A Morning Peacock of Links (6/19)

“Line of Sight”

Trailer for a documentary on urban bicycling. It looks interesting and cool, but the pure recklessness of it all is definitely disconcerting.

 

10 Bets You Will Never Lose

The top rated comment – “Now I just need some friends.” HAHA.

 

The Top 3 Daily Time Wasters and How to Tame Them

If you removed Email, Social Media, and Meetings from your life, how much time would you have for the rest of your work? Are you envisioning an expansive vista of focused, productive time opening up before you? Or are you already feeling the painful twinges of information withdrawal? If you’re anything like the typical creative professional, it’s probably a bit of both.

20 Things You Might Not Know About ‘OK Computer’

It’s more like 19 things about Radiohead + 1 irrelevant fact about Vampire Weekend.

11 of the Best Customer Service Stories Ever

Even though many of us are jaded when it comes to customer service, it’s always refreshing to read stories like these.

‘Dear Mother’

Among the personal belongings of a young RAF pilot in a Bomber Squadron who was recently reported ‘missing, believed killed,’ was a letter to his mother – to be sent to her if he were killed.

Wait, Happy Marriages Exist? Webb and Dowd Simpson

I didn’t really follow the US Open, but this is a pretty cool window into Webb Simpson’s personal life.

Why You Should Consider Canceling Your Short Term Mission Trips

A sobering reminder of the shortcomings and even the dangers of short term mission trips when they are not approached with proper intentionality and perspective. Thankfully, I haven’t encountered many of these problems in my own short term mission trip experiences. At the same time, the article does a great job putting into words some of the concerns and dangers I was worried about encountering during past mission trips. Here are a few thought-provoking excerpts:

A little knowledge acquired on short-term trips can be dangerous. Just imagine that three short-term teams from China come to the United States and serve in Lincoln, Nebraska, San Francisco, California, and Detroit, Michigan. They then return to their churches and tell everyone what the United States is like, how the people act, how they struggle with their culture, and how Christians are living for Jesus. Would they really have an picture of the United States?

Of course not, but we seem content to tell everyone what Africa is like after visiting Nairobi.

Imagine a team from France calls your church and says they want to visit. They want to put on VBS (which you have done for years), but the material is in French. They have heard about how the U.S. church has struggled and want to help you fix it. They want to send 20 people, half of them youth. Only two of them speak English. They need a place to stay for free, with cheap food and warm showers if possible. During the trip half of the group’s energy will be spent on resolving tension between team members. Two people will get sick. They’d like you to arrange some sightseeing for them on their free day. Do you want them to come?

Most trips I know focus on those who are going, not on those receiving the teams.

Legalist About Legalism

This situation reminds me of that Nietzsche quote, “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster”. Specifically, Barnabas Piper talks about the flipside of being legalists about legalism, that when we call out their legalism, we better take care not to call them out in the very manner about which we’re calling them out in the first place!:

But here’s my question? At what point have we fallen into the trap of becoming legalists about legalism? To declare a sin a sin is not legalistic. But about how we treat the legalists? It seems like we treat them the way we abhor being treated by them in which case we become them. Do we find it easier to point fingers and distance ourselves from them than from an alcoholic or a fornicator? By pointing fingers and reacting so viscerally aren’t we actually doing the very thing of which we accuse them? It is so easy to slip into “Let’s not invite her. She’s so legalistic.”

That Awkward Moment When We Speak the Gospel

Evangelism is counter-cultural. It’s true everywhere on the planet, but perhaps it’s especially so in our increasingly post-Christian Western society. We live in a polite culture, for the most part. Talk about religion? You just don’t go there. Talk about how many tornadoes have come through, and how the team is doing, and how the city has new recycling bins. But Jesus Christ, crucified for sinners and risen from the dead? You just don’t go there. So they say.

For the time being, it seems the greatest threat to gospel-telling in such a society is not that we will be hauled before the city council, beaten, and have our property taken away. What we are really dealing with is some awkwardness.

Awkwardness is perhaps the biggest threat to evangelism for far too many of us.

The Minister’s Treehouse: A 100ft Tall Church Built Over 11 Years without Blueprints

This is cool and all, but the architect in me fears the worst for this structure. (Just kidding, I was a PoliSci major so I don’t know a single thing about the integrity of structures)

Q & A: Marco Rubio on His Faith of Many Colors

A CT interview with Florida Senator Marco Rubio who has emerged as one of the top choices to become Mitt Romney’s running mate.

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