Links To Go (January 20, 2017)

Oh no, look what Trump’s done: He’s appointed someone to Cabinet who ONCE PRAYED

Am I reading that right? Is the newspaper that exposed Watergate really suggesting that the most important detail about a Cabinet appointee is that he “once led a prayer?”
Stop the presses!
I mean, is the political staff of the Post really so out of touch that they think somebody praying is first-sentence material for a breaking news alert?:

That Time I Turned a Routine Traffic Ticket into the Constitutional Trial of the Century

Traffic-camera laws seem like such minor, insignificant intrusions on liberty that few grasp their constitutional significance. But they reflect a profoundly mistaken view of American constitutionalism. One might say that the traffic camera is a sign of our times. Its widespread use and acceptance reveals how far we have drifted from our fundamental commitment to self-government. When our governing officials dismiss due process as mere semantics, when they exercise powers they don’t have and ignore duties they actually bear, and when we let them get away with it, we have ceased to be our own rulers.

Upon The Death Of A Grandson

I know that Nathan is with Jesus in glory for his confidence was not in himself but in his Lord who died for him. Christ had to bear all the horror of our death to bring us eternal life. We may have victory over death in him but we can never accept death as good, normal and acceptable. For when we cease to rage against death we have given up on life itself.

Be Careful Calling Someone a “False Teacher”

But Jesus teaches us to examine the fruit of people’s lives. If someone is full of love, joy, peace, patience, and kindness – but they teach something incorrectly – they are NOT someone you need to go to war against. They are an “Apollos” and need to be treated as such. On the other hand, if someone is a lover of money, constantly quarreling and fighting, or hateful and rude, this is the kind of person who needs to be sharply rebuked, silenced, and avoided.
There are false teachers and there are mistaken teachers; we need to practice discernment to know one from the other.

God Always Seems To Have An Idea

I’m to do what we are all to do when facing challenges that sometimes make us cry. We praise God. We tell Him “thank you”. We do not flinch. What we do is live in certainty that as one door closes others break open. This is the way it will go for me and how it will unfold for you.
God is never out of ideas. I truly believe that He has wonder in mind that no man or woman has dared even inquire about; let alone approach.

Links To Go (January 17, 2017)

Rebuilding Our Witness (Part 1): Why It’s Time to Take a Second Look at Our Christian Worldview in Light of Our New Political Climate

I think it’s time for all of us to revisit what it means to hold to a Christian worldview that primarily embraces two things: the Great Commandment and the Great Commission. To be clear, this is a worldview that holds to God as Creator, Redeemer, Restorer, and Holder of all things. This is Colossian 1:16-18.
But it is also a worldview that cannot divorce itself from what this very God called us to: the Great Commission.
This kind of Christian worldview (and let me be clear, I think it’s the only kind), which holds in one hand the Great Commandment and in the other the Great Commission, cares little about self-preservation and promotion. Instead, it embraces a love of God and a love of others above even ourselves (Phil. 2:3-4).

Rebuilding Our Witness (Part 2): Developing an Understanding of the Connection of Love & Evangelism in Light of Our New Political Climate

The Christian worldview that we embrace has a heart that breaks for those around us who don’t know Jesus. That is the first step: actually caring that those around us aren’t in His family. The outworking of the Great Commandment to love God is that as we worship Him and spend time with Him, our hearts will grow more and more like His. Our eyes will begin to see things they didn’t before.
This moves us towards actually embracing the second step: doing something about the fact that those around us don’t know Jesus. We are compelled to then make sure they hear about Jesus, and are shown the love of Jesus.

November 8th Is Long Gone, So Where do Christians Find Themselves?

It is time for us to stop asking how we get our collective foot into our culture, and instead begin to ask God how we can be faithful to Him and our call to show and share the love of Jesus in a broken and hurting world. We need to remember that what happens in the church house is far more important than what happens in the White House.
Jesus is not coming back on a donkey or an elephant. He is coming back on a white horse to bring victory. I, for one, just want to keep showing and sharing the love of Jesus in the midst of a changing culture until that moment comes. Do you?

