A La Carte (August 15)

This is a reminder that I’m on vacation this week, which means I’m posting only A La Carte articles. Enjoy today’s links!

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The Age That Women Have Babies: How a Gap Divides America

“Becoming a mother used to be seen as a unifying milestone for women in the United States. But a new analysis of four decades of births shows that the age that women become mothers varies significantly by geography and education. The result is that children are born into very different family lives, heading for diverging economic futures.”

Understanding Opponents

I echo much of this. “Of the numerous regrets I have in life, not having been more understanding of others ranks high on the list. I have, many times, drawn hasty conclusions about others without having considered all that may factor into their lives. Many times, I have been critical of others when I should have erred on the side of seeking to understand more about their personality, background and life circumstances.”

Common Questions Christians Ask About Forgiveness

Forgiveness is a tricky but universal subject for Christians. “Forgiveness is central to our experience as Christians. It is at the heart of our relationship with God and our relationship with others. Jesus talks about forgiveness a lot and even inscribes it on the template for our prayers (Matt. 6:9-13). At the same time, forgiveness is hard. It’s unnatural. This presents a lot of questions as we try to work out the implications of living faithfully as Christians.”

How Many Stars (Video)

“The question is timeless. Pondered, throughout history, by human beings of every culture, age, and nationality: how many stars are there in the universe? This fascinating film explores worlds gigantic and microscopic to reveal answers that challenge our perceptions of creation. Travel with us through galaxies and grains of sand; molecules and atoms, to count the stars and marvel at all that God has made.”

Can You Imagine Jesus Delivering a TED Talk?

Please consider this. “As someone who regularly presents at major Christian conferences around the world, I see a lot of TED-worthy talks being delivered in the name of Jesus. On big stages, with huge audiences, lighting, cameras, screens, the works. They are highly rehearsed or have been delivered many times (which amounts to the same thing). They are derivative, shallow, and presented with a kind of faux intensity that wins over the newer members of the audience.”

A Cup of Tea, Under a Bridge, In Jesus’s Name

Just as he was learning more about Jesus, John found a way across the next border. He took his chance to move on. In his journey, God led John to an Arabic Christian—a new friend who was able to explain the gospel to him in his mother tongue and with the help of a shared cultural background. John’s eyes were opening more and more with each step of his migration.”

When We’re Shocked to Find Sinners at Church

It’s funny, isn’t it, how often we’re surprised to find sinners at church. “I know people are mean, I know people are judgmental, I know people act weird and get messy and cause problems and are really inefficient for the ways we normally like to do church—but if we believe in the gospel, we don’t have a choice any longer to live in the dark.”

Flashback: The Patient Mercy of a Holy God

Mercy is not something God owes to us—by definition mercy cannot be owed—but is something God extends in kindness and grace to those who do not deserve it.

If we want to feel deeply about God, we must learn to think deeply about God. —Jen Wilkin