The global hair care market is estimated to be worth $81 billion dollars in 2015, with a large part of that being spent on various gels that shape and control the hair. All that money to beautify ourselves and make us more attractive to others!

But there’s a free “hair gel” that can make us more attractive and beautiful, not just to others but to God.

“Let the righteous strike me; it shall be a kindness.
And let him rebuke me; it shall be as excellent oil; let my head not refuse it” (Ps. 141:5).

Rebuking sin is not the most popular gel – few can apply it properly and even fewer can receive it properly – but it can produce stunning results.

Two Very Different Callings

There’s been a welcome resurgence of the Christian doctrine of vocation and calling over the past years, helping many Christians to see their work as an essential part of their service to and worship of God.

But it’s vital that we don’t confuse it with the Christian doctrine of effectual calling.

The difference?

Vocational calling is God “calling” us into work that fits our gifts and talents. He is bringing out of us what is already there so that we find ourselves suited to certain kinds of work.

Effectual calling is God calling us out of darkness and into light. He didn’t call out of us what was already there; by His call, He put something in us that was never there before. He didn’t match what we were with something that fitted us; He made us fit for something totally unlike us. He didn’t match our passions with opportunities; He gave us passions for what we previously hated.

Your Phone Knows if You’re Depressed

Your phone may be able to tell if you’re depressed with 87% accuracy, according to a small new study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, and summarized in Time. Some useful stats and information:

  • The more time people spend on their phones, the more likely they are to be depressed.
  • Spending lots of time at home was linked to depression.
  • People who stuck to a regular pattern of movement tended to be less depressed, but depression pulled people off their routine.
  • Depressed people spent an average of 68 minutes using their phones each day, while people without depression only spent about 17 minutes on their phones.
  • When people are depressed, they tend to start avoiding tasks or things they have to do, often using their phones as a distraction.

The study seems to assume that excessive cellphone is a symptom of depression. It does not seem to consider the possibility that it may also be the cause of it.

McDonald’s Franchises Have Never Been This Depressed

Staying with the subject of depression, Macdonald’s franchisees are seeing a continuing slump in profits and hope. If you’ve been following this story, you’ll know that Macdonald’s profits have been shrinking for many consecutive months despite innumerable menu re-launches, and other gimmicks intended to reverse the decline.

The one thing they don’t seem to have tried is to make a decent burger! They can add all the frills and promos they like, but if they can’t cook a hot, moist, tasty burger, they’re finished.

It’s kind of like Starbucks of a few years ago, when it had become almost impossible to predict whether you were going to walk out with a lukewarm cup of dirty water or a good dose of caffeine.

If a burger joint can’t make a burger that tastes like meat, and if a coffee shop can’t make a coffee that tastes like coffee, they’re sunk. Whatever else they do, they’ve got to get their core product right.

Same goes for the church. You can have all the frills, you can have slick marketing, you can have multiple programs for kids and pets, and you can re-launch every other Sunday; but without a core of faithful and worshipful preaching of God’s Word, just shut the doors and let someone cook burgers or serve coffee. They’ll do far more good.