Friday Faves

I am pleased to introduce a new weekly post you will find every Friday on Servant Living. Friday Faves will be a collection of my favorite links for the week. It could be something I find funny, educating, or creative. There’s really no tell’n what will show up. Hope you enjoy!

Chinese Family Planning: “336 million abortions have been performed under it’s draconian family planning policies, dating back to the 1970’s.”  This article broke my heart.

The Huffs In Togo: This is a new blog I found via Tim Challies this week. I encourage you to look it over an pray for this family!

What Would You Look Like?: “You don’t have to figure out what to surrender to. Just surrender your heart to Jesus. Every single ounce of it. Ask Him to give you a love for Him that surpasses anything in your human experience. A supernatural capacity. And ask Him for it every day until He does it and then ask Him to do it some more.” Great post from Beth Moore over at the LPM Blog.

What Happened to Hospitality: “Beyond the service and the feeding of the meal, there’s something wonderful about the conversations that can come out of having people over.” I can attest to that! I see it every week. So thankful for the sweet friend that opens up her home for our small group.

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The “Beautiful Mess” of the Church – Part 1

This is an introduction to a new mini series I’m calling, “The ‘Beautiful Mess’ of the Church.” It is inspired by the book Servanthood as Worship by Nate Palmer.

During a recent small group meet, we talked a lot about the messiness of the church. People are the church, so it can get pretty ugly (people=sinners). Fortunately, Jesus loves to take a mess and make it beautiful. This is why the church is a wonderful example of His grace.

Palmer says, “The beautiful thing is that God meets us in the mess. People are served in the mess. Ultimately, Christ will redeem the mess. One reason the church is the primary context for serving is because it is where messy people go when they need help.”

Only God could create such a place. Sometimes it is beautiful, and sometimes it is absolutely hideous. Even still, God has designed the church to tell of His son, Jesus, knowing we were going to be messy. That takes away my excuse to run from the church when she hurts me, or when hypocrisy is rampant, or when my own mess is overwhelming.

The worst thing we can do as the people of God is pretend we have no sin or that our church is flawless.  This actually makes God out to be a liar, and it hides God’s grace from the world.

Palmer says the church is the best place for messy people. My pastor always says it’s where messed up people belong! The church knows the truth behind the mess, and it knows how to remedy it. With this mission to tell the truth, what place is there for pretending?

Hiding our sin behind the false reality of perfection is the result of pride. Our pride has huge implications for the unbelieving world.

Why?

If we hide our mess, we hide Him.

Five Stars: Is Anybody Out There

I recently read Is Anybody Out There based on this review  by Tim Challies.

I am so glad I did.

This quick-moving memoir tells of the saddest childhood experience and painstaking attempt to understand what life is for. Mez McConnell delivers his life story to the world with brutal honesty yet humble voice. With it, he illustrates quite well the messiness of the church. Every believer would be made wiser by reading this great book and remembering the responsibility we have as the people of God to the lost Mez’s wandering the streets today.

You can expect some tears, some pretty good humor and a splendid reminder of how amazing God’s grace is.

Buy on Amazon (Kindle version is available)

Here is a video testimony of McConnell’s story. It just scratches the surface of what the book covers.

Review of Derek Elkins Life Unworthy of Life – By Robert Milton

Derek Elkins, author of  Life Unworthy of Life, is the Winner of the 2012 Christian Novel Contest with Athanatos Christian Ministries.

~Review by Robert Milton~

Life Unworthy of Life reminds us all of this fact: We have never locked eyes with someone that doesn’t matter to God. Elkins examines the sanctity of life…every life, even those some in society consider “the least of these.”

In the midst of the Second World War, a fledgling doctor finds himself working on the T4 Project, a project designed to examine, and eventually execute, anyone who has a disability of any kind. Mental, physical…all abnormalities are up for dissection. The end dream of this project is clear: the perfection of the human race, with Hitler as the Hero. Yet we find that this doctor, Viktor, begins to struggle with the thought of killing those he see’s as “vermin” and unworthy of life.” Germany is in the middle of a war, and can’t afford to support those that are “less than animals.”

And then he meets a boy with a mind like none other. Dieter is extremely intelligent, understanding the intricacies of both physics and philosophy. But Dieter is also blind in both eyes, and since that’s a genetic abnormality,  he must be examined then extinguished. Yet the bond he forms with Viktor is not easily broken. As Viktor seeks counsel and advice from his brother August, he continues to wrestle with his beliefs, his values and his conscience. And when the project is scrapped and the patients ordered to be executed, Viktor has a quick decision to make–save the life of an imperfect boy, or follow orders for the “betterment” of Germany. Somewhere along his journey, the Godly example and unconditional love from August begins to shake Viktor’s heart, leading him not only toward a change in lifestyle, but a change in heart style.

  Life Unworthy of Life…there’s no such thing.

Author’s website

In the News: The Kermit Gosnell Case

The Kermit Gosnell trial began today.  If you are unfamiliar with this story, Gosnell performed illegal abortions in Philadelphia for over 20 years. Fifteen months ago, he was charged with murder by the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office for performing late term abortions. He has pleaded not guilty.

This is an online documentary of the Kermit Gosnell case. Please take a moment to watch.

Older coverage:

This article discusses his wife’s involvement with the clinic.

This is CNN’s coverage of the story a year ago. It’s an interview with R. Seth Williams, the District Attorney for Philadelphia.