In Case You Missed It

In a post at The Intersect Project, Art Rainer discussed how your smartphone can affect your financial health.

Your smartphone can impact your financial health beyond the monthly service bill. Smartphones are everywhere. According to Pew Research, 77% of Americans own a smartphone. This is more than double the ownership in 2011 (35%). Many of us cannot remember what life what like before our smartphone. Just the thought of losing or breaking our phone sends us into a state of panic.

 

Smartphones have been a double-edged sword for most of us. We find them useful and harmful at the same time. This can be true as it relates to our financial health. Sometimes they can help. But sometimes they can harm.

 

At his blog, The Wardrobe Door,  Aaron Earls shared the truth behind the Burnette Chapel shooting. Aaron writes:

News about the deadly shooting at Burnette Chapel outside of Nashville began to trickle out as I was leaving my own church in middle Tennessee. Immediately, everyone began searching for answers about the tragedy and the gunman. Why would he do this? What has he hoping to achieve?

 

I have no insight into the mind and motives of the shooter. But his rationale has nothing to do with the truth we can learn from this shooting. That truth was revealed by two different men: a pastor at another local church and one of the victims at Burnette Chapel.

 

In an article at the ERLC website, Michael Guyer shared how to parent toward purity.

Many things aren’t the way they used to be, and yet some things are as they have always been. So it is with purity.

 

It is almost expected that teenagers and young adults will choose impurity over purity. And the opportunities to do so have only seem to keep increasing. We should think seriously about this challenge facing our children. Yet, things are just as they have always been. Driven by sinful desires, we are tempted to and often choose the temporary, fleeting pleasures of lust over the eternal, satisfying delight in the Lord. We should not shrink back in fear or sit still in ignorance regarding issues of sexuality.

 

While there may be new challenges facing a teenager’s pursuit of purity today, we can still point them to the old, but tried and tested, wisdom of God’s Word. Here are several ways we can do that.

 

Robby Scholes shared a post at The Intersect Project discussing your piece of the economic pie.

When you hear the word “economics,” you may think back to just how little you liked that one required Econ class in high school or college. The infinite number of graphs and comparisons never really made much sense. A few odd birds in your class thrived in the subject. They were always ready to take out a paper napkin at lunch, draw an obscure graph, and make a conclusion based on a theory you have never heard of (nor care to understand). But not you.

 

In reality, though, economics does not have to be scary or confusing. In fact, I want challenge you to think about a simple yet profound principle of economics that relates directly to culture making, your work and human flourishing as a whole — positive-sum economics.

 

At his personal website, Bruce Ashford shared what is the cause of fake news (and it isn’t what you think).

On the Left and the Right, we are experiencing a world filled with “fake news,” “alternative facts,” a “post-truth” approach to reality. It’s a world filled with “Uncle Lennys” who have—wittingly or unwittingly—embraced our “post-truth” world. It’s a world in which the views of people on the Left and the Right are shaped more by their long-held personal opinions and by appeals to emotion than they are to objective facts. Even worse, it’s a world in which an increasing number of public influencers purposely convey partial truths and outright lies in order to accomplish their personal, professional, or political goals.

 

Why has fake news become such a problem today? Conservatives tend to blame the mainstream media and left-wing influencers. Progressives tend to blame the more conservative outlets and right-wing influencers. Both explanations are superficial and simplistic; only a gullible or dishonest person could be satisfied so easily. The rise of fake news is complex and multi-faceted, including at least three significant factors.

 

In a post at his blog, Chuck Lawless shared seven reasons why church members do not know their churches doctrine.

For years, I’ve required doctoral students to complete a theological survey of their congregations – and we’ve learned that many church members don’t know their church’s basic theological positions. They can neither summarize nor explain their church’s doctrine. The reasons for this problem are many, but here are a few.

 

Also, don’t forget that today (Friday,  September 29) at 10AM (EDT), the 2017 9Marks at Southeastern Conference begins. If you are not able to attend in person, be sure to watch online here: http://www.sebts.edu/streaming.

The topic this year is Leadership and speakers include Mark Dever, Thabiti Anyabwile, H.B. Charles, Jr., Burk Parsons, Jeramie Rinne, and our president, Danny Akin.

