I have been blogging around the web posts on my personal blog for a few years, and thought I might also share some of my finds here at Habits.
In the Emergency Room, decisions of life and death are regularly made with extreme pressure and very limited information. Symptoms present themselves and a trained, discerning mind diagnoses the real issue. Get it right and the treatment plan takes over. Get it wrong and not even the best treatment plan is able to fully help.
But what about diagnosing spiritual problems? Only God is omniscient and has a full, uninfluenced view of the human heart (1 Samuel 16:7). As believers, our discernment must be driven by the insights and fruit Scripture directs us toward as His Word exposes and corrects issues of the heart (Matthew 7:20; Hebrews 4:12-13). Many more could be added, but here are five symptoms that are commonly misdiagnosed by pastors:
As a pastor, (12 years in kids/student ministry), I was alarmed by what I saw.
Many professing Christians seek change in their lives using methods which are contrary to Scripture. As a result, they don’t experience the change which God seeks to produce in his people. In the very helpful booklet, HELP! Want to Change, which I refer to as a primer on progressive sanctification, pastor and biblical counselor Jim Newheiser mentions six common, but ineffective, methods for lasting personal transformation.
“The law, up until a few years ago, only allowed a local school system to charter a school,” said Sen. Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock). “You didn’t see a lot of great return in terms of academic achievement because a lot of the same people who were running the school before the conversion were running it after. Start-ups, time and time and time again, were defeated. Essentially these start-up charter organizations came to legislators and said we need another authorizer because the local system won’t approve us.”
You run into an old friend at your homeschool support group you haven’t seen in quite some time. You do a bit of catch-up, the chit chat goes on for a while, and then, here it comes—the question you’ve been dreading—“So, how’s that daughter [or son] of yours doing?”
Paste on that smile. Take in a quick breath, but inside, die . . . just a bit.
Dear 8th Graders,
(llustration: David McLiman)
I didn’t know.
I spent last night perusing the 150-plus pages of grading materials provided by the state in anticipation of reading and evaluating your English Language Arts Exams this morning. I knew the test was pointless—that it has never fulfilled its stated purpose as a predictor of who would succeed and who would fail the English Regents in 11th grade. Any thinking person would’ve ditched it years ago. Instead, rather than simply give a test in 8th grade that doesn’t get kids ready for the test in 11th grade, the state opted to also give a test in 7th grade to get you ready for your 8th-grade test.
But we already knew all of that.
What I learned is that the test is also criminal.
If child molesters are so “good” at what they do, what steps can the faith community take to ensure that they don’t succeed? Learning how offenders think and act is the first step in developing protective antennas, which can keep our community safe from those who pose a risk to our little ones. This post will examine five basic behavioral characteristics offenders that must be understood if we are committed to making the faith community a safe community.
This short but powerful video unpacks the practical outworkings of Dawkins’ beliefs. It was developed to support the Doubting Dawkins campaign. If you are viewing this in an email or RSS reader, please click here to watch the video.
Visit Little Sanctuary for more around the web links.