Monthly Archives: October 2013

This Website is moving

Hello all,

I am writing this post to let you know my blog is moving. I have set up a new website where I will host my blog along with other stuff I am wanting to include.

The new site is thetoddlynn.com. I wanted to keep it simple so please join me on the new site.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

TheToddLynn

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A Thought about Life and the Weekly Scoop

Life can get extremely crazy. Just when you think it might settle down a little bit and allow you to get your head above water, another wave hits you and leaves you struggling even more. Life many times seems like a never ending struggle against life. As you get older, life does not easier. We wish it did but unfortunately it does not. However, even in times like this, God manages to make known to us He is in control and when we do come to Him and strive to rest in Him as He calls us to do, life can begin to make sense. We have a hope that this life is not all there is. We have hope that in the end, when see Jesus, all this life hit us with will pale in comparison to that moment. May we be guilty of one thing while on this earth: Longing for the day when Christ returns. I am not speaking of being so heavenly minded we are of no earthly good. I am writing about the longing that motivates us to be at work, that pushes us away from laziness. While Jesus was on this planet, He was always about His father’s business. He challenged His followers to do the same. As we come to this longing, it pushes us, it prods us, it motivates us to be about our heavenly Father’s business because we realize there is no greater business for us to be about. Even in the busyness of life, God provides ways for us to be about His business in a way that glorifies Him. May God open our eyes to these ways to the end that we cry “Not to us oh Lord, not to us but to YOUR NAME be the glory.”

I pray this in some way encourages or challenges you. I did not plan on writing that but as I sat down to post my weekly scoop, it just came to me. Feel free to share any thoughts you might have.

Now, here are the links for my weekly scoop.

This post is from a guy only truly known to the world as “The Unappreciated Pastor.” He has almost 23k followers on Twitter and only he knows who he is. Here is a blog he wrote for the Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/the-unappreciated-pastor/hello-my-name-is-church_b_4124322.html?utm_hp_ref=tw

Ever since my wife heard about Ann Voskamp and read her book, Ann’s blog has never disappointed my wife. Almost daily my wife shares with me something Ann shared on her blog that spoke to her and encouraged her. If you have not yet checked it out, you should do so. I will make it easy for you to do so: http://www.aholyexperience.com/

In this post on Thom Rainer’s blog, Chuck Lawless shares about his dad and leadership: http://thomrainer.com/2013/10/22/being-a-memorable-leader/

This week on Trevin Wax’s blog with the Gospel Coalition, Matt Rogers, teaching pastor at The Church at Cherrydale in Greenville, SC shares a way of reading the Bible they developed to help their people read and understand the Bible. It is worth checking out: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/trevinwax/2013/10/22/7-arrows-for-bible-reading/

This post might open a can of worms but if you haven’t been exposed to the idea of women serving in all levels of church leadership, here is a post from Eugene Cho, a pastor at Quest Church in Seattle, WA on the topic. I feel Eugene covers this topic with grace and tact. Check it out: http://eugenecho.com/2011/03/08/supporting-women-in-ministry/

A post from Desiring God about helping retrieve your mind from the gutter after pornography has taken it captive. This would be worth men and women checking out: http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/hijacking-back-your-brain-from-porn

And finally, remember the story about the women who sued McDonald’s after spilling a cup of coffee on herself? Well, there is more to the story: http://www.upworthy.com/ever-hear-about-the-lady-that-spilled-coffee-on-herself-at-mcdonalds-then-sued-for-millions?g=2&c=ufb1

 

Thanks for taking the time to check out TheToddLynn and if there is any post you feel I should have included, leave it in the comments and maybe I will include it next week.


Weekly Scoop 10/19

The government is back in business, the baseball playoffs are getting closer to the World Series and the NBA season will be starting soon. Liberty University’s homecoming was today and a big college football game is about to happen this evening between Clemson and Florida State; Death Valley will be quite alive tonight. With that said, I am going to go ahead with this week’s Weekly Scoop. The following links are ones I believe will be worth your time to check out:

Simply stated, this guy’s story is one that you should check out. This is a true example of how the church should be: http://blog.vyrso.com/2013/10/14/chasing-god-one-mans-journey-into-americas-slums/.

Ann Voskamp shares a letter one of her friend’s wrote on her blog. I decided I would share it as well. It is a letter to the church from Anita Renfroe. This is my prayer for the church as well: http://www.aholyexperience.com/2013/10/dear-church-why-its-okay-to-really-need-each-other/.

