We want methods, but we need mystery

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I was reading The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis to my 7-year-old boy. This is my 4th time through the Narnia books. I find so many profound truths littered through Lewis’ brilliant series. The one that struck me last night was from the end of the book. The kids return from many adventures in Narnia and they went to the Professor to tell him why four coats were missing. He believed them because he too had been to Narnia. The Professor told them something quite profound, he said:

You wont get into Narnia again by that route. Nor would the coats be much use by now if you did! Eh? What’s That? Ye, of course you’ll get back to Narnia again someday. Once a King in Narnia, always a King in Narnia. But don’t go trying to use the same route twice. Indeed, don’t try to get there at all. It’ll happen when you are not looking for it.

Sola Scriptura in Kids and Youth Ministry

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I do believe that some people die and go heaven and come back again. I also believe that some people make things up or embellish their stories to gain influence and credibility.

Recently this has come to light. Through an open letter from one of the children who supposedly died and went to heaven. This brief letter is thoughtful and profound. It’s God exulting and pushes people back to the authority of scripture.

An Open Letter from Alex Malarkey “The boy who came back from heaven”

Please forgive the brevity, but because of my limitations I have to keep this short.

I did not die. I did not go to heaven.

I said I went to heaven because I thought it would get me attention. When I made the claims that I did, I had never read the Bible. People have profited from lies, and continue to. They should read the Bible, which is enough. The Bible is the only source of truth. Anything written by man cannot be infallible.

It is only through repentance of your sins and a belief in Jesus as the Son of God, who died for your sins (even though he committed none of his own) so that you can be forgiven may you learn of heaven outside of what is written in the Bible . . . not by reading a work of man. I want the whole world to know that the Bible is sufficient. Those who market these materials must be called to repent and hold the Bible as enough.

In Christ,
Alex Malarkey

This letter was written by a boy whose body is broken due to an unfortunate car accident and it appears that his heart was broken by those who leveraged his situation for personal gain.

Death of the 50% myth of marriage.

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50% of marriages end in divorce. Raise your hand if you have never heard that statistic. As far as statistics go it is by far one the most touted, most popular and accepted by everyone as gospel truth. I found an article in the WSJ debunking this stat as a myth. The article was refreshing because it was good news and intriguing because it challenged my assumptions that divorce was increasing. I figured we were in the 60% range headed for the 70%’s. Here’s what the article had to say.

About 70 percent of marriages that began in the 1990s reached their 15th
anniversary (excluding those in which a spouse died), up from about 65
percent of those that began in the 1970s and 1980s. Those who married in
the 2000s are so far divorcing at even lower rates. If current trends
continue, nearly two-thirds of marriages will never involve a divorce,
according to data from Justin Wolfers, a University of Michigan
economist (who also contributes to The Upshot). Via the New York Times

That’s good news! There were some logical reasons for drop in the divorce rate as noted in the article.

Why resolutions matter more than you think

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The new year is a time of faddish resolutions. More often than not they last until the first piece of cake enters our vision, or the first cold morning that prohibits our going to the gym as we promised ourselves. New years resolutions have relegated resolutions to the status of fortune cookies.

Looking back over the years I find that in my life many of the things I have done and not done where based in firm resolutions. Some of those things were good and well, others were done to make others think well of me. I now try to filter my resolutions through the lens of what will bring the most glory to God.

Justice, Mercy, Humility and Ferguson

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Dustin Nickerson is a former children’s pastor who is bursting on to the standup comedy scene. He is a great friend, deep thinker and keen observer of life. For more about Dustin check out his site http://www.dustinnickerson.com/

Ferguson reminds me (maybe us, are we officially an us yet?) of our great desires for both peace and justice. We want this for ourselves and in our best moments, we want it for others even more so.

But we are broken people living amongst brokenness. We see this now as tragedy leads to more tragedy. We see this now as we rush to make our conclusions on the events that happened and how exactly we think others should respond.

People riot, some out of desperation and some for selfish gain. People protest, some out of a desire to bring others down, and some out of the righteous desire to pursue justice.

Simultaneously, some people will dismiss these events, blaming the media for an over inflation of tragic narrative. Some will look to the protesters and rioters and call them fools, disregarding that perhaps their actions are the best way they know how to pursue justice in a trying time. Some people will make these events about something they are not, meanwhile, others will oversimplify.