May 3rd, 2013 by Tim
Just got word from a local crisis pregnancy center that yesterday’s May snow storm stopped a girl from going to her scheduled abortion. Instead, she came into the clinic. She thought she was just a few weeks along in her pregnancy, but at the clinic learned that she was really fairly late in her pregnancy. She changed her mind and made the choice for life for her baby!
We can’t know all the purposes of an unseasonal snow storm in Iowa, but we can know the One who orchestrates history for His glory. This is a good reminder to resist complaining and to give thanks for all things, because it is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus, (1 Thess. 5:18).
February 22nd, 2013 by Tim
One hundred years after Roland Allen’s immensely popular book Missionary Methods: St. Paul’s or Ours? was published, Robert Plummer and John Mark Terry revisit the insights of Allen from a modern perspective in their Paul’s Missionary Methods: In His Time and Ours. The book has chapters from several contributors and the editors divide the material into two sections: Paul in the New Testament and Paul’s Influence on Missions.
Paul in the New Testament: this section focused on Paul’s message in the first century context.
Paul’s missionary work focused on regions with certain similarities: “provinces that contained a Roman administration, Greek culture, and Jewish influence and that bustled with commercial activity.” Allen speculated that “these centers were the more conducive to promoting the gospel in its wide environs.” Though Paul went to Gentile regions and communicated in ways that were understandable to Gentiles, he identified himself as Jewish teacher and often began his work in an area at the synagogue, spoke in the international language of Greek, and seemed to engage anyone who would listen, “men and women, rich and poor, Jews and Gentiles, in the synagogue and in the marketplaces and in homes.”
Paul sees missionary work as “laying the foundation” through proclamation, but reminds readers that God causes the growth. His goal is boldness and faithfulness to the message to win as many people as possible, not pragmatic effectiveness. (more…)
February 15th, 2013 by Tim
Brandon Hatmaker in Barefoot Church shares his church’s values and his experience in serving an urban community. Hatmaker stays in the radical middle between the “missional” and “attractional” constructs of church. He is not attempting to promote one or the other, but simultaneously both. He makes it clear that he views evangelism as distinct, though not separate from social action.
In his church, Hatmaker created a structural necessity of community service by expecting all of his church’s small groups to spend half of their time serving together. He claims that if small groups focus on community rather than mission they may get neither. However if a small group focuses on mission it will likely get both community and mission. This is the best insight of the book in my opinion. (more…)
February 5th, 2013 by Tim
This is a spoof, but pretty close to reality!
January 29th, 2013 by Tim
Took a spin through the first few chapters of Revelation today. Often we focus on each church’s commendations and rebukes, but today I noticed a repeated pattern in all seven letters… I know your… this pattern reveals what Jesus notices in churches. Take a look:
In Ephesus: Jesus knows your true commitment to holiness. “I know your works, your labor, and your endurance, and that you cannot tolerate evil.” Revelation 2:2
In Smyrna: Jesus knows your true spiritual condition. “I know your affliction and poverty, yet you are rich. I know the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.” Revelation 2:9.
January 27th, 2013 by Tim
Today we commissioned four staff families and others to move to Cedar Falls to start a church in the fall. Here is more information, introduction of staff, and key dates.
Below is the map of our current churches in our church planting network and plans. Blue pins are existing churches in the network, green are 2013 church plants, and red & gray are future plants.
January 26th, 2013 by Tim
The era of modern societies makes up only a tiny fraction of human history. To understand how humans interacted for most of history it is essential to understand traditional societies. In the last century some of the last traditional societies that have been untouched by modern societies, e.g. in Papa New Guinea, were contacted and often transformed by modern societies. In The World Until Yesterday Jared Diamond examines and contrasts traditional societies with modern societies.
The book’s sections touch on conflict resolution, warfare, child-raising practices, religion, treatment of the elderly, handling risk, the effects of multilingual environments, and diet in traditional and modern societies. Diamond does not idealize traditional societies’ practices nor immediately dismiss them either. For example, in his conflict resolution section Diamond highlights the priority of relationship repair in traditional societies that is missing from the formal court cases handled by third-party intermediaries like attorneys in modern societies. Each approach has advantages and disadvantages.
