Category Archives: links

Links To Go (May 14, 2019)

Is There a Connection Between Undocumented Immigrants and Crime?

According to Adelman and his team, however, the impact of undocumented immigrants is probably similar to what the research indicates about immigrants over all: They tend to bring economic and cultural benefits to their communities. They typically come to America to find work, not to commit crimes, says Yulin Yang, a member of the team.


Worth a Thousand Years of Waiting

Today, the average estimates of Christians within Iran range from 300,000 to upwards of one million, according to some missions experts. Operation World, a missions research organization, continues to list Iran as having the fastest-growing evangelical church in the world. In fact, more Iranians have become Christians in the last twenty years than in the previous 1,300 years, since Islam came to Iran.


101 Small Ways to Share the Gospel

That’s why I compiled this list. Here are 101 of the best-yet-microscopic ways that we can teach others about Jesus. You’re not meant to do all of them; instead, pick one to focus on this week. Next week, pick a different one. Then, take one and change it up for the week after that. If nothing else, let these ideas serve as springboards for your own evangelism efforts.


Honoring Heroes – Dietrich Bonhoeffer and David Lipscomb

Bonhoeffer was considered an irritant by many in the German church. He was labeled a trouble maker and extremist. Lipscomb was also viewed as somewhat of an extremist – not so much for his theological positions, but for the radical ethical positions he drew from those theological positions. While Lipscomb could also be attacked by those further to the right on the Restorationist continuum, both of these leaders were marked for their obstinate refusal to surrender core biblical teachings, or to compromise for the purpose of “just getting along” with their opponents.


Role models as a tool for decision making

The role model’s image brings with it all of the nuance that’s missing from a dry discussion of tactics. It forces us to get real and to look further into the future.


Why You Should Start Binge-Reading Right Now

But in book after book, if you do push on through one chapter break, and then on through the chapter break after that, something amazing happens. Subplots that would once have been murky to the point of incomprehensibility (what was the deal with that dead sea captain again?) step into the light. Little jokes and echoes, separated by dozens or even hundreds of pages, come rustling out of the text forest. A writer’s voice — Grace Paley at her slangy best, Nicholson Baker at his hypomanic craziest — starts to seep into and color the voice of your innermost thoughts.


How Mapping Shots In The NBA Changed It Forever

If it’s true that 3-point shots go in 36 percent of the time and 10-foot shots go in just 40 percent of the time, then why are we assigning 50 percent more value to shots from beyond that magical little arc?


K-9 School Resource Officer Added To Bryant High School Yearbook

Posing for a yearbook photo with your tongue hanging out is typically a no-no. But not for Mya. The Bryant police dog’s photo — tongue out and ears perked up — was featured among faculty members in the Bryant High School yearbook this year.


The Kid Who ‘Put Everybody In Stitches’ At Handel and Haydn Society Concert Has Been Found

Seconds after the Handel and Haydn Society stopped playing Mozart’s “Masonic Funeral Music” at the Boston Symphony Hall on Sunday, 9-year-old Ronan Mattin was so swept away by the music that he loudly exclaimed — for the whole auditorium to hear — “Wow!”


Links To Go (May 8, 2019)

The Best Advice You’ve Ever Received (and Are Willing to Pass On)

Lately I’ve been thinking: How many other people have life-changing words of advice to share? And wouldn’t “Crowdwise” be a perfect place to publish them? And so, dear readers, I invited you to submit the best advice you’ve ever received. Here’s some of what you shared, conveniently categorized.


I Was America’s First ‘Nonbinary’ Person. It Was All a Sham.

I’m one of the lucky ones. Despite participating in medical transgenderism for six years, my body is still intact. Most people who desist from transgender identities after gender changes can’t say the same.


Georgia Politicians Face Calls to Resign After Saying Interracial Marriage Is Unbiblical

“That’s the way I was brought up and that’s the way I believe,” he continued. “I have black friends, I hired black people. But when it comes to all this stuff you see on TV, when you see blacks and whites together, it makes my blood boil because that’s just not the way a Christian is supposed to live.”


Things I believe about Bible study

The Bible was written by certain men at a certain time to a certain audience. But they were inspired by the Holy Spirit and God certainly knew about the culture and times that every one would live in.


