Here are the links I shared in December 2013. Happy new year!
- The danger of a how-to. “For several decades now, the typical sermon in many evangelical churches has been of the how-to variety: ‘Six keys for raising happy children’, ‘Four secrets for a healthy marriage’, ‘Five principles for managing your money’. In general, how-to sermons are the most popular and most requested messages. And we pastors have been only too eager to oblige.”
- A half-truth of modern evangelicalism: Jesus lives in the heart of the believer. “The idea that Christ dwells in the heart of the believer is certainly in the New Testament, but not as a way of speaking about conversion—or even, for that matter, about a restored, intimate relationship with God. That is just a product of the modern evangelical mythology. Rather, it belongs to the context of discipleship—and discipleship in the particular sense of sharing in Christ’s suffering and death in hope of sharing in his resurrection, vindication, and kingdom throughout the coming ages. The persecuted but vindicated Jesus dwells in the persecuted community for the sake of the future of the people of God.”
- The Rise of a Parallel, Post-Biblical Christianity. How churches go from preaching the Gospel to preaching something different.
- Don’t Waste Your Weaknesses in 2014. “In other words, wherever the Christian’s weaknesses come from, they have a God-given purpose. They are not fortuitous.”
- Girl, You’re Beautiful: The Lost Art of Taking a Compliment. “Ladies, we really have to stop acting like men are all just rapists-in-waiting who haven’t had a chance to strike. We’ve spent far too long listening to the message that says, ‘Men only want one thing.'”
Health and wellbeing
- Anti-vaxer rebutted. This is excellent.
- Are Planks Overrated?. “Planks are one of the most popular exercises, but you might be misusing or abusing this abs and core movement.”
- Beginner’s Health and Fitness Guide. “This guide is … a basic guide to diet and fitness for beginners who want to get in better shape. If you want to look better, improve your overall athletic ability, or just improve your health, read on. If you’re a bodybuilder or athlete, you probably already know most of this anyway.”
- Characteristics Of Narcissistic Mothers.
- MMR and Autism Rises from the Dead. “One of the tactics of snake-oil salesmen is to fearmonger about mainstream medical practices so as to scare potential customers into their clutches. A common target of such fearmongering is vaccines. Vaccine are an easy target – they are generally required by the government to some degree, and involve sticking small children with needles and injecting them with a cocktail that parents often don’t understand in detail.”
- Narcissistic Victim Syndrome. Something that people involved with those whit NPD can develop.
- Socialized Sociopaths Do Their Dirty Work Unscathed. A very short post on everyday sociopaths
- Whooping cough in adults is still a thing in 2013.
- Why I’ve Let Myself Go. “But if you don’t let yourself go, you will never survive the journey of motherhood. This form of letting go can lead to personal growth and an expansion of self as we have to decide for ourselves what is important to hold onto, and what can take a back seat to other priorities.”
- Your Brain – Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. “Brain scans have shown that, over time, medication or cognitive behavior therapy (or both) can actually physically alter the brain’s chemistry.”
- 5 Stupid Habits You Develop Growing Up in a Broken Home. “Research says there are some very weird, specific and often annoying personality traits a person develops coming from a bad home, and once you know how to look for it, you see them everywhere.”
- 6 Signs of Narcissism You May Not Know About.
- Ask RC: What do Protestants protest?. “Sadly in our day, not much of anything.”
- What Does the X in Xmas Mean?. “X can mean so many things. For example, when we want to denote an unknown quantity, we use the symbol X. It can refer to an obscene level of films, something that is X-rated. People seem to express chagrin about seeing Christ’s name dropped and replaced by this symbol for an unknown quantity X. Every year you see the signs and the bumper stickers saying, “Put Christ back into Christmas” as a response to this substitution of the letter X for the name of Christ.”
- 4 B.S. Christmas Stories the News Told You Were Real. “Just because the holidays are here doesn’t mean the Internet will take a break from doing what it does best: porno, porno, and blasting lies across lazy news sites.”
