Links To Go (January 27, 2015)

Missed Motherhood: A Casualty of the Sexual Revolution

Susan Shapiro’s article at The New York Times is as sad as anything I’ve read in a long time. She is the quintessential modern woman, having pursued a career and a life in the city through her childbearing years. Twice she got pregnant, and twice she aborted her children. She didn’t want to be pregnant before her life and finances were stable. She would “have it all” eventually–so she thought.
After entering her forties in a more secure situation, she decided to try and get pregnant only to find that she couldn’t.


Public Schools Aren’t the Enemy

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from both attending public school and teaching in it, it’s that public school is far from godless. Sure, it may not allow for teacher-led prayer or morning devotional, but these schools are not soulless places. In fact, they’re typically buildings full of deeply passionate, committed adults and kids who are always in need of love—just like any Christian school might be.


‘En Taxei’— Quickly or Soon?

Indeed, I am prepared to say that there is no promise in the whole of the NT that Jesus is coming ‘soon’, in other words, a promise about the timing of the event. This is entirely a result of misreading the Greek text.


The App of God

Not too long from now the Bible will transition from being The Good Book to being The Good App. As information migrates to digital media, the Bible will make the shift, just as it as has through every other literary media. But through our little glimpse at history we know that we have nothing to fear from the appification of information. Since the dawn of the printing press, the Bible has been the most dominant book. We have no reason to doubt that in time it will prove the dominant app. And when apps have had their day and we move to whatever is next, the Bible will remain and will dominate.


Pointing At The Same Thing From Different Angles

Similarly, a worship leader is always pointing to Jesus. And to help his congregation see more of the beauty of Jesus, he takes them on a journey from song to song. They don’t just stand in one place and sing from the same angle. The glory of God, revealed in the face of Jesus Christ, can’t be captured from one spot.
You can point to the same thing from different angles. That’s what a gospel structure ensures!


Journalist Who Reported on Argentine Prosecutor’s Death Flees to Israel

In an account published on Monday in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Mr. Pachter said he concluded late on Friday that he was being followed by an Argentine intelligence officer who “wore jeans, a jeans jacket and Ray-Ban sunglasses,” and decided to leave the country immediately. He said that he flew to Israel by way of Montevideo, Uruguay, and Madrid.
“They are using their security forces to chase me,” Mr. Pachter told reporters at Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv when he arrived Sunday evening. “I just had to move fast and quick, as fast as I could.” Mr. Pachter added in the televised remarks that he held Israeli citizenship.


What’s the best media for long-term storage?

But you can’t stop there. You don’t want to be the person who stored their media on floppy disks, later moved it to Zip disks, and then figured they’d done everything necessary. You have to pay attention and be ready to take advantage of new storage and archival options as they appear.


Danish archer takes aim at ‘Hollywood archery’ myths

Lars Anderson, whose archery video went viral with more than 4.5 million views in its first 24 hours on YouTube, demonstrated in the video how he used ancient depictions of archers and written accounts to rediscover the technique of holding his arrows in his firing hand and placing the arrow on the outside of the bow, instead of the more common position on the inside of the bow.


Links To Go (January 26, 2014)

The Greatest False Idol of Modern Christianity

Dig just beneath the sunny “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” Bible covers, and the “God’s judgment is coming” bullhorn warnings and you’ll find that much of America has imagined a powerless God who’s mostly just keeping Heaven tidy until all the Christians get there. In the meantime, we live in perpetually frightened freak-out mode.
The truth is, Fear has become a false God, one too many of us worship with complete and undying devotion.


More Than A Dream

Churches and church leaders who dream of racial harmony have found a great starting point. What they do next is vital.

  • Will they seek out other races and listen to their stories?
  • What books will they read?
  • Will they involve themselves in their communities?
  • Will they learn new languages?
  • Are they willing to make adjustments in the feel of their worship services?
  • Will they accept new leaders in the church and treat them as equals?

