Tag Archives: Social Media

Weekend Picks ~ 11-3-2017

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

This thought-provoking series of articles has stretched my imagination and caused me to want to read Eugene Peterson’s book “Reversed Thunder”

Heaven Is EarthyJohn Frye
Heaven is immediate, not remote in either time or space. “Heaven is not what we wait for until the rapture or where we go when we die, but what is, barely out of range of our senses, but brought to our senses by St. John’s visions. … The vision of heaven is not a promise of anything other than what we have already received by faith; it does, though, promise more, namely, its completion” (172). Heaven is not a fantasy. It is not an escape from what is. If we don’t like what is, we may not like heaven. Heaven is the cosmos brought to completion.

Three Shifts to Increase Global EngagementDavid Dummitt
Three Shifts to Increase Global Engagement 
Global engagement isn’t a new idea to American churches. Mission programs, global outreach projects, generosity campaigns, and more have been a part of churches in the United States for centuries. Many methods, strategies, and best practices have come and gone, but like everything else, we need to evaluate what we are doing and adjust where we fall short of maximum effectiveness. 

Here are three shifts American churches can make to increase global impact…

You will need to free your mind from the “hijackers” for a while to read this longish article. Good luck…

‘Our minds can be hijacked’: the tech insiders who fear a smartphone dystopiaPaul Lewis
A company paying Facebook to use its levers of persuasion could be a car business targeting tailored advertisements to different types of users who want a new vehicle. Or it could be a Moscow-based troll farm seeking to turn voters in a swing county in Wisconsin…

Williams, 35, left Google last year, and is on the cusp of completing a PhD at Oxford University exploring the ethics of persuasive design. It is a journey that has led him to question whether democracy can survive the new technological age…

That discomfort was compounded during a moment at work, when he glanced at one of Google’s dashboards, a multicoloured display showing how much of people’s attention the company had commandeered for advertisers. “I realised: this is literally a million people that we’ve sort of nudged or persuaded to do this thing that they weren’t going to otherwise do,” he recalls…

“The dynamics of the attention economy are structurally set up to undermine the human will,” he says. “If politics is an expression of our human will, on individual and collective levels, then the attention economy is directly undermining the assumptions that democracy rests on.” If Apple, Facebook, Google, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat are gradually chipping away at our ability to control our own minds, could there come a point, I ask, at which democracy no longer functions?

“Will we be able to recognise it, if and when it happens?” Williams replies. “And if we can’t, then how do we know it hasn’t happened already?”

My experience as part of the leadership team of a multi-site church, who recently made the hard decision to close a campus, confirms the truth of this insightful article…

How to Tell a Campus Pastor from a Church Planter
Tammy Kelley
campus pastorIf you lead a multisite church and you’re trying to identify future Campus Pastors, you need to understand these differences or you may end up planting a church by accident. Likewise, if your mission is church planting, you will better set up new plants to succeed if you get this role right.

Here are several of the most distinctive traits of both groups…

Also, road-trippers…
Wrong Hands – Click image for a larger view.

Thursday Picks ~ 7-13-2017

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

A Future of Snark, Not IdeasSamuel James
http://blogs.mereorthodoxy.com/samuel/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2017/07/Screen-Shot-2017-07-11-at-5.13.03-PM-375x250.pngWell, apparently Brooks’s mid-column anecdote about taking a less educated, less urbane friend to a hip sandwich shop was just, ya know, lolz. Mind you: Actually finding folks among the Snarktariat who could explain why this was such a groan-inducing paragraph is pretty difficult. No one seems to want to say the punchline out loud. Instead, Brooks’s paragraph got parodied, jeered, and turned into a kind of self-referential inside joke…

Why did I find this annoying? Well, as I’ve written before, I think the ascendancy of snark to become the reigning lingua franca of the internet is a bad thing, a trend that our already fraying public square can ill afford. But there’s another reason. While the Twitterers were obsessing over a single paragraph and turning it into a monument of sophisticated political signaling, Brooks’s observations about the increasingly fanatical caste system among educated urban progressives came alive…

The only people who could read this and dismiss it with snark are people who perceive–correctly–that Brooks is talking about them. It doesn’t take long at all to realize that the most important political divide in this country is not between Republicans and Democrats, Christians and secularists, or even whites and minorities. The most important divide is between those who care that places like Owensboro, Kentucky exist and those who don’t.

