The Buffett Formula- How To Get Smarter
When asked how to get smarter, Warren Buffett once held up stacks of paper and said “read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge builds up, like compound interest.”
Can Any Good Come From Controversy?
Trillia Newbell: “Often the news that spreads the quickest is controversial—someone said something or did something that wasn’t wise, was hurtful, or shameful. We hear about it for about a week or so and then it goes away. So can any good come from controversies?” Staying with the subject of controversy, Mike Leake has a necessary reminder for bloggers that their focus is sometimes quite different to their congregation’s.
Prepare Now for Your Pain
Bryan DeWire describes how God prepared him theologically for day in December 2007 when his Dad died at the young age of 44. He concludes: “Begin preparing now, in the ‘normal days,’ knowing that some portion of suffering is coming, and God has made available the resources to get you ready.”
(Don’t) Say it With Flowers
Mike Wittmer: “Last night I attended my fifth grader’s school Christmas concert, and I noticed something I had never seen before. It seemed that every fourth parent was carrying cut flowers to give to their child. One even had a dozen roses. When did this start? And what does it mean?”
Finding Myself in the Song of Songs
I found this original post fascinating and deeply edifying, especially when you take the next step and see the Shulammite as s symbol for every believer.
Thinking Through MultiCultural Church
Ed Stetzer: “Scripture goes to great lengths to point out the diversity around the throne. Thus, it seems only right and perhaps pleasing to God that our churches might be signs of the kingdom of God today in increasing multiculturalism. I am encouraged by the efforts I see, and challenged to move forward in my own life and church as the conference theme suggested,For the Sake of the Gospel.”
Croatians Vote to Ban Gay Marriage
Worth bookmarking Croatia on Google maps as we may all have to live there soon. Now watch as homosexual jackboots from all over the world try to overturn a 65% vote to define marriage as between one man and one woman.
Ann: “Marriage isn’t a lovey-dovey thing, y’know, for 80 years, you learn to accept one another’s way of life…Devote your time to understanding one another, really, that’s the whole thing.
John: “We always hold hands…Well, we just take things as they come, and we’re contented, and we have lovely family to support us…Be content with what you have and what you’re doing…The key is to always agree with your wife.” (I think that’s a joke).
Why We Hate
Hope you didn’t get whiplash there; from beautiful love to ugly hate in just a few pixels. In this study of the Bosnian genocide, psychologists ask, “Why do humans do such terrible things to each other? What makes us capable of torture, war, and genocide?” This study answers “Evolution!” It’s not a new insight. For years Christians have been arguing for a necessary connection between genocide and a belief in evolution.
The Quest to Turn Computers into Creative Artists “With the London Symphony Orchestra performing machine-written symphonies, Amazon selling books written by algorithms and film-makers scripting screenplays after conversations with a PC, are computers evolving from being a mere tool into becoming a creative force in their own right? For example, a new experiment by Volkswagen creates music based on a car’s speed, steering and whether it is in the city or countryside.”
It would appear that one of the main drivers of this work is the desire to create a creator. Does that not so clearly reveal the image of God in man? The Creator who created us to create has created us to create creators too.
Speaking of creativity, a new wireless device has allowed paralyzed people to drive a wheelchair simply by moving their tongues. Can’t help but think how much this imaginative ingenuity in the service of others pleases God.
First Lines of Theology Books
Fred Sanders asks: “What’s the best opening line of a theology book? The worst? As I wondered, I reached out and pulled down from the shelves the best-known texts I could see from my desk. Here’s what I came up with.”
“The happiest marriages are ones in which wives are able to calm quickly during conflict.”
That’s the conclusion of a recent study which examined how couples handle negative emotions that arise during conflict.
I’m not quite sure how they arranged this, but apparently researchers invited couples into their labs and observed them engaging in marital conflict while measuring their emotional responses (body language, facial expressions, and feelings).
Lots of men might look at the study’s conclusion and say, “See, if only my wife could avoid the hysteria we’d all be much happier.”
Not so fast, guys.
Researchers say that the reason the wife’s emotional regulation matters most in a marriage is due to gender stereotypes that make wives bear the burden of managing emotion in relationships, while men are given a pass because they are so emotionally illiterate!
However, researchers express hope that if their sample had included younger couples, there would have been a more enlightened and less stereotypical outcome because younger men have been “enculturated” to be more emotionally intelligent. (Assuming that the youngsters don’t just give up and bail on one another at the first argument.)
The report concluded with a few takeaways:
The more efficiently that couples can move away from fiery moments in conflict, and toward more cool, calm, collaborative, and constructive moments, they will be better able to engage in productive conflict resolution.
Conflict is not, in fact, an inherently bad thing; in fact, we believe that conflict—and the negative emotion it naturally generates—can be invaluable in highlighting trouble spots in relationships and paving the way for conflict resolution, ultimately supporting happier relationships.
How couples respond to negative emotions during conflict is what is critical. To the extent that couples can use negativity to navigate toward relationship repair, negative emotion during conflict can be highly useful.
I’d recommend that every engaged and married couple study The Peacemakerby Ken Sande. It would save and solve a lot of problems.
Seek Peace and Pursue It Jemar Tisby writes on the quest for racial harmony. “since many of our Christian congregations remain racially homogenous, it begs the question, “Is there peace in the church between people of different races and ethnicities?” The phrase “seek peace and pursue it” may help answer those questions.”
Thanksgiving is Loud
Joe Thorn: “We had worked hard to prepare the house and the event, but I had not prepared my heart. Though I was surrounded by tremendous blessings I was, in that moment, blind to it all. The house was loud on Thanksgiving, but my heart was quiet.”
