Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Over Digitalized Life

Just as an observation, even though we’re here on the Internet. Be careful of the over digitalized life. Why?

In the past week, I’ve seen reports of:

1. Hackers shutting down a Jeep via remote. That’s right. The nightmare of ATMOS from Dr. Who wasn’t far-fetched, after all. I went for a ride today with a church member, and the car he was driving was entirely electronic. No real key. Every thing was digital and linked.

And I think someone with a bit of time and expertise could have shut the whole thing down. Consider how many more digital-linked cars are out there, and what would happen if the engine quit, right now, on every one of them? Never mind the tin-foil government concerns, like a California-mandated cap on mileage for ‘greenhouse’ purposes, the malicious baddies out there could wreak great havoc with that.

2. Researchers hacked the major “smart rifle” system out there. It’s a rifle system that’s digitally linked for long-range shooting, and computes all sorts of variables. Except that the hacking shut down the aiming, and could have retargeted the shot.

3. There’s a constant stream of news of employers, financial institutions, and even government agencies being hacked.

4. Then there’s church. Everything I get involved with eventually comes back around to what happens with church. Just as I’ve asked a few times before, what would happen to your church and the worship gathering you have if the power was out? For some of you, and if your back-up generator wasn’t working. (Seriously, there are some major problems in this world that you could have helped with before buying a backup generator to run your video projector.)

There’s a missing touch in the digital world. And we need to pay attention to that, and not overly vest our lives in the wiring. Don’t be so dependent on it that you can’t function…

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Book: Direct Hit

ImageMike Hollow’s Direct Hit: The Blitz Detective is intended as the start of a series about, you guessed it, a detective working during the London Blitz of World War II. It’s a good read, probably appropriate for middle school and up because of the series nature of a personal look into the effects of war.

First, Hollow gives us a look at the setting. This is more complicated than just “It’s 1940, England’s at war with the Nazis.” Hollow notes the simmering conflict with communism as well as the troubles with imperialism. The world was not as simple as “good side vs. bad side” any more then than today. Hollow captures that somewhat.

Second, Hollow gives us a complication to investigating the murder. In the post-CSI era, everyone focuses strongly on “following the evidence.” Even some of my favorite novels place that concept into places like the 14th century. The “Direct Hit” of the title, though, drive this on different track.

Third, Hollow gives us good characters to examine. They aren’t perfect. Which makes this story live and breathe. People with problems, people with memories, all trying not only to survive but do the right thing in challenging times.

All in all, this is one that is worth reading. It helps put skin on a recent time in history, an era that is moving from memory to history. I look forward to more installments in the series.

I did receive a free book in exchange for the review.

Do Not Go Back! Hebrews 3

As we look into Hebrews 3, keep in mind that a major point of the author is the supremacy of Christ in all things. When the author draws up various quotes and references to the Old Testament, the intent is to contrast how those events and people pale in comparison to Jesus. This applies even to Moses, who is referred to positively throughout the chapter. Even his faithfulness (v. 2) is not as glorious as the faithfulness of Jesus.

The look at Moses is not just about the supremacy of Christ, but also raises the critical application question. The people who followed Moses rejected God's Word through him, and judgment fell on them for it. If that was true of those who rejected a lesser leader in Moses, what will occur for those who reject Christ?

From this, I think we can develop one part of the audience of Hebrews. Initially, we see the Gospel spread among the Jews of the Diaspora (these are the ones who have scattered from Israel at the time) with uneven after-effects. Some communities rejected the Gospel outright, while others became divided over their response. The division between those who accepted the Gospel and those who rejected it grew deeper, though, and reconciliation was not possible. Truth is a powerful divider.

However, living with that division was not as easy as we might like it to be. Much of the world is relational and interconnected in ways that modern Americans have difficulty understanding. While we are concerned, rightly, about how religious freedom affects our businesses or government involvement, in that era being cutoff from family and relationships was a much bigger issue than we think. It could result not only in job loss, but in the complete inability to find work...or future relationships. We tend to marry based on who we find or like, and having an arranged marriage is frightening. In that era, though, being cast out of family cut off the marriage arrangement possibilities, and that cut off could prevent job hopes as well.