A challenge for worship leaders, and worshipers…

The Paradox of the Worship SelfieBob Kauflin
Social media can blur the lines between magnifying the Lord and magnifying us, between speaking of God’s awesome deeds and our awesome deeds. And if we don’t aim at exalting Christ, it’s easy to take a lot of worship selfies with Jesus. And feel good about it.

If you serve as part of a church’s leadership, even if you don’t have an official position, you’re directing people’s attention to something. But it’s not only when you stand (or sit) in front of them. It’s when you tweet, post a picture on Instagram, write a blog, or put something on Facebook. Where are we pointing people’s attention, affections, and adoration?

The best we can be is signposts. Signposts are directions, not destinations. No one stops the car on a journey to gaze longingly at the signpost. They take note of where it says to go and continue on their way. So the people we lead should only only be aware of us long enough to know which way their thoughts, emotions, and affections should go: to God’s glory in Jesus Christ.

I know I sound old, but I worry so much about how my grandkids will deal with coming of age in this generation…

There is a Better Way to Experience Sexuality, and Christian Parents Need to Be Talking About ItMelissa Edgington
You may have read that Teen Vogue published an article this week for its audience of girls, ages 12-18, which is a how-to guide for anal sex. In fact, the creators of this magazine are writing instructive articles for all kinds of sexual acts. They want young girls to believe that sexual activity (including BDSM) is a natural part of being an older child in this country… Our twelve year olds open teen magazines and take quizzes about what kind of sexual partner they are and read articles about how to masturbate and how “valid and valuable” porn is.

It’s hard to even believe that on a continent where an estimated 1.5 million children are currently being sold to satisfy detestable, porn-fueled desires that a teen magazine can so flippantly sell sex to kids like it’s candy. But, it’s happening.

…the line in the article that bothered me the most has broader implications, and it’s the real message I want to counteract in my daughter’s heart and mind: “There is no wrong way to experience sexuality, and no one way is better than any other.” The writer says this with all authority and legitimacy…

So, here is what our kids need to know. There are plenty of wrong ways to experience sexuality...

…decision by decision, the kids of America learn again and again: there are plenty of wrong ways to experience sexuality. Ways that hurt them deeply. That cripple them emotionally and spiritually. Ways that will cause problems in their future marriages. Ways that wound the heart of God.


It’s Official: Fewer Persecuted Christians Find Refuge in America Under TrumpSarah Eekhoff Zylstra
It’s Official: Fewer Persecuted Christians Find Refuge in America Under TrumpApproximately 14,000 fewer Christian refugees will arrive in the United States this fiscal year, as President Donald Trump’s policies lead to the fewest resettlements in a decade.

Today, resettlement agencies hit Trump’s new ceiling of 50,000 refugees, three months before the end of the federal government’s fiscal year on September 30. And as CT predicted, Christians fell far short of last year’s intake.

What a crazy idea…

Weekend Picks ~ 3-24-2017

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

Keep the main thing the main thing…

Production or Virtue?Bryan Elliff
productivityYes, there is no doubt that we need to be setting and achieving godly goals. And there certainly are times when we need to examine our productivity. However, should we act as if our production were God’s chief concern? I think not. What he cares about far more is virtue.

By virtue I mean the kind of person we are, our character, the carefully-cultivated dispositions of our heart that manifest themselves in our everyday actions and reactions. It is not always what you accomplish that matters, but how you do it, why you do it, and ultimately who you are even when you can’t do it.

Are Christians in the USA Persecuted?Scot McKnight
Screen Shot 2017-03-18 at 10.31.28 AMFor today I want to trot out what I read recently in Mary Eberstadt’s little book It’s Dangerous to Believe: Religious Freedom and Its Enemies.

My contention is that we should distinguish between breakdowns of genuine freedom of speech and persecution of Christians, we should recognize that some in the latter think their freedoms are restricted in a way that is not only un-American but hostile to faith, and it would be good if we could at least have a reasonable conversation about these distinctions and the reality of the latter. To call this alarmism simply doesn’t help and it’s yet another good time for us all to read some Rich Mouw on civility, beginning right here: Uncommon Decency: Christian Civility in an Uncommon World.

