Monthly Archives: June 2011

A Blog Break

For the past three years, I have taken a break from blogging during the month of July. I have found that this time away has been spiritually and mentally refreshing.

This year, I’m planning something a little different. Instead of letting the blog soil lie fallow for a month, I’ve enlisted more than a dozen talented bloggers and writers to contribute posts and book reviews. I’ve already read through all the contributions, and I have scheduled them to be released one day at a time during the month of July. The posts are great, and I look forward to seeing the response they generate.

I have also repackaged some older posts of my own from the blog, posts that contain ideas that might benefit from being given “new life” on the blog again.

The daily “Worth a Look” posts and the weekly “Trevin’s Seven” will be contributed by my friend, Marc Cortez.

Here’s a sneak peek at what’s coming up in July:

    “The Smokescreen of Protesting”
    “Getting to Know Our Muslim Neighbors”
    Jerry Rankin on the gospel and missions
    An indictment on ear-tickling preaching that may surprise you
    What a missional youth group looks like
    Evaluating what “numbers” mean in our churches
    The gift of dead mentors

That’s just scratching the surface. As you can see, Kingdom People is in good hands for the month of July. My hope is that you won’t even miss me! Seriously, I believe you’ll be encouraged and challenged by the guest contributors, and I encourage you to add these bloggers to your feedreader. They …

Posted in Blog Sabbatical, Blogging | 2 Comments

Worth a Look 6.30.11

Skye Jethani on “Blessed Redundancy”:

Engineering a ministry around a single leader is inherently dangerous, but what’s the alternative? A lesson from the airline industry.

How the Church Should Respond to the Uneven Aging of America:

America does not age evenly. Brookings recently released a new report giving a state-by-state breakdown of the fastest growing “younger” and “older” areas of the country. What are some general responses to these trends? Allow me to share a few insights.

Woe to Me if I Don’t Evangelize:

The motivations for evangelism are numerous—not the least being the eternal concerns of the lost. But it is a deep, internal gospel-identity that makes witnesses. Indeed, it’s those who taste and see that the Lord is good who go on to proclaim his excellencies.

Francis Chan on What Drives Prophetic Preaching:

I don’t know any other way to teach. I believe the Lord gives me a message every week. It’s hard for me to teach unless I believe that God has given me that message for the people. I think it’s part of a gifting. I don’t know how to explain it, but I have an urgency every time I teach. I really do believe my message is from God, and it was something that he’s revealed to me. Not everyone has that, but it seems to be the way that God works with me.

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Power through Weakness: An Interview with Travis Peterson

Today, I’m happy to welcome a remarkable guest to the blog. Travis Peterson pastored an SBC church plant in suburban Chicago for two years, and then spent several years as pastor of an international, English-speaking congregation in South Korea. He has since served as pastor of an SBC congregation in southeastern Illinois. And he is legally blind.

Travis’ service to the kingdom despite his physical blindness is a living testimony of the truth of 2 Corinthians 12:9:

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Trevin Wax: Travis, tell us a little bit about your blindness.

Travis Peterson: I was born with a rare, genetic disorder of the eyes that left me legally blind from infancy. For some of my younger years, I could see colors, contrasts, and brightly-lit things; but by the middle of my time in college, I pretty much used my ears for everything. I have ridden a bicycle, caught a football, gone water-skiing, and just about anything else that a normal guy would do growing up. However, at this point in my life, I only use my limited light-perception to check to see if a lamp is still on in the living room.

Trevin Wax: How does a blind guy from rural Illinois end up serving as a pastor in multiple places around the world? How has God worked with …

Posted in Interviews | 6 Comments

Worth a Look 6.29.11

Ed Stetzer: “Small is the Kingdom Big”

Too many church leaders are like the teenage girl who thinks the beautiful actress she sees every day on TV is normal. It is a skewed view of reality. Actually, what’s normal (and very valuable) is small churches living on mission in their contexts, being about the business of the kingdom of God. I think we have forgotten the value of small. We need to relearn that “normal” churches are used by the extraordinary kingdom for subversive effects on the culture.

LifeWay.com has a revamped website. Several good books are for sale at special rates.

Juan Sanchez: “The Glory and Goal of Missions”

We cannot fully understand our mission if we do not first understand the “big” picture.  The details of our mission help to answer the who, what, when, where and how questions.  When we think about the “big” picture, however, then we are asking the “why” question.  In other words, why do we do missions and evangelism?  If you try to answer the why question by merely looking at the details, your answer will be incomplete or possibly even skewed.

The Band that Played On:

The sinking of the Titanic is primarily a story of human hubris, greed, stupidity, and selfishness. There was blame to go around—and people sensed it even at the time. It was therefore a psychological relief to latch onto the few stories of noble fortitude or self-sacrifice that also emerged from the tragedy. The greatest of these …

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John Rice, the Sword of the Lord, and What We Should Learn from The Fundamentalists

I can’t make sense of my Christian heritage apart from the independent Baptist movement of the last century. My father was born in Wheaton, IL, the city where my grandfather was employed as the printer for the Sword of the Lord, the premier fundamentalist newsweekly during the second half of the 1900′s. When John R. Rice, the founder and first editor of The Sword, decided to move the headquarters to Murfreesboro, TN in the mid-60′s, my grandparents moved with him. It was in Murfreesboro, at John R. Rice’s church, that my parents met each other and were married.