Experiencing that challenge, the loss of life and earthly relationships, was a daunting prospect for those who had accepted the Gospel. While there was an eternal hope, trying to keep food on the table and family connections drew eyes back to the earthly matters. The temptation to return to the life from before, living like Jesus wasn't the Messiah, was strong.

Hebrews 3 reminded the audience that God's people had turned back before. They had come close to receiving God's promises through obedient faith, but rejected the last step. Given Jesus as superior to Moses, if the people rejected Jesus the results would be far worse than dying in the desert while their descendants claimed the promises. Instead, there would be no hope for those who turned back.

What does that mean for us? We do not live in the ancient world, and the cultural changes insulate us from some of the consequences of our faith. Further, the Christian community is larger and equipped to be self-sustaining.

That is our first step. Practice being self-sustaining, and realize that we cannot keep up with the world's standards of wealth and power in the first place. Rather than involving our resources in trying to look like a better version of the world, we need to work on being obedient and sensitive to the needs of our fellow Christians.

Second, be prepared for trouble to come. Jesus promised it and Acts records a sampling of how it happened, and yet we seem to think we will avoid it. Trouble will come for those who follow Jesus. Expect it.

Finally, serve Jesus with all your heart and let the events of this world fall where they will. Hebrews 3 reminds us that obedience strengthens our relationship with God, and this is where our hope lies.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Book: 40 Questions about Baptism and the Lord’s Supper

Today’s Book is brought to you by Kregel Academic and Ministry, one of my preferred publishers.

40 Questions About Baptism and the Lord's Supper

Have questions about Baptism and the Lord’s Supper? Want to see the viewpoints of various Protestant groups on these two ordinances? And yes, whether or not you call them sacraments or ordinances is one of the 40 questions.

40 Questions About Baptism and The Lord’s Supper is the latest entry in Kregel’s 40 Questions series. I’ve read the entries on Creation and the Law, which were both excellent. John S. Hammett authors this volume, and it’s worth noting at the outset he approaches these questions from a Baptist viewpoint.

And it’s also worth noting that I approach these from a Baptist viewpoint. It is possible, then, that I will misconstrue bias as good ideas. Or that I will assume that Hammett has well-represented other views which I don’t understand.

That caveat being offered, I enjoyed 40QABLS a great deal. I serve as the pastor of a Baptist church, and we observe these two ordinances, but I find that we often don’t fully understand them. First, we don’t understand our own view. Second, we don’t see the differences in ordinances as our main distinction from other denominations. Yet this is the practical place where those distinctions show up most clearly!

The book is broken down into four parts, with differing number of questions in each part. The parts are introductory matters, questions on Baptism, questions on the Lord’s Supper, and concluding questions.

Hammett approaches the ordinances plainly, looking at the historical development of theology about each one. He also attempts to present a balanced answer to the questions, noting the various denominational views in Christianity. His conclusions fall in general line with my own, but it remains enlightening to see the answers placed in one location rather than hunting them out of a theology textbook.

In all, I would highly recommend this as a resource on the shelf of a pastor. There are clearly worded answers here and helpful guides to understanding the why behind the how of the ordinances of the church.

Yes, free book in exchange for the review.

Sermon Recap for July 26

The evening was business meeting, so though I talked (a lot), it’s not a sermon so it’s not here.
Morning Sermon: John 1:43-51 All of Scripture (audio)


1. Introduction
Finding out details....
2. Primary Theological Point
          The sufficiency of Scripture: focus on 1:45 "Law and the Prophets"
3. Secondary Theological Concepts
  •      Salvation/Grace
4. Primary Application Point
          Cut out adding things to Scripture. 
5. Secondary Application Point
  •      Salvation/Grace
  • Avoid false prophets like Armstrong or any other alleged church that adds to Scripture.
6. Conclusion
7. Call-to-Action/Invitation

Also, as an added link, here's the video of the sermon from the Senior Adult Focus on Thursday.

I'll get the music up sometime soon.









Thursday, July 23, 2015

Heed Heartily: Hebrews 2

In Summary:

Hebrews 2 opens with a warning to heed well what God has said through His Son, and then goes on to point out reasons for that warning. Additionally, we see more quotations from the Psalms. The author of Hebrews is clearly well-versed in the Old Testament.

