Originally posted on A Pilgrim's Friend:

break_oneThere is something more important than breakfast.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer:

The morning prayer determines the day.

Squandered time of which we are ashamed, temptations to which we succumb, weaknesses and lack of discipline in our thoughts and in our conversation with other men, all have their origin most often in the neglect of morning prayer.

Order and distribution of your time becomes more firm where they originate in prayer.

Temptations which accompany the working day will be conquered on the basis of the morning breakthrough to God.

Decision demanded by work become easier and simpler where they are made not in fear of men but only in the sigh of God.

“Whatever your task, work heartily, as serving the Lord and not men” (Colossians 3:23). Even mechanical work is done in a more patient way if it arises from the recognition of God and his command.

The powers to work take…

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‘Bonhoeffer’ Author Fired Up Over Sermon Subpoena Controversy: ‘Everyone in America Should Be Freaking Out’

When Eric Metaxas, author of “Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy,” first read about the Houston city government subpoenaing the sermons of five church pastors, he said he couldn’t believe it.

Eric Metaxas (Image source: Fox News)

“This has to be a joke,” he told Fox News on Sunday about his initial reaction. “This cannot be happening in America.”

But once Metaxas got deeper into the subject, he said he knew “a bold red line” had been crossed. “If there was ever a time to throw the tea into the harbor, this is it,” Metaxas told Fox News.

The subpoenas involve sermons that may focus on homosexuality or Houston’s contentious equal rights ordinance supported by Mayor Annise Parker, the first openly gay mayor of a major U.S. city. While Parker had seemed to back down from the wording in the subpoenas, calling the language overly broad, the controversy appears far from over.

And beyond the widespread outrage over what seems like a strike against religious freedom in America, Metaxas sees “chilling” parallels with the social and political climate of 1930s Germany. That time and place is the backdrop to his best-selling book about Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the Christian leader who was jailed and later executed for plotting to assassinate Adolf Hitler.

“It’s a shocking thing,” he said of the similarities to what’s happening in Houston, adding that “everyone in America should be freaking out.”

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In the Summer 2014 Edition of the publication, International Bonhoeffer Society Newsletter, there is a review of Charles Marsh’s book, Strange Glory: A Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. The reviewer is Javier Alejandro Garcia (Doctoral Student at the University of Cambridge, England). Garcia began his review with: “This new biography on Dietrich Bonhoeffer promises to please readers on a number of different levels.” Garcia explained…

  • Marsh’s talent for storytelling…
  • New material, ranging from anecdotes, pictures, and postcards to additional contextual information that lend greater shape to the world he inhabited.
  • Marsh’s veteran handling of theological concepts.
  • Most welcome is Marsh’s effort to discover Bonhoeffer’s personality. In contrast to common hagiography, this biographer presents the less desirable characteristics of his subject along with the good. Unexpected moments of immaturity, loneliness, indecisiveness, as well as arrogance, fear, and a “volcanic temper, are coupled with the conviction, faithfulness, which came to define him.
  • Marsh’s doses of realism demonstrate Bonhoeffer’s incredible capacity to adapt to intractable situations that surrounded him.

 

 

Originally posted on The Chronology of Chris:

mcdonalds

Over A Billion Served

Quantity does not mean quality. This is just as true for ministry, as it is for anything else. It is safe to say that the Gospel become one of the most watered down doctrines and messages in all Christianity, becoming more about numbers gained, than lives saved. Many in the Christian community have taken this precious, heart changing, life altering doctrine and turned it into spiritual fast food. Just as fast food restaurants like McDonalds take food, which once possessed some form of nutritional value, and turned it into mass produced, empty sustenance, Christian’s have done the same with the Gospel. Similar to McDonald’s or any fast food chain, the modern day interpretation of the Gospel, may provide quick and easy nourishment in the moment, but long term is not a source of significant fulfillment. A high cost for cheap food.

What does it Cost to…

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Originally posted on For such a time as this:

Awoke with a sense of urgency. It’s three a’clock in the morning. My sense is that we are indeed in a new time with new possibilities. There has been a shift in the heavenlies. Rosh Hashanah ushered in this. It is as though a new door has been opened in heaven. Or as though heaven is open in a new way.
I was recently attending the 24-7 Prayer Euro gathering in Madrid. It was truly an amazing, highly prophetic and very powerful event.
As I was in worship in my first session there, I clearly sensed that Jesus was sitting on a throne in the center of the stage, fully enrobed in royal garments with a crown on his head. There was a red carpet rolled out before him, and my sense was that the access was free to his throne. Anyone could come before him. As we were all…

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Originally posted on Trekking The Christ Life:

IMG_1329.JPG

You have armed me with strength for the battle.” (Psalms‬ ‭18‬:‭39‬ NLT)

German Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer courageously took a very unpopular stand against Jewish persecution by the Nazis, which was being supported by the state church. By bravely breaking away, he created a new group called the “Confessing Church” and led an ‘illegal’ seminary. Because of his passionate resistance, he was eventually arrested and executed on April 9, 1945, merely five months before the war ended.

The only way Bonhoeffer could’ve faced his circumstances was by what the psalmist describes: “You have armed me with strength for the battle.” God gives each of us the measure of courage and faith that we need to plow ahead, regardless of our obstacles. While we focus so heavily on our chances for failure, we also forget that we have just as great a chance to succeed when it’s what God desires!

