So much happened while I was gone last month. I'm just now catching up on all my email and blog feeds. So while I do that, let me link you to what I missed while traveling. It may not be cutting-edge news, but it's still valuable info:
- Marriage, Singleness, and the Christian Virtue of Hospitality: This is the most recent sermon by John Piper. Awhile ago, he concluded a lengthy series on marriage (which I noted here) with a sermon on singleness. This sermon drew a lot of controversy, which in my opinion was a bit unnecessary. Put in context of his entire sermon series, this message on singleness was vintage Piper. It is exactly what godly singles need to hear when they wonder what in the world they are to be doing until God provides a spouse--and it did not, in my opinion, marginalize marriage in any way. With this week's sermon, John once again encourages singles and marrieds to live in the church as family members, not as those separated by season of life. You can read, listen or watch the entire series at Desiring God's website.
- Speaking of marriage, Heather Koerner wrote a provoking piece for Boundless titled "Ten Things Now to Stay At Home Later." For every woman who hopes to be a full-time mother one day, this practical piece will kick-start some useful planning now.
- A Pastoral Response to Online Dating: This was written by one of my pastors, Isaac Hydoski, after several years of prayer, discussion with single adults, and experience serving those who were trying online dating services. The reason I point this out is that I think it's important for readers to know this is not a quick memo, but a considered response to the bigger issues underlying online dating. Please read it in that light. And may you also benefit from the care we singles at Covenant Life receive from Isaac and the other pastors who serve our singles ministry.
- Coming Clean: This is an interesting article by CCM artist Nichole Nordeman. Though I'm familiar with her and have seen her perform at various industry conventions, I own little of her music. That's not to diminish her work, but to simply to introduce the fact that I read this article without knowing much about her or her music. So I was intrigued to read her candor about marketing and image among Christian music artists. She begins her article referencing a CCM Magazine cover shoot:
Awhile back, I asked CCM if I could write this story. I felt…still feel…uneasy about that photo shoot princess moment. Not because there’s anything wrong with feeling momentarily flawless…but because that photo and many like it, in no way represent my real life. I feel rather nauseous when I consider the young girl who sees that photo and has no idea that it took 5 hours and an entire team of makeup artists and stylists to make me look like a princess. She also has no idea that even after all that, somebody sat at a computer (with my enthusiastic blessing) and point and clicked away my acne scars, my 35 year old wrinkles and the roll of flesh around my middle that makes me look like I am perpetually stuck in my 2nd trimester.