This and That 01-19-13

Paul Ryan Cosponsors New Fetal Personhood Bill – Despite the deep unpopularity of fetal personhood bills in 2012, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has again decided to cosponsor the Sanctity of Human Life Act, a bill that gives full legal rights to human zygotes from the moment of fertilization. – Laura Bassett

101 Ways To Do It Big With Your Tax Refund – Here is a list of possibilities that you can use this extra money on:  1. Do nothing. That’s right, just put it away; don’t spend it at all (unlikely but possible).  2. Cheerfully give something extra to your church, or give to a charity or give to both.  3. Be a financial blessing to the local pastor (the one who will marry you, burry you, preach, teach and visit you in the hospital, pray for you without manipulating you; it’s cool, in fact a privilege to bless him). – Deryk Hayes

Are Mike & Molly Baptists? They Look Obese Enough. – One reason may be that Christians tend to think of sins as certain taboos to avoid (or the guy is an Atheistic 2nd Amendment-hating communist). Drunkenness and porn or the obvious taboos, along with not watching bad movies and bringing celery sticks to the church potluck, but eating without restraint is the one protected vice that most pastors don’t dare to address. – Bob Bixby

How Martin Luther King Jr. Overcame “Christian” White Supremacy – One of my earliest memories is of a substitute Sunday school teacher chastening me for putting a coin in my mouth. “That’s filthy,” she said. “Why, you don’t know if a colored man might have held that.” It might just be my imagination playing tricks on me, but it seems as though she immediately followed this up with, “Alright children, let’s sing ‘Jesus Loves the Little Children, All the Children of the World.’” – Russell Moore

Why Pastors and Elders Need Your Prayers – But what if your elders didn’t pray more than five minutes at their meeting last month? Would you know? No on would, not right away. What if your pastor hasn’t prayed for weeks? What if the elders are not deep into the word? With almost everything else in the church someone will says, “What’s going on? Why didn’t you show up? What’s the problem? Why didn’t this get done?” But who knows when the pastors and the elders forget Acts 6:4?  Most pastors won’t tell you this, but they can preach a passable sermon with almost no preparation. We know how to string sentences together. We know more about the Bible than almost everyone in the church. We can cheat our prep time and no one will know. Not right away.  But over time, church members will think to themselves, “Something’s missing. There’ some power not here that used to be here. There’s some gospel connecting no longer at play. I can’t put my finger on it, but pastor doesn’t preach like he used to.” It happens slowly but surely. Maybe the emails seem more pressing this week, or maybe it’s a meeting, or this administrative thing. It’s not one massive thing, but a mountain of molehills. And then one day, Acts 6:4 is gone. The elders don’t pray. The pastors don’t study.

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