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News

Saturday Selections – Dec. 31, 2022

Dutch woman draws 6 pictures at the same time! This is just fun and crazy... Benefits of working a job for a long time Russell Gehrlein offers a couple of benefits that can come with working the same job for decades. But he's also previously offered a couple of problems that can come with doing the same thing for too long. Blaise Pascal, with four rules for mocking God's enemies These are insightful rules, but worth testing against how God's enemies are mocked in the Bible. Pascal says we shouldn't make things personal - we should mock ideas, not people – but that someone might think it personal doesn't mean it is. A man conducting a "drag queen story hour" might take personal any ridicule of him as a groomer, but would that really be a reason not to do it? Bone growth demonstrates brilliant design When it comes to the human body, and seeing God's fingerprints, we might most often think about the eye, which is truly astonishing. Our bones, however, might get overlooked, because we imagine them to be simple, just supports, hardly more than sticks, right? But no indeed - even your bones, and how they know to grow just so, are unbelievably marvelous! The best-kept secret in preparing kids against pornography "The best kept secret in the fight for your kids’ minds is role-playing. A simple and not very time-consuming activity that costs nothing. Role-playing is practicing difficult situations with your child that might come up as they navigate through a world filled with pornography." Why does Socialism fail? (3 min) Christian economist, Dr. Anne Bradley, offers 4 reasons (for the article version, click above): Socialism doesn't account for self-interest... ...or the importance of incentives Without a marketplace, producers (and socialism's central planners) can't know what products people really want Socialism requires that its all-powerful central planner remain benevolent, which never happens ...

News

Saturday Selections – Dec. 24, 2022

God's artistry seen from space (8 min) There may be 300 trillion billion stars, planets, and moons in our universe and yet the Earth is likely the only one to have life. Check out our beautiful planet from a very special vantage point: space. Is Christmas a pagan rip-off? Kevin DeYoung addresses this common argument. Why China is running out of people China's decades-long one-child policy has left the country facing a demographic cliff, the population projected to halve by the end of the century. What has the government proposed to do about the disaster their own "one-child" population control policy caused? More population control, of course, now with the opposite intent – they"ll subsidize couples willing to have larger families. But after demonizing large families for decades, how well is this about-face going to work? It is easier to break than to remake, and in killing millions of unborn children, China has made a mess of things it simply isn't capable of repairing. The lesson for them, and big governments everywhere, is to back off in areas of life you should never have been involved in, in the first place. Only a government that thinks it is God will try to manage and fix everything, and such a delusional government can then only be a force for bad. So does that mean there is no hope for China? No, it only means that government isn't it. If they humble themselves and stop impeding the spread of the Gospel, who knows what God might do? A Christian China would see children in an entirely different light, as fellow image-bearers of God Himself. Then large families would finally be recognized as the blessing they always have been. 40 random pieces of advice for the Christian life Tim Challies offers up this list of bite-sized wisdom. Creating such a list seems like it could be an edifying task for anyone to figure out what, specifically, you'd want to share with your children, spouse, and maybe friends too. The new Women's Movement The Women's Movement was behind abortion, sexual "freedom," IVF, egalitarianism, universal daycare, and more. But now, as Jonathon Van Maren shares, there is some good news to share. How to eat healthily for $3 US a day Inflation is painful, but here in the West we're still able to eat well for so very little. Seinfeld Jr. (6 min) A show about nothing... but babies. ...

News

Saturday Selections – Dec. 17, 2022

The Christmas Truce of  1914 (9 minutes) An exceptional true story told by a heavy metal band? Yup, it's true. I thought my 4-year-old was transgender. I was wrong. (10-minute read) This is an article by a lesbian about her parenting experiences, so not what we normally share. Why it is worth reading is to understand just how badly the world needs to hear the Truth God has given us. The author admits that her ideology completely blinded her, leaving her so very confused. And there wasn't anyone she knew that she could turn to for correction. The "uselessness" of the liberal arts J. Budziszewski doesn't "think the majority of kids need to go to college... They aren’t interested, they don’t get it, and they are too young to benefit from the experience; fruits picked too soon don’t ripen, but only spoil." But he also doesn't think the only purpose of schooling is for how useful it is: "If we think that only the useful has value, we are slaves." 7 ways to have better online (or any) discussions Online discussions can be so much heat and so little light. But they don't have to be. Here's 7 tips for having online debates that might well sharpen all involved. It's not kooky to say anti-Capitalists are using Climate Change as a pretext for a planned economy when they come out and say it Christians have reason to question when each new crisis we face is said to need the same old solution of having the government run more of our lives. What a wing! (6 min) The seed of the maple tree is remarkably designed! ...

News

Saturday Selections – Dec. 10, 2022

Bugs with gears? (1 min) What the narrator here credits to evolution Christians can enjoy for what it reveals about God's ability – His amazing engineering on the smallest scale – and God's personality, how He has packed the world with marvels like this, undiscovered for thousands of years, but just waiting there for us to uncover. Leaders need to be readers ...and, as Dr. Wes Bredenhof writes, it isn't just a matter of reading lots, but reading deeply. 5 new stats you should know about teens and social media Every teen seems to have a phone, Tik Tok is huge, and kids need parents to control their own habits so they'll be better able to mentor their own children... One way the KJV is better (1o-min read) While I won't be switching to the Authorized Version (AV, also known as the King James Version or KJV), I did find this quick debate, for and against, illuminating. It highlighted that in one respect the KJV does what any modern English can't do: it distinguishes between the plural and singular usage of "you" by offering thou (singular you) and ye (plural you). Or this might be making the case for a Texan Version (TV) where we'd distinguish the singular from the plural by using "you" and "y'all." The first two minutes after church is over Tim Challies, on the importance of those first two minutes after the church service is done. Jordan Peterson on whether gov't COVID overreaches could lead to a "social credit" system (2 min) China has been implementing a "social credit" system in which citizens are scored on their compliance, and citizens who have committed no crime might still be denied rights others with higher social credit scores enjoy, like the ability to take flights. In Canada, the government has attempted this on a smaller scale in initiatives like denying pro-life groups money for student job creation that went to other organizations with higher (not in name, but in fact) "social credit" scores.  You can click on the title above for the whole interview. ...