Further, we see the explanation in this chapter that Jesus was tempted through His suffering. Even though this is the case, He did not succumb to the temptation and is able, v. 18, to aid those who are tempted. I would suggest that this idea reaches into where our strongest temptations are: during suffering. Good times tempt us to laziness, but suffering tempts us to abandonment.

Yet when we look at the Cross of Jesus, we should see that God does not send us through what He’s never dealt with. That should be a sustaining thought.

In Focus:

Let’s focus, again, on the first part of the chapter. Verse 1 warns the reader to pay closer attention to what we have heard. Closer than what? Closer than the attention paid by those in the past, who did not heed the warnings of prophets and teachers.

Further, as we consider the Old Testament record of God bringing judgment on those who disobey, we must consider that ignoring the Son of God will bring even deeper problems and greater judgment.

There is also a chronological aspect to consider. God’s judgment has been as continuous as His lovingkindness. It is seen in both the affairs of nations and the individual lives of people. Yet it has always happened, and can be expected again.

In Practice:

Practically speaking, there are more steps here than simply “hunker down and fear the judgment of God.” Certainly that’s the first step: hunker down and fear the judgment of God. Then ask God to deliver you through the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross.

From there, consider the problems that come across your path. Every one of them is, at its root, similar to the difficulties faced by Jesus. Nothing He commands is out of His capacity, so take it to Him. How do we do that?

1. Knowing the Word of God. We’ll claim to know what God commands, know the person of Jesus, and follow the Spirit—yet we remain clueless about the Word of God that He has given us. How does that work? It doesn’t. Know the Word of God. You don’t have to memorize every last king or get Paul’s Missionary Journeys in the right order. But if you have never read through, slowly enough to understand, the whole Bible, you are missing the bulk of what God has to say about your situation.

2. Live in a relationship with God. We’re not in this alone, but we sure do act like it. Hear God through His Word. Talk to God in prayer. Recognize that you are not the only possible solution to your problems. Rely on and trust in the One who saved you.

3. Be connected with the Body of Christ. Jesus died and rose again, and so you can be drawn near to God. You also can draw near to others who have the same relationship. That time you faced the darkness alone? The Body should have been there for you. As believers, we have to do better for each other, in both admitting our needs and supplying the needs of one another.


In Nerdiness: 

Best nerd part of this chapter is the quotation of Psalm 8 in verses 6-8. Here we see evidence that the Septuagint was consulted rather than the Hebrew text at the time. The reference to man as “lower than the angels” reflects the Greek use of “angelos” instead of the Hebrew “elohim.”

What does that tell us? That while Hebrews is written to a primarily Jewish audience, the audience was more familiar with the Greek expression of Scripture than the Hebrew. This is historically interesting.


Theologically, it raises this question: what should we take as the text for the Old Testament? Should we count the Septuagint’s version of Psalm 8 or the Masoretic Text’s? Do we count both as valid, that Psalm 8 from the Hebrew is correct, and the quotations in Hebrews are also correct? This is why we keep searching, studying, and praying. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Book: For the Love of God’s Word

For the Love of God's Word

I love books on understanding God's Word better. And I usually enjoy books from Kregel Academic and Ministry. So, I am pre-biased in favor of For the Love of God's Word by Andreas Kostenberger and Richard Patterson. Throw in that this is an abridgment of their Invitation to Biblical Interpretation, which I really liked, and I must admit that it would have taken a complete hack for me to dislike this work.

For what it's worth, I hope the authors don't mind that I start by saying this isn't a complete hack. In fact, it's a quite useful work for the shelf of the local pastor. While you should, if that's you, have the larger work, here's why this one is worth your shelf space as well:

1. It's only half the weight, and about an inch and a half thinner than the large volume. Having just moved, that's a bigger deal to me than it is to you.

2. The material remains solid. The Kostenberger/Patterson idea of the "hermeneutical triad" is an excellent concept for studying Scripture. The three sides: history, literature, and theology are all critical for grasping the concepts in a text. While all of these are more clearly teased out through the book, here's the summary: "history" refers to the actual setting of writing; "literature" to the specific genre of the selected text; "theology" to how the text fits within the Bible's overall message.

