Media Journal (February 25)

What is the Genius annotator? [Politico]

Studies of conversation both in the laboratory and in natural settings show that when two people are talking, the mere presence of a phone on a table between them or in the periphery of their vision changes both what they talk about and the degree of connection they feel. People keep the conversation on topics where they won’t mind being interrupted. They don’t feel as invested in each other. Even a silent phone disconnects us. [NYT]

Media Journal (February 23)

Hillary, Bernie, Donald and Me. And it’s probably not what you think. [Desiring God]

One glimpse of the structural unfairness in America is this: A dumb rich kid is now more likely to graduate from college than a smart poor kid, according to Robert Putnam of Harvard University. [NYT]

Because you don’t want her to hear it from someone else first. If we leave the soil of our daughters’ self-worth unwatered by our unconditional admiration, we send them into a world happy to satisfy that parched ground with conditional praise. [TGC]

On Enduring Until the Very End

I think about enduring in faith in Jesus until the very end of my days (whenever that might be) quite often. My friend Josh always reminds me that only two or three of us out of 10 men will be left standing strong in faith until death. That’s a sobering thing and a staggering reminder of how much life I’ve yet to live.

John Piper wrote about this a little bit today and I was crushed by it. By the thought of the long (and also short) road until the end of life. By the thought of not retiring. By the though of seeing Kate in real retirement.

Not everyone gets the privilege. Some die young. Some must bear the burden of immobilizing pain. But millions of you are free. If you do not dream a joyful dream of productive service for Christ in your seventies, what will you say to the Savior? Your only excuse will be that you listened to the voice of this age rather than to God’s. It will not be a good excuse.

I’m hopeful for the privilege and hopeful that when I land in it that I’ve already laid a solid foundation upon which to work and build deep into my decades on earth.

Two Great Quotes From The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

I enjoyed the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. It was good not great. But there were two really great quotes. Both of which relate to blogging.

The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.

That’s pretty much what great blogging is. Taking what people don’t observe and shining a light on it.

And also, a thing is interesting because of thinking about it and not because of being new.

This is what all journalism is. There’s nothing new under the sun. Only a billion different ways of looking at it.

On Not Understanding Suffering

This is from a book Jen is reading on suffering and the Lord’s presence within that. It’s an excerpt from a book by Corrie Ten Boom when she asks her father to bequeath some information upon her he clearly does not want to disclose …

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Why Did God Allow This to Happen?

The “this” part doesn’t much matter. For us, it’s a stillborn child. For others, something else. And there are not easy answers. Or they aren’t as easy and as simple as I want them to be. But I am drawn to Piper’s words after he had a stillborn granddaughter.

This seems so preventable. By God and by man. Yes. So easy. But neither man nor God prevented this. Man, because he did not know it was happening. God, because he has his wise and loving reasons that we wait to learn with tears and trust.

And these words in Ephesians.

“In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:11)

The counsel of his will. 

A thing I will never understand, nor should I be able to. I didn’t want my daughter to die, but I know that God is for his own glory more than he is for my own plans. He has received a lot of glory because of her death, and though that’s a deep angst in my heart, I do understand it. And I am for it too.