Archive for August, 2010

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Reflection for Vetting the Truth

August 26, 2010

My dad leaned over to me, pointed to the sand hills above our house and said, “Those were made by Sidehill Gougers. They’re everywhere around here”. He explained that these dog-like creatures ran up the side of hills for fun, churning their little legs and causing rivulets of dust. He told me this is what made all the little grooves in the side of the hills. I believed him completely. I even told my third grade class about this, at which point I was soundly laughed at by those 8-year old cretins.

My teacher calmly explained that the “gouges” in the hills were caused by run-off water from the winter’s snow. She informed me there were no such things as Sidehill Gougers and my dad was pulling my leg. When he got home, Read the rest of this entry ?

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Deeper Memories, Lasting Results

August 23, 2010

Here’s another concept from Nicholas Carr’s “The Shallows”, a book which shows how information technology is changing our brains. Over several chapters, Carr painstakingly recounts studies that compare short-term to long-term memory. The first conclusion he draws is that we do not memorize any more. The Internet, as a repository of facts, has inclined us to stop remembering things we can easily look up. He clearly proves that people retain much more information in short-term memory than in the past. Short-term memory lasts for about an hour before it has to be renewed.

The second conclusion is intriguing. When a person does commit something to memory, it is the act of memorizing that causes our brains to consider deeper connections Read the rest of this entry ?

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Reflection Leads to Better Decisions

August 18, 2010

We are told in the Bible that Jesus of Nazareth spent all night alone, deciding which of his followers would be the co-leaders in his movement. He chose 12 men, and some would say he chose very poorly. One of his choices betrayed him in the end. Most of the rest ran away when he was arrested. Two of his followers were political revolutionaries and one was a lackey/informant for the military police of the day.

But he himself makes clear that he chose these 12, all the while knowing their weaknesses. What I note is he spent all night making the decision. He spent all  night ALONE making the decision. He reflected on the personal qualities of all his closest disciples, on the voice of God, on the needs of the movement. During this deep reflection, he did not use a “Lifeline” to call a friend or poll the audience. He used a technique called Read the rest of this entry ?

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Redux My Personal Response to the Walmart Church

August 18, 2010

3. There isn’t anything we can do to change this: I admit, this will come down hard on most of us who are upset about the emergence of the Megachurch as the primary mover and shaker of the Church in North America. But once again, Walmart is our standard here. If you are a believer in Freemarket Economics, is Walmart doing anything wrong? Well, there are those of us who believe that they hold to unfair business practices, but they are not really doing anything more different than retail stores have tried to do for decades. The difference Read the rest of this entry ?

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Redux Part 2 on Walmartization of the Church

August 18, 2010

2. The Cost is Really Hidden: As I mentioned in the comments on the last posting, WM does pass on low prices to consumers. But what it gives with one hand, it takes away with the other. In the case of wages, WM barely pays minimum wage in many places to its employees. The benefits they had a decade ago are almost all gone now. According to a number of studies, 40% of their employees Read the rest of this entry ?

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Redux on Walmartization of the Church

August 18, 2010

Recently, David Wells published a book called “The Courage to Be Protestant”. In that book, he makes several comparisons of today’s megachurch with Wal-Mart. Some readers of this blog may not have been reading back when I published a series of articles on this subject; so I thought I would repost for new readers. These three articles encompass what I believe is a warning to the church at large and the megachurch in particular.

Part of my concern recently is the pattern identified where megachurch pastors are resigning Read the rest of this entry ?

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