Monday, June 24, 2013

Christians in science and Technology

The Institute of Christians in Science and Technology provides a range of resources to help people who are living in both the field of science and Christianity.  
The Institute for the Study of Christianity in an Age of Science and Technology (ISCAST) is an Australian organisation dedicated to exploring the interface between science and the Christian faith. Its membership consists of scientists, theologians and professionals with standing in their own fields and a commitment to the Christian faith. 
The rapid development of science has left many either to follow blindly where science is taking them or to crawl into a fundamentalist mindset. We argue there is a third way: a dynamic dialogue, critically reviewing both science and religion, allowing each to influence our understanding of the other. 
Resources include:

  • News page
  • Upcoming events
  • Online journal - Christian perspectives on science and technology
  • A monthly digest
  • Interactive forums
  • Online Books store
  • ISCAST Presentations
  • ISCAST Past Papers
  • ISCAST Intensives
  • Conference on Science and Christianity (COSAC)
  • Multimedia Links
  • Audio Links
  • Article Links
  • Dialogue and Debate
  • Links

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Video: Free to serve

Book: Death by meeting

Death by meeting addresses how meetings can be effective and helpful using a story format.... Casey McDaniel had never been so nervous in his life.  In just ten minutes, The Meeting, as it would forever be known, would begin. Casey had every reason to believe that his performance over the next two hours would determine the fate of his career, his financial future, and the company he had built from scratch.
"How could my life have unraveled so quickly?" he wondered.
In his latest page-turning work of business fiction, best-selling author Patrick Lencioni provides readers with another powerful and thought-provoking book, this one centered on a cure for the most painful yet underestimated problem of modern business: bad meetings. And what he suggests is both simple and revolutionary.
Casey McDaniel, the founder and CEO of Yip Software, is in the midst of a problem he created, but one he doesn’t know how to solve. And he doesn’t know where or whom to turn to for advice. His staff can’t help him; they’re as dumbfounded as he is by their torturous meetings.
Then an unlikely advisor, Will Petersen, enters Casey’s world. When he proposes an unconventional, even radical, approach to solving the meeting problem, Casey is just desperate enough to listen.
As in his other books, Lencioni provides a framework for his groundbreaking model, and makes it applicable to the real world. Death by Meeting is nothing short of a blueprint for leaders who want to eliminate waste and frustration among their teams, and create environments of engagement and passion.

For a summary in video form visit here  and pdf form visit here

Visit here to gain some tools to help you in using the book

Amazon Reviews available at  Amazon Reviews

Monday, June 10, 2013

Fire: June edition of Asia Focus Lutheran Mission

Fire is the publication of Asia Focus - promoting Lutheran world mission.   

June Articles include:
Needed a poor church for poor people
The modern fiasco of God is Love
Hunger for the word in Vietnam
A survey of the Lutheran church scene in USA - the old wineskins leaking and seeping?
Bringing in the harvest in Myanmar
Thailand tribal ministries
Driven by love and idealism
Seeing Africa with our own eyes
plus more

To read these and more articles visit here

Book: Igniting a passion for mission

Igniting a passion for missions is a guide for Church Leaders by Bill Moberly.

Jesus' command to His church was to go and make disciples of all nations, yet active and personal involvement in the Great Commission is not a high priority in many congragations. This book is a clarion call to local churches of all sizes to obey the mission mandate given to us by Jesus Christ. Pastor Bill Moberly weaves together sound Biblical teaching, inspirational stories and practical instruction to help you and your congregation Ignite a Passion for Missions.

Book: Positioning Lutheran Schools for outreach

Lutheran schools can be an outreach tool.  Positioning Lutheran Schools for Outreach will help you create a plan to strengthen your school's outreach ministry. You will have everything you need at your fingertips, from Bible study to enrollment applications.

Available from:

Bible Studies for Church Web Sites: Anytime Anywhere Bible Studies

As people become busier and with many people (old and young) using the web...North Western Publishing House has produced bible studies for congregation to include on their web sites.  

Anytime Anywhere Bible Studies are designed for church Web sites, using Adobe Flash. The CD includes everything needed to post the materials to a site and a helpful README file. The studies themselves feature NIV text, audio clips, and story illustrations. 

