Category Archives: links

Links To Go (August 21, 2019)

Babylon Bee’s Satire Gets Shared by People Who Think It’s Real

It’s no surprise that, depending on the headline, satire might be more likely to deceive members of one political party over another. Individuals’ political worldviews consistently color their perceptions of facts. Still, Americans’ inability to agree on what is true and what is false is a problem for democracy.

The US labor shortage, explained

But in the meantime, there’s no better time for working-class Americans to demand better wages, benefits, schedules, and work conditions. It also means immigration reform is more urgent than ever. In order to fill all the open jobs and keep the economy growing, Congress will need to allow more low-skilled immigrants to work — legally.

How to Make a Theological Argument

  • First, restate the meaning of a biblical text in its canonical context
  • Second, argue from revealed premises
  • Third, use reason
  • Fourth, throughout, be Spiritual

On Controversy and Rules of Persuasion

Ethos is an appeal to the ethical character of the person with whom we are debating. Logos is an appeal to the logic or reason of the arguments raised by the person with whom you are debating. Pathos is an appeal to the emotions of the people to whom you are appealing. So much debate that we witness in our day–or in which we are presently engaged–is built on differences about the propriety or measure of the ethos, logos or pathos with which we debate a matter.

The Sofa Salesperson Who Did Everything Wrong

It’s not that difficult, is it? Listen. Draw out. Empathize. Listen some more. Then take action or make recommendations only as I am equipped and in a way consistent with my vocation.

Make a habit/break a habit

If you can replace a bad habit with a good one, you’ll live with the benefits for decades. The challenge is to set up systems that are likely to create habits, not sprints that lead to failure.

Your Church Needs More Time for Personal Testimonies

As God’s people give public praise to God for his deeds, those far from God find compelling evidence to consider our claims. As we declare God’s marvelous works before a watching world, we bear witness to him. What he’s capable of doing for them is communicated by what has already been accomplished for us.

Links To Go (August 20, 2019)

Overcoming the Fear of Evangelism

Some of you don’t struggle with such things. That’s awesome. I’ve envied you before. But for those who like me have experienced butterflies in the stomach at times when you think about speaking the gospel to the lost, here are a few things that help me.

Putting the “Service” Back in Worship Service

So, look for ways you can serve during the sermon. Perhaps there’s a mother whose rambunctious toddler makes it difficult for her to focus. Offer to sit with her and help. Make eye contact with the preacher, turn to the passage in your Bible, and don’t be afraid to offer an “amen” or verbal affirmation. These habits will serve the preacher as he labors faithfully to serve you the Word.

I am a False Prophet

How many false predictions have I made to myself over my lifetime? Millions? Billions? How much adrenaline has been unnecessarily let loose in my body? How many hours of sleep have I lost just by worrying about how many hours of sleep I might lose? How much ibuprofen have I taken for headaches caused by catastrophic situations that never materialized?

The Power of Biblical Hospitality

What about you? Are you stuck on entertainment or zealous for genuine hospitality? You might think this to be some kind of superfluous add-on to the life of a kingdom-disciple, but a simple glimpse at the life of our Savior demonstrates that this was one of his primary means of ministry. All without a home of his own. Welcoming others. Eating with them. Listening to their story. Ministering to their pain. Holding out the invitation of the kingdom.

Ministering to International Students

There has never been an opportunity in the history of humanity where people who are far from Christ are now in such close proximity to those who follow him. To honor those who are risking their lives and the lives of those they love most in order to live and work in countries where many of these international students are coming from, we must join them in their mission to reach the unreached with the gospel.

Responsibility and the power of ‘could have’

And it continues with a simple tactic: Instead of defining the minimal legal requirement, outline the maximum possible action you could have taken.

What3words: The app that can save your life

What3words essentially points to a very specific location. Its developers divided the world into 57 trillion squares, each measuring 3m by 3m (10ft by 10ft) and each having a unique, randomly assigned three-word address.

F-bombs away: Why lawmakers are cursing now more than ever

An increase in expletives, says Bergen, shows that the swear words politicians are using are “more acceptable in public discourse than they were a decade or two ago. That’s a general change in the culture. We’ve seen media become democratized. There are fewer and fewer channels of communication that are censored. And as a result, there’s just more swearing around,” he says.