News

Saturday Selections – Dec. 3, 2022

Wage gap bake sale (4 min) For a while "wage gap bake sales" were a thing at schools, where men would have to pay more for the baked goods than women. Why? To show them what it was like to be financially discriminated against. But the "wage gap" these sales were meant to highlight wasn't the act of discrimination that the feminist Left made it out to be. This video is a little over the top, but a good overall explanation. What Kuyper can teach us about managing social media Do we want the State doing it, or parents stepping in to save our kids from social media scarring? How you answer that will depend on what you expect from the "sphere" of State and "sphere" of family. I am not my body? To justify transgenderism, euthanasia, and more, the world subscribes to a dualism of body and self - ie. they say you are not your body. Then that allows them to also say you are not the sex you were born as since you are not your body. Or they can ignore caring for their elderly mother because that's not my mother; the "real her" left long ago.  Christians would say we are not merely our body; there is more to us, but there isn't less, because our bodies are an integral part of who we are. This is a deeper article, but worth reading even if just to get the gist, because dualism is the worldview behind so much of what the world is promoting. If Canada’s incoming "assisted dying" rules were there a decade ago, I’d be dead Andrew Lawson explains how his struggle with depression a decade ago would likely have led to a state-assisted suicide, had that option been available then. Honoring parents when they don't deserve it Tim Challies speaks to the 5th commandment to honor our father and mother, and he addresses the hard cases of what that looks like with abusive or otherwise wicked parents. Overly excited soccer announcer Maybe you've come across one of these lately... ...

News

Saturday Selections – Nov 26, 2022

Gender is fluid until you bring up this... (2 min) It's becoming the norm to pretend that men can become women and vice versa. And some are up for pretending white can become black and vice versa. So who can we expose this for the silliness that it is? Well... keep going further, as Mark Spence does below. You can watch the 20 minute version of this video on YouTube by clicking the title above. A struggling society is one ripe for the Gospel This. We mustn't despair at the state of the world; we must seize the opportunity God's placed in front of us. Evolution invokes a "god of the gaps" When ancient Vikings didn't know the natural laws and forces at work that produced lighting they offered Thor, a god of thunder, as an explanation. Evolutionists say Christians are doing the same for how the universe and life came to be – we only credit it to God because we are ignorant. But someday, the evolutionists say, we'll figure out a way to explain the universe's origins and life's beginning without reference to any god. Evolutionists equate "God as an explanation" as simply a way to fill in gaps in our knowledge – this is the "god of the gaps" accusation. And, they say, the gaps we need a god to explain away are always shrinking as our knowledge grows. But it's not ignorance that has us pointing to God, but wonder. And as this article explains, it's actually evolutionists who most invoke their deity – in this case almighty "evolution" – when they have no explanation. Why we can't be uncontroversial John Stonestreet writes: "Pastors need to prepare their congregations to join believers throughout the centuries who were labeled 'controversial.' ....I’m not suggesting we should go looking for trouble. I am suggesting that, in this case, the trouble has come to us." The 7 most destructive Western philosophers  Despite the seemingly weighty topic matter, this is a quick read. I don't know if I'd list Plato as high on my list, but I appreciated the author's reasoning. I also appreciated being introduced to a couple of big bad philosophers (the last two) that I wasn't familiar with. Growing up Christian in Egypt (7 min) As the World Cup begins, here's the story of a Christian boy who in Egypt who would love to play for his national team... but who has to be brave just to try out for his local club. This 7 minute video highlights the persecution Christians have faced in Egypt, but does so in a way that is age-appropriate for even elementary students. ...

News

Saturday Selections – Nov 19, 2022

We kill because we care? Abortion brings to mind Proverbs 12:10: "A righteous person has regard for the life of his animal, But even the compassion of the wicked is cruel." The righteous notice the little guy, whereas the wicked's best impulses – even their compassion – is still going to be cruel, like proposing murder as a solution to poverty and unwantedness. The Left have been trying to groom children for a long time (10-min read) Jonathon Van Maren writes a longer piece on the history of the Left's push for pedophilia and sexual grooming. Why read about such an unpleasant topic? Because these grooming attempts continue, and Christians opposing these pushes for "progressive sex ed" are often dismissed as conspiracy theorists. But what Van Maren shares is only the readily accessible facts, all out in the open – there's no secret conspiracy here. On the origin of consciousness (15-min read) Evolution has its theories about how our consciousness began but, as this creationist article points out, those explanations are little more than "word salads" – gobblygook that only highlights how little we actually understand about our brains. “Consciousness poses the most baffling problem in the science of the mind…. The puzzle is how a 1.3-kilogram organ with the consistency of tofu can generate the feeling of being.” I lost my mom to Facebook "Over a period of three years, her elderly mom went from Facebook illiterate to Facebook junkie. From a great-grandma liking photos of her great-grandkids to a full-blown QAnon conspiracy theorist posting wild articles..." Marriage is a calling, not a capstone The world misunderstands marriage as a "capstone to success" – something to take on only after you've figured out everything else in your life. When it rains in the world, it often drips in the Church, so are our own young people having this "leak" into their thinking? You are not a visual learner... or do learning styles exist? Are you a visual, or more of an auditory, or tactile learner? There's a widely accepted theory that people have their own ideal learning styles, but as this video, and the article linked above, highlight the evidence for learning styles is lacking. How can that be? Read or watch to find out. A takeaway for Christians is how much of what we know may not actually be so. There is a tendency, even among Christians, to presume the experts really know their stuff and to just "trust the science." But some "facts" might well be just faulty assumptions. So only God's revelation should be trusted to be infallible. ...

