Christian Carnival – September 2012

Introductory Ramblings

AKA pursuing rabbits through the brambles …

As I write and edit this post, it appears that GoDaddy serviced web sites are down, and a member of Anonymous is claiming credit for causing the problem. There were a couple of posts I couldn’t access, and I believe that was due to this problem.

This is my first time hosting the Christian Carnival since it went monthly, and I’m impressed with the quality of submissions. I give you all a “great notes” award for actually telling something about your posts in the notes! That was great. I just had to confirm that your post is about what you said it was and that it was within the date range, and off we went.

And speaking of dates, Posts should have been just from August, but I let a couple of out of date posts go through because they were so good, and besides, people are still getting used to this monthly thing, right? So it’s a one time indulgence, and you don’t even have to pay John Tetzel, nor must anyone post 95 theses to make me stop. Speaking of which, what’s with 95 theses? Loquacious fellow, this Luther, methinks!

Unlike me, who never strays from the topic.

At all.

In any case, I will throw around the odd award [noted in brackets] and then I’ll add a few posts from around the blogosphere. While I do feel that we might recategorize these posts (and my spell checker doesn’t like “recategorize”), I’m going to (mostly) leave yours where you put them, even if I create new categories.

So on with the posts!

(Putting an incomplete sentence, or better fragment, on a line by itself, as in “at all” is a literary device, not an error.)

Apologetics

Danny Kofke offered How Much Money Should The Tooth Fairy Pay? at One Money Design
Notes: How much do you think the tooth fairy should pay and how can you explain the difference in the amounts she leaves different households. This is never an easy conversation with your kids! [Papa’s critical information award!]

Luther Wesley offered Friendship with the World is a Siren Song at LivingNGrace
Notes: I want to follow…it looks so easy and my legs are so weary. My heart is heavy and my soul burdened with the trials and cares of this world. My failings, both past and present, play like a never-ending High Def screen show with the rumble of surround sound filling my ears. These sins…..these chains that so easily beset me are cumbersome…dragging me down to the depths of despair. The song, the allure of the Broad Path, and Friendship with the World bids me come…..and my knees buckle under the weight…..

Chris Gehrz offered Mister Rogers: “An Offering of Love” at The Pietist Schoolman
Notes: Yes, that Mr. Rogers — sharing his profoundly Christian vision of how “you can be an agent of what’s good and not have to be terribly direct about it.”

Maryann Spikes offered JC Lamont’s “Prophecy of the Heir” on the problem of judgment at Ichthus77
Notes: My absolute favorite thing about “Prophecy of the Heir” is how Lamont unapologetically, yet with the prowess of an apologist, answers the problem of the harshness of judgment.

Rob Kuban offered Should Churches Borrow Money? at One Money Design
Notes:  Churches shouldn’t over extend so much that they have trouble paying operating costs and carrying out God’s ministry.  Churches, like you and I, need to make sure they are good stewards of God’s resources.

Tom Gilson offered The Professor Who Thought He Knew Bigotry When He Saw It at Thinking Christian
Notes: A University of Central Florida prof sent an email to 500 students claiming it is bigotry for Christians to proclaim ours is the “most valid” religion. The email has gone viral, and yet it still appears the prof doesn’t recognize his own self-contradictions. [Finding the nutty professor award!]

I will nominate (and promptly accept) Allan Bevere’s post Science and the Eschatological Challenge to Theology (Part 4) (no less). Allan is a major force in United Methodist blogging and gets pretty deep on some of his theological material.

Devotional

Dan Chesney offered God Think Man Think at getlifegroup.com
Notes: God thinks very differently than we do, and the more we understand this the more successful we are at living a vital Christian life. [Christianity is not for the fainthearted? This gets the “a bunch of people will be disappointed and they should be” award!]

Maurice Kande offered Make a start with little things at The Dreamcatcher
Notes: This post aims at teaching people to value the little things in life. Understanding that everything started small becomes a defining moment for those who have hard time starting to live their Divine Purpose.

