This Week on Trans·formed (4/14)

Featured Articles on Trans·formed This Week

 Just Give Me a Push(Marc Cortez): I understand perfectly well that I could never have begun the Christian journey by myself. Like everyone else, I was dead in my sin, separated from God. And dead is dead. Dead people can’t make themselves alive again. That’s just not how it works. So it was only because of God’s grace and mercy that I am able to live again, resurrected and forgiven through the power of the cross. I knew that I was stuck and I praise God for giving me a huge push so that I could ride freely into his kingdom. I get that part. My problem is with what comes next.

Leadership Rootedness: Why You Cannot Be Anything You Want to Be (Chad Hall): I often coach leaders who want the nourishment of his or her roots, but who resist the restrictions that come along with this rootedness.  We humans don’t like being told we cannot do or be something.  And one of the great and prevailing myths circulating these days is that you can be and do anything you set your mind to.  As Christians, we sometimes baptize this humanistic sentiment by immersing it in Philippians 4:13 (“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”).

Middle C Does Not Change(Bev Hislop):  Lawrence found his Middle C. Once he recalibrated his life, harmony flowed and others were impacted by the obvious change. It was a blessing to celebrate his changed life. Yahweh declares in Malachi 3:6, “I the LORD do not change.” We are the ones who need to continually attune. The good news is Middle C doesn’t change. Neither does our Yahweh.

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The Joy of Confession (Bill Mounce): Many people struggle with this. “I have stumbled so many times on this path of discipleship. How can God keep on forgiving me?” How can God really love me; I don’t love myself?” The answer is, he’s God. It is in his very character to be faithful, just, and forgiving. He loved you before you were his child; why would he stop now that you are his child?

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Why I Am Convinced the Hope of the World Is the Church (John Johnson): If there is one huge take away, it is this: In almost every talk, there was the subtle, and at times, overt message, that the hope in so many of these issues, rests in the church.  Will we open our eyes, engage in the issues, and allow ourselves to be broken as we get closer to the broken?

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Other Posts from Trans·formed This Week

  • Consumerism vs. Activism (video):  In this interesting little video, Skye Jethani uses the story of the Prodigal Son(s) to talk about two different ways of understanding how we relate to God. The “consumerist” focuses on what we can get from God, and the “activist” emphasizes what we can do for God. Although there’s truth in each, Jethani warns that they’re are both fatally flawed.
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Other Posts of Interest from around the Web

  • Do Pets Go to Heaven? We have come a long way since Descartes claimed that animals are mere automatons without the capacity for pleasure or pain. We now know the contrary is true: They experience. They suffer. They grieve. They love.
  • 5 Lessons I’m Learning in My First Year as a Lead Pastor: As a young pastor, you simply have not lived enough life to know how to respond to the variety of situations you will encounter, whether in the church as a whole or in the lives of your congregants. Moreover, there’s more than a slight chance that you’re stepping into some lingering dysfunction from previous ministries. You are neither smart enough nor experienced enough to handle this. But that’s okay, because you are a minister of the gospel, and the gospel is sufficient.
  • Why the Missional Church Isn’t Enough: The missional church in the United States is not missional enough. The local focus of mission is shortsighted. If we only make disciples who make disciples in our cities, thousands of unengaged, un-discipled peoples of the earth will not hear the gospel.
  • Leadership and Emotional IQ: What distinguishes good leaders from great leaders? Why does one person excel in an area while another languishes, even though they have similar competencies and intellect? The difference, according to about twenty years of research, is the emotional IQ of a person.
  • Six Tips for Keeping New Small Groups Healthy: The number one mistake several of my closest pastor friends have made is to get enamored with the small group harvest and then let everyone settle back into those cozy couches and chairs. They become traditional small groups that exist primarily for the purpose of fellowship and Bible study. Every existing group must be expected to not just do life together but also to give life.
  • Jews Reclaim Jesus as One of Their Own: In the past year, a spate of Jewish authors, from the popular to the rabbinic to the scholarly, have wrestled with what Jews should think about Jesus.

About Marc Cortez

Theology Prof at Wheaton College, husband, father, & blogger, who loves theology, church history, ministry, pop culture, books, and life in general.