Another great story I saw making its way around social media this week was this story about a 15 year old orphan not just attending a church, but standing up during the service to ask if anyone wanted to adopt him: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2463498/Orphan-Davion-Only-goes-church-asks-adopt-him.html.

Phil Cooke shares a story ESPN put out that shares a pro-life perspective. Not many channels are willing to put something like this on TV, especially a sports channel. I applaud ESPN for sharing this story and I pray more like them make the news: http://philcooke.com/espns-unexpected-pro-life-video/.

If you like posts that cause you to be amazed at how beautiful this planet is and how awesome God is, check out this link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/10368294/Surreal-landscapes-around-the-world.html.

Last, I want to share an article by Ed Stetzer on discipleship. There is a movement happening in the church centered on discipleship. This is a great movement and important simply because the church is to be making disciples. Check out what ed Stetzer has to say about it: http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2013/august/better-discipleship.html.

Thanks again for joining me for this week’s weekly scoop. If you see something that you feel is worthy of sharing, please contact me and let me know so I could include it in the future.


Weekly Scoop 10/11

It’s time for my weekly scoop. Since it is Friday, I am going to keep it short and to the point. Take a few minutes and check out the following links. I believe they will be worth your time.

First, this link would be good for any married couple to take a couple minutes to read and discuss. It will only serve to deepen your relationship: http://www.beforethecross.com/encouragements/5-questions-ask-spouse-every-week/.

Scotty Smith shares a prayer he wrote for those of you needing to renew your heart with the grace of God: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/scottysmith/2013/10/10/a-prayer-for-grace-strengthened-hearts-2/.

Struggling to understand how to love God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength? Check out this post at Desiring God’s blog: http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/love-god-with-your-everything.

Tim Challies shares why he is a six-day creationist. Are you? Might be worth your time reading and reflecting on this topic as well: http://www.challies.com/articles/why-i-am-a-six-day-creationist#.UlgS8lCsim5

This is an interesting way to combat a recent Atheist attack on belief in God. Not sure if I believe this to be the best way to go about it but the article posts some interesting comments: http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/10/09/creationists-battle-atheists-in-latest-billboard-war/.

If we do not proselytize, or evangelize, do we sincerely believe Jesus is the only way to God? Regardless, check out this post: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/trevinwax/2013/10/10/christians-shouldnt-proselytize/.

Finally, for some humor. Tim Hawkins is a funny man. I love his creativity and mind as well as his clean humor: http://www.uptv.com/blog/tim-hawkins-101-cuss-words-christians-can-say.

Well, thanks for taking the time to read this post. Check back again next week for the next weekly scoop. Comments are welcome. Feel free to share any links or stories you feel would be worth me including next week.


Everyday Church.

Everyday Church by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis

Do you believe the time is coming where the church in America is going to have to make some changes with how it attempts to reach non-believers with the Gospel? Do you believe the church in America can continue to wait for the world to come darken its doors? Do you believe that we might be missing something if that is our mindset? According to Everyday Church, 85 million Americans will never come to church. There are various reasons why they will never come to church but that is not the point. The point here is that if we continue to wait for the church to come to us, we will basically miss any opportunity to share the gospel with much of the population. With that mindset, Tim Chester and Steve Timmis approach the topic of how to really do church. With that said, this review is going to be brief but not because there is not much to include. The opposite is true in that there is so much truth within these pages, you will need to pick it up for yourself.

Everyday Church is basically an exposition of 1 Peter. Steve and Tim do an amazing job of breaking down the text and helping the reader understand it from the early church perspective and then applying it to our current culture. They make a point I believe many modern day American Christians would not necessarily agree with in that they say Christians today have been pushed to the margins. No longer are Christians sought after for wisdom and ideas. We are no longer at the center of the culture. We have been pushed to the edges and whenever we speak up, people want us to just go back to our buildings and leave them alone. They want us to stop “judging” them. The best defense Christians have for the faith is Christians truly living out their faith. If we are not living in such a way to make Christ look attractive, then why would the world want to believe? The authors present the book of 1 Peter as the perfect guide to help us rediscover the way to really impact the world with the Gospel and it is through our everyday lives, not our events. Events can make an impact, but it is our lives that truly draw people to desire a relationship with the Lord.

One of the ways they encourage us to live the gospel every day is to stop creating groups in the church to ask non-believing friends to join, but instead to join groups in your community already formed. They encourage us to put more importance on the everyday living than on just the big events. They are not saying avoid them, but if we are to make a lasting impression on our communities, we will need to step outside our walls and meet people where they are.

