Archive - Misc RSS Feed

It Really Is Better with Bacon…Usually

I find it hard to believe that bacon wouldn’t make even pasta taste better, but I’d definitely think twice before wrapping bacon around my favorite desserts. Of course, my favorite dessert is a cup of coffee. So I’ll just take my bacon on the side.

better with baconvia Wired

 

Flotsam and jetsam (10/23)

french kiss

Good Reads

  • The Bible Paradox: Nearly 80 percent of all Americans think the Bible is either literally true or is the inspired word of God. And yet, most Americans have no idea what is actually in the Bible. (The Big Think)
  • How does a pastor wisely seek change in his church? Pastors who walk into existing churches are quickly burdened by needed changes to improve the church.  Where the challenge is for most of us is when and how those changes need to be brought.  If you are wondering how to choose those battles wisely, first receive this most excellent counsel I received as I entered my first Senior Pastor position at a church clearly needing change and revitalization. (Practical Shepherding)

Continue Reading…

11 Reasons You Should Drink Coffee Every Day

I don’t need an excuse to drink coffee. But I certainly won’t object if someone hands me one. Or eleven.

coffee2 (500x334)

But if you need a little extra convincing, here’s a post offering eleven reasons to imbibe the divine beverage every day. Check out the post for all the data, but here are the highlights.

  • Americans get more antioxidants from coffee than anything else. I’m not convinced that antioxidants are all that, but they sure sound healthy.
  • Just smelling coffee could make you less stressed. Even my daughters agree that coffee smells good. And they think it tastes like boiled dingo.
  • Coffee could lessen the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. We have some family members who struggle with Parkinson’s, so I’ll take any advantage I can get.
  • Coffee is great for your liver (especially if you drink alcohol). Um, no comment.
  • Coffee can make you feel happier. Duh.
  • Coffee consumption has been linked to lower levels of suicide. See the previous point.
  • Coffee could reduce your chances of getting skin cancer (if you’re a woman). I’m not, but I’ll err on the side of caution.
  • Coffee can make you a better athlete. Since I’m not much of an athlete, that’s not saying a whole lot. But I’ll take it.
  • Coffee could reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. I think that means I can eat more chocolate.
  • Drinking coffee could help keep your brain healthier for longer. Sweet.
  • Coffee may make you more intelligent. This might be a correlation/causation problem. It’s entirely possible that smarter people drink coffee, rather than that coffee makes you smarter. But I’ll stick with coffee either way.

So, if you want to be healthy, happy, and smart, grab a cup of coffee this morning. That’s what I’m doing.

Flotsam and jetsam (10/21)

shuffle

Good Reads

  • What Does It Mean to Be Charismatic? There seems to be a failure to recognize how influential and growing the charismatic movement is these days among the most theologically astute. What I mean by theological “astuteness” is that this new breed of charismatics is thoroughly evangelical, orthodox, and Christ-centered. (Michael Patton)
  • How Cereal Transformed American Culture: More than a century ago, Christian fundamentalists invented cereal to promote a healthy lifestyle free of sin. Little did they know, their creation would eventually be used to promote everything from radio and cartoons to Mr. T and tooth decay. (Mental Floss)
  • Why Do Teachers Quite? And Why Do They Stay? Approximately 15.7 percent of teachers leave their posts every year, and 40 percent of teachers who pursue undergraduate degrees in teaching never even enter the classroom at all. With teacher effectiveness a top priority of the education reform movement, the question remains: Why are all these teachers leaving—or not even entering the classroom in the first place? (The Atlantic)

Continue Reading…

A Prayer for Sunday (Ignatius of Antioch)

Ignatius of antiochOne of the ealiest leaders of the Church after the apostles had passed from the earth, Ignatius of Antioch was a key figure in the transition from the age of Jesus to the “Apostolic” age. According to tradition, he was a disciple of John the Apostle and was eventually martyred for his faith. His seven letters to various churches are among the earliest post-NT writings we have, establishing him as one of the earliest leaders of the post-disciple church. And he is often credited as being one of the earliest voices in Christian theology and ecclesiology.