Josh Wiley submitted 22 Quotes About The Cross by Daryl Evans at What Christians Want To Know
Notes: This article was sobering to write as I again wrestle with the amazing gift of Jesus being the sacrifice for me willingly on a cross over 2000 years ago. I hope these quotes move you to thank God today for Jesus.
Gbenga Owotoki offered Celebrate Your Marriage Union at Gbenga Owotoki – Impart for Impact
Notes: Marriage is honorable. You should be thankful you are married and had remained so. Many had gone that way and never enjoyed the ride. For some, it resulted in their demise. But eh! You made it. You may argue, you may sometimes find the marriage voyage turbulent but in all of your challenges, you are still together. You should celebrate this. Your once-in-a-year wedding anniversary is not enough. Find reason to spend more time together in a celebratory mode. When you do this often, it helps to keep the bond of love intact.

Krista Manchuck offered Unleash the Beast at Run For Your Life
Notes: Being a Christian is about more than going to church a couple of times a week and reading your Bible. It is about living out Biblical principles in every area of our lives. As a Christian and as a runner, the Lord has taught me a lot about Him through the discipline of running. This post talks about how who God has made us on the inside effects who we are on the outside.

Josh Wiley submitted Apostle Paul Biography and Timeline by David Peach at What Christians Want To Know
Notes: We are first introduced to Paul when he was Saul of Tarsus. He was standing over the first Christian martyr Stephen looking on as Stephen was stoned to death. From this gruesome introduction to the completion of his missionary journeys Paul has become a champion and hero in the Christian faith.

Shannon Christman submitted The Simple Gospel by Ridge Burns at Ridge’s Blog
Notes: ” . . . we need to go back to determine what the essence of our faith is. What is it that we need to believe?”

Benjamin Williams offered Yes, Really, The Armor of God at The Form of a Servant
Notes: If you’re anything like me, when you read Paul’s command to put on the armor of God (Ephesians 6:11) you immediately want to know what it is that constitutes the armor of God and how it is that we might put it on. Anything to stand up to the schemes of the devil would be welcome; it’s no surprise to anyone who has been a Christian for any length of time that there is a constant battle against the spiritual forces of evil.

I submitted my wife Jody Neufeld’s post Heart Check from Jody’s Devotionals.
Notes: How do we really think about others? How do we respond to those who are different? Can they tell that we are welcoming?

Other

Stephanie offered 3 Ways To Parent the Way God Has Called Us To Parent at The Christian Housewife
Notes: “How many times have we, as mothers, been subjected to a thoughtless comment or even a look from another person that leaves us feeling like we are complete failures at parenting? Unfortunately, all too often, people are too quick to throw out their opinions and thoughts on how we are choosing to parent and this can often leave us questioning our abilities in the role God has put us in.

So, how can we remain confident in the choices we’re making as moms while still remaining teachable when the time comes? It’s a delicate balance, that’s for sure, but one that is very important to maintain. We certainly want to learn from others, but we need to guard our hearts to make sure that only the truth is penetrating our views on child rearing. The enemy’s lies can quickly ruin the good work we’re doing. Sometimes one person’s “helpful advice” can be misconstrued as an attack on us. Pretty soon thoughts of inadequacy and failure settle into our minds and our hearts and those feelings can wreak havoc on our self-worth.

So, here are 3 ways that I believe we can be sure we’re parenting the way God has called us to parent.”…..

Chris Price offered The World of Historical Revisionism Turned Upside Down at American Church History
Notes: Christians frequently complain of revisionist history that attempts to relegate the founding fathers to the background. What about those that attempt to revise history to make even the most unorthodox religious thinkers among the founders into orthodox Christians?

James Nakamura offered That Punky Kid In The Youth Group: Ode To My Hero Jeremy Powers at Nakadude – Knowing the Extraordinary from an ordinary’s perspective.
Notes: Remember that rough, loud, crazy kid in the youth group? The one that was in the youth group that I led is one my personal heroes. I know that when Christ sees him, He smiles at his reckless passion to live. My hope is we all continue to live from the heart.

Shannon Christman submitted Running Late by Kristen Cain at InFaith’s Mission Blog
Notes: Kristen Cain was reminded of God’s abilities when she ran late for a ministry meeting.

