Monthly Mash Up (August 2017)

Every day is a chance for you to grow, get better and improve. All it takes is a willing attitude and the willingness to work hard and stretch yourself. 

I surveyed some great resources in August in my attempts to do just that. I’d like to share a few of them with you here. Below is a quote I’m thinking on, four books I’ve read or am reading, and five articles or services I found helpful.

Each taught me some incredibly valuable lessons. Lessons that made me think, re-evaluate points of view, and better that I would be otherwise. Hopefully they do the same for you.

Quote I'm Chewing On

People tend to focus disproportionately on results, while neglecting the day-to-day things that will get them there.
— Ben Bergeron, Chasing Excellence

Big lofty goals are nice, but more is required to make them a reality. To do that takes daily work. Work that isn’t pretty and that’s not always fun. But work that must get done if you’re going to get there. 

What I'm Reading

  1. Musashi by Eiji Yoshikawa - This is an epic tale of Japan’s most famous warrior. Jocko will be reviewing it on episode 100, and I’m rushing to finish this near thousand page tale in the next few weeks.  

  2. Chasing Excellence by Ben Bergeron - Perhaps one of the most encouraging and inspiring books I’ve read in awhile. Every page is littered with highlighted sentence after highlighted sentence that I read and reread day after day.

  3. Romans 8-16 For You by Tim Keller - I read the first of Keller’s books on Romans earlier this summer and this one was just as good. Few resources on Romans have balanced deep theological truth with easy going style as well as Keller’s. If you want to have a deeper understanding of the theology of the New Testament, get this resource.

  4. Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount And His Confrontation with the World by D.A Carson - Our community group is reading through the Gospel of Matthew the next several months. Which means I’m on the hunt for awesome resources to help me wring all the Biblical truth and wisdom from it. My mentor mentioned D.A. Carson’s work on the Sermon on the Mount and I can’t wait to dig in.

From the Internet

  1. Marketing about power and with power via Seth Godin - It’s no secret that Seth’s is one of my favorite blogs. I read his stuff every day, and is a large part of why this blog has gone daily in recent months. In this post, Seth discusses the wide ranging difference between two marketing approaches. Which one do you use? Which one best fits your business?

  2. Why I love my paper dictionary via Austin Kleon - I appreciate Austin’s approach to art and its creation. He offers us a glimpse of the blend between digital and analog. The two really can coexist. This post is a perfect example of how.

  3. Both Lincoln and the Confederacy Were Awful via FEE - It seems we’re in the middle of rehashing the Civil War anew of late. While reasoned discussion is never a bad thing, that’s not we’ve been in the middle of these last several weeks. This article is a quick look at what few are willing say: both sides were in the wrong.  

  4. MoviePass - Monthly movie subscription service that allows you to see unlimited movies for $10 per month. Hannah and I will definitely be checking this out!

  5. Texas Price Gouger Are Heros via FEE - This might be one of the most important articles I’ve read in the last week. It offers an excellent explanation of exactly why price gouging isn’t such a bad thing after all.

The War Within

Mortification is, “a ruthless, full-hearted resistance to sinful practice.” This stodgy religious term is about more than throwing off the shackles of sin in our lives, it is about going on offense, and taking back ground. You may be surprised to learn that the language of the New Testament isn’t as rosy and gentle as you might have been led to believe. No, peppered throughout these inspired writings is the language of war. 

The Christian sees himself smack dap in the middle of a war. A war taking place within their own mind, heart, and body. A war between the light and the darkness. A war between what is good, right and God-honoring, and what is not. The Christian is a ground-bounder in this war. His feet march on the front lines where contact with the enemy is unavoidable and inevitable.  

With this in mind, the pages of the New Testament call for an unrelenting violence upon the baser instincts and desires of your flesh. Don’t confuse this with violence or aggression towards other people; that’s wrong. Violence of action upon the weakness and sin lurking within your heart is the call.  

You must take it out before it takes you out. There is no way around it. You must engage in battle with your flesh and make it your slave. “Be killing sin,” John Owen said, “or it will be killing you.” 

“The very word translated as ‘put to death’ (Greek word thanatoute),” Tim Keller says, “is violent and total. It means to reject totally everything we know to be wrong; to declare war on attitudes and behaviors that are wrong—give them no quarter, take no prisoners, pull out all the stops.” 

This is not the language of a group of soft, weak men and women. This is the language of a determined and strong group of people. People who make it their aim to squash sin and conquer their bodies. A group of people called out to take extreme ownership of every area of their lives, and to pursue radical discipline in pursuit of one goal—holiness. 

The Christian isn’t engaged in conflict with sin, and weakness in order to earn or merit acceptance before God. The Christian already has everything he needs to be right with God, because of the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. They fight sin for a completely different reason—gratitude to their savior who has set them free. 

In Christ, we are called to make war with our flesh. We are enlisted in a great battle that will last the rest of our days in this life, but we are assured the final victory. No matter how we are doing in our fight, Christ has secured our ultimate victory over Satan, sin, and death. We have nothing to fear. Nothing to hold us back except our own insecurities, and weakness. 

Get violent with those things. Take the aggressive and drastic measures required to kill the tiniest of your desires to sin. Don’t sit back and take it easy. Get in the game. Because you can’t lose.