In light of his amazing life and ministry, this Sunday’s prayer comes from him. To be fair, though, it’s really more a reflection on the life of a disciple in the midst of persecution than a true prayer. But it still works.

I know what must be done.
Only now am I beginning to be a disciple.

May nothing of powers visible or invisible prevent me,
that I may attain unto Jesus.

Come fire and cross and grapplings with wild beasts,
…..the rending of my bones and body,
…..come all the torments of the wicked one upon me.

Only let it be mine to attain until Jesus Christ.

Saturday Morning Fun…What Goes around Comes Around

Check out this fun black-and-white cartoon on why you should not mock the dog behind the window. Remember, God can see you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTWuZav-elY

Flotsam and jetsam (10/18)

luke warm

Good Reads

  • The Double-Edged Sword of Being a Female Bible Scholar: There are still tremendous challenges for women in evangelical scholarship, and I’m just not sure how to go forward because of the tokenism mindset. I want to encourage female scholars, but I would want a young, male New Testament scholar to look up to me as much as a female New Testament scholar would. I want to move beyond thinking that I should just mentor women. I should also mentor men, and I think that would be the next frontier. (Hermeneutics)

Continue Reading…

If You Want to Be Missional, You Need to Support Higher Education

Does the church need Christian colleges? Or have Christian colleges passed their “best when used by” date? In “An Open Letter to American Churches: The Crisis of Christian Higher Education,” Chris Gehrz makes an impassioned plea for the church to understand the vital contribution that Christian colleges make to the life and mission of the church. As he provocatively asserts:

“If you want to be missional, you need to support Christian higher education.”

classroom (550x388)

A Growing Financial Crisis

Gehrz is Professor and Chair of History at Bethel University, which has apparently decided to lay off a significant number of faculty in an attempt to address a large budget shortfall. And, of course, Bethel is not alone. Many colleges, both Christian and secular, have their own financial woes, including Calvin College which made the news last spring when it announced a $69.4 million budget gap. As Gehrz points out, 74% of the schools in the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities received a grade of C or lower in a recent Forbes study, and 32% were declared “financially unsustainable” in another report. However you slice it, these numbers aren’t encouraging.

Continue Reading…

Calvin and Hobbes Are Getting Their Own Documentary!

The official trailer for Dear Mr. Watterson is out, and it looks great. I’m sure it’s supposed to be about Bill Watterson, but we all know who the real stars will be.

We have stacks of Calvin and Hobbes books laying around the house, displaying their signs of love and frequent use in every torn cover and dogeared page. I’ve used them in youth ministry, preaching, teaching, and, of course, my own personal therapy. And I have fond memories of walking into my daughter’s room late at night to find her propped up in her crib with a Calvin and Hobbes open in her lap. (Or, just as often, fast asleep with one of the books covering her face.) Good times.

Needless to say, I’m looking forward to this one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KtmV7-f_j7Y

Flotsam and jetsam (10/16)

every teacher needs this t-shirt

every teacher needs this t-shirt

Good Reads

  • Conservative Catholics question Pope Francis’s approach: Rattled by Pope Francis’s admonishment to Catholics not to be “obsessed” by doctrine, his stated reluctance to judge gay people and his apparent willingness to engage just about anyone — including atheists — many conservative Catholics are doing what only recently seemed unthinkable: They are openly questioning the pope. (Washington Post)
  • The Bible Is the Word of God: This is an ongoing series looking at critical “axioms” of hermeneutics (the art and science of biblical interpretation), those things that I believe one must know and/or believe in order to interpret the Word of God accurately. (Transformed)
  • Forget About Learning Styles. Here’s Something Better: Whenever I speak to audiences about the science of learning, as I’ve been doing a lot this fall, one topic always comes up in the Q&A sessions that follow my talk: learning styles. Learning styles—the notion that each student has a particular mode by which he or she learns best, whether it’s visual, auditory or some other sense—is enormously popular. It’s also been thoroughly debunked. (Annie Murphy Paul)
  • Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming: I’m going to tell you that libraries are important. I’m going to suggest that reading fiction, that reading for pleasure, is one of the most important things one can do. I’m going to make an impassioned plea for people to understand what libraries and librarians are, and to preserve both of these things.

Continue Reading…