Set One
Five studies in two types are included: three "quick" studies look at the lives of the patriachs: "The Life of Abraham," "The Life of Jacob," and "The Life of Joseph," Two "in-depth" topical studies cover "Who Is Jesus Christ?" and "What Is the Gospel?" The quick studies offer a total of 90 lessons, each taking 10 to 15 minutes, and include the text of applicable portions of The People's Bible commentary for more insight. The in-depth studies allow users to explore each topic at their own pace in 3 to 4 hours.  Each topic is examined under the categories "Bible Basics," "Details," "History," and "Faith and Life."  The five studies are also available for purchase as individual downloads: "The Life of Abraham" (35N0129E), "The Life of Jacob (35N0130E), "The Life of Joseph" (35N0131E), "Who Is Jesus Christ?" (35N0132E), and "What Is the Gospel?" (35N0133E).

Set Two
Four studies in two types are included: three "quick" studies look at the lives of Old Testament people of faith: "The Life of Moses," "The Life of Joshua," and "The Lives of the Judges"; and one "in-depth" topical study features "What Is the Bible?" The quick studies offer a total of 90 lessons, each 10 to 15 minutes, and include the text of applicable portions of The People's Bible commentary for more insight. The in-depth study allows users to explore the topic at their own pace in 3 to 4 hours. The topic is examined using "Bible Basics," "Details," "History," and "Faith and Life.'
The four studies are also available for purchase as individual downloads: "The Life of Joshua" (35N0135E), "The Lives of the Judges" (35N0136E), "The Life of Moses" (35N0137E), and "What Is the Bible?" (35N0138E).

Available from North Western Publishing House

Commentaries: Fortress Biblical Preaching Commentaries

The hallmark of Fortress Biblical Preaching Commentaries is to help preachers deal with the tension between the biblical texts themselves and as they are received in the lectionary. They provide an overall reading strategy to the biblical book itself, and then delve into the lectionary selections to help lectionary preachers stay true to the message of each writer as they are presented through the liturgical year. Additional materials consider texts that appear "out of season" or that do not appear in the lectionary at all. Ancillary materials will provide study helps, preaching ideas and suggestions for preaching through the biblical book, and other information that may be helpful to the preacher, including bibliographies.
Fortress Biblical Preaching Commentaries is written by scholars who have established a reputation for bridging Bible and pulpit, who are sensitive to the exigencies of lectionary preaching, and who write for a more general pastoral audience. With their focus on the biblical books themselves and working with the realities of the lectionary, these volumes are useful in tandem with more extensive commentaries as well as with seasonal lectionary materials. Fortress Biblical Preaching Commentaries will be essential for working preachers and seminary courses in Bible and preaching.
Volumes in the series include Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts of the Apostles, and a volume on the Pauline Epistles.

Order direct from Augsburg Fortress Publishing at  there is a discount if you subscribe for the entire series

or buy from Amazon

Bible Study: Ezra/Nehmehiah from the LifeLight Series

This study is part of the LifeLight Bible study series of in-depth studies of Bible books. The goal of LifeLight is that through a regular program of in-depth personal and group study of Scripture, more and more Christian adults may grow in their personal faith in Jesus Christ.

Lesson 1-Returning from Exile

Lesson 2-Return and Rebuild
Lesson 3-Worship Restored
Lesson 4-Teach and Pray
Lesson 5-Restore Purity
Lesson 6-Courage to Speak
Lesson 7-Rebuild the Wall
Lesson 8-Renew the Covenant
Lesson 9-Remember Me, O God!

available from CPH 

Study Guide 
Leaders Guide

Study Guide        Leaders Guide

Book: Missional Map Making - skills for leading in times of transition

Missional Map Making by Alan Roxburgh offers guidance for church leaders to develop their own maps and chart new paths toward stronger, more vibrant, and more missional congregations
In the burgeoning missional church movement, churches are seeking to become less focused on programs for members and more oriented toward outreach to people who are not already in church. This fundamental shift in what a congregation is and does and thinks is challenging for leaders and congregants. Using the metaphor of map-making, the book explains the perspective and skills needed to lead congregations and denominations in a time of radical change over unfamiliar terrain as churches change their focus from internal to external.
Offers a clear guide for leaders wanting to transition to a missional church model
Written by Alan Roxburgh, a prominent expert and practitioner in the missional movement
Guides leaders seeking to create new maps for leadership and church organization and focus
This book is written to be accessible to all Christian congregational styles and denominations.

