Morning Mashup 09/30


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A Quick and Easy Guide to the Planned Parenthood Videos – Shameful silence from the mainstream media. Mollie Hemingway helps them do their jobs.

I Don’t Want Your Good Vibes. I Want Prayer. – Megan Hill: “There’s no substitute for our communion with the Father.”

Speak for the Unborn Leader Pleads for Life – Great look at the work of Andrew King and Speak for the Unborn.

Every Living Thing Matters – “The Every Living Thing Campaign invites Christians to celebrate the wonder and beauty of God’s creation and commit to compassionate living by signing the Evangelical Statement on Responsible Care for Animals.”

Lies, Carly Fiorina and Abortion – Ross Douthat: “There has been an impressive amount of angry liberal commentary, which has spilled over into the mainstream press coverage (or do I repeat myself?) of the issue, about how in the last Republican presidential debate Carly Fiorina allegedly cited an entirely imaginary video in order to make a crazy claim about Planned Parenthood’s brain-harvesting ghoulishness that’s totally unsupported by the facts.”

Pope Francis Met Privately with Kim Davis – “The Pope met privately with Kim Davis and her husband, Joe, at the Vatican Embassy in Washington, D.C.”

Chipotle Church and the Problem of Choice – Brett McCracken: “Imagine if God were as fickle and restless as we are. But he isn’t. God’s covenant faithfulness to his people, even when the relationship is messy and embarrassing, should be instructive to us. A healthy relationship with the local church is like a healthy marriage: it only works when grounded in selfless commitment and non-consumerist covenant.”

When You Get Home…? – Consider asking your spouse what they want in those first few minutes you get home from work.

4 Tips for Using a Study Bible Well – Helpful article from Justin Taylor. If you use a study Bible, be sure to check it out.

If a preacher isn’t first preaching to himself, better that he falls on the pulpit steps and breaks his neck than preach that sermon. –John Calvin

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Morning (Afternoon?) Mashup


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Okay, so maybe I didn’t get Morning Mashup quite finished last night. “Bad blogger!” I know. I got to chill with my five month old son Jude for a little longer than usual this morning, so if that means y’all have to get your Morning Mashup at 1:00, then so be it. Of course, my West Coast friends will be quite pleased to receive their email notification at 10:00 instead of 6:30. You’re welcome, guys! Well, anyway, here is your late Friday edition of Morning Mashup–a mashup of articles for your information, edification, entertainment, and enjoyment.


The New York Times turns 164 – The New York Times was first published on this date in 1851. The Times has celebrated by sharing a digital version of that original and groundbreaking paper. I’m thankful for this publication even when (most often) vehemently disagree with it.

Arabic Baptist Church Fights Confusion, Grasps Evangelism – “White or Arab, English-speakers or not, members of the congregation have the same mission: Evangelizing Middle Tennessee’s Muslims in a language many of them understand.”

Fiorina Was Right – It truly hurts my heart to see so many on the Left willing to fight so hard to see innocent and helpless babies butchered. Technicalities aside, the images Fiorina described Wednesday night are real. How much have the consciences of those on the Left been seared?

Have Evangelicals Who Support Trump Lost Their Values? – Russell Moore’s NY Times op-ed is fantastic. And there is a wonderful reference to The Office where Moore compares Trump to Dwight Schrute. But did Dwight really deserve that?

Six Traits to Look for in a Spouse – “Dream and pray and seek counsel about the characteristics you should be looking for in a potential spouse, and then resolve not to settle for less.”

4 Truths About Hell – “So, what should we think of hell? Is the idea of it really responsible for all the cruelty and torture in the world? Is the doctrine of hell incompatible with the way of Jesus Christ?”

5 Ways to Minister to Women in Crisis – “The bad news is that we’re inadequate. The good news, though, is that Christ is more than adequate to deal with any traumatic situation. It is to him we must point our struggling sister.”

Book Recommendations – If you ever wondered what was on the bookshelves of The Gospel Coalition board and staff, wonder no longer. This resource is awesome.

