Thursday, 31 October 2013

Christian News from Around the World (31/10)

The Hardest Part of Ministry - By far and away, this is the most constant, soul-aching concern that I deal with. Those ministering in more family-friendly suburban communities that welcome megachurches and gated neighborhoods may not understand the complexities of a ministry that is more urban and the dangers it can pose.

Cessationist and Continuationist and Prophecy - If charismatics and noncharismatics could agree on these points, I think that the debate on modern spiritual gifts would be largely over.

Satan’s Permission to Sift You like Wheat - For whenever we allow our own pride to control us we throw open the door to making the devil’s work so much easier. We fall when we least expect it.

Bombs in Confessional Box - Officials at Syria's oldest known church confirmed that bombs were found in the church's confessional box earlier this month. Patriarch Gregory III Laham, a prominent Syrian Christian leader, confirmed that the bombs were found in a church in Yabroud, while he was out of the country in Britain earlier this month.

Millennials Are Fact-Checking Your Sermons - Now with the ability to fact-check at their fingertips, Millennials aren't taking the teaching of faith leaders for granted. In fact, 14% of Millennials say they search to verify something a faith leader has said. A striking 38% of practicing Christian Millennials say the same.

News from Around the World (31/10)

How To Read More — A Lot More - I think there are three main barriers that hold people back from making this happen and I want to disassemble them right now so you can start reading way, way more.

iPhone Touchscreen Accuracy - Testers should always ask questions. Testers and engineers should always ask questions. By asking questions and trying to look below the surface, you gain a better understanding of the problems you’re trying to solve and the original questions you were trying to answer. As developers and testers, asking questions is how we build better products and yield the best results.

Neuroscience Behind How Sleep Cleans Your Brain - Through a series of experiments on mice, the researchers showed that during sleep, cerebral spinal fluid is pumped around the brain, and flushes out waste products like a biological dishwasher. The process helps to remove the molecular detritus that brain cells churn out as part of their natural activity, along with toxic proteins that can lead to dementia when they build up in the brain, the researchers say.

The Strange and Mysterious History of the Ouija Board - But the real question, the one everyone wants to know, is how do Ouija boards work? Ouija boards are not, scientists say, powered by spirits or even demons. Disappointing but also potentially useful—because they’re powered by us, even when we protest that we’re not doing it, we swear. Ouija boards work on a principle known to those studying the mind for more than 160 years: the ideometer effect.

Google Nears Smartwatch Launch - The new device, which will run on Android, will be integrated with Google Now, the company's intelligent personal assistant that can answer questions, make recommendations and predict what information users need based on what they are doing, a person familiar with the situation said.

Kindle Deals (30/10)

Lots of Kindle Deals today.

Reading the Gospels Wisely: A Narrative and Theological Introduction ($4.99)

Don't Stop Believing: Why Living Like Jesus Is Not Enough ($2.99)

Historical Theology: An Introduction to Christian Doctrine ($5.99)

How to Read the Bible through the Jesus Lens: A Guide to Christ-Focused Reading of Scripture ($2.99)

Is Hell for Real or Does Everyone Go To Heaven? ($2.99)
Telling the Truth: Evangelizing Postmoderns ($2.99)

A Place for Weakness: Preparing Yourself for Suffering ($2.99)

The Hardest Sermons You'll Ever Have to Preach: Help from Trusted Preachers for Tragic Times ($2.99)

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Christian News from Around the World (30/10)

Kill every man, woman and child in the Promised Land? - When we read about the execution of the Canaanites we ought not to ask, “How could God do this?” but “Why does He not kill us all?” The shocking part of the story of the conquest of Canaan is God’s love for His rebellious people, not His just wrath toward other rebels.

Trusting the Bible Even When It’s Hard - Honest and wise words from B. B. Warfield about how to approach the Scriptures when we encounter difficulties in the text

I'm Done Fixing the Church: Turning the Future Over to God - As a wise colleague recently reminded me, “Jesus already fixed the church. There is no need for you to go to the cross too.”