I greatly enjoyed Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel. His Collapse was only so-so. I give The World Until Yesterday 4 Stars for readers who are already predisposed to enjoying anthropology. If you aren’t a fan its 512 pages will seem too long.
January 21st, 2013 by Tim
peoplemovin: migration flows across the world
On the site, you can select any country to see which countries people emigrate from or immigrate to. Immigration to the USA is below, the lines are linked to the countries where the people come from. This may give you some ideas for your church’s ministry. Click on either graphic to check it out!
January 19th, 2013 by Tim
This book greatly upgraded my reading experience. It includes a guide for various types of literature and various levels of reading, e.g. elementary, inspectional, analytical, and synoptical. I highly recommend it, you’ll wish you’d read it many books ago.
January 18th, 2013 by Tim
Restoring America One County at a Time was a fun read. I was expecting some tactical manual for political action at the county level, but McDurmon’s book was much more than that. He has much to say on taxation, education, currency, markets, national defense, and more. McDurmon examines the biblical basis of government and then describes how America’s governmental role got started, got off track, and ended up as the lumbering behemoth that it is today. The historical material is refreshing, not the conventional material covered in high-school text books designed for today’s government schools.
Let the reader understand: Restoring America does not call for a few tweaks on the current system. Though McDurmon promotes restoring America to the values of its past, I’m not sure that the America that he describes ever even existed after its beginning. His approach calls for maximum personal liberty and minimum government.
I recommend the book, it is a refreshing and radical departure in governing philosophy from the two nearly identical big government political parties that exist today. Ron Paul would be proud.
January 18th, 2013 by Tim
Nones have become the new state established religion.
An uptick in the number of Americans who answer surveys on religious affiliation and answer “none” has grown over the last few years, but their influence in the media outweighs their numbers. According to PewForum, ”In 2007, 15.3% of U.S. adults answered a question about their current religion by saying they were atheist, agnostic or ‘nothing in particular.’ The number of religiously unaffiliated respondents has ticked up each year since, and now stands at 19.6%.”
None is rightly identified as a religious identity. Those who answer none on surveys of religion have a specific understanding of the nature of reality, truth, goodness, etc. just like any other religion. In order to function, everyone must have a coherent religion-like system of views that could be called a religion, a world and life view, or a philosophy. Like adherents of other religions the Nones have a range of highly committed followers and of apathetic followers. Like other religions None is claimed by those who hold to the faith system as a result of a sound reasoning process and those who pick it for no good reason or simply because they don’t like the alternatives. None is a religion and should be treated like any religion. (more…)
January 17th, 2013 by Tim
One of the stresses of travel is packing. The hard part isn’t packing the bags, it is creating the list of things to pack so that you don’t forget anything. This handy tool allows you to enter the details of your trip, press a button, and out comes a detailed to do list of what you need to do before you depart.
Go to site here.
January 16th, 2013 by Tim
Click on the map or here go to interactive map with information for each country at Freedomhouse.org
- Muslim-majority societies formed 12 of the 20 ‘unfree’ ones surveyed, and of the seven territories receiving the lowest possible score, four were Muslim.
See the full report ”Christianophobia” written by Rupert Shortt and published by Civitas: Institute for the Study of Civil Society in December 2012: (more…)
January 15th, 2013 by Tim
I have some friends that just returned from teaching English abroad. They didn’t raise financial support from their friends, they used the time to make enough money to pay off their student loans! Teaching English is a great way to test your aptitude for overseas living, improve your cross cultural skills, and if you handle it right, come home with more money in your pocket than when you left.
- South Korea
- Czeck Republic
- Saudi Arabia
Go to TripBaseBlog for more details on these.
Would you add or recommend any of these organizations?
January 14th, 2013 by Tim
Click on map to zoom in to your location.
See any surprises here? As you zoom in you see that transportation routes largely determine where people live.