It is better for us to confess our ignorance than express an unwarranted confidence. –John Stott

Review: Same-Sex Marriage


51KJMtvSkoLSean McDowell and John Stonestreet. Same-Sex Marriage: A Thoughtful Approach to God’s Design for Marriage. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2014. 176 pp. $9.99 on Amazon

The gay rights movement has been picking up speed over the past few decades, but in the past five years, the gloves have come off and a minority movement in America received what seems to be a decisive victory in the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision, which strikes down state bans on same-sex marriage. While this decision was not necessarily the legalization of so-called same-sex marriage, it was a historic decision, which declared any bans on such unions as unconstitutional. Summer 2015 changed the landscape of American culture forever.

We have already seen the predicted tension between the Obergefell decision and religious liberty in such persons as Rowan County (KY) clerk Kim Davis, as well as the legal nightmare of further lawsuits on similar ground from those in polyamorous relationships.

Further, more than a shift and genesis of cultural breakdown, we are seeing Christians faced with a crisis of faith. Public perception of Christians who do not accept the status quo when it comes to so-called same-sex marriage is increasingly negative and hostile. Christians opposing same-sex marriage are being lumped together historically with those who opposed the civil rights movement.

So, what are Christians to do? How are we to respond? Some have simply jumped ship. Christianity clearly declares same-sex marriage isn’t even a thing, so some have come to realize they want no part of the church. Others have tried to steer the ship in a different direction. They have mutinously overthrown the Captain and steered the ship of the faith where they want it to go. For some like Matthew Vines this has meant trying to exegete the legitimacy of monogamous same-sex relationships. For others it has simply meant fleeing biblical inerrancy for a preference-based hermeneutic. But all honest and thinking Christians have had to discuss and wrestle with how to speak to this issue with biblical conviction and winsome rhetoric.

For conservative, Bible-believing evangelicals (I wish this distinction was unnecessary. I mean, what is a non-Bible-believing evangelical, anyway?) Sean McDowell and John Stonestreet have provided a helpful, intelligent, and engaging resource for thinking and talking through the issue of so-called same-sex marriage. With many possible rabbits to chase in this argument, the authors tactfully keep the discussion fixed on the most crucial question in this debate.

What is marriage? That is the question. Gay rights advocates try to create similarities with the civil right s movement, but this avoids the question. McDowell and Stonestreet strike this erroneous comparison down with an intelligent, yet swift stroke. Their argumentation is worth quoting at length.

A male of one ethnicity and a female of another can become in every sense that a couple of the same ethnicity can. And an interracial sexual union is ordered toward procreation and can abide by the same standards of exclusivity and permanence. Bans on interracial marriages wrongfully discriminated against actual marriages.

But same-sex couples cannot procreate nor can they become ‘one’ in the same sense opposite couples can. Thus, maintaining marriage as the union of one man and one woman is wrongful discrimination only if it can be demonstrated that the revisionist definition of marriage is the right one. If the conjugal view is correct, same-sex couples can’t actually be married. Claiming discrimination assumes a new definition of marriage as proof for the new definition. It’s circular reasoning (61-62).

In all of their refutations of revisionist arguments, the authors return to the crucial question: what is marriage? For the authors, the definition of marriage is entirely shaped by the Bible. They claim “marriage was designed by God to thoroughly join two image bearers in a permanent commitment, enabling them to fulfill their purpose of filling and forming God’s world” (44). The biblical view of marriage inherently fuels sexual ethics, which speaks to the heart of the revisionist definitions of marriage.

An interestingly crucial aspect of the authors’ argument is that marriage is designed for child bearing. Why is marriage a necessary institution for society? Feeding off of Maggie Gallagher, the authors say there are three “obviously true facts about the world that make the institution of marriage necessary: ‘Sex makes babies. Society needs babies. Babies deserve mothers and fathers’” (44). The authors argue that the design of marriage is for child bearing and child rearing—two things that are absolutely crucial to societal sustenance. Does every act of sex bring forth children? Is sex only for procreation? No. But the basic design of sex is for child bearing.

Even more than this, the authors believe “societies have a vested interest in supporting environments that best rears children” (45). They then reference various sociological studies that show children flourish best when they are raised by their biological mothers and fathers. Same-sex marriage inherently refutes all of this research. It says babies do not necessarily need mothers or fathers.

