Saturday, July 13, 2013

All Around the Web - July 13, 2013

HT: Buzzfeed

Russell Moore - How Should You Explain the Same-Sex Marriage Debate to Your Children? |

With the recent Supreme Court decisions all over the news, some Christian parents wonder how they ought to explain all of this to their small children. I’ve faced the same question as my children have asked, “What is the Supreme Court doing that’s keeping you so busy?” So how does one teach the controversy, without exposing one’s children to more than they can handle?

First of all, you should, I think, talk to your children about this. No matter how you shelter your family, keeping your children from knowing about the contested questions about marriage would take a “Truman Show”-level choreography of their lives. That’s not realistic, nor is it particularly Christian.

The Bible isn’t nearly as antiseptic as Christians sometimes pretend to be, and it certainly doesn’t shirk back from addressing all the complexities of human life. If we are discipling our children, let’s apply the Scriptures to all of life.  If we refuse to talk to our children about some issue that is clearly before them, our children will assume we are unequipped to speak to it, and they’ll eventually search out a worldview that will.

John Stonestreet - Marriage and Imagination |

How we collectively imagine marriage as a culture is at the heart of this battle. As I wrote yesterday at National Review, Americans “cannot imagine marriage to be anything other than the government’s endorsement of romantic love. Even many opponents of same-sex marriage share this fundamentally wrong definition.”

Since the dawn of human culture, marriage has been primarily about the procreating and raising of children and the continuation of the family and society, not romantic love.

What’s more, I wrote, this re-definition of marriage “happened because of art, not arguments; because of imagination, not debate.” Ask someone, Christian or non-Christian, about what love is and their answer will largely be the product of what they’ve seen on television or in the movies. Boy meets girl, or other boy. They “fall in love” and what happens afterwards, whether marriage or cohabitation, is merely an expression of that “love.”

Ironically, even as the movies tell us, that kind of “love” is fickle. People “fall out of love” all the time, often for reasons they can’t even explain. There’s no way this kind of “love” will hold up under the weighty foundational role marriage must play for a society.

Adrian Warnack - Twenty types of tweet: how many do you use on Twitter? |

  1. What you are doing / feeling / thinking about right now.
  2. Sharing your own inspirational thought
  3. Retweeting someone else’s inspirational thought
  4. Tweeting a Bible verse alone or with a short comment
  5. Asking your followers opinion about something  “Thinking ’bout Arminianism and Calvinism lately, would any of you choose a church based solely on that issue anymore?
  6. Linking to an article you have written
  7. Linking to an article someone else has written
  8. Sharing a video
  9. Sharing something you have learnt by reading or by experience
  10. Personal travel information  “I’m at the airport on the way to California…”
  11. Food Tweets  “Eating a gorgeous steak…”
  12. Name dropping  “I am with The Queen of England sipping tea…”
  13. “Follow Friday” or similar…telling your followers who else you think they should follow
  14. Posting a personal photo
  15. Family news “My son Johnny just won the 100m at his sports day…”
  16. Public conversations with an individual “Hey, @topekoleoso loved that sermon on Sunday, can you tell me where that quote about the Puritans came from?”
  17. Asking your readers for help  ”Looking for a last minute holiday for my family (seven of us), last week in August. Any suggestions?”
  18. Thank you Tweets “Thanks @topekoleoso for retweeting my last post, glad you were encouraged by it”
  19. Something that is simply amusing or entertaining
  20. A book/film/product recommendation or endorsement “I loved watching Man of Steel…you should really go…”

Ray Edwards - 7 "Tricks" to Improve Your Writing Overnight |
  1. Know your reader.
  2. This means more than knowing a few demographics (how old they are, their average income, etc.). To know your readers means you understand their fears, frustrations, and aspirations. Writing from the reader’s perspective will dramatically change the way you write.
  3. Know your objective.
  4. Every piece you write (blog post, press release, video script, or anything else) must have only one objective. I call this objective the Most Wanted Result, or “MWR.” Knowing your MWR forces you to write with crystal-clear focus.
  5. Use short words.
  6. To persuade, you must be easy to understand. Using short words is one of the best ways to do this. Don’t show off how many big words you know.
  7. Use short sentences.
  8. Your thoughts come across more clearly in compact sentences. An added bonus: short sentences prevent you from confusing your readers.
  9. Use short paragraphs.
  10. Imagine you come to a webpage filled with a large block of text. There are no paragraph breaks. Are you likely to read it? Most people would say no. Make your writing skimmable, scannable, and scrollable. Use short paragraphs.
  11. Use active language.
  12. Active language is vigorous and interesting. Passive language is boring. How do you know which is which? In an active sentence, the subject is doing the acting: “Bob fixes cars.” In a passive sentence, the target of the action becomes the subject of the sentence. For instance, instead of saying, “Bob fixes cars,” I might say, “The cars are fixed by Bob.”
    Passive language presents your idea poorly. It feels “backwards.” It’s also more difficult for many readers to understand. Write with power. Use active language.
  13. Write recklessly, re-write ruthlessly.
  14. When you write your first draft, it’s okay if it’s awful. In other words, right recklessly. After you have your first draft on paper (or hard drive), filled with power and energy, you can clean up any “messes” you might’ve made. Be ruthless when you re-write.

The Blaze - 5 Major Fears Gay Marriage Opponents Have About the Potential Nationwide Legalization of Same-Sex Unions |

1. Slippery Slope Fears
2. A Threat to Religious Liberty
3. The Importance of Mothers and Fathers
4. The Weakening of Marital Components
5. God Will Punish Society

CBS News - Is cursive writing dead? |

A single sentence, uttered in the trial of George Zimmerman for the shooting of teenager Trayvon Martin, has catapulted an issue into the national spotlight.

When asked if she could read a letter in court, witness Rachel Jeantel, her head bowed, murmured with embarrassment, "I don't read cursive," according to court testimony.

Is it any surprise that cursive -- the looped, curvaceous style of handwriting that's been a mainstay of education for generations -- is all but dead?

"Cursive should be allowed to die. In fact, it's already dying, despite having been taught for decades," Morgan Polikoff, assistant professor of education at the University of Southern California's Rossier School of Education, told The New York Times.

"Very small proportions of adults use cursive for their day-to-day writing," Polikoff said. "Much of our communication is done on a keyboard, and the rest is done with print."
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