Tuesday, April 30, 2019

2 things have made price matching very consumer-friendly

1. Store's providing WiFi for customers facilitates their customers saving money off their own prices.

2. Competitor apps that can scan UPC bar codes on the physical products in the store make it super easy to find a competitor price on exactly the same product. Even better is one can choose between the competitor's online price and in-store price for the most savings.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Our land of intelligence

No one in our land of intelligence is excusable for growing up under the dark shades of ignorance. The sun of science has risen, and all who will, may bask in its genial rays. The field of knowledge and path to glory are open to all. The means of acquiring information are far superior to those enjoyed by Sherman and Franklin. Let their bright and shining examples be imitated by Columbia’s sons, and our happy republic will live for centuries.

Let ignorance, corruption, and fanaticism predominate, and the fair fabric of our freedom, reared by the valour, and cemented by the blood of the revolutionary patriots, will tremble, totter, and fall. Chaos will mount the car of discord, sound the dread clarion of death, and LIBERTY will expire amidst the smoking ruins of her own citadel.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

What a small slender thread life is

If we would only drop all the needless things and simply do the things that absolutely touch and require our attention from morning till night, we would find what a small slender thread life was; but we string upon it a thousand imaginary beads that never come, and burden ourselves with cares and flurries that if we had trusted more, would never have needed to preoccupy our attention.

Wise indeed was the testimony of the dear old saint who said, in review of her past life, “I have had a great many troubles in my life, especially those that never came.”
Simpson, A. B. (Albert B.). Days of Heaven Upon Earth (p. 81—March 21). Kindle Edition.

Friday, April 26, 2019

300 Days

Daily commitments are hard. I recommend not making too many of them. I'm 30% of the way toward my goal of 1,000 days of writing every day.

I have a brother who married 11 years ago today on April 26, 2008. I remember traveling to Chicago for that.

My maternal grandparents were married April 26, 1941. They were married for 72 years. This year would have been 78.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Food Budgeting

In terms of spending on food, I've long thought of there being a natural and obvious division between eating out and buying groceries.

Now I'm beginning to wonder if there shouldn't be a third in-between category of snack food. That wasn't not as obvious, clear, or natural (no organic pun intended). Some snack foods either straddle a line between the two or inhabit a gray area.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Supplying spiritual destitution

From the inaugural issue of The Sword and the Trowel:
London needs to have its spiritual destitution supplied. We must all give a stone towards erecting new places of worship. By the united help of friends far and near, could we not build four new places in the year 1865. The country needs help; let us aid in forming Churches where there are none. The field of work is boundless; there is no need to pause for spheres of labor.

But a voice says, “Begin at home.” I agree with the suggestion, and will proceed to carry it out. The penny post is a great tax on our time, but now and then we get a letter worth the reading; here is one addressed to us by one of the elders of our Church; it will do all pastors good to read it, and will be of no small service to Church members also.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Software is given to extremes

The fall from grace by social media was baked in from the start. Social media is and is based on software, and software is given to extremes.

Extremes are found at opposite ends of a spectrum, and software, by its nature, only sees one extreme or it's opposite. Everything is binary. It's either on or off. One or zero.

Monday, April 22, 2019

A Question for Islam followers

Follows of Islam are usually ready to acknowledge Jesus was a prophet.

This is problematic for them, and there's one question that drives straight to the heart of the issue: Would a prophet claim to be God?

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Minimal Facts

Is Jesus alive today? Yes!

Gary Habermas noted we can base this on the Scriptures texts that critical scholars accept.

The argument is very basic and has two parts.

1. Did people see Jesus die?

2. Did they see him alive afterwards?

The answer to both of those questions is yes.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Not Missing Civilization

From Warren Wiersbe’s commentary on John 12:
I read about some Christians who visited a remote mission station to see how the ministry was going. As they watched the dedicated missionary team at work, they were impressed with their ministry, but admitted that they missed “civilization.”

“You certainly have buried yourself out here!” one of the visitors exclaimed.

“We haven't buried ourselves,” the missionary replied. “We were planted!”

Friday, April 19, 2019

Jesus claimed to be God

It has become popular for some in our day to say that “Jesus never claimed to be God.” The Scriptures say otherwise.

Jesus claiming to be God is largely what got him killed, and so it is a timely question for Good Friday.

What follows are some Scriptures which speak directly to Jesus' claims to deity.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

High Priest Confrontation Comparison

Jesus struck before the high priest (John 18:19-23):
The high priest then asked Jesus about His disciples and His doctrine.

Jesus answered him, “I spoke openly to the world. I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where the Jews always meet, and in secret I have said nothing. Why do you ask Me? Ask those who have heard Me what I said to them. Indeed they know what I said.

And when He had said these things, one of the officers who stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, “Do You answer the high priest like that?

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Justice Ginsburg's reason for success in law school

Justice Ginsburg in her own words, emphasis added:
Advice from my father-in-law has also served me well. He gave it during my gap years, 1954–56, when husband Marty was fulfilling his obligation to the Army as an artillery officer at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. By the end of 1954, my pregnancy was confirmed. We looked forward to becoming three in July 1955, but I worried about starting law school the next year with an infant to care for.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

A Record of Combat

Charles Spurgeon published a monthly magazine called The Sword and The Trowel. It was subtitled, “A Record of Combat with Sin & Labor for the Lord.”

The “Combat with Sin” part gripped me today. Reminded me of Romans 8:13 and 13:14.

