Links To Go (April 21, 2016)

The Nation’s Latino Population Is Defined by Its Youth

Hispanics are the youngest major racial or ethnic group in the United States. About one-third, or 17.9 million, of the nation’s Hispanic population is younger than 18, and about a quarter, or 14.6 million, of all Hispanics are Millennials (ages 18 to 33 in 2014), according to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.


Watch: College Kids Can’t Explain Why a Short White Man Isn’t a Tall Asian Woman

Watch as the students struggle to explain why an adult male shouldn’t enroll in a first-grade class, why he’s not a woman, why he’s not substantially taller, or why he’s not Asian.


The Trap of Tradition

The problem comes in when the traditions are built, not on gospel foundations or on liturgical /theoligcal Traditions, but on cultural milieu and are then held to as if they are gospel truth.


Why Church Competition Is Losing The Game

People want to know God more than why we are right and others got the church stuff wrong. This does not mean that there are not vastly important truths to be known as well as followed. But it does say that standing for Truth while being silent about the one named Jesus is the poorest of doctrines.


Be Quick to Read and Slow to Comment

In 2014, NPR conducted an April Fools’ Day experiment. They posted an article on Facebook titled, “Why Doesn’t America Read Anymore?” The Facebook comments came flooding in.

“I read every day, and all my friends and family members do too. Are we not America? Or are you just weakly grasping for stories?”
“Just because people aren’t opting to read a dusty copy of War and Peace doesn’t mean we’re having a hard time comprehending things.”
“NPR, wipe those nervous beads of sweat from your brow, sit back, or read & conduct research at a library for another NPR story. There are plenty of bookworms, you just have to look for them.”

If you clicked the article to “hear” NPR’s argument and the evidence behind their statement, you were instead greeted by, “Congratulations, genuine readers…” NPR then explained: “We sometimes get the sense that some people are commenting on NPR stories that they haven’t actually read.” Each comment proved their suspicion. Each comment revealed the reality of why James penned his words in James 1:19. As fallen creatures, we are slow to hear and quick to speak.


Understanding the Role of the Holy Spirit in the Church Today

So if you want to know the Holy Spirit, you must be in the church where He does His work and you must read Scripture to hear the words He gave the apostles and prophets. The Spirit works in the church – of the past, present, and future – “for the common good” (1 Corinthians 12:7). He wants to work through you to strengthen and comfort others by your ordinary God-glorifying acts of service and obedience (see Romans 12:3-8; 1 Peter 4:7-11).


What are you afraid of?

Fast forward several years, and I became convicted through Bible study and conversation with Spirit-filled christians that I had neglected the Holy Spirit. And as a result, my faith was simmering down to an intellectual set of beliefs and a lifestyle, rather than something that was active and growing in vibrancy in my life.


Ministers, Finances, and the Danger of Ignoring This Subject

When a minister is under severe financial strain, much energy may be required to simply survive financially. This is energy, time, and attention that could have been invested in that ministry. On the other hand, when a minister overly focuses on salary, his role can be reduced to little more than employment by a religious institution. In the end, everyone loses while the mission of Jesus is set aside.


Man Trapped in Sinking Car Rescued by Texas Reporter on Live TV

Reporter Steve Campion, from ABC station KTRK-TV in Houston, was doing a live shot in front of a flooded road when a driver tried to pass. But the car got stuck and quickly started to sink.
The man stuck his head out of the front passenger window as Campion shouted over to him, “Leave the car, swim.”
The driver then pushed his way out of the sinking car and the reporter waded into the deep waters to save him.


Police nab chicken for crossing Kingston Road

Police reported on Twitter that there was a “turkey or a large chicken on loose, causing a traffic disturbance.”
Moments after egging on morning commuters, officers made an arrest for fowl play.


Links To Go (April 18, 2016)

Americans’ views of immigrants marked by widening partisan, generational divides

In our latest national political survey, released in March, 59% of the public say immigrants strengthen the country, while 33% describe them as a burden. In 1994, opinions were nearly the reverse: 63% said immigrants were a burden and 31% said they strengthened the country.


