Links to Go (October 8, 2018)

Only One in Three Americans Could Pass the U.S. Citizenship Test

The survey results don’t contain much to be optimistic about, with respondents 65 years and older scoring the best (74 percent passed) and those under 45 scoring the worst (81 percent failed). Some parts of the country are taking action to ensure this knowledge is just as important to U.S.-born citizens as it is to naturalized ones: Last year, Texas passed a bill requiring all high school students to pass the civics portion of the citizenship test to graduate.

After 17 years of war in Afghanistan, more say U.S. has failed than succeeded in achieving its goals

Republicans are now more optimistic than Democrats that the U.S. mission in Afghanistan has succeeded in achieving its goals, according to the new survey, conducted Sept. 18-24 among 1,754 adults. About half of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (48%) say the U.S. has succeeded, compared with about three-in-ten Democrats and Democratic leaning independents (28%).
Three years ago, during the presidency of Barack Obama, partisan opinions were nearly the reverse: 42% of Democrats said the U.S. had succeeded, compared with 29% of Republicans.

Conservatism After Christianity

But in general, churchgoing Republicans look more like the party many elite conservatives wanted to believe existed before Trump came along — more racially-tolerant, more accepting of multiculturalism and globalization, and also more consistently libertarian on economics. Secularized Trump voters look more like the party as Trump has tried to remake it, blending an inchoate economic populism with strong racial resentments.

Four roads we call customer service

Road 1: I can learn from you and make things better
Road 2: You’re an important customer and I can bring empathy and care to this moment to strengthen our relationship
Road 3: I can teach you something and make things better
Road 4: Go away

Seven Reasons Why Writing Handwritten Notes Will Revolutionize Your Ministry

The seven reasons we discuss are:

  1. It moves you to a spirit of gratitude.
  2. It reminds you of the blessings God has given you.
  3. It takes the focus off negativity in the church
  4. It is incredibly rewarding to the recipients.
  5. It changes the ethos and culture of the church.
  6. It improves personal relationships.
  7. It happens 365 times a year.

A Life With No Side Effects

Paul acknowledges that life comes with side effects, but he also acknowledges that there is a bigger picture. In the midst of personal suffering, Paul was able to discern that all of it was temporary and all of it had a purpose. This world is wasting away, but it’s giving birth to something new and improved; something far better. We groan, but in our groaning we hope and we wait. In the meantime, we persevere; knowing that the side effects will one day subside and we will be made well for all eternity.

Oblivious man had $1M lottery ticket for four months

Redding resident Charles Dudley told Connecticut Lottery officials he bought a Powerball ticket for the May 2 drawing on a whim.
“I had stopped for ice cream at the [Georgetown] Shell station that day,” Dudley said. “While I was there, I got a Powerball Quick Pick, put it in my wallet, and then forgot about it.”
He said it wasn’t until he was cleaning out his wallet this week that he found the ticket, which was only 23 days away from expiring, sandwiched between some old receipts.

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