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We are a generation of consumers, independent and critical. We attend church, but we don’t want to settle down and truly invest ourselves. We’re not into commitment — we only want to date the church. Is this what God wants for us?

In Stop Dating the Church!: Fall in Love with the Family of God, bestselling author Joshua Harris says no, God’s purpose for Christians involves a deep commitment to a local church. This commitment involves far more than showing up on Sunday to sing, chat, and listen to a sermon. Josh says that in order for us to have the kind of relationship with a local church that God intended, we must first see the Church (universal church) as God sees it.

This is the third book by Josh Harris that I’ve read. One of my favorite things about his books is that his writing style is so conversational and unassuming. I feel when I pick up one of his books as if I’ve sat down with a friend for a cup of coffee and encouragement sprinkled with confession. He uses a variety of examples, but many of them come from his own life – his own shortcomings and mistakes. And yet, his books are always grounded in scripture and demonstrate a satisfaction in Christ that many only secretly dream of.

In Stop Dating the Church!, Josh breaks down the arguments for church dating and explains why God desires that we have the close relationships with other Christians found only in a local church. Like with any commandment of God, there are real, tangible benefits to obedience. Commitment to a local church takes effort, but the benefits far outweigh that effort. Unfortunately, many of us are too committed outside of the church to have a real relationship with the other members of our local body.

In the book, Josh offers real advice on how to commit to the church and what commitment looks like. He also discusses choosing a church, including what things are a matter of taste and what things are vital to a healthy church family – and, by extension, a healthy Christian. He then talks about how to make the most of Sunday, including the church service and the rest of the day.

I highly recommend that you read this book, whether or not you think you might qualify as a church dater. I found the book convicting, but also encouraging and insightful. It’s helped me to look at my own relationship with my church in a new light and I am looking forward to applying more of Josh’s suggestions.

One word of caution: I am linking above to the print edition of Stop Dating the Church!. The book’s content is fantastic, and what I’ve seen of the print edition’s quality is excellent, but I read the Kindle edition and was very disappointed in the production quality of that edition. It appears that they took the print edition, converted it to the Kindle format, and posted it without any proofreading. There are numerous cases where words that needed to be broken across lines in the print edition are still hyphenated in the Kindle edition, or where characters that apparently didn’t convert properly are either missing or display strangely in the Kindle edition. Having read this one Kindle edition from Multnomah Books, I would be hesitant to buy another Kindle edition from the publisher. By the way, if you’re from Multnomah and are looking for someone to do Kindle conversions, feel free to get in touch. :-)

National Anthem

By Nate LaClaire —  January 5, 2010 — Leave a comment

Sung by the cast of Glee live at the World Series game 3.

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Lean on Me from Glee

By Nate LaClaire —  January 1, 2010 — Leave a comment

Starting the new year off right with “Lean on Me” performed by the cast of Glee. We all need somebody to lean on!

I love all of the selections from the City on a Hill series that I’ve heard so far, but especially this one.

I heard Sara Groves perform this song at a Christmas concert last year and fell in love with it. I’m not a fan of anime, but this was the best video I could find with the song.

You may recall that I love The Twelve Days of Christmas by Straight No Chaser. Well, here’s a new song by the a capella group. Enjoy!

Love this song!

Thus begins my week of music. Five days, five songs. Four days of Christmas music, then a non-Christmas piece to start out the new year. Let me know what you think!

PubSubHubbub

By Nate LaClaire —  December 28, 2009 — 3 Comments

A brief overview of the PubSubHubbub protocol.

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November 22 Worship Set

By Nate LaClaire —  November 20, 2009 — Leave a comment

This week at PBC we’ll be singing a few songs that were new to us this year (introduced over the past several months), plus a selection from the hymnal. Since they are still a bit new for some of us, here are some YouTube videos to help re-familiarize us with them.

Ancient of Days

Be Unto Your Name

Mighty to Save

I’m sure that no one needs a review of this last one, but I love hearing Andrae Crouch sing it.

Google Maps Navigation

By Nate LaClaire —  October 28, 2009 — Leave a comment

Sounds like another super Google product!