Daily Briefing: July 13, 2017

Posted by    |    July 13th, 2017 at 6:19 am

T O P   N E W S

An American in Paris: Trump in France (WaPo)

“French President Emmanuel Macron told Trump in a June 27 phone call about the event, which this year will feature U.S. and French troops marching through the historic streets near the Arc de Triomphe, fighter jets cutting through the skies above, and flags, horses and military equipment on display — the sort of spectacle that Trump wanted to stage at his own inauguration in January. Trump told Macron he would be there, according to a White House official, and French and U.S. officials rushed to schedule a last-minute trip that will last about 27 hours and include dinner at an opulent restaurant in the Eiffel Tower and a visit to Napoleon Bonaparte’s tomb.”

Nick Note: Kid Rock is considering a run for Senate and we know he would work for more than part of August, but All Summer Long. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell abruptly canceled nearly half of the Senate’s summer vacation, saying he wants to give Congress more time to make progress on President Trump’s agenda. “There are other things that we have to do, and we only have a limited number of days left,” Mr. McConnell said. “We intend to fully utilize the first two weeks in August.” Expect to see a revised version of the healthcare bill today. Some lawmakers on Capitol Hill have begun discussing the possibility of striking a bipartisan compromise if the GOP effort should fail. According to reporting out of the WSJ, more than half a dozen Republican and Democratic senators are looking at ways to stabilize the Affordable Care Act’s embattled marketplaces. The revised bill is expected to include $45 billion more to combat the opioid epidemic, allow people to use funds from their health-savings accounts to pay insurance premiums, and retain the ACA’s two taxes on high-income households. President Trump will be on The 700 Club tonight to press the issue – among other things. Pat Robertson interviewed him yesterday and they released this clip of him stressing that Leader McConnell “has to pull this off.” And finally, speaking of Mr. Trump, his nominee to be F.B.I. director Christopher A. Wray testified at a confirmation hearing on Wednesday. “I will never allow the F.B.I.’s work to be driven by anything other than the facts, the law and the impartial pursuit of justice. Period,” Mr. Wray told senators.But this raises an interesting question today: what drives you? Leader McConnell is driven by progress and Mr. Wray is driven by facts, the law, and the pursuit of justice. In the biblical narrative, we read that we are to do all things for God’s glory. This includes seeking after the welfare of our community, loving our neighbor, pursuing righteousness, being quick to listen, and walking humbly with our God (1 Corinthians 10:31, Jeremiah 29:7, Mark 12:30-31, 2 Timothy 2:22, James 1:19, Micah 6:8). Only God Knows Why Kid Rock is considering a run for Senate, but God has shared with us why we do what we do – his glory, our joy, and others good. 

LifeWay Prepared to Stop Selling The Message Over Eugene Peterson’s LGBT Comments (Christianity Today)

“In an interview published Wednesday, Peterson told Religion News Service columnist Jonathan Merritt that the “debate about lesbians and gays might be over” and that he would perform a same-sex wedding ceremony if he were pastoring today.
“Christians on each side of the debate lamented and celebrated Peterson as one of the most high-profile evangelicals to publicly change his stance, and LifeWay stated that if he indeed supports same-sex marriage, its stores can no longer sell his books.
“LifeWay only carries resources in our stores by authors who hold to the biblical view of marriage,” a spokesperson for LifeWay, a Southern Baptist affiliate, said in a statement to CT.”

Nick Note: Peterson’s interview here is where it all started. In the interview, Peterson’s mind on the issue changed due to his interactions with LGBT individuals. Tim Keller has some very helpful thoughts on this matter: “When I see people discarding their older beliefs that homosexuality is sinful after engaging with loving, wise, gay people, I’m inclined to agree that those earlier views were likely defective. In fact, they must have been essentially a form of bigotry. They could not have been based on theological or ethical principles, or on an understanding of historical biblical teaching. They must have been grounded instead on a stereotype of gay people as worse sinners than others (which is itself a shallow theology of sin). So I say good riddance to bigotry. However, the reality of bigotry cannot itself prove the Bible never forbids homosexuality. We have to look to the text to determine that.”

C U L T U R A L   N E W S

Trampolines: A safe, fun activity for your kids? Just the opposite, doctors say (USA Today)

“The American Academy of Pediatrics goes even further, advising against trampoline use for all children, saying that enclosures and padding may not prevent all injuries and can provide a false sense of security. However, if parents do allow children to use them, the group recommends constant adult supervision, avoiding somersaults and flips and restricting use to a single jumper at a time.
“As trampoline parks grow in popularity, so do trampoline park-related injuries: Emergency room visits for trampoline park-related injuries shot up from 581 in 2010 to 6,932 in 2014, according to a Pediatrics study released last year. That’s more than a ten-fold increase.”