News

Saturday Selections – Nov 12, 2022

Should Christians use someone's "personal pronouns"? (12 min) J.D Greear, former president of the conservative-learning Southern Baptist Conference, said he would, if asked, refer to a man as "she" and he would do so out of a "generosity of spirit." This is a pitting of truth vs. love, with Greear choosing to side with love. But it is a false contrast. In the same way that it would not be loving to affirm an anorexic in their delusion, it's not loving to affirm a transgender in their lie. As James White notes, some of the Christian confusion here comes from believing there is some sort of moral neutral ground. And some of it comes from not being prepared to pay the cost for standing up for God's Truth. (For more see When Steve wants to be called Sue.) Tim Challies on love covering a multitude of sins "There are as many ways to react badly to sin as there are ways to sin against one another. There are not nearly as many ways to react well to being sinned against. The Bible gives us two: lovingly overlook that sin or lovingly address that sin. The question is, when are we to overlook and when are we to address?" The "knockout punch" syndrome Gary Bates explains "why creationists are sometimes too quick to embrace the latest apparent ‘evidence’ for biblical creation." The problem with declaring a "pandemic amnesty" The problem isn't simply that mistakes were made when we didn't have enough information. The problem was, "when we did not have adequate information to know what was best, interventionist policymakers nevertheless acted as if they did know." Though this isn't a specifically Christian article (it cites a rabbi), it has thoughts on the nature of forgiveness and repentance which aren't far off. The case for kids (10-minute read) Kevin DeYoung: "I do not urge Christian couples to have as many children as possible. But I do urge them to have more children." On the significance of beards The beardless John Piper recommended this article, and I, equally beardless, add my kudos. In an emasculated world, beards can be a bit of a counter-protest and even a signpost. Voddie Baucham on how they're normalizing sin to our children... and us too (10 min) I've been asked why I wear pro-life shirts; do they prompt conversations? And the answer is, no, most often they don't. I either get a thumbs up, or a lady might make a throat clearing, scoffing sound. So, why wear them then? And why put a pro-life sign on your lawn, or an "Adoption, not Abortion" bumpersticker on your car? To, as one friend put it, normalize dissent. In our godless age, God's Truth is so infrequently presented that when it is, it might well be immediately ruled out as the crazy thoughts of some fringe minority. But the unborn's defenders number in the millions; we're no fringe element. We only seem like it because we're being quiet. So, to further the case for the unborn – to get it moved out of the crazy camp to a place where conversations can happen – we need to normalize being pro-life. The video below is on how impactful normalization can be, though the other way around. Consider just how many Christians feel uncomfortable when God's thoughts on homosexuality are shared publicly. That's the culture impacting us. And now, through children's shows, the world is trying to impact our kids: from Peppa Pig and Muppet Babies to Sesame Street and Blue's Clues. They seek to normalize what God condemns. Countering this involves more than just shutting off these shows (though it certainly involves that too). There's really no escaping the pervasiveness of this normalization effort. So we must acquaint our children with both God's truth and how to most winsomely communicate that truth on issues like transgenderism, and homosexuality, the unborn, marriage and more. And we need to hear preaching that isn't embarrassed by God's stand, but highlights how our good God, who loves us, knows what is best for us. ...