PART ONE When Maps No Longer Work
CHAPTER ONE Maps Shaping Our Imaginations in Modernity 
CHAPTER TWO Leading in an In-Between Time 
CHAPTER THREE When Common Sense Is No Longer Common 
CHAPTER FOUR From Playing Pool to Herding Cats 
CHAPTER FIVE Why Strategic Planning Doesn’t Work in This New Space and Doesn’t Fit God’s Purposes 
CHAPTER SIX Eight Currents of Change and the Challenge of Making New Maps 
CHAPTER SEVEN Lessons from the Formation of the Internet for Leading in This New Space 
PART TWO The Map-Making Process 
CHAPTER EIGHT Cultivating a Core Identity in a Changed Environment 
CHAPTER NINE Cultivating Parallel Cultures of the Kingdom 
CHAPTER TEN Map-Making Partnerships Between a Local Church and Neighborhoods and Communities

Amazon Customer Reviews
From Modern Ekklesia
By Chris Enstad
By Bob Cornwell

Discussion Starter: Evangelism Involves giving people hope

Throughout the history of Christianity there havr been Churches (that is bunches of Christians) generously helping people in need…
Sometimes this has been through organised efforts, like when a disaster happens. Other times this has been through one person reaching out to another to check they are ok, offering help and introducing them to others who can help them. There is good reason for Christians to offer help to those in need, it brings them hope…hope that life will be better…and when we offer help in such a way that introduces people to Jesus.... we are connecting them to hope that will last forever…check out Matthew 5:16...
What ways can we offer hope to people so that they connect to Jesus?

Friday, June 07, 2013

Creative Reformation Competition- for the youth

The Lutheran World Federation has a competition for Lutheran Youth which will involve a trip to Wittenberg for the winners

Details are:
The 500th anniversary of the reformation in 2017 remembers a major change effort carried out by people who listened to the Word of God, questioned themselves and their context and were courageous  to stand up for change. Young Christians today look for places and churches where this impetus of the reformation is present – and not just maintenance of tradition. As an ecclesia semper reformanda, we are a church that needs constant reformation.

What you need to do:
Respond to the question:  “What reformation do we need today and how can it be achieved?”
Choose one main answer or idea you have on this question.   It can be as free as you like. Explain and present it in a creative way to the internet community, for example as a text, video, song, speech, picture. It should not be longer than 1 A4 page or 5 minutes video.
Competition closes 25th June 2013

For more details on how to enter and what the competition involves visit 

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Sanctification: resources, articles and books

Sanctification is one the teachings that many Lutherans struggle with...following are some resource to help you explore sanctification from a Lutheran perspective

Christian Cyclopedia:  Sanctification

Bible verses relating to sanctification

Article:  Gospel Driven Sanctification

Paper:  Justification Through Faith Produces Sanctification by Rev. Adolph L. Harstad

Paper:  The Lutheran Doctrine Of Sanctification And Its Rivals by John F. Brug

Essay:  A Lutheran view of sanctifiction by G Forde

Article:  Sanctification by Grace alone by Rev Dr Scaer

Paper:  Sanctification in Lutheran Theology by Dr Scaer

Article:  Sanctification by Wallace McLaughlin

Blog entry:  Progressive Sanctification by Just Sinner

Paper:  Sanctification-daily death and resurrection by Pastor Bryan Wolfmueller

Blog entry by ManPower:  Biblical Sanctification , Lutheran view Strength, Lutheran view weakness , Lutheran view practical implications

Paper:  The Scriptural relationship between justification and sanctification by Rev Bloedel

Blog entry:  Sanctified in from the vine by Pastor Matt Richard

Blog entry:  Root cause of much of the confusion in Lutheran circles about sanctification, good works and preaching by Paul T McCain

Blog entry:  Sanctification and the Gospel -Lutheran and Reformed views by Lutheran Study Group



Worshipping with children

Worshipping with children is a blog devoted to providing specific resources to worship leaders who want to include childdren in the congregation's worship. There are two kinds of posts:

1. lectionary -based posts offering suggestions for each text of a given week (These are generally in chronological order except for major seasons which I post way ahead.)

2. short articles about some aspect of including children in the congregation's worship. (See the Popcorn Index for a links to these topics.)

The Lectionary Index, Scripture Index and Date Index will be your friends in finding the material for any given text or day.

To discover more visit Worshipping with children

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Superman -man of steel worship resources

With the release of Man of Steel...Ministry Resources is offering free resources including a sermon outline and father's day discussion...helping people to connect others to Jesus through Superman.

Feasting on the Word - resources for sermon and education preparation

Feasting on the Word offers pastors and church educators focused resources for sermon preparation and education. All resources in the Feasting on the Word collection utilize the biblical texts assigned by the Revised Common Lectionary, and for each text, readers will find brief essays on the exegetical, theological, homiletical, and pastoral challenges of the text. The two main collections under Feasting on the Word are the lectionary commentary series Feasting on the Word: Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary and the new Feasting on the Word Curriculum: Teaching the Revised common Lectionary.
The editors of these resources are from a wide variety of disciplines and religious traditions. These authors teach in colleges and seminaries. They lead congregations by preaching or teaching. They write scholarly books as well as columns for newspapers and journals. They oversee denominations. In all of these capacities and more, they serve God's Word, joining in the ongoing challenge of bringing that Word to life.