Nick Note: Van Halen says Jump! Kris Kross will make you wanna Jump Jump! But doctors say not so fast (or high for that matter)! I have jumped on many trampolines in my day. Growing up, we had one in our backyard. I flew off it many times and I turned out somewhat ok. However, to project my experience onto everyone would not be right. In the Scriptures, we read about being aware of others. “We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves (Romans 15:1).”

This chatbot can help you argue a parking ticket (Yahoo!)

“In 2015, British entrepreneur—and current Stanford junior Joshua Browder—launched DoNotPay, a site offering consumers free help fighting parking tickets. DoNotPay is a chatbot and, using artificial intelligence, asks its pro-bono clients a series of questions and plugs those answers into a form letter template. Then, a pdf is available to save, email, or print.
“In the two-plus years of operation, Browder estimates the chatbot has beaten 375,000 tickets in the U.K., New York, and Seattle. DoNotPay’s parking ticket success led Browder to an ambitious goal to provide legal help of all kinds – for free – and on Wednesday, DoNotPay is adding about 1,000 consumer categories to its portfolio for all 50 states.”

Nick Note: We all need a Miss Honey for the Miss Trunchbulls of life. Just as this chatbot is arguing for you in court, the Spirit of God is petitioning the Father for you. “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God (Romans 8:26-27).”

LeBron James loves a new pizza chain so much he walked away from a $15 million deal with McDonald’s (QZ)

“James proved his dedication in 2015, when he walked away from a reportedly $14-15 million deal with fast-food giant McDonald’s so that he could remain a part of Blaze’s marketing campaigns. And signs show the chain is gaining steam among consumers. A 2017 Harris Poll of pizza chains most-loved by consumers placed Blaze second only to Papa John’s. Pizza Hut came in third. The company’s growth has also been hot, according to Forbes. Overall, sales for the chain clocked in at around $6 million in 2013. In 2016 that number has risen to $185 million, and the sales target this year is $285 million.”

Nick Note: Meat Loaf would do anything for love and apparently LeBron James is willing to walk away from quite a loaf of money for the pizza he loves. To a certain degree, this reminds me of what was said about Moses: “He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward (Hebrews 11:26).”

Visa Takes War on Cash to Restaurants (WSJ)

Visa has a new offer for small merchants: take thousands of dollars from the card giant to upgrade their payment technology. In return, the businesses must stop accepting cash.
“The company unveiled the initiative on Wednesday as part of a broader effort to steer Americans away from using old-fashioned paper money. Visa says it is planning to give $10,000 apiece to up to 50 restaurants and food vendors to pay for their technology and marketing costs, as long as the businesses pledge to start what Visa executive Jack Forestell calls a “journey to cashless.”

Nick Note: What would you do for a Klondike bar? Would you purchase said Klondike bar with cash or credit? Gallup conducted a poll and found that 24 percent of Americans are currently making all or most of their purchases with cash, 36 percent said they were doing this five years ago. 53 percent say they currently make only some or none of their purchases with cash, versus 43 percent saying this about their spending of five years ago. In the biblical narrative, we read about many incentives. David worked seven years for Laban (Genesis 29:20). Judas took thirty pieces of silver (Matthew 26:15). Paul gave up everything in order to truly gain everything (Philippians 3:8).

N E W S   Y O U   C A N   U S E

Do you live in the world’s laziest country? (BBC)

“US scientists have amassed “planetary-scale” data from people’s smartphones to see how active we really are. The Stanford University analysis of 68 million days’ worth of minute-by-minute data showed the average number of daily steps was 4,961. Hong Kong was top averaging 6,880 a day, while Indonesia was bottom of the rankings with just 3,513.
“Most smartphones have a built-in accelerometer that can record steps and the researchers used anonymous data from more than 700,000 people who used the Argus activity monitoring app.”

Nick Note: Are you like Otis Redding – Sitting on the Dock of the Bay? Well the writer of Proverbs gives us this harsh word: “How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep (Proverbs 6:9)?” 

An Italian magazine just elected this as the worst 20 seconds of football ever played

Nick Note: Watch it here. Apparently the magazine has not seen my one soccer match. Picture this: the crowd has gathered at the local YMCA in Cookeville, Tennessee to see the young sensation Nick Pitts take the pitch for his first match. As the players take their positions, the ref blows the whistle, and I run off the field crying. Why you ask? I have no clue but I am sure the Lord does (Deuteronomy 29:29).

Police Officer Sings ‘You Are My Sunshine’ To Elderly Woman After Fixing Her Microwave

Nick Note: Watch it here. He keeps the peace, fixes microwaves, and sings classic tunes. What does he not do? Are you using all your gifts or burying some in the ground (Matthew 25:14-30)?

Kevin Durant was not amused after Peyton Manning called him out at the ESPYS

Nick Note: Watch it here. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all… unless it is funny. (Luke 6:31)

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