Links To Go (May 25, 2018)

Pompeo Says Mysterious Sickness Among Diplomats in Cuba Has Spread to China

Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, frequently dismissed the notion that Cuba could have been unaware of what American diplomats termed an “attack.”
“The idea that someone could put together some sort of action against them, 24 of them, and the Cuban government not know who did it, it’s just impossible,” Mr. Rubio said in a Senate hearing in January.
That argument is just as applicable in China, a totalitarian state that tracks American diplomats closely.


Carl Lentz Weighs In on the Debate About the NFL’s Attempt to Curb Protests

Why it’s so infuriating to many, is that they keep trying to pretend this is about “patriotism.” If they would just say “hey guys. Stand, or we will fire you because you are upsetting some of our fans”, at least it can just be what it is. But that would create too many problems.


Celebrating David Hesselgrave (1924-2018), Missiologist and Professor

In an article he wrote for me here at The Exchange, he expressed his concern that:

[We are traveling] a path at least similar to our ecumenical counterparts of the past century. We gradually subtract what is unappealing from the gospel and add so much that is appealing to both gospel and mission that we end up with a socio-politial (holistic) gospel and mission. Witness the Cape Town Commitment. It does end but is “to be continued”– there really is no end to the good things we can love, think, say and do in the name of “Christian mission.”

His deepest priority was to see men and women respond to the good news of the gospel. In all his works, he placed evangelism in our Evangelical missions endeavor as essential to who we are and what we do today.


How To Love Your Wife As Christ Loved the Church

  • Love Your Wife with a Sacrificial Love
  • Love Your Wife with a Sanctifying Love
  • Love Your Wife with a Purifying Love
  • Love Your Wife with a Gospel Love
  • Love Your Way with a Purposeful Love
  • So, Live For Her

Three Ways to Successfully Navigate Failure in Evangelism

As we grow in evangelism, it’s crucial for each of us to learn how to successfully navigate our own perceptions of failure. Let’s intentionally anchor our hearts in Scripture and invite God to redefine success and failure for us so that when we find ourselves in situations that don’t go as we’ve expected or hoped, we won’t get derailed from continuing to share the good news of Jesus with others.


Finding Contentment in Motherhood

It hit me in that moment that I hadn’t accepted that enjoying things like cooking or watching my boys play in the dirt held just as much value as my previous teaching career did. In my twisted mind, being a mom was never enough for me, my family, or, most troubling, for God.
If I’m honest with myself, I let what I did professionally determine my identity, leaving me a stay-at-home mom who “used to be” many things.


Even If They Don’t Go to Church, Americans Still Love VBS

Six in 10 Americans say they went to VBS growing up. Two-thirds of American parents say they plan to send kids to VBS this summer—even if they skip church themselves.
And almost everyone involved had a great time, according to a new survey from Nashville-based LifeWay Research.


Dad takes his late son’s girlfriend to her prom one month after boy died

After her boyfriend’s untimely death, Kaylee was devastated and didn’t want to go to prom. Then her boyfriend’s dad, Robert Brown, asked if he could accompany her.
“I didn’t have to think about it,” Kaylee told the Centre Daily Times. “I definitely said ‘yes.'”


The same word has now been voted the ‘most annoying word’ for 9 years in a row

“Whatever” was considered the most annoying by 33% of respondents, the poll found. The second-place finisher was “fake news” at 23%, closely followed by “no offense, but” with 20%.
Rounding out the top five were “literally” and “you know what I mean,” at 11% and 10%, respectively.


Man accidentally runs a full marathon after thinking he was only running half

Mike Kohler, a 26-year-old plumber from Fargo started running too early — and he just didn’t stop. Kohler had intended to run the half-marathon at the Sanford Fargo Marathon, but he accidentally ran the whole thing.
The Grand Forks Herald caught up with Kohler, who started running 15 minutes before the half-marathon start time. This put him with runners attempting the full 26.2 miles, and he didn’t realize what happened until he was over eight miles in, and noticed the course was diverging from the path. When he was at the halfway point he thought about stopping, but decided against it.


Largo man broke into jewelry store, cut himself on glass and bled all over everything, police say

About 90 minutes after their arrival, officers found Williams several hundred feet from the store — wearing the same clothes as the burglar — a gray T-shirt, blue shorts and red sandals — and covered in blood, arrest reports state.
Officers took a DNA sample from him to compare to the blood left in the store.
When officers read him his Miranda Rights, Williams said that he wanted a lawyer. However, he did ask the officers “What are you going to do with my bike?” — referring to the bicycle that the burglar had leaned against the tree.


Robber who wrote name on hold-up note is caught counting money outside Anchorage bank

The hold-up note was written on the back of a form from an organization that provides affordable housing in the Lower 48. Nash’s personal information was on the form.


Free from the slavery of the fear of death

Many will spend time remembering others this weekend as Memorial Day is celebrated in the United States. Our family spends time remembering every year about this time. Today marks seven years since my dad passed away. May 26 is the anniversary of the passing of Carolina’s grandmother, the one everyone knew as Noni. Sunday will be the anniversary of the passing of Luis Tolosa, my father-in-law. And Tuesday will mark another year since the death of one of Carolina’s favorite aunts.

All four of these died in Christ. We will be together again. We do not grieve and mourn as those who have no hope; our tears merely mark a passing pain that will one day disappear forever.

“Since the children (we) have flesh and blood, he (Jesus) too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” (Hebrews 2:14–15)

Links To Go (May 11, 2018)

Don’t Ask Moms to Stand in Church This Sunday

It’s not just infertile couples who may find it awkward to attend church on Mother’s Day. The list can also include:

  • Singles who desire to be married and have children.
  • Parents who’ve experienced miscarriage, stillbirth, or the death of a child.
  • Stepmoms helping to raise children who don’t value them.
  • Couples facing hurdles in the process of adoption.
  • Foster parents who’ve chosen to refrain from being called “mom” and “dad” for the emotional health of a child in their care.
  • Parents who’ve placed a child for adoption.
  • Mothers who’ve had an abortion (and fathers who encouraged them to do so).
  • Women with wayward, distant, or estranged grown children.

With so many emotions attached to the subject of motherhood, churches can find it difficult to know how to navigate Mother’s Day, which—like Father’s Day—always falls on a Sunday.


Blacks more likely than others in U.S. to read the Bible regularly, see it as God’s word

Indeed, more than half of black people in the U.S. (54%) – both Christian and non-Christian – say they read the Bible or other holy scripture at least once a week outside of religious services, compared with 32% of whites and 38% of Hispanics, according to data from the 2014 Religious Landscape Study. Indeed, relatively few black people (24%) say they seldom or never read the Bible, compared with 50% of whites and 40% of Hispanics.


Jesus and Joysticks: Why the Church Should Stop Making Fun of Video Gamers

The question becomes: Are video games an aspect of culture from which Christians should refrain? Are they irredeemable like pornography, or are they more like movies and other forms of entertainment that can become objectionable in certain circumstances?
If they are the former, they deserve a more serious response than snarky dismissals and jokes. If they are the latter—and that seems to be the case—they deserve a better response than clichés and stereotypes.


Work Hard, Rest Well

Starting anything is hard. It takes all of your effort, and then a whole helping of God’s grace to establish a gospel outpost in a hard place. But the God who called you there didn’t call you to work without ceasing. He gave you the work and invites you to rest. So, here are a few rest tips from a rest failure like me, learning how to lay down my work so I can take up some Sabbath habits.


Life gets better after 50: why age tends to work in favour of happiness

A 2008 study by economists David Blanchflower and Andrew Oswald found the U-curve – with the nadir, on average, at age 46 – in 55 of 80 countries, and they cited more than 20 other papers finding the U. It tends to show up in wealthier countries where people live longer, healthier lives. Life satisfaction statistics for the UK in 2014-15 show happiness declining from youth through middle age, hitting a low at 50 and rising to a peak at 70.


New app helps Kenyan herders cut drought risks

As well as providing detailed grazing maps showing water and grass conditions, herders can contribute information about livestock diseases, predators, and conflicts.
The app so far has about 3,000 users in Kenya, though PCI hopes to increase that to 4,000 once it finishes mapping Samburu County, home to the Samburu herding community.
The app is already used in Tanzania and Ethiopia and PCI plans to deploy it in Niger soon, said Brenda Wandera, the organization’s acting representative in Kenya.


How ‘Unconscious Bias’ Can Trick Your Brain Into Trusting People (Even if You Shouldn’t)

According to a study by researchers at the University of Utah, oftentimes when we’re trying to decide whose judgment to trust, how people talk or present themselves has greater sway over our opinion than their actual knowledge or qualifications. Traits like confidence and extroversion can easily be mistaken for expertise.


Apple took 8 days to give me the data it had collected on me. It was eye opening.

The zip file I eventually received from Apple was tiny, only 9 megabytes, compared to 243 MB from Google and 881 MB from Facebook. And there’s not much there, because Apple says the information is primarily kept on your device, not its servers. The one sentence highlight: a list of my downloads, purchases and repairs, but not my search histories through the Siri personal assistant or the Safari browser.


Authorities Say Man Was Killed Trying to Take a Selfie With a Bear

On Wednesday, taxi driver Prabhu Bhatara was driving a group of passengers from Kotapad to Papadahandi when he stopped the SUV to relieve himself in a nearby forest. Bhatara spotted the wounded bear on his way back to the car, the Hindustan Times reported.
Despite warnings from his passengers, Bhatara reportedly approached the bear while it was drinking water from a pond. As he was getting his selfie, Bhatara slipped and got too close to the bear. That’s when the bear attacked Bhatara.


Links To Go (May 4, 2018)

This App Delivers Leftover Food To The Hungry, Instead Of To The Trash

Goodr solves that through an app that allows its clients to signal that there’s a surplus ready to be collected. The company provides its own packaging (when needed) and transport for each item and logs every part of the transaction via the blockchain, creating an unalterable digital ledger that shows food providers who ultimately received their goods, and where they ended up being consumed.


At These Pop-Up Dinners, The Chefs (And The Guests) Are Homeless

The startup nonprofit behind the dinner, Farming Hope, wants both to provide new job training for people who are trying to work their way out of homelessness–so they can later land jobs in the Bay Area food world–and to bring people together around food in a different way.


How to Drive an Expat Crazy: 10 Ways to Irritate Someone Who Has Lived Abroad

  1. ONE: MOCK THEIR “OTHER” LANGUAGE
  2. TWO: JOKES
  3. THREE: TELL THEM HOW HAPPY THEY ARE
  4. FOUR: BATCH THEIR “OTHER” COUNTRY WITH THE OTHERS THAT IT REMINDS YOU OF
  5. FIVE: ASSUME YOU KNOW WHAT THEY WANT TO EAT
  6. SIX: ASK, “HOW WAS THAT?”
  7. SEVEN: START THE NEXT SENTENCE WITH, “OH THAT’S JUST LIKE”
  8. EIGHT: HIGHLIGHT THE AWKWARD
  9. NINE: SHAME POUNCING
  10. TEN: SAY NOTHING

Our Call: Missionaries in a Secular Land

Our culture is a mission field. We must see ourselves as people on mission. This is not our home. This is our mission field. Therefore, we all must see our vocations as mission—as kingdom work.


Six Reasons Churches Are Taking Too Long to Find a New Pastor

  1. There are no longer ready-made networks to provide a steady supply of pastors for churches.
  2. Search committees are often poorly equipped to find pastors.
  3. Search committees often still use old paradigms.
  4. Many search committees don’t use a search firm.
  5. Search committees often represent a cross section of the church rather than the most qualified members.
  6. Some search committees and churches don’t think it is spiritual to find a new pastor too quickly.

Jeff Bezos says his advice to Amazon interns and execs is to stop aiming for work-life ‘balance’

  • Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says he believes the term “work-life balance” is a “debilitating phrase.”
  • Bezos revealed that one of the top pieces of advice he offers new Amazon employees is that they shouldn’t view the two as a strict trade-off.
  • Instead, Bezos thinks of his personal and professional pursuits as a “circle” rather than a balancing act.

Your behavior in Starbucks may reveal more about you than you think

Psychologists generally agree that—by very rough measure—Western cultures allow individuality to thrive, whereas most Asian cultures emphasize group responsibility. One line of thinking traces these traits back to early farming practices. Wheat farmers—such as those living in China’s north—can grow their crop pretty much on their own. But it takes a village to build the irrigation systems that flood China’s southern rice paddies. And because rice farming takes about twice as much work per hectare as wheat, early rice farming communities gave rise to cooperative systems of labor. The argument goes on to say that millennia later, these differences in behavior persist.


French Museum Discovers More Than Half Its Collection Is Forged

The quaint French village of Elne near the border with Spain is proud to be the hometown of Catalan painter Étienne Terrus. He was a late-19th-century artist who specialized in local landscapes and was friends with the painter Henri Matisse.
After a $365,000 renovation, the town was set to celebrate the grand reopening of the museum bearing Terrus’ name — one of Elne’s main attractions. Instead, the big reveal was that 82 paintings attributed to the artist in the museum’s collection were fakes.


Links To Go (May 3, 2018)

When Americans Say They Believe in God, What Do They Mean?

A new Pew Research Center survey of more than 4,700 U.S. adults finds that one-third of Americans say they do not believe in the God of the Bible, but that they do believe there is some other higher power or spiritual force in the universe. A slim majority of Americans (56%) say they believe in God “as described in the Bible.” And one-in-ten do not believe in any higher power or spiritual force.


Six Myths about Outreach in the Local Church

  1. Outreach is the same as visiting guests.
  2. If you invite them, they will not come.
  3. The majority of non-Christians are resistant to the gospel.
  4. The sermon cannot be too deep or it will turn off non-Christians
  5. Attractional outreach is the most effective.
  6. Most church members will reach out to their friends, neighbors, and acquaintances naturally.

Is Your Church Really Focused on Evangelism? Maybe Not.

Individuals who are truly passionate about building thriving church communities will be willing to push the envelope on their comfort level in order to create disciples. They’ll also be willing to encourage their congregation to do the same.
Does this approach sound forced? Maybe it does. But the point is that after a few times of being asked, “Who did you share the gospel with this week?” our team members and colleagues won’t need to fumble for words. Sharing Jesus after a while will become something all of us do automatically—not because we have to, but because we want to.


My Young Friend Wants to Be a Missionary: Here’s the Advice I Gave When He Asked

  • Immerse Yourself in the Bible
  • Familiarize Yourself with the World
  • Read Missionary Biographies
  • Be In Ministry Now
  • Support Missionaries and Seek Out Mentors
  • Go On Short-Term Mission Trips
  • Pray

Jeff Bezos Banned PowerPoint in Meetings

In his letter, and in a recent discussion at the Forum on Leadership at the Bush Center, Bezos revealed that “narrative structure” is more effective than PowerPoint. According to Bezos, new executives are in for a culture shock in their first Amazon meetings. Instead of reading bullet points on a PowerPoint slide, everyone sits silently for about 30 minutes to read a “six-page memo that’s narratively structured with real sentences, topic sentences, verbs and nouns.”


The two-pizza rule and the secret of Amazon’s success

In the early days of Amazon, Jeff Bezos instituted a rule: every internal team should be small enough that it can be fed with two pizzas. The goal wasn’t to cut down on the catering bill. It was, like almost everything Amazon does, focused on two aims: efficiency and scalability. The former is obvious. A smaller team spends less time managing timetables and keeping people up to date, and more time doing what needs to be done. But it’s the latter that really matters for Amazon.
The thing about having lots of small teams is that they all need to be able to work together, and to be able to access the common resources of the company, in order to achieve their larger goals.


An American Airlines Passenger Was Stuck Next to a ‘Screaming and Kicking’ Toddler. His Stunning Reaction Went Viral

Walker reached for the baby and held him while I forced a seatbelt on Caroline, got her tablet, and started her movie. Once she was settled and relatively calmed, he distracted her so that I could feed Alexander. Finally, while we were taxiing, the back of the plane no longer had screams. During the flight, he colored and watched a movie with Caroline, he engaged in conversation and showed her all the things outside.
By the end of the flight, he was Caroline’s best friend. I’m not sure if he caught the kiss she landed on his shoulder while they were looking out the window.
Walker also was on the same connecting flight in Charlotte that Rudeen planned to take. He walked her daughter through the terminal to the new gate, and then asked to have his seat reassigned so he could sit next to the family and help out on the second flight, too.


The Fascinating Way That Words Can Change How We Perceive Colors

Which colors have names in a particular language influences the colors we see. Japanese, Russian, and Greek, for instance, include terms that differentiate between light blue and dark blue. While an English speaker might look at a sky blue shirt and a navy blue shirt and say, “Look, a pair of blue shirts!” a Japanese speaker would disagree, just as we might disagree with someone who speaks Bassa about whether red, orange, and yellow are all one color. However, if you spend enough time immersed in a language that has fewer color terms, it appears that the way you describe color may narrow—according to one study, Greek speakers who spend a lot of time in the UK tend to stop distinguishing between two different blues, ghalazio and ble, and begin lumping them into a single category of blue.