Category Archives: links

Links To Go (December 2, 2019)

U.S. Adults See Evangelicals Through a Political Lens

Barna asked respondents to identify adjectives they might use to describe the evangelical community in general. The most commonly selected terms relate to the group’s conservatism—primarily as “religiously conservative” (37% of all U.S. adults select this term) and “politically conservative” (27%).


ICE arrests 90 more foreign students at fake university created by DHS in Michigan

The students had arrived legally in the U.S. on student visas, but since the University of Farmington was later revealed to be a creation of federal agents, they lost their immigration status after it was shut down in January. The school was staffed with undercover agents posing as university officials.


U.S. Public Views on Climate and Energy

A majority of U.S. adults say they are taking at least some specific action in their daily lives to protect the environment, though Democrats and Republicans remain at ideological odds over the causes of climate change and the effects of policies to address it, according to the survey of 3,627 U.S. adults conducted Oct. 1 to Oct. 13, 2019, using the Center’s American Trends Panel.


Why Apocalyptic Claims About Climate Change Are Wrong

Journalists and activists alike have an obligation to describe environmental problems honestly and accurately, even if they fear doing so will reduce their news value or salience with the public. There is good evidence that the catastrophist framing of climate change is self-defeating because it alienates and polarizes many people. And exaggerating climate change risks distracting us from other important issues including ones we might have more near-term control over.


That Uplifting Tweet You Just Shared? A Russian Troll Sent It

Effective disinformation is embedded in an account you agree with. The professionals don’t push you away, they pull you toward them. While tweeting uplifting messages about Warrick Dunn’s real-life charity work, Tyra, and several accounts we associated with her, also distributed messages consistent with past Russian disinformation. Importantly, they highlighted issues of race and gender inequality. A tweet about Brock Turner’s Stanford rape case received 15,000 likes. Another about police targeting black citizens in Las Vegas was liked more than 100,000 times. Here is what makes disinformation so difficult to discuss: while these tweets point to valid issues of concern — issues that have been central to important social movements like Black Lives Matter and #MeToo — they are framed to serve Russia’s interests in undermining Americans’ trust in our institutions.


Hard Rock Hotel Collapse Victim Deported

Mr. Ramirez Palma then became a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the developers of the project, accusing them of negligence and using substandard materials to hold up the concrete in the building. But now, he’s been deported back to his native Honduras — with the case still ongoing. Not only would this hamper the investigation into the Hard Rock collapse, but immigration advocates and labor lawyers said this could also have a serious effect on immigrant workers who encounter safety violations. They’d be less likely to speak up, even though they should be protected under OSHA. All workers, regardless of their immigration status, are protected for claiming their rights under federal labor law.


Glass half-full: how I learned to be an optimist in a week

But accidental optimism is not one of the known dangers of pessimism, a list that does include career impairment, poor health and early death. Optimism, by contrast, is associated with better sleep and lower levels of cardiovascular disease. One study this year claimed that people who describe themselves as optimists had 35% fewer strokes than those who didn’t. Another, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science last summer, found that compared with pessimists, the most optimistic subjects lived 11-15% longer lives on average.


Sophomore Texas football player gives senior teammate TD in last game

This video shows UTPB outside linebacker John O’Kelley on his way to making a touchdown when he sees senior linebacker Chris Hoad running nearby during the Senior Day game against Texas A&M Kingsville at Ratliff Stadium in Odessa, Texas. O’Kelley gives the ball to Hoad, along with the chance to score a touchdown in the season’s last game.


This powerlifting 82-year-old made an intruder regret breaking into her home

As Murphy tells it, she used a barrage of household items to attack the intruder, beginning with her own table. “I took that table and I went to working on him,” she said. “And guess what? The table broke.” Unphased, Murphy said, she used the metal legs of the table to keep hitting him. After jumping on him a couple times, Murphy ran to the kitchen, grabbed a bottle of baby shampoo and squirted it on the man’s face as he tried to get up.


Links To Go (November 20, 2019)

Why We Need to Stop Telling People They’re Commanded to Give

If God doesn’t want Christians giving out of compulsion, then we should probably stop telling people they should give because they are commanded to give. That shouldn’t be the reason anyone gives. No one should be made to feel like putting money in the collection plate is their duty to fulfill whether they want to or not.


6 Members Who Build Up the Church

  1. The member who attends.
  2. The member who encourages.
  3. The member who confronts without indulging gossip.
  4. The member who prays.
  5. The member who serves.
  6. The member who shows patience.

There Once Was A Farmer

My son, the harvest was you! In that dry and barren place where you thought no life could be produced from the ground, in that place, you were my garden of delight. Your life produced an aroma that still fills the courts of my dwelling place. Your faithfulness in the midst of barrenness brought an abundance that cannot be contained in the storehouses you build, an abundance that has spilled over into the songs of generations of farmers who have gone before you.


Where Does Evangelism Fit on Sunday Morning?

  1. Our language must be understandable.
  2. The worship service must be understandable.
  3. You must be appropriately transparent.
  4. Assume nonbeliever participation.
  5. Present Word and deed clearly.

