Category Archives: links

Links To Go (September 15, 2017)

God Didn’t Write a Book

Many of our fears about the future of the Bible are based on careless thought about its history. We assume that since we first encountered the Bible as a book, this is how it has always been and how it must always be.

Be careful how close you let Jesus get to real life

Christianity and the life of the church have become a lot of different things, but it seems that feathers always get ruffled when you actually start taking seriously the example and teachings of the guy supposedly at the center of it all.

The Overcommitted Church

  1. Our churches equate activity with value.
  2. Programs and ministries became ends instead of means.
  3. Failure of churches to have a clear purpose.
  4. Church leaders have failed to say “no.”
  5. Fear of eliminating.
  6. Church is often defined as an address.
  7. Churches often try to compete with culture rather than reach culture.

Mexican Views of the U.S. Turn Sharply Negative

More Mexicans view the United States unfavorably than at any time in the past decade and a half. Nearly two-thirds of Mexicans (65%) express a negative opinion of the U.S., more than double the share two years ago (29%). Mexicans’ opinions about the economic relationship with their country’s northern neighbor are also deteriorating, though less dramatically: 55% now say economic ties between Mexico and the U.S. are good for their country, down from 70% in 2013.

Impossible, unlikely or difficult?

Unlikely never feels quite the same as difficult, and sometimes it appears impossible. It’s neither. It’s something risky, and something without a map or a guarantee. We hesitate to do it precisely because it might not work, precisely because it’s more than difficult.

Science Says the Most Successful Kids Have Parents Who Do These 9 Things

  1. Don’t tell them they can be anything they want.
  2. Eat dinner as a family.
  3. Enforce no-screen time.
  4. Work outside the home.
  5. Make them work.
  6. Delay gratification.
  7. Read to them.
  8. Encourage them to travel.
  9. Let them fail.

Yes, sitting too long can kill you, even if you exercise

There’s a direct relationship between time spent sitting and your risk of early mortality of any cause, researchers said, based on a study of nearly 8,000 adults. As your total sitting time increases, so does your risk of an early death.
The positive news: People who sat for less than 30 minutes at a time had the lowest risk of early death.

Meet the Font Detectives Who Ferret Out Fakery

We can never know quite how many documents are forged. We might have missed a lot of fakes over the years—after all, it’s only when disputes air in court or the media that they receive enough expert attention to expose them.
But Haley suspects that despite improved technology, forgery might be on the decline. “People are more aware of typefaces and fonts now, and that there can be a history to them,” he says.

Links To Go (September 13, 2017)

Links to provoke thought and entertainment. No agreement nor endorsement implied.

Pastors’ Spouses Experience Mixed Blessings

Being married to a pastor means a life filled with joy, purpose and a lot of headaches.
Most pastors’ spouses feel a call to ministry and enjoy their roles inside and outside their church.
Many also have few friends, think they yell at their kids too much, and worry about money.

Don’t Let the Sheep Lead the Flock

In a culture that’s increasingly difficult for Christian leaders, I encourage you to lead courageously, which may mean leading people where they have never gone before, don’t want to go, and are afraid to go. They may fight you. They may decide not to go with you. They may disembark and find a vehicle going in the direction they prefer. I encourage you to stay faithful to the Chief Shepherd who guides you. Hear his voice and follow him. His sheep will hear his voice and follow as well.

3 Things You Can Do Today to Reflect Christ in Your Workplace

  1. Reflect Christ in Your Thinking
  2. Reflect Christ in Your Talk
  3. Reflect Christ in Your Connections

What’s changed in Britain since same-sex marriage?

In a heartbreaking development and in spite of Britain’s ‘foster crisis’, aspiring foster parents who identify as religious, face interrogation. Those who are deemed unlikely to ‘celebrate’ homosexuality, have had their dreams of parenthood scuppered. This month, Britain’s High Court, ruled that a Pentecostal couple were ineligible parents. While the court recognised their successful and loving record of adoption, they decreed that above all else: ‘The equality provisions concerning sexual orientation should take precedence’. How has Great Britain become so twisted? Practicing Jews, Muslims, Christians and Sikhs, who want to stay true to their religious teachings, can no longer adopt children.