7th grader donates $15,000 earnings from county fair to St. Jude Children’s Hospital

A 7th grader in Ohio is getting praise from around the country for a recent act of kindness. Diesel Pippert donated all of his livestock premiums to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Links To Go (August 16, 2019)

Most Churchgoers Say They Spend Their Day Seeking God

Around 2 in 5 churchgoers (38%) say they set aside time for private worship, praise or thanksgiving to God every day. Another 29% say they do so a few times a week, while 13% set aside the time once a week, 7% a few times a month, 4% once a month, and 9% rarely or never.

Why You Should Resist Conspiracy Theories

This kind of reasoning undermines rational thought, our intellectual obligation to weigh evidence, and, in the end, our ability to think critically. As a Christian, if you sincerely believe in these outlandish conspiracies, you are undermining your witness for Christ, undercutting your own case for the resurrection and giving people a reason not to listen.

Jeremiah 29:11

Even in the midst of this prophecy of punishment, there was a sliver of hope: the exile would be long, but it would not be permanent. God purposed to chasten His people, but He would not destroy them utterly. He would in fact bring them back to their land—after seventy years (v. 11).

Reading Makes People Feel Happier and Smarter, According to New Poll

55 percent of respondents said they only need to read for 15 minutes to feel like they’ve accomplished something. (Fun fact: People who read books for 30 minutes every day may live an average of 23 months longer than non-readers according to a 2016 study.)

White Arkansas woman pulls gun on 4 black fundraising teens

Police in the eastern Arkansas city of Wynne, about 100 miles (161 kilometers) northeast of Little Rock, said the incident happened Aug. 7. Police responding to reports of “suspicious persons” found the four children on the ground, with Jerri Kelly, who is white, standing over them holding a gun, Memphis TV station WMC reported.

Jeffrey Epstein kept painting of Bill Clinton in drag at his house

Among the most unusual of works is an oil painting of Mr Clinton, dressed in a blue dress similar to the infamous one worn by Monica Lewinsky, and wearing red stilettos. Mr Clinton is shown lounging in a chair in the Oval Office, and leering at the camera.

A Security Researcher’s Attempt to Prank the DMV Backfired in a Spectacularly Expensive Way

His hypothesis proved partially correct: The systems didn’t properly process his “NULL” license plate, but the outcome was basically the opposite of what he was hoping for. First, upon trying to renew his tags, the DMV website informed him that his license number was invalid. Then he was hit with a barrage of parking tickets that totaled more than $12,000, because a processing center had used “NULL” for all parking misdemeanors committed by unidentified vehicles, and the system mistakenly attributed them all to Droogie’s car.

Pumpkin Spice Spam arrives just in time for fall, uh, ‘flavor’?

“True to the brand’s roots, SPAM® Pumpkin Spice combines deliciousness with creativity, allowing the latest variety to be incorporated into a number of dishes, from on-trend brunch recipes to an easy, pick me-up snack,” a Spam spokesperson told NBC.

Links To Go (August 14, 2019)

Make Sunday Mornings Uncomfortable

So, this Sunday, let’s take a risk. Let’s reach across the small divides to others as we imitate the one who spanned the great divide for us. And let’s urge our friends to do the same, because the harvest in our gatherings is plentiful.

Expat . . . With a Drill — How Living Cross-Culturally Messes With Your Values

It’s funny how we set our parameters around what’s essential and what’s extravagant based on the people around us. It’s even funnier to see it from two sides.

I Made Myself Lose My Phone

Over the years I’ve grown used to walking away. In the last decade, I have left countries, jobs, people — at times to my detriment. Three weeks before jumping on that plane to Thailand, I deleted my Facebook account. Two months later, in South Africa and still without a phone, I turned to my girlfriend and said, “You know what, I’m getting rid of Twitter.” Sometimes, you just have to rip off the band-aid. In the months that followed, there came a sense of security and serenity I hadn’t felt for a long time. Humans may be tool-using animals, but there are some tools we simply don’t need.

When The U.S. Government Tried To Replace Migrant Farmworkers With High Schoolers

“There’s nothing you can say to us that [migrant laborers] are rapists or they’re lazy,” he says. “We know the work they do. And they do it all their lives, not just one summer for a couple of months. And they raise their families on it. Anyone ever talks bad on them, I always think, ‘Keep talking, buddy, because I know what the real deal is.’ “

A Dallas-born citizen picked up by the Border Patrol has been detained for three weeks, his lawyer says

Galan said she met with CBP officers last week and presented them with Galicia’s birth certificate and some other documents but was unsuccessful in getting him released. She plans on presenting the same documents to ICE officers later this week.