Rice died in the hospital I was born in. Though he died six months before I was born, I was raised in the shadow of his influence. During the earliest and most formative years of my life, I understood my identity as an independent Baptist. I was well versed in the fundamentalist distinctions that separated us not only from the world but also from “Christians who love the world.”

I’m grateful for my fundamentalist upbringing, particularly for the amount of Bible knowledge I received at church and in my Christian school. I’m also grateful for an important impulse that continues to shape me today: hold fast to precious truths. The old-school fundamentalists knew there were truths worth protecting, worth holding onto, perhaps dogmatically at times. I think they were right.

But while the independent Baptist movement succeeded in teaching me what to think, it failed in teaching me how to think. When our family joined …

Posted in Baptists, Book Reviews, Southern Baptist Convention | 20 Comments

Worth a Look 6.28.11

Jesus Didn’t Die to Make Your Life Easy:

The gospel comes with full disclosure: Following Jesus can be hazardous to your health. When Jesus said “take up your cross” he meant “die on one,” a big reason most people decided not to follow Jesus back then.

George Weigel on New York’s legalization of “same-sex marriage”:

The American civil-rights movement was a call to recognize moral reality; the call for gay marriage is a call to reinvent reality to fit an agenda of personal willfulness. The gay-marriage movement is thus not the heir of the civil-rights movement; it is the heir of Bull Connor and others who tried to impose their false idea of moral reality on others by coercive state power.

Multi-site churches go interstate:

Mars Hill Church is coming to town. Pastor Mark Driscoll’s megachurch recently announced plans to expand into Portland, Oregon, and Orange County, California, using multi-site campuses that feature live bands and a sermon piped in from the main campus in Seattle.

The move is part of a trend among megachurches to extend their brand of church to new communities, in hopes of reaching unchurched people with the gospel. But critics fear the out-of-state campuses turn churches into franchises like McDonald’s or Starbucks.

Craig Blomberg: “Baptism’s No Big Deal, Is It?”

My concern here is the inordinate number of young adults (and a few older ones) I meet these days who seem to think baptism is just no big deal.  And if they weren’t raised in a church …

Posted in Worth a Look | 2 Comments

30 Petitions to the Lord on the Occasion of My 30th Birthday

Last Friday, I turned 30. To mark my journey into a new decade of life, I wrote down 30 things I pray the Lord will do in my life in the coming days and years.

Father Almighty, my Creator and Sustainer,
For thirty years You have filled my lungs with breath,
timed every beat of my heart,
and guided my every step.

Even so, as wondrous as the gift of life is,
More wondrous still is the gift of new life,
bought with the blood of Your Son,
applied by the breath of Your Spirit,
planned by Your unfathomable grace in the mysterious time before time.

My heart is full of gratitude and joy.
I once was an orphan, but now have a Father.
I once opposed Your Son, but now He is my big Brother.
I once knew nothing of Your Spirit, but now He lives within me.

My knowledge of You as a loving Father is what compels me to come before You,
to ask You, plead with You, beg of You:
Accomplish these thirty things in the years to come.

    Take my life and shine a spotlight on the glory and holiness of Your name.
    Grant me single-minded devotion, that all my labors would be for Your glory alone and the fame of Your name.
    Awaken in me an ever-increasing sense of awe and wonder at the beauty of Your gospel.
    Grant me an insatiable desire to cherish Christ more greatly than before.
    Enlarge my heart, that my affections for Christ may grow ever stronger, and that His love for me and my love for Him may spill …

Posted in Prayers | 4 Comments

Worth a Look 6.27.11

Dan Kimball on Francis Chan’s new book, Erasing Hell:

Lord, help us understand the truths of Scripture. The ones we like and the ones we may not understand or like. But keep us faithful. And may our hearts break as we approach this topic and what the Scriptures say or don’t say about it.

The Sex Test, Abortion, and the War against Girls:

It is one of the cruelest ironies of the modern abortion movement that while the movement advanced under the banner of women’s rights, it is unborn girls, in monstrously disproportionate number, who have been aborted.

10 Myths about Introverts:

So here are a few common misconceptions about Introverts (I put this list together myself, some of them are things I actually believed):

Ranking Pixar - I agree with this ranking of the Pixar movies in terms of artistry.

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Define Dancing

I love this scene from Wall-E. It gives me chills every time I watch it. The animated artistry is spectacular.

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Trevin's Seven

Here are seven links for your weekend reading:

1. Ten Brands that Will Disappear in 2012 (includes A&W, Sears, and Nokia)

2. Bob Glenn weighs in on the Tchividjian / DeYoung discussion about sanctification. Bob thinks we need a new focus on our union with Christ.

3. Being TOO Good of a Parent?

4. Tony Morgan: 10 Reasons Your Church Should Have a Website

5. Bob Kellemen: How People Change

6. The 2010 Census and the Future of the Great Commission

7. What Every Author Should Know about Radio and TV Interviews

Posted in Trevin's Seven | 1 Comment