Here is some stuff from Mary Eberstadt’s It’s Dangerous to Believe

9 Things That Are Still Great About Facebook
Cheryl Magness
9 Things That Are Still Great About FacebookFacebook has had a bad year. From the nastiness of the 2016 presidential campaign, to the increasing difficulty of sorting real news from fake, to Facebook’s practice of filtering and controlling what you see in your news feed, Facebook has become the social media site everyone loves to hate.

I regularly see posts from friends who say they are looking to cut back their Facebook use and spend more time on real life. It’s a good goal. It is far too easy to give social media too much time. There is convincing research suggesting we are becoming physically addicted to our devices. So taking steps to limit and manage the way we use social media is smart.

Yet with all of its problems, Facebook still has a lot going for it, and I for one am not willing to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Here are some of the ways Facebook continues to be a positive presence in the lives of many…

I deeply love and respect every senior pastor I’ve had the privilege of working with, but I have experienced a few of these in 35 years of being a church staffer…

Eight Things Senior Pastors Do that Demotivate Staff PastorsMarty Duren
demotivation sadness frustrationI have been both a staff pastor and a lead/senior pastor; I have both given and received, been the victim and the victimizer. Being honest, I’ve probably been the offender more than the offended.

It is imperative when in the lead role to lead the rest of the staff well. Being human, and sometimes lacking a full palette of leadership skills, results in a staff who is less-than-enthusiastic about coming to work, carrying out the vision, or supporting the lead pastor. They’ve been demotivated. From years of being on staffs, leading pastors, talking with senior pastors, and talking to staff pastors, here are a few ways I’ve seen a lead pastor can demotivate the staff pastors…

How can you not love this guy?

How Steven Curtis Chapman Fought Through the Tears to Play ‘Cinderella’ Again
Steve Curtis ChapmanIn 2008, Maria, the adopted daughter of Christian musician Steven Curtis Chapman, was accidentally struck by a car driven by her brother and killed. She was the inspiration behind Chapman’s hit song “Cinderella.”

Before his first concert after her death, Chapman had said he would never play “Cinderella” again, but something changed that night with his sons in the band.

In this excerpt from his book Between Heaven and the Real World, Chapman describes what happened next…

Clickbait costume drama…
Wrong Hands – Click image for a larger view.

Monday Picks ~ 3-6-2017

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

Men Wanted: Come and DieJared C. Wilson
Have you ever seen a military recruitment poster or TV ad that showed wounded soldiers? Ever seen one that showed soldiers taking bullets, medics administering morphine to blood-gushing comrades, or an array of battle-hardened quadriplegics?

No, you have not….

…“Think over what I say.” Mull this over. Consider this. Count the cost. So that when hardship comes — and as Gary Demarest says, “Following Christ causes problems” — you are not acting as if something strange is happening to you (1 Pet. 4:12). Instead, you have a vision of what will be, of the “eternal glory” (2 Tim. 2:10) that lay ahead.

This is so hard for us church leaders to remember and put into practice, even when we know it to be true…

Never Shut UpDanny Franks
When you are sick of saying it, the leaders in your ministry have probably just heard it. When your leaders are sick of hearing it, then everyone else has heard it for the first time.

If you’re already paranoid, you might want to skip this one…

Zuckerberg World PresidentJean-Louis Gassée
I used to greatly admire Mark Zuckerberg. Now, I fear him.

Here’s why…

…Facebook is accountable to no one but Mark Zuckerberg, an immensely intelligent and long-range thinker. His company sells persuasion tools to manufacturers of consumer (and industrial) goods and services producers. These tools are invisible, buried in the bowels of Facebook’s servers, they’re opaque algorithms that offer a pretense of objectivity — it’s just a bunch numbers, after all — while being designed and tuned by humans. We now face the prospect of Facebook selling political influence to the highest bidder, or, worse, to the bidder who is deemed the “most correct” according to the company CEO’s taste and goals.

I struggled with this as a parent, maybe you do too…

Parent for More Than PopularityMichael Kelley
There were some challenges I think I was prepared for as a parent…

But one challenge I did not see coming was the popularity challenge.

By that, I don’t mean the particular challenges that come if your children are popular, though those are many. I mean the temptation as a parent to treat popularity as more highly valued than it ought to be. This is what I was not prepared for – the same tug that I felt in middle school, except this time with my own child, to desire popularity for them. Almost at any expense. Of course, you don’t say to your kids, “Be popular,” but I’m finding the temptation to parent for popularity comes out in all kinds of subtle ways…

A Brief History of Walls…
Wrong Hands

Thursday Picks ~ 2-2-2017

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

I’m sharing this in love…

Gongs and Cymbals -Manuel Luz
gongFor all my social media friends out there, I want to gently but firmly remind you of one truth. If you are a Christ-follower, your ultimate motive in everything you do should be love. If you are not posting or arguing with the ultimate intent to love those who you are arguing against, then you’re doing it wrong.

You’re just banging a gong. You’re just clanging a cymbal.

Please. You can certainly post your opinions, quote your statistics, cite your sources, eloquently argue your point. But please, make sure that your ultimate motivation is love. In your words, in your attitude, and in your heart. And if you can’t, then please don’t.

Thanks for listening.

Urgent vs. Important…

Missed It By That MuchSeth Godin
Image result for seth godinWhen everything is focused on the deadline, there’s little time to work on the things that are actually important.

When we build our lives around ‘what’s due’ we sacrifice our agency to the priorities and urgencies of everyone else.

More important is the bigger issue: Time is running out.

I thought this was interesting…

Who Is to Blame for the Greatest Myth in the History of Science and Religion? These Two GuysJustin Taylor
AD_White_1865John_William_DraperThe purpose of the war was to discredit clergymen as suitable figures to undertake scientific work in order that the new breed of professionals would have an opportunity to fill in the gap for such work created by eliminating the current men of science. It was thus tendentiously asserted that the religious convictions of clergymen disqualified them from pursuing their scientific inquiries objectively.

More to the point, however, was the fact that clergymen were undertaking this work for the sheer love of science and thus hindering the expectation that it would be done for money by paid full-time scientists. Clergymen were branded amateurs in order to facilitate the creation of a new category of professionals.

To Be a Diaper ChangerNick Batzig
Image result for changing diapersA “change the world” mentality often ironically serves as a catalyst for discontentment or undue guilt. The common failures and frustrations experienced in the mundane day-in and day-out aspects of life tend to leave those–who had hoped for more importance–jaded or callused as the years progress…

Such a mentality also has the adverse effect of inadvertently leading others to dismiss the importance of the work of the mother who faithfully changes her children’s diapers, drives them to sporting and music practices, takes them to the doctor, keeps up the organizational aspects of life at home and serves with her husband in many unnoticed capacities at church. It tells the man who humbly hangs a sign for a church plant each and every Friday night and takes it down every Sunday night that what he is doing is insignificant. It implicitly disrespects the man who gets up at 5:30 every morning and who comes home at 7:30 every night (and who then repeats that process 6 days a week for 25 years) from his job in a factory…

We must seek to become a “will of God doer” rather than a “world changer”–even if that means changing dirty diapers for the glory of God.

I might’ve needed a few more…
Calvin and Hobbes – Click image for a larger view.

Weekend Picks ~ 12-9-2016


This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

An important seasonal reminder…

The War on ChristmasJonathan Storment
Screen Shot 2016-12-06 at 7.08.24 AMNow today ”Magi” sounds like a very Christmas-y word, but in the day that Christmas actually happened everyone knew that they were the outsiders.
..someone who was trained in the dark arts, things like interpreting dreams, astrology, talking to the dead. You know, just like the Wise Men in the Christmas story that you grew up hearing about.

Today, the church that stands over the Cave where Jesus was born is called the Church of the Holy Nativity…and on the Church there is a mosaic of these Magi. In 614 A.D. when the Persians invaded Jerusalem, they burned all the churches to the ground. But not this one. When they saw the Magi dressed in traditional clothes of the Persians they said here is a church that respects our traditions, and they decided not to destroy it. This little detail may sound trivial to you, but I think that it is incredibly inspiring.

The Christmas story from the very beginning calls into question all the ways we categorize the people of the world into good and bad…

Every year the 24-hour news cycle runs some story about how some retailer has decided to use the term “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” and how some people are upset because we want to do our Black Friday shopping/greed-bonanza to some Christmas carols, the way that the early church would have wanted. Now we Christians will always say things like “Merry Christmas” but my question is when did we decide that this was a policy that we needed to outsource to retail stores?

I loved this little personal memory and reflection…

It Came to Pass in Second GradeSylvia Schroeder
christmasOnce upon a time, long long ago, before people knew better than to celebrate Christmas in schools, when the principal could still haul a student to the office for a whopping, a second grade teacher formed a choir.