John Wesley’s Rules for Singing

  • Learn these tunes before you learn any others; afterwards learn as many as you please.
  • Sing them exactly as they are printed here, without altering or mending them at all.
  • Sing all.
  • Sing lustily and with a good courage.
  • Sing modestly.
  • Sing in tune.
  • Above all sing spiritually.

Preaching is Worship, Not Performance

So, let’s fix our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, and boldly declare the good news. Tell your audience—whether it’s two or 2,000—of the joy that led Jesus to endure the cross, despising its shame, and sit down at the right hand of the throne of God.


Pastor, Don’t Imply That Church Is Optional

But I wonder if, in the decades that followed, the truth that going to church doesn’t make you a Christian morphed into a different idea—that being a Christian doesn’t necessarily include going to church. I wonder if people started thinking that personal, individual faith in Jesus is the only important thing, and if the church can help with that, fine, but if not, that’s fine, too. Here’s where the problem shows up. The idea that belonging to a church is an optional add-on to one’s Christian life is far from the biblical picture. The idea of an unchurched Christian wouldn’t have made sense to the writers of the New Testament.


Marriage and Cohabitation in the U.S.

As more U.S. adults are delaying marriage – or forgoing it altogether – the share who have ever lived with an unmarried partner has been on the rise. Amid these changes, most Americans find cohabitation acceptable, even for couples who don’t plan to get married, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. Even so, a narrow majority says society is better off if couples in long-term relationships eventually get married.


Senior dorm: college students move into assisted living home

Senior Living at Watkins, as it’s officially known, is not actually a nursing home. The residence, operated by Winona Health, offers assisted living in modern housing attached to a century-old mansion. Yet, within those walls, old and new, seniors (the white-haired variety) now share space with seniors (the college variety.)


Canadian man told his curb, damaged 26 years ago, to be repaired in 2037

Calvin Hawley reported damage done to the curb outside his home by a snow removal machine in 1993. Years of calls and complaints went unanswered until the city finally gave him a target date for the repairs: June 26, 2037.


Links To Go (November 5, 2019)

How Calvin Responded When Luther Went Full-Out Luther

Besides, you will do yourselves no good by quarreling, except that you may afford some sport to the wicked, so that they may triumph not so much over us as over the Evangel. If they see us rending each other asunder, they then give full credit to what we say, but when with one consent and with one voice we preach Christ, they avail themselves unwarrantably of our inherent weakness to cast reproach upon our faith.


Dinner Church, anyone?

You’ll need a table (or a few tables), some food, a basic liturgy, a welcoming spirit, lots of prayer and patience and grace, and a willingness to do life with a group of neighbors as you orient your lives around Jesus together.


MacArthur, Moore, and Gender

It is important to note that those remarks, while stated by someone who claims to be a proponent of complementarianism, are not a true representation of this viewpoint! Complementarianism does not mean women are inferior, that they are “less” or incapable in any way. Complementarianism does not grant permission to demean a sister or brother in Christ, regardless of their viewpoint. Jesus showed us a better way.


Study: 75 Percent of White Evangelicals Still Approve of Trump

While only 39 percent of Americans give Trump a good approval rating, 75 percent of white evangelicals say they approve of him and, what’s more, 31 percent of that group say there’s “almost nothing” Trump could do to lose their support.


Six reasons Romans 7 is written from the perspective of a post-conversion Christian

  1. Paul’s description of his struggle with sin in Romans 7:14-25 is nowhere found in his pre-conversion testimony or in the description of other Pharisees.
  2. Paul, in Romans 7:5-13, spoke of past realities; in 7:14-25, he speaks of present realities.
  3. Paul distinguishes between the “I” and the “flesh” or “sin” that dwells in him (7:17-22).
  4. Paul delights in the law of God in the inward man (Romans 7:22).
  5. Paul describes this experience in a similar way in Galatians 5:17, and the passage in Galatians clearly refers to believers.
  6. This is my experience.

Undercover reporter reveals life in a Polish troll farm

“The aim is to build credibility with people from both sides of the political divide. Once you have won someone’s trust by reflecting their own views back at them, you are in a position to influence them,” said Wojciech Cieśla, who oversaw the investigation in collaboration with Investigate Europe, a consortium of European investigative reporters.


Lazy horse plays dead every time people try to ride him

The clip shows a horse named Jingang bucking and flopping to the ground whenever someone tries to hop in the saddle. To complete the effect, he even lolls out his tongue and twitches his eyes while prone in what the scorned riders dub a “cute but naughty” performance.


Someone In Colorado Is Putting Out The Funniest Signs Ever, And The Puns Are Priceless (New Pics)

Colorado native Vince Rozmiarek is the man behind these hilariously creative roadside signs, which showcase the kind of laugh/cringe humor that only dads seem to really excel at. What started as an April Fools’ prank has put him and his town, Indian Hills, firmly on the map, with a Facebook page dedicated to the sign having over 90k followers worldwide!