 

In Case You Missed It

At The Peoples Next Door, Keelan Cook discussed where the Kingdom of God is in disasters. Keelan writes:

The kingdom of God is already here, but not yet here fully.

 

By no means is this concept new. You have heard it mentioned in a sermon, a Bible study, or in a classroom somewhere. One of the mysteries of the kingdom is the fact that it is both here and now and not yet fully established. It is inaugurated but not yet consummated. In other words, we already see the effects of this kingdom come to earth in the life of the church, but the total rule and reign of the kingdom is clearly not fulfilled. Evil still lurks around every corner, even the dark corners of our own hearts. The kingdom awaits its final consummation, that moment when Christ himself comes back to fully establish his reign. Then and only then will all wrongs be made right.

 

That the kingdom is not yet fully established is painfully obvious in the weeks after a disaster like the one here on the Gulf Coast.

 

Christy Britton shared a post at the Intersect Project discussing what it’s like to come back from a hurricane.

Friendly warnings from meteorologists progress into evacuation orders from government officials. Clear, calm skies become dark. Gentle breezes transform into harsh winds. Dry air morphs into torrential downpours. Houses become quiet as the electricity goes out.

 

Those of us who live in coastal areas are familiar with hurricane season and its signs. We watch our television and refresh our Twitter feeds to track a storm’s progress. The words “contraflow” and “displaced” are a part of our vocabulary. We know why families keep axes in their attics.

 

My husband, my kids and I were living on the north shore of New Orleans the summer of 2005. In August of that year, Hurricane Katrina swept through the Gulf Coast and more than one million people were suddenly homeless — including my family.

 

At the Center for Great Commission Studies, Greg Mathias shared a missiological reflection on 9/11.

I still remember where I was and what I was doing on that morning 16 years ago today. As my co-workers and I gathered around a television to see what was going on, we watched with a mix of confusion and horror as the second tower of the World Trade Center crumbled to the ground. The moments after that were a fog of bewilderment as we tried to make sense of what we were seeing. May we not forget that there are many today still trying to make sense of the events surrounding 9/11.

 

No matter the tragedy, trying to make sense of tragedy is elusive. Even though difficult, we are called to love God and love neighbor everyday, even on tragic days.

 

Here are a four thoughts on dealing with tragedy from a missiological perspective.

 

Dr. Amanda Aucoin posted at the Intersect Project about five Christian women who have shaped culture.

Culture is a word we hear a lot in Christian circles these days. We hear of a “cultural malaise,” ponder “culture wars,” talk about how America has ceased to be a “Christian culture” and are encouraged to be “culture makers.” All of these uses of the term are helpful for thinking about how Christians can cultivate and contribute to the world we are called to serve.

 

Because we as men and women are created in the image of a creative God, we will be forming culture in our own world, however big or small its impact may seem at the time. And sometimes that’s the problem. We feel discouraged because our world does seem so small. What contributions could we possibly make? Do we really think the small culture we create could make a difference now, influence the larger culture, or (even more of a long shot) affect culture in the future?

 

Thankfully, we don’t need to look far for inspiration. Key women throughout history, some who held positions of influence during their own lifetime and many who did not, have impacted culture in ways they did not think likely or even possible at the time. What could a barbarian woman, runaway nun, a slave, a handicapped woman and the women in your life have in common? They have shaped culture, in big and small ways, to the glory of God.

 

In a guest post at Thom Rainer’s blog, Jonathan Howe discussed when it’s time to redesign your church website.

Depending on who and what you read, you can find different opinions on how often you should redesign or refresh your website. If it’s a website design company, the answer is probably “six months ago.” They like the business, after all.

 

I don’t think you should have a timeframe for website redesigns, though. It’s an as needed event and also one that should be carried out with much planning and intentionality.

 

Website redesigns should be carried out strategically and to meet a need. So if your church has one of these needs, then it may be time to refresh your site.

 

At his personal blog, Chuck Lawless shared eight reasons why spiritual disciplines matter. Dr. Lawless writes:

I know it sounds like a basic, simplistic matter in our Christian walk, but I’m writing this post to encourage all of us to do spiritual disciplines like Bible study, prayer, fasting, and solitude. Here’s why.