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December 27, 2012Culture

Morning Roundup 12/27/12: Challenges Faced During the Holidays; Jonathan Edwards's Resolutions; Andy Stanley on 'Deep and Wide'

Thabiti has an interesting piece on challenges people face over the holidays.

Challenges Pastors and People Face During the Holidays -- Thabiti Anyabwile

Tis' the season to be jolly, right? Well, for some of us, but not all of us. While the entire world seems to glitter in tinsel, some people sit caves of gloom during the holidays. It's easy to forget that suffering takes no vacation at Christmas. So, not to be a killjoy, but perhaps to awaken us to some opportunities around us, here's five challenges that pastors and people face during the holidays.

1. Fatigue

2. Resentment

3. Loss and Grief

4. Financial Pressure

5. Separation and Loneliness

New Year's is almost here so, naturally, you may be wondering about Jonathan Edward's resolutions. Wonder no more as Nathan Finn has them for you.

Jonathan Edwards's Resolutions -- Nathan Finn

Now that Christmas has come and gone, many folks are now turning their attention to crafting New Year's resolutions. I will be nicer to my co-workers. I will lose 10 pounds. I will exercise at least four days a week. I will be more patient with my children. I will save more money. I will read through all of Church Dogmatics this year. You know the drill.

As you prayerfully consider your own resolutions, I'd highly recommend you spend some time reading Jonathan Edwards's famous resolutions. His seventy resolutions, written by the time he was about twenty years old, are among the most encouraging (and convicting!) material you'll read in Edwards's corpus. For example, check out resolutions one and twenty-eight below:

Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God's glory, and my own good, profit and pleasure, in the whole of my duration, without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriads of ages hence. Resolved to do whatever I think to be my duty, and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved to do this, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many and how great soever.

Resolved, to study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.

Tony Morgan interview Andy Stanley about his new book.

Deep and Wide: An Interview with Andy Stanley -- Tony Morgan

Interview Highlights:

• Andy talks about the opening chapter in Deep & Wide where he shares about the relationship with his dad.

• "If people aren't following you, you're probably not a leader so you're going to have a difficult time leading change."

• This made me laugh: "80% of youth pastors currently think they can lead their church better than senior pastors."

• "I am an evaluation freak."

• On why they stopped weekly KidStuf services: "KidStuf was designed to help parents do a better job at home, but we were putting all our time and money into the event rather than really helping parents."

• "New things create momentum."

• Andy shares what he's doing today to prepare leaders at North Point for when he is no longer the senior pastor.

• Andy challenges the theology of pastors who think they are "God's man" or "God's anointed" leader.

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Morning Roundup 12/27/12: Challenges Faced During ...