Muscular Christianity - While this article is probably now already ancient internet archive material for some, in this article Michael Horton gives some helpful thoughts on some of the recent surge of teachings on masculinity that have been floating around the internet (and books, conferences, and sermons). (I realize there are also about 30 other trending articles on the issue, and clearly this is just one.)
“So enough with the beards (if it’s making a spiritual statement). Enough with the “federal husband” syndrome that goes beyond the legitimate spiritual leadership of the heads of households found in Scripture. Enough of the bravado that actually misunderstands—sometimes rather deeply—what real sanctification looks like in the lives of men as well as women. And why does every famous pastor today have to write a book about his marriage and family? Beyond Scripture, there is godly wisdom and Christian liberty. Biblical principles focus on what it means to live in Christ by his Word and Spirit, and even in those few passages that speak directly to men and women, there will be legitimate diversity in application.
My point is that the larger goal here shouldn’t be to trot out more gender stereotypes from our culture, whether feminist or neo-Victorian, but rather to rediscover the ministry that Christ has ordained for making disciples of all nations, all generations, and both genders. We need less niche marketing and more meat-and-potatoes service to the whole body of Christ. There, men and women, the young and the old and the middle aged, black, white, Latino, Asian, rich and poor hear God’s Word together, pray and sing God’s Word together, and are made one body by receiving Christ’s body and blood together: “one Lord, one faith, one baptism.” In that place, at least, there are no women’s Bible studies and men’s Bible studies, distracted youth groups and child-free golden oldies clubs, but brothers and sisters on pilgrimage to a better homeland than those that have been fashioned for us by this passing evil age.”
Slightly related, is this article, “Ultimate Fighting Jesus,” with these slightly humorous (my favorite is the next to last sentence) insights:
“So, what does it mean to be a Christian man? If we’re not careful, we’ll end up just being dudes who are rude and crude.
We drink beer, eat red meat, smoke cigars, swear like Christian sailors, insult boy bands, watch Ultimate Fight Club, drive Hummers and four wheel trucks, be obsessed with Jack Bauer, hunt bears, etc. I do all of these things – with the exception of hunting bears. But are we reducing the definition of following Jesus to these external stereotypes?”
“The Frequent Fliers Who Flew Too Much” - The L.A. Times has an interesting piece on unlimited flying programs/vouchers that various airlines once offered, and how and why they are now reconsidering the terms of some of the remaining lifetime members. (I would love to have invested in one of these if I had had the financial means. Or you can just be as cool as my brother-in-law and work for Delta, though his job does keep him busy enough to keep him from making weekly overseas flights. )
“I can’t even remember when I cracked 10 million,” said Vroom, 67, a big, amiable Texan, who at last count had logged nearly four times as many. Rothstein, 61, has notched more than 30 million miles.
But all the miles they and 64 other unlimited AAirpass holders racked up went far beyond what American had expected. As its finances began deteriorating a few years ago, the carrier took a hard look at the AAirpass program.
“To Be Perfectly Honest” - A blogger writes on “the less-than-helpful nature of transparency for transparency’s sake” that is becoming quite popular in some Christian circles. Although I believe transparency is important and even crucial, I’ve all too often seen it misused as the basis for which to build relationships, rather than the outflow of a healthy, Christ-centered relationship. The author states this well, “Unity derives from love, not from spilling your guts in front of strangers.”
This is not a thorough look at this issue, but definitely one to get thoughts started. Liz also has a somewhat humorous, perhaps somewhat hyperbolic example of how such misused transparency might be played out here.
(Just thought I’d clarify again–I’m for transparency ; just not when it’s misused. It’s refreshing to see it properly used after being in environments where it was forbidden.)
“160 Uses for Coconut Oil” – 160 uses for coconut oil. We’ve been using it for maybe about 10% of the things on this list. (The list doesn’t necessarily give specifics for how to use them, but there are sites that can. I came across this article via Pinterest.)