Mummy Mask May Reveal Oldest Fragment of the Gospel of Mark

A text found on papyrus used on a mummy mask may be the oldest copy of a gospel known to exist—a fragment of the Gospel of Mark that was written during the first century, before the year AD 90. Until now, the oldest surviving copies of the gospel texts date to the second century (the years AD 101 to 200).


The Bible isn’t my newsfeed

But, we must allow Him the time, the attention, and the focus He deserves — none of which is learned by squandering time on social media.
We must be more intentional with our time and habits. We must swap scrolling for disciplining, liking for loving, and clicking for thinking.
So, here’s to the New Year! May it be full of less scrolling and more doing!


SOTM: Matthew 5:17-20 (Torah)

Jesus is very capable of a double meaning, and I think both Vander Laan and McKnight are right. Jesus fulfills the Law and the Prophets both by correctly interpreting them and by personally fulfilling what they have all been pointing to. It’s the same thing.
Jesus doesn’t explain this fully in these few verses, but the rest of the SOTM — as well as the rest of Matthew — offers a series of lessons in reading the Old Testament in and through Jesus.


Seven things that worry me when we disagree…

  1. Be careful about anyone who insists that Scripture is clear about every issue.
  2. But also be wary of those who think we cannot agree on anything.
  3. Be very concerned about people who claim to speak for God in areas He did not speak.
  4. I am never comfortable with proof texts.
  5. Watch out for one verse wonders.
  6. Stop the conversation when anyone implies — or says — that you would agree with them if you just cared enough about what God says.
  7. Never judge someone’s heart by saying they do not love God or his people if they do not agree with you.

Water

It made think about why I am the way I am. Could it be that my mother instilled this in me growing up? That you help people in need? That you visit the widow and help her around the house? Here I was with my son passing this valuable lesson along.
I worry that we are not training our children up today. How do we expect them to become servants if we don’t develop it? How are they going to see the value when they think they are the center of the world?


The Department of State Warns Against Visiting the United States

Today’s post is meant partly in jest to show how easy it is to make any country sound unsafe. I used the information page for Thailand, which has no current warnings or alerts but does have a pretty scary-sounding introduction in its dedicated overview. I kept to the original language of the Safety and Security section as much as possible, replacing events in Thailand with similar events in the U.S., and from this perspective it almost seems like visiting Thailand would be safer than staying home.


Five-year-old boy gets a bill for missing school friend’s birthday party

A FIVE-year-old boy has been handed an invoice – for missing his friend’s birthday party.
And now his parents claim they have been threatened with the possibility of court action if they don’t stump up the cash.


Links To Go (January 16, 2015)

4 Ways the Modern Church Looks Nothing Like the Early Church

I often hear Christians say that we should be more like the early church. And I must admit, I’ve been one of those Christians. But if we linger on how this would look, I wonder how many of us would rather stay put in our 21st century churches. After all, first century Christians clung to a set of values that differs quite radically from most Christians today.


Je ne suis pas Charlie!

I do not condone the violence done in Paris this week. No one should. It was evil. The people who were shot were human beings who were loved by God and us. We, as Christians, must love them and do. All of them.
This is the brutal end of our Gospel. It may cost us our very lives, but we even then we have nothing to fear. We are a people of love. Charlie Hebdo did not represent that. Neither did the terrorists. Neither do our drones. We must find a new way forward.


Selma, Solidarity, & Whether Christians Are Willing To Bleed

Now is the time to be just as concerned about the slaughter of 2,000 women and children in a distant village in Nigeria as we are about the 17 killed in the destination spot of Paris. Now is the time to lovingly call our Christian brothers and sisters who’ve unwittingly reduced the Bible to the paper thin idolatries of “family values” and “single-issue voting,” in order to serve a political agenda, to re-imagine the real nature of God’s kingdom. Now is the time to end the pointless creation vs evolution debates and remind ourselves that the focus of Genesis is that human beings are created in the image of God.


Millennials Must Not Be the Future of Your Church

Do not focus on reaching Millennials and catering to their every whim.
Focus on making disciples of your young people, your middle aged people, and your older people.
Disciples are the future of your church. Not Millennials. Not Gen-Zers.


