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Pastor Jake's Top 5

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There is so much information being passed through our screens on an hourly basis. And honestly, much of it doesn’t need to be clicked on but just swiped away. However, sometimes certain stories get our attention. I pray that you filter the information you see on a daily basis through the lens of Scripture and then share the stories that are helpful and worthy for others to be blessed as well. Over the last month I have gathered my top five stories that I believe are worthy of our attention as 21st century Christians. They are not all written from a Christian perspective, but I invite you to read them with your Christian-Biblical worldview at hand. Take a look and let me know what you think. Also, let me know your favorite podcasts, blogs, and websites that are helpful to your Christian walk.

BREWERY

A good friend of mine who writes on theology and religion wrote a wonderful piece sharing Castle Church Brewing Communities’ story in one of his latest posts. The article reminds us to think through the ways in which we might reach people with the Gospel. Some questions to ponder: What do you agree or disagree with in this model? Why at this moment in time is such an idea popular? What can a “brewery church” tell us about American religion? I especially enjoy the opening quote from Martin Luther: “Whoever drinks beer, he is quick to sleep; whoever sleeps long, does not sin; whoever does not sin, enters Heaven! Thus, let us drink beer!” Take a sip of this article and I bet you will drink it all up! Cheers!

EVANGELISM

A new Barna report looks at the view of evangelism by practicing Christians in the USA. A majority of the Christians polled believe that it is important to be a witness about Jesus, yet that same majority also believe that it is wrong to share one’s personal beliefs with someone of a different faith in hopes that they will one day share your faith….I agree with author Joe Carter that many of those same Christians might not believe in hell, or at least not truly believe that Jesus is the only way, truth, and life. Read the full article, here.

PARENTING

From the Tide Pod challenge to now this...the ‘momo challenge’, where on social media the challenge is to meet Momo, and to do that, one must follow a series of instructions, which can include harming yourself or others. The author, Andrew Lofholm, interviews some good sources to help give good advice to parents on how to help talk to their children about this issue. Even though many of the social media outlets have filters that take this challenge down when found, this, unfortunately, won’t be the last time Satan tries to attack young minds to do lasting deadly things to themselves.

LGBTQ

Many denominations are still deeply divided over questions of sexuality and gender identity. The United Methodist Church has fractured over the role of LGBTQ people in the denomination. The conservative group within the denomination won out recently on a vote to toughen its teachings against homosexuality, same-sex marriage, and LGBTQ clergy. I am thankful for the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod’s firm stance on the Biblically-based and conservative value on human sexuality. Click HERE to read more on these views! Read an article about the United Methodist Church's recent vote.

THE BRIEFING

I am so thankful to Michelle Ebright (who serves on our team as a creative genius), who turned me onto this daily podcast called The Briefing. Albert Mohler gives a daily analysis of events and news from a Christian worldview. I especially was blessed by his research and analysis of the mass terrorist attack in New Zealand at two mosques that leaves the island nation and the world shocked in the face of profound loss and unquestionable depravity. I especially took away him shining a spotlight on Paul’s words for us as Christians for the mourning Muslim world: “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn” (Romans 12:15). In this case...we mourn with those who had anyone lose their lives in this act of evil. Listen to the March 18 release of THE BRIEFING.