McDowell and Stonestreet intelligently and compellingly make their argument for traditional marriage while refuting same-sex marriage through focusing on the simple question: what is marriage? They show that marriage is not just about feelings of love, which is the primary cry of the same-sex marriage movement. Marriage has much deeper ties to society than this. So, not just from a biblical perspective, but also from historical and sociological perspectives, same-sex marriage is culturally arrogant.

While the authors’ reasoning is clear and concise, they also speak with a careful and practical tone. The first half of the book is a critique of the revisionist view of marriage, while defining marriage and showing its biblical and sociological implications. The second half of the book is a practical discussion of what Christians can and should do in the face of the apparent victory of same-sex marriage. So the first half asks and answers: what is marriage. The second half asks and answers: what should we do?

“The impulse to flee from culture, even for noble causes like staying away from evil or preserving the relevance of the gospel, tempts the Church in every generation” (81-82). One thing we cannot do is remain silent. Hiding in the bushes while the culture radically shifts is beneath a Christian committed to the universal lordship of Jesus Christ. We must not only stand for how God has defined marriage, but we must provide an example to our society of what marriage is. The role of the church as a bastion and pillar of truth is to provide a vision of marriage that counters the culture.

So we must speak and act with biblical integrity and consistency when it comes to marriage. But we also must repent where necessary. Let’s be honest. The church hasn’t historically extended a loving ear to hear the concerns and struggles of the gay community. We have at times responded with hatred that isn’t consistent with the Savior we follow. McDowell and Stonestreet ask, “Might it be possible to maintain our convictions about homosexual behavior and same-sex unions while building bridges instead of walls?” (104).

Same-Sex Marriage belongs in the hands of every pastor. Pastoral staff and elders need to work through this book as it provides philosophical principles for thinking through the arguments of same-sex marriage while also offering a practical paradigm for addressing the issue on a daily and weekly basis in the life of the church.


Disclosure: I received this book free from Baker Books through the Baker Books Bloggershttp://www.bakerbooks.com/bakerbooksbloggers program. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html.


11751958_1209158262442953_3486622930933138849_nMathew Gilbert (B.A. Boyce College) is the Children’s Pastor at First Baptist Church in East Bernstadt, KY. He is an M.Div student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Mathew lives in London, KY with his wife, Erica, and their son, Jude Adoniram. You can follow him on Twitter @Mat_Gilbert

Morning Mashup 09/14


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Don’t Let the Media Control Your Experience of Election 2016 – Trevin Wax: “When Christians fall captive to clickbait and jump from candidate to candidate depending on the polls, we abandon our responsibility as thoughtful and convictional people.”

5 Ways to Ruin a Perfectly Good Dating Relationship – Tim Challies: “Dating has become the most difficult thing in the world, probably because they’ve got a million books and web pages telling them how. They can’t just do it—they’ve got to do it by the book. And along the way they are ruining their dating relationships.”

Greetings from Heaven – A very helpful infographic detailing the recent phenomena of near-death experiences.

5 Ways to Talk to Your Children about Death – As a children’s pastor, I’m always looking for helpful advice in speaking to children about difficult issues. This is great.

On the Viral Rise of Divorce Selfies – Tragic.

Planned Failure – Jim DeMint: “The fight to end taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood will be just that: a fight. And like all the struggles to return sanity and respect for human life and decency to our government, it will be a tough one.  But conservatives should fight to win, not plan to fail.”

Keeping the Spotlight on Planned Parenthood – Stephen Heaney: “Do not be distracted by misdirection. Do not let the horror of abortion be the main issue. Stick to the pertinent facts: Planned Parenthood is profiting from the sale of fetal parts. Planned Parenthood is routinely violating federal law. Planned Parenthood does not care about women.”

A Calvinist Evangelist? – Keith Mathison: “The fact of the matter is that Calvinism is not inconsistent with evangelism; it is only inconsistent with certain evangelistic methods.”

Djokovic Clinches 2nd US Open Title – This was a great match for a couple sets. Federer lost momentum. A thing you just can’t lose against Djokovic.

NFL Scores (Week 1) – Scores from Week 1 NFL action.

Before the throne absolved we stand / Your love has met your law’s demands –Edith Margaret Clarkson

Morning Mashup 12/8


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Race and Justice – Tim Keller and Redeemer Presbyterian Church respond to the recent racial tensions surrounding Ferguson and Eric Garner.