The Secret Women's Porn Problem - Women, you are not alone in this struggle with temptation to sexual sin. You aren't the only one ashamed of the sexually explicit material in your browser history or on your e-reader. For all who face these temptations, the power of the gospel enables you to say no to sin.

How to Read Stuff You Don't Agree - Obviously there’s a bit more involved, but you get the point. If you race into an article with your adrenaline receptors on high, your reticular activator going full blast, and your flux capacitor in overdrive, you’re in trouble

News from Around the World (30/10)

10 Facts About The Transforming Global Religious Landscape - Here are ten things that you should know about the current state of religion in today's world.

Mathematical 'crystal ball' that may predict calamities - Lead researcher Dr Lionel Barnett says: "The key insight in the paper is that the dynamics of complex systems – like the brain and the economy – depend on how their elements causally influence each other; in other words, how information flows between them. And that this information flow needs to be measured for the system as a whole, and not just locally between its various parts."

Secret Life of the Ghost Hunter - On a recent investigation, his work bag contained a slightly smaller inventory: a laptop, some EMF meters (“To pick up changes in the electromagnetic fields,” he explains), small speakers, a few voice recorders, two flip video cameras and some dirty gym clothes.

Adorable Animals That are Jerks - Without a doubt, dolphins are jerks. Male bottlenose dolphins will sometimes team up to target a single female and harass her persistently, forcing her to mate with them despite her attempts to escape.

The Church’s Spiritual Message in Prince George’s Baptism

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Christian News from Around the World (29/10)

Initiating And Declining Sex in Marriage - Some helpful reads for those who are married.

Redeeming Social Media - It’s important for Christians to be deliberate in everything they do. Simply, sin has messed with our heads and we are called to renew our minds (Romans 12.2). Being deliberate to consider the Word of God and our call to be salt and light is essential in day to day life. Our faith has implications for all of life, and that includes the use of online mediums

A Slow Learner - I’m slowly learning that other people are slow learners too; and I’m an arrogant fool when I don’t give them grace that matches the grace I’ve received.

Lives Destroyed - The past two years have been devastating. I have watched the lives of four Christian friends destroyed for want of care. These are men I have loved and respected. All of them had families, loving wives, and children. Three of them were pastors and another was a nationally recognized professional at the top of his field. And all of them were consumed by their lusts. Everything in their lives destroyed because they chose to play with fire.

Seven Perspectives on Prayer - Some good perspectives on a often neglected privilege.

News from Around the World (29/10)

9 Things You Should Know About Down Syndrome - October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month. Here are nine things you should know about the condition.

50 Greatest Breakthroughs Since the Wheel - The main rule for this exercise was that the innovations should have come after widespread use of the wheel began, perhaps 6,000 years ago. That ruled out fire, which our forebears began to employ several hundred thousand years earlier.

Seeing Through Camouflage - To experimentally assess which types of visual camouflage better interfered with learning, Toschianko had human participants play a simple computer game. A computer-generated photo was presented on a touch screen, and the participant had to touch the spot on the photo where they thought they saw a triangle that looked like a hidden “moth.”

The Incredible Shrinking Plane Seat - This doesn't sit well with many travelers, particularly those who are large or overweight. Arm rests and aisles are also getting slimmed to wedge in the extra seat, meaning more elbows get bumped. And while seats are now being designed more ergonomically, with better cushions and head rests, the improvements don't stop people from rubbing shoulders.

3 Simple Ways to Time Travel

Monday, 28 October 2013

Kindle Deal (28/10)

Some Kindle Deals for today.

Playing God: Redeeming the Gift of Power ($4.99)

Power corrupts—as we've seen time and time again. People too often abuse their power and play god in the lives of others. Shady politicians, corrupt executives and ego-filled media stars have made us suspicious of those who wield influence and authority. They too often breed injustice by participating in what the Bible calls idolatry.

Yet power is also the means by which we bring life, create possibilities, offer hope and make human flourishing possible. This is "playing god" as it is meant to be. If we are to do God's work—fight injustice, bring peace, create beauty and allow the image of God to thrive in those around us—how are we to do these things if not by power?

