Daily Briefing: September 12, 2017

Posted by    |    September 12th, 2017 at 5:22 am

T O P   N E W S

9 . Irma death toll in US rises to 11; Florida faces ‘devastation’ (ABC News)

“Irma, which was downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone Tuesday morning, was bringing “generally moderate rain” to a wide swath of the southeast and Tennessee and Ohio Valleys, according to the National Weather Service.
“Irma tore a path of destruction across the Caribbean and up Florida before breaking up on Tuesday. As of early Tuesday, Irma was about 65 miles southwest of Atlanta, moving north-northwest at 15 mph with sustained winds of 35 mph. The storm is expected to continue to weaken as its center continues to move northwest.”

Nick Note: Thus far, Irma has caused at least 10 deaths in the U.S. and 37 in the Caribbean. In Florida’s coastal counties (most likely to have suffered damages from Irma), there are roughly 1.45 million uninsured houses. Here is Irma in pictures. Here is Richard Branson’s video of damage his area sustained in the Virgin Islands. South Carolina avoided Irma’s eye, but the massive storm caused severe flooding and left about 250,000 customers without power Monday. Meanwhile, back in Houston, two neighborhoods have been contaminated with bacteria and toxins due to floodwaters. Harvey already happened, Irma is happening, and Hurricane Jose (now a category 2, 105mph winds) builds in the Atlantic Ocean. David Brooks, writing in the NY Times this morning, notes this: “These floods are invitations to recreate the world. That only happens successfully when strong individuals are willing to yoke themselves to collective institutions.” Brooks is right. Before Nehemiah sought to recreate the world, he first prayed (Nehemiah 1:3). E.M. Bounds found prayers to be endless, always enduring past the lives of those who uttered them. Would you pray with great faith today for the people dealing with the devastation? Would you pray with great faith for clarity concerning your next step in recreating the world (James 5:13-16)?

8. U.N. Security Council approves new sanctions against North Korea, but no oil import ban (USA Today)

“The resolution is a watered-down version of what the U.S. initially proposed, removing the demand to ban all oil imports to the North and to freeze international assets of the government and leader Kim Jong Un, according to the Associated Press. The resolution also eliminates a U.S. proposal to authorize the use of force to board nine named ships, which it said violated previous United Nations sanctions resolutions, to carry out inspections, the AP reported.
“North Korea warned early Monday that the United States would feel the “greatest pain” if it pushed ahead with a new round of sanctions.”

Nick Note: Yesterday, North Korean nuclear scientists marched down crowed and excited streets as they left the country’s capital. Watch it here. According to George Friedman, North Korea has a three-pronged approach – ferocious, weak, and crazy. They ferociously pursue the capacity to have devastating power. They position themselves as weak to deter action against them because they want others to think it is only a matter of time before they collapse anyway (their GDP is $28 billion; the US stands at $18.57 trillion). And concerning their craziness, they appear unpredictable, prone to bombastic threats and seem to welcome war. In The Art of War, Sun Tzu admonished the reader to know their enemy. To a certain degree, the Bible agrees (2 Corinthians 2:11).

7. 12-Year-Old Boy Who Transitioned To Female Changes His Mind Two Years Later (Independent)

“At just 12-years-old, Patrick Mitchell, begged with his mother to begin taking oestrogen hormones after doctors diagnosed him with gender dysphoria – a condition where a person experiences distress because there is a mismatch between their biological sex and gender identity.
“In the beginning of 2017, teachers at school began to refer to him as a girl which triggered Mitchell to question if he had made the right decision. “I began to realise I was actually comfortable in my body. Every day I just felt better,” he told Now To Love.
“Now, in a bid to revert back to his original body, he has stopped taking his medication and is about to have an operation to remove excess breast tissue in what will be the final stage of his transition.”

Nick Note: Absolutely heartbreaking. Can you imagine the pain this boy has gone through and now will go through in order to transition back? (For more on transgenderism, see Dr. Denison’s excellent white paper or my article in the Fort Worth Star-TelegramMatthew 19:4).

6. Former USC, Seahawks Coach Rocky Seto Talks Leaving Coaching to Become Pastor (LA Times)

“Rocky Seto spent 11 seasons as an assistant for the USC Trojans and seven seasons as an assistant for the Seattle Seahawks. But he decided to give up that career path after the 2016 season with the Seahawks for a different path altogether: becoming a pastor.
“Seto had long been interested in becoming a minister, but he decided to make the change once his contract with Seattle was up for renewal after the 2016 season. Seto left the Seahawks to become a pastor at the Evergreen Baptist Church of San Gabriel Valley in La Puente, California. Some of the lessons he learned coaching have translated to his new career path.”

