December already?

I knew I was behind, but had no idea that it’s almost been a full month since my last post. Here’s a few highlights of what what I’ve been reading and thinking about of late…

Donald Miller: What’s the Danger in Categorizing People?

Leonard Sweet: Is the church afraid of right-brained people?

Adam Walker Cleveland has a great post of contextual ministry and how many congregations operate in ways apart from the community they serve. Check it out: Contextual Ministry and the Cultural Commute to Church.

Semi-related, Fred Clark reflects on the recent case where a judge in Oklahoma sentenced a man to mandatory church attendance, and asks the question do we really want out churches to become places of “punishment”? With friends like Caesar, the church doesn’t need enemies. (Also from Fred Clark, check out The all-or-nothing lie of fundamentalist Christianity, Part 1 and Part 2).

At the same time, in the reach for cultural relevance, the church can go too far. I’d personally have to draw the line at congregations offering weapons training based on my partiality to passages like Matthew 26:52 where Jesus says, “All those who use the sword will die by the sword,” but I also am well aware that there are plenty of people who can proof-text in the other direction to justify a commitment to guns and Jesus.

Jamie the Very Worst Missionary: The calm in the storm.

Michael Hyatt: The Gift of Today.

Behance: How Rejection Breeds Creativity.

Seth Godin makes a great cast that non-profits have a charter to be innovators, because they don’t have investors expecting a financial return, they should be free to take more risks. Unfortunately I don’t see this argument being accepted too widely in the church, because there the givers do expect gratification (often immediate) that relates to their own comfort and well-being. Not everyone, but most, have an expectation to the maintenance of the status quo instead of funding innovative (and potentially risky) endeavors to reach new populations (especially if those populations are significantly different demographically).

The Atlantic: Rich People Who Don’t Understand Marginal Tax Rates.

Fast Company lists their favorite business books of 2012. On the top of their list is Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, which I’ve been meaning to read.

Beautiful images from NASA of Earth at night (of course the problem is that these images also show MASSIVE light pollution which is why we can’t see the stars nearly as well).

New music from the Avett Brothers, from their latest album, The Carpenter: