See ya!

kiss-1430150_960_720I’m tired of digging through crud to try and get to your website. The popup ads, autoplay videos, subscription forms, and other clutter make it next to impossible to go there and read anything.

Add that to one of my greatest pet peeves: the sites that add extraneous stuff to anything you copy and paste. I used to frequently use Relevant Magazine as a source for my “Links To Go.” No more. It’s not worth the hassle of editing out “Read more at…” every time I copy something from an article. (every time I copy the title or copy an excerpt… it’s a little much!) Now I may read things on their site, but if I want to refer to them, I Google them and find them elsewhere. (And I’m also looking at you, ____ website)

So if you’re wondering why traffic is down on your site, maybe it’s because other people feel like I do. Maybe you don’t care; we aren’t paying subscribers. We’re merely consumers of what you are offering. You are well within your rights to tell us to go away if we’re not going to pay.

That’s what you’re telling me, anyway. See ya!

P.S. (9:00 a.m. CDT) — Just subscribed to an email newsletter. Not via an obnoxious popup nor in-your-face video. It was a link in the signature of a well-written article on MacWorld.

Links To Go (October 20, 2016)

I’m Pro-Life, And I Don’t Care About the Supreme Court

The biggest myth sold to the pro-life movement is that Republican presidents appointing Conservative justices are crucial in the fight against abortion. And yet, both Roe vs. Wade AND Planned Parenthood vs. Casey were decided with a conservative majority. Not only that, but over the last 45 years, we’ve had 9 Republican House majorities, 10 Senate majorities, and 5 Republican Presidents, none of which have been successful in ending abortion. Furthermore, time, after time, after time, after time, after time, after time, after time, after time, legislation restricting abortion was either found unconstitutional or failed to make it to law.

Lewdness in Politics? Say It Isn’t So!

The same culture and media that deride sexual self-control and chastity and inundate the male public with an endless barrage of lewd speech and sexual images, from the merely tantalizing to the outright explicit, somehow also expect these same males never to engage in the talk, never to look too long at the images, or never to act out on the desires that the culture and media stimulated. This is certainly not about blaming the victim, or, for that matter, even a single perpetrator. It is much bigger than any one person or incident caught on tape. It is the result of a very long process of de-Christianization that we as a culture have chosen for ourselves. What our culture and media loathe is the very thing that they helped create. Contrary to what many have said, we in fact do have the presidential candidates that we deserve.

I Was Pregnant, and Then I Wasn’t

One of the most vexing parts of a miscarriage is the linguistics. What was lost? A baby? It feels odd to use the same term for a healthy child, but also honest, when I consider how real this being was to me. A fetus? That feels clinical and conciliatory. At times it is necessary to talk about “the tissue” or “the pregnancy,” but I could never say that this pregnancy was only tissue to me. We had a nickname for the baby; it started with a P. P made me so sick, and so proud. And now I am so, so sad.

Ten Street Smarts for Men and Women

John Acuff was right in his book, Start. Sometimes you just need to begin. Start doing what you have put off. Start doing what you know you need to do. Start doing before you have it all figured out.

Cops called on ‘Hispanic-looking’ and black journalists in Dallas

Two journalists in North Dallas had the cops called on them Wednesday because they looked suspicious.
Homa Bash, an NBC5 reporter, and photographer C.J. Johnson were in Plano, a suburb of Dallas, working on a story when a police officer arrived after receiving a call about a “Hispanic-looking” woman and black man who had a “suspicious white truck.”

How income varies among U.S. religious groups

Some of the most financially successful religious groups – Jews, Hindus, Episcopalians, and Presbyterians – also are all among the nation’s most educated as well. These rankings, which come from our 2014 Religious Landscape Study, are based on the percentage of people within each religious group who reside in households with a yearly income of $100,000 or more.
About four-in-ten Jews (44%) and roughly a third of Hindus (36%) and Episcopalians (35%) live in households with incomes of at least $100,000. Again, these groups also have high levels of educational attainment. For instance, nearly half of Hindu adults and almost one-third of Jewish adults hold postgraduate degrees. Indeed, in addition to education, other factors, such as age, race and ethnicity also are correlated with both religion and income.

Singer’s Tiny House Stolen

Malinda Crichton’s new house wasn’t burglarized, it wasn’t robbed — it was stolen.
Station KTXL reports the whole house was taken away under the cover of darkness.

Rebekah watered the camels

01_ge_24_04_rgI forgot to share something that I heard from Tony Fernández a few weeks ago. He was preaching at a church in Chicago, and I was his translator. He was talking about the incident in Genesis 24 where Abraham sent his servant to find a wife for Isaac. The servant traveled back to Mesopotamia and asked God to help him in his search. He asked that a woman come to the spring where he sat and offer water to him and to his camels. Rebekah did just that, and the servant knew she was the one.

Tony pointed out that the servant had ten camels. They had just crossed the desert. Ten thirsty camels can easily drink more than 400 gallons of water.

Imagine how long it took Rebekah to draw that much water from a spring with a jar! It would have taken hours.

No wonder the servant knew that Rebekah was the one God had chosen. Not just anyone would do that. Thanks, Tony, for showing me something new in a story I’ve known most of my life.

Image courtesy of Sweet Publishing

Links to Go (October 14, 2016)

My Prediction for November 9

I have a prediction. I know exactly what November 9 will bring. Another day of God’s perfect sovereignty. He will still be in charge. His throne will still be occupied. He will still manage the affairs of the world. Never before has His providence depended on a king, president, or ruler. And it won’t on November 9, 2016. “The LORD can control a king’s mind as he controls a river; he can direct it as he pleases” (Proverbs 21:1 NCV).

The Governing Cancer of Our Time

Over the past generation we have seen the rise of a group of people who are against politics. These groups — best exemplified by the Tea Party but not exclusive to the right — want to elect people who have no political experience. They want “outsiders.” They delegitimize compromise and deal-making. They’re willing to trample the customs and rules that give legitimacy to legislative decision-making if it helps them gain power.
Ultimately, they don’t recognize other people. They suffer from a form of political narcissism, in which they don’t accept the legitimacy of other interests and opinions. They don’t recognize restraints. They want total victories for themselves and their doctrine.

Why I Cannot Vote Republican or Democrat in November

This election is more important than the economy, taxes, or Supreme Court justices. It is about the heart and soul of Christianity in America. Many will compromise their morals in some way. They will find some argument, and there are plenty available on both sides, that will excuse a vote for the Republican or Democratic candidate. There are no legitimate excuses. If a person votes for Trump or Clinton, all they can do is ask for forgiveness. Supporting either candidate will hurt our witness among the very people we are trying to reach. We must think beyond politics and consider the kingdom of God.

Why It’s Okay to Choose Not to Vote

The problem I have with this is two-fold. First, followers of God throughout history are told not to react out of fear (Joshua 1:9; Mt. 10:26-33; 1 Pet. 3:14). We don’t fear persecution, government, those who do wrong, or death. In fact, all we’re told to fear is God Himself, and we fear Him because He has the power over all life, all kingdoms, all nations, and all people. The God we serve doesn’t want us to live in fear, but to live in faith and trust that He will take care of us, regardless of who is in office.
The second problem I have fits cleanly with the first. Don’t forget who God is! No one, not the president or Congress or the Supreme Court, can stop God from carrying out His will upon the earth. I understand that certain government officials could strip away various religious freedoms, but you know what they can’t take away? They can’t take our salvation, and they can’t take away our ability to speak about Christ. They can’t take away our joy, our love, our charity, or our hope. The most that could ever be done by any person on earth is to take away our lives, but even then the gospel message would ring out (Acts 7:54-8:4).

Speak Truth to Trump

But because several of the Democratic candidate’s policy positions are so manifestly incompatible with Christian reverence for the lives of the most vulnerable, and because her party is so demonstrably hostile to expressions of traditional Christian faith, there is plenty of critique and criticism of the Democratic candidate from Christians, including evangelical Christians.
But not all evangelical Christians—in fact, alas, most evangelical Christians, judging by the polls—have shown the same critical judgment when it comes to the Republican nominee. True, when given a choice, primary voters who claimed evangelical faith largely chose other candidates. But since his nomination, Donald Trump has been able to count on “the evangelicals” (in his words) for a great deal of support.


Spirit filled people may be concerned about what’s going on in this world but they aren’t in a panic over it because they know that it matters but not a lot in the big picture. Spirit filled people are rebels, misfits & warriors. They won’t preach a doctrine of politics, whether it be church or nation.

The New Culture of Life

On issues from race to sexuality to drug law, Americans are used to seeing each new generation become more progressive than their parents; with abortion, it’s not happening: In a 2015 Public Religion Research Institute survey, 52 percent of millennials said the label “pro-life” describes them somewhat or very well, a number that roughly mirrors the general population. A 2013 poll showed that 52 percent of people aged 18 to 29 favored bans on abortion after 20 weeks, compared with 48 percent overall. Pro-choice activists now worry about the “intensity gap” among young people: A poll commissioned by NARAL Pro-Choice America in 2010 found that 51 percent of anti-abortion voters younger than 30 considered the issue “very important,” but for pro-choice voters the same age, only 26 percent said the same.

Family Sends Pizza Deliveryman to Check on Grandma After Hurricane

He said he wrote a special instruction when he placed the pizza order, asking the delivery person to call his phone when the pizza was delivered. He then asked the deliveryman to give his cellphone to Claire Olsen so he could hear from her and make sure she was OK.
Eric Olsen said that when he heard his grandmother’s voice on the other line, he felt “relief, absolute relief.”
“Police and fire couldn’t do it, but Papa John’s got there in 30 minutes and put the cellphone to her ear,” he joked.

Church like Christ

puzzle-pieceThe stated goal of the Restoration Movement is to restore Christianity to its earliest form. The more I think about it, the more I think we’ve gone about it wrong.

Restoring the plan of salvation is important, vitally important. But it won’t restore the church.

Eliminating manmade traditions and creeds helps us return to the beliefs of the early church, but it won’t bring us back to what that church was.

Fixing doctrine. Correcting worship practices. Correcting misused vocabulary. Good things in and of themselves, but they won’t get us to our goal.

I’ve come to believe that the most important thing we can do to restore the early church is to restore the goal of the early church: becoming like Christ.

We need churches that are growing to be more Christlike. In biblical terms, we need churches that are Christ in this world, that Christ is formed in them, and they are the body of Christ.

Our focus needs to be less on what and how and more on why. More on Who.

That’s what I want my focus to be: following Christ and helping others do the same.