Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Best of 2011: My 10 Most-Listened-To Messages (on-line)

Here's a linked list to the 10 most listened-to online messages I preached in 2011. I'm not surprised at what ranked #1; and my guess it would also be the #1 criticism-generating message of 2011. Frankly, it came in all directions that week (Twitter, FB, email, etc) from those who simply don't see the issue of sexuality from a biblical perspective.

Hope the messages are an encouragement!

1. "Pure Living in a Pagan Culture" 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

14 Take-Aways from ER 2

Yesterday I was delighted to attend a simulcast of Elephant Room 2, an event for pastors and leaders sponsored by Harvest Bible Chapel. While this year's version was, unfortunately, a little tamer, it still yielded healthy discussion and good insights. And here are some of those in sentence form, what I call my 14 take-aways. (Yep, some of these need context to be fully unpacked, but that's why they sell the DVDs). www.theelephantroom.com

1. Don't be defensive with the offensive message of the Gospel.

2. Urgency is an inherant part of the Gospel.

3. Don't front-load the gospel, and don't cloud the cross. Urgency demands simplicity with accuracy.

4. Preaching is theology coming out of a man on fire.

5. Capacity or capability doesn't always equal calling.

6. Getting permission to talk to someone candidly doesn't always produce the courage to actually do it. It's still hard!

7. Go beyond your code (area and zip)!

8. Staff that can self-correct are gold!

9. Restoration to fellowship is different than restoration to leadership.

10. Better to confess than to admit.

11. You can teach what you know, but you will reproduce what you are.

12. Don't let your heart write a check that your calendar can't cash.

13. You can't see your own eye.

14. Don't spiritualize your insecurities.

Monday, January 23, 2012

2011: Best Of ... InkLink

Here's a quick list of the top-visited InkLinks from 2011. Remember -- these weren't all written in 2011, but they were the most read in 2011.

1. "Wow, God is a Great Farmer!" http://toddstiles.blogspot.com/2008/02/wow-1-gods-great-farmer-isaiah-2823-29.html

2. "An Old Song, Good Friends, and Sweet Memories" http://toddstiles.blogspot.com/2010/12/old-song-good-friends-and-sweet.html

3. "A Picture of Reconciliation" http://toddstiles.blogspot.com/2010/06/picture-of-reconciliation.html

4. "Sons of Issachar, Count Me In!" http://toddstiles.blogspot.com/2009/07/sons-of-issacharcount-me-in.html

5. "An10omy" http://toddstiles.blogspot.com/2010/10/an10omy.html

6. "Both/And, Not Either/Or" http://toddstiles.blogspot.com/2011/02/bothand-not-eitheror.html

7. "Pure Living in a Pagan Culture" http://toddstiles.blogspot.com/2011/03/pure-living-in-pagan-culture.html

8. "Q & A from Romans 8:1-17" http://toddstiles.blogspot.com/2010/09/q-and-from-romans-81-17.html

9. "A Growing Faith Like Gideon's (#3)" http://toddstiles.blogspot.com/2011/08/growing-faith-like-gideons-3.html

10. "9 From 9" http://toddstiles.blogspot.com/2010/10/9-from-9.html

Sunday, January 15, 2012

2011: Best Of ... Books

I took some time in the early days of 2012 and compiled a list of the top books I read this past year, what I'm calling my "best of" when it comes to the printed/digitized page.

NOTE: Though these links are all to the "purchase" link at Amazon, some of these books are actually free under their Free Kindle Books link. I just used these links since they seemed to hold the greatest amount of info.

1. Unbroken - The great, true story of Louis Zamperini by Laura Hillenbrand. http://www.amazon.com/Unbroken-World-Survival-Resilience-Redemption/dp/1400064163/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1326631872&sr=8-1

2. Chosen for Life - Sam Storms is one of my favorite writers, and he handles the subject of election beautifully. http://www.amazon.com/Chosen-Life-Case-Divine-Election/dp/1581348436/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1326631971&sr=1-1

3. Deffinbaugh on Leviticus - This is not a "book" in the sense that you buy it, rather a set of downloadable PDF studies. A tremendously deep yet practical guide to understanding the third book of the Old Testament. Great job, Bob! http://bible.org/series/leviticus-sacrifice-and-sanctification

4. Read This Before Our Next Meeting - A quick but jolting read. Could turn the way you run meetings around. http://www.amazon.com/Read-This-Before-Next-Meeting/dp/1936719169/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1326632595&sr=1-1

5. Concerning Christian Liberty - One of Martin Luther's classics. There's nothing quite like grace! http://www.amazon.com/Concerning-Christian-Liberty-Martin-Luther/dp/1463704844/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1326632646&sr=1-1

6. Is Your Church Ready? - Ravi Zacharias and others collaborate on a good project that will help your church defend and declare what it believes.

7. Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners - John Bunyan's own story of conversion. Though hard to read. well worth it. http://www.amazon.com/Grace-Abounding-Chief-Sinners-Bunyan/dp/1463688679/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1326632722&sr=1-1

8. Unplanned - Abby Johnson tells this heart-warming story of her own God-led journey from abortion-rights promoter to right-to-life leader. http://www.amazon.com/Unplanned-Dramatic-Planned-Parenthood-Eye-Opening/dp/1414339402/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1326632749&sr=1-1

9. Pastor as Scholar and Scholar as Pastor - Piper and Carson team up for what you'll find to be a quick but effective read on balancing your roles as shepherd and student. http://www.amazon.com/Pastor-Scholar-Reflections-Life-Ministry/dp/1433526476/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1326632786&sr=1-1

10. A Failure of Nerve - This book by now-deceased Edwin Friedman made my list for one reason: he is spot-on when it comes to why we're in the mess we're in! Great read, but not for the faint of heart. http://www.amazon.com/Failure-Nerve-Leadership-Age-Quick/dp/159627042X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1326632813&sr=1-1