News

Saturday Selections - Nov 5, 2022

The power of Nazi propaganda (6 min) As Remembrance Day approaches, it's worth remembering the way the Nazis won people over with their propaganda. They pointed to the Jews as the source of their nation's ills, and to a special elite - whether that was Aryans, the Nazi Party, or the Fuhrer – as the savior, not even being subtle about the Messianic nature they were ascribing to Hitler. Are we vulnerable to the same scapegoating, the same misdirection? Johnny Horton in a 1960 appearance on The Ed Sullivan show singing "Sink the Bismarck" In this 1960 appearance on the Ed Sullivan show, Johnny Horton sings about the sinking of the German battleship Bismark in World War II. It was the biggest battleship the Nazis had ever made, and was involved in the sinking of the British battlecruiser, HMS Hood, one of their biggest warships. "The Mighty Hood" went down with almost all hands. This could be one to show the kids to, in a kid-appropriate way, introduce them to the sacrifices and bravery involved in defeating this enemy. On the "banality of evil" The world wants to believe the Nazis were very different from us. That's why many were very angry when Jewish author Hanna Arendt reported during Nazi Adolf Eichman's trial that he was "terribly and terrifyingly normal." In Proverbs God warns us that while there is a type of evil – the way of the wicked (Prov. 14:5, 14:17, 21:29) – that takes effort, there is also another kind – the way of the sluggard (Prov. 19:24, 25:26) – that comes of simply not standing up for what is right, not pursuing righteousness. This is the banal sort that requires nothing but apathy and indifference to what is good. Cannibalism onscreen is a strange evangelism opportunity Today's scriptwriters seeking to shock their audiences have to go further and further into the outrageous. And that explains why cannibalism is being increasingly featured as a plot device. But, as John Stonestreet writes, "Those who find a worldview in which bodies have no purpose or boundaries a bit nauseating should wonder why. Christians can tell them, and offer the alternative..." Conscience rights are a must in medicine The Left wants to force Christian doctors and nurses to participate in abortion and euthanasia. Some Christians think that, while they should refuse to participate, they can refer the patient to someone else who will do the deed. That's better only to the degree that it is better to be an accessory to murder than rather than the murderer yourself - better yes, but still really wicked. The Left gets that there can be a time when it is good to refuse to participate, as evidenced by some who've proudly refused to serve former First Lady Melania Trump. They believe in conscientious objection... just not for Christians. Laura Klassen is preaching to the choir so the choir can start preaching (4 min) Why should already pro-life people watch a video depicting the horrors of abortion? Isn't that just preaching to the choir? Maybe. Or maybe even we don't understand the true horror of abortion yet either As we approach Remembrance Day, we think also of the Holocaust, and while it wouldn't be accurate to describe the Holocaust as having being a secret during the war, it would be true to say that the extent of the horror was only understood after Germany was defeated – what the Nazis had been doing to the Jews was so terrible as to be unbelievable. And that's true of what is happening to the unborn today. So there is reason t0 watch, to cry, and to be motivated to act, whether that's sharing the video, or speaking up for the unborn in some other way. This is important to see, but it is also very disturbing and certainly not appropriate for everyone, particularly our young children, so parental discretion is very much advised.  ...

News

Saturday Selections – October 29, 2022

The miracle of the human heart (4 min) God's fingerprints are all over your heart not simply in its abilities – it may beat more than 2 billion times in your lifetime – but in the suitable environment it needs to operate (photosynthesis for oxygen, water for circulation, etc). Teacher challenges students to ask, "How is this video game shaping me?" Few of Andrew Barber's students have ever examined their video game play critically. The primary questions they have used to navigate life are the consumer-based ones: is it permissible? and is it pleasurable? In this realm, only a psychologist, medical doctor, or scientist has any real authority. If it doesn’t affect your mental or physical health too much, then eat and drink for tomorrow we die. But using the question “What can I get away with?” as your guiding star in modern America only ends in some level of addiction. Taking the virtue-ethicist tack – how is this activity forming me? – is a new one many of my students have never considered. To boo or not to boo? Parents trying to think through how to approach Halloween will appreciate John Stonestreet's column. He urges Christians not to throw in with celebrating what God condemns – murder, witches, immodesty, etc. – but also notes that "Halloween as we know it has more to do with department stores than druids." Complementarianism should be the toughest against spousal abuse “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord" (Eph. 5:22). As the author writes, "these holy words have been misused to justify horrible abuse. But using complementarian theology to justify abuse is like defacing a 'Do Not Enter' sign until it says, 'Enter.'" The answer to such biblical manipulation is not to turn from God's Word, but to dive down deeper to discover the way God – Who loves us and knows what is best for us – has created different roles for husbands and wives in marriage. We can see some of that love in the "five reasons why complementarians, of all people, should have the least tolerance for spousal abuse." Help! I'm 13 and addicted to porn! The folks at Covenant Eyes have written this article that might be intended for teens, but is important for parents to read. Canada's poor and desperate are opting to be euthanized Once death is seen as a treatment to be offered and not a foe to be fought, what reason will there be to withhold it from anyone? It's the solve-all with just one dose and no need for follow-up care! The only counter to this murderous ideology is the truth – God's Truth – about our value and worth, and about whose life it is (His and not ours). We need to spell out where His Truth takes us, and standing that in sharp contrast to the slippery slope we're on where murdering disabled children is proposed in the name of caring. The "Missing Tile Syndrome" (5 min) Dennis Prager gives a practical explanation of how our human nature will so often focus on what we don't have, rather than all that we do, and that'll always leave us unhappy. God says it another way, commanding us to turn from envy (Ex. 20:17) and encouraging us to thank Him for our blessings (1 Thess. 5:18, Ps. 103:2, Ps. 118:1, etc). ...