With his trademark clear-headed analysis, Andy Crouch unpacks the dynamics of power that either can make human flourishing possible or can destroy the image of God in people. While the effects of power are often very evident, he uncovers why power is frequently hidden. He considers not just its personal side but the important ways power develops and resides in institutions.

Throughout Crouch offers fresh insights from key biblical passages, demonstrating how Scripture calls us to discipline our power. Wielding power need not distort us or others, but instead can be stewarded well.

An essential book for all who would influence their world for the good.

Christian Post from Around the World (28/10)

10 Readable Puritan - But not all Puritans are tough to read. Some are about as easy to read as a book you would find in your local Christian bookstore. Here are ten of the most readable Puritans with a suggested book to get you started.

Learn from Chick-fil-A - Let this much be clear: The church doesn’t need Chick-fil-A. We don’t need successful Christian businesses, athletes, films, and reality shows for the advance of the gospel. The tip of the spear is the local church. But when we can glean a few pointers from another body reading our Book, we might as well take notice.

Evangelism without an Altar Call - The practice of granting people immediate assurance of salvation—without taking the time to test the credibility of their profession—seems unwise at best and scandalous at worst. It is unwise because the pastor cannot sufficiently know the person he’s about to affirm is a Christian.

Atheist Philosopher Named a Defense of Christianity His Book of the Year - Here's Why. "As a non-Christian, indeed a committed atheist, I was worried about how I’d feel about this book but it pulled off a rare feat: making Christianity seem appealing to those who have no interest in ever being Christians."

Recovering a Vision: The Presidency of R. Albert Mohler Jr. from Southern Seminary on Vimeo.

News from Around the World (28/10)

7 Things You Might Not Know About Calvin and Hobbes - If you always liked reading Calvin and Hobbes, do give this read.

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 Brief History of 'Dude' - The contemporary use of dude developed in the Pacific Coast surfing culture of the early 1960s, it entered mainstream popular culture in the early ’80s, and it’s persisted, until recently, along the same basic lines.

Why Kettle Whistles - It may come as a surprise to some, but in all the years that people have been brewing tea, no-one has ever quite been able to work out why kettles whistle. In a basic sense, of course, the reasons are pretty clear, but the physical source of the noise and the specific reason for the whistling sound have both remained elusive.

Electric Superbike of the Future

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Christian News from Around the World (27/10)

Evangelizing the Nations at Home - If unbelievers have lost interest in showing hospitality to foreigners, we have all the more opportunity! We can welcome foreigners, show compassion, and so commend the gospel right here in America.

Roland Allen’s Challenge to Missions - Roland Allen believed the methods and strategies of the Apostle Paul were being neglected in contemporary mission efforts. To counter this problem, Allen expounds on the activities of Paul in his day.

Reading N. T. Wright - Some advice on how to read and handle such literature.

Boring' Testimonies - Every Christian has a redemption story. Whether you are saved from cocaine addiction or a prideful heart, from deep in a prison cell or the comfort of your suburban home, your story is filled with grace. If we can't see the beauty of a redemption story, the problem isn't with the story: the problem is with us.

News from Around the world (27/10)

Wildlife at Chernobyl’s Fallout Zone - Chernobyl’s abundant and surprisingly normal-looking wildlife has shaken up how biologists think about the environmental effects of radioactivity. The idea that the world’s biggest radioactive wasteland could become Europe’s largest wildlife sanctuary is completely counterintuitive for anyone raised on nuclear dystopias.

5 Surprising Facts About the Oarfish - A sputtering oarfish may look like a terrifying sea monster, but it is not thought to pose a danger to people or boaters.

The First Venomous Crustacean Species - Within this toxic dynasty, one of the major arthropod groups—the crustaceans—sticks out. There’s no such thing as a venomous crab or lobster, prawn or shrimp. There are some 70,000 species of crustaceans and, until recently, it seemed that all of them were venom-free.

Smart, Powered Bicycle Wheels - Enter two exciting new, and funded, projects for powered bicycle wheels that are simply smart: the Copenhagen Wheel and FlyKly.