How Black and White Christians Do Discipleship Differently

Black believers are more likely to position their growth in Christ in the context of community and fellowship, while white Christians take a more individualized approach, according to a study released this week from Barna Research.

The Hot ‘New’ Church Growth Method

How surprising, then, that David Millard Haskell, Kevin N. Flatt, and Stephanie Burgoyne have found that doctrine grows churches. In their peer-reviewed scholarly article for the Review of Religious Research, a prestigious journal, the trio present findings among mainstream Canadian churches showing that—contra the stereotypes—doctrinally conservative churches that reach out aggressively often grow. Churches that soften biblical teachings and de-emphasize evangelism often shrink.

‘Worst Year Yet’: The Top 50 Countries Where It’s Hardest to Be a Christian

For the third year in a row, the modern persecution of Christians worldwide has hit another record high.
But the primary cause, Islamic extremism, now has a rival: ethnic nationalism.
Thus, Asia increasingly merits concern alongside the Middle East, according to the 2017 World Watch List (WWL) released today by Open Doors.

Scientists Find More Evidence That Your Appendix Serves a Purpose

The data also showed that species that have an appendix also have a higher concentration of lymphoid tissue, which supports immunity and the growth of beneficial bacteria, in the cecum. Taken all together, these findings support the theory that your appendix is there to help keep you safe and crawling with the right kind of microbes.

Links To Go (January 12, 2017)

Taking Back Christianese #7: “America is a Christian Nation”

So, in the end, America is a a nation founded on Christian principles and ideas. But it is not a theocracy, nor is Christianity the national religion, nor are all its citizens Christians. So, it is a Christian nation in certain ways, but not in others. And Christians must walk that narrow and dangerous boundary in between.

Eight Myths About Obama’s Opening To Cuba

  • Myth 1: The United States has gotten nothing in return for concessions made to Cuba.
  • Myth 2: Obama rescued the Cuban regime from economic and political collapse that was imminent because of the collapse of Venezuela.
  • Myth 3: The Cuban people do not benefit from tourism; all the money goes to the government.
  • Myth 4: Obama betrayed the Cuban people and Cuban dissidents to partner with the government.
  • Myth 5: The human rights situation in Cuba has gotten worse since December 17, 2014.
  • Myth 6: Cuba is strategically insignificant, so there’s nothing to lose by taking a tough position demanding democracy.
  • Myth 7: The Castros are creating a family dynasty like North Korea.
  • Myth 8: Trump won Florida because Cuban Americans supported his hard line on Cuba.

How Netflix Is Deepening Our Cultural Echo Chambers

But I suspect the impacts, like the viewership, tend to be restricted along the same social and cultural echo chambers into which we’ve split ourselves in the first place. Those effects do not approach the vast ways that TV once remade the culture: how everyone of a certain age knows the idioms of “Seinfeld” (“It shrinks?”), or followed the “Cheers” romance of Diane and Sam, or how a show like “All in the Family” inspired a national conversation about the Vietnam War and the civil rights movement.

Less than half the public views border wall as an important goal for U.S. immigration policy

As President-elect Donald Trump prepares to take office, the public views one of his signature campaign promises – the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border – as a less important goal for immigration policy than several other objectives, such as cracking down on visa overstays.

How America Changed During Barack Obama’s Presidency

As the Obama era draws to a close, Pew Research Center looks back on these and other important social, demographic and political shifts that have occurred at home and abroad during the tenure of the 44th president. And we look ahead to some of the trends that could define the tenure of the 45th, Donald Trump.

