Tasty Sampler 6/3

1. Advice for Slow Readers. And no, it’s not “learn to read faster.”

For a few years now, I’ve used a reading plan that has helped me get through a pretty good number of books every month, despite my setback of being a slow reader. For the frustrated and overwhelmed readers, here are a few suggestions.

2. Ads can implant false memories.  Another reason not to watch too much TV.

It turns out that vivid commercials are incredibly good at tricking the hippocampus (a center of long-term memory in the brain) into believing that the scene we just watched on television actually happened. And it happened to us.

3. Moses Vs. Hyperpreterism. Michael Bull calls attention to the general outline of covenants in the Bible, and how it speaks against full blown hyperpreterism.

Every Covenant has an element of futurism because the Covenant process is how God directs history and moves it forward. Moses helps us to identify which part of Revelation is yet future. To claim otherwise is to ignore the structure of the entire Bible.

4. Poverty and the Delay of Gratification. This should be read and discussed around the dinner table. Valuable lessons from Eastern Kentucky.

The main difference between rich and poor is not birthplace, or education level, or the area of the country, or the quality of the schools. It’s not the local economy. The main difference between rich and poor is the ability to delay gratification in anticipation of greater rewards down the road.

 

Since the Dawn of Reason

This is my second favorite Lutheran Satire video.  Intellectuals love to attribute nonsensical motives to people in history, and their favorite targets are the early Christians.

Now we finally know the true story.

“Since the dawn of reason in like 1687 or something, all the smart people have known that Christ’s resurrection was a myth created by the early Christians to amass power oppress people…”

Pride of Ownership

Proverbs 14:4 teaches a lot in it’s brilliant phrasing, but the main warning is against being boastful about the wrong things.

Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox. (ESV)

If someone ignores the strength of a few oxen, just because they don’t want to clean up the corresponding mess, they have their priorities wrong. Mangers are meant to get dirty, to smell like animals.  That’s their purpose.  A clean manger is a wasted manger, and pointing to it in justification is foolishness.

What are some modern day mangers?

  1. Houses – A house that doesn’t need to be cleaned is a wasted house, and the owners miss out on abundant fruit.  The house is never “lived in” by the resident family, or the doors are never open to others in hospitality.  Perhaps some of the furniture is still covered in cellophane wrap. The carpets almost never need to be cleaned. There are rooms that no one is allowed to enter. The kids are shooed outside at the earliest convenience. There are so many coasters covering the tables that you can’t see the wood underneath.
  2. Vehicles –  The whole point of a car is to get passengers from one point on the map to another, not to show off how great the upholstery looks. Would you brag about how the tread on the tires you bought 7 years ago shows no sign of wear? And if someone, somewhere, would be crazy enough to be impressed by unused tires, you probably shouldn’t be making eye contact with them.

 

There is a certain pride of ownership that is needed.  After all, the manger needs to be cleaned.  Its not left to wallow in the filth of the oxen. But the pride of ownership isn’t the point of ownership.  Always be asking why God gave this blessing to you.

What are some other modern day mangers, in the context of this proverb? What else is it warning against?

Tasty Sampler 5/27

A blind man sees the world…with a click of his tongue. This is one of the most amazing articles I have ever read.

Kish has trained himself to hear these slight echoes and to interpret their meaning. Standing on his front stoop, he could visualize, with an extraordinary degree of precision, the two pine trees on his front lawn, the curb at the edge of his street, and finally, a bit too far from that curb, my rental car. Kish has given a name to what he does — he calls it “FlashSonar” — but it’s more commonly known by its scientific term, echolocation.

“Running into a pole is a drag, but never being allowed to run into a pole is a disaster,” he writes. “Pain is part of the price of freedom.” This attitude is not wildly popular, especially in a safety-first nation like the United States.

16 tips for beginning homeschoolers. Some are more attacking myths than actual tips, but a good read.

Ultimately, your role will be as a facilitator to your child’s learning.  There’s no need to lecture, and very often you’ll find yourself learning something new right alongside your child.

4 Myths About World War 2. Most focus on the bad light generally cast on the French.

No army in the world at that time could have withstood Germany’s blitzkrieg, planned by the brilliant Erich von Manstein, and led by the audacious Heinz Guderian, and Erwin Rommel –three of modern history’s greatest generals.

Understand by listening closely. A good article on how to establish trust in sales, and to brush up on your social skills in general.

As we got off the plane, Ann stopped me in the gangway, shook my hand and said, “Gill, you’re the most interesting person I’ve ever had the pleasure to ride with on an airplane. It was great getting to know you” – and I had hardly told her a thing about me!

The Danger of “Fruitfulness” without Purity. Scandals of hypocrisy harm the gospel witness, and should be cut at the root with confession and prayer.

Winning or losing the heart battles over confession, repentance, and humility is the difference between those who end well and those who do not. Why hypocrisy often wins the day is, I believe, because leaders learn the possibility of being “fruitful” without being pure. There is, in some sense, the ability to maintain professional administration of ministry and even to see “fruitfulness” in such activities. This, in turn, can deceive one into thinking that confession of heart struggles and personal sins are in some sense unnecessary and mere distractions to ministerial progress.

Eternal Life Will Renew

“Christ triumphs over death in the body of his flesh, which is renewed and reclothed rather than transcended and left behind. Thus the figure of Joseph raised by Pharaoh from the depths of prison clarifies a fundamental truth about God’s promise of new life in Christ: eternal life will renew rather than cancel or leave behind our created nature.” (Reno, Genesis, p. 262)