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What took me by surprise – Widowhood
Young guys in the ministry should read blogs and books like this to build understanding and sympathy with a significant minority in most congregations.

What do you think of eHarmony?
Glad I never had to think of it, but if you do, Tim Challies offers a helping hand.

The Personality of the Preacher
Peter Mead with two fascinating and insightful posts on the impact of personality on preaching style (Part 1, Part 2). As well as raising self-awareness in preachers, and challenging us to move out of our comfort zone, understanding this could help people be better hearers too.

Should every student pursue a 4 year College education?
Alex Chediak continues to provide helpful links for parents and students pondering their future.

John Cleese on Creativity
4 lessons from comedy genius and creative guru, John Cleese.

Reforming Families Conference
Doing anything Aug 13-16, 2013?

Tweets of the Day

What Guys Should Know about Girls: 50 Tips

Yesterday I posted What girls should know about guys, the result of a survey of about 50 teenage guys at Youth Camp. Today the girls turn the tables and pass on their tips for the guys.

  • Sometimes just a hug is better than words.
  • Girls do not enjoy your jokes about women in the kitchen.
  • I wish guys would understand that they are marshmallows underneath. It doesn’t matter, because we are too!
  • Please protect our purity.
  • When a girl says she is “Fine” take a second to break down that four-letter-word: Freaked out, Insecure, Neurotic, and Emotional. When girls say they are “Fine,” chances is they aren’t!
  • Holding doors open and being the gentleman is completely cool.
  • When you ask me out, be ready to be the man of a relationship, and make me a top priority.
  • I wish you knew how much it means when you are chivalrous and do small courteous things for us (x4).
  • Girls like to feel loved and protected (x3).
  • We don’t always know what we want.
  • If you take charge, we will let you.
  • Take charge, be bold, and just ask us out (or ask for my Dad’s number).
  • Girls are emotional, they need to cry it out sometimes, even if they don’t like to let you see it, and if they don’t always want to talk about it (especially if it has something to do with you).
  • Girls want guys to respect them and to listen to them; not mock them.
  • Girls like attention, but not to the point where they feel watched or uncomfortable.
  • Girls can tell if a guy is constantly watching them. It makes just being around that guy very uncomfortable.
  • Girls, whether they want to or not, are continually pressured by the media on how they should look, dress, and act. Standards are set that are unrealistic and hard to meet. So guys, remember this esteem struggle girls have and could really use an honest compliment every now and then.
  • Make your own sandwich.
  • Girls hate it when guys are two-faced.
  • Don’t lie to a girl to avoid arguments.
  • We don’t like it when you try to show-off.
  • Don’t flirt with other girls (x3).
  • Girls want guys to take the initiative and take leadership responsibilities (x6).
  • Please be the first one to introduce yourself, otherwise you don’t look confident which is unattractive (x3).
  • There’s more to us than you think. We love to laugh. We come in different shapes and sizes.
  • Girls eat too. We are not supermodels.
  • We find it quite attractive when you’re holding a baby.
  • Some girls purposely ignore the guy they like, even though it sounds totally backwards.
  • If you like a girl, talk to her. If you’re nervous, just pick a casual setting like playing soccer or walking to the campfire and just chat to her. Trust me, girls are good at talking and will fill in the silences.
  • If you are interested in us, don’t be scared to come and talk to us. We don’t bite! We could be interested in you as well and are just waiting for you to make the first move.
  • We’d love if guys knew that they should pay attention to us because then we wouldn’t have to tell them everything we feel.
  • After spending time to get ready a girl loves to be complimented on the time spent.
  • If you like a girl, be her friend first; don’t rush things – she has to know and trust you.
  • We like to talk things out.
  • A positive thing said by a guy to me can make me smile and feel good for a whole day. A negative thing, however, no matter if they meant to say it or not, can turn me down for days and weeks. Sometimes a guy’s opinion is more important for us than a girl’s opinion.
  • Sometimes we don’t know or understand our own feelings so we have a hard time revealing/expressing our true feelings. That’s why we appear to speak a “different language.”
  • Girls like to know they are appreciated.
  • Just ask what is wrong. Ask to talk about it. When you do that, it is like WOW.
  • Don’t give us your phone number.
  • We don’t understand your silence. We aren’t all that scary.
  • I wish guys knew that it doesn’t matter if they aren’t ripped!
  • Speak to us!
  • I wish guys knew that we don’t care about if they are good looking, just as long as they are themselves, not arrogant or false – good looks would be great as well :)
  • Apologize. Ask for forgiveness. It means a lot and the majority of girls will forgive and it will clear the air.
  • Communication is huge. Girls tend to imagine worst-case scenarios.
  • Doing things like flips off the pier to catch our attention or smoking or drinking is a turn off and not impressive.
  • I wish guys understood how saddening it is, as a girl, to know that the guy she will marry cannot be entirely loyal in his mind, due to the immodesty and sexual temptation this society is saturated in.
  • Don’t only tell me you love me, show me you do!
  • Be fun, humorous, and positive, but know when to be serious and know when not to joke around.
  • Tell her she is beautiful, treat her like she is the best.
  • We do not appreciate your jokes about us belonging in the kitchen, and no, I will not make you a sandwich (just kidding).
  • We have a huge amount of respect for them when they lead in prayer, devotions, etc., even if they are nervous.
  • Know who you are, know what you believe, and have a vision!
  • How you treat/respect your mother and sisters tells me a lot about how you will treat your wife.
  • We girls like to be told we look nice. It’s not awkward, really.
  • Girls like to be encouraged in trying to dress modestly. It can be hard to go so much against our culture. You can be looked down on sometimes because of it.
  •  I can cook!