News

Saturday Selections – October 22, 2022

Newton on science and the supernatural (7 min) Science and faith don't mix? One of the world's most famous scientists, Sir Isaac Newton, would beg to differ. But even as Newton believed in a god, he didn't seem to believe in our one true God – Newton denied the Trinity. Joe Rogan: do we want the government regulating truth on the Internet? Podcaster Joe Rogan recently asked a guest whether we should want the government to regulate speech on the Internet. For those who'd say yes, there's this to consider: a UK mom arrested earlier this month for social media posts critical of transgender ideology. God – not gov't – offers direction to the gender-confused Chloe Cole was gender-confused at 12, approved for puberty blockers and a double mastectomy at 15, and full of regret at 16. Why didn't anyone help Chloe before she made the biggest mistake of her young life? Because: "In California, any attempt to dissuade a minor from their preferred gender is considered 'conversion therapy.'”  God – not government – offers hope to the suicidal Last month, an Ontario mom discovered her depressed 23-year-old son had scheduled to kill himself. This Catholic lady may have taken inspiration from the parable of the persistent widow and the unjust judge (Luke 18:1-8) – she made such a stink that the doctor backed off. However, for every suicide prevented, there are many more encouraged and enabled by the government, and no wonder: euthanasia is a cost-saving measure for the State because killing a citizen is cheaper than caring for them. Euthanasia is Canada's "new social safety net." In offering no remedy for this callousness, this secular article illustrates how hope for the depressed and suicidal needs to be sought elsewhere. It doesn't share that hope, but God does, in three ways: Purpose: death becomes preferable when living is seen as pointless, so Christians need to share how God gives us purpose, to glorify Him, which is possible for everyone in every situation and stage of life. Value: in contrast to some lives being not worth living, God tells us our worth isn't found in what we can or can't do, but in whose Image we are made (Gen. 9:6, 1:27). Refuge: the Church can start hospitals again, where people can go to be cared for, and not killed. How Christianity created the hospital "The first major epidemic faced by the Church was the Antonine Plague (A.D. 166-189). In fear of their lives, the Romans threw the sick out of their homes to die in the streets. Galen, the most prominent physician of the age, knew he could neither heal its victims nor protect himself. So, he fled Rome to stay at his country estate. ....Many Christians ran the other direction." The truth about plastics pollution (6 min) Government bans on single-use plastics here in North America won't help turtles. What such bans can do, is get some consumers to use paper rather than plastic, or, use heavier plastic garbage bags and heavier grocery bags that are theoretically recyclable but only use more resources when consumers don't. ...

News

Saturday Selections – October 15, 2022

Perfect timing Here's a fun one for the whole fam that's sure to inspire some imitation... Scientists revive 100 million-year-old bacteria? For anything to be alive that long is, of course, impossible... unless it's actually much younger. Vaping tax led to an increase in cigarette usage... The practical case for government being small is simply that they are fallible. One of the latest illustrations of that fallibility is a tax on vaping that was intended to discourage use. But instead it prompted a turn to even more harmful cigarettes. As the article asks, "How many times do their efforts have to backfire before bureaucrats and politicians learn the limits of their abilities?" Fossil fuels: still essential to human flourishing In his new book, Alex Epstein notes that there is still a pressing need for the poor to get access to fossil fuels. As this review notes: "One example of the suffering which energy poverty imposes is the fact that almost 800 million people have no access to electricity, while around 2.4 billion people still rely on wood and animal dung to cook and heat their homes...." By using "human flourishing" as his measure for environmental policies Epstein is, whether intentionally or not, placing Man at the pinacle of creation just as God has done. Tips for homeschooling when you have a toddler in tow When mom is teaching the olders but has a little one toddling about the juggling act can get hectic. This article, and its two sequels, offer some tips on keeping that toddler busy so you can have time to help with lessons. Public schooled! In the video below a student discovers that government schools teach that whatever the problem, government is the answer. As Douglas Wilson has noted, why would parents be surprised that their kids are indoctrinated in socialism when they've sent them to what is a socialist school system? Similarly, Voddie Baucham wrote, "We cannot continue to send our children to Caesar for their education and be surprised when they come home as Romans.” ...

News

Saturday Selections – October 8, 2022

Three biblical questions for fans of The Chosen Todd Friel has "three potent reasons to consider before you watch" this super popular Christian TV series. From silence to complexification to capitulation Kevin DeYoung notes that when orthodox Christian leaders and organizations capitulate on issues like sexuality or abortion, it's rarely a surprise, as there "a series of familiar steps" that preceded their turning away. First, there is silence – they stop talking about the sin. Then when they do talk about it, it is only to speak about how very complicated the issue is. Read DeYoung's piece by clicking above or you can listen to DeYoung read his column here. An open letter to those nearing retirement “For years I have given my retiring patients two simple rules for retiring well: Wake up every morning knowing what you are going to do that day. Go to bed every night knowing that someone else was helped.” Trust the science? Creationists know better than most that a scientist's ideology can blind their intellect. But a recent editorial in Science is making it easy for all – creationist and non – to recognize just how many of the "facts" are merely politically-motivated interpretations. Download a free "Parent's Guide to Smartphones" Axis is a Christian organization equipping parents to understand technology and other issues that kids may know more about than their parents - Tik Tok, influencers, etc. They offer short "guides" of less than 20 pages and sell them for a low price. And every now and again they offer some for free. You can download their 17-page smartphone guide by clicking the link above. On "virtual" preaching and a virtual church After COVID lockdowns made livestream church services common, a related question has come up. When a pastor is on vacation, or a church is vacant, might they play a recorded video sermon rather than have one of their elders read a sermon? In the article linked above, Dr. Wes Bredenhof expresses his concerns, and specifically how in our current culture having a "virtual pastor" might lead some to wonder why they can't just be a "virtual congregation." ...

