this went thru my mind


2013: Why 2013 Will Be a Year of Crisis

“The crisis originates in this summer’s extreme weather. Almost 80% of the continental United States experienced drought conditions. Russia and Australia experienced drought as well. The drought has ruined key crops … step outside the developed world, and the price of food suddenly becomes the single most important fact of human economic life. In poor countries, people typically spend half their incomes on food — and by ‘food,’ they mean first and foremost bread.”

Archaeology & the Bible lands: * Worshiping the Roman Emperor by Ferrell Jenkins; * A “Jesus Hideout” in Jordan by James Tabor

* “The early church, and many others as well, in the face of Imperial Rome were faced with the question—to whom did they owe their ultimate allegiance.”

* “… I am convinced that the location of Wadi el-Yabis as a ‘Jesus Hideout’ has good historical probability.”

Bible reading: 80% of Churchgoers Don’t Read Bible Daily, LifeWay Survey Suggests

“…  while 90 percent ‘desire to please and honor Jesus in all I do,’ only 19 percent personally read the Bible every day.”

God & politics: * 7 Things Christians Need to Remember About Politics by Bryan Roberts [required reading]; * God and Our Political Platforms … by Rachel Held Evans [required reading]

* “Ironically, we lose  when we count each forced ‘God bless America’ as a win. When Jesus was asked about taxes, he didn’t hold up a coin, point to it dramatically, and shout to the crowd, ‘WHY ISN’T MY NAME ON THIS?! I NEED YOU GUYS TO GET MY NAME AND PICTURE ON THIS THING—STAT!’ (…or whatever the Aramaic equivalent of ‘STAT’ would have been). No, Jesus, when pressed to use his authority to make a political point said simply, ‘Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.’ War, division, power, and greed—these things are Caesar’s. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control—these things are God’s. Against such things, there is no law; and for such things, there is no single earthly political platform.”

* “Political discourse is the Las Vegas of Christianity—the environment in which our sin is excused. Hate is winked at, fear is perpetuated and strife is applauded. Go wild, Christ-follower. Your words have no consequences here. Jesus doesn’t live in Vegas. Not only are believers excused for their political indiscretions, but they are often applauded for committing them. Slander is explained away as righteous anger; winning arguments are esteemed higher than truthful ones (whether or not the “facts” align) …”

Health care: How the U.S. Health-Care System Wastes $750 Billion Annually

“Every year, the United States spends eight times as much money on unnecessary health-care costs as the Pentagon spent for each year of its operations in Iraq. … More than 18 months in the making, the [Institute of Medicine (IOM)] report identified six major areas of waste: unnecessary services ($210 billion annually); inefficient delivery of care ($130 billion); excess administrative costs ($190 billion); inflated prices ($105 billion); prevention failures ($55 billion), and fraud ($75 billion). Adjusting for some overlap among the categories, the panel settled on an estimate of $750 billion.”

Space exploration: After 35 Years, Voyager Nears Edge Of Solar System

“The Voyager 1 spacecraft’s 35th anniversary is proving to be unexpectedly exciting… [as] new hints [indicate] that the spacecraft is on the verge of leaving our solar system…. Voyager 1 is now more than 11 billion miles away from Earth. It blasted off in September 1977 … And even though Voyager’s technology is primitive by today’s standards — for example, each spacecraft has an on-board eight-track tape recorder — the probes just keep working. … Voyager 1 can keep talking to Earth for about another decade. That’s how long the plutonium that powers it should last. After it falls silent, it will still keep going. But it will be about 40,000 years before it wanders close to another star.”

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