Secure Your Online Life with the Bible (and Good Security Practices)

However, in practice, the past few decades have shown that there are several problems with these 8-letter strong passwords:

  • It’s hard for humans to remember a truly random set of characters, so we often take a common word and replace a few letter with symbols (a => @, s => $).
  • Because even that is hard to remember, we use the same password for dozens of websites and that makes us vulnerable.
  • An 8 character password that meets the above requirements is actually not as secure as a longer password with all lowercase letters.

The iPhone Remade Apple 10 Years Ago. Now It’s Slowing Apple Down

Now Apple is facing a turning point, and once again the iPhone is the reason—but not in a good way this time around. The smartphone market is saturated. Rivals, especially Google, are building hardware that truly rivals the iPhone. After 10 years, the iPhone can no longer serve as Apple’s growth engine. The company now faces the same challenge it did a decade ago: figuring out what’s next.

7 Writing Tips from Charles Spurgeon

  1. Write to Help others
  2. Write Short
  3. Write for God
  4. Write Clearly
  5. Write to Compel
  6. Write, Write, & Write
  7. Read to Write

Links To Go (January 5, 2017)

Links from around the internet, designed to make you think or make you laugh; no agreement nor endorsement implied.

The candy diet

Even if only a few people use precise words, employ thoughtful reasoning and ask difficult questions, it still forces those around them to catch up. It’s easy to imagine a slippery slope down, but there’s also the cultural ratchet, a positive function in which people race to learn more and understand more so they can keep up with those around them.
Turn the ratchet. We can lead our way back to curiosity, inquiry and discovery if we (just a few for now) measure the right things and refuse the easy option in favor of insisting on better.

Evangelicals should be deeply troubled by Donald Trump’s attempt to mainstream heresy

Thanks to the First Amendment, Christian orthodoxy has never been a test for public office. But it is striking that Trump has surrounded himself with cadre of prosperity evangelists who cheerfully attack basic Christian doctrines. The focus of this unity is a gospel that is about as diametrically opposed to the biblical one as you can imagine.
Since “evangelical” comes from the word “gospel,” that should make more of a difference to those who wear the label than it does at the moment. The prosperity gospel may be our nation’s new civil religion. It doesn’t offend anyone (but picky Christians). It tells us everything we want to hear and nothing that we need to hear most.

Tim Keller under the Eye

First, Nicholas Kristof doesn’t even know who most of these critics are. He does know Keller, and that’s what matters here.
Second, the reason Kristof knows Keller is for one reason and one reason alone: Keller has a flourishing ministry in NYC.
I should have said three reasons, for this is the big point: Tim Keller has a flourishing ministry in NYC with the very set that is doubtful about Christianity, skeptical of Christianity, and hundreds are being converted to Christ because of the way he answered these questions tossed at him by Kristof. I know of less than a handful of pastors who are reaching a generation of skeptics and cynics as well as he is. I admire him for it.

About seven-in-ten Americans oppose overturning Roe v. Wade

More than 40 years after the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, 69% of Americans say the historic ruling, which established a woman’s constitutional right to abortion in the first three months of pregnancy, should not be completely overturned. Nearly three-in-ten (28%), by contrast, would like to see it overturned.

I’m Complementarian and I Read Books By Women

God gifts men to teach, he makes them capable, and he fills them with wisdom. He expects they will use their gift, their ability, and their wisdom for the good of others. God gifts women to teach, he makes them capable, and he fills them with wisdom. He expects they will use their gift, their ability, and their wisdom for the good of others. What distinguishes men from women in the church is not gifts, ability, or wisdom, but role. For his own purposes, God has determined that men will take the leadership role in the church, including the public teaching of the gathered congregation. There is no indication that he has made this determination on the basis of gifting, ability, or wisdom.

