Worth reading

Three stimulating articles, without any obvious common theme except the most common of all — a fallen world with fallen people in it:

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“Ultimately, God is still good. And he is still enough.”  Bekah Mason, “Finding My ‘True Self’ As a Same-Sex Attracted Woman,” Christianity Today (June 2017) [link].

“I am capable of any sin. And God loves me in spite of my sinful nature.”  Sanya Richards-Ross, “My Abortion Broke Me, God Redeemed Me,” Christianity Today (June 2017) [link].

“What explains a person or a group of people doing things that seem at odds with who they are or what they think is right?”  Malcolm Gladwell, “Thresholds of Violence,” gladwell.com (October 19, 2015) [link].

But still, there is always the offer of God’s grace.

Creative interventions

united#united3411

Four thoughts on the United Flight 3411 incident:

      1. What a mess!
      2. Almost everyone involved can (probably) see a point at which they should have chosen differently, and (almost certainly) wishes they had.
      3. On the whole, if you were one of Dr. Dao’s fellow passengers, filming the event on your cellphone was a better choice than trying to physically intervene.
      4. It appears that an even better choice for almost anyone on the plane would have been to stand up and say “This man appears to really need to get home, I will give up my seat.”

“Blessed are the peacemakers . . . .”

Selling yourself

ScreenShot164A short piece on selling your attention span from the CTO of Basecamp, suggesting that there should be a warning for many things you are ostensibly getting for “free”:

[WARNING:] Everything you say and do on Facebook will be used against you by advertisers for targeting that’s most likely to catch you at your most vulnerable, needy moment. Your consumption of the echo chamber timeline will lead to a narrower field of vision of the world. We may try to tinker with your mental well-being at any time, if we determine that a depressed state increases engagement on the A/B by any margin.

He goes on to say:

It wouldn’t surprise me if twenty years from now we view the likes of Facebook with the same incredulity we do now to smoking: How could they not know it did this to their health?

David Hansson, “The Price of Monetizing Schemes,” Signal v. Noise [link].

Bread and stones

stone

. . . which of you,
if your son were to ask for bread,
would give him a stone?
or if he were to ask for a fish,
would give him a snake?

If therefore, you, being evil people,
know how to give good gifts to your children;
how much more will your Father in heaven
give good gifts to those who ask him?

Jesus’ immediate point in Matthew 7:9-11 is that if earthly fathers are reasonably unlikely to play such a grotesque practical joke on their children, God can be expected to respond to good requests with good, not trickery.

But when Jesus had stones instead of bread, what did he do?  He accepted it as something from God.  Obviously, I’m thinking about chapter 4, the temptation of Jesus in the desert — is that relevant here?  I think it is.

If I see a stone on my plate, instead of jumping to the conclusion that God is angry with me, I might contemplate the possibility that God’s immediate purpose is not the satisfaction of my hunger.

He might have something else in mind.