Five On Friday is the content I have found most helpful, funny, or interesting this week. Just because I share them does not mean I agree with, nor endorse everything they assert. Enjoy!
"Christmastime puts parents in a tough spot. We love our children. We want to give them good gifts. We enjoy their eager anticipation and exuberant gift opening on Christmas morning. And yet as Christian parents, we know there is a dark side to gift giving: greed. All of the presents can seem little more than brightly wrapped packages of temptation. There are temptations to selfish delight or despair, depending on whether or not our children got what they wanted. Greed can take hold, turning what we intend as a blessing into what feels like a setback in our parenting."
"On December 25, Christians around the world will gather to celebrate Jesus’ birth. Joyful carols, special liturgies, brightly wrapped gifts, festive foods—these all characterize the feast today, at least in the northern hemisphere. But just how did the Christmas festival originate? How did December 25 come to be associated with Jesus’ birthday?"
Thom S. Rainer
"Most pastors love their calling. Most pastors could not imagine doing anything else. Most pastors have joy in their ministries. I want to be clear that I don’t view pastors as a depressed, melancholy, and forlorn lot. Most pastors would not come close to fitting that description. But every pastor has points of stress. Indeed everyone has points of stress, including leaders of churches, organizations, and families. Pastors are not immune from stressors in life and ministry."
"Publishers are businesses, of course, and they want to make money on each book. They want to accomplish this ethically and reasonably and efficiently and abundantly. OK, within reason, that’s fair."
"I met with a pastor of a large and influential church with the hopes of engaging him in a church planting movement for our city. Over lunch, his observation about church planters surprised me, "I find that most church planters are characterized by two things: arrogance and impatience."