Thursday Thoughts: Vol 4 | Is 8

Pastor Steve shares these links to stimulate some Thursday Thoughts

The Early Symptoms of Spiritual Danger … Sinclair Ferguson has a very helpful post concerning the dangerous path to apostasy. He writes: “The solemn fact is that none of us can tell the difference between the beginning of backsliding and the beginning of apostasy. Both look the same. So what are the tell-tale signs of this sickness unto death? Are there early symptoms that might alert us to our spiritual danger?” You can read the rest HERE.

Four Things Youth Workers Would Tell Parents About Teenagers, Social Media, and Technology … An important read for parents, from Core Christianity. Cameron Cole writes: “In no arena do we see both the darkness outside and inside play out more than in the space of technology and social media. These devices can be wonderful ways to connect with friends and family. They also can be the scenes of some of the worst acts and deeds we observe in teenage behavior. In support of the parent’s role as a defender of his or her kids, I wanted to offer this very hard, very blunt article about obvious technological realities that nearly every youth worker would affirm but that most parents are unaware of.” You can read the rest HERE.

On Being Had … Andree Seu Peterson has written an important post concerning abortion. She writes: “Beware the scorpion who with smooth words seduces hapless frogs to ferry it across the pond, for in the end the poor naïve amphibian will rue his gullibility.” You should read the rest HERE.

Bonus Video!
How to Spot a Pyramid Scheme
 … this 5 minute video could save you a lot of money. You can watch it HERE.

Thursday Thoughts: Vol 4 | Is 7

Pastor Steve shares these links to stimulate some Thursday Thoughts

Introducing Darrell Harrison:
Darrell is the Dean of Social Media at Grace To You, lead host of the Just Thinking podcast (“2018 Best Christian Podcast”), and an expository Bible teacher with a passion for helping Christians understand what they believe and why they believe it.  Here are three posts from his Just Thinking…For Myself Blog:

The Christian’s Call to Purity … Darrell writes: “Lately, I’ve been ruminating on certain matters that are, or should be, in my opinion at least, of concern to professing evangelical Christians, but that seem to have gotten lost amidst the current climate of socio-political animus that exists, particularly within American evangelicalism. Among those divers concerns is what appears, to me anyway, to be an increasing disregard and apathy for purity within the church, under the guise that it is somehow obligated to offer to the world around it a kind of “big tent”, unoffensive, non-convicting gospel that is inclusive, not merely in terms of ethnicity or sex, mind you, but also of certain sinful behaviors and practices.” You can read the rest HERE.

The Majesty of Suffering … Darrell writes: “Since the Garden of Eden, uncounted numbers of God’s image bearers have earnestly inquired of their Creator – and of each other – in an incessant and seemingly interminable quest to find the definitive answer to the dilemma of human suffering. But in reflecting on why humankind has persisted for so long in contemplating such a weighty proposition as the teleology (or ultimate purpose) of suffering, it is interesting that the obverse question is never posited, that of why is there happiness, joy, and pleasure in this world.” You can read the rest HERE.

What If I Stumble? … Darrell writes: “Think back for a moment to the last time someone sinned against you. I mean actually sinned against you. That is, they offended you in a way that was a violation of God’s objective and equitable commands for how His people are to relate to one another (e.g. Lev. 19:11; Col. 3:9; Heb. 13:4). How did it make you feel when that happened? Were you angry? Sad? Hurt? Disappointed? All the above? Now, using that same biblical criterion, take a moment to reflect on the last time you sinned against someone. How did that make you feel? Were you angry? Sad? Hurt? Disappointed? None of the above?” You can read the rest HERE.

Thursday Thoughts: Vol 4 | Is 6

Pastor Steve shares these links to stimulate some Thursday Thoughts

On Getting Your Sushi at the Flying J … Douglas Wilson offers his take on the recent Shepherds’ Conference Q&A that focused on the Social Justice Gospel matter. Wilson writes: “The bottom line is that we live in a corrupt generation. We are muddled about everything. We preen and posture in our pretended moral goodness, as we seek to save future generations from the fluctuations of the weather, for pity’s sake, while at the same time refusing to save them from the abortionist’s forceps. We slaughter black babies and sell the pieces off, and lionize politicians who arrange for federal subsidies for those who are selling the babies. We sit quietly as those orchestrating this ongoing slaughter continue to lecture us about the failings of our white ancestors two hundred years ago. Our collective moral compass is flat busted.” You should read the rest HERE.

Christian Man Academy … David Murray has started an academy – Christian Man Academy – which functions as a video-based website for Christian men. He writes: “I’ve had a growing burden for young men growing up in a world that is not only confused about masculinity but even hostile to it. In recent weeks, the Gillette ad has sparked renewed debate about “toxic masculinity.” Young (and not-so-young) men are looking for clarity, direction, and practical help about what it means to be a man and, especially, how to be a Christian man in today’s culture.” Two short videos have been going up each week since mid-February. You should check them out HERE.