- 4 Surefire Ways to Never Get a Book Deal Ever. “The secret is a system I call ruthlessness. After a full day of bad pitches, editors are mentally exhausted creatures vulnerable to psychological techniques. I’ll show you how to sweet-talk a gullible publisher using real samples from my NaHoStrugPubYoNoMo success last year. Real examples: real results.”
- 5 Beliefs About Surviving a Disaster (That Can Kill You). “If you read the news, you’ll know that humans are constantly running into things that put their lives in danger: crime, natural disasters, ill-advised riding-mower volleyball games. Despite this, most of us remain in blissful denial about how we’ll react during terrible, life-threatening events.”
- 5 More B.S. Viral Stories That All Your Friends Believed. “News travels fast in the information age. Fast and fueled by bullshit.”
- 5 Ridiculous Ways People Got Out of Traffic Tickets. “Whatever work you put in to fighting a ticket pales in comparison to the crazy lengths some people have gone to not have to pay for a traffic violation.”
- 5 Ways You Don’t Realize Movies Are Controlling Your Brain. “Movies can’t influence people to do anything, because movies are make-believe and every non-crazy member of the audience knows how to separate fact from fiction. Well, the thing is … that’s just wrong.”
- 5 Weird Psychological Dangers of Giving People Gifts. “The whole gift-exchange scenario is a lose-lose situation. Science has spent a surprising amount of time studying it an everything you thought you knew is wrong.”
- 6 Insane Things Science Can Predict About You at Infancy. “Science, as it usually does, has some surprising and kind of scary things to tell us. Apparently, no matter what kind of life you lead, scientists can still figure out who you’ll be at 30 based on who you were as a toddler.”
- 7 Reasons the TSA Sucks (A Security Expert’s Perspective). “My name is Rafi Sela, and I was the head of security for the world’s safest airport. Here’s what [the USA] does wrong.”
- How I Got My Ex Back: The “Oh Sh*t” moment…. “My lens today glints with the astringent of hindsight. Not long ago, if I’d penned a missive on my marriage, there would’ve been serious concerns and certainty that it had never really worked; never really been right. I had become convinced it was the marriage that was not working–and so I left…I was wrong.” What happens when a science writer inspects her own divorce (Part 1).
- How I Got My Ex Back: She Blinded Me with Science!. What happens when a science writer inspects her own divorce (Part 2).
- Christmas Feelings when Family Rejects You and the Truth about Love. “This time of year is particularly difficult for survivors of dysfunctional family dynamics and abusive relationships. When the world appears to be celebrating the joys of warm family love and the longing to be together, it’s hard not to feel the pain of not being loved unconditionally especially if that includes the members of your own family of origin.”
- My embarrassing picture went viral. “When strangers mocked me for my weight, it was a lesson in Internet cruelty, mean girls – and fighting back.”
Sex and pornography
- Answering Four Street-Level Arguments for Sexual Immorality. “Four street-level excuses we commonly use to justify our sexual sin coupled with answers.”
- Girls Like Porn, Too: A Timely Message for Parents.”It was just another normal day, doing homework after school. While doing research, 13-year-old Jessica Harris was intrigued by a particular video she found online. The thumbnail image was dark and blurry, but it grabbed her attention. After pressing the play button, Jessica found herself watching pornography for the first time in her life. Those 3 minutes and 23 seconds were etched on her brain, and this incident became the beginning of an eight-year-long secret fascination with porn and cybersex.”
- A Letter To My Son About Porn. This is good. Woooooo this mum. Warning: explicit content. “I know this is not a conversation any boy wants to have with his mom at any age, so I’m going to let you off the hook. Sort of.”
- Male Nudity in Public: Time to Put Some Pants On. This isn’t written by a Christian dude. Still, it’s interesting how modesty can be transferred.
- Should Christians Talk About Sex? . “The world is full of sex. We were made through sex (scarring, I know). Our bodies were created with a capacity for and a tendency toward sex. Sex was God’s idea. Yet, here sits the church either ignoring it or treating it like it’s the work of the devil – some unholy, necessary evil, required for the procreation of offspring and the maintenance of marriage.”
