Travel Update….Almost There!

saying goodbye to Multnomah Falls

Okay, just a quick update from the road. Moving day (July 10) couldn’t have gone better. The movers showed up just before 8:00, loaded up, and drove off around 3:00. (It was a little weird watching someone drive off with almost everything we own.) We had originally planned to leave the next morning, but we decided just to hit the road that afternoon. So we loaded up our camping gear, had an early dinner with family, and were on the road by 6:00. After a gloriously sunny drive up the Columbia River Gorge, we pressed on to Spokane and collapsed in our hotel room, which I booked en route, just after midnight. A long day, but a good one.

Since then, we’ve spent two nights in Yellowstone (got soaked the first night), one night near Mt. Rushmore, and one night at a random hotel along the freeway. (We were supposed to camp again, but we wimped out.) Along the way, we have visited (or at least driven through) 2 national parks, 2 national forests, 2 national grasslands, 1 national memorial, and 3 state parks. I asked my girls what they thought about the trip so far, and here are the highlights.

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Flotsam and jetsam (7/15)

Good Reads

  • Why Pastors Should Blog: Pastoral ministry, rightly conceived as a Spirit-led vocation, begins with the personal development of a pastor. The Spirit’s vocational assignment for pastors includes the life of the mind. The pastor is first a Christian who is, like any other follower of Jesus Christ, committed to the deepening of the mind.
  • 9 Things That Have Replaced Traditional Outreach in Churches: There is a direct connection between the demise of traditional outreach and the decreasing effectiveness of reaching the respective communities. Spending time in someone’s home was a highly effective connection that usually led to other relational opportunities. But, as noted, this type of outreach is highly problematic in most communities. What’s the solution?
  • How secular is Europe? A tale of two cultures: Secularisation can be understood negatively or positively: as a move away from traditional levels of public and private participation in religion, or positively as the adoption of an alternative set of values and beliefs that owe nothing to religion.

Other Info

Just for Fun

  • The Definitive Guide To The British Royal Succession. (I’m not entirely certain why so many people outside the UK are fascinated by the British royal family. But I still thought it was interesting to finally see how all the various family members are related to one another.)

A Prayer for Sunday (Jane Austen)

jane austenA famous British author, Jane Austen was also a dedicated Christian who was actively involved in various ministries and often published explicitly Christian poems and prayers. She is, of course, best known for her many novels. Although many of these books are now viewed at the popular level as merely interesting glimpses into an earlier time, Austen intentionally wove Christian themes into all of her novels, making her one of the most influential Christian authors of all time.

Jane Austen died on July 18, 1817. In honor of her amazing life and ministry, this Sunday’s prayer comes from her. It’s a bit longer of a prayer than I normally post, but it’s still well worth reflecting on.

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What Are You Going to Do Today?

The Anatomy of an Internet Article

This has nothing to do with what I write, of course. But for what other people write, it’s completely accurate.

From Doghouse Diaries (HT 22 Words)

29 Ways to Stay Creative (infographic)

A while back I posted a video on 29 Ways to Stay Creative. There’s now a helpful infographic summarizing the same information. Check it out.

Flotsam and jetsam (7/8)

Good Reads

  • The Early Church and Military Service: The main question is not whether the theologians permit military service. This much is clear. They condemn it. The question, though, is why? On what grounds are Christians forbidden to join the military?
  • What We Can Expect From The Next Decade Of Technology: Technology tends to run in cycles.  Microsoft ruled the 90’s by building essential software for enterprises.  Then Apple created a new device driven marketplace in which the consumer was king.  What will drive the next decade?
  •  The Importance of Rejection in Academic Careers: Rejections are a dirty secret among academics. Publication successes are cause for celebration, or at least a proud listing on C.V.s and departmental lists. Failures — rejected papers and unsuccessful grant and promotion applications — are usually hidden and sometimes a source of shame. The result is that many scholars, especially junior ones, have unrealistic expectations.

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A Prayer for Sunday (Richard Sibbes)

The English puritan Richard Sibbes was a famous exegete, preacher, and writer active in the period just before the English Civil war. He is probably best known for his sermons and devotional works, through which he influenced such later figures as Thomas Hooker, Charles Spurgeon, and Martyn Lloyd-Jones.

Sibbes died on July 5, 1635. In honor of his life and ministry, today’s prayer comes from him.

Gracious and holy Father who has… sanctified this day for your own service and worship, and for progressing us in the way of salvation, please, sanctify our hearts by your Holy Spirit now, so that we may perform our various obediences in a way that brings you your greatest glory and us our greatest comfort.

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Saturday Morning Fun…The European Union Explained

If you’ve ever wondered precisely what the European Union is or why the UK has its own money even though it’s part of the EU, here’s a great explanation.

Flotsam and jetsam (6/5)

Good Reads

  • 10 Things Every Christian Should Know about Islam: Islam is a fast-growing religion, especially in the Western world. Christians increasingly need to be aware of Islam and, most importantly, how to engage its adherents with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Here are 10 things I learned about Islam during my 20 years as a missionary in a Muslim-majority country.
  • Church Thieves: Her last day on the job should not have involved handcuffs, but that’s the way it played out.  The church secretary for a tall steeple church a small town was put in the backseat of the police car and taken away.  Her crime? Stealing from the church.
  • It’s too early to write off the lecture:  For as long as the lecture is regarded as better than internet-based learning, it will survive on a substantial scale. And wherein lies its superiority? An interesting question. It is live. It is real. It is put on with you in mind, even if you are one of a large crowd. You experience it with other people. And, perhaps the clincher: it takes place in a university, bursting with life and interesting people who will inspire you in unexpected ways.

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