Not surprisingly, the girls have more to say than the guys (I’ll catch it for that!). As I read this entertaining mix of humor, wisdom, frustration, grace, and encouragement, all I could think was, “I’m so glad that I’ve just celebrated 21 years of married bliss. Who’d be a teenager all over again?”

Check out

Does God like Economics?
“Our job as stewards, therefore, is to make wise choices and reshape the creation. We do this for our own local purposes as they operate within the bounds of God’s greater purposes. God designed potato plants for us to make French fries just as much as He designed electromagnetic radiation for us to develop WiFi. The creation is pregnant with endless possibilities even though each aspect of it is limited in its own way.”

Jesus’ Diary
Barry York: “Though it will never happen, for a moment think of the widespread media blitz that would occur if an archaeological society announced one day they had discovered the lost diary of Jesus Christ. ”

Multitasking’s Real Victims
How to break the multi-taking habits…of others.

How do schools suffocate creativity?Sir Ken RObinson interviewed on NPR about creativity and education (HT: Zach Nielsen)

The Art of Disagreeing in Public: 5 Important Points to Remember
Although Phil Monroe is focused on the disagreements between Biblical Counselors and Christian Psychologists, his points are valid for all Christian disagreements.

Alan Chambers, Exodus International, and Lordship Salvation
Denny Burk with the best article I’ve read on the worrying direction that Exodus International’s leadership has been taking regarding homosexuality.

Tweets of the Day

More Tweetables here.

What girls should know about guys: 40 Tips

At last week’s Youth Camp, I hosted a workshop for the guys on 10 things they should know about girls. Before I got into the topic, I distributed index cards to each guy and asked them to write on it the one thing that they wanted girls to know about guys. “This is your one chance in life to send a legitimate anonymous message to the girls about what you wish they knew about you.”

I then collected the cards and sent them up to my wife, Shona, who read them out to a similar workshop for the girls. So what did the guys want the girls to know about them? Here’s a selection from the cards:

  • Guys can be nervous and shy too (x4).
  • We have feelings too (x4).
  • Guys work hard.
  • We are not as emotional.
  • Men prefer women to let them know that they have feelings for them. Many men are shy of that aspect.
  • Just be straightforward and don’t be confusing.
  • Don’t lead guys on when you really have no interest in them. Guys can have a hard time figuring out whether you are really interested.
  • Most guys aren’t as tough as they try to look. They try to look the part but really need women.
  • My sister is very strict.
  • My phone number (x4).
  • Most guys won’t wait around for a girl they like, if she just strings them along.
  • Guys are human too, they need encouragement.
  • If our friends don’t talk to us for a week, we don’t think that they hate us.
  • It’s nice when you tell us how you feel instead of giving us the cold shoulder.
  • Choosing one from so many wonderful young ladies is hard.
  • We are programmed to lead.
  • Make me a sandwich.
  • We wear the pants (trousers for British readers!)
  • We’re not as emotional as you might want us to be.
  • Pretty is great but being able to change tires and do other practical things is great too.
  • I find more modestly dressed women attractive.
  • Even though I don’t appear nice, I’m more nice to people I get to know better.
  • We don’t understand girl’s subtleties, like body language, your words, the way you act. Tell us straight!
  • Guys tend to be very visual, therefore dress and actions can easily promote lust and sinful thoughts.
  • Sometimes guys are quiet just because they are interested in you! Just because they ignore you, doesn’t mean they don’t like you.
  • Guys are vulnerable. They way a girl dresses and speaks holds a lot of power on the way a guy thinks.
  • Girls look just as good without all the makeup.
  • To a guy who truly loves a girl, looks are just a small part of the attraction, although we do love the physical part – confusing!
  • Guys aren’t all the same. Each guy thinks very different from the other.
  • Most guys lust quickly. You dress a little immodestly and our minds hit the gutter (x5).
  • Guys love easy-going girls. Take it easy on us and let us do our thing.
  • No guys like shopping for hours!! Except for sports equipment!
  • Guys don’t need to spend too much time in the mirror in the morning.
  • Sometimes we don’t fell like talking That doesn’t mean we don’t love you.
  • We are practical.
  • We are logical (generally).
  • We’re not scary to talk to.
  • Men like good food.
  • When you make us a sandwich, please also bring us a drink.
  • Sometimes guys have a hard time starting conversation. So girls should start conversations too.
  • “Great, now make me a sandwich!”

Obviously (hopefully) some of these are a bit tongue-in-cheek! Is there anything you’d add?

Tomorrow, I’ll post what the girls wanted the guys to know.