this went thru my mind


Compassion: Cost-Effective Compassion: The 10 Most Popular Strategies for Helping the Poor by Bruce Wydick

“… what are the best ways to help those living in developing countries? By ‘best,’ I mean most effective: things that actually help people rise out of poverty, and that carry with them a sizable ‘bang for your buck’—programs in which the impact on the poor is significant per donated dollar. … A World Health Organization study estimates that the availability of clean water in a rural village reduces infant mortality by 35 to 50 percent, at a cost of roughly $10 per person per year. … Of all the long-term development interventions, child sponsorship received the highest rating.”

Fellowship: Chairs of Fellowship by Rick Atchley [10 min. video excerpt]

“… this video excerpt … illustrates the folly of basing fellowship on doctrines generated by man.”

Growing up digital: American Families See Tablets as Playmate, Teacher and Babysitter

“According to a Nielsen survey of adults with children under 12 in tablet-owning households … seven out of every ten children in tablet-owning households used a tablet computer … Seventy-seven percent of those surveyed said children play downloaded games on their tablets and 57 percent said children used tablets to access educational apps.”

Leadership: Basic Church Leadership Instinct by Terry Rush

“Marginal leadership neuters church ambition and potential when it is declared that we go by the Bible; yet truly monitor most closely the collection plate. It is not unusual that church doctrine is not first determined by biblical authority; but rather by the big givers who may opt to leave if not pleased.”

Marriage: Young Mothers Describe Marriage’s Fading Allure

“Young parents spoke of an economy that was fundamentally different from in their parents’ time, and that required more than a high school education for fathers to be stable breadwinners. They talked of how little they trusted each other to be reliable mates, and of how the government safety net encourages poor parents to stay single.”

Miscarriage: Naming the Loss by Jonathan Stormented

“Because the emotions swirling around inside me were so hard to define, I sat down a couple of nights after we got the news and wrote a letter to Mary (our little baby who would never be born). I never planned on sharing this publicly, but I am doing so in hopes that it might bless others who are going through, or have been through, similar situations. Here’s how we named our loss. I hope this helpful to some.”

Parenting: 35 Things I Hope My Kids Will Say About Their Dad by Joshua Becker

“Children learn more from watching their parents than from listening to them – more is caught than taught. As parents, this puts great weight on how we conduct our lives. It requires us to be intentional about how we live. It requires us to self-reflect and evaluate if our lives match our words. And it requires us to be intentional about identifying the lessons we hope our kids will take from us.”

Sugar: Should Sugar Be Regulated Like Alcohol? [Ira Flatow’s interview of UCSF pediatrician Robert Lustig]

“Americans consume 450 calories of added sugar every day, and that is not counting fruit. … all that extra sugar, especially fructose, can be toxic and hard on your liver, just like alcohol.”

Theological training: Theological Education and Tomorrow’s Church by Mark Hamilton (parts one, two & three)

“There is a problem here, and we must name it.”

Unwed mothers: For Women Under 30, Most Births Occur Outside Marriage

“After steadily rising for five decades, the share of children born to unmarried women has crossed a threshold: more than half of births to American women under 30 occur outside marriage. … The fastest growth in the last two decades has occurred among white women in their 20s who have some college education but no four-year degree … Among mothers of all ages, a majority — 59 percent in 2009 — are married when they have children. But the surge of births outside marriage among younger women — nearly two-thirds of children in the United States are born to mothers under 30 — is both a symbol of the transforming family and a hint of coming generational change. One group still largely resists the trend: college graduates, who overwhelmingly marry before having children.”

Weddings: Some Thoughts for Young Couples Who are Planning Their Weddings by Dave Barnhart

“Before we get into wedding season, I want to share some thoughts and opinions that I hope will be helpful to couples doing wedding planning. This is from a pastor who has done more weddings than he can count, and who has given pastoral care to people before their weddings and after their divorces.”

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