Weekend Reading: December 4, 2015

Welcome to the weekend! After some time off last week, its good to be back working again and enjoying some crisp winter air!

First things first, I would like to invite you to click here and download a free advent devotional that I co-wrote a few years ago. Each year we make small updates or edits, and even though we’re a few days into the advent calendar, I hope you’ll find this small book encouraging. It’s really geared for families – for parents to read to their children – but I hope many people will profit from it!

A few weeks ago my brother sent along this interesting story about how Bedouin tribes have been stopping ISIS in the northern Sinai desert. It’s a fascinating microcosm of a larger war going on right now across the globe…and it reminds me of what this man did a century ago…

This headline startled me a bit: ‘TSA Investigation Finds 73 Workers on U.S.’s Terrorist Watchlist’ (h/t my Katie)

To the Presidential…Donald Trump getting skewered by the rest of the field for being, well, himself.  But apparently its not enough for a large portion of the GOP base to care – new polling here.

Mildly interesting story here on paintings, AMEX points, and rich people using one to obtain the other that you might enjoy (I did).

Also I got this sent to me from a liberal blogger – and its actually pretty interesting. It’s a YouTube video of the territorial history of the US.

Couple of big legislative actions in the last few weeks. First, the NSA is shutting down its phone records collection program (allegedly),  second, the Senate actually finally passed a bill repealing Obamacare. It will move back to the House before being sent to Obama for what is sure to be a veto. Good that Republicans in the Senate finally got their counterparts on the other side of the aisle to go on records as supporting the disastrous healthcare monstrosity.

The Wall Street Journal had a good discussion about the motives behind the San Bernardino terrorist attack.  First graph might be the best, “The killers in San Bernardino hadn’t even been identified Wednesday before President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and the rest of Progressive America had blamed the murders on the lack of ‘common-sense gun safety laws.’ The motives of the shooters apparently didn’t matter.”

Perhaps you’ve heard about the giant “donation” that Facebook founder Mark Z. was going to make – apparently inspired by the birth of his daughter…or was he?  Two different articles here to consider. One from the Wall Street Journal on how he’s going about this, and why its different than all other philanthropic endeavors in the past, and a second article from the Daily Mail attacking Zuckerberg for being a massive hypocrite (leading a tax-evading corporation that doesn’t pay its fair share, then taking the moral high ground trying to make the world a better place).  Thought provoking stuff…

Speaking of hypocritical CEOs, here’s a follow up piece (that is WAY too long) on that CEO who decided to pay all his employees a minimum wage of $70k per year. I read about this guy a few months ago, and now that there’s been some follow up I thought it would be interesting to learn more about it.

It seems like the closer we get to the Star Wars Episode VII debut, the more I stumble on stuff like this: The Anatomy of an R2-D2 Astromech Droid.  Pretty fascinating for you engineers out there.  And this has nothing to do with Star Wars, but seems like it should…Amazon is at it again…

And – did anyone else see this??? – NYT had a flight patterns chart (I think Challies posted this) that was super cool over the Thanksgiving holiday. What I noticed was that there were a ton of people going to FL, and many more leaving the big cities and heading for the heartland.

Now to some encouraging items – first, the folks at ‘Read Scripture’ have posted another video, this one is on Psalms (I’m a little late to the game on this, thanks to Derek S. for bringing it to my attention).

And thanks to Matt P. for sending along this great blog post by Francis Chan called ‘The Greatest Thing You Could Do Today’ – Good Summary quote, “There is no substitute for being alone with God. If you don’t have time, you need to quit something to make room. Skip a meal. Cancel a meeting. End some regular commitment. There is literally nothing more important you could do today.”

I also enjoyed another DG post, this one by Chad Ashby called ‘A Joyful Cog in His Giant Plan’. What really struck me was the patience of God. I am bad at waiting – I am a doer. If something isn’t getting done, it ought to be….RIGHT NOW.  If there’s free time, then its time that we could be doing something. All well and good, but it has a tendency to drive me toward impatience with others not as, errr, “motivated”…

There as a fantastic little piece over at Ligonier this week on John 3:16.  What does it say…and what does it NOT say? Find out here. 

Great post that every guy should read from Tim Challies called, ‘A Simple, but Life Changing Realization’ 

Lastly, speaking of Challies, he posted one of the Valley of Vision Prayers before Thanksgiving, and it’s really really good.  If you don’t have that book, buy it here. If you want to check out the post, you can do that here. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with the prayer in its entirety for your edification:

O My God,
You fairest, greatest, first of all objects,
My heart admires, adores, loves You,
For my little vessel is as full as it can be,
And I would pour out all that fullness before You in ceaseless flow.
When I think upon and converse with You
Ten thousand delightful thoughts spring up,
Ten thousand sources of pleasure are unsealed,
Ten thousand refreshing joys spread over my heart,
Crowding into every moment of happiness.
I bless You for the soul You have created,
For adorning it, for sanctifying it,
Though it is fixed in barren soil;
For the body You have given me,
For preserving its strength and vigor,
For providing senses to enjoy delights,
For the ease and freedom of limbs,
For hands, eyes, ears that do Your bidding;
For Your royal bounty providing my daily support,
For a full table and overflowing cup,
For appetite, taste, sweetness,
For social joys of relatives and friends,
For ability to serve others,
For a heart that feels sorrows and necessities,
For a mind to care for my fellow-men,
For opportunities of spreading happiness around,
For loved ones in the joys of heaven,
For my own expectation of seeing You clearly.
I love You above the powers of language to express,
For what You are to Your creatures.
Increase my love, O my God, through time and eternity.





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