Nick Note: Pastor Seto’s decision reminds me of this Dietrich Bonhoeffer quote: “The response of the disciples is an act of obedience, not a confession of faith in Jesus.” (See the life of Amos for more).

C U L T U R A L   N E W S

5. Study Finds Women Spend An Extra Hour On Email: How To Take Control (Forbes)

“The study finds that female office workers spend 24% more time checking email on average during the weekday than their male colleagues. The study, conducted by Advanis, surveyed 1,007 U.S. white-collar employees who own a smartphone from July 10-17, 2017.
Women are spending an average of six hours each weekday checking email while their male colleagues only spend five hours each weekday checking email, the study finds. And, even though women are checking email more often than men, the study finds that women feel like they aren’t checking email often enough, says Kristin Naragon, director of product marketing, Adobe Campaign.
“Women are superb multitaskers and very task oriented, says Nancy Halpern, principal at KNH Associates. Those two qualities may explain why women are more dedicated to their email than men.”

Nick Note: Alice Keys is a SuperwomanWhitney Houston is Every Woman, and I am a guy that has a few interesting statistics concerning women. The average U.S. worker spends 6.3 hours a day checking email. According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2016, women work nearly an hour longer every single day than men do when unpaid labor such as caregiving is included. On average, a woman’s email response has a median length of 30 words and a median response time of 24 minutes; men’s email messages have a median length of 28 words and a median response time of 28 minutes. Our responses may vary with response time and length, but consider God’s response: “He sends his orders to the world–how swiftly his word flies! (Psalm 147:15)”

4. 100 Women: ‘I dye my hair brown to be taken more seriously at work’ (BBC)

“In interviewing candidates for roles at her startup, Glassbreakers, which provides companies with software aimed at attracting and empowering a diverse workforce, she’s encountered other blonde women who have also dyed their hair brown.
“According to a 2016 survey of Silicon Valley, 60% of women working in tech experience unwanted sexual advances…Sexual harassment accounted for nearly 30% of the 91,503 cases of workplace discrimination complaints filed that year…But there may be many more cases – a 2013 poll suggested 75% of those who experienced sexual harassment at work did not report the incident.”

Nick Note: R-E-S-P-E-C-T? Not according to some, Aretha Franklin. For example, one study found that males receive more questions about their project’s potential for growth while females field more questions about potential risks and losses–and that this had a very measurable impact on the funding they received. Approximately 2 percent of venture capital funding goes to women entrepreneurs (women own 38 percent of U.S. businesses). The VC culture has come under great scrutiny lately with numerous allegations of sexual harassment. In the Scriptures, we read about the effective leadership of Deborah, the bravery of Esther, the persistence of Ruth, and the courage of Mary — to name but a few. Looking back, it is quite clear: we are better today because of women’s contributions from yesterday and their visions for tomorrow (James 2:9).

3. There’s Something About Breath Mints and Sharing (WSJ)

“A mint is “a social currency,” said Jeff Wurtzel, a marketing brand director for Mars Wrigley Confectionery.
“U.S. retail sales for mints have grown by 26%, between 2012 and 2017, to $1.5 billion, according to data from Euromonitor International. A growing appetite for spicy food and continuous snacking are helping create more opportunities for breath fresheners. Companies are rolling out packaging and products, spurring growth in the category, industry representatives say.
“Mints can play a communal role in offices and restaurants. At the Minneapolis location of Industrious Office, a co-working space, the community manager, Marie Adrian, keeps a bowl of individually wrapped mint Life Savers on her desk. The mints have become a post-lunch routine for many people, creating a natural “touchpoint” with the space’s members, Ms. Adrian said.”

Nick Note: Faith Hill can feel you breathe and let’s hope that breath is minty fresh. Nearly 60 million Americans suffer from some form of halitosis. Americans spend $10 billion every year on mouthwashes, gum, pills, toothpastes, etc. The great demand for breath fresheners provides Christians the opportunity to both serve and give (Matthew 20:28, Acts 20:35). 

N E W S   Y O U   C A N   U S E

2. Kristen Bell Trapped In Hurricane Irma, So She Gives Evacuees “Magical” Surprise.

Nick Note: Watch it here. “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. (Hebrews 13:16)”

1. Tim Tebow visited a Hurricane Irma shelter and was moved by a World War II veteran playing his harmonica

Nick Note: Watch it here. “Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered. (Proverbs 11:25)”

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