3. Throughout the book, these ideas are developed in better detail, including specific applications for each genre of the text. The second chapter provides an overview of the historical setting of the Bible. Obviously, deeper study needs specialty books in each of these areas, but this is a great introduction.

4. I like this as a "deeper" training work for ministry development. For example, if you are working on mentoring future ministers and teachers without needing the academic information in a larger text, this is a good book for that. There is no major dependence on original language knowledge, allowing the text to work early in the mentoring process.

5. The title sums it up nicely: for those of us who love God's Word, it's worth studying well and doing it right. 

I did receive a copy of this book from Kregel Academic in exchange for the review.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Sermon Recap for July 19

Well, it’s been a strange pair of days. Sorry this is late.

Morning Sermon: Never Alone: John 1:35-42 (audio)

Primary Application Point: No matter what you know, you can bring someone to Jesus--and He can do the rest.

 

Evening Sermon: Painful Obedience: Joshua 5 (audio)

Jesus took the pain of our obedience--we come now to memorialize it and remember the cost of sin.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

God Spoke: Hebrews 1

Because I am not quite right in the head, I’m going to tackle Hebrews next. Hebrews, where there’s absolutely no way one blog post will do justice to a chapter. So, I’ll just do it and we’ll cope.

In Summary:

Hebrews begins with the clear declaration that God spoke. The first verses summarize well the rest of Hebrews 1: God has spoken, now let’s talk about what He has said.

The author of Hebrews (see the Nerds) goes on to extensively quote from the Psalms and interlaces several Psalms as a testimony to the Lord Jesus Christ. This supports the overall theme of Hebrews of Jesus as superior to all others, including both angels and King David.

The one thing lacking in this chapter? Any biographical information about the author. Unlike most of the other letters, Hebrews contains no introduction or personal greeting at the opening. The content must stand on its own for the modern reader, rather than resting on the backstory of the author.

In Focus:

Let us roll back and take a look at Hebrews 1:1-2, the first two verses. What do we find there?

1. God has spoken. Taken on its own, this is significant. “Speaking” as communication is distinct in its clarity. This is different from hinting or even “communicating,” where one is hopeful the idea comes across.

This sets up to us that God did not leave matters unclear when He interacted with His people in the past. He “spoke,” being clear about what He wanted them to know.

2. God has spoken, first through prophets and then through Jesus. I find a pair of interesting points here. One is the exclusion of the apostles as part of God’s speaking. The other is the equivalency of authority between the prophets and Jesus.

The former suggests that Hebrews is not written at a time when the church recognizes the inspiration of the apostolic writings. If we compare this to 2 Peter 3, where Peter equates Paul with the prophetic Scriptures, there is a clear contrast.

The latter reminds us that the older writings, those of the “prophets” are valid parts of God’s speaking to His people. The difference between them and Jesus is the completeness of the speaking in Christ. There is nothing lacking in Jesus, while the prophets spoke in parts.

Beyond this, we see the quotation of the Psalms which demonstrate that the God spoke in the Old Testament to tell us of Jesus.

In Practice:

What does this look like in practice? Here are three thoughts:

1. Stop seeking God in tea leaves, emotional twinges, or strange thoughts that cross your mind. God speaks clearly. He has spoken clearly in the Word. Listen to what God has already said. The key to living the Christian life is knowing and doing what God has already said, not guessing at what your thoughts are about.

2. Do not neglect the Old Testament. It may take some effort to see how the Law, Prophets, and Writings affect your life, but that effort is well-spent.

3. Be clear in your speaking of God. We like “wiggle words” that let us out of ideas, just in case those ideas go wrong. Stop it. Say what you mean, say it clearly, and let it be. Especially as you speak of God.

In Nerdiness: 

The First Nerd Concept: Who wrote Hebrews? I’m partial to David Allen’s view of Luke as the author of Hebrews, myself. See this book:  Lukan Authorship of Hebrews.  Other thoughts are Barnabas, Apollos, and even Paul. I think Paul is the least likely, and lean toward Apollos as the backup possibility. One other theory is Priscilla and Aquila together.

I don’t think it’s critical.