News

Saturday Selections – October 1, 2022

Loud for the unborn (3 min) On Sept 3, in New York, abortion defenders showed up at a pro-life protest. And this gentleman saw it as an opportunity to speak truth to people who need to hear it. The marijuana emergency This US article is an alert to all parents to understand that marijuana is more dangerous than is commonly presented. It also shows a way that Christians in Canada and wherever marijuana is already legal can still help their neighbors by pushing for limits on the THC potency of the marijuana being sold. REAL Women of Canada has also detailed some of the problems. Why your "Christian" friends have become LGBTQ... allies "When a loved one says their sexual sins are an intrinsic part of who they are, they’re suggesting that if we do not love their homosexuality or transgenderism—then we do not love them. That is a powerful, manipulative argument that many parents, siblings, and friends do not have courage or integrity to resist." Meet Italy’s new pro-life, pro-family prime minister Giorgia Meloni is being denounced by the West's mainstream media as "far-right" and "facist" for saying things like this: “Yes to natural families, no to the LGBT lobby, yes to sexual identity, no to gender ideology, yes to the culture of life, no to the abyss of death.... Chesterton wrote more than a century ago: ‘Fires will be kindled to testify that two and two make four. Swords will be drawn to prove that leaves are green in summer.’ That time has arrived. We are ready. Thank you.” Kevin DeYoung on patriarchy Christian supporters of "complementarianism" will often use that term to distinguish themselves from "patriarchy." But as DeYoung notes, many in the world would regard complementarianism as synonymous with patriarchy since both espouse male leadership in the church and home. 9 ways to flee from lust John Beeson offers up "nine practical ways to battle lust in our lives..." Vivi's life under socialism (7 min) Socialism is a violation of the 10th commandment and runs up against the 8th too, so we shouldn't be surprised that it doesn't bear good fruit. That's evidenced in this PragerU video about the Venezuelan government's socialist turn. ...

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Saturday Selections – September 24, 2022

Cephalopods are super cool Cephalopods include both octopus and the "Flamboyant Cuttlefish" highlighted below, which can change its color in waves. As the author notes in the post linked above, "look at this video and tell me you can’t tell that the Great Designer is at work here." China has created a 24/7 surveillance state (10 min read) China is taking advantage of technology to monitor, rate, and reward/punish its citizens. With such technology available what's preventing such a "social credit" system from being implemented on our side of the globe? Only electoral resistance and government restraint. However, when Justin Trudeau's Liberal government shut down the bank accounts of some Freedom Convoy protesters earlier this year, they didn't show restraint. It's on the electorate then, to oppose ever-increasing government data gathering. God's sovereignty extends to more than just the Church In the wake of the Roe vs. Wade reversal in the US, some professing Christians are telling God's people to stop opposing abortion. But Shane Morris, of Breakpoint Ministries, in a series of tweets, clearly explained the problem with excluding Jesus from the political sphere. "Christians should stop seeking political control and do gospel evangelism stuff because Jesus said 'my kingdom is not of this world' and early Christians didn't take over Rome, they built Christ's invisible kingdom in hearts.'" -Seeing variations on this over and over. — Shane Morris (@GShaneMorris) July 8, 2022 How a renowned architect (accidentally) exposed the problems of central planning (10-min read) "Government can’t create utopias, and every time it tries, people’s rights – and many times their homes – get destroyed." Evolutionists admitting to their theory's failures " article in The Guardian by science journalist Stephen Buryani represents something remarkable in the way the public processes the failures of evolutionary theory. In the past, those failures have been admitted by some biologists…but always in settings (technical journals, conferences) where they thought nobody outside their professional circles was listening..." The secret language of babies? (1 min) Parents, what do you think? Are they on to something here? ...

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Saturday Selections – September 17, 2022

What happens in a 2nd trimester D&E abortion (4 min) While this is nearly bloodless, and the animation as underplayed as possible, the topic matter means this is not a video for young children, though it might be something to show to your teens after previewing it yourself. This is also a vital tool in that it can be easily shared on your social media accounts. To the young inexperienced counselor In the course of our friendships and marriages and responsibilities we are often called on to offer advice, or, as it is otherwise known, counsel. So what if we're young and don't have a lot of "lived experience" to call on? That could work out to be a strength because older Christians can sometimes rely more on their own experiences, instead of their own experiences tested against God's Word. So if a young person has little experience, but loves the Word, he might actually have more to offer. Though this is an article directly addressed to counselors, it will be encouraging for young and old in our own personal counseling encounters, to challenge us to stand on God's Word when helping others, just as Paul encouraged Timothy to do. Queen Elizabeth's reign was the afterglow of a Christian civilization I love this tribute to the queen (though the title is a bit too dour – what God has enflamed once He can light up again). Greenland is not as big as you thought The curvature of the Earth means that the outer edges of any flat map you see are going to be stretched outward. The effect, as seen on a typical "Mercator projection" is to make Greenland look roughly the size of South America. But as you can see below, it's actually smaller than Argentina alone. Click on the link above to see an animation of the countries shifting from their Mercator size to their real size. Wow this #map does bring some perspective! #mercator Real Country Sizes Shown on Mercator Projection - Engaging Data https://t.co/3qs1NsXIOv — Saskia Vlaar (@LaVlaar) June 2, 2019 Could monkeys type the 23rd Psalm? "Darwin's Bulldog" Thomas Huxley famously argued that six monkeys, given eternity to type on six eternal typewriters, and with an endless supply of paper and ink, could eventually produce "a Psalm, a Shakespearean sonnet, or even a whole book, purely by chance that is, by random striking of the keys." This was his explanation/analogy for why we should believe that, given enough time, evolution could produce Man. What he fails to acknowledge is that it's quite a leap to go from Chance producing a psalm, to it producing a someone. But it turns out even the inconceivably easier task of typing a psalm would still take more time than even evolutionists believe the universe has existed.  And we could add trillions more monkeys and it wouldn't make a dent. State abducts child and church abandons her Abigail’s daughter Yaeli began to struggle with depression when she was in the 8th grade, her school steered her to "transition" without parental input, and eventually moved her to a group home, all in the name of helping her mental health. But, at age 19 she took her life. This was a state-perpetuated grave evil. But, as John Stonestreet writes, so too was her church abandonment. Making the moral case for mockery? (3 min) This week Seth Dillon, the CEO of the Babylon Bee, was discussing the morality of mockery with Allie Beth Stuckey. Watch: Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon discusses the “moral case for mockery” with Allie Beth Stuckey https://t.co/9ETOnfsNEF — Not the Bee (@Not_the_Bee) September 15, 2022 ...