The Equifax Breach Exposes America’s Identity Crisis

SSNs, which have been around since the 1930s, have only one intended purpose: to track US citizens’ earnings and contributions to the Social Security program. (In an uncanny twist, the Social Security Administration itself sometimes uses Equifax services to help verify a person’s identity during the process of setting up a “My Social Security” account, an SSA spokesperson told WIRED on Friday. But the Administration doesn’t share Social Security numbers with Equifax.) Other collection of SSNs is generally legal, but the Social Security Administration has no involvement in wider use of the numbers. “The card was never intended to serve as a personal identification document,” the Administration says on its website. “The universality of SSN ownership has in turn led to the SSN’s adoption by private industry as a unique identifier. Unfortunately, this universality has led to abuse.”

Giving every American $12,000 a year in free money could grow the economy by $2.5 trillion, study finds

Until those experiments begin giving people money and analyzing the resulting data, however, economists will be left to speculate as to how transformative a basic income could really be.

Links To Go (September 12, 2017)

Faith groups provide the bulk of disaster recovery, in coordination with FEMA

In a disaster, churches don’t just hold bake sales to raise money or collect clothes to send to victims; faith-based organizations are integral partners in state and federal disaster relief efforts. They have specific roles and a sophisticated communication and coordination network to make sure their efforts don’t overlap or get in each others’ way.

Ignore Spiritual “Get Rich Quick” Schemes: A Call for Patient Evangelism

The result is story after story of dramatic conversions and mass movements. Churches rarely celebrate slow, hard-slogging work that’s yet to see fruit. In doing so, we unintentionally create spiritual versions of get-rich-quick testimonials, showing how through only a little extra giving and a little extra prayer, you too can see an entire unreached people group saved in your lifetime.
In our efforts to quickly mobilize churches in missions, I fear we’re unintentionally undermining the church’s ability to patiently invest for the spiritual long-term. I fear we’re training churches who would’ve brought home William Carey or Adoniram Judson due to their evangelistic inefficiency in the first seven or eight years.

The Lord is Never Late

In my pained estimation in those dark days, the Lord was moving much too slowly, but I knew in that moment that he is not slow in keeping his promises (2 Pet. 3:9). He was holding me all along, and his reviving word came right on time. I pray I will remember this in dark days to come.
The Lord is never late.

Watch Kristen Bell Perform ‘Frozen’ Songs in a Florida Hurricane Shelter

Actress Kristen Bell was in Orlando this weekend to film a new movie, but found herself hunkered down as Hurricane Irma bared down on the region. But, instead of just hanging out in her hotel room, Bell—who voiced the character Anna in Frozen—decided to lift the spirits of evacuees taking shelter in a local school.

Recalling hardships after ’89 hurricane, Duncan sends help back home

“I want to make sure it’s not a one-ditch effort,” said Duncan, who lived his first 18 years on St. Croix before moving to North Carolina to attend college at Wake Forest.
“Just, ‘Oh yeah, we went down there and did this and it’s done.’ Because the recovery process is not going to be done. It’s going to take months and even years for everyone to recover to normal life.”

Links to Go (September 7, 2017)

More Americans now say they’re spiritual but not religious

In addition to those who say they are spiritual but not religious, 48% say they are both religious and spiritual, while 6% say they are religious but not spiritual. Another 18% answer both questions negatively, saying they are neither religious nor spiritual. Looked at another way, only 54% of U.S. adults think of themselves as religious – down 11 points since 2012 – while far more (75%) say they are spiritual, a figure that has remained relatively steady in recent years.

DACA Done Right: A Moment We All Can Stand with DREAMers

If you supported DACA, then that support is needed now more than ever in this legislative window of opportunity. If you opposed DACA simply because you did not feel it should happen via Executive Order, then now is your chance to get behind compassionate action. And if you opposed DACA because you truly do not support DREAMers, then I and many others (including President Trump now) encourage you to reconsider.

3 quick ways to improve a “Short Term Missions” trip

  1. Stop calling it a “Short Term Mission Trip”
  2. Put away your wallet.
  3. Think beyond the short term hit and run

Does the Bible Condone Slavery?

Though the reasons a person might be a slave were many and the laws about slavery were somewhat complicated, here are a few things to keep in mind about ancient Israelite slavery:

  1. In the absence of prisons, enslaving captives of war was an alternative to killing them.
  2. Many people became slaves when they found themselves financially bankrupt. Instead of going hungry, people were allowed to sell themselves into slavery (indentured servitude).
  3. The Law of Moses was not recommending, or even condoning slavery, but was ensuring the protection and fair treatment of all people—including slaves.