Feasting on the Word follows the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) as developed by the Consultation on Common Texts, an ecumenical consultation of liturgical scholars and denominational representatives from the United States and Canada. The RCL lists a collection of readings from Scripture to be used during worship in a schedule that follows the seasons of the church year. In addition, it provides for a uniform set of readings to be used across denominations or other church bodies.
The RCL includes a reading from the Old Testament, a Psalm response to that reading, a Gospel, and an Epistle for each preaching occasion of the year. It is presented in a three-year cycle, with each year centered around one of the Synoptic Gospels. Year A is the year of Matthew, Year B is the year of Mark, and Year C is the year of Luke. John is read each year, especially during Advent, Lent, and Easter.
The RCL offers two tracks of Old Testament texts for the Season after Pentecost or Ordinary Time: a semi-continuous track, which moves through stories and characters in the Old Testament, and a complementary track, which ties the Old Testament texts to the theme of the Gospel texts for that day. Some denominational traditions favor one track over the other. For instance, Presbyterians and Methodists generally follow the semi-continuous track, while Lutherans and Episcopalians typically follow the complementary track. (For more information about the Revised Common Lectionary, visit the official RCL Web site at or see The Revised Common Lectionary: The Consultation on Common Texts [Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1992].)
The print volumes of Feasting on the Word follow the complementary track for Year A, are split between the complementary and semi-continuous track for Year B, and cover the semicontinuous stream for Year C. Essays on the Old Testament lections for Pentecost and the Season after Pentecost that are not covered in the print volumes will be available as additional web essays.
Feasting on the Word Curriculum integrates the Feasting on the Word commentary style to explore one of the lectionary passages each week in ways specifically designed for each age level.

With this new lectionary commentary series, Westminster John Knox Press offers the most extensive resource for preaching on the market today. The twelve volumes of the series covers all of the Sundays in the three-year lectionary cycle, along with moveable occasions such as Christmas Day, Epiphany, Holy Week, and All Saints' Day.
For each lectionary text, preachers will find four brief essays-one each on the exegetical, theological, pastoral, and homiletical challenges of the text. They might focus on the Gospel text, for instance, by reading all four essays provided for that text, or they might explore connections between the Hebrew Bible, Psalm, Gospel, and Epistle texts by reading the theological essays for each one.
Each lectionary year consists of four volumes, one for the Advent and Christmas season, one for Lent and Easter, and one for each half of Ordinary Time.
While the twelve volumes of the series follow the pattern of the Revised Common Lectionary, each volume contains an index of biblical passages so that non-lectionary preachers may make use of its contents.
With a unique layout that places the scriptural text at the top and each of the four perspectives underneath, Feasting on the Word is an indispensable resource for all preachers!

The new Feasting on the Word Curriculum: Teaching the Revised Common Lectionary is an ecumenical, downloadable resource that incorporates the uniqueness of the award-winning Feasting on the Word commentaries. This innovative resource incorporates the Feasting on the Word commentary style to explore one of the lectionary passages in ways suitable for all participants. Each age level provides comprehensive, accessible biblical background for teachers from four perspectives.
This curriculum begins with a solid scriptural and theological base for leaders and invites leaders and learners deeper into the rhythm of the church year. It utilizes a common Bible passage for all learners, making it easy for families to learn and live out their faith together.
The curriculum is available as a Total Church Plan or as Individual Age Levels, in both 9 and 12 month formats and per season.
For more information visit

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Fire: Asia Focus a Lutheran mission publication

ASIA FOCUS AUSTRALIA (AFA) IS a largely Lutheran based, evangelical organisation that in its publications aims to be a source of inspiration and information on contemporary Christianity mainly overseas, Asia in particular. It endeavours to promote friendship and dialogue between Christians and whole churches beyond cultural divides. AFA supports holistic ministries that nurture body, mind and spirit and announce freedom and new life in Christ. AFA is ecumenical, Gospel focused and mission orientated.

The March Fire publication includes:
Article:  The grandeur and abuse of grace
Article:  Bringing hope through education centres
Myanmar fact sheet
Letters from Liberia
Stories from the Philippines
Across Asia Roundup
plus more 

Fire is available here 

Mark Sayers: writer and speaker, who is highly sought out for his insights into faith, contemporary culture and the future of the Church in the West.