- Florida teens’ ‘sexting’ photos end up on porn websites. “The consequences of sexting are more than embarrassment — they can be criminal. And now, those compromising photos are finding their way to pornography websites where they can live forever.”
- MCG warns fans not to spread ashes of loved ones on turf. Urg. Gross.
- Medical association criticises proposal for upfront GP fee. Cut costs, sure. I get that we need to cut costs. But from essential services?
- Police alone ‘will not curb violent booze culture’. “NSW Police call for a culture change after more than 500 people are arrested during a weekend crackdown on alcohol-related crime.”
- Rolf Harris facing three fresh sex assault charges. “Rolf Harris will face three further sex assault charges in Britain, one of which relates to a girl “aged seven or eight” in the 1960s.”
- Losing your job is not a ‘liberation’, Tony Abbott. “The prime minister said that many Holden workers will be ‘liberated’ by the loss of their jobs. What a brutal insult to families who have been kicked to the ground.”
- Narcissistic personality disorder is not harmless behavior. “Often undiagnosed and misunderstood, narcissistic personality disorder is a pathology that needs to be taken seriously.”
- Syndrome of our times. Like all mental illnesses and disorders, Asperger’s Syndrome is badly diagnosed. I think the DSM has done the right thing by calling it “High-Functioning Autism”. I think less people will want that label!
- 18 questions you need to ask yourself before uploading that photo. “Photo-sharing is one of the greatest things that’s happened to the Web – but before you post, ask yourself these questions.”
- A labor of love.
- An elusive and mysterious creature.
- The equation for humility.
- God is not ‘a la carte’.
- Isaiah 9:2.
- Stay-at-home moms just kinda hang out all day.
- Tangible love.
- ‘Tolerance’: definition vs usage.
- Trusting in good deeds for salvation.
- Fighters Against Child Abuse Australia [F.A.C.A.A]. “I want to talk about the media.You may have read about the case of attempted murder currently being heard before the supreme court in a Tasmanian court. Police allege that the defendant, Paul Brian Edward Connelly, attempted to take the life of his sons, aged 5 and 8, by loading gas cylinders into his car, and setting it alight. It is reported that he had talked about using gas to set fire to his house while the children slept, and that he told his sister that would kill himself and the boys to prevent his wife getting custody. Thankfully, the children survived, but they will carry both physical and mental scars for the rest of their lives.The problem I have is with the way this story has been reported. Talk about ‘a difficult separation’, ‘a desperate father battling depression’, and even that the mother had ‘had an affair’. Every time something like this happens, these tired old defences are wheeled out, painting a sympathetic picture of the defendant by pulling at the heartstrings of every parent who has ever lost access to their child, every partner who has ever discovered an affair, anyone who has ever been through a bitter break-up, or had to deal with an impossible ex. Don’t tell me that a parent who murders their own child is acting out of pain, and grief, and loss, because they aren’t. This is about control, and revenge. This is narcissism.Let me make this clear – these people are not your ‘brothers and sisters’ in the fight, beaten down and worthy of pity; they are the reason you are made to fight. They are the enemy of your cause. They are the reason your ex really is afraid to send the kids for a visit, even if you have never given them a reason to worry. Yes, false allegations exist, but the majority of concerns are based on genuine fears, not fears that you created, fears that exist because the media says that ‘sad parents lose control and hurt their kids’. That makes every parent a suspect, and it’s a load of rubbish. We all know divorce is horrible, and that goes for family court, depression, and dealing with the ex, but don’t let these defence teams use your anger to elicit sympathy for abusers like this, because a real loving parent would NEVER hurt their child like that. (JB)”
- Aboriginal Tent Embassy. “PM Tony Abbott’s electorates [sic] local football club Manly gets $10 million dollar towards its upgrade, while legal aid funding gets stripped from public services for Aboriginal people.”