Sky Links, 4-14-18

Photo: Spacebridge by longobord CC 2.0
Lord, I have heard the report about you; Lord, I stand in awe of your deeds. Revive your work in these years; make it known in these years. In your wrath remember mercy!
-Habakkuk 3:2

Six Life-giving Practices
-Simon Cross

An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but following these six simple practises will help ensure you live a life that is healthy and fulfilled.
  1. Gratitude
  2. Singing
  3. Silence
  4. Forgiveness
  5. Vegetables
  6. Routine

-Francis Frangipane

"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh"(Ezek. 36:26).

God has a new heart for us that cannot be offended -- an "unoffendable" heart. Beloved, possessing an unoffendable heart is not an option or a luxury; it is not a little thing. An offended heart is in danger of becoming a "heart of stone."

Consider: Jesus warns that as we near the end of the age a majority of people will be offended to such a degree that they fall away from the faith. Listen carefully to His warning:

"Then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. . . . And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold" (Matt. 24:10-12 KJV).

"Many" will "be offended." The result? The love of "many" will grow cold. My prayer is that we will hear His words with holy fear...

Unoffendable, Part 2

The Killing House
-Wm. Paul Young

Behind my desk there sits a clock, crafted by Terry King, a man who has become my friend and who has lived in Unit 2A on Death Row in Tennessee for 34 years. Right before Christmas, two years ago, it arrived unexpected, a gift. The first time I met Terry, it was because of a friend of a friend, who asked me to come and spend a few hours with him. The Shack has had a profound impact on his life, as well as other inmates. Since then, I have tried to visit every time my travels have taken me through Nashville. This blog was written in the last few days in the wake of my most recent visit. I am fascinated at how the Holy Spirit weaves seasons of focus into the threads of our daily lives. For the last while, I haven’t been able to get away from question about justice, at the same time as my life has taken me into places where those questions involve life and death. 

This might be a hard piece for some, especially those whom have experienced violence and abuse at the hands of men. I get that. So does Mack, when facing the dilemma and seeming impossibility of forgiveness, “So are you saying he just gets away with it?” Papa, eyes full of love and understanding the depths of the loss completely, responds, “No son, no one gets away with anything. But he too is my son, and I want to redeem him.” Such just-love is at times almost too much to bear, but we must.

Friendship as a Foundation: Moving Beyond Bill Hybels and Anxious Egalitarianism Pt 1
-Dan Brennan

One of the fallouts of the Willow Creek smackdown between Hybels vs Beach/Ortbergs is that a gift-based egalitarian model has not adequately challenged the high anxiety for male leaders to surrender power in one-on-one relationships between men and women. In the egalitarian conversation, there is this huge blindspot or weakness when you have so many egalitarian male leaders who can only speak about this in theory or about a few occasions...

...There is no shortage of blogs and articles by Missio Alliance, CBE International, and The Junia Project that have promoted a Willow Creek model with no practical or concrete encouragement of shared power, risk, and vulnerability in one-on-one relationships. They either lightly touch on the subject or completely ignore the full range of Spirit-empowered dyadic friendships between a man and a woman alone with no one else around....

...Friendship (including the full range of shared power between a man and woman with no one else around) is not the heart and soul of egalitarianism for some of the most recognized names in Northern Seminary and at Missio Alliance.

The one glaring thing all these books, blogs, and articles have in common: this deep anxiety to delve into the depths of shared power in one-on-one relationship between a man and a woman. They have no deep encouragement or wisdom for a male leader to confront kinder and gentler sexism within him in one-on-one relationship with a woman—when no else is around or looking.


Healing the sick is an important part of a disciple maker’s life.

What? Heal the sick? How can I do that? Only God can heal the sick! True. Not true. Wait! It can’t be both. Or can it?

There are several foundational things needed in disciple making movements. Obedience to God’s Word is one of them. In DMM training, we often focus on obedience to Christ’s command to share the gospel or be baptized. These are vitally important! If movements are built only on miracles, they tend to be shallow and often don’t see generational growth. At the same time, Jesus gave us an important model. He healed the sick and trained His disciples to do the same.
Jesus said “Heal the sick”

It is interesting that Jesus told His disciples not just to pray for the sick, but to heal the sick.

8 Whatever city you enter and they receive you, eat what is set before you;9 and heal those in it who are sick, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’– Luke 10:8 & 9- NASB

Yes, it is God who heals but He does this healing work through people. He heals through me and you. We heal people by His power, not our own.

Not just for mums and toddlers: church groups for dads are on rise
-Tim Wyatt

THOUSANDS of churches open their doors each week for mothers and toddlers to spend a few hours drinking coffee and playing together.

A rarer sight is a group of fathers enjoying time with their children at church; but it is one that a growing number of congregations are seeing thanks to a project that has just marked its 15th birthday.

The project, Who Let The Dads Out (WLTDO), began in March 2003 when a member of Hoole Baptist Church in Chester, Mark Chester, realised that his church had little to no contact with any of the fathers of the children who attended their popular mums-and-toddlers group.

Switching the coffee and cake for bacon sandwiches and newspapers, the first meeting was attended by 20 fathers, 18 of whom were not churchgoers attend with their children. The movement has now spread to more than 250 churches who reach 8000 fathers each month.

“What we run as churches is brilliant with engaging with all sorts of sections of the community, but we’ve never been great at engaging with men and fathers,” Mr Chester said last month...

...Although not overtly evangelistic, WLTDO groups can provide opportunities to engage men who would never attend church on a Sunday with questions of life and faith, he said. “There’s something about becoming a father which opens the heart and gives the Holy Spirit an opportunity to gain a foothold.”

Some men had, over time, become intrigued enough by conversations started at the Saturday-morning groups to attend Alpha courses and ultimately become Christians themselves, he said.