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Extroverts and Introverts Need Each Other

If you haven’t read Susan Cain’s Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, I strongly recommend it. She does an excellent job pointing out the many ways in which we overemphasize the importance of being extroverted and downplay the unique contributions that introverts make in the world. And she does it without pushing the pendulum in the other direction and arguing that introverts are somehow better. She just wants us to see the need for both.

Here’s a great animated video summarizing the main argument of the. Check it out.

Flotsam and jetsam (10/26)

Good Reads

  • 12 Guidelines for Deciding When to Persist, When to Quit: When you’re getting something new going, the difference between success and failure is often a matter of time: how long you give it before you give up. Efforts that begin with high hopes inevitably hit a disappointing sag. It’s Kanter’s Law: “Everything can look like a failure in the middle.”
  • Why IQs Rise: Seen in this light, the Flynn effect does not reflect gains in general intelligence, it reflects a shift to more abstract thinking brought about by a changing social environment. We aren’t getting smarter; we are getting more modern.
  • When ‘Theology’ Gets in the Way: There is an urgent need of evangelistic effort, yet here we are spending precious time, emotions and energy ripping into other evangelicals over their different views on secondary issues. If we aren’t doing the ripping, then we spend time reading about it and commenting about it.
  • Some Guidelines for Voting in This Political Season: I have discovered a number of thoughtful voices who would argue that the church should steer clear of any political involvement, lest we be soiled by politics….We’re called to be an alternative community, resident aliens….The problem with this stance is that faith loses a certain integrity. The church becomes irrelevant as it takes itself out of the public square.

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Child Hunger (Infographic)

Childhood hunger is one of the leading causes of mortality around the world. And we’ve been hearing about it for so long that it’s easy to grow numb and forget what a tragedy it really is. Here’s a powerful infographic with some stats on childhood hunger that are worth reflecting on.

hunger, starvation, starving children, poverty, world hunger

My Church Is Too Small

image of God at church

A Tale of Two Mornings

As the fog of sleep slowly recedes, I roll over, snuggle into the blankets, and let out a contented sigh. Saturday morning. There’s something about those words that sends a little shiver of pleasure down my spine. A lazy morning in my jammies, pancakes on the griddle, soccer in the sun, children laughing in the yard. I know the reality is often quite different: Saturdays filled with grumpy chores, rainy soccer, and burned pancakes. But that doesn’t stop the warm glow slowly spreading from my ears to my toes as I think those precious words: Saturday morning.

Then the fog clears a bit more and I remember: that was yesterday.

My eyes snap open.

Sunday morning. I’d love to tell you that those words send a similar shiver of pleasure down my spine. But I’d be lying. If I do get a shiver, it’s more like the feeling you get when you suddenly remember that your in-laws are coming over for dinner. Not quite terror, but certainly not joy. More like resignation.

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Flotsam and jetsam (10/24)

Before Instagram (via imgur)

Good Reads

  • The Gospel according to Obama: Obama is a progressive Christian who blends the emotional fire of the African-American church, the ecumenical outlook of contemporary Protestantism, and the activism of the Social Gospel, a late 19th-century movement whose leaders faulted American churches for focusing too much on personal salvation while ignoring the conditions that led to pervasive poverty.
  • 40 Reasons to Be a Part of a Local Church: Is it possible to live a faithful Christian life without being a faithful part of a local church? I’ve heard many people make the argument that it is indeed possible—especially if there are no good churches around. I disagree.
  • From Bible-Belt Pastor to Atheist Leader: All he had ever wanted was to be a comfort and a support to the people he grew up with, but now a divide stood between him and them. He could no longer hide his disbelief.
  • America’s Facebook Generation Is Reading Strong: In what may come as a pleasant surprise to people who fear the Facebook generation has given up on reading — or, at least, reading anything longer than 140 characters — a new report from the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project reveals the prominent role of books, libraries and technology in the lives of young readers, ages 16 to 29.

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Flotsam and jetsam (10/22)

Good Reads

  • God Talk: The Book of Common Prayer at 350: Cranmer’s language endures in English literature and popular culture, from Neville Chamberlain’s use of the phrase “Peace in our time,” on his return from his ill-fated meeting with Hitler, to David Bowie’s song “Ashes to Ashes.
  • The Three Deadliest Words in the World: It’s a Girl: It’s estimated that as many as 200 million girls are missing from the world’s population due to the practice of gendercide, the culturally-based killing of a child (overwhelmingly female) on the basis of its sex.
  • The Psychology of Resentment: You need not experience extraordinary suffering or be wronged in an unusually grievous way to feel the strong, seemingly unstoppable pull toward resentment. All you need to do is live a little in this fallen world. Before long you’re given a good solid reason to resent someone. Often someone quite close to you. Family member, spouse, parent, long-time friend. It feels impossible to love that person.

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A Prayer for Sunday (Boethius)

Christian philosophy, boethiusAnicius Manlius Severinus Boethius, now that’s a name. It’s a little long for my taste, but a middle name like “Manlius” would be pretty cool.

Boethius was a Christian philosopher who lived during the time when the Roman empire in the west was crumbling, the Ostrogoths had taken control of Rome, and the Church was struggling to navigate these difficult waters. Born into a prominent Roman family, Boethius and his sons served the new Ostrogothic emperor, until the emperor imprisoned Boethius for allegedly conspiring with the eastern Roman emperor in Constantinople. While in prison, Boethius composed his Consolation of Philosophy, one of the most influential works of the early middle ages.

After a short time in prison, Boethius was executed. Though the exact date of his death is unknown, his feast day is traditionally celebrated on October 23. So, in his honor, this Sunday’s prayer comes from him.

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Saturday Morning Fun…How Much Do Cats Actually Kill?

If you’re looking for a really scary Halloween costume, you can do better than Freddy, Jason, or the dude from the Saw films. If you want to go as a real serial killer, try dressing up as s cat. According to How Much to Cats Actually Kill,  they are among the most fearsome mass murderers in the world.

Check out the post for all the details, but here’s how the typical cats plans its week:

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What Is “Religion”? One-Minute Animated Intros to Four Views on Religion

world religions, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, HinduismWhat is religion? It’s been around for a very long time, and you can find expressions of religion in every time, place, and culture. But what exactly is “religion”? And why is it so widespread?

If you answer that question from a Christian perspective, you’ll probably say something about the fact that God created us with a desire to know him, so all people have an inner-drive toward some kind of religious belief. And God has also revealed something about himself in creation, making it possible for people to come up with a concept of “god” just by looking at the beauty and complexity of the world around them. With that starting point, we’re not terribly surprised to see that religion is a worldwide phenomenon. Indeed, we’d be surprised if it weren’t.

But, of course, Christians aren’t the only ones asking about where religion came from and why it is so prevalent. So here are four short videos explaining some major secular theories on the nature of religion.

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Flotsam and jetsam (10/19)

Good Reads

  • Your Talents Could Hurt Your Organization: The more talents and skills you have the more likely you are to take something from nothing to up and running. Talented people who can learn quickly, adapt and grow are the heart and soul of start ups. But unless you learn to let go of most of those things, the organization you serve, will not be able to grow beyond your incompetence level. Yes, incompetence.
  • The Surprising Benefits of Theological Vision for Ministry: Many churches preach the gospel from the pulpit and therefore identify themselves as “gospel-centered.” But in some of them, staff relations, community, elder meetings, and the leadership dynamic are all based on fear, pride, and competition. The church may be a “gospel-preaching” church, but it is not a gospel-centered church.
  • Test Your Church: The questions are these: Is your church missional? How would you know? What are the elements that prove a church is missional?

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