Daily Briefing: June 14, 2017

Posted by    |    June 14th, 2017 at 5:33 am

T O P   N E W S

London high-rise fire like ‘horror movie,’ leaving many dead and dozens injured (WaPo)

“A number of people were killed, at least 50 injured and many others missing on Wednesday as a fire ripped through a high-rise apartment building in west London where residents had long warned of the potential risk of a catastrophic blaze.
“A thick plume of smoke could be seen for miles around, while witnesses reported people jumping from open windows near the top of the 24-story building after being trapped by the advancing flames. The fire, which was believed to have begun on one of the lower floors of the 120-unit, public-housing building, was still burning as of 10 a.m. in London, some nine hours after it began.”

Nick Note: Here is video of the flames from early this morning. Would you consider praying for the situation? Protection for the first-responders, healing for the victims, strength for the families, and courage for the church in London to be the church in these coming days (2 Corinthians 1:2-4, 9:8, 2 Timothy 1:7)?

Jeff Sessions Denies Collusion, Deploring ‘Detestable Lie’ in Senate Testimony (NY Times)

“Attorney General Jeff Sessions offered an indignant defense on Tuesday against what he called “an appalling and detestable lie” that he may have colluded with the Russian effort to interfere in the 2016 election, but he declined during an often contentious Senate hearing to answer central questions about his or President Trump’s conduct.
“He insisted repeatedly that discussing his private conversations with the president, however relevant they might be, would be “inappropriate,” visibly frustrating senators who have been conducting one of several inquiries into Russia’s election meddling.
“I recused myself from any investigation into the campaign for president,” he told the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, in what was the latest highly charged congressional hearing of the Trump age. “I did not recuse myself from defending my honor against scurrilous and false allegations.”

Nick Note: Here are five takeaways from the Sessions hearing. But perhaps one of galvanizing moments of the hearting concerned Senator Kamala Harris. During her questions, she was interrupted a few times. Watch it here. Some coined those interruptions as “manterruptions.” This might be a made up word, but I am not making this up: Happy 71st birthday, Mr. President. Mr. Trump is feeling pretty generous, especially regarding the health care bill. The President directed Senate Republicans to pass a generous health care bill at a meeting with more than a dozen GOP senators yesterday, arguing that the austere House health care bill is difficult to defend. He went so far as to call the House bill “mean.” But what is not mean is the continuation of Workforce Development Week. In light of the week, Mr. Trump will issue a directive today intended to boost apprenticeships by expanding industry-certified programs, according to people familiar with the matter. The order is designed to streamline apprenticeship training to give more certification responsibility to businesses rather than relying on the Department of Labor. Apprenticeship provides an outside the classroom learning experience, giving students an intimate look at the job and the joys and struggles within it. In the biblical narrative, we read that Paul had a type of apprentice in Timothy. A young Timothy saw Paul “struggle” in prayer (Romans 15:30), but also heard him breakout in praise because of the majestic goodness of God (Romans 11:33-36). Today, seeing as how it is Mr. Trump’s birthday, would you pray for him (1 Timothy 2:1-2)? Pray that God would give him wisdom and discernment like Solomon, strength like David, a heart like Hezekiah, advisors to hold him up like Moses, and a humble bravery like Daniel?

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick to Take Leave of Absence (WSJ)

“Mr. Kalanick said in an email to Uber’s 12,000 employees Tuesday that he would shift his responsibilities to 14 direct reports while he is away, stepping in only for major strategic decisions. The move by the 40-year-old co-founder creates another void in Uber’s already thinning executive ranks. “If we are going to work on Uber 2.0, I also need to work on Travis 2.0 to become the leader that this company needs and that you deserve,” Mr. Kalanick wrote.
“His message came just as Uber announced partial results of a nearly four-month investigation into its culture by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s law firm.”

Nick Note: Here is the Holder Report. And in other news, board member David Bonderman has resigned from the board of Uber yesterday after uttering a sexist comment during a meeting intended to address rampant internal gender discrimination. Will Uber survive without Kalanick at the helm? Is the true measure of a leader revealed when they are present or discovered in their absence? In the Scriptures, we are repeatedly reminded that anyone – outside of Jesus – can be replaced. “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out (Luke 19:40).”

