Challenging believers in Jesus to think and act based on Bible truth.

Friday Feature 7.24.15 – Spotting Fake News

Unknown

Can you spot fake news? Maybe, as readers this week, you all wondered and clicked through to this article in Monday’s post. Monday’s most clicked article is now Friday’s Feature. Presenting Friday’s Feature article:

Five tips for spotting fake news.

Check it out. Once you have, I’ll throw in a couple more thoughts.

1. What’s the draw to the sensational stuff anyway?

We all read these “Check out what happens when the bride is confronted by her ex at the wedding” type headlines. Are you tempted to click through?

A great question is: why?

As the writer suggested we should guard our anger, we should guard all emotion when scouring the headlines.

2. The best advice here is “wait”. 

Of course I write a blog. I try to find well thought out articles to share. I do my best to think and discern before I share someone else’s work. A lot of times the race in media work is to be “first on the scene”. This does not always make a great atmosphere for accuracy.

In many cases things just take time to unfold. Responding and grasping in the heat of the unfolding moment may not always prove best.

Think. Why are we drawn to fake news?

Act. Does this article give you some meaningful skill in discerning things you see online or in the news? It did for me!

 

Think and Act 7.22.15 – If There Were No Special Needs

brain1-2

Yes, my wife and I parent an almost five year old special needs daughter. No, I don’t intend to address that in this post.

The challenge for this post lies in the positive impact special needs individuals bring in life. To think this through and act on it will prove worthwhile, I hope, to any potential reader.

It really bothers me that doctors tell couples to abort children who will have disabilities from birth, or may have disabilities from birth. This type of counsel seeks to bring about a society devoid of many types of problems, saving both families and professionals much extra “effort” and “inconvenience”.

So, think on this. If there were no special needs . . .

1. We would have an unrealistic view of life.

Special needs individuals remind us that life is broken. For them, it’s broken in different ways. Special needs brokenness includes genetic, medical, tragic, and disease related complications. Often, special needs individuals experience life long consequences of the decisions of others. For some, NOTHING could prevent their condition.

Every single human experiences brokenness. Scripture teaches of our existence in a fallen world, marred by sin’s consequences. The reality of life’s difficulty can at times prove very brutal. The very visible way in which special needs individuals experience brokenness should provide powerful reminders that perfection eludes us all.

2. Many people’s gifts would end up wasted.

I am overwhelmed at times at the variety of gifts both professionals and total strangers possess in dealing with special needs individuals. If we eliminated the needs by eliminating the people beset by them, the gifts of those empowered to care for the broken would go to waste. What sense would that make?

The many professionals involved in our daughter’s development feel like family. Their care, patience, and determination offer so much encouragement to us and others as we see her development.

Just when I think our special needs daughter is annoying someone in a public place, my over-protectiveness of others’ space is replaced by the joy they find in relating to her. Often this includes a story of their own experiences with special needs individuals.

3. Blessings would evaporate.

A while ago I took our daughter to Summit Mall. On our way out, we went past a disabled man in a wheel chair offering free samples. Now, our daughter doesn’t meet much food she doesn’t like, so her immediate interest didn’t exactly surprise me. But the blessing went way beyond something for the belly (for free!).

The blessing belonged to the man. Although our daughter can’t talk, she immediately sensed he had needs. He smiled knowing she related to his condition. The blessing belonged to me as well, knowing how much she cares for others struggling with limitations.

Or how about these “feel good” stories where pro athletes care about sick kids, visiting children’s hospitals or granting their wishes? If eliminating the needs was the goal, these types of stories wouldn’t make us feel good at all. They would sicken us over our inability to eliminate the disability.

Surely you could add your own stories about how someone in your life or upbringing with special needs added value the lives of those around them.

 

Think. Do “feel good” stories like this prove to us that the essence of life and personhood lie in a concept much larger than outward “normality”?

Act. Affirm life in any way you can. Encourage those working or living with special needs, and open yourself to the encouragement the humanity of special needs individuals can bring.

Tuesday Rambling 7.21.15 – The Morals of Planned Parenthood

Baby_feet

Perhaps you’ve heard about the atrocities being committed and perpetuated by Planned Parenthood. Maybe you haven’t. The gist of the story is that Planned Parenthood leadership have been caught on video selling body parts of aborted babies. Stop. Pause. I typed that and you read it and it’s true.

Time to ramble.

  • In our morally confused culture, a great question to ask is: “Is this wrong?”
  • If it is wrong to engage in such behavior, why?
  • If someone agrees it’s wrong, then the deceased baby MUST be something more than fetal tissue.
  • If someone agrees it’s wrong, then a fair question is: “What do you value that makes you think this is wrong?”
  • Someone’s view of right and wrong is always tied to some value, even if few values are present.
  • As for the concept itself, clearly this type of behavior goes beyond “women’s health”.
  • And, by the way, the government funds Planned Parenthood in the name of “women’s health”.
  • If you are morally outraged by this (certainly a fair response), how do you respond?
  • Right and wrong aren’t necessarily clear in today’s culture.
  • Will stories of such depravity finally wake us up?

Monday Challenge 7.20.15 – Planned Parenthood, Fake News, Beginning of Universe

shape=(5000,5000)

shape=(5000,5000)

It’s Monday – how about being challenged a bit? I love to share what I read, so I hope you benefit. You don’t have to agree, just agree to be challenged.

Planned Parenthood

The atrocities at Planned Parenthood should grip our souls.

Jonathan Parnell at Desiring God suggests the abortion industry may be destroying itself.

Sam Rainer describes a course of action for the average believer.

Question: Do you care enough to do something about these atrocities?

The Universe

J. Warner Wallace shares some good brain food. See here some evidence our universe had a beginning.

Question: Does information like this give you the confidence to make some basic points to an intellectual unbeliever?

Fake News

How to spot fake news. We can all be gullible. Let’s show some awareness of what we read and share.

Question: How gullible are you?

Spiritual Impact of ISIS

This article should help the average Western believer gain an understanding of some of the spiritual dynamics developing in the wake of the terror wrought by ISIS.

Friday Feature 7.17.15 – White Christians Should Listen to Black Christians

pray3

The highest clicked article from Monday’s post shares the distinction as one of my favorites in a while as well. So today’s Friday feature is a good match. Here’s the topic:

Why white Christians should listen to black Christians.

Jemar Tisby makes some challenging parallels between the experience of black Christians and white (as well as other) Christians who feel marginalized by the Supreme Court’s decision on gay marriage.

After you’ve read the article, check out a few of my thoughts below.

What it’s like to be marginalized.

Some in culture have accused Evangelicals of having a persecution complex. I certainly don’t want to fall victim to that. I think a word like “marginalized” helps. Persecuted? Yes in some ways. But to have an extended period of influence if not dominance come to and end having harsh terms directed at us, “marginalized” makes a good adjective.

The parallel.

I think the parallel is strong. If this “marginalization” opens our eyes to the plight of black Christians throughout the centuries, then we could certainly count that as a benefit of the recent cultural trends.

I wonder.

Tisby makes a strong case for resistance to slavery (as he should). I always wonder where that point of resistance really lies in any conflict.

Listen.

The word “listen” should stand out. To me it implies a process. My understanding of another never comes about instantaneously. Though through time, commitment, and conversation, perspectives really can change. First, we must listen.

Think. How can listening to the experiences of black Christians help bring you understanding of the current cultural climate toward those with a traditional belief in marriage?

Act. Well, it’s a bold step isn’t it? Acting on this one involves intentionality. Reading. Meeting. Prodding. Waiting. Going outside the comfort zone. Are white Christians ready to listen?