Tenn. Gov. Vetoes Bill to Make the Bible the State’s Official Book

In a letter to lawmakers, the governor spelled out his reasons for vetoing the measure, saying:
“In addition to the constitutional issues with the bill, my personal feeling is that this bill trivializes the Bible, which I believe is a sacred text. If we believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God, then we shouldn’t be recognizing it only as a book of historical and economic significance. If we are recognizing the Bible as a sacred text, then we are violating the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Tennessee by designating it as the official state book.”


What’s Your Conscience Worth?

Bruce Springsteen says he won’t perform for North Carolina, as long as the state upholds its recently passed law regarding gender and public restrooms. Springsteen is doing what millions of Americans are taught, in classrooms and in culture, to do: Standing up for his conscience, and drawing lines accordingly. But in our era, the question becomes: If this is counted to Springsteen as righteousness, why is it counted as sin to North Carolina?


Is God Dead? No, but belief has declined slightly

To be sure, the share of people in the United States who say they believe in the Almighty has dropped a bit recently, from 92% in 2007 (when the Center’s first Religious Landscape Study was released) to 89% in 2014. And among the youngest adults surveyed (born between 1990 and 1996), the share of believers is 80%.


Revenge and Privilege

It is easy to judge parenting choices and children’s behavior, so simple to say, “If I were you, this is what I would do…” But we are rarely able (or willing) to fully step outside, or even recognize, the experiences that have formed our perspectives.
I’m thankful my tutor was willing to help me understand the circumstances at school for her daughter. Now, when a woman I respect and know to be a good mother, makes a statement I don’t understand or makes a choice for her children that I might not make, I am much more likely to trust her instincts. I might ask questions but these come from an attitude of wanting to learn. Rather than make assumptions about her parenting or her relationship with her children, I’ll seek to understand their actual context.


Stott Bowdlerized

Anyone who picks up Basic Christianity today will do so because he wants something altogether different from the products available in his own age. He wants something from the past. What he gets instead sounds almost as if it were composed yesterday: chatty, choppy, bereft of much difficulty, with an improbable hint of political correctness.


BLESS Missional Practices as a Sideways Step into Evangelism

How are we doing that? We are pursuing five missional practices. We call them BLESS.
<

    li>Begin with prayer.

  • Listen.
  • Eat.
  • Serve.
  • Story.

We want every person to imagine evangelism as “blessing” others. So many people think of evangelism as pressuring people. So we don’t even use the word. We ask them to “bless” others in order to help them find their way back to God.


Do You Really Need Email on Your Phone?

Are you truly creating value with your emails? Or are you feeding a stream of worthless communication that only serves to limit the action of others in your absence?
Are you jumping at each and every message that comes across? Interrupting your work and life to the point that you don’t know which is which.
Most emails are worthless. Inane back-and-forth about silly and simple topics. Topics that would be better served with less action. Things that can wait.


Links To Go (April 11, 2016)

Sharing others’ ideas that made me think…


I.O.U.

I walked down the street the other day, and as I passed people, I thought, “I owe you.” I am in debt to every person I meet, and so are you. It’s a debt that we owe vertically, but the payment is made horizontally as we share the gospel with others.


The Politics of Gay Marriage (Citizens of heaven)

American Christians are under the delusion that our savior is the government. Why would I say such a thing? Because we things go badly, we want to fix it via the government. We want to elect the right representatives and president. We want the right court decisions issued. And if we could just get a filibuster-proof Senate and our preferred presidential candidate, our problems would be solved. And this is pagan, godless thinking.


Is Your Church a Safe Place For People With Same Sex Attraction?

So, what would change if we assumed some of our members or guests experienced SSA? I believe one of the first things that would change is that our motivation to learn about homosexuality would change from polemical and political to pastoral and personal. We would want to be able to get to know a person more effectively rather than make a point more persuasively.


Keeping the Faith in A Faithless Age: the Church as a Moral Minority

Whatever the issue, the church must speak as the church-that is, as the community of fallen but redeemed, who stand under divine authority. The concern of the church is not to know its own mind, but to know and follow the mind of God. The church’s convictions must not emerge from the ashes of our own fallen wisdom, but from the authoritative Word of God which reveals the wisdom of God and His commands.