Why a Conservative, White Evangelical Keeps Talking About Racial Reconciliation and Justice – I am so thankful for Dr. Moore. His leadership is invaluable to the SBC and American Christianity at large.

Rejecting Separate But Equal Again – “We are praying for the day when saying multiethnic church will be a needless redundancy in evangelicalism.”

Time to Challenge No Fault Divorce – “It seems highly likely that no-fault divorce has, over time, undermined the success of the majority of marriages in this country—that is, normal, non-abusive marriages.”

Prone to Superficiality – “It took aggressive convictions to change the way people think about education for women. We take all that for granted now. But maybe we should have some fierce convictions of our own about the quality of what we are reading now. Much has changed, but unfortunately, much has remained the same.”

10 Troubling Statements Church Leaders and Members Make – “If you want your church to move toward a slow yet certain death, make certain your church leadership and membership affirms most of these ten statements. They are troubling statements. Indeed they are proclamations that virtually assure your church’s decline and probable demise.”

The Best Gift I Can Give Christian Christmas Haters – “It isn’t wrong to have a fern on my porch or a cactus in my office. But apparently having a fir tree, imitation or genuine, is considered by some to be morally repugnant; though only in December.”

But if a leader gets too far in front of his people, they will lose sight of him and not follow him any longer. –Martin Luther King Jr.

Morning Mashup 10/29


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The Royals forced Game 7. The NBA is back. The Cowboys lost to the Redskins. My wife and I are back from the beach. All is right with the world. As I was watching a perfect kickoff to the NBA season in the form of the Spurs vs. Mavs, I compiled for you some excellent articles ranging from the state of theology in America to the World Series to ex-gay therapy to the college football playoff. Take time to engage with each of these articles. I know they will bless you or encourage you or mildly entertain you. Whatever the case, enjoy your Wednesday!


5 Ways to Experience Christian Growth – Phillip Holmes offers five ways to truly experience Christian growth.

The State of Theology – An interesting and informative infographic produced by Ligonier as the result of a survey that has “helped to point out common gaps in theological knowledge and awareness so that Christians might be more effective in the proclamation, teaching, and defense of the essential truths of the Christian faith.”

Marriage and Pre-martial Sex – “Being unable to find a potential spouse who allows for or even agrees with one’s Christian sexual mores is not at all an unknown trial.”

Russell Moore Denounces Ex-Gay Therapy – Moore: “The idea that one is simply the sum of one’s sexual identity is something that is psychologically harmful ultimately…And I think also we have a situation where gay and lesbian people have been treated really, really badly.”

The Unexpected Sacrifices of the Mission Field – Jason Carter: “We have missed our extended family – grandparents, aunt & uncles and cousins. We have experienced attempted break-ins to our house at night. Our car has been vandalized. Malaria has visited our family multiple times. While the joys abound, the challenges are manifold. Yet it has often been the unexpected challenges of the mission field that surprise me the most.”

It’s All About the Fundamentals – Barnabas Piper expresses my exact thoughts and feelings about what it takes to thrive in both the Christian life and sports.

Don’t Be Fooled By the Knicks – Stephen A. Smith breaks down the NBA Eastern Conference and the state of the new-look New York Knicks.

Royals Force Game 7 – Here is a recap of the Royals rout of the Giants in Game 6. What a classic World Series this has been! I’m not crazy about either team, but I would kind of like to see the Royals finish the dream.

College Football Playoff Rankings – The first ever edition of the college football playoff rankings is officially out. And the SEC West dominates it.

So many are looking for special revelation from God while it sits on their shelves gathering dust. –Burk Parsons

Morning Mashup 10/24


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Today’s edition of Morning Mashup features a variety of articles from around the web dealing with everything from how Christians should approach Halloween to the biblical legitimacy of multi-site churches. Also, if you find yourself saying “um” or “uh” a lot during prayer, there is an article here especially for you.


Thinking About Halloween in the Schemes – Mez McConnell tells why he and his family do not celebrate Halloween and why his church planting ministry does not participate in Halloween related events. Though McConnell lives in the UK, his perspective is interesting.