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Saturday Selections – September 10, 2022

Economics 101: how profits answer the "knowledge problem" How can we know what to make? And how much to make? And who would be best to make it? This is a "knowledge problem" facing every economy: we need answers to these questions, but how do we get them? A centrally managed economy (socialism, communism, dictatorships of all sorts) looks to someone at the top being able to figure it all out. The problem is, their leader would need to be near-omniscient – he'd have to be god-like – to be able to pull that off. So how does the decentralized free market manage it? Well, it isn't going to pull it off perfectly – nothing ever is perfect this side of heaven – but it does have an answer to the knowledge problem that doesn't require anyone to be a god. As this video explains, the much-maligned "profit" is not simply a reward to the industrious and entrepreneurial, it is also a source of information for what to make, how much, and by who. Why the Dutch farmer protest is your cause too What's happening in the Netherlands isn't limited to that nation. "The ongoing food crisis in Sri Lanka is a particularly gruesome display of just how tragic the results of heavy farming regulation can be. About 90 percent of Sri Lankan families are skipping meals due to widespread food shortages and food price inflation of roughly 60 percent.....There are many reasons, but as Bloomberg explains, a major one is that, 'In April 2021, the government, led by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, banned synthetic fertilizer imports to push the country toward organic farming.'” Evolution can't explain over-engineering in nature "Tardigrades can survive being subjected to extreme laboratory treatments (radiation, cold temperature, hydrostatic pressure) far more severe than any Earth environment." But why would evolution so equip them, when there weren't any evolutionary pressures for such an adaptation? Don't put off having children Nathanael Blake wants to remind us of practical reasons to place the having of kids ahead of your education or career advancement, including how much easier it is to deal with sleepless children and the sleep deprivation they cause you when you are in your 20s as opposed to doing so in your late 30s. (There are biblical reasons too – Prov 17:6 Ps. 127:3, Gen. 22:18). Most interesting tidbit from the article? Government-subsidized university tuition is backed by the best of intentions. But here's one negative impact it also has: encouraging young people to go as far as they can with their post-secondary education, even as they build up debt, means they'll likely put off having children for years, and have fewer of them. Faith in God is the only coherent basis for reason An atheist who thinks he came about without intent or design has no reason to trust his own thinking or senses... Trust the science? John Stossel highlights some of what's passing for science in the US, and the government's role in producing this material (particularly in the social sciences). ...

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Saturday Selections – September 3, 2022

Birds are crafted (2 min) In this clip from the documentary Flight: the Genius of Birds, we get to explore how the depth of design needed, even merely in a bird's muscles, shouts out that it has a brilliant Designer! Counseling our teens from Proverbs (30-min read) " said that the average father spends seven to eleven minutes a week in meaningful conversations with his children beyond short phrases like 'pass the butter,' 'pass the salt,' or 'thank you for the meal.' When I thought about that, it was tragic.." - Ron Allchin, author of Growing in Wisdom: A Bible Study in Proverbs for Fathers and Sons More on projectors in worship A pastor and a church organist share some thoughts... How the American recycling programs failed Much of the material being collected via separate garbage trucks, and sometimes brought to separate processing centers to be recycled is, after all this added expense, then dumped into a landfill. That's a problem, clearly. But is the problem to be found only at the end, when the recycling is dumped, or is the bigger problem right at the start, with the waste of resources spent in separating it in the first place? Two tales from the Euthanasia Dystopia Spain doesn't have the death penalty for criminals... but will euthanize them. And in Canada, a veteran suffering from PTSD couldn't get the care he needed but was offered euthanasia instead. And as Breakpoint Ministries notes, next year it looks like they'll be offering it to children, or as they put it, "mature minors." 5 tech questions to ask every school principal The folks at Covenant Eyes have created a short list of questions parents should ask their school’s administration to get a good idea of what sort of digital risks their kids will be exposed to at school. Mikhail Gorbachev (1931-2022) Mikhail Gorbachev, the last President of the Soviet Union, died this week. He oversaw the dismantling of an empire that was, literally, set on world domination. Many today are too young to know just how bad the Soviet Union was, so to honor Gorbachev's passing, here's Ronald Reagan reminding us by telling jokes at the Soviet Union's expense. ...

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Saturday Selections – August 27, 2022

