From Around the Interent 1/6/12
First of all, some Epiphany links: From Ken Schenck: Remember Epiphany! From TIME: Rise of the Magi: On Three Kings Day, Believers and Atheists Should Call a Truce. From Dr. John C. Holbert, some excellent reflections on the Epiphany lectionary texts: A Super-Nova Shining: Reflections on Epiphany.
Here’a very hopeful report on new church starts in the United Methodist Church from Gary Shockley, Executive Director of the Path 1 new church initiative of the General Board of Discipleship: Our Progress So Far… He says: "As United Methodists we are succeeding in our national strategy to start more churches in the United States. Since January 2008 we have assessed and equipped more than 1,000 potential lay and clergy planters and have started more than 440 new churches. This is an increase of nearly 60% over last quadrennium. Of the new churches we’ve started, nearly 50% are racial-ethnic congregations. .... Our long-range vision is to start one new church every day in the United States." He goes on to discuss (1.) the characteristics of the new churches being planted and (2.) the various church planting strategies that have been used and their relative success. An interesting read.
Derek Ouellette reviews John Dickson's book Humilitas: A Lost Key to Life, Love, and Leadership. Derek is enthusiastic about it. He says: "I haven’t said this about many books I’ve reviewed, but I’ll say it for this one: if I could rate a book “6 stars” it would be here." It sounds interesting. Here’s the publisher’s blurb:
Humility, or holding power loosely for the sake of others, is sorely lacking in today's world. Without it, many people fail to develop their true leadership potential and miss out on genuine fulfillment in their lives and their relationships. Humilitas: A Lost Key to Life, Love, and Leadership shows how the virtue of humility can turn your strengths into true greatness in all areas of life.Through the lessons of history, business, and the social sciences, author John Dickson shows that humility is not low self-esteem, groveling, or losing our distinct gifts. Instead, humility both recognizes our inherent worth and seeks to use whatever power we have at our disposal on behalf of others. Some of the world's most inspiring and influential players have been people of immense humility. The more we learn about humility, the more we understand how essential it is to a satisfying career and personal life. By embracing this virtue, we will transform for good the unique contributions we each make to the world.
Quite a while ago, I read John Dickson's book The Best Kept Secret of Christian Mission: Promoting the Gospel with More Than Our Lips, and felt it was the very best thing I had ever read on the subject of evangelism. So, I'm sure Dickson's Humilitas is also good. It’s about time someone said something good about the virtue of humility!
Here is an excellent post from Ben Myers entitled: Why Pray? He gives 10 reasons — all based on the Lord’s Prayer.
And, in the I Couldn’t Have Said It Better Myself Department, I highly recommend Allan R. Bevere’s recent post entitled: I'm Only Human... But That's Not the Problem.