this went thru my mind


Church: * Confidence in U.S. Churches Hits All-Time Low by Allison J. Althoff; * Online Church: The Pros and Cons by Url Scaramanga

* “Confidence in U.S. churches hits all-time low. But organized religion still ranks higher than U.S. citizens’ confidence in public schools, banks, and television news.”

* “Why go to a church service when you can watch online?”

Cliches: Cliches Christians Should Avoid by Christian Pitt (parts 1, 2 & 3)

“These are not intended to tell you to believe or not believe a certain set of things. Christians have a Public Relations problem; that much is self-evident. So in as much as I can respond to that, I want to offer these as advice on how to change the way we approach people about our faith.”

Elites & meritocracy: Why Our Elites Stink by David Brooks

“Today’s elite is more talented and open but lacks a self-conscious leadership code. The language of meritocracy (how to succeed) has eclipsed the language of morality (how to be virtuous). Wall Street firms, for example, now hire on the basis of youth and brains, not experience and character. Most of their problems can be traced to this.”

Exceptionalism: On American Exceptionalism

“Here’s a good collection by Uri Friedman of major statements in the history of the USA on it’s exceptionalism.”

Illustration: Never Run Out of Altitude, Airspeed and Options at the Same Time by Paul Smith

“… this is real stuff, not just theory. I still have a little altitude, my airspeed is not critical at this point, and I have at least a couple of options. I hope that if you are struggling right now you are blessed with the same good fortune.”

Medicaid: Texas Governor Rejects Medicaid Expansion by Larry James

“Poor people don’t do very well in Texas in any category.”

Medicine: Medicine in the Ancient World by Sarah K. Yeomans

“… entire cults, sanctuaries and professions dedicated to health dotted the spiritual, physical and professional landscapes of the ancient world. So what exactly did ancient cultures do to combat disease and injury, and did these methods have any real basis in science as we know it today? The answers may surprise you.”

Mormons: How the Mormons Make Money by Caroline Winter

“Mormons make up only 1.4 percent of the U.S. population, but the church’s holdings are vast.”

Packing & travel: How to Pack Your Suitcase to Avoid Wrinkles

“One word: Plastic. If you remember only one word in your packing efforts, this is the one. And here’s why: friction causes wrinkling, plastic reduces friction. It’s that easy. The best way to utilize this basic plastic physics is with dry-cleaner bags. All hanger items should be packed in individual bags (one outfit per dry-cleaner bag).”

Parenting: 11 Easy Ways to Ruin Your Children by Trey Morgan

“#4. Never discipline your children just threaten them with it. Discipline is overrated. Just always threaten to punish them without ever following through.”

Rome: 6 Christian Sites in Rome You Should Know About by Wayne Stiles

“Rome is famous for the standard sites tourists see. The Trevi Fountain, the Forum, Piazza Navona, the Colosseum, the Pantheon—and innumerable other historic places lay alongside modern streets and buildings. But I’d like to show you 6 Christian sites, those sites relevant to believers, including one place that isn’t even on the map.”

Prayer: Praying that Makes a Difference by Gordon MacDonald

“… do you believe that prayer changes things?”

Small groups: Five Characteristics of Transformative Small Groups by Ed Stetzer

“Though Christians experience the need for authentic community, they often need nudging to acknowledge and live in the reality of that need – not unlike many of us who understand our need for exercise, but require encouragement to participate and, thus, enjoy the benefits! In the church setting, small groups provide an opportunity to encourage people into life-changing community. However, the significance of small groups goes beyond the benefits of personal life change and becomes crucial for the transformational church.”

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