Second Nerd Concept: I think Hebrews fits the format of audio delivery. I see this as the written record of oral delivered content, like a sermon series. That’s different than a letter like Paul’s which was written intending to be read. I think that accounts for some of the style oddities, and then Hebrews 13 bears the marks of the post script for the letter format.


Third Nerd Concept: Worth knowing is that the Old Testament references are from the Septuagint rather than the Hebrew text. Doesn’t affect much, but is worth knowing.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Sermon Recap for July 12

We had guests last night from the International Mission Board, and it was good to hear about their work. I didn't record them, not for any concerns but because I didn't want them stressed by the camera.

Morning Sermon: "Behold the Lamb: John 1:29-34" (audio)



Scripture Passage: John 1:29-34
Location: EEBCAR
Date: July 12 AM
Series:

1. Introduction



2. Primary Theological Point: Sin has to be taken. It cannot be simply set aside.



3. Secondary Theological Concepts
  •      Salvation/Grace
  • Permanence: your salvation is in the power and will of God to take away sin, not

4. Primary Application Point

Come to Jesus: that's the only way for your sin to be dealt with.

5. Secondary Application Point
  •      Salvation/Grace
  • Deal with this: What is more important? That we declare "Behold the Lamb" or that we point out the sins that need taken away?
  • Let our focus be in the right place: knowing that we are sinners but more importantly, knowing the Lamb has taken the sin away.


6. Conclusion


7. Call-to-Action/Invitation

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

As the World Burns: 2 Peter 3

In the Chapter:

I’ve decided this last chapter of Peter’s letter doesn’t lend itself to being broken down, so instead of the usual Summary/Focus, I’m going to give you the chapter as a whole for 2 Peter 3. There’s a lot here that seems less than practical, but I think we can shine some light into why it matters. First, though, we’ll start at the end. Peter finishes with an “Amen.” :)

Okay, there’s more to the wrap-up than just that word. The last verse, 2 Peter 3:18, is a great reminder of what is, and is not, our responsibility. We should grow in the grace and knowledge of the Savior, and to Him be the glory forever. We learn, which is followed by doing, and understand better and better our need for grace and how to spread grace. Meanwhile, He gets the glory. Not us, not our churches or organizations, but Jesus. We might be astounded what would happen if growing in grace was more of our focus than growing in number, reputation, or importance.

Prior to that we see Peter reference Paul, a thought we’ll get back to in the In Nerdiness section. Let’s jump all the way to the top of the chapter. Peter clearly acknowledges his prior letter, which leads us to think this letter was sent to the same basic audience as 1 Peter. The other option is that there’s a Petrine Epistle we don’t have (Petrine Epistle=Letter from Peter). The simplest answer is that he’s referring to 1 Peter. I’d say that’s as good an explanation as any, barring other evidence.

He then goes on to highlight that the church might as well expect trouble. The world, after all, has always produced mockers and they will keep coming. In fact, even as Noah built the ark, people expected God to not notice what was happening. Peter warns that evildoers will behave the same way in his day: they will assume that God is slow, if not negligent, in His responses.

Yet God is not slow or negligent. Instead, God is patient and allowing time for grace in the lives of everyone. Here we have a repetition of Psalm 90:4, that a thousand years are like a day, and vice versa, in the sight of God. That’s an oft-cited phrase but rarely noted in context. The Psalms are poetic and Peter is referring to why God does not bring judgment instantly. It is not presented in Scripture as a way around what appears plain in Genesis. If you want something other 6 literal days, you need a different proof than this.

Peter goes on to explain the problem: people are short-sighted. If there is no change they observe in their lives, then the assumption is made that nothing changes. This misses the time frame that God works on, as He works related to His own will and to bring glory to Himself throughout eternity. There’s a difference in that and what is observable in a human life.


In Practice:

Practically speaking, there are several things to take from this. The first is what Peter himself says: be diligent and blameless. There is a bit of difference in “blameless” and “sinless,” for those of you who wonder. Blameless relates to what we attempt to do—sinless means we are always right. Blameless reflects never intentionally being wrong. Now, being human, we tend to mix our motives and blow both sides of that. But it’s worth knowing—Peter commands the possible.