God did not invent slavery, but He did establish a legal system to help ensure that the poor, the foreigners, the prisoners of war, and the servants would be treated with fairness and mercy.

Are Smart, Educated Women Still Called to the Church Nursery?

First, we need to honor caretaking generally. In a fallen world, even well-intentioned attempts to empower women can lead to the devaluation of caregiving. “Fifty years ago, [some] middle class women stayed home, cared for their families, and were manifestly unequal to their breadwinning husbands,” writes Anne-Marie Slaughter in her book Unfinished Business. “To make them equal, we liberated women to be breadwinners too and fought for equality in the workplace. But along the way, we left caregiving behind, valuing it less and less as a meaningful and important human endeavor.” Today, if a woman shows preference for a traditional caretaking role, her choice is sometimes interpreted as the product of patriarchy, regardless of her personal fulfillment or calling.

Woman catches mechanic taking an apparent joy ride in her limited edition car

“I took my car to the dealership so you could change the oil and change the air conditioner. Why are you driving my car to get food?” Mari Agredano-Quirino can be heard saying to the driver in the video after she stopped him at a fast food drive-through in her car, which she had taken to a dealership earlier in the day for maintenance.

Links To Go (September 1, 2017)

Christians, Our Love of Politics Is Killing Christianity

Christians, we’ve got to stop loving politics. It’s bringing us more division, warping the message of Christianity we are trying to embody and is distracting us from going to heaven and taking others with us. We cannot continue our love affair with both Jesus and politics. We must choose one. For the sake of the souls of those around us, I hope we choose Jesus.

Love Isn’t the Only Thing That Matters, But It Matters Most

Isn’t it interesting how we get things backwards so often? We tend to care more about a brother’s view on worship than we do his view on war. We care more about what he believes about God than about how he treats the poor, the immigrant, and the widow. We all prioritize things. The question is, do we have the same priorities as God?

How to lead when you’re not in charge

Even when we have authority and official positions of leadership, inspiring leaders do not need to leverage their authority. “Not so with you” leaders learn that there are ways to cultivate influence and build trust. Jesus tells us this is the way to lead—by example and for the right reasons.

Most Americans – especially Millennials – say libraries can help them find reliable, trustworthy information

A large majority of Millennials (87%) say the library helps them find information that is trustworthy and reliable, compared with 74% of Baby Boomers (ages 52 to 70) who say the same. More than eight-in-ten Millennials (85%) credit libraries with helping them learn new things, compared with 72% of Boomers. And just under two-thirds (63%) of Millennials say the library helps them get information that assists with decisions they have to make, compared with 55% of Boomers.

Multilevel-marketing companies like LuLaRoe are forcing people into debt and psychological crisis

But according to a report that studied the business models of 350 MLMs, published on the Federal Trade Commission’s website, 99% of people who join multilevel-marketing companies lose money. Depending on how you look at it, it’s either a brilliant business model or a predatory practice—or a little bit of both.

MMA Star Derrick Lewis Saves Man With Confederate Flag In Hurricane Harvey

In an interview with MMA Junkie, Lewis revealed that one of the families that he rescued included a father who deeply wanted to save his confederate flag. “I picked up one guy and his family, his wife ― he just kept apologizing to me, because all he really had was his clothes, and he wanted to take his confederate flag,” Lewis said. “He wanted to take that with him, and he just apologized and said, ‘Man, I’ll sit in the back of your truck, man. I don’t want to have my flag inside of your truck like this.’ I said, ‘Man, I’m not worried about that.'”

Mexican bakers make pan dulce for hundreds of Harvey victims after becoming trapped by floods

“By the time the owner managed to get to them, they had made so much bread that we took the loaves to loads of emergency centres across the city for people affected by the floods.
“We didn’t count exactly how many loaves they made, but they used 4,400 pounds [1,996kg] of flour.”

Jet Ski-riding heroes reunite with Houston grandparents they rescued from flood zone

“We had to get out of there so I called Chick-fil-A, now that sounds kind of funny,” J.C. Spencer said in an interview on “Good Morning America” Wednesday. “I ordered two grilled chicken burritos with extra egg and a boat. And can you believe that one of the managers of Chick-fil-A, she sent her husband to pick us up and we are so grateful.”