Daily Links (December 7)

December 7, 2016

Low expectations from sermons

This is a journal article by J.I. Packer. It’s longer than the normal links here, but quotes like this are why it’s worth checking out:

“Low expectations become self-fulfilling. Where little is expected from sermons, little is received. Many moderns have never been taught to expect sermons to matter much, and so their habit at sermon time is to relax, settle back and wait to see if anything the preacher says will catch their interest…It is now assumed that those who sit under the preaching are observers, measuring the preacher’s performance, rather than participants waiting for the Word of God. Many in our congregations do not know that there is any other way of listening to sermons than this way of detached passivity, and no-one should be surprised to find that those who cultivate such passivity often dismiss preaching as an uneventful bore. Those who seek little find little.”

Our own devices

“Attention is precious. It is that part of our soul we give to the world around us, the gateway to the self. ‘My experience is what I agree to attend to,’ William James said; ‘only those items which I notice shape my mind.’ What if, at the end of each day, you received a statement from the Bank of Attention updating all your recent expenditures, along with a heat map of smartphone use? Where did you leave your soul today? Did you blow your precious morning hours surfing ESPN, reading about a baseball player’s groin strain? I confess that I did.”

Four conversations we must have with ourselves

“Some of the most important conversations we can have are with ourselves. These conversations allow God to examine our hearts, motives, and actions.”

2016.

This one’s funny. Watch the video for a few seconds and I think you’ll get it.