Read some of the following quotes taken from the book:

“Christians are like immigrants, foreigners, temporary residents, refugees. We do not belong. We do not have the rights of citizens. We are outsiders. We are living on the edge of the culture.”

“We need to do church and mission in the context of everyday life…We must think of church as a community of people who share life, ordinary life. “

Speaking of Christians in our culture today, “We may not often be persecuted, but we are marginalized.”

“We cannot claim to be faithfully proclaiming the gospel to the lost through our Sunday preaching when most of the lost do not attend church. We need to do mission outside church and church events.”

“We need to discover or recover the sense that if this year we are not imprisoned, then it has been a good year in which by the grace of God, we have gotten off lightly.”

“Love and passion and enthusiasm are infectious…You will never attract people to Jesus if you are not excited about Jesus. Enthusiasm creates interest. Passion breeds passion. Loving Jesus is the antidote to legalism.”

The last part of this book I want to touch on in this review is here in this culture today, we need to stop believing that missionaries only need to be sent overseas to preach the Gospel. With 85 million Americans who will never go to church, it is time to start living as missionaries in our own culture. We need to recover the idea that this world is not our home, we are just passing through, and our mission in our short time here is to share the Gospel with the world around us. It takes our lives…the lives that happen Monday through Saturday, not just the life we live on Sunday.

Tim Chester and Steve Timmis have hit a home run with Everyday Church. As I look back through it, there is something underlined or highlighted on almost every page. This book is a must read for anyone serving in the ministry. Tim and Steve both live in Europe and their insights into the church there are profound. It has been said that if you want to see where America is going culturally, look at Europe. Because of this, I believe what Tim and Steve have experienced in Europe and write about will be extremely profitable for us here in America. And as I already said, if you serve in ministry in any capacity, this book is one you need to pick up. Not only will it open your eyes, it could help change how you see and do church.

Thanks for taking the time to read this review. Comments are welcome.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Crossway in exchange for this review. Thanks for taking the time to read this review and feel free to leave comments or questions.


Weekly Scoop 10/4

The Government has temporarily shutdown. The very well known Catalyst Conference is happening in Atlanta right now; maybe that is why the government has shut down, they are all in Atlanta to learn how to be better leaders. One can hope. Major League Baseball playoffs are here. The NHL season has just begun and the NBA season is right around the corner. There are a number of things that have begun since my last weekly scoop. And here is the next edition of “Weekly Scoop” with more links that you should check out.

The first one is kind of sad. BBC reports that adolescence has been extended so as to keep young people from developing an inferiority complex. I am not joking. Read for yourself: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2430573/An-adult-18-Not-Adolescence-ends-25-prevent-young-people-getting-inferiority-complex.html.

Next, this is an article that is a little surprising. The pope has made some very vague statements recently. Here are some quotes published in the Washington Post’s On Faith site. Read some of the comments at the bottom if you feel so inclined. Our faith is under attack: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/on-faith/wp/2013/10/01/key-quotes-from-pope-francis-interview-with-atheist-journalist-stop-vatican-centric-thinking/.

The next two links are hard for me to post but since I became aware of them, I believe they are something the church needs to be able to respond to. I am not saying either of these writers is 100% correct in their response but I firmly believe the Bible is where we need to go for the answers.

First link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/on-faith/wp/2013/08/15/conservative-christianity-and-the-transgender-question/?wprss=rss_on-faith&clsrd

Second link: http://jonathanmerritt.religionnews.com/2013/08/19/transgender-issues-more-complicated-than-some-christians-portray/

Are we here in America really remaining silent? I know of many churches who will often mention the fact that our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world are being killed for their faith. But, it still warrants mentioning here because here in America, we try to make it easy to be a disciple of Christ, whereas the early church preached it as it was: hard. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/09/27/a-global-slaughter-of-christians-but-america-s-churches-stay-silent.html

Lastly is a heart warming story of Ryan Leak and how he made it possible for him to propose to his wife AND get married on the SAME DAY! Not many men would want to go about the trouble of planning a wedding but that is what men should be willing to do, go above and beyond for their bride. Too often we make excuses such as “I’m not the romantic type” or “Men aren’t wired that way.” Men are wired to lead and to go above and beyond to show how much we love our wives because that is the example Christ gave us. Check out Ryan’s story and let it encourage you to go above and beyond in your relationship with your bride:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqgRaZIRHRI

 

Thanks again for checking out my weekly scoop. Feel free to comment and share any links to stories that might be worth sharing. Thanks for your time.