Quick Takes – 8/16/2008

Andrée Seu explains why more miracles are never the answer. “The solution to stubborn unbelief is not miracles. There are never enough miracles; there is always another request. Another objection. … I have often asked God for miracles to prove his love. But nowadays I ask for spiritual eyes to see what He has already made clear.”

Chris Rice eulogizes the Cartoon song which he retired from concerts in 2004. “I want to do excellent work. I want my work, my REAL work, to reach a wide range of people. This song purposely has no excellence — it was intended as a joke. I never meant for it to be popular, or to be taken seriously. I have heard all sides of the reasoning for and against the Cartoon song — literally thousands of times — and it is a song not worthy of this much attention.” (HT: FilmChat)

Rick Moran remembers why the U.S. dropped the atomic bomb. “How could we have done it? Much of the world to this day asks the question, ‘Wasn’t there another, less cruel way to end the war?’ The decision to drop the bomb will always be controversial because the answer to that question is yes, there were other ways we could have ended the war with Japan. Some would almost certainly have cost more lives than were lost at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.”

Josh Etter quotes A.W. Tozer on the problem of tinkering with your soul. “While we are looking at God we do not see ourselves – blessed riddance. The man who has struggled to purify himself and has had nothing but repeated failures will experience real relief when he stops tinkering with his soul and looks away to the perfect One. While he looks at Christ, the very thing he has so long been trying to do will be getting done within him.” (A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God)

Mark Shead recommends taking a memory nap to increase productivity. (You may want to check with your boss first.) “Studies suggest that your memories are solidified while you sleep. Your brain does a lot of work during your rest–almost like it is busy filing and making sense of everything you’ve discovered while you were awake. When you’ve learned a new concept or information that you want to retain, consider taking a nap or reviewing it right before going to bed. This will give your brain the best chance to assimilate the new information.”

Skye Jethani from Leadership Journal warns pastors against the danger of rooting our identity in ministry rather than in Christ. “Something’s wrong. We pastors are the stewards, the spokespeople, the advocates of a message of hope, life, and peace. And yet so few of us seem to be experiencing these qualities in our own lives. Something’s wrong. In a world saturated with fear, insecurity, and stress, we are to show a different way. And yet those at the center of the church are burning out and leaving ministry at a rate of 1,500 per month. If that’s what’s occurring at the heart of the church, why would anyone on the fringe want to move in closer?”

Nancy Beach is still marveling over the Olympics Opening Ceremony. “Anyone who has produced any event at any scale had to marvel at what the Chinese director and his cast of 15,000 pulled off. I’m still scratching my head that those rectangular tubes, so perfectly choreographed to music, culminating in the lovely wave of pink lotus flowers, were actually activated by humans! HOW DID THEY DO THAT????? … The next time any of us has to orchestrate 10 people or 100 people or even 300 people to craft an experience, we should learn something from the Chinese about aiming high, about the power of beauty, about the pay-off for excellence and how inspiring it is to the human heart.”

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