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Saturday Selections – June 17, 2023

How you should spend your words (2 min)

We only have so many words we’re going to speak. So what are you going to build – or destroy – with yours?

The mental health crisis of American teenage daughters

Is it just social media, or is there more causing it?

Should I take the birth control pill?

The birth control pill has three separate actions: the first two prevent conception, and should those two fail, the third acts to prevent the conceived children from implanting in the mother’s womb – it acts as an abortifacient. Listen to this as a 20-minute podcast, or tackle it as a 10-minute read.

30% of Gen Z Americans would welcome gov’t monitoring inside their homes

A third of Americans under 30 would favor government surveillance in their homes, in the name of reducing spousal and child abuse.

Christians might think that if we aren’t doing anything wrong what does it matter if we are being watched? But do you spank your children? Might some government official somewhere want to recast that as abuse? Do you teach your children that God made us male and female? Do you insist that marriage is between one man and one woman? What might some in the government think about that? To be constantly monitored is to be constantly assessed. And knowing, as we do, that our governments don’t measure right and wrong by God’s standards, we should fear the prospect.

That a third of these young Americans are okay with constant government surveillance shows they don’t know about surveillance states of the past, like the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. They don’t know about China’s current “social credit system,” where citizens are constantly monitored and granted freedoms based on their government score. And these young people must not haven’t read 1984, or any other dystopian fiction. That a third of American young people would grant their government this much power isn’t an endorsement of their government’s trustworthiness, but only shows how badly it has run the public school system – young people by the millions have been so abysmally educated, they aren’t aware that governments that try to run everything ruin everything.

FOBO – the fear of better options

It wasn’t so long ago that kids had to contend with FOMO: the Fear Of Missing Out. It’s a fear that can run kids ragged, going to this event and then that, to be sure they’ll be there for whatever epic times might happen.

Today kids have to contend with FOBO: Fear Of Better Options. Kids won’t commit to an event just in case something better comes up. It’s so widespread, kids will think nothing of ditching out on a friend they have committed to. So, in the quest for having the very best time, they leave behind people who were counting on them for friendship and companionship.

12 important questions to ask your dad on Father’s Day

This is a secular article, but very much about honoring your father (Ex. 20:12) by seeking his wisdom while you can. And for a double dose of fatherly attention, John Stonestreet weighs in on how the importance of fathers shouldn’t be overlooked.

The video below is humorous – different denominations discussing how they’ll celebrate Father’s Day – but has a mention of drag in it, so isn’t all ages.

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"Be Fruitful and Multiply" tour comes to Albertan April 19-22

Families are having fewer babies, and the world’s population is expected to peak and then decline later this century. The world isn’t prepared for the impact that this is going to have. However, what may be the greatest challenge of this century can also be a huge opportunity for the Church to shine…. if we embrace the blessing of children, and are prepared to raise them faithfully.

In this presentation, Reformed Perspective’s Mark Penninga will unpack data, history, and God’s Word to make the case for embracing the gift of children with open arms.

WHO IS THIS FOR?

Ages 16-116, single or married, children or no children, these presentations are suitable for all mature Christians.

WHEN AND WHERE?

Edmonton: April 19 at 7:30 pm at Immanuel Canadian Reformed Church

Barhead: April 20 at 7:30 pm at Emmanuel United Reformed Church

Ponoka: April 22 at 7:30 pm at Parkland Reformed Church

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Saturday Selections – June 10, 2023

The astonishing giraffe neck Did you know a giraffe doesn't need its neck muscles to hold its neck up, but rather to bend it down? As a ruminant (an animal that chews its cud) the giraffe has to be able to bring food back up its neck to chew again. It also has to have an enormous heart to create enough pressure to get the blood up to its head. And then it has to have shut-off valves of a sort, to relieve the pressure when it bends its head down to drink, otherwise the blood pressure would cause it to blow out its own brain. The article linked above has more on giraffes' amazing design, as does the video below, though since it is a giraffe dissection (albeit a bloodless one), it might be a bit much for some kids. Population is collapsing and the world has no answers In the not too distant future there will be more grandparents than grandkids, and that's a problem. This downward population trend is happening in Western atheistic countries and Middle Eastern Muslim ones too. How can it be reversed? Different countries have tried child-care subsidies, education, and immigration, all to no avail. What they haven't tried is repentance. Only a nation that turns to God will treasure children as the blessing that God says they are (Ps. 127:3-5, Gen. 1:28, Ps. 128:3) and want more of them. But, of course, how can they know they should repent unless we tell them (Rom. 10:14)? While we can't tell anyone else how many kids they should have, the Church is, collectively, following the world's downward population trend, with smaller families each generation. So we seem to have some repenting to do too. The cult of the presidency (and prime ministership) must end This American article's point applies to Canada too (where the Prime Minister arguably has even more power than the US President): a change of government shouldn't have such a huge impact on our lives, and the only way the impact can be lessened is to have less government. What makes for a good law? Thoughts on Uganda's homosexuality bill Our society has been celebrating homosexuality for so long that even Christians may find the idea of legislating against it shocking. Samuel Sey has some thoughts above about Uganda's controversial law, as does Albert Mohler. Big Tech won't protect our kids: parents must 10 years ago if a depressed teen quit social media that'd quite likely help. But as John Stonestreet notes, that's in part because 10 years ago there were still a lot of teens who weren't on social media. In other words, if the teen left the pressures of the digital world, there was a real world of teens they could meet and interact with. But today parents are leery of taking away their teen's phone because it's the contact point between them and all their friends. At the same time, we can see these phones are a problem. So what's a parent to do? A question will  quiet them... or move the discussion forward In the New Testament Jesus asked more questions than He gave answers. Was it because He didn't have answers? Nope. So, perhaps it was because a good question can bring us right to the heart of an issue. Some of His clarifying questions include: Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your lifespan? (Matt 6:27) What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life and what can one give in exchange for his life? (Matt 16:26) Today, a simple question is still effective. We've seen how just asking "What is a woman?" can cause conniptions. In the clip below we have someone complaining about privilege. If she has some examples, great, because specific complaints can then be addressed and hopefully fixed. But if they are simply assertions without justifications, then asking her for more information is a great way of exposing her empty rhetoric. Either way, a question gets us moving forward. Other great clarifying questions Christians should ask include: When does life begin? Where does our worth come from? In what sense would you say men and women are equal? (See Genesis 1:27. Gen 9:6). pic.twitter.com/3poZbLF8Br — Davy Jones (@itsNTBmedia) June 6, 2023 ...