Is Multi-Site a Biblically Sound Model? – Pastor J.D. Greear is in the middle of a series of posts on the legitimacy of the multi-site model for churches. I have enjoyed considering his position and his response to recent criticism from guys like Jonathan Leeman. Greear is convincing, yet I am still not convinced.

Pray Without Filler – Don Whitney on the problem with filling prayers with “um” and “uh.”

10 Things I Wish Everyone Knew About Reformed Theology – Important post on a much-maligned theological system. If you find yourself criticizing Calvinists and Calvinism, check this out.

Leading and Submitting Like Jesus – In marriage, the roles of both husband and wife are to be carried out as the two follow Jesus. Erik Raymond writes, “Jesus is the model and motivation for both leadership and submission.”

Sin is Worse than Hell – “We should not marvel that God burns with wrath against his enemies. Let us marvel, instead, that while we were still enemies, Christ died for us.”

The Danger of an Atheistic Ministry – Casey McCall asks, “What does a ministry look like that submits to the conditions at hand in humble reverence before the all-wise Creator?”

Christ has purchased in his blood that repenting sinners shall be saved. –Thomas Watson

Morning Mashup 10/22


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In this edition, I have provided a true “mashup.” This is because there is quite a bit of randomness floating around on the web today. Below is everything from tips for better sleep, responding to the unjust subpoenas in Houston, the conversion of an epic theologian, millennials and marriage, reasons you may be neglecting your church, some uncomfortable questions, and much more.


 70 Years Ago Today – On October 22, 1944, J.I. Packer, one of the most influential and important theologians of the 20th century, became a Christian.

Is the Bible Too Complicated for Those Who Struggle to Read? – In ministering to children, I ask and am asked this question often. I found this answer to be helpful.

A Line Has Been Crossed – Eric Metaxas along with the ERLC are calling American pastors to send Bibles and sermons to the Houston Mayor’s office. This is an effort to show that trampling on religious liberty will not be tolerated by the American people. In the words of Metaxas, “If we don’t act on this, we can’t complain when we lose further liberties and eventually we aren’t able to act at all. This is our chance. Whatever voice and liberties we have now, we must use.”

What Millennials Misunderstand About Marriage – Aaron Earls: “Millennials, perhaps more than any other generation, grew up with the reality of broken homes and divorced parents. But in their efforts to avoid those mistakes, they often go in the wrong direction and end up in the same situation.”

Why You May Be Tempted to Neglect Your Church – Tim Challies writes there are two primary reasons you may neglect your church: (1) You forget what you bring, and (2) You forget what you need.

How Should Pastors Deal with Politics in the Pulpit? – Drs. David Prince and Russell Moore discuss how to properly deal with controversial issues and politics in the pulpit.

C.S. Lewis, Public Intellectual – Thomas Kidd of Baylor University reviews Alister McGrath’s biography of C.S. Lewis: “McGrath’s book is a judicious and accessible treatment of Lewis’s remarkable but controversial career.”

The Kingdom of Christ as the Theological Center of Scripture – David Prince: “The theme of the kingdom of God is a good starting point for thinking about the theological center of Scripture. Nevertheless, more can be said for clarity.”

How Can You Really Reach Millennials? – I read a lot about reaching millennials. Most that I read is superficial at best. This is one of the best articles I have read on the subject.

22 Ways to Get a Better Night’s Sleep – Okay, this list is not too shabby.

Some Uncomfortable Questions – Kevin DeYoung: “Have mercy on stupid and sinful people. You and I will be one of them soon enough.”

Grateful joy is a motive that will lead to much more endurance in obedience than fearful compliance. –Tim Keller

Morning Mashup 10/20


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Sunday nights provide me with a unique opportunity. I will without fail be doing four things simultaneously: (1) Shaping up a paper due for class at 11:55 pm, (2) Watching both The Walking Dead and Sunday Night Football, (3) Watching my wife and our dog take a long, long nap, and, finally, (4) Work on the Morning Mashup post for Monday.

This all made for an exceptionally interesting night, especially when Gareth was gnawing on Bob’s leg at the end of TWD. Not sure I have recovered from that yet. But as intrigued as I was throughout the night, I kept this in mind as I prepared this edition of Morning Mashup. I hope you find these articles interesting, encouraging, challenging, informing, edifying, or all the above. But seriously…those Terminus folks are MESSED UP!