Turn Your Smartphone Into A Digital Microscope

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Christian Post from Around the World (26/10)

Household Battles - Top 10 reasons for arguments.

8 Benefits of Forgiving Others - However, if such relatively minor offenses against such relatively minor people can help us to forgive, how much more being forgiven by a holy God for offenses not just against His law but against His love? As Jesus said, He who has been forgiven much, the same loves much.

A 'Mostly Divine' Jesus? - In other words, “mostly divine” undermines the gospel itself.... That’s part of the reason the early church rejected any attempt to say that Jesus was less than divine. For them, it wasn’t enough to reject the conclusion that Jesus was “not divine.” According to them, even “mostly divine” was inadequate. Only “fully divine” truly secured the gospel and the salvation of the world

Bringing Good out of Evil - God’s infinite wisdom then is displayed in bringing good out of evil, beauty out of ashes. It is displayed in turning all the forces of evil that rage against His children into good for them. But the good that He brings about is often different than the good we envision.

Self-Discipline - As sap flows into the branch, producing fruit, divine grace must fill the believer, producing self-control. The self can never produce self-discipline. Only as Christians live under the Holy Spirit’s control can they live self-controlled lives.

News from Around the World (26/10)

How People Have Died in the 21st Century - the 2 (maybe 3) huge causes of death is really quite visible.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki = Liveable, But Not Chernobyl? - This difference is attributable to three factors: (1) the Chernobyl reactor had a lot more nuclear fuel; (2) that was much more efficiently used in reactions; and (3) the whole mess exploded at ground level.

What Makes A Boomerang Come Back? - “When the boomerang spins, one wing is actually moving through the air faster than the other [relative to the air] as the boomerang is moving forward as a whole,” explains Tan.

Junk DNA (no more) - "Enhancers are part of the 98 per cent of the human genome that is non-coding DNA – long thought of as 'junk DNA'," says Visel. "It's increasingly clear that important functions are embedded in this 'junk'."

Popsicles of the Future - Putting the shaky scientific claim aside, Marx’s invention is the result of a three-year collaboration with university scientists, a Michelin three-star chef, and a manufacturer of industrial nitrogen machinery with the goal of completely reinventing the form, function, and flavor of freezer pops.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Read your Bible Better - Study Alongside With Me.

I chanced upon this brilliant series "Dust to Glory" by R. C. Sproul and thought it will be a good idea for the readers of the blog to learn, discuss and share what we each have gained from the teaching of R. C. Sproul.

Here's the plan, every week, we will listen to one podcast and I will post my reflections and thoughts about that podcast, anyone can join in and post a comment to contribute to this suggestion.

This series will start next Fri (1st Nov).

Christian News from Around the World (25/10)

God the Pacifist? -  Some have tried to use the sixth commandment (Exod. 20:13) to promote pacifism, an ideology that sometimes goes so far as to argue that no violence is ever justified. But if we examine this commandment a little closer, we will see that God is not a pacifist.

Does Calvinism Kill Missions? - It could rightly be argued that Calvinism is not only not a barrier to missions and evangelism, but has actually proven to be a spur to missions and evangelism. In fact, it has often been the driving force in missions.

Calvinism and the Roots of the Missionary Movement - If God has decreed who will be saved, they say, and that decree is irresistible, then why bother to obey Christ’s Great Commission and bring the gospel to all the world? This critique may make logical sense, from an Arminian perspective. But from a historical perspective, it is simply false.

How To Wreck Your Life - It's surprising simple and easy: Anger.

Wisely Changing the 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.

News from Around the World (25/10)

Unconventional Reasons Why You Should Read - Here are seven good reasons why you should be reading.

Photographing the Amish - Nevala’s job ultimately became easier when the children on the farm started to take an interest in him. The restrictions on children being photographed, Nevala found, were looser, so he felt free to snap away as they played in their tree house and raced on wagons.

Apple’s New-found Fondness for ‘Free’? -Aside from the potential backlash, having set a precedent, I think Apple is playing a clever game. Sacrifice two sources of revenue in order to boost the appeal of the hardware and the ecosystem.

