The Briefing for Monday 12/17/2012

December 16, 2012 — Leave a comment


Today’s Scripture

“’But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.’ Therefore Israel will be abandoned until the time when she who is in labor gives birth and the rest of his brothers return to join the Israelites. He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth. And he will be their peace.”
(Micah 5:2, 4-5)

Notable Quotables

“If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.” (Jim Rohn)

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” (Winston Churchill)

“There are not seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million.” (Walt Streightiff)

“Sharing the gospel is not a matter of trying to teach nonbelievers the password that will get them into Heaven. Sharing the gospel is an explanation of the world.” (Doug Wilson)

“Great minds talk about ideas, average minds talk about events, and small minds talk about people.” (Eleanor Roosevelt)

“If you don’t believe in God, all moral statements are arbitrary.” (Tim Keller)

“Love is the crowning grace of humanity.” (Petrarch)

Around the Net Today

Where Shall We Put This Grief? (Brief Article)
Kathleen Nielson (The Gospel Coalition)

A Prayer for Sandy Hook and for All of Us (Prayer Text)
Kevin DeYoung (DeYoung, Restless and Reformed)

3 Ways Christians Can Respond to a Broken World (Article)
Ed Stetzer (

Jesus and Violence Against Children (Article)
Justin Holcomb (The Resurgence)

‘I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother’ (Article)
Liza Long (The Anarchist Soccer Mom)

Mandated Reporting of Violence Risk? (Article)
Phil Monroe (Musings of a Christian Psychologist)

How Can a Good God Allow This? (Article)
Frank Viola (Patheos)

Even SNL Acknowledged the Mood of the Country (Video Clip)
Via Denny Burk (

Reportage: Facts Are More Important Than Being First (Article)
Mark Nichol (Daily Writing Tips)

The Decline of Evangelical America (Article)
John S. Dickerson (The New York Times: Opinion)

On the Lighter Side

Today’s Comic: Dry Bones (4-Panel Strip)
Yaakov Kirschen (The Dry Bones Blog)

The Glory of Creation: Satellite Images—The Earth As Art (Photo Essay)
Kari Collins (Time: Science & Space)

Monday Inspiration: The One-Armed High School Basketball Player (Video)
Via Abraham Piper (22 Words)

Something to Ponder

We Are a Broken Race

“Sin is senseless. Petty sin is senseless, and high wickedness is senseless. If it made sense, if it lined up with how God made the world, then it wouldn’t be sin. Christians sometimes make the mistake of trying make sense out of sin—whether their own, or the sins of others. This is true all the time, but there are times when the word senseless crowds to the front of our minds, and insists on being used. The shooting in Connecticut is an instance of this. After all the investigations, after everything is examined, after all the funerals are held, we will still come down to this—we are a broken race, lost and without God in the world. 

“The only thing worse than this kind of grief is grief without reason, grief without explanation, grief without answers. And this is where believers need to embrace the fact that the gospel is the answer, Jesus is the answer, and the senselessness of our sin is the presenting problem. Sharing the gospel is not a matter of trying to teach nonbelievers the password that will get them into Heaven. Sharing the gospel is an explanation of the world, and it explains all the relevant issues, including our stubborn resistance to any true explanation of the world.

“At Christmas, we celebrate the entry of Jesus into this world. As our sorry condition demonstrates, we desperately need Him.”

- Doug Wilson

Into All the World

“What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?”

- George Eliot

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