When elders make disappointing decisions…

So here is what I can promise you as an elder. And I think this is true for all of my fellow elders. Actually, this is true for most of the elders I know well.
I am going to heaven. I am going to lead my family there. And I am giving my life to getting all my flock there. I am not perfect. But follow me — us — and I promise you will get home safely.


Church Communication Hero: Andraé Crouch

Crouch also engaged with real people, not just those within a Christian circle. Try to imagine the following headline for the obituary of a notable CCM artist like Chris Tomlin, David Crowder or even Michael W. Smith: “One of the greatest gospel singers of his generation, known for his choral work with Michael Jackson and Madonna.” I can’t do it. Yet, that was what The Guardian used for Crouch.


The Prayer Jesus Told Us to Pray that Too Few of Us Pray

I want to encourage you to pray this prayer on a regular basis…to “ask the Lord of the harvest…to send out workers into his harvest field.” Maybe that prayer would spark growth in our churches. Maybe it would result in a renewed desire for planting churches. Either way…Jesus told us to pray it and we should pray it.


Best Seat on the Plane: 7 Secrets I Learned Sitting Next to a Pilot on My Last Flight

  1. Pilots get sick of each other, just like the rest of us.
  2. Flying is so uncomfortable, even pilots have to use travel hacks.
  3. Pilots know interesting facts about planes, like why the windows are rounded.
  4. Pilots truly love looking out the window.
  5. Pilots hate flying with screaming children as much as we do.
  6. Pilots follow the flight attendants’ instructions (but don’t tattle on others who don’t if it’s not hurting anyone).
  7. Sitting next to pilot makes you feel pretty secure.

J.J. Watt did more than tweet about that kid who sent him a jersey

Watt sent seven-year-old Anthony Tarantelli his own autographed jersey, the cleats he wore during a three-sack performance in Jacksonville, and a video on which he said this:
“I love your confidence in yourself. I love that you believe in yourself, and I love that you’re willing to go out there and work to accomplish your goals and your dreams and make them a reality.”
Watt panned the video to show Anthony’s jersey hanging from a shelf amid helmets from Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck, and Cameron Wake.


15 Things You Might Not Know About ‘Schoolhouse Rock’
15 Creative LEGO “Brickfilms”
[I’ve become a fan of Mental Floss. Here’s a couple of their latest offerings… Tim]

Links To Go (January 14, 2015)

Disparity in news coverage: As many as 2,000 dead in Nigeria, but France dominates front pages

Terror attacks in France carried out by militants claiming allegiance to al-Qaida and Islamic State extremists dominate the world’s front pages.
On the other hand, the Muslim militant group Boko Haram’s slaughter of as many as 2,000 Nigerians — its “deadliest act” yet, according to Amnesty International — generally settles for less-prime real estate inside newspapers.


Religious Liberty vs. Erotic Liberty — Religious Liberty is Losing

Furthermore, when the proponents of same-sex marriage and the new sexual revolution promise even to respect what goes on in a church, temple, or mosque, they evidently cannot keep their arguments straight. In the very same column, Bruni complains that religious congregations are given too much liberty to define their own ministry. He laments that “churches have been allowed to adopt broad, questionable interpretations of a ‘ministerial exception’ to anti-discrimination laws that allow them to hire and fire clergy as they wish.”


UnCool: More Than Cool

I’m worried that behind my pursuit of the next new way of talking about God is not just a relentless pursuit of the truth, when I get silent before God I’m starting to think what I’m really chasing after is a desire to be seen a certain way. In my more honest moments, I’m able to admit that what I really want to be seen as is cool.


The Virtue of Not Being Nice

Perhaps we could speak of this as the virtue of crankiness. Moral courage is more likely to be found in nonconformists who have a history of resisting the pressure of the dominant society. Those who are willing to defy authority and majority opinions and risk their popularity for the sake of the bullied, beleaguered or oppressed are the genuinely kind and compassionate people, not those who are nice.


One Indispensable Rule

As Christians, Christians who long to know and obey the Bible, we only really know God’s Word when we know it accurately. So before you make application, always ask the simple question: What did it mean for them then?


