Monthly Archives: June 2012

Top 10 Bible Verses of 2011

The popular Bible app YouVersion recently blogged about the top 10 Bible verses of 2011.  I found it quite interesting, and thought I would dive a little deeper behind the verses.  Maybe we can find some insight about humanity, about our culture, or maybe you just love lists like myself.  Here are the 10 verses:

  1. Philippians 4:6
  2. Proverbs 3:5
  3. Jeremiah 29:11
  4. Romans 12:2
  5. Philippians 4:13
  6. Philippians 4:7
  7. Proverbs 3:6
  8. Romans 8:28
  9. Matthew 6:33
  10. 1 Corinthians 13:4

Observations:

  1. Mr. Philippians is popular these days.
  2. People are looking for verses of comfort and peace during hard times.
  3. Many different versions were used, and no animals were harmed.
  4. Several verses were about God’s plans or will – something that Christians want to know for their life.
  5. Trust was at the heart of many of these verses.
  6. Prayer was a central theme in several popular passages.
  7. Only 30% were Old Testament, and 2 of those were Proverbs.
  8. Where is John 3:16?
  9. Anybody else notice something is missing…THE GOSPEL MAYBE?  Interesting.  Sin would be another topic on the back of the milk carton.
  10. Speaking of missing persons.  Where is Jesus in these verses?

Not trying to read too much into this, but I did find it interesting what the most popular verses are, and where Bible-readers want to go most often.  Looks like they would rather be comforted than discuss their sin, would rather think of God than think of the Savior…or Why does the book of Philippians resound so well with this generation of people?  Maybe people just need a little more joy and encouragement.

What are your observations?  Remember, this is all speculation, so calm down if you think I’m reading into this too much.

 

Review Time – Movies, Books, & Curriculum

Grab some popcorn, your milk duds, and a large coke (unless you live in New York City, then it would have to be a large water and add sugar later)…because it’s time for some reviews!

Let’s begin with book reviews, because if I started with movie reviews, you may stop reading this article:

Move – by Hawkins & Parkinson

An interesting concept – take a survey of churches across the country varying in size, denomination, and landscape…and see who is successful in developing Christ-followers and what is done to develop those Christ-followers.

The Good:  As I said in the summary of the book, it certainly is an interesting concept.  Church leaders should read this book to gain a better understanding of what works in developing Christ-followers.  The people at Willow Creek were humble enough to admit there were some parts of their model that failed or fell short.

The Bad:  Did not need to be as long as it was.  Could have been reduced, partly because the charts that were given told you the story and the verbiage explaining it seemed repetitive at times.

Recommendation:  Worth a look.  The research is valuable to any church.

Sacred Marriage

Could it be that personal holiness is a higher priority than happiness in marriage?  How can drawing closer to the Creator make me draw closer to my spouse?  This book has the answers.

The Good:  Let me put it this way, I can already see a difference in the way I treat my wife as a result of the principles in this book.  It is a great teaching tool to understand communication, how to treat your spouse, and most importantly, how your relationship with God will affect all the above.

The Bad:  That I didn’t read this sooner in my marriage.

Recommendation:  But it.  Read it.  Allow your marriage to enjoy the benefits.

Radical

What if the “American Dream” is ruining the “American Church”?  It is time for a radical faith that Jesus calls for in the gospels.

The Good:  What a challenge.  It takes you from feeling comfortable to feeling convicting.  This book provides some powerful illustrations and challenges that take you to task.

The bad:  Some of it seems a little out of reach, and could cause some confusion.  I hate to say anything bad about Dr. Platt and this wonderful book, but I could see some younger in the faith seeing poverty as righteousness, and you need to be careful in making that comparison.

Recommendation:  If you want to be challenged, then read it and let it change your heart.  If you don’t want to be challenged, keep reading Calvin & Hobbes.

 

Movie Reviews

Courageous

Sorry, I am a little late to the party here.  We just recently showed this movie at our church, and man was this a powerful movie.  I know I was the first to pick up my kids from the children’s ministry after this movie!  What a challenge to parents and grandparents.

The Good:  It got to the heart of the issue in our families, the need for the fathers to step up.  It was challenging, convicting, and heart-warming.

The Bad:  It doesn’t have a Hollywood budget, so I should cut it some slack, but the acting at times was a little robotic.  Getting better though!

Recommendation:  A must see for Fathers.  Christian films are getting better and this should help erase some of the stigma that has been created from some previous films.

The Avengers

All of the latest comic book heroes in one place, and in the same summer as the Spiderman and Batman movies…I might as well start riding my bike down the block, get my Super Nintendo out, and start wearing tube socks again…because I feel like a kid again.

The Good:  The action was non-stop, and the storyline was very well done.  Loved the humor that was built into many of the scenes.

The Bad:  Could always clean up the language, but overall was pretty clean.

Recommendation:  If the box office ratings tell you anything…

 

Curriculum

re:View -by Cedarville University

Students need to understand how to engage culture, while maintaining truth.  How do you accomplish this balance and what is culture teaching?  Some good questions and answers for this series to tackle.

The Good:  The clips are well-done and Dr. Brown’s teaching segments are dynamic and informative.  If you want your students to influence culture, instead of allowing culture to influence them…then this is for you.  This gives you a great tool to allow for some incredible discussions and helps prepare students for life outside the church.

The Bad:  You need creativity or it could become a routine.  With an DVD curriculum, you need to change up the routine so the students stay interested.  For example, don’t show both clips everytime or at the same time.

Recommendation:  This is a tool I have been looking for…something that allows students to engage their culture and promote quality discussions with their friends that lead to the gospel.  Walking out of this series, the students will be more prepared for the real world and their culture.

 

Hope this helps guys.  As always, love to hear your feedback from what you are reading/watching/using.

 

 

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