John MacArthur’s Ten Crucial Lessons We Must Teach our Children

  1. Teach Your Children to Fear God
  2. Teach Your Children to Guard Their Minds
  3. Teach Your Children to Obey Their Parents
  4. Teach Your Children to Select Their Companions Carefully
  5. Teach Your Children to Control Their Body
  6. Teach Your Children to Enjoy Their Spouse
  7. Teach Your Children to Watch Their Words
  8. Teach Your Children to Work Hard
  9. Teach Your Children to Manage Their Money Well
  10. Teach Your Children to Love Their Neighbor

When your phone uses you

But most of the time, your phone works for corporations, assorted acquaintances and large social networks. They’ve hired it to put you to work for them. You’re not the customer, you’re the product. Your attention and your anxiety is getting sold, cheap.

Links To Go (December 27, 2016)

When in Babylon…

What I can’t help but think in the midst of this all is that many actually have such disdain for meeting together with believers as The Church that they view Sunday worship as “lacking compassion.” And I’m left just shaking my head. Is it really that bad? Meeting together with our family which is closer than blood? With people closer than blood – with whom we share the Holy Spirit? Is it really that bad? Hearing the Savior tell his people from his Word that he loves us? Is it really a burdensome yoke that God would call us together?

Incarnation Through Middle-Eastern Eyes

We asked our language helpers what we had done wrong. Laughing they explained “On festival days, the small visit the big, and the big give out presents”, for example everyone in a family visit their eldest brother, or their parents or grandparents. When they arrive they would kiss the hand of the older person to show respect and honour. The host would then make sure that their guests are well looked after, feed them, serve them, give them gifts such as good quality chocolate or sometimes money or other presents. Being newly arrived foreigners who didn’t speak the language and thus having no social standing or relatives, naturally no-one came to visit us. We are considered ‘small’ by the culture so we are the ones who need to do the visiting.

Why in the World Did I Leave America?

And so, I choose missions all over again. I do not like leaving my friends and family who understand me to come to a place where I am not understood. I do not like leaving great Christian role models for my kids to come to a place where we can count the number of Christians we know on one hand. And I do not know if, even after a life of work, the Bakoum will even read the Bible. I do not think God is ripping these kindnesses out of my hands in being a missionary, but rather he is calling me to lay them down before him over and over again, trusting that he is keeping better kindness safe for me in Heaven. Come what may, I am all in and glad to be back.

Members of the Eagles find common ground through spiritual devotion

The Philadelphia Eagles’ recovery pool was transformed into a place of ritual one Thursday in late October at the team’s practice facility.
Five players — linebackers Jordan Hicks, Mychal Kendricks and Kamu Grugier-Hill, and wide receivers Paul Turner and David Watford — were baptized by the team pastor and tight end Trey Burton as approximately 15 Eagles players prayed around them.

The Cosmic Importance of Children’s Sunday School

If you’re walking through a time of fear and anxiety, you may scan the whole Bible to find relevant words, but I’ve found the best way is to have intuitions so shaped by the rhythm and flow of the text that most of it lies there submerged, poised to rise to the forefront at just the right time.
That’s why children’s Sunday school is not just another program. It can be a matter of life and death.

They’ll be home for Christmas: Five homeless children get a holiday surprise

The five brothers, ages 4 to 11, have seen a lot of places in the past year. An apartment complex that kicked them out. Crowded rooms where relatives let all five of them sleep on the floor, for a while. A rehab facility where their whole family crammed into their father’s hospital room.
But when they pulled up to the brick house in College Park with the blue shutters on Saturday afternoon, they’d never seen anything like it.
“We have a surprise for you: this is y’all’s new home,” a friend said. All five boys looked around, dumbfounded. A home of their own — the biggest Christmas surprise these boys could receive, delivered thanks to a community that made it happen.

Villager in China uses grenade to crack open walnuts for 25 years

A hand grenade was used to crack walnuts for 25 years by a villager in China who had no idea what he was using until he saw a photo of a grenade on a leaflet handed out by local police.
The man from Ankang, in China’s Shaanxi province, saw that his walnut cracker looked similar to a grenade pictured on a leaflet warning about forbidden explosives, according to