Rejection kills

And it is in our minds, perhaps, that rejection reveals itself at its most insidious – not in the pricks of pain it sends through our skulls, nor in the havoc it wreaks on our bodies. In the mind, rejection can live on, fed by nothing more than our own twisted imaginations. To perceive yourself as isolated means to be rejected over and over, even when in reality no one is slighting you. It is to be, at once, the one rejected and the one who rejects. This is how rejection ultimately hurts us – by making us hurt ourselves, complicit in its cruel act.


Percentage Of Americans Who Never Traveled Beyond The State Where They Were Born? A Surprise

The results are pretty amazing, and perhaps explain the gaps of knowledge many Americans seem to have of the world:

  • — Eleven percent of survey respondents have never traveled outside of the state where they were born.
  • — Over half of those surveyed (54 percent) say they’ve visited 10 states or fewer.
  • — As many as 13 percent say they have never flown in an airplane.
  • — Forty percent of those questioned said they’ve never left the country.
  • — Over half of respondents have never owned a passport. (For years U.S. citizens did not need one to travel to Mexico, Canada and on many cruises, which may clarify the previous stat.)

Teens Lost at Sea Pray for Rescue; Boat Called ‘Amen’ Shows Up

He explained, “Exhausted and near the end the boy told me he called out for God’s help. Then we showed up. I told them the name of the vessel, that’s when they started to cry.”


Links To Go (May 6, 2019)

Trump Has Changed White Evangelicals’ Views On Morality In One Major Way

Altogether, there has been a stunning 42-percentage-point swing in white evangelicals’ opinions on this issue since 2011. Other religious groups experienced some shifts, but nothing quite as dramatic, Campbell said. Religiously unaffiliated Americans showed a 5-percentage-point change in the opposite direction, with more saying that private immorality translates to unethical public behavior.


This Church Is Building a Tiny House Village for the Homeless on Their Campus

The city of Portland has a large homeless community, but Central Church of the Nazarene is doing something to help. They are building “Agape Village” on church property, which will feature 15 specially designed “tiny houses.”


6 Important Differences Between Performance Music And Worship Music

  1. In performance, the focus is on the musicians. In worship, the focus is on Jesus.
  2. In performance, those on stage might be the only ones singing. In worship, everyone should be singing along.
  3. In performance, the words should support the melody. In worship, the melody should support the words.
  4. In performance, the integrity of the musicians is secondary. In worship, the integrity of the musicians is essential.
  5. Virtuoso musical flourishes can attract you to a performance, but they distract from worship.
  6. Performers need to be skilled musicians. Worship leaders need to be committed worshipers.

Who Are the Outcasts in (Some) Churches?

  1. Divorcees.
  2. Special needs persons.
  3. Widows.
  4. Homosexuals.
  5. Families of suicide victims.

TurboTax intentionally hides its free tax filing service from Google search results

According to a new report, Intuit purposefully stopped Google from surfacing its free tax filing service in search results in an effort to steer all consumers — no matter their income — toward the company’s paid services. Intuit added code to the robots.txt file on its website that instructed Google to leave TurboTax Free File out of search results.


What About Capitalizing Pronouns Referring to God?

If you capitalize pronouns that refer to God to show reverence for His name, fantastic! Continue doing so. If you capitalize pronouns that refer to God to make it more clear who is being referred to, great! Continue doing so. If you are not capitalizing pronouns that refer to God because you believe proper English grammar/syntax/style should be followed, wonderful! Continue following your conviction. Again, this is not a right vs. wrong issue. Each of us must follow his/her own conviction and each of us should refrain from judging those who take a different viewpoint.


Pastoring the One When You’d Rather Pastor the Ninety-Nine

One-on-one pastoral care is every pastor’s inefficient imperative. It invariably seems we could get more done if we were left alone to study or plan, or if we could be with a group of our people all at once to teach or worship or just eat together. There is this powerful instinct to always shepherd the flock in bunches, in herds, because it seems patently obvious we’d get more done. But efficiency is a poor pastoral master.


When Did Pop Culture Become Homework?

I am not telling those people not to watch or listen to or read or find meaning there, I understand people have different tastes, that certain things are popular because they speak to us in a way other things haven’t. At the same time, I expect not to be told what to watch or listen to or read, because from what I see and hear around me, from what I read and who I talk to, I can define for myself what I need.


Parrot taken into custody by police in Brazil for trying to warn drug dealers of raid

When the green-and-white bird spotted officers Tuesday at its owners’ Teresina home, the parrot squawked “Mama, Police!” in Portuguese, according to the local outlet Oliberal.com.