Trump immigration official offers rewrite for Statue of Liberty poem

Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, was asked by NPR whether the words of Emma Lazarus’ “The New Colossus,” inscribed on a bronze tablet exhibited in the museum at the statue’s base, remain “part of the American ethos.” “They certainly are,” Cuccinelli said. “Give me your tired and your poor — who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge.”

Too easy or too tough? Voters split on Trump media coverage

Thirty-seven percent of respondents believe the media is “too tough” on Trump, while the same percentage believe the media is “not tough enough.” Fifteen percent think the media’s treatment of Trump is “just right,” while 11 percent don’t know or have no opinion. The responses are split sharply along party lines, with 75 percent of Republicans polled finding the media is “too tough” on the president, and 69 percent of Democrats finding the media is “not tough enough.” Among independent voters, 32 percent believe the media is “too tough” and 31 percent believe they are “not tough enough.”

I’m one of the rare few who needs only 4 hours of sleep per night

When I tweeted about being a natural short sleeper, someone asked me how they can make themselves one. I said to them, “I was born like this. I inherited this from my parents.” I don’t encourage people to do that. If you need to sleep, you must sleep. Otherwise, you’ll be grumpy and irritable and start making mistakes. Get your six to eight hours in, and make it good sleep. Don’t try and force yourself to run on little sleep.

How Mosquitoes Changed Everything

In total, Winegard estimates that mosquitoes have killed more people than any other single cause—fifty-two billion of us, nearly half of all humans who have ever lived. He calls them “our apex predator,” “the destroyer of worlds,” and “the ultimate agent of historical change.”

Links To Go (July 22, 2019)

James Dobson Gives Into Fear at the Border

There is no doubt that immigration is complicated, and it requires an intelligent solution. But nothing Dobson proposes here is any kind of solution at all, let alone an intelligent one. It’s just exaggerated paranoia that sacrifices empathy at the altar of protecting a certain type of focus on one very particular, narrow definition of “family” to the exclusion of the millions of migrant families who don’t love their children any less than Dobson’s audience does.

Post-Progressive Christianity: Part 3, Church

And yet, because of this focus on social justice, progressive Christianity is tempted to reduce to and equate itself with progressive political activism. By and large, progressive Christians don’t have much to say or offer that isn’t already being said by progressive activists. There is very little, if any, daylight between Progressive Christianity and the Democratic Party (in its traditional or most progressive stances) on any political or economic issue.

White Evangelicals Have Won Political Influence. But at What Cost?

Immigration is far from the only issue demonstrating this alarming trend. According to a 2016 PRRI/Brookings poll, 72 percent of white evangelical Protestants affirmed that elected officials could be trusted to behave ethically even if they have committed transgressions in their personal lives. When compared with a similar survey in 2011, it shows an unthinkable 42-point jump from the 30 percent who answered similarly just five years earlier.

How the Way We Talk About Sin Can Keep Us From Being Good People

In short, because we only talk about “sin” (and its avoidance), we have nothing further to offer the world for our betterment. We submit no process for discipleship. And worse, we have no means to critique ignobility or behaviors, patterns, and policies that injure the vulnerable or debase the image of God in others. Instead, all we have is a management plan for—maybe—avoiding sin. This is far from the gospel Jesus proclaims: the good news of transformation and new life.

John Stott’s Daily Prayer

The prayer is Triune. It addresses the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and goes like this: “Heavenly Father, I pray that this day I may live in your presence and please you more and more. Lord Jesus, I pray that this day I may take up my cross and follow you. Holy Spirit, I pray that this day you will fill me with yourself and cause your fruit to ripen in my life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”

How Many Protestant Churchgoers Actually Read the Bible Regularly?

Christians say the Bible is God’s Word, but even among Protestant churchgoers only a third spend time reading it every day.

Steve Bannon used location targeting to reach voters who had been in Catholic churches

“If your phone’s ever been in a Catholic church, it’s amazing, they got this data,” Bannon reportedly said. “Literally, they can tell who’s been in a Catholic church and how frequently,” Bannon added. “And they got it triaged.” When asked how he received the data, Bannon told Klayman, “the phone companies.” He continued, “and the data guys sell it.”

The solo marathon

The other kind of marathon is one that anyone can run, any day of the year. Put on your sneakers, run out the door and come back 26 miles later. These are rare. It’s worth noting that much of what we do in creating a project, launching a business or developing a career is a lot closer to the second kind of marathon.