Links To Go: 9/23/13

The U.S. Has More Guns, But Russia Has More Murders

There are fewer than 13 million firearms in circulation in Russia, compared with an estimated 300 million in the United States. That works out to about 9 guns per 100 people in Russia and closed to 100 guns per 100 people in America.
The most recent homicide statistics for Russia show that there were 21,603 killings in 2009.
According to the FBI, the United States had 13,636 homicides in 2009 with a population that is more than twice as large. More than 80 percent of those killings were gun-related.

Broken Laws and Broken Roads: Why Christians Need to Get Involved in Immigration Reform

Simply put, advocating on behalf of immigrants can be a missional opportunity – a way to genuinely live out our faith in a manner that portrays the church as the beacon of light it has always been meant to be. In John 12:32, Jesus said, “If I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto me.” Are we lifting up Jesus when, through our inaction, we say to our immigrant brothers and sisters, “We don’t care about what you’re going through?” My fear is that unless the church gets involved in this issue of biblical justice, we will create a generation of immigrants who, like so many African Americans decades ago (and currently), reject the Christian faith, saying, “In my time of need I looked for you – and you were not there.”

How to Mourn with the Parents of Stillborn and Miscarried Children

Grace must abound in the wake of the death of a child in the womb precisely because others do not understand. And I do not mean grace from others to you, but rather your grace with others. God may call you to the primary task of ministering to others, even as they attempt to minister to you. Their lack of understanding may call for patience and gentleness you can barely muster. God gives this strength, even as he continues to console your heart with his Spirit.

Your work is your witness

Church supported ministers end up doing most of their witness in front of fellow believers. That does not change the world. But those of you who live your faith in the midst of a broken, fallen world… well, you are changing it.
You are the true full-time ministers. I would even argue that you are our truest missionaries.
May God bless your ministry.

How To Write a Bible Lesson Someone Else Can Teach From

I have realized there aren’t a lot of lessons written with other teachers in mind outside the author and their class. What you typically find are lessons that are huge blocks of text/lecture followed up with a few points to make and, if you are lucky, a couple of discussion questions. That can work well if the lessons aren’t going to be shared but are quite hard to teach from. So, I want to share a few things that can help teachers, preacher, ministers, elders, and all the rest write lessons other people can use.

5 Tips for Sharing the Gospel with Family and Friends

Even if it seems like your parents are unresponsive, God can use your words days, months, or years down the line to help them come to Christ. You may not see growth now, but God can use your steps of faith in the future. We will pray that God grows the seeds you have planted into saving faith in Jesus Christ!


And then in verse 5, He says, “I make all things new.” There is hardly anything new in this world and what is new doesn’t stay new. “Change and decay in all around, I see.” But God says, “I make all things new.”
I want to be new!

Global warming ‘hiatus’ puts climate change scientists on the spot

Since just before the start of the 21st century, the Earth’s average global surface temperature has failed to rise despite soaring levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases and years of dire warnings from environmental advocates.
Now, as scientists with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change gather in Sweden this week to approve portions of the IPCC’s fifth assessment report, they are finding themselves pressured to explain this glaring discrepancy.

Seeing the Church Through the Eyes of Two Twitter Rockstars

I was reading Your Best Life Now, but before I could finish it Joel stopped by my office and took it back. I didn’t mind that too much, but when he called me “less than a conqueror” he really hurt me. I thought Simple Church was good. I tried to get all of my committee leaders to read it but we just had too much going on. I read Eating the Elephant in one sitting. I read a part of Total Church Life. I was thinking about writing a book myself. It would be a “How To” book for young preachers entitled “Dummies for Deacons.” I think you should write a book Ed. You seem to be good at…goatees.

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