Seabird Photobombs London Traffic Cam, Becomes Internet Sensation

As CBS News reports, a herring gull recently became a viral sensation after it perched itself directly in front of a camera and looked around lackadaisically as cars crept along in the background.


Links To Go (April 25, 2019)

Is It Wrong to Celebrate Religious Days Like Christmas and Easter?

I know of no principle, command, example, or implication of Scripture that is violated by observing special days in honor of the Lord. In fact, Scripture seems to specifically allow for this practice. But most importantly, we must be careful not to judge and despise one another over these things, but welcome one another as Christ has welcomed us (Romans 14-15).


Evangelism More Prayed for Than Practiced by Churchgoers

Most Protestant churchgoers say they are eager to talk to others about Jesus and are praying for opportunities to share their faith, but most say they have not had any evangelistic conversations in the past six months.


U.S. Public Has Favorable View of Israel’s People, but Is Less Positive Toward Its Government

A substantial majority of Americans – 64% – say they have a favorable opinion of the Israeli people. However, fewer than half (41%) have a favorable view of the Israeli government; a larger share (51%) views the government unfavorably.


Supreme Court to Decide Whether ‘Sex’ Includes Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

On Monday the Supreme Court announced it has accepted three cases involving homosexuals and transgender persons who claim they were discriminated against at work. The Court will rule on whether current federal anti-discrimination laws protect employees based on sexual orientation and gender identity.


Why Conservatives Are So Angry About Obama’s Reference to “Easter Worshippers”

By my count, Beto O’Rourke is the only major 2020 presidential candidate who used the word Christian in his tweet lamenting the attacks. That includes Trump, who mentioned the “attack on churches and hotels” but did not as of yet name the religious group who might have been worshipping in those churches.


Lost in Translation: Lessons from Language Can Help Us Share the Gospel

If translation and immersion go together, then those beyond the boundaries of our churches must not only hear us speak of it, but also become immersed in it through our relationships and through the life of our Christ following communities.


Chip Away at Your Children’s Spiritual Growth

God, in his mercy, has seen fit to impress one little truth upon another in their lives. Our tiny, but frequent (not perfect! not even daily!) investments are paying off. This is not to say—at all—that my girls have arrived. It is not to claim that they’ve made it to Christian maturity. There are still so many ways I look forward to seeing them grow. This is only to say that God has been faithful to us, in spite of our weak offerings, our imperfect skill, our laziness, our quick-get-this-done mentality at times.


Sizing Up Twitter Users

The analysis indicates that the 22% of American adults who use Twitter are representative of the broader population in certain ways, but not others. Twitter users are younger, more likely to identify as Democrats, more highly educated and have higher incomes than U.S. adults overall. Twitter users also differ from the broader population on some key social issues. For instance, Twitter users are somewhat more likely to say that immigrants strengthen rather than weaken the country and to see evidence of racial and gender-based inequalities in society. But on other subjects, the views of Twitter users are not dramatically different from those expressed by all U.S. adults.


Measuring the “Filter Bubble”: How Google is influencing what you click

Based on a study of individuals entering identical search terms at the same time, we found that:

  1. Most participants saw results unique to them.
  2. On the first page of search results, Google included links for some participants that it did not include for others, even when logged out and in private browsing mode.
  3. Results within the news and videos infoboxes also varied significantly.
  4. Private browsing mode and being logged out of Google offered very little filter bubble protection.

When can we finally get rid of passwords?

Passwords are the main system that keeps our digital lives secure, but they’re increasingly not up to the task. Most people reuse an endless series of easy-to-guess phrases, and the underlying technology is also vulnerable to a wide range of attacks. All a hacker needs to do is convince you that their dodgy website or email is from your bank or other online service, and they can trick you into revealing your password (a so-called “phishing” attack) and gain entry to your account.


Links To Go (April 23, 2019)

The 1 Thing I’d Say to Christians about Politics and Public Life

But now what I’m worried about is that we will emphasize the need for cultural reform to the near exclusion of our need for revival. If we manage to score short-term political victories—and thus short-term reform of legal institutions, educational laws, and business practices—but do not experience revival, our cultural reform will be for naught.


More

The worry is that if we make things important they become necessary, and if they become necessary they become lines in the sand that create rifts of fellowship, locations of judgmentalism and exclusion. So in my tradition, for example, the worry is that if we start making baptism mean more we’ll drift back toward our traditional sectarian stance. And since we don’t want that, we just downplay the importance of baptism.