15 Awesome MS-DOS Viruses in Action - They're pretty old, but reminds you that you really need to secure your system if you're using a Windows OS.

How Mac Pros Are Made - While folks always love taking a look at teardowns of Apple products, sometimes it's just as nice, if not more interesting, to take a look at how those products are put together in the first place.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Christian News from Around the World (24/10)

Doubts: Fatal or Futile? - How are we to come alongside the doubter? How are we to help and care? Jude, another brother of Jesus, writes in Jude 22, “Have mercy on those who doubt.”

The Importance of a Christian Worldview - A Christian worldview becomes a driving force in life, giving us a sense of God’s plan and purpose for this world. Our identity is shaped by this worldview. We no longer see ourselves as alienated sinners.

7 Arrows for Bible Reading - Some useful tips to help you read your bible better.

Effective personal evangelism: consistency - You may be at times discouraged by slow progress, but you will not abandon the appointed means, method, manner and matter because there are no immediate results and definite declarations, because sometimes conversion is the result of countless hours of patient and prayerful instruction, progress comes about after weeks and months of tireless labour. We would love to see rapid results, and they are well within God's power and grace.

Seeing the Prodigal Sons in a New Way

News from Around the World (24/10)

Windows and Poor Battery Life - "Instead of the 26% less battery life in Windows that Anand measured in 2009, we're now seeing 50% less battery life. This is an enormous gap between Windows and OS X in what is arguably the most common form of computer usage today, basic WiFi web browsing. That's shameful. Embarrassing, even." (Moral of the story: If you want long battery life, just switch over to mac, you wouldn't regret it!)

Hopes of Cure for Baldness - Now, Colin Jahoda at Durham University, UK, and colleagues have managed to produce multiple dermal papillae that retain their specialised abilities by culturing the cells in a 3D rather than 2D system.

World's 'Most Traveled' Man - Meet Mike Spencer Bown who's 44 years old and have travelled to more than 190 countries.

Ma’am, Your Burger Has Been Paid For - “This is an example of goodness gone viral,” said Ms. Ryan, who since the publication of “Pay It Forward” has become somewhat of a clearinghouse for random acts of kindness. “People bring me their pay-it-forward stories, and I’ve been hearing about the drive-through phenomenon a lot lately.”

If Beer Ads were Forced to be Honest

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

News from Around the World (23/10)

9 Most Vandalized Landmarks - Good or bad, you decide.

Lying for Financial Gain - This results might surprise you, I think maybe the data needs to be examined at more carefully.

Giant Asteroid Won’t Hit The Earth In 2032 .... Probably - “To put it another way, that puts the current probability of no impact in 2032 at about 99.998 percent,” said Don Yeomans, the Spaceguard manager at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena.

The ban of 'Q' - And while it’s true that the letter Q was outlawed for 85 years, from 1928 until last month, the reason for the ban had little to do with aesthetic bias or onomastic whim.

Strange Laws of USA - If you're thinking of going down to USA any time soon, do read this first. You do not want to break the law unknowingly.

Christian News from Around the World (23/10)

Mom and Dad Really Do Matter - A new academic study based on the Canadian census suggests that a married mom and dad matter for children. Children of same-sex coupled households do not fare as well.

"Why" and "How" of Basic Internet Safety at Home - For those who want to create a better and safer place in the home for themselves and their children.

How to read a Christian book - So here they are: 11 ways to read a Christian book, absorb it, and remember what you read. (If you’re an e-book reader, adapt them for the screen; you can highlight and make notes there too.)

Myths About Productivity - 5 myths about what it means to be productive.

Sermons crafted to the nth degree - Here's my news. Preaching is a spiritual task. There's a practical element to it, one we're very concerned with here at PT. We need to rightly divide the word of truth. But we are not producing finely honed and crafted masterpieces where every word, comma and construction would have to pass muster at a mega conference.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Kindle Deal (22/10)

A Little Book for New Theologians by Kelly Kapic

Whenever we read, think, hear or say anything about God, we are doing theology. Yet theology isn't just a matter of what we think. It affects who we are.