The High Cost of Cowardice … Darrell Harrison, writing for Grace to You Blog says: “Biblically speaking, “the cowardly” are professing believers who are so overcome with fear and timidity in a given situation that they equivocate on the truth, or deny it altogether. Like Peter (Matthew 26:69-75), spiritual cowards yield to the world’s pressure, fearful of what an uncompromising life of standing for Christ and His gospel might cost them. Those pressures are familiar to us all—they routinely weigh on our friendships, family gatherings, and workplace conversations. And in a society that is driven by the ever-shifting winds of political correctness, we all understand the potentially high price of nonconformity.” You can read the rest HERE.

Thursday Thoughts: Vol 4 | Is 5

Pastor Steve shares these links to stimulate some Thursday Thoughts

All three of my shared posts come from – and his own Thursday A La Carte: they were just too good to not pass on.

How One Word Changed the Meaning of a (Really) Beautiful Song … Eleazar Maduka writes: “So much of our theology is expressed in songs. And songs display what we believe (or think) about God and ourselves. If we think ourselves responsible for our salvation, it becomes evident in our songs. If we believe God to be our loving Father, it is inevitably expressed in our songs. That’s why so much thought must be put into what we sing.” You can read the rest HERE.

Distrust of the World Should be a Mark of Christianity … Melissa at Your Mom Has a Blog writes: “Parents, even Christian parents, are far too trusting of what the world produces. If it has the label “for kids” on it, parents put it in their child’s hands without a hint of worry. American Christians are practically experts at burying their heads in the sand, choosing to allow their children to consume things that are vaguely bothersome, but if it’s made for kids, then how bad can it really be? Parents make decisions without stopping to consider who is producing the content that their children are being exposed to.” You can read the rest HERE.

A Day in the Life: Women and Men … Nathan Yau and the folks at FLOWINGDATA have created a fascinating visualization of how men and women spend their days. Check this out! HERE.

Thursday Thoughts | Vol 4 | Is 4

Pastor Steve shares these links to stimulate some Thursday Thoughts

“Devotional” … Carlos Martinez has produced an album of piano solos, “Devotional” May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13. You can purchase the digital album HERE.

Consequences of Calvinism … Jonathan Leeman writes to pastors, but the implications surely include any Christian who embraces the Reformed Doctrines of Grace sometimes called Calvinism. He writes: “Many things in a new convert’s life may remain the same. Sin will continue. Yet Calvinists expect that, amidst the weeds, we’ll always see new, you-can’t-miss-them flowers. God has saved the person, and the Spirit is not weak. His work is not meager. As such, Calvinism leaves less room for nominal Christianity, easy-believism, ‘carnal Christianity,’ Jesus-is-Savior-but-not-Lord. It doesn’t say that Christians will always look morally better than non-Christians. It says people will be changed by becoming Christians. God changes them. They’ll look better than they used to. Even the thief on the cross rebuked the other thief.” You can read the rest HERE.

Don’t Reap to the Edge of Your Field … Michael Kelly writes: “God did not want His people reaping to the edge. He wanted them to have some margin at the end of their rows. Now, before we disregard this verse as something inapplicable to us, consider why the Lord would make this command. It wasn’t just about preserving His own people. He didn’t tell them to create this kind of margin because doing so is personally healthy and psychologically balanced. He gave the command for the sake of other people who might wander into those fields.” You can read the rest HERE.

Thursday Thoughts: Vol 4 | Is 3

Pastor Steve shares these links to stimulate some Thursday Thoughts

Is Boasting on Social Media a Sin? … Nathan Bingham writes: “Solomon wisely states that we should “let another praise [us], and not [our] own mouth; a stranger, and not [our] own lips” (Prov. 27:2). Across cultures, social etiquette embodies the wisdom found here. We simply don’t enjoy the company of the braggadocios who always speak about themselves. We expect others to show some level of humility—even if it’s not sincere.” You can read the rest HERE.

Approaching the Final Exam of Motherhood … Marissa Henley writes: “This fall I watched my little boy grab his backpack full of thick textbooks, his lunchbox, and his trombone and walk into his first day of 9th grade. He’s a thoughtful boy, and he comforts me by wrapping his arms around my shoulders in a hug. (Did I mention he’s taller than me?) I have a high-schooler. And I’m terrified. He’s been a delightful child and teenager so far. But it feels like the final exam of motherhood looms ahead, and I’ll soon find out if my parenting has been stellar or a disaster. It feels like the stakes are high, and my failures could impact the rest of his life. A verdict is coming on how well I’ve performed my most important task, and I’m hoping for a perfect report card: an A+ child, an A+ reputation, and an A+ motherhood GPA. Nothing less is acceptable to my anxious heart. But when I look at my son as a final exam to ace rather than a fellow sinner being sanctified, I’ve forgotten the gospel. My fear stems from unbelief.” You can read the rest HERE.