Next, there is this reality: trust the Lord’s word, even as you cannot see the Lord’s actions. Do not think He is ignoring His promises or neglecting His justice. That also means that we do not attempt to step in for what we perceive as God’s negligence. Trust, and walk in obedience. That will mean following through with justice and righteousness, but not because God won’t. Instead, it’s because that is part of how we live in obedience to Him.

Finally, study Scripture. Peter warns that Paul can be understood badly, like the rest of Scripture. He then highlights that his readers should be “on guard” against the errors of unprincipled, untaught teachers who will lead them astray. If you are not personally growing in your knowledge of God’s Word, you are at risk of being caught up in errors of others. Study Scripture. Balance your influences—don’t get everything from the same source, just to be cautious not to get caught up in the same blind spots. (Don’t be so open-minded your brains fall out, either, though.)

In Nerdiness:  

So, Peter says that Paul is hard to understand, like the other parts of the Scripture. From this, we see that Peter considered Paul’s letters on an equal level to the Old Testament. That matters for our understanding of Scripture. Here’s Peter affirming Paul’s writings as inspired.

Second, since the reference is sent on to the churches, we can see that the church was also willing to consider Paul’s writings as Scripture as well. This tells us that the idea of a “canon” (or official list) of Scripture was not a late invention, but something that the church recognized even before the New Testament was finished. That matters.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Sermon Recap for July 5

Last week, VBS. This week, designated family time. Next week, guest preacher missionaries. At some point, we'll be back to evening services as normal. For now, one sermon is all I've got for you...

Text: John 1:19-28
Date & Place: EEBCAR July 5 AM (audio)



Title: Straighter Paths!

Primary Theological Point: What should we learn? Jesus reveals Himself for salvation, our job is to proclaim Him that the path is straight

Primary Practical Point: What should we do? Live and teach the way of Christ plainly.

Textual Points:
Effective question from Pharisee contingent: How dare you tell us what to do if you aren't God Himself?
  1. Setting: Bethany beyond Jordan
  2. Events: 
  3. Connections: Not the Christ
Preach Points:

We live in the wilderness--that's where the voices cry out for the paths of the Lord, that is where people seek the truth.
  1. Church: teach the whole counsel of God
  2. Salvation: whether straight or not, you need to respond to the call of Christ
  3. Mission: 
  4. Families

Take Home Action: Let your life and words be the straight path through which Jesus is clearly seen to the world.


Thursday, July 2, 2015

From the Declaration of Independence

Excerpted from the Declaration of Independence. I would offer these comments:

1. Note the authority appealed to by the Congress

2. Note that lives and fortunes were surrendered, but honor itself was the only thing sacred. Let us be that honorable.

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.


We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, —That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Book: Do Over by @jonacuff

Today’s book is not one I received completely free, but I think it’s worth your time anyway.

Adults spend the bulk of their waking hours at work. Well, most adults do. Some adults don’t have to for whatever reason. We’ll leave them out of this discussion. This about those who have work, want work, or will work. Jon Acuff’s book Do Over deals with how we approach work.

First, this is primarily a book about your career. It’s not an explicitly Christian book—this is not a book about finding your vocation in life through Scripture. It is a work that approaches work through the lens of wisdom and general providence. That’s fine, it’s just worth noting.

Second, Acuff’s not particularly concerned with whether or not you quit the job you have. He’s got another book about quitting your job to find the job you love. This one is about a different viewpoint: loving the job you’ve got. After all, in the current era you have to balance that need to eat with the desire to find work that seems wonderful.

Finally, Acuff’s work here is about making yourself valuable in your job and building on the experiences you have. He recognizes the modern situation, where employer and employee loyalty isn’t worth much. Instead, one has to both do the best you can in your job while also banking skills that transfer elsewhere.

Overall, Do Over is a good read. Some of it is the same job-positive platitudes you’ll get on a dozen motivational posters. The combination of the information, though, is helpful. I especially appreciate the angle taken about using all of your experience to build up for what your “career savings account” that enables your work going forward.

For me, I’m hopeful not to need too much of a “Do Over” anytime soon, but I am glad I read this book. I recommend it for anyone looking ahead into working life and wondering what approaches to take.

July 5 Service Recap

Good morning! Here are the service recaps from last week. First we’ll see the morning services, both the 9 AM and the 11 AM, then there will...