Monday, April 15, 2019

The Church is not a building

For those to whom Notre Dame was more than a landmark, the building being engulfed in flames is assuredly not what they expected for the beginning of Holy Week. And yet the singing of praises by people as they looked on the building still in flames reflects a deeper understanding by people of France.

19Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone,21in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:19-22)

We, believers, the Body of Christ, are the building. The physical building is just where we meet.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Foretaste of Heaven

This word glory is very difficult to translate, define and explain; but there is something in the spiritual consciousness of the quickened Christian that interprets it.

It is the overflow of grace; it is the wine of life; it is the foretaste of heaven; it is a flash from the Throne and an inspiration from the heart of God which we may have and in which we may live.

“The glory which Thou hast given Me I have given them,” the Master prayed for us. Let us take it and live in it.
Simpson, A. B. (Albert B.). Days of Heaven Upon Earth (p. 76—March 16). Kindle Edition.

Friday, April 12, 2019

4th to the Moon

Israel is “the seventh country to orbit the moon and the fourth to reach the moon's surface.”

Israel's Beresheet Lunar Lander Lost
The Beresheet lunar lander, operated by the Israeli non-profit SpaceIL, crashed into the surface of the moon this afternoon while attempting to land.
About 30 minutes after the start of SpaceIL's livestream, Beresheet began it's landing procedure 25 km above the surface, the lander descended at a rate of about 24 m/s and everything seemed to be going according to plan.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

The Original Context of Understanding the Times

A phrase that has risen in favor in recent decades is to “understand the times.” It, or a form thereof, has become part of several book titles. My first introduction to it came from Summit Ministries in Colorado. David Noebel named his book Understanding the Times. The phrase comes from 1 Chronicles 12:32: “of the sons of Issachar who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do, their chiefs were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their command.” Another book also taking its name from this verse is Sons of Issachar for the 21st Century.

At one level, the phrase stands on its own in this verse. If you back up and take a look at the larger context, it can seem like a nugget tucked into a lengthy “list passage,” much like the prayer of Jabez (also good book material) appears in the middle of a multi-chapter genealogy. This nugget, though, is different, and its context is informative, disguised though its usefulness it may be.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Understanding Stress

Some years ago, I met a psychology professor from Oxford who told me that most people misunderstand what stress is. We typically think that it is having a lot to do. He thinks that’s wrong.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

3 languages of politics, and what each misses

Arnold Kling, author of The Three Languages of Politics, suggests that each of the three major American political persuasions filters the world through a particular lens:

Progressives see the world as a battle between victims and oppressors;

Conservatives see the world as a battle between civilization and barbarism;

Libertarians see the world as a battle between freedom and coercion.

Each group interprets events differently and comes to different conclusions in no small part because it starts from a different guiding premise.

Russ Roberts of the Hoover Institution, following Kling, shows what each group misses.

Monday, April 8, 2019

4 core truths about human nature and government

We’re flawed—and naturally inclined to fight.

Those who wield government power shouldn’t be trusted to resolve many fights or to declare many winners and losers.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

The Smallest Screw and Rivet

In the great factory and machine there is a place for the smallest screw and rivet as well as the great driving wheel and piston, and so God has His little screws whose business is simply to stay where He puts them and to believe that He wants them there and is making the most of their lives in the little spaces that they fill for Him.
Simpson, A. B. (Albert B.). Days of Heaven Upon Earth (p. 69—March 9). Kindle Edition.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Monday morning and Friday evening questions

Senator Sasse shares a poignant story from his political rival:
My colleague Chuck Schumer, with whom I wrestle on just about everything in our day jobs, puts this idea beautifully in the dozens of commencement speeches he gives each spring. He tells graduates entering the work world that, while their new diplomas are lovely, their happiness will depend largely on whether they can answer what he calls the “Monday morning and Friday evening questions”:

Thursday, April 4, 2019

How automation will affect jobs

Only a small fraction—perhaps one in twenty—job categories will be entirely eliminated in the next decade. Rather, the major action will take place at the level of the many individual tasks that make up any given job.

McKinsey suggests that most jobs (probably about 60 percent) have about 30 percent of their activities that could be automated. In other words, only a small number of today’s jobs will simply vanish. But most jobs will begin to look significantly different. It is more accurate, then, to speak not simply of jobs lost and gained, but also—and primarily—of jobs remade.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

The Number One Job in America

“Driver” is the number one job in America. And it is currently the number one job in thirty-seven of the fifty states. People serve their neighbors as UPS deliverers, cabbies, big-rig operators, school bus drivers, pizza delivery guys, and on and on.
Source: Them by Senator Ben Sasse

If you think about it, this makes a lot of sense. In an economy, ultimately everyone is moving something around. Some argue that the first form of this moving is transformation (like turning a tree into a rocking chair or paper).

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

4 Drivers of Happiness

Social scientists have identified four primary drivers of human happiness, which we can put in the form of four questions:

Do you have family you love, and who love you?

Do you have friends you trust and confide in?

Monday, April 1, 2019

The Rarest of Human Gifts

Mark Twain once wrote, “the happy phrasing of a compliment is one of the rarest of human gifts, and the happy delivery of it another.”

If one were to inquire into one's ability by age to deliver a complement, the proportions decrease in tandem. Also difficult for youth is an accurate assessment of age. (Differences in age are an increasingly large proportion of one's age the younger one is.) I was no exception to either of these trends.

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