July 2015

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How to Playfully Remember God’s Story

Invite your congregation to experience Scripture
How to Playfully Remember God’s Story

In this series, I’ve considered the importance of playing with Scripture and the significance of public Scripture reading as a time for communal remembrance of God’s actions in history. Now in this final segment, I’ll provide some practical ways to heighten the communal experience of hearing Scripture in worship.

First, if Scripture is usually read by ...

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Playing with Scripture Helps Us Remember

God’s people must never forget what God has done
Playing with Scripture Helps Us Remember

We don’t need examples of how we are forgetful people. I’m reminded of my forgetfulness every time I go to the basement and stand there because I’ve forgotten what I wanted to get. On occasion I’ve met people with impeccable memories, who remember things like what I was wearing the first time we met. This astonishes me. I am good at remembering which ...

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Playing with Scripture

Make the Bible come alive to transform worship
Playing with Scripture

“Play!” a theatre director once instructed me. “That’s why it’s called a play!” I can’t remember in which play I was told to play, but I was given freedom to play, and for me that was enough. I don’t know about you, but I love playing.

In Jaco Hamman’s book Becoming a Pastor: Forming Self and Soul for Ministry, he ...

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How to Pray for Your Congregation

To support your people in prayer, focus on who God is
How to Pray for Your Congregation

When I helped my husband plant a church 30 years ago, I wanted to bathe the effort, and especially the people, in prayer. I felt that unless God was intimately involved in each person’s life, little we did would matter.

In the early days of our church, we were only about a dozen or so families, so it was fairly easy to pray specifically for each of them. I would ...

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Using Your Head, Igniting Your Heart

Teaching others to love God’s Word
Using Your Head, Igniting Your Heart

I love the Bible. I find it instructive and authoritative for my life. I find comfort and correction and challenge in the pages of God’s Word. I have a Bible on my phone, on my desk, and on my bedside table, and you probably do too. Years of seminary and ministry have taught me that I cannot lead or love very well without spending time with God through his Word.

I ...

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No Substitute for Scripture

The downside of inviting new Christians to church
No Substitute for Scripture

Your neighbor who has long avoided you is now eager to know what it means to follow Christ. She can no longer tolerate her life of pain. She’s admired your life from a distance and she wants to ask Jesus to come into her heart. You lead her through the sinner’s prayer—and together you both rejoice as she will embark on a whole new journey. What happens ...

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The Habit of Keeping Divine Company

A warning against the overcrowded life
The Habit of Keeping Divine Company

A recent study on the habits of cell phone users reveals disturbing trends:

• 9 percent of U.S. adults are using their smartphones while they have sex.

• 35 percent are using their phones in a movie theatre.

• 33 percent are using them on a dinner date.

• 32 percent are using them at their child's school function.

• 55 percent are ...

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A Matter of Priority

Why you can’t be too busy for you
A Matter of Priority

Busyness has become a celebrated lifestyle today. If people aren’t busy, we think less of them. In Overwhelmed, Brigid Schulte writes, about time researcher Ann Burnett, who studies Christmas letters and notes the rise of people sharing about their busy lives over the past fifty years. Her research blew my mind. Schulte writes, “Somewhere toward the end of the ...

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Lead Me On: I Love Me, I Love Me Not

What we think about ourselves matters
Lead Me On: I Love Me, I Love Me Not

Former NBC anchor Brian Williams has had a rough 2015, and last month it got worse.

His viewing audience was informed earlier this year that Williams lied about certain experiences he claimed happened to him during his time reporting in war-torn Afghanistan, and after several months of suspension it looks as if he will not return to the anchor chair.

Pundits say Williams ...

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