Posts by: matt

Crafting Good Questions

One of the things I most enjoy, and sadly seem to run out of time for, is blog reading. Among many of the benefits of the internet is the opportunity to learn from and engage with many others, across several disciplines, for the purpose of mutual edification, promoting of understanding and sheer fun. Regardless of whether or not I happen to agree with everything I encounter, I seldom leave something I have read without a better understanding of whatever the topic in question is. An essential element in cultivating understanding is a desire to see the author prove his/her point in a conversation even if there is disagreement.

In this post from one of my favorite sites, The Art of Manliness, guest author Tony Valdes writes the third and final post in a series on active listening. Focusing mainly on the art of crafting good questions, Valdes gives us a series of templates to use in seeking better and cordial understanding in conversation. In an evangelical culture that sadly tends towards looking for ways to disagree rather than finding common ground, words like the following are refreshing and needed.

The importance of respectfulness and tact in our responses cannot be overstated, regardless of whether we are asking questions, agreeing, disagreeing, or qualifying.  As gentlemen, we need not stoop to rude or abrasive responses.  Even the best listening can be nullified and the interaction ruined by boorish behavior.

Read the whole thing here.

Book Review: Missional Preaching (part 1)

This post is part 1 of a two part review of Al Tizon’s book entitled Missional Preaching.

Being someone who cares deeply, not only for the Missional conversation, but also for the necessity of Biblical preaching, I was uniquely interested when my good friend and mentor Brad Brisco asked me to read and respond to a new book by Al Tizon entitled “Missional Preaching”. However, I must admit at first glance the idea of a whole work on Missional Preaching was initially a non-starter.

We don’t have to look very far in the current Christian publishing landscape to see examples of authors or publishing houses slapping the term “missional” on a book or curicculum in some surreptitious hope of selling more copies, without fully understanding, or having much care for, the nuance and weight the term carries.  While the term, missional happens, for some, to be nothing more than the latest buzz word, for Tizon it is clearly much more!

Missional Preaching is divided into two parts with the first discussing in great detail the Essentials of Missional Preaching and the second, the goals of Missional Preaching. If one was looking for nothing more than a good primer on the missional conversation they couldn’t do much better than the introduction and first chapter of the book. Just a taste…

To be Missional means to join God’s mission to transform the world, as the church strives in the Spirit to be authentically relational, intellectually and theologically grounded, culturally and socioeconomically diverse and radically committed to both God and neighbor, especially the poor

The Essentials of Part 1 are devoted to, Missio Dei, Kingdom Hermeneutics, and Worship; Each highlighting how it is the Missionary Nature of God informs and under-girds all we do and preach.

In the next post I hope to elaborate more on some of the themes mentioned above as well as provide some overview of Part 2 of Tizon’s great work.

In short, if you are who cares deeply for the missional conversation and Biblical preaching and have pondered at the interplay between the two, you cannot do better than Tizon’s work

Regular Hospitality

My good friend and mentor Brad Brisco, along with his wife Mischelle and their two boys have spent the last year providing foster care in our community. During that time they have housed over 40 different kids and in this post he shares a little bit about what he and his family have experienced and learned. Just a taste…

I can’t fully articulate how we have been blessed over the past year. That is the funny thing about biblical hospitality, just when you think it is about welcoming the stranger, for their benefit, you realize that it is you who is being blessed by the presence of the “stranger.”

My first reaction when reading Brad’s account is how absolutely radical this is! Yet upon further review, Hospitality of this kind should be the most normal action of the follower of Jesus. Instead of this hospitality being radical for us, it should be regular.

As Jessica and I consider adoption in the future as part of God’s plan for our family, I encourage you to join me in prayerfully considering how God is calling you to look after the orphans and widows in your community.

One Project Closer

One of my new favorite places on the web is One Project Closer. At the site you will find a wealth of information, including how to guides with pictures, for a variety of home improvement projects.

This Post shows how to paint and hang peg board in your garage or shop. Simple project yes, but the reminder and step by step is incredibly helpful. Below is picture of their finished project. Enjoy!

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