Daily Briefing: August 11, 2017

Posted by    |    August 11th, 2017 at 6:02 am

T O P   N E W S

8. Trump Warning on North Korea: ‘Better Get Their Act Together’ (WSJ)

“They’ve been doing this to our country for a long time, for many years, and it’s about time that somebody stuck up for the people of this country and for the people of other countries,” Mr. Trump said at his New Jersey golf course, referring to North Korea’s threats. “So, if anything, maybe that statement wasn’t tough enough.”
“Asked what statement would be tougher, Mr. Trump said: “Well, you’ll see. You’ll see.”
“The president’s comments escalated an exchange of threats between the U.S. and North Korea that have rattled markets and unnerved world leaders concerned about a nuclear-armed confrontation. U.S. stocks fell by nearly 1% on Thursday, for a third straight session.”

Nick Note: The Drudge Report is sporting a new black and white look for these precarious times. Read about it here. USA Today provided a list of ways that President Trump can move forward without going to war with North Korea. The NY Times provided an interactive map concerning what North Korea can reach with their missiles. And here are some fascinating photos from the life of North Korea’s elites. The situation is on edge overseas and it is unsettling here stateside. President Trump amplified his criticism of the Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell by raising the possibility that Mr. McConnell should relinquish his position if he cannot deliver on top legislative priorities. Watch his remarks here. Martin Luther King once said, “A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.” As evidence both overseas and back at home, divisions abound. Would you commit to praying for President Trump and his team over the weekend? I will be praying that Mr. Trump has the wisdom of Solomon (1 Kings 3), the strength of Samson (Judges 16), the favor of David (2 Samuel 5), and the bold vision of Moses (Exodus 32-34).

7. Hypepriests: The Grail-Wearing Pastors Who Dress Like Justin Bieber (GQ)

“Lentz runs Hillsong, the “cool church” made famous by its famous millennial parishioners including Bieber, Lucky Blue Smith, the Jenner sisters, Hailey Baldwin, and more. When Bieber tagged along with the crew earlier this month at the church’s annual conference in Australia, and as he appeared with Lentz at various clubs, stores, and restaurants over the past weeks, it was nearly impossible not to notice something: if Bieber is taking increasing guidance from his spiritual leaders, he’s taking sartorial lessons from them, too. Or they’re learning from your boy Biebs.
“Either way, Justin Bieber and his pastors are dressing identically. They are having a ball glorying in god…It appears as if the hipster pastor has evolved.It’s no longer enough to no-comment gay marriage while wearing a biker jacket. Instead, you need to do it while wearing skater socks. Aggressive glasses.”

Nick Note: Here is a video inside of Hillsong New York. This fascinating article reminded me of the book Jim and Casper Go to Church. Nevertheless, should the pastor forsake coolness for the sake of faithfulness? Or is this a false dichotomy? In the Scriptures, we read in Exodus 28 the careful instructions the Lord gave Moses concerning the priestly garb. But we also read repeatedly about the importance for the shepherd of the flock to guard his teaching closely (1 Timothy 4:16).

C U L T U R A L   N E W S

6. More college students are working while studying (CNBC)

“A new study from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce finds that, over the past 25 years, more than 70 percent of college students have worked while attending school. And the number of working students has grown as college enrollment and tuition have increased.
“One reason for the increase is the changing demographics of those enrolling in college. Students over the age of 25 accounted for more than 40 percent of college enrollment growth from 2000 to 2011, according to an analysis of National Center for Education Statistics data.”

Nick Note: The average Class of 2016 graduate has $37,172 in student loan. 91 percent of school-aged students attend public school. In the 1890s, less than 10 percent of children 14-17 did. Higher education is a privilege and it is also a time of illumination – both inside and outside the classroom. In the biblical narrative, some stopped in order to get an education (Galatians 1:17) while others learned on the job (1 Kings 19). No word on whether anyone whistled while they worked

5. A New Way to Tell Your Airline You Hate It (Bloomberg)

“Today, most airlines offer one-way texting, happy to inform you of a gate change or flight delay via your mobile. But don’t respond to these hoping to vent your frustration—you can’t. That means there’s still the likelihood of a lengthy phone call, interminable airport queue or online chat with what may or may not be a computer-generated android.
“A text-session, on the other hand, is conducted free of time constraints, over hours or even days. Changing a flight via text might even become a task to occupy your boring morning meeting…Hawaiian announced Thursday that two-way texting will become a permanent customer communication channel.”

Nick Note: Stevie Wonder may have called to say he loves you but airline passengers just texted to say they hate you. Is this a good thing? Customer satisfaction may go up but does this reinforce conflict avoidant behavior (see this article on Lena Dunham for an example)? (Matthew 18:15-20)

4. Can your Instagram photos reveal if you’re depressed? (USA Today)

“The study from professors at Harvard University and the University of Vermont appearing in the journal EPJ Data Science found visual cues within Instagram posts can help determine whether a user is suffering from depression. Results showed depressed individuals tended to feature photos that were “bluer, darker or grayer.”
“The study said users “had an outsized preference for filtering out all color from posted photos, and showed an aversion to artificially lightening photos, compared to non-depressed controls.”
“Also, depressed participants were more likely to post images with faces, but the average number of faces per photo was lower than non-depressed people.This may be an indication of smaller social interactions, the study said.”

Nick Note: A picture is worth a thousand words and those words can reveal quite a bit. Instagram, a social media app that displays you and your friends’ pictures, apparently reveals your sorrow while also displaying your friends’ joy. Previous research indicates that Instagram is the most harmful social media app relative to your mental health. Jean Twenge’s concluded in her research that teens who spend more time looking at a screen are more likely to be unhappy. Our phones can reveal our problems and they can also be the source of some of our problems. (Galatians 5:1

3. Research Shows That Organizations Benefit When Employees Take Sabbaticals (HBR)

“According to a survey from the Society for Human Resource Management,the percentage of companies offering sabbaticals (both paid and unpaid) rose to nearly 17% of employers in 2017. That’s a significant gain from 1977, when McDonald’s instituted what was arguably the first corporate sabbatical program in the United States.
“While the type (paid versus unpaid), length (weeks versus months), and other sabbatical details vary, research suggests that the upward trend in sabbaticals is due to two primary factors. Sabbaticals and extended vacation time are not just good for employees to rest and recharge — they benefit the organization by stress-testing the organizational chart and providing interim roles to allow aspiring employees to take on more leadership.”

Nick Note: The sabbatical year goes all the way back to Exodus 23. You sow your land for six years and on the seventh year you let it rest. I find Elisabeth Elliot helpful in this instance: “Work is a blessing. God has so arranged the world that work is necessary, and He gives us hands and strength to do it. The enjoyment of leisure would be nothing if we had only leisure. It is the joy of work well done that enables us to enjoy rest, just as it is the experiences of hunger and thirst that make food and drink such pleasures.” (Mark 2:27)

N E W S   Y O U   C A N   U S E

2. Brain freeze: A goat’s hilarious reaction to an ice pop

Nick Note: Watch it here. This goat may be an animal but he is not immune to the pangs of a brain freeze. Don’t be a goat today. “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! (1 Corinthians 10:12)”

1. Italian Records Himself Doing Yoga, But When Chihuahua Joins In He Loses It!

Nick Note: Watch it here. My little brother would say I lost it when I started recording myself doing yoga. But nevertheless, who are you training up this weekend? Who are you doing yoga with, entrusting the faithful message to (2 Timothy 2:2)? 

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