.

Enjoy the turkey and family (and football) and don’t forget to give thanks.

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Robert Reich, former labor secretary in the Clinton administration, thinks that those who believe in God and believe that the Bible is a revelation from God are a more significant threat to the world than terrorists.

Gary DeMar responds here (does a good job of it, too).

I wonder how this will play out in the Democratic party, especially with a number of conservative-leaning and even openly-evangelical members getting elected a couple of weeks ago? There is a strong secularist sentiment in the party that may not want to welcome them. We’ll see what happens.

I would like to see Democrats take the evangelicals and conservatives in their party seriously. Don’t just trot them out when election-time rolls around. The church should never be, or perceive itself to be, captive to any specific political party.

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Recommended Reading

Pastor Mark Roberts is in the process of writing a series of comments on the “Unintended Lessons from Ted Haggard on his blog. Please read the last two posts (as of today) if you are a pastor or you know a pastor on pastoral pressure and expectations. Dead solid perfect – that’s all I have to say!

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