No, I Don’t Drink. Yes, I Know How To Have Fun.

Growing up in a generation that established binge drinking as a main weekend pastime, being sober has always made me the odd one out. My reasons not to drink are simple: The idea of drinking never appealed to me; I could never stand the taste of alcohol; and I never felt like I needed an extra boost to have fun — or make stupid decisions. Also, coming from someone who finds pleasure in having everything under control, the idea of not being 100 percent in control of myself is more my definition of a nightmare than having fun.


Illumination and the Study of Scripture

To put it succinctly: in inspiration God the Holy Spirit used the writers of Scripture in order to reveal God’s truth; in illumination God the Holy Spirit enlivens the minds of the readers of Scripture today to understand what God has put there.


Should Moms Make Time for a Sabbath?

Listed below are reasons why I think practicing a lifestyle that leaves room for a personal sabbath is good for the Christian wife and mom. These things have helped restore the peace in my heart and in my home when I set aside the guilt for needing rest that Satan kept me trapped in. I hope you find rest in these reasons as well.


Listen Well

So I don’t know if we’re just stubborn …
Or think we know more than God …
Or we’re at the mercy of the influence of sin in our hearts …
Or we’re just going to keep re-defining sin until it isn’t sin any longer…
Or we’re helpless in our pain and searching…
Or we just resist God even though we know we should yield.
Whatever it is that keeps us going down the paths that hurt … I think the only way back to God’s path is to listen well.


Sheep Tragi-Comedy #1,317: “The Draad Kruiper”

Here are a few ways that we might be like the Draad Kruiper:

  1. Professing Jesus Christ but failing to plug into a NT kind of local church.
  2. Irregular or infrequent participation in corporate worship.
  3. Resistance to meaningful local church membership.
  4. Unrepentant complaining about our local churches.
  5. Refusal to humbly serve in ways that the elders in the church have asked.

This Library Provides Social Services to Homeless Patrons

As recently reported by My Modern Met, the SFPL has been providing life-changing services to homeless people for the past seven years. In 2009, the library teamed up with the San Francisco Department of Public Health in an effort to better handle their homeless patrons, who make up 15 percent of their daily visitors. Since then, around 800 homeless people have taken advantage of the library’s social services and close to 150 have moved into stable living situations.


Links To Go (April 6, 2016)

Thoughts from other people, shared because they made me think…


Things No One Tells You About Going on Short-Term Mission Trips

We have both seen the good, the bad and the ugly of short-term missions. And we continue to feel this tension with the short-term mission teams that we host. Do they do more harm than good? Do they perpetuate the cycle of poverty? Do they contribute to feelings of superiority? Or inferiority? Our work with families and communities in Guatemala, as well as churches and schools from the U.S. has forced us to ask these questions daily.


Amplifying Evangelism—Show and Tell

“Don’t tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.” If that’s the case, I think an argument can be made that Evangelicals have abandoned any actual belief in evangelism. We have become a missionary people without a mission. We have turned evangelism and mission into bywords that are used incessantly but are buttressed with very little actual engagement or action on the part of the typical Christian.


When Your Preacher Becomes THE Pastor

Elders haven’t fulfilled the responsibility of being a shepherd by making the preacher do the work of a shepherd while they ignore that role. It is inconsistent to make the preacher do most of the teaching, most of the visiting of visitors and newcomers to the community, be the primary minister at all deaths, go to reclaim those who have strayed from the fold, make regular hospital, nursing home, and shut-in visits (and hand in a report), work with troubled marriages, minister to those who have problems with their marriages and children, rebuke those who are in sin — then get upset when someone calls the preacher the pastor.


Everything My Church Taught Me About Sex and Marriage Is Wrong

Well-meaning as they were, speakers used these lines to preach the Gospel, but the main thing I took away was a shallow understanding of sex and marriage. I found myself believing in two lies: “marriage and sex are completely different” and “sex is about me.”