When a Group Leaves the Church: Five Perspectives

  1. The exit usually takes place when the pastor’s leadership becomes clear and established.
  2. Hurt exiting church members do not often leave well.
  3. Those often neglected are the members who remain.
  4. The recovery period usually takes months.
  5. The other side is a place of hope.

A New Tool for Teaching Textual Criticism to English Speakers

Of course, I don’t want to be in the business of figuring out how many variants can be introduced before doctrine changes, but I’ll observe that the Holy Spirit has already entered that business. The reason I can’t bring myself to believe that there is a “doctrine of perfect preservation” is both that it misinterprets various Scripture passages and that every jot and tittle is every jot and tittle. Unless we not only have every last stroke of the pen but have perfect confidence in which strokes belong and which don’t (even if one prefers the TR, what does he do with its variants?), God has not given us a world in which the Bible has been perfectly preserved. That is the standard Jesus sets up in Matthew 5:18—if indeed his words are talking about preservation at all, and not efficacy. Naturally, I take the latter view. The Spirit gave us a remarkably but not perfectly pure NT textual stream. I choose to be thankful rather than to demand better.


What I Learned From Learning How to Say No

This type of learning, like nearly everything else, takes practice. When I realized that I needed to get better at saying no, I started with extremely low-stakes situations, such as telling an acquaintance that I couldn’t meet up for drinks. When I realized that saying no in a single situation didn’t cause a chain-reaction of unwanted consequences—like, the acquaintance didn’t hate me forever, we saw each other at another social event and it was fine—I practiced saying no to close friends. Still fine. Miraculously, our friendship survived the great “I don’t feel like tacos tonight” incident of 2016, which prepared me for more difficult decisions like “I won’t be able to join the big friend trip this year.”


The compass and the map

Happy endings come from an understanding of the compass, not the presence of a useful map. If you’ve got the wrong map, the right compass will get you home if you know how to use it.


Understanding Facebook’s Algorithm Could Change How You See Yourself

Ultimately, we need to remind ourselves that the platforms analyzing our online behavior are only interested in aspects of ourselves that they can monetize. We should treat their depictions of us with the same wariness and suspicion we’d offer any human salesperson aiming to manipulate us.


Mark Zuckerberg leveraged Facebook user data to fight rivals and help friends, leaked documents show

The documents, which include emails, webchats, presentations, spreadsheets and meeting summaries, show how Zuckerberg, along with his board and management team, found ways to tap Facebook’s trove of user data — including information about friends, relationships and photos — as leverage over companies it partnered with. In some cases, Facebook would reward favored companies by giving them access to the data of its users. In other cases, it would deny user-data access to rival companies or apps.


Michelin restaurants and fabulous wines: Inside the secret team dinners that have built the Spurs’ dynasty

Says one former player: “I was friends with every single teammate I ever had in my [time] with the Spurs. That might sound far-fetched, but it’s true. And those team meals were one of the biggest reasons why. To take the time to slow down and truly dine with someone in this day and age — I’m talking a two- or three-hour dinner — you naturally connect on a different level than just on the court or in the locker room. It seems like a pretty obvious way to build team chemistry, but the tricky part is getting everyone to buy in and actually want to go. You combine amazing restaurants with an interesting group of teammates from a bunch of different countries and the result is some of the best memories I have from my career.”


The Time the U.S. Government Planned to Nuke Alaska

In 1958, the AEC and physicist Edward Teller proposed the first step in this bold new direction: Project Chariot. The plan was to detonate a 1-megaton H-bomb near Cape Thompson in Alaska along with several other, smaller explosions to create a crater 1000 feet in diameter and 110 feet deep. The resulting deepwater harbor would facilitate mineral mining and fishing access. The U.S. government rhapsodized about the idea in the media, claiming the then-contemporary weapons had low fallout and would create a port that would be nothing but a net gain for Alaskans.


Death by PowerPoint: the slide that killed seven people

Typing text on a screen and reading it out loud does not count as teaching. An audience reading text off the screen does not count as learning. Imagine if the engineers had put up a slide with just: “foam strike more than 600 times bigger than test data.” Maybe NASA would have listened. Maybe they wouldn’t have attempted re-entry. Next time you’re asked to give a talk remember Columbia. Don’t just jump to your laptop and write out slides of text. Think about your message. Don’t let that message be lost amongst text. Death by PowerPoint is a real thing. Sometimes literally.


School daze: Contractor misspells crosswalk