Bob MacDonald offered Muttering and perishing, a thought on Psalm 1 and 2 at Dust
Notes: the consequences of the mutterings we listen to

Carl Ayers offered Jesus’ Pronouncements on Divorce and Remarriage, 2 of 2 at Theological Pursuit
Notes: This post is a continuation of an ongoing series on how the bible views divorce and remarriage. This is the second post of 2 specifically on what Jesus (or better, the gospel accounts of Jesus) have to say about the matter. Wasn’t Jesus very strict? We find that Jesus was both more and less strict than we often see it. [This gets an award for complexity. But it’s an important and complex topic!]

Dan Navin offered Love at Pursued By God
Extract: The love I focused on in the former paragraph was one that was often closely tied to my same sex attractions. This love lied, manipulated and deceived the object of my affection into lowering his defenses. It was a love that sought comfort through sex as repayment for my good deeds and loving actions. It was a love that always saw the end game as being conquest through sex. And when the goal was attained, the “love” often revealed itself to be little more than lust or excitement which came from pursuing the challenge.

I’m offering my own post Silly Who from The Jevlir Caravansary.
Notes: I wrote this story for the one-word-at-a-time blog carnival. You can find links to the carnival in the post. The word for the carnival was “silly.” I like to look for various ways to use it and to do it in a short story.

 Politics

Paul Kuritz submitted Voting in Two Kingdoms by Paul Kuritz at Paul Kuritz. Opinions
Notes: How does a Christian think about voting in this election?

I’m adding Rachel Held Evans with her post God and Our Political Platforms.
How important is the presence of the word “God” in our political platforms? What does it mean?

And for a very different view of the same topic, I submit (and accept forthwith) The Truth in an Unscripted Moment by Elgin Hushbeck, Jr.

Moving in yet another direction, Bob Cornwall of Ponderings on a Faith Journey believes God has a preferential option for the poor in God’s Preferential Option.

I have a bunch more links available, but I have to stop somewhere.

Don’t forget to submit posts for next months carnival to be hosted at American Church History on October 3, 2012. You can submit your posts through the submission form.

If any hosts are interested, I created a spreadsheet for OpenOffice Calc. You can download the submissions and it will create the basic links and formatting. Doubtless it could be improved a good deal if someone wants to take the time.

If I missed something, comment, and if it fits the criteria, I’ll promote it into the post and you get your link.

September Christian Carnival

Christian CarnivalAccording to the host schedule, I’m to host the Christian Carnival for September. Please nominate posts for inclusion in the Carnival. You can nominate your own posts or those by others that you think are relevant. I’m planning to find some extras so we get a good cross-section of Christian thought in the blogosphere during the month of August. Any post written since the last carnival (August 1, 2012) is eligible for inclusion. So please head on over to the nifty submission form and submit a post.

Christian Carnival March 14, 2012

There were only a few submissions for the carnival this week, and since I’m busy with several forthcoming book releases, I didn’t come up with a wonderful theme. This is, of course, to assume that if I had the time I would come up with a wonderful theme! The same state of busyness leaves me with no post of my own, even from three blogs, to include.

I have still scattered a few random awards around, and I added a section titled “More!” to bring links to some posts that weren’t submitted, but that showed up in my reader feeds this week.

Next week’s host is Bible Archive, and you can submit your posts via the Christian Carnival submission form.

Apologetics

The Goodness Of Man And Animals from A Christian Worldview of Fiction by Rebecca LuElla Miller. A comparison of Mankind with animals at the level of morality undermines common beliefs about who Mankind is. Excerpt: Our culture increasingly says openly, Man is good. Hence, we should simply give in to our instincts — as long as we do no harm to others. How interesting that the animals have no such exception clause. They can do harm to others with impunity.

Apologetics Daily from the Christian Apologetics Alliance via Maryann Spikes. This is a new page containing feeds from Christian Apologetics Alliance blogs. The most recent post from each blog is displayed in a list as an on-line magazine, updated as often as the bloggers post.

For example, one post linked when I checked the page discusses animal death and makes a theological argument for young earth creationism. There’s a need for more discussion of the theological implications of each position on the origins question.