Links To Go (October 23, 2019)

In U.S., Decline of Christianity Continues at Rapid Pace

The religious landscape of the United States continues to change at a rapid clip. In Pew Research Center telephone surveys conducted in 2018 and 2019, 65% of American adults describe themselves as Christians when asked about their religion, down 12 percentage points over the past decade. Meanwhile, the religiously unaffiliated share of the population, consisting of people who describe their religious identity as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular,” now stands at 26%, up from 17% in 2009.


Young People Will Come Back to Church, Right?

The data is speaking a clear message: the assumptions that undergirded church growth from two decades ago no longer apply. If churches are sitting back and just waiting for all their young people to flood back in as they move into their thirties, they are likely in for a rude awakening. Inaction now could be creating a church that does not have a strong future.


Sing Freedom! Why isn’t Christian music more revolutionary?

It seems we’ve gone from Jesus-is-my-boyfriend to Jesus-is-my-savior, but we’re missing Jesus-is-our-Lord. Christian worship should express our collective hope in Christ of a rescued, renewed and restored world, a world in which injustice, racism, hatred and violence have ended, once and for all.


Exodus 22:2 and the Attacker at the Door

When we read Exodus 22:2-3 in this same light, it would suggest that the law was not necessarily written to place God’s stamp of approval on killing home invaders at night. Instead, it seems as if this law, like all the others in the surrounding context, were written to point Israel towards a more loving and gracious treatment of their enemies by placing restrictions on when an attacker could be killed.


Lessons on Ministry Pay We Are Learning from Retiring Boomer Pastors

  1. Most pastors are underpaid.
  2. Too many pastors refuse raises.
  3. Few pastors give sufficient thought to retirement.
  4. Many pastors have too much debt leading into retirement.
  5. A number of pastors have given little thought to health care costs.
  6. The common theme of many of these Boomer pastors is over-spiritualizing their financial reality without the wisdom of planning for their future years.

How America Lost Dinner

This net loss in meal time can beget a nagging tension. There’s that lingering moralistic pressure that it’s important for you to cook wholesome food, sit down with people you care about, breathe, enjoy. But for many people, the trade-offs it would take to get there push the ideal dinner farther and farther out of reach. This can weigh especially hard on parents, who often simply don’t have the time that preparing family meals requires.


Vinyl records expected to outsell CDs in 2019 for the first time since 1980s

Most people never thought they would use their old records again. But, according to a report by the Recording Industry Association of America, vinyl records are expected to out-sell CDs in 2019.


Links To Go (October 17, 2019)

Business or the Bible? Thoughts about Science and Evangelicalism

Specifically, there is no Biblical reason why evangelicals should deny climate change more than any other demographic group. So something else has to be driving that opinion. And if it’s not the Bible, then what? Well, again, I think the answer is obvious and brings me right back to my conclusion: Evangelicalism defends politics as much as it defends the Bible, making it less a Christian movement than an ideological one.


Supreme Court decision on L.G.B.T. discrimination sets up religious liberty clash

Luke Goodrich, vice president and senior counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a nonprofit law firm, told reporters before the Supreme Court’s term began that if the court views these employee cases as discrimination, there will likely be new lawsuits and “massive liabilities with churches, schools and religious organizations” that expect their employees to follow certain standards.


Bully Vol 3

Being let go with threats of legal and financial punishment if you say anything, by an organisation that prides itself on helping churches establish healthy practice, is discombobulating. Which is why so many people who are bullied out of church roles feel it so intently. It was all “family family, family”, until it wasn’t.


What a visit to the Grand Canyon taught me about God

And it was helpful to realize I am not that big a deal. Hard to be full of yourself while at the Grand Canyon. Not that big a deal here either. And don’t have to be. I just have to be ready and available for God to use me up. Fifty years from now not many people will even remember me. Maybe my grandkids. 100 years from now no one will remember the sermons or the books.


The Importance Of Doing What Anyone Could Do

When my friend works for the charity, he uses his legal skills, yes, but he also gives time, effort, care, and love for his work and the people it helps – gifts that any of us can give for the sake of the people around us. Without these ordinary skills, his specialised legal abilities would be useless to the charity, like those of so many others that could have helped, but didn’t. As the apostle Paul tells us in his first letter to the Corinthians, impressive skills are nothing without love.


The Road to Infidelity Passes Through Multiple Sexual Partners

Instead, as my survey results illustrate, infidelity’s roots likely start much earlier in someone’s background and experience. But infidelity is also often the fruit of a lifelong approach to mating that involves seeking and practicing short-term mating encounters that encourage sexual variety at all stages and into marriage.


Firefighters calm girl’s fears after car crash by allowing her to paint their fingernails

After noticing the child was holding bottles of fingernail polish, the two firefighters turned a quick calming conversation into an instant manicure complete with purple polish. The child immediately directed her attention to painting the first responders’ nails and soon was no longer afraid after experiencing a car crash.


Funeral cracks up as dead man screams ‘Let me out!’ of coffin

Friends and family said the good-humored officer and father made the recording because he knew he was dying of a “long illness bravely borne” — and wanted “to make his family laugh rather than cry at the funeral.”