Now this choir was made up of twenty children all under the rule of one solitary gray haired woman. The children obeyed her completely because they all knew very well what “or else” meant, and in spite of it, or perhaps because of it, they loved her with all their hearts…

A longer article in the Washington Post for your weekend reading and consideration…

Their Tube: When every moment of childhood can be recorded and shared, what happens to childhood?
Jessica Contrera
Mark Adam adores watching other little boys who do nothing but open eggs with plastic toys inside. Max would rather watch another kid play Minecraft than play it himself. Annie doesn’t aspire to meet celebrities but the girls who get millions of views for braiding hair.

Kids have always learned by mimicking their peers. Now, the children watching YouTube are seeing role models who don’t just play — they perform. They’re not just experiencing childhood, but constantly considering how their experiences will be perceived by an audience.

For church leaders…

How Your Control Freak Tendencies Stunt Your Church’s GrowthCarey Nieuwhof
control freakThere’s a lid that comes with your control freak tendencies. You will eventually hit a wall in which the size of your church shrinks back to the size of your personal span of care. Until you let go.

In other words, if you want to limit your church’s growth, attempt to control everything…

Here are 5 insights that help me remember that controlling everything means you will eventually end up leading nothing significant…

Two Kinds of WinningSeth Godin
Image result for seth godinSome can only win when others lose.

Others seek to win by helping others succeed.

One of these approaches scales far better than the other.

More Nursery Rhyme Headlines…
Wrong Hands

Weekend Picks ~ 12-2-2016


This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

I’ve heard well meaning believers use every one of these…

5 Christian Clichés That Need to DieMatt Smethurst
weathered tombstone with RIP
Sometimes, in our desire to simplify truth, we can trivialize and even obscure it. And to obscure the truth is to tell a lie.

Here are five popular Christian clichés that aren’t biblical and therefore need a memorial service…

While the heart behind these five mantras is often genuine, they’re all unhelpful for one overriding reason: They are unbiblical.

Image result for chip and joanna gainesTwo more reactions to Buzzfeed & Cosmopolitan’s attempt to smear Chip & Joanna Gaines…

Buzzfeed is willfully ignorant about the teachings of biblical Christianity.David French

BuzzFeed Wants To Destroy Chip And Joanna Gaines For Being Christian And Wildly PopularHans Fiene

We’ve all got to get better at this…

Being ‘Wise as Serpents’ in the Era of Fake News
Jesse Carey
Unlike traditional media—like TV, radio and print—the barrier of entry to “publishing” and “broadcasting” news is extremely low. Anyone can set up a website (that looks like a legitimate journalistic operation), and say whatever he or she wants.

By creating sensational fake news, the “sources” aren’t simply building audiences, they are shaping ideas, political opinions and sometimes destroying reputations…

Like it or not, we now all have the responsibility to vet the information we share. Or, even if it’s unintentional, we can become complicit in a lie…

Before sending out His disciples, He told them to “be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.”

If Christians take these commands seriously, we can help stop America’s disease of fake news.

This is so, so good! Please don’t miss this article…

What Persecuted Syrians Can Teach Us About American PoliticsMindy Belz
For those Christians who in recent months feel they’ve awakened in another country or walked into a foreign church, how do we chart the way? The Bible is full of wilderness experiences, and so are the testimonies of today’s suffering church.

Bishop Audo, like many other church leaders I have met in Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere, has held on in the face of mortal danger not by retreating from life but by engaging in service—to his church, his community, and, yes, to his enemies. The wilderness may be harsh, but it can also be a place free from distraction, a place to rekindle first loves, a place to learn (again) how trials and suffering conform us to the image of Christ.

As Bishop Audo’s life grew harder during Syria’s descent into civil war, he poured himself all the more into his community—officiating at weddings while bombs exploded a few streets away, or feeding countless homeless. He redoubled his efforts to care for Muslims, feeling that they needed not simply his help but his witness, his otherness.

This video is definitely worth 5 minutes of your time…

“This should be compulsory. There would be no such thing as extremism in the world if people knew their heritage like that.”

“It’s easy to think there are more things dividing us than uniting us. But we actually have much more in common with other nationalities than you’d think. We asked 67 people from all over the world to take a DNA test, and it turns out they have much more in common with other nationalities than they would ever have thought. ”

If I hosted a Food Network show…
Wrong Hands

Brothers and sisters, this ought not be.

