Links to Go (February 22, 2016)

Not my words, nor my thoughts. Just some ideas worth examining… or something to make you laugh — Tim

Why Our Blessedness Doesn’t Depend on Who’s in the White House

Oh, how the church needs this message!

  • a strong leader
  • an arsenal of nuclear weapons
  • a strong military force
  • a thriving economy

These are all false hopes. They mean little to nothing to the people of God, the church. They are neither a threat to make us tremble, nor a hope to make us feel secure.

What’s not at stake in this year’s presidential election

But don’t let there be a concession speech in your heart or on your lips, because we know something that lots of folks don’t. Our King wasn’t on the ballot, and he doesn’t rule by popular vote.
And to make it even sweeter, he already gave his victory speech, and we’re just waiting for the procession to begin. In the big scheme of things, this election just isn’t a huge deal, so we shouldn’t act like it is.

Is Religion the Cause of Most Wars?

But as we trained students for this trip, we equipped them with a simple question to expose such claims: “How did you come to that conclusion?” (also known as Columbo Question #2). We simply taught students to recognize when someone makes a claim and then to request their supporting reasons. When our atheist presenters were challenged to provide justification, they could only offer up the Crusades, the Inquisition, 9-11, or vague references to Islamic terrorism. Certainly we recognize religion’s role in these examples, but three or four references cannot support the claim that most wars are caused by religion.

A Fasting on Criticalness

What He is showing me so far can be summed up as follows:

  1. A critical spirit blocks the positive creative thoughts God longs to give us.
  2. A critical spirit can prevent good relationships between individuals and often produces retaliatory criticalness.
  3. Criticalness blocks the work of the Spirit of God: love, good will, mercy.
  4. Whenever we see something genuinely wrong in another person’s behavior, rather than criticize him or her directly, or—for worse—gripe about him behind his back, we should ask the Spirit of God to do the correction needed.

What the pope did, and didn’t, mean when he said Trump was not a Christian

And though people may be more accustomed to hear popes talk about other issues, like matters of sexual morality, Pope Francis reminds us that abortion is not the only issue that matters to the Catholic church. Issues surrounding migration, human trafficking, and more broadly the poor, also matter to the Christian person.

An ‘Epic Fail’ for 25% of America’s Churches

There was a lot of information in this poll about reading habits and the influence of the Bible, but one sentence in the summary really shocked me. “One-quarter of adults say they never hear the Bible read aloud at a church service or Mass.”
Spread over all the churches, this could mean that the Bible is not even being quoted in one-in-four services on any given weekend. That’s dumbfounding and almost incomprehensible. As much as anything else, this Biblical void in churches may explain a whole lot about the condition of our culture and the Biblical illiteracy of America, (which this poll also revealed.)

The NBA’s Monty Williams Shows an Inspiring Display of Faith During His Wife’s Funeral

Last night, the assistant coach for the Oklahoma City Thunder, Monty Williams, delivered a truly stirring eulogy celebrating the life of his wife. Williams’s wife, Ingrid, died from a car crash on February 10. At the funeral, Williams offered a powerful message about forgiveness for the woman who lost control of her car causing the accident (she died as well).

I want to close with this, and I think it’s the most important thing we need to understand. Everyone is praying for me and my family, which is right, but let us not forget that there were two people in this situation. And that family needs prayer as well, and we have no ill will towards that family.
In my house, we have a sign that says, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” We cannot serve the Lord if we don’t have a heart of forgiveness. That family didn’t wake up wanting to hurt my wife. Life is hard. It is very hard, and that was tough, but we hold no ill will toward the Donaldson family. And we, as a group, brothers united in unity, should be praying for that family, because they grieve as well. So let’s not lose sight of what’s important. God will work this out, my wife is in heaven. God loves us. God is love.

Why Taylor Swift’s Grammy Acceptance Speech Is Required Listening for CEOs

When someone else is creating controversy and trying to drag us into their drama, our initial reaction is usually to talk about what is being said and how it isn’t true. And while leaders should follow the guidance of their legal team when addressing erroneous claims, it is also good to remember what we learned in middle school — that the more you talk about someone else’s gossip, the more believable it becomes.
Taylor Swift refused to allow the conversation to remain about someone else’s lyrics or behavior. She never said his name from stage or brought up his words. But she certainly addressed the controversy he created but took the power back by changing the conversation from how she was a victim to how she was a role model delivering inspiring advice.

How to write emails if you want people to actually respond

To get replies, the company suggests using shorter, simpler sentences — hence the third-grade reading level. Writing this way generally gets a response rate of 53 percent, as opposed to 45 percent for messages written at a high school reading level. Writing too simply also drops your chances of a reply — messages written at a kindergarten reading level get replies only 46 percent of the time. But the worst response rate was for those writing at a college reading level, at 39 percent. Apparently — as many third graders will tell you — no one likes a smarty-pants.

81-year-old woman chases fleeing robbers, rams them with car

Police say an 81-year-old Pennsylvania woman chased down robbers who stole her purse, ramming their car with hers and leaving damage that helped officers apprehend them.

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