Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Agreeing to Disagree

Jon Acuff lists a fun series of churchy things we can agree to disagree about.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mothers Day Trivia

Mother’s Day is a great day to celebrate the woman who brought us into this world and show her how much we care. After reading these stats you may want to praise her a little more than just one day a year.

Mother’s Day Facts:

1st Mother’s Day: May 10, 1908; Founded by Anna Jarvis; made a national holiday in 1914 by President Wilson

Busiest Phone Day: 68% of people plan to call Mom on Mother’s Day, totaling 122.5 million phone calls

Card Giving: 50% of households give Mother’s Day cards, totaling some 152 million cards

First-time Moms: Average age of new moms is 25, vs. 21 in 1970

Kids: Modern moms average 2 kids (1950s: 3.5 kids; 1700s: 7-10 kids)

Diaper Changes: 7,300 by baby’s 2nd birthday

Diaper Changing Speed: Moms take 2 minutes, 5 seconds (adds up to 3 40-hour work weeks each year!) , vs. 1 minute, 36 seconds for dads

Giving Attention: Preschooler requires mom’s attention once every 4 minutes or 210 times / day

Record for Most Kids: Mrs. Vassilyev of Russia gave birth to 69 children between 1725 and 1765

Record for Oldest Mom: Rosanna Dalla Corte gave birth to a baby boy when she was 63 years old in Italy in 1994

Record for Heaviest Newborn: Signora Carmelina Fedele gave birth to a 22 lb 8 oz boy in Italy in 1955

First Year Baby Costs: $7,000 of baby items before 1st birthday

Cost of Raising a Child: Middle-income families spend $242,070 to raise a kid to 18 (not incl. college!)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

If There Is A God, Why Doe He Allow Suffering?

It’s a huge question, isn’t it? Hardly a day goes by when we don’t come across suffering. Devastation caused by earthquakes and tsunamis…millions living in poverty…children being abused…family breakdowns… bullying…people suffer. We suffer. So it’s right to say to God: “God, if you’re there, why don’t you do something." (See a simple respons here)

This site call "Tough Questions" addresses a several questions we ask of God. The answers don't cover every detail of every issue but they give thoughtful responses in two to three minutes videos and also in print. It's a nice resource to have available.

Tornadoes and the Trustworthiness of God

This sermon by David Platt, pastor of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Alabama, is a good model of how basic biblical doctrine can and should inform our response to tragedy and equip us to trust in God’s good purposes.

Specifically, he explains how the tornadoes that recently ravaged their area can remind us of biblical truth.
Here is an outline provided by Justin Taylor on his blog:

These tornadoes remind us that this world is unpredictable.
  • Suffering is usually surprising.
  • Life is never safe.
  • Death is unavoidably sure.
These tornadoes remind us of the penalty of sin which plagues all of us.
  • Our sin is universal.
  • Our suffering is inevitable.
These tornadoes remind us to repent and be reconciled to God.
  • Turn from sin.
  • Trust in Him.
These tornadoes remind us of the sovereignty of our God.
The sovereignty of God is the only foundation for worship in the midst of tragedy.
  • God’s sovereignty assures us that He is in control.
  • God is with us.
  • God is for us.
  • God’s sovereignty reminds us that Satan has been conquered.
  • God’s sovereignty guarantees us that one day suffering will conclude.
Ultimately, tragedy on earth can only be understood rightly from the perspective of heaven.
These tornadoes remind us of the urgency of our mission.
  • Life is fleeting.
  • People are perishing.
  • Eternity is coming.

Is God Glad Osama Bin Laden's Dead?

As the discussion of Osama Bin Laden's death continues to swirl, this word from pastor/author John Piper is a helpful word of wisdom and grace.

Customizing the Bible Like the Pandora Radio Program

This brief illustration makes a great application regarding how we edit the Bible to fit our preferences.

One of the marvels of the Internet age is a thing called Pandora radio. When you listen to a radio station on terrestrial or satellite radio, you have to listen to every song played. You can change the channel, but you can't change the song. You're stuck with whatever you're given. But that's not so on Pandora. On Pandora, you put in different singers, bands, or songs that you like; and they use an algorithm to parse the music that you list. The algorithm asks...(see article)