10 Good News Stories in 2013
Try to put Philippians 4:8 into practice and end 3013 on a bright note. I’d agree with 9 out of 10. Clue: it’s got something to do with wolves and sheep’s clothing.

It’s the Gospel Truth – So Take it or Leave it
A N Wilson argues that despite Christianity fading in the UK 50% faster than was thought, it still retains the power to transform lives. He concludes:

The paradox is that growing or shrinking numbers do not tell you anything. The Gospel would still be true even if no one believed it. The hopeful thing is that, where it is tried – where it is imperfectly and hesitantly followed – as it was in Northern Ireland during the peace process, as it is in many a Salvation Army hostel this Christmas, as it flickers in countless unseen Christian lives, it works. And its palpable and remarkable power to transform human life takes us to the position of believing that something very wonderful indeed began with the birth of Christ into the world.

5 Higher Education Trends for 2014
The two that intrigued me most were:

Earning College Credit for What You Know: The pressure on colleges to graduate students faster is forcing colleges to advance students based on mastery (competency-based learning) and giving students credit for prior work experience.

Career and Technical Education: After years of being pushed aside to free time for academics, career-focused learning is back. High schools, community colleges, and companies are banding together to help increase the opportunities students have to gain technical skills—often spurred by new state laws, like those in Texas and Georgia, that put a bigger emphasis on career and technical education.

The World braces for Retirement Crisis
“Most countries are not ready to meet what is sure to be one of the defining challenges of the 21st century,” the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank, concluded in a report this fall.

Islam? AIDS? Weapons of mass destruction? Nope. Retirement.

A global retirement crisis is bearing down on workers of all ages. Spawned years before the Great Recession and the financial meltdown in 2008, the crisis was significantly worsened by those twin traumas. It will play out for decades, and its consequences will be far-reaching.

Many people will be forced to work well past the traditional retirement age of 65 – to 70 or even longer. Living standards will fall, and poverty rates will rise for the elderly in wealthy countries that built safety nets for seniors after World War II. In developing countries, people’s rising expectations will be frustrated if governments can’t afford retirement systems to replace the tradition of children caring for aging parents.

UK Politician Urges FIght Against Anti-Christian Persecution
The Labour Party has admitted that politicians should stop feeling a “sense of embarrassment” about discussing God. Douglas Alexander, a senior frontbencher, suggested that public figures have allowed “political correctness” to prevent them talking about faith and the persecution of Christians in the Middle East.

In a thinly-veiled attack on the Tony Blair era, when Alastair Campbell, the then communications director in Downing Street, said “we don’t do God”, Mr Alexander warned that people should have the courage to speak up for Christians without fear of causing offence…He warns that the mounting persecution of Christians is a “story that goes largely untold”, describing those who have spoken out on the issue, including the Prince of Wales, as lone voices.