C U L T U R A L   N E W S

Do You Still Need the Parents’ Blessing Before Your Marriage Proposal? (WSJ)

“Mr. Knowles says he was surprised to be asked for his permission. “I didn’t think people did that nowadays,” says Mr. Knowles, of Greenville, S.C. “Some people would look on it as an archaic and outdated tradition, but I thought it was nice,” partly because it motivates suitors to get to know the bride’s family well, he says. He and Mr. Cox had just finished installing the swing and sat down to relax when Mr. Cox popped the question.
“Some 77% of suitors ask parents’ permission to wed their daughters,according to a 2015 internet poll of 12,000 brides and 1,200 grooms by The Knot, an online marketplace for wedding products and services. Some gay and lesbian couples are embracing the tradition too, with more than 40% asking parents’ OK, according to another survey by The Knot.”

Nick Note: Going To The Chapel and Going to Get Married? Did you ask for the blessing or just listen to The Dixie Cups song before you went over and popped the question? The Bible is unclear about the specific protocol for proposing, but we do get a glimpse of the respect and honor young men give to their future in-laws. A primary example of this is Jacob in Genesis 29. I think one of my favorite verses in the Scriptures in Genesis 29:20.

The Teenage Spiritual Crisis (WSJ)

“While teens doubt, they aren’t ready to give up on the idea of God and the importance of religion. A significant majority—84% of 13- to 17-year-olds believe in God, according to a National Study of Youth and Religion, a longitudinal survey of more than 3,000 teens conducted in 2002 and led by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and University of Notre Dame. Three years later, belief among the same teens, then 16- to 21-years-old, slipped to 78%.
“Teens often see God as a cosmic therapist, solving problems and generally making people happier, but distant, says sociologist Patricia Snell Herzog, who worked on the study. A large majority believe religion is important, but many become less actively involved as they age through adolescence. “Religion is just there in the background,” says Dr. Herzog. “We describe it as the furniture of their life.””

Nick Note: Americans are five times less likely to pray now as compared to the early 1980’s, and twice as many said they do not believe in God. By 2014, American adults were less likely to pray, believe in God, identify as religious, attend religious services, or believe the Bible was the word of God than they were in previous decades. Since 2004, fifty percent more Americans say they never pray (fifteen percent in 2014, up from ten percent). Among millennials, nearly twice as many said they never prayed in 2014 (twenty-four percent) compared to 2004 (thirteen percent). Julian Barnes perfectly captures the sentiment of our current time in his work Nothing to Be Frightened Of: “I don’t believe in God, but I miss him.” Some of us are prodigal children, but all of us have a perfectly patient Father (Luke 15:11-32).

Why You Should Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time (BBC)

“A workplace study found an average working professional experiences 87 interruptions per day, making it difficult to remain productive and focused for a full day.
“Surprisingly, the top 10% of employees with the highest productivity didn’t put in longer hours than anyone else – often they didn’t even work eight-hour days.Instead, the key to their productivity was that for every 52 minutes of focused work, they took a 17-minute break.”

Nick Note: Are you so excited, that you just can’t hide it? I know I am. Like Whitney Houston, I Wanna Dance With Somebody – even at this early hour. Though I desire to dance (or rather attempt to dance), I have to channel my energy to finish the Daily Briefing. In order to do this, it is imperative that I take captive any errant thought (2 Corinthians 10:5), work heartily (Colossians 3:23), and put into practice that which is good and right (Philippians 4:8-9). In this instance, that is finishing the DB. What does that look like for you today?

N E W S   Y O U   C A N   U S E

UPS worker caught taking selfies with 3 cute doggos

Nick Note: Watch it here. And remember: someone is always watching you. “The eyes of the LORD are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good (Proverbs 15:3).”

Poway couple pleads guilty to hoarding 170 Yorkies in their home

Nick Note: We still don’t know Who Let The Dogs Out, but at least we know where they went. In all seriousness, Jesus warns us about building up storehouses for ourselves here on earth, not stewarding his resources well (Matthew 6:19-20). “The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:6-7).”

Fleetwood Mac Joins Jimmy Fallon, Covers Hit Song “Don’t Stop” With Toy Instrument Band.

Nick Note: Watch it here. They are right – don’t stop believing. But even if you do stop believing, God won’t stop pursing after you. “If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself (2 Timothy 2:13).”

Your jaw is going to hit the floor the second he starts singing (America’s Got Talent)

Nick Note: Watch it here. I like to think of myself as skeptical, very hesitant to believe this type of hype. But this video lives up to the hype. “A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before the great (Proverbs 18:16).”

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