A Plea to Prospective University Students
“Why is it that year after year, professing Christians students (and their parents) plan their intellectual, academic, professional or social development (or invest in the development of their offspring), and only subsequently ask whether or not their souls will receive faithful and loving care in the only environment on earth that Christ has ordained as the normal means for the lasting health of his people?”
Counseling and Worship
“Do counseling and what we have come to call one’s “style” of worship have anything to do with each other? Are there ways of worship that are more congenial to the aims of biblical counseling than others?”
The Cool Pastor: An Oxymoron or Just a Moron?
“If I can be completely honest, there was a time in my life when I craved to be considered a “cool pastor.” In the early years, as the morning dawned on my pastoral vocation, I honestly believed it was possible to walk in both worlds, that is to say, the world of cultural approval and the world of Biblical fidelity. More and more, however, I am not sure this is even desirable.”
He said he was leaving. She ignored him.
This is a powerful story about one woman’s counter-cultural reaction to her husband’s request for a divorce, and in the process saved their marriage and family.
10 Times It’s Wise to Hold Your Tongue
“I talk too much. Way, way too much. But God is committed to teaching me when to hold my tongue. With that in mind, let me share ten situations with you where I’m learning it’s better to refrain from talking.”
Stop Being Negative: Live At Least Ten Years Longer
Dr Michael Mosley: ““There is almost nothing you can do which will do that [increase your life by 10 years]. If you took up fiendish levels of exercise, you could probably raise your life expectancy by four years, so 10 years is huge.” So why isn’t health policy being redirected towards eradicating pessimism by placing the emphasis on positive minds not fitter bodies?
The Real Truth About Boring Men “Romance isn’t measured by how viral your proposal goes. The internet age may try to sell you something different, but don’t ever forget that viral is closely associated with sickness – so don’t ever make being viral your goal. Your goal is always to make your Christ-focus contagious – to just one person.” I think you could call this article “gritty.”
Why we Click Stupid Links
Tony Reinke: “By “stupid links,” I mean hyperlinks on the Web that do nothing but tap our kneejerk curiosity. They do little for us because they have little to offer. We click, we read, we watch, and often we feel dumber for it.”
Reflections on the Loss of a Daughter
A beautiful reflection from Pastor Fred Zaspel: “And so even in our loss, we do not doubt that for all eternity, one note of our song, looking back, will be “Our God has done all things well.”
Eight Themes in Thanksgiving
James Faris: “As our nation reflects more on the nature of gratitude at this November, here are eight themes in thankfulness from the Psalms that guide us to a more God-glorifying gratitude.”
Why we still need (some) monocultural churches
If you’re a regular reader you’ll know that I have a passion to see Reformed churches embrace and reflect the diverse communities that surround them. But this is a thought-provoking article. Mono- or multi-? What do you think?
A New Southern Presbyterianism
Jemar Tisby: “For some people Southern Presbyterianism and racial reconciliation is oxymoronic. But the elusive reality of diversity and unity in the church just took a significant step forward.”
Why Do Students Drop Out of MOOCs?
“It’s surprising that MOOCs, offering the flexibility and the low price that students purport to want, suffer such low ratings. Does the drop-out rate indicate a failure of MOOC providers to deliver courses that meet student needs? Or does it point to a finicky free-spirited set of students unwilling to stick with a course? That is, is the problem one of low-quality supply or of noncommittal demand?”(HT: Alex Chediak)
Your Smartphone Has Officially Hijacked Your Life
“We are all one-marshmallow OCD narcissists, granted by our devices the magic of comprehensive instant gratification, of self-reinforcing world views, of control over the daily minutia of our fates and fortunes. To not be irrevocably addicted to our smartphones would be senseless.”
A lesbian lawmaker for religious liberty
Jo Jordan is a Democrat and a lesbian who opposes the Hawaii’s marriage equality bill as currently written because in her view, it doesn’t protect religious liberty strongly enough. Note the hostile reaction she receives from the LGBT community.
It’s official! Today was the official day of Gracie’s adoption
Many of you will have been following Steven Lee’s adoption process which finally came to a happy ending (beginning?) at the weekend. Just think, without Martin Alan’s heart defect, little Gracie would not be in a Christian family and looking forward to the best medical care in the world. And if you want to help another Christian family adopt, how about supporting Justin Taylor’s family?
Anyone interested in writing will enjoy this insight into Scot McKnight’s writing life.
New Issue of Credo: What’s the Big Story
The latest free online magazine from Credo focuses on “Why Biblical Theology Should Matter to Every Bible-Believing Christian.” Contributors include Justin Taylor, James Hamilton, T. Desmond Alexander, Stephen Wellum, Peter Gentry, G. K. Beale, Graham Cole, and others.
The End of Religious Liberty in the Land of Lincoln
Come June 1, marriage in Illinois will be defined as “between two persons.” I suppose we should be thankful that at least for the time being it’s limited to persons (not animals) and it’s limited to two (not three, four, or however many). Small mercies.
Why I love Seminary
Jemar Tisby: “It’s every person’s dream. Imagine taking your hobby and moving it from the margins of your life to the center. Making your pastime your profession. That’s what seminary is for me.”
10 Reasons Why We Must Love Unloveable Church Members
Chuck Lawless: “I was a young pastor, and I was sure everybody in the church was kind, gracious, and Christian. Everybody would treat everybody else with the love of God. Needless to say, it didn’t take me long to learn that even in the church are people who don’t quite get there. Some people are really hard to love.”
How 450 Sermons Revealed Four Preaching Truths
Ed Stetzer: “At LifeWay Research, we recently studied the variety of ways pastors use the Bible by looking at 450 different sermons (all by different preachers). We gave our research team the audio files of these sermons and some objective questions about how the preacher handled God’s Word. Let me share about the research and my views on preaching at the same time.”