Joe Rogan vs. Babylon Bee on abortion! (10 min) Last week Seth Dillon of Babylon Bee made an appearance on the world's most popular podcast, where he did a solid job of defending the unborn. Calling it "convergence" doesn't explain away the evidence of a Designer  When two species exhibit similar traits or organs but are otherwise so different from one another that even evolutionists doubt they had a common ancestor then what they share – ie. both man and octopus have a "camera-type eye" – will be said to have happened via "convergent" evolution. This is just saying that the same feature must have evolved two entirely separate times... or maybe even thrice, or many more times than that. But if a scientist isn't already committed to evolution, these similar traits in divergent species would instead be understood as evidence of a common Designer. Don't miss the Abbot and Costello "Who's on First?" comic at the bottom of the linked article. Can we get kids to 15 without a phone glued to their palm? A group in Australia is making the case for parents to push off giving their kids a smartphone until at least 15. Is depression caused by a chemical imbalance? Evidence is lacking Evidence of experts' fallibility came out earlier this summer when an umbrella study found that the idea depression is caused by a chemical imbalance – a theory presumed true for decades now – lacks empirical evidence. This seems another instance of what the experts know, not necessarily being so. That people get things wrong shouldn't be shocking to Christians, but as some in the world urge us to let the so-called experts handle the running of larger and larger aspects of our lives, it's worth remembering that experts can get it really wrong. (One caution: the article author has a passing reference to David Murray that is a bit of a shot, and doesn't line up with my own recollection of Murray's position.) Girl identifies as cat, and school runs with it Who defines reality? That's what this comes down to, with the Bible offering one answer, and the world another. So each instance like this is an evangelistic opportunity to contrast God's Truth with the world's foolishness. The temptation that Christians often succumb to, is to simply point out the foolishness and leave God's Truth implicit. But we ain't doing anyone any good if we point out foolishness and then presume that a world so blinded as to fall for believing people can be cats is somehow smart enough to figure out for themselves a Truth we aren't brave enough to share. What's the deal with BeReal? Chris Martin gives parents a heads-up on the newest social media app, BeReal: "The app creates this more “authentic” (theoretically, anyway) environment by notifying users via a smartphone notification that it is “⚠️ Time to BeReal. ⚠️” at a random time each day—users in the same timezone will have the same posting time each day—during which the users have two minutes to post." Jordan Peterson's message to the Church Jordan Peterson gives here, what one pastor has called "straight talk from a crooked foundation" and another describes as "painfully... mostly spot on." This is an outsider's perspective – Peterson is not (yet) a Christian – which makes it all the more remarkable that he has here accurately diagnosed, and has the courage to share, one of the Devil's key strategic efforts in undermining the Church: Satan is going after young men. Where Peterson falls short is in his response to Satan's attack. Yes, the Church needs to go after young men, and needs to disciple them, but not to save our families and our culture. That is not the purpose young men (or young women, or any old or young) are being called to. That is, instead, the fruit that comes with returning to the purpose for which we have been created: the worship and glorification of God. One word of warning: in the concluding seconds Peterson interjects God's name in a manner that on the one hand is actually factually so – "You are churches for God's sake" – but which here is being misused by Peterson as an expletive for emphasis. ...

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Saturday Selections - August 20, 2022

Trick shots from level 1 to 1oo School has been out for a while now - are the kids getting antsy with nothing to do? Here's something that may inspire a bit of fun! Indoctrinated by the Matrix "In itself, indoctrination is good; children have to learn the rules and virtues, and be molded gradually into adults who will be capable of living wise and good lives. But how are they indoctrinated, and into what? We used to assume that each generation would be a lot like the one before it. No longer. But why not?" Scientists are undermining our trust in science "A just-published exposé in the journal Science claims that a seminal study on the causes of Alzheimer’s disease may contain falsified data...." 4 guidelines for dating without regret Stop acting like you're married when you're not Make intentions known when you're dating - ie "I would like to take you on a date this weekend” vs. “Let’s hang out some time” Foreplay is not play Realize that you are not already committed Monkeypox: we can stop it but health authorities aren't shouting out how Even as authorities said COVID-19 necessitated church closures, they let BLM protests proceed. We'd be mystified as to the contradiction if God hadn't told us there are spiritual forces seeking to oppose His Church and champion chaos. More recently the Devil's fingerprints are evident in how monkeypox has been declared a "global health emergency" even as the obvious cure isn't being shared. It is getting attention because of the group afflicted (homosexuals), however the prevention (stop messing around!) is only being obscured because it involves taking at least a step toward God's standards for sex. Privacy: who needs it? We're getting tracked by giant social media companies, but, more importantly, by our governments too. But if we're not doing anything wrong, why should we care if they know what we're up to? Well, in a world where the norms are constantly changing, your politics and especially your biblical stances on sexuality could be used against you at a later date. The video below is a libertarian perspective but it offers thoughts worth Christians' consideration too. ...

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Saturday Selections – August 13, 2022

Fantastic fireflies! (8 min) Most everyone would say fireflies are super cool, but we really have no idea. God has crafted a creature that has a near 100% efficiency in turning the energy they produce into light. Compare that to an incandescent bulb that might well be just 10% efficient. A A biblical case for limited government (15-min read) J.P. Moreland offers up his 7-point argument for why Christians should want, and so far as they are able should promote, limits on government. Pastor, what are your 30-year goals? This is directed at pastors, but relevant to us all. It's said "man makes plans, and God laughs" but that's not a discouragement to making plans, but to making arrogant plans – it's in line with what Jesus said about a fellow building his "farming empire" who gave no thought to how God could call him to account that very night (Luke 12:16-21). For God's people, prayerfully setting off in a deliberate direction is about trying to best use the talents God has given you (Matt. 25:14-30). On job satisfaction Some are blessed with many job opportunities, particularly early on in their lives, so if they don't like what they have, the possibility exists for seeking out something more enjoyable. But what if you're stuck in a job you don't like, and there aren't options for anything better? Tim Bayly offers some insights and encouragement... 5 guidelines for dating without regret Tim Challies weighs in with some helpful direction... China's social credit system (6 min) A refugee from China warns us of the oppressive government monitoring system he fled. What he describes happening there is not simply technologically possible here, but is becoming ideologically so, as more and more are demanding government manage ever-increasing portions of their lives. ...

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