Mark Sayers is a writer and speaker, who is highly sought out for his insights into faith, contemporary culture and the future of the Church in the West. Mark is the Senior Leader of Red Church, and the co-founder of Über Ministries.

Mark is the author of The Trouble With Paris: Following Jesus in a World of Plastic Promises,The Vertical Self: How Biblical Faith Can Help Us Discover Who We Are in An Age of Self Obsession and The Road Trip that Changed the World: The Unlikely Theory that will Change How You View Culture, the Church, and, Most Importantly, Yourself .

He is the founding pastor of Red Church and Über Ministries.  

If you are keen to minister to Generation Y Mark Sayers and his resources may help visit

Video: The Fishing Club

Book: Choosing to cheat..what happens when family and work collide by Andy Staney

Work. Family. Church. Hobbies. Fitness. Housekeeping. Socializing. Sleep. With only 24 hours in each day, we simply can't fit everything in. And what we choose to cheat is a clear announcement of our values. When you come home an hour earlier, miss a round of golf, or let the dishes sit while you play with your child, you make your family feel valued and secure. Bestselling author Andy Stanley helps you restore your vision of what really matters - and guides you in making courageous decisions about your time.

Who are you cheating? 
You love your family. You love the challenges of your job. But there’s not enough of you to go around. Somebody isn’t getting as much of your attention as they want or deserve. 

This little book presents a strategic plan for resolving the tension between work and home—reversing the destructive pattern of giving to your company and career what belongs to your family. 

But be will have to cheat.

Story Behind the Book
Andy has spent hundreds of hours with men and women who have cheated their families for the sake of their career goals. They all admitted knowing there was a problem. This is not a struggle relegated to some diminutive segment of society. We all wrestle with the tension between work and family. Regardless of which side of the equation you are on, you know what it is like to deal with the endless cycle of guilt, anger, jealousy, and rejection. But there is a solution. Strangely enough, the solution is similar to the problem. Both involve cheating. Simply put, you must choose to cheat at work rather than at home.

Read the Amazon Customer Reviews

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Five Two and the 2013 Five Two Wiki conference

FiveTwo is a “how to” network equipping sacramental church leaders to more effectively reach God’s lost people.

2013 Wiki 5 2 conference is September 24th to 26th in Katy Texas
WIKICONFERENCE is the annual gathering for the FiveTwo Network. You’ve probably heard the term “wiki” before… wikipedia, wiki leaks, etc. A “wiki” is a website that allows collaborated editing of it’s content and structure by it’s users. In our case, it’s a conference that is coordinated and presented through collaboration between organizations and ministry experts in various ministry fields. These people are on the front lines and in the trenches. They are passionate about reaching God’s lost in their communities and they are practicing what they are preaching. WIKICONFERENCE is for any church leader–staff or volunteer–who wants personal, practical ways to better reach the lost in their community.

Key note Speakers
Michael Frost 
Bob Goff
Felicia Helmick
John Jantsch
Soong-Chan Rah
Bill Woolsey
plus another 27 speakers covering 8 tracks

Church Planting 
Leadership and Coaching
Missional Communities
Multi Ethnic
Next Generational Ministry
Multi Site
Organisational Development
Worship Parts

For more information and to register visit here

Book: cracking your churches culture code

"Culture—not vision or strategy—is the most powerful factor in any organization. It determines the receptivity of staff and volunteers to new ideas, unleashes or dampens creativity, builds or erodes enthusiasm, and creates a sense of pride or deep discouragement about working or being involved there. Ultimately, the culture of a church shapes individual morale, teamwork, effectiveness, and outcomes."
Often church leaders confuse culture with vision and strategy, but they are very different. Vision and strategy usually focus on products, services, and outcomes, but culture is about the people—a church's most valuable asset. Cracking Your Church's Culture Code offers a practical resource for discovering the deficits in an existing church's culture and includes the steps needed to assess, correct, and change culture from lackluster to vibrant and inspirational so that it that truly meets the needs of the congregation.
Prominent church and leadership consultant Sam Chand describes the five easily identifiable categories of church culture (Inspiring-Accepting-Stagnant-Discouraging-Toxic) and includes diagnostic methods that church leaders can use to identify the particular strengths and needs of their church's culture. To help in this process there is also a separate online assessment tool (
Once a church's culture is clearly identified, leaders can put in place a strategy for applying the seven keys of CULTURE (Control, Understanding, Leadership, Trust, Unafraid, Responsive, and Execution) that will make their church's culture one that stimulates people to be and do their very best and ultimately reach their highest goals.

What others are saying

Read first chapter here