The Christian life is More Like a Bus Ride Than a Motorcycle Ride … Bob Johnson writes: “It’s hard to sing karaoke by yourself. If you like to travel by yourself, then nothing beats the freedom of a motorcycle. You can zip in and out of lanes, cut through the annoyance of construction traffic, go where you want, how you want, and as long as you want. But it’s hard to sing karaoke by yourself. Traveling by bus is slower. You have to wait for others to get on board. You can’t always have the seat you want. You can’t go as fast on the road. You can’t change lanes too well, pass others at will, have the final say on where to stop for food, and of course, someone always has to go to the bathroom. But the karaoke can be a blast!” you can read the rest HERE.

Thursday Thoughts: Vol 4| Is 2

Pastor Steve shares these links to stimulate some Thursday Thoughts

Retirement Stewardship … Chris Cagle writes: “This picture of an older and somewhat weakened but yet healthy, green tree that is “full of sap” is another biblical metaphor for a person who is abounding in grace, fruitful in doing good works and in spirit, and who continues to find nourishment from the river of life –Jesus Christ (John 7:37-39). This is the life of the believer who, like a tree planted by a river, grows healthy and strong. Even as it ages, it continues to draw strength from the ground and the water it is planted in. Its leaves will continue to grow because their sap will enable them to be fruitful.” You can read the rest HERE.

Mr. Roger’s Deathbed Confession … Jared Wilson writes: “So Mister Rogers’s deathbed question was really a deathbed confession. He was confessing that, facing the weight of eternity and the undeniable prospect of his justification before God, he wasn’t sure that his lifetime of “sheepishness” was merit enough. Because of course it’s not. Your goodness isn’t good enough. But Christ’s is.” You can read the rest HERE.

A Different Kind of Profanity … David Prince writes: “What would you do if one of your children walked in your house and spoke a string of four-letter words? What would you do if one of your children walked in your house grumbling? I fear that most of us would drop everything and confront their intolerable use of four-letter words (and rightly so) but would say nothing about the grumbling or maybe say something like, “I am sorry you are having a bad day.” You may say, “Yes, but the four-letter words are profanities.” So is grumbling.” You can read the rest HERE.

Thursday Thoughts: Vol 4 | Is 1

Pastor Steve shares these links to stimulate some Thursday Thoughts

Passing Down the Truth … John MacArthur writes: “In order to be faithful stewards of what we have received, each of us needs to pass on to others what we have been taught. In other words, every Christian ought to be a teacher. No matter who you are, you can find someone who knows less than you and teach them. That responsibility is inherent in our Lord’s Great Commission: “Make disciples” (Matt. 28:19).” You can read the rest HERE.

I Desire Mercy and Not Sacrifice … Jared Longshore writes: “The application then is not, “Oh, now I can relax the law of God and do what feels good to me and others.” That’s the way to be called least in the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:19). Instead, we are to ensure that our lives are lived out of love to God and love to man. We must not only perform the ritual, we must perform the ritual in love and mercy. We must not only go through the motions (there is nothing wrong with the motions), we must ensure there is mercy and compassion within giving life to the motions.” You can read the rest HERE.

Read Your Bible to Fight Unbelief … Becky Pliego writes: “So, dear Friend, be reminded of this: the only way to battle unbelief is by being in the Word. Keep coming, verse after verse, chapter after chapter, book after book, day after day. God will fulfill His purpose in you and will strengthen your faith as you take the Book and read it.” You can read the rest HERE.

Thursday Thoughts: Vol 3 | Is 30

Pastor Steve shares these links to stimulate some Thursday Thoughts

Here are 3 From Wilson – Jared Wilson, who writes at For the Church (

A Baby, Yet Omnipresent … Jared writes: “Every year at this time as we celebrate the birth of baby Jesus to the virgin Mary, I don’t suppose it occurs to too many merrymakers that what they’re really celebrating is the Incarnation. All of the other miracles are in service of that central miracle: God became man.” You can read the rest HERE.

Whenever God Does a Mighty Work … Jared shares from Charles Spurgeon: “Men who were once drunkards now meet for prayer, and people after hearing one sermon will not go until the minister has preached another, and sometimes a third; and at last he is obliged to say: “You must go, I am exhausted.” Then they will break up into groups in their streets and in their houses, crying out to God to let this mighty work spread, that sinners may be converted unto him. “Well,” says one, “we cannot believe it.” Very likely you cannot, but some of us can, for we have heard it with our ears, and our fathers have told us the mighty works that God did in their days, and we are prepared to believe that God can do the same works now. I must here remark again, in all these old stories there is one very plain feature. Whenever God has done a mighty work it has been by some very insignificant instrument.” You can read the rest HERE.

Worshiping a Golden Calf on Sunday Morning is Deceptively Easy … I would add this nuance to Jared’s thoughts – it is never more easy than at Christmas. Jared writes: “The implication for our churches is huge. On Sundays, our sanctuaries fill with people seeking worship, and not one person comes in set to neutral. We must take great care, then, not to assume that even in our religious environments, where we put the Scriptures under so many noses, that it is Jesus the exalted Christ who is being worshiped.” You can read the rest HERE.