Not my words. Not my thoughts. Not necessarily my opinion. But these are articles that others have written that made me think or made me laugh.
How the CIA Took Down a Democratically Elected Leader For the Good of Bananas
The root causes of the civil war are plenty: The feudal caste system inherited from the Spanish way back in the 1800s. The lack of education for a vast majority of the population (well at least the mestizo and native populations). And, of course, the CIA backed coup that overthrew the democratically leader of the county back in 1954. As I stressed in my article, “Why DO they hate us? Here are 7 Pretty Good Reasons,” the United States is NOT the sole reason for the ills of this world. Far from it. However, just like in the Muslim world, we certainly had a hand in creating said ills. A pretty big hand.
What It’s Like to Live On Less Than Two Dollars a Day
“Many Americans have spent more than that before they get to work or school in the morning,” write sociologist Kathryn Edin and her co-author, H. Luke Shaefer, in $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America. “Yet in 2011, more than 4 percent of all households with children in the world’s wealthiest nation were living in a poverty so deep that most Americans don’t believe it exists in this country.”
Has the Obama administration learned anything from last deportation raids?
Advocacy groups on Thursday urged officials to abandon the practice, fighting the tone and tenor of the raids, which involves immigration agents going into the homes of immigrant women and children and carting them away. Mass deportations are seldom carried out on this scale, let alone targeted at a vulnerable population that has grounds for asylum.
“Instead of addressing the terror and civil rights violations the New Year’s raids caused, DHS is spreading them,” Tania Unzueta, legal and policy director for the advocacy group Mijente said in a statement. “The raids show how much of what Donald Trump promises is already occurring under this administration.”
Stop using God as an excuse to marry someone else
I know sometimes being faithful to God and trying to save your marriage is not enough. Marriage is hard and sometimes Christians break their promises to God and to their mate. Divorce happens and God hates it. After all, it takes two committed to Jesus. Not just one. And I am sorry for those of you who never wanted to end your marriage but your mate did. But that is on them. It was not what God wanted.
So stop using God as your excuse to get out of a marriage you no longer want to be in.
Repent. Be faithful to God’s call.
Edging Toward Enchantment: Miracle Stories
“Basically,” I said, “our church tends toward disenchantment. Because of our education and wealth. Beyond a literary analysis, we don’t know what to do with a miracle story like this. But my experience out at the prison and with Freedom is very different, much more enchanted. I don’t know what to do with that disjoint. I just want to make the observation that the disjoint exists. It’s my opinion that this is one of the least discussed fractures in the church, the fracture between the enchanted church and the disenchanted church, which is often correlated with education and socioeconomic status. Is it possible to overcome this divide?”
Baptism Is Not the Goal!
In the church, we often garner the mentality of baptize them now, ask questions later. We don’t focus enough on the disciple-making process. We focus on the 5 steps of salvation, but not so much on what it means to be a runner. We view the finish line as the baptistery. When, in truth, that’s just the starting line. What happens, all too often, is that we end up with a lot of baptized individuals who drop out of the race because they were never properly trained. If we think that making a disciple is only about baptism, then we have failed miserably in our approach.
Postmodernism and Historical Continuity
Postmodernism is self-absorbed. Modernism was too. No matter what your worldview is we will find a way to be self absorbed. Modernism was self-absorbed in the sense that we thought we had the ability in ourselves to figure out things outside ourselves in an absolute sense. Postmodernism is self absorbed in that it assumes what is going on inside me and about me is absolutely all that matters and that what is external to self really doesn’t matter a whole lot if at all. This attitude expresses itself in moral relativism, that there are no moral absolutes…that I am my own ultimate authority. It assumes that what I experience and how I see things is how it has always been.
Motherhood is Missional
“Children tie the mother’s feet.” That is an old Tamil proverb that means children keep mothers from doing what they want to do. I can sympathize with the feet-tied feeling when my four kids join forces to do away with the interruption-free moments that I envision for myself.
I was first introduced to this saying through Amy Carmichael. Amy was not the biological mother for any of the hundreds of children she nurtured. She was their mother, however, because Jesus caused her to be fruitful and multiply spiritually as she discipled the orphans and children she rescued from slavery and death. Amy saw her feet-tiedness as opportunity for the gospel because she understood what was really going on. God wasn’t tying her feet with all of those children, he was opening doors for the gospel to be proclaimed in India.
Gender Specific Blessings: Bolstering a Biblical Theology of Gender Roles
The Lord does not eradicate gender distinctions in his work of redemption; he empowers men and women to live as God intended. Therefore, as we read the Bible we should be aware of the gender-consciousness that parallels the contours of redemptive history. At the same time, as we join in the Lord’s work we should submit our personal narratives to his macro-narrative; our private desires should be conformed to his design. With regards to complementarity this includes pursuing God’s blessing in ways that fit our unique calling as men and women. While the rest of the world (and many Christians) may find this odd, this is the way of our Creator. And as he said of the day when he made mankind male and female: “It is very good.”
Take the Lid off of Your Church
Here are a few questions I am constantly going through:
- For Revolution to become twice the size we are now, what do I need to start doing? What do I need to stop doing? What things will keep us from getting there?
- If we were twice the size we are now, what things would we do differently?
- What things are we doing right now that need to be tweaked? What things need to go to a new level?
- What new leaders do we need to raise up?
- What leaders need to be challenged to go to a new level?
My Father, Woody Allen, and the Danger of Questions Unasked
But the old-school media’s slow evolution has helped to create a culture of impunity and silence. Amazon paid millions to work with Woody Allen, bankrolling a new series and film. Actors, including some I admire greatly, continue to line up to star in his movies. “It’s not personal,” one once told me. But it hurts my sister every time one of her heroes like Louis C.K., or a star her age, like Miley Cyrus, works with Woody Allen. Personal is exactly what it is — for my sister, and for women everywhere with allegations of sexual assault that have never been vindicated by a conviction.
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” In Emojis Is Absolutely Cute
Early last year, Twitter proudly introduced emojis that celebrated the coming of the newest installation to the Star Wars Saga — “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”. Thanks to Disney, we can all now enjoy the excitement, action, and wonder of this movie — courtesy of cute little emojis! (I don’t know where to get these custom pictographs, but I want them in my phone, stat!)