Other

Modesty-Your Spiritual Act of Worship Part 3 from INSPIKS by Fadi. In Christianity, sin is not a line that we cross, or an edge we fall off. The Bible says that adultery is not only an action but an attitude of the mind, ie: lust. Long and thorough post award.

Theology

Monergism, Synergism, and God’s Image, 2 of 2 from Theological Pursuit by Carl Ayers. Are we saved or justified on account of faith alone? Is there any sense in which we are saved or justified on account of works? What does being created in God’s Image have to do with it? I answer “Yes” to the first two questions and explain the third.

This one gets the “digging into theology” award!

How to Pray to God from Prayers for Special Help by Cindy Brandon. Many people ask about how to best pray to God. There is no correct answer of course, but we can use the Lord’s prayer as a great template for those new to prayer. 🙂

And to this, the “keeping it simple” award!

Poetry

Fellowship from Windows to the Woman’s Soul by Kaleb. Two ships out to sea by the will of their Maker
One just a novice, one a skilled traveler
Cross paths to dock on common ground
An odd pair, yet fellowship each found…

This one’s supposed to be for women, but I give it the “do some more of this” award. I’d love to see more poetry submissions.

Devotional

How do I discern God’s will for my life? Step one: Shut up. from Zowada Blog by Matt Zowada. So many times we ask God about His will, without first seeking the book where He disclosed it. Yep – practical stuff!

21 Great Mother Teresa Quotes from What Christians Want To Know by Pam submitted by Josh. Many times Mother Teresa said just a few words, but whatever she said, you can believe it was a very thoughtful saying.

Grasshopper Minds from Ridge’s Blogby Ridge Burns submitted by Shannon Christman. If there’s a discipline that oftentimes we lack in our whole lives, it’s to really, seriously concentrate and really, seriously humble ourselves in the presence of God.

“Have You Seen My David?” from InFaith’s Mission Blog by John Hoover. Moving through the nursing home today, I ran into Herb. He’s a tall eighty-something former engineer with no hair, a ball cap, and a booming voice. All throughout my visiting time today, he kept wheeling up and down the hallways saying, ‘Have you seen my David? Have you seen my David?’

Clearly deserves the “most haunting question” award, and another one for making a deep point with very few words.

More!

I Am Different by my wife Jody Neufeld from her Devotional blog. How much does Christ shine from your life. How much of you is there?

I saw camels dancing on Satan’s grave from the misnamed Phil’s Boring Blog. Some of the language, the humor, and the references may offend you, but I confess I haven’t enjoyed reading something this much in a long time. Hint: Be sure you follow the link before you get upset about God not existing.

Allan Bevere has some random thoughts starting with the number of people who will miss worship because they arrive late afterward. What does he think we should do about it? Read and see!

How could you miss a post titled Luther, Erasmus and Bondage? It’s by Joel Watts on his Unsettled Christianity Blog.

Bob Cornwall reflects on the murder of 16 civilians in Afghanistan.

From Science and Religion: A View from an Evolutionary Creationist we learn that the American Scientific Affiliation has started a new magazine titled God and Nature Magazine.

Roger Olson responds to John Piper on God and tornadoes.

Alan Knox thinks there’s more “togetherness” in the gospel than many of us realize.

Arthur Sido discusses Unity as a Witness. Or Not!

The Christian Carnival Is Coming

… right here to The Jevlir Caravansary. Submit your posts via the nifty new submission form.

For this carnival, I’m going to add a number of posts from people other than those who submit so we can get a bigger cross-section of posts from the Christian blogosphere. If you can think of a Christian web site that should be included, mention it in a comment here, or even better, submit it to the carnival yourself.

Then come and read the carnival to discover some of the best of the Christian blogosphere for the week!

The Christian Carnival Has a New Home

After many complaints about how the Blog Carnival submission form works, Christian Carnival has a new home. You can got there to find a submission form and a list of future hosts, where you will note that this very blog is the host for March 14.

If you are a Christian blogger and you aren’t involved in the carnival, I urge you to give it a try. The more of us there are involved, the more beneficial it will be.

We also have a Facebook page, so find that LIKE button with that little mouse pointer!