Second, Marc Cortez linked an interesting article on some myths that surround the Crusades. Seems that conversations about the crusades are being reinvigorated, no doubt due to the increasing tensions surrounding current Muslim/Christian affairs. Rodney Stark recently wrote a book on the subject as well that's i'd like to make time to read.
Third, we are finishing up the Sermon on the Mount at Evergreen this upcoming Sunday. Jesus' most famous teaching has an interesting arc beginning with a wide-invitation into the Kingdom and moving increasingly toward the challenge of discipleship. This last Sunday is TOUGH stuff but it makes sense in light of Jesus contrasting the superficial, external religious righteousness that leads to our own destruction and the kingdom, generative righteousness that leads to full life. The entire sermon really hinges on Matt. 5:17-20. In light of that, and all of the illustrations Jesus used to make that contrast, Matt. 7:13-29 makes total sense.