Peyton Manning Breaks Brett Favre’s All-Time TD Record – Last night, Peyton Manning set the NFL record for career touchdown passes. He threw four TD passes against the 49ers in an all out shellacking. So, here’s to the greatest quarterback in NFL history. Yeah, I said it.

Hillsong Shifts on Homosexuality – When asked to clarify their stance on homosexuality and gay marriage, Hillsong pastor, Brian Houston, was anything but clear. He essentially gave a non-answer and this article from Andrew Walker shows why evangelicals should be concerned.

Hillsong (kind of) Clarifies Statement on Gay Marriage – While Houston affirms traditionally held Christian views on homosexuality, he remains unclear. I don’t see this statement as invalidating Walker’s above article.

How Boko Haram’s Murders and Kidnappings are Changing Nigeria’s Churches – “Leading Nigerian evangelical says Christians won’t abandon the North.”

Why I’m Not Afraid of Ebola – Inspiring words from a doctor who is a Christian.

One of the Oldest Known Synagogues Seized by ISIS – “Islamic State (ISIS) jihadists not only threaten the current Middle East according to antiquities officials in Iraq and Syria, the terror group threatens to erase 5,000 years of history and relics in upper Mesopotamia, including one of the earliest Jewish synagogues.”

The Better Half: SEC Wives – This brief feature on the lives of the wives of SEC football coaches is unique and interesting. However, there is a saddening effect inherent with their lifestyles.

The Mid-Degree Crisis and Value of Work During Seminary – This was timely in my life. I am a theology student who works. I received much-needed encouragement from Phillip Bethancourt in this post.

Book Review of “The Bible Tells Me So” – Don’t miss this important review of Peter Enns’ controversial book.

Marriage on the Edge of Eternity – Francis Chan: “Eternity changes how we enjoy marriage and everything else in this life. Eternity changes how we love. It would be unloving to get my wife and kids so focused on this life that they are unprepared for the next.”

5 Bad Substitutes for Discipline – Tim Challies: “There is nothing easy about parenting, and nothing easy about the responsibility of training our children in obedience through discipline. Because discipline is unpopular and unpleasant, parents often find themselves looking for substitutes.”

The One Key Component to Good Writing – Barnabas Piper with some helpful advice for all of my fellow writers out there.

As long as we let the Word be our only armor we can look confidently into the future. –Deitrich Bonhoeffer

Morning Mashup 10/13


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So, last night I turned into a The Walking Dead addict. I was mesmerized from start to finish and haven’t even seen any of the other seasons. That will soon be remedied. But as I was watching, I compiled some intriguing and edifying articles and other awesomeness from around the web.


Will Christians Be Secretly Raptured? – Many Bible-believing Christians do not believe in a secret rapture of Christians before the millennium. The author of this post considers whether or not the teaching of the rapture, which only first appeared in the 19th century dispensationalist movement, is biblical.

Living with Ebola in West Africa – A sobering collection of photos from West Africa.

What Not to Say to a Dad with Four Kids – A great lesson on not generalizing and the common misconception that comes with being a parent to multiple children.

Shaping a Kid’s Dream Job – Being married to a teacher, working as a substitute teacher myself, and serving in kids ministry had me in full agreement with this post. Very helpful.

The Solemnization of Matrimony – Kevin DeYoung: “If Christians are to accept gay so-called marriage, they must accept that our liturgies and our services, our pastors and priests, our forefathers and foremothers have been for centuries wrong about the meaning of marriage.”

When Your Child’s Personality Annoys You – When your children annoy you, you will be tempted to put an end to behaviors that get on your last nerve. If this is you, take some advice from Jen Wilkin on a better way to deal with your annoying bundle of joy.

Weird and Wonderful Bookshops Worldwide – As a book lover this gallery brought out the nerd in me. I’d love to visit each of these awesome bookshops.

Below is an amazing video illustration of the gospel. Seriously, I don’t think I have seen one better.

The preacher can only bring the Word to the ear; the Spirit must bring it from the ear to the heart. –Steven Lawson