Image result for conflict in church

Brothers and sisters, this ought not be…

Christian on Facebook:
“The election’s over. Your candidate lost. Get over it!”

We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.
Romans 15:1-2

Christian on Facebook:
“How could a real Christian ever vote for him/her?”

Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.
Romans 14:13

Christian on Facebook:
“Protesters have been rioting for 5 straight days. If that was me I would have lost my job by now.”

Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Romans 12:16

Christian on Facebook:
“Grab ‘em by the wallet and boycott Trump supporters.” (Followed by a list of companies that presumably aided his election.)

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
James 1:19-20

Christian on Facebook:
“Hey snowflake, why don’t you try growing up a little bit?”

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
Ephesians 4:2

Christian on Facebook:
“My opinion on the rioting is…back up the paddy wagons and load the dumbasses up and put them in jail. Be done with this stupid crap.”

…set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.
1 Timothy 4:12

Christian on Facebook:
“Typical elitist liberal…”

All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
1 Peter 5:5

Christian on Facebook:
“Well, I’ll be damned. So, that’s what stupid looks like.”

Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.
Hebrews 13:1-2

Christian on Facebook:
“I lived through Obama. You’ll live through Trump.”

Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
Romans 12:10

Christian on Facebook:
“You’re anti-Trump? Good for you. I bet you’re either a liberal, illegal, or living off the government.”

Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it.
James 4:11

Christian on Facebook:
“Trump isn’t the problem. The way you’re raising your kids is the problem.”

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Ephesians 4;29

I wonder why some of my friends have left social media, and some are contemplating leaving the church?

Brothers and sisters, this ought not be.




Thursday Picks ~ 11-17-2016

Picks Thursday

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

3 Parenting Myths We Are All Tempted To Believe
Tim Challies
It is so easy to reduce parenting to a method and to look for a step-by-step approach that will guarantee the results we want. Many authors and so-called experts are only too happy to oblige us in the myth by providing and promising their methodology. But even while we acknowledge the usefulness of methods, we must reject their supremacy. “Discipling our children in the faith is not a matter of combining the right ingredients and the right environment to guarantee a godly adult.” Parenting is not baking a cake or assembling IKEA furniture. God gives us no guarantee.

I’m glad to see this. I believe this whole “fake news” phenomenon is a pernicious evil that has contributed in a big way to the divisiveness we all feel right now…

Google and Facebook Take Aim at Fake News Sites
Nick Wingfield, Mike Isaac and Katie Benner
Over the last week, two of the world’s biggest internet companies have faced mounting criticism over how fake news on their sites may have influenced the presidential election’s outcome.

On Monday, those companies responded by making it clear that they would not tolerate such misinformation by taking pointed aim at fake news sites’ revenue sources.

This post hit me hard. I’ve copied the whole thing here…

Thought for TodayAlan Jacobs
American politics is now nothing more than rival assertions of tribal identities. There are no Americans; there are no human beings; there are only instantiations of racial and sexual identities looting the store of our economic and cultural capital. In such a world the most ruthless bullies acquire more loot than everyone else. Tomorrow’s bullies will have a different set of policy proposals but will be temperamentally and morally identical to today’s.

When you’re ready to start the political conversation with by affirming that everyone in the room is a human being — not necessarily right about anything in particular, not necessarily good or even decent, but a human being in precisely the same sense that you are a human being, and that every single human being in this country should be subject to the same laws and norms enforced equally across the board, then get back to me. Until then, I don’t know what to say to you. I’m not refusing to speak; I just don’t know how to speak your identity-politics language without giving up everything I believe about humanity, and about what politics is for.

Important thoughts for worship leaders…

9 Skills You Need To Move From Singing Songs to Leading WorshipDavid Santistevan
9-skillsWorship leaders, we’ve gotten really good at leading songs.

But for us to see the breakthrough we want to see, we need to grow as leaders. Why? Because we are leading a post-Christian people. There are people in our churches who have never been to church. They don’t know the Gospel and they don’t know what to do in worship.

Your leadership skills on Sunday will help those who are new Christians to engage in worship. Having a great band and getting through songs isn’t enough.

Leadership is not musical ability and musical ability is not leadership. Leadership goes deeper. It sets foot in uncomfortable places. It goes where most are not willing to. A leader is a catalyst for change.

And here are some ways a worship leader can increase their leadership and be a catalyst for change…

Welcome to my world…
Zits – Click image for a larger view.