To All the Macho Christian Guys Who Make Fun of 30-Year Old Gamers…

So, all that to say: if you still insist on chest-beating against 30+ losers, at least consider that what you’re actually yelling about is the equivalent of “going to the movies” six decades ago. Or, “reading a novel” a couple of centuries ago.
Yell all you want – but 30 year old gaming is the way the world tells its stories.


The Psychology of Language: Which Words Matter the Most When We Talk

The one key question we ask ourselves is:

“How does this make you feel?”

The question might sound very obvious. And yet, it’s a very different question to say for example “Which message do you want to send?” or “What is the content of this announcement?” By always focusing on how it will make someone feel whenever we write even a single line, we immediately improved the amount of responses we got from our users.


Eminem Fulfills Teen Fan’s Dying Wish

The 42-year-old Detroit-based rapper fulfilled the last dying wish of Rochester High School student Gage Garmo over the weekend. While many people were watching the Golden Globes, Eminem surprising Gage in his family’s living room on Sunday evening and stayed for about an hour to talk hip hop and football.


Seattle dog’s rush hour ride: on the bus, by herself, weekly

Turns out the dog, Eclipse, doesn’t always ride the bus alone. She visits the dog park a few times a week, sometimes with her owner.
The duo lives right near the bus stop at 3 Ave. W. and W. Mercer Street. Eclipse’s solo rush hour ride happened one day when her owner took too long to finish a cigarette.
“We get separated. She gets on the bus without me, and I catch up with her at the dog park,” said Jeff Young, who owns the dog. “It’s not hard to get on. She gets on in front of her house and she gets off at the dog park, three or four stops later.”


Links To Go (January 13, 2015)

Loving the Lost

One of the common criticisms Jesus faced was that he spent too much time with sinners. How many of us could be accused of spending too much time with the unwelcomed and unappreciated?
It wasn’t that Jesus was waiting for Paul to write, “Bad company corrupts good morals” in 1 Corinthians. No one better understood the importance of spiritual maturity, scriptural knowledge, a robust prayer life and positive influences than Jesus.
But he also knew these things were not for his personal benefit, but need to be shared with the lost. The Christian life is not about safety and comfort, but rather about finding yourself in a dangerous place of vulnerable compassion.


Design Should Matter More to Christians

The Gospel of Jesus is much more than a few Scripture verses or a few ideas about God; it is a way of being in the world and living our everyday lives.
As creative Christians, we need to be especially attentive to all facets of our work: design, form, content, function. Does our work bear witness to the goodness of Jesus, and particularly to the sacrifice and humility He embodied for us?


Church construction at 20 year low — the boom & bust in three graphs

Construction on religious buildings in 2013 was the lowest in two decades of data. From 1994 to 2001, the value of religious construction nearly doubled. After remaining steady near $11 billion, religious construction has dropped steadily over the past decade to the current low of $3.7 billion.


See Your iPhone’s Screen on Your Mac

Here’s how to do it: Connect the iPhone or iPad (with its white USB cable) to the Mac. On the Mac, open QuickTime Player. From the File menu, choose New Movie Recording. And then, from the pop-up menu next to the Record button, choose the iPhone’s name (or the iPad’s). The phone/tablet’s image appears in the QuickTime Player window, nice and big.


Wife Shoots Husband Surprising Her With Breakfast

Police say that Zia Segule, 28, left their Fayetteville home about 10am yesterday, picked up some breakfast, and then returned. In doing so, he triggered the house alarm. When he got to the couple’s bedroom, wife Tiffany, 27, shot him through the closed door, reports the Fayetteville Observer. He was struck in the upper chest, but, luckily, escaped serious injury.


Cadbury Changes Its Creme Egg Recipe

“It’s no longer Dairy Milk. It’s similar, but not exactly Dairy Milk,” a Kraft representative told The Sun. “We tested the new one with consumers. It was found to be the best one for the Creme Egg, which is why we’ve used it this year.”
There are other changes afoot, too: There will now be five eggs in a pack instead of six (prices will remain the same).