How To Be Fed At Church

  1. Come Expecting
  2. Come Giving
  3. Come Forgiving
  4. Come Ready

Why Hillary Clinton’s ‘Unborn Person’ Comment Is Drawing Criticism From Both Sides of the Abortion Debate

The comment—particularly the part about an unborn person not having constitutional rights—was immediately seized on by both critics and supporters of abortion (but for different reasons). Advocates for access to abortion took issue with the term “unborn person,” whereas pro-life advocates see her denial of a person’s (by her own definition) basic rights as an obvious problem. Most pro-life advocates view the unborn as people who should be protected by the law. Clinton’s comment acknowledges’ that’ personhood, but strips them of rights afforded to other Americans.


Tim Duncan becomes 3rd player in NBA history to win 1,000 games

“He’s got a lot of miles on his body, and he still comes in day in, day out, first guy in the gym, last guy to leave,” guard Danny Green said. “Same routine every day, lots of energy, great focus. It’s tough to do, and I don’t know how he continues to stay motivated playing 20 years, winning so many championships, and making whatever he wanted to make. But he does it every day.”


Links To Go (April 5, 2016)

Changing the Subject– When Principles are Caricatured as Prejudice

The point of this post is this—- reasonable people can disagree on what constitutes moral sexual activity and what counts as reasonable gun control. If we want to actually act intelligently about such matters we should have meaningful discussions, not posturing, not using pejorative language like ‘prejudice’ or ‘unAmerican’, or the like.


Persecute Me, Please: God’s Not Dead 2 and the Evangelical Lust for Victimhood

Christians want to be guilty of something in that ironic sense in which Jesus was “guilty,” and yet they aren’t sufficiently like him in enough ways for that to even be a problem. They are more worried about getting into heaven than they are about doing anything useful to people on earth. They are more concerned with believing the right things about sin and salvation than they are with mitigating any of the problems people deal with in the present reality like poverty, famine, disease, and social injustice.


ESPN Tried to Shame Cuba on Poverty and It Backfired Spectacularly

The caption read, “Meanwhile, next to the stadium in Havana…” — an apparent attempt to highlight the irony of the most powerful man in the world enjoying a game at a fancy ballpark while the ills of poverty sat right next door.
There was just one problem:
Justin Klugh, a sports blogger with SB Nation, responded by tweeting the above image of the scene outside Citi Field in Willet’s Point, Queens, where the New York Mets play baseball.
If anything, the shot from the U.S. looks even starker than the one from Cuba.


15 Historical Complaints About Young People Ruining Everything

A recent New York Times article about millennials in the workforce didn’t paint a pretty picture. But a few admittedly astonishing anecdotes shouldn’t be used to stereotype millions of people. Nothing is certain in this life but death, taxes, and the existence in every generation of people who complain about young kids ruining everything.


So You Have No Idea What Your ‘Calling’ Is

Finally, remind yourself of who you are to God. Whatever your current situation or calling, you are a child of the King. Sometimes, the most refreshing things we can hear as we pursue our life calling is the reassurance from God that He loves us, that He notices our faithfulness, that He redeems wasted time, and that He is using us now and preparing us for later, whether we see it or not.


Why flying is awful, explained using your sad, lonely apartment

The important thing, of course, is not how terrible this density would be in your apartment. Rather, it’s how well it works in the confines of an airplane. These are the conditions we sign up for every time we purchase an economy-class airline ticket. And everyone aboard that plane agrees to abide by those conditions for however long it takes for the plane to reach its destination.


Northampton troopers find 230 bags of heroin after suspect whispers ‘I don’t think they found all the stuff in the car’

While transporting the suspects from state police barracks in Northampton to the Hampshire County Jail & House of Corrections, troopers allegedly heard Tutsock turn to Johnson and Richards and whisper, “I don’t think they found all the stuff in the car.”
Shortly after, detectives returned to the car in question to conduct a second search, police reports said. Police came across a sealed red Coca Cola can containing 230 baggies of heroin labeled “Alpha” on the car’s floor police said. Troopers also discovered three digital scales with white powder on them inside the trunk’s spare tire compartment.


A Cuban-born Rays player saw his family for the first time in 3 years

One of the best moments in the Rays’ trip to Cuba didn’t happen on the baseball diamond. It happened when the team arrived in Cuba and Dayron Varona saw his family for the first time in three years.