Going for $0.99!

Christian News from Around the World (22/10)

Jeff Ansorge - Meet the chef who's now cooking for eternality. "Jeff left a restaurant that averages a bill of $80 per person to serve lunches at a cost of $0.63. A lot of people thought he was crazy to make the move."

How to be a Miserable Counsellor - In a nutshell, if you want to be a miserable comforter then nurture a hyper-active connection between personal sin and every form of suffering and be sure to remind your spiritual friends that they are the ultimate cause of their suffering (that they are sovereign) and that the one-word answer is always “Repent!”

Church Growth and Decline - See what Charles Spurgeon has to say about it.

Spiritual adoption = God's "Plan B"? - When God redeems us from the slave-market of sin and the family of the devil it is the fulfillment of something that He planned long ago. In other words, God’s spiritual adoption of us as His children, through faith alone in Jesus Christ, was not Plan B because Plan A failed. We were not an afterthought to Him!

A Trailer for a new book - Found in Him: The Joy of the Incarnation and Our Union with Christ by Elyse Fitzpatrick

News from Around the World (22/10)

Charging Smartphone Using Solar Power - If this is true, this ought to be great news to everyone.

Swifts that Flew Non-Stop for 200 days - The swifts must be able to do all of their normal activities, including sleeping, while in the air. How do they manage? “I don’t know!” says Liechti, laughing. “We can only assume that they do something similar to dolphins.

Modern Eco-Friendly Homes - Though they look a little small and weird, I wouldn't mind living in one of them.

Steve Jobs' UFO-Shaped HQ - The proposed campus, which the late visionary Steven Jobs first introduced to the city council in mid-2011, is being led by UK-based architecture firm Foster + Partners, in collaboration with civil engineering firm Kier & Wright. Though Jobs' initial proposal offered a space that could accommodate for 6,000 employees, the project has evolved with time, now suggesting the ring-shaped offices can hold up to 14,000 people.

Smart Mug - Everything's getting smarter now. This mug show/tell you when is the temperate is too high/low or for drinking tea or coffee.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Christian News from Around the World (21/10)

The Strange Value of the Internet Bible - What is apparent is that there are clearly more advantages than disadvantages. So, just as I have always been an advocate of translation, though my endorsements of modern translations are few, so I am an advocate of the Bible on iPhone.

China Relentless in Persecution of House Churches - Although some Christians are free to express their faith in certain regions of the country, the overall picture of Christian persecution in China is only worsening.

The War on Christians - According to the International Society for Human Rights, a secular observatory based in Frankfurt, Germany, 80 per cent of all acts of religious discrimination in the world today are directed at Christians. Statistically speaking, that makes Christians by far the most persecuted religious body on the planet.

Boldness - The third mark of the effective personal evangelist is boldness. We often struggle with a righteous straightforwardness, a loving clearness, a holy bluntness. Some parents are afraid to tell the gospel to their own children because they fear their reaction, are concerned that they might not like it and might turn from it. But what of the risk of not speaking?

9 “traces of the doctrine of the Trinity…in the Old Testament -  How Geerhardus Vos sees it, from his Reformed Dogmatics.

News from Around the World (21/10)

Beautiful World Heritage Site - 12 photos of some very beautiful places in the world.

Why The Soviet Union Never Made It To The Moon - For those tech geeks who want to know why the Soviet didn't win the space race even though they were able to send the first man up to space.

What Does a Chef Eat After Work? - Cooks and chefs rarely tire of cooking, and making dinner for friends on a day off, or making a late-night snack for a couple of co-workers, is often a pleasure and never a task. But ....

The First Cut - While much in medicine has changed over the last century, no teaching tool has replaced the gift of a human body. X-rays, MRIs and CT scans allow medical students to see inside flesh and bone to the sources of injury and disease. Special mannequins help future surgeons hone their incision techniques...

Museum of (Almost) Every Object - Hop over to Italy with me for a minute will you? In the countryside province of Parma (yeah, that place where the ham comes from), an unusual and one-of-a-kind museum awaits …