Courage is…

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Originally posted on Christ. Literature. Culture.:

Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Discipleship, or the Cost of Discipleship, deserves to be read, primarily for Unknownthe first section on grace and discipleship. Bonhoeffer challenged my thinking in regards to radically pursuing Christ. The second section of the book proved to be encouraging, though I am not sure that I quite agree how Bonhoeffer uses the text of the Beatitudes. His conclusions are great, I’m just not sure if I would get there the same way. The final section, the Church, proved to be a bit more difficult to read. This section seemed ethereal, because he uses language that is not concrete in describing the nature of the church. I believe that this section reveals that Bonhoeffer’s Christology is not quite evangelical. However, because I had difficulty interpreting all that he was communicating in this section, I hesitate making that claim based on the last section of this book.

I encourage reading…

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Photo: Ned Frisk/Blend Images/Newscom

For years, those in favor of same-sex marriage have argued that all Americans should be free to live as they choose. And yet in countless cases, the government has coerced those who simply wish to be free to live in accordance with their belief that marriage is the union of a man and a woman.

Ministers face a 180-day jail term and $1,000 fine for each day they decline to celebrate the same-sex wedding.

Just this weekend, a case has arisen in Idaho, where city officials have told ordained ministers they have to celebrate same-sex weddings or face fines and jail time.

The Idaho case involves Donald and Evelyn Knapp, both ordained ministers, who run Hitching Post Wedding Chapel. Officials from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, told the couple that because the city has a non-discrimination statute that includes sexual orientation and gender identity, and because the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Idaho’s constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman, the couple would have to officiate at same-sex weddings in their own chapel.

The non-discrimination statute applies to all “public accommodations,” and the city views the chapel as a public accommodation.

On Friday, a same-sex couple asked to be married by the Knapps, and the Knapps politely declined. The Knapps now face a 180-day jail term and $1,000 fine for each day they decline to celebrate the same-sex wedding.

A week of honoring their faith and declining to perform the ceremony could cost the couple three and a half years in jail and $7,000 in fines.

Government Coercion

The Knapps have been married to each other for 47 years and are both ordained ministers of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel. They are “evangelical Christians who hold to historic Christian beliefs” that “God created two distinct genders in His image” and “that God ordained marriage to be between one man and one woman.”

For the rest of the article…

The Cost of Discipleship (audio)

The Cost of Discipleship (audio)
This image is for illustration only. The product is a download.

The Cost of Discipleship (audio)

by Bonhoeffer, Dietrich

christianaudio, Fortress Press

Runs on Windows, Mac and mobile.

$13.58
Reg.: $16.98

Overview

This book is quite simply one of the most profound and important books of the twentieth century. Dietrich Bonhoeffer lived his witness, and was both a thoughtful and engaging writer. He focuses on the most treasured part of Christ’s teaching—the Sermon on the Mount with its call to discipleship—and on the grace of God and the sacrifice which that demands. Viewed against the background of Nazi Germany, Bonhoeffer’s book is striking enough. At the same time, it shares with many great Christian classics a quality of timelessness, so that it has spoken, and continues to speak powerfully, to the varied concerns of the contemporary world.

Audiobooks add new dimension to your digital library. When you listen in Logos, your audiobooks sync across devices—pause a book anytime on your home computer, then pick up where you left off in your car or on your laptop. Listen on your lunch breaks, as a family, or as part of your personal devotional time. Tap into the power of Logos Bible Software in a whole new way.

Check out the Logos edition of Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works, vol. 4: Discipleship for a text version.

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The high-profile resignation points to new realities for leadership.

In light of this week’s events, the PARSE editors are lifting our longstanding ban on the discussion of Mark Driscoll to share this piece from William Vanderbloemen. – Paul

This week, amidst mounting pressure, Pastor Mark Driscoll resigned his position as Senior Pastor of Mars Hill Church, which he founded in 1996 and grew to14,000 in weekly attendance over 15 campuses. His resignation was sudden, would have been unforeseen by most even a year ago. There was no sexual scandal. His board took over 1000 hours to review his work and decided that while Pastor Driscoll had made mistakes, he was not unfit for ministry and they had not called for his resignation.

This high profile a resignation as a voluntary act of a founding pastor is unprecedented. It has created a firestorm of online speculation.

Regardless of what opinion people have on Pastor Driscoll or Mars Hill Church, this resignation signals a new day in pastoral leadership, and a shift in how leadership is both validated or invalidated in at least three critical ways:

1. Social media has impacted church leadership even more than it has businesses.

There’s an undeniable pattern in church history: every major church growth breakthrough happens on the heels of a communication breakthrough.

Every major church growth breakthrough happens on the heels of a communication breakthrough.

Rome built roads, and then Paul planted churches. Alexander conquered the then known world and gave it one common language, and the New Testament was canonized in his Koine Greek. The printing press was invented, and Martin Luther put a Bible in the hands of anyone who wanted one. Now, as we sit on the heels of the most seminal communication breakthrough ever, the church is poised for enormous growth and expansion.

Mars Hill Church was one of the first churches to leverage social media to help grow a platform and a congregation (Pastor Driscoll has nearly half a million Twitter followers alone). Many other churches followed suit, and now, evangelical pastors are viewed by Twitter as powerhouses. Enough so that some time back, Twitter moved a key executive to Atlanta just to be close to the high number of evangelical pastors in the area.

But with that opportunity comes danger as well. Just as social media and the hyper connected internet age helped catapult Mars Hill onto a national scene, they also played a key role in the turbulence at the church that led to Pastor Driscoll’s resignation. Daily blogs from across the country criticized the church, the board, and/or Pastor Driscoll. Some of the most popular posts were from people who have never even attended Mars Hill.

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