Saturday, January 14, 2017

Weekly Web Roundup (1/14/17)

Photo Credit: misha maslennikov
Here is a collection of items from around the web that caught my attention this past week:

The 5 (Unwritten) Rules of Honor-Shame Cultures  (
"In collectivistic societies, identity is defined by the group you belong to. When two people meet, one of the first items of conversation is figuring out which family, clan, or village the other person is from. Since honor is a shared commodity, what one person does brings honor (or shame) upon the entire community. Children are taught from an early age how to bring honor to the family, and people are expected to be loyal to their community, even at personal cost. In Western cultures, family is much more of a voluntary association. At the age of 18 or so, young adults are encouraged to venture out from the home to “find themselves” or “establish their own lives.”"
How to Destroy Your Child Through Sports by Ed Uszynski (Athletes in Action)
"In spite of mini-movements of outcry regarding poor parent and coach behavior at youth events and the intense pressure being put on kids to perform, many of us seem committed to staying on a course that ruins our children’s ability to enjoy games. Instead of sports being experienced as something good, a category called “play” that God created for our good and His glory, too often we use our kids’ playground to exorcise our own demons. 
In more than 25 years of listening to athletes from youth to professional levels process their experience of sports, I’ve learned that these parental behaviors can be counted on not only to ruin their experience of play, but also to create multi-layered psychological and spiritual maladies that stick throughout life."
9 Steps to More Ethical Fundraising (A Life Overseas: The Mission Conversation)
"We were doing all the things we were taught to do—pray, write newsletters, make calls, send letters, schedule meetings—but after two years, we felt stuck. We were at about 50% of our goal and couldn’t seem to make any traction. One day, I just felt I needed to do something to make a statement to our potential supporters that we were as serious about this as we possibly could be and that we held them and their potential donations in the highest esteem. So I decided to write down the ways in which we were committing to respect them and their sacrifice. 
I called this our “Fundraising Code of Ethics.” To me, it was a public covenant we were making to hold ourselves to a standard of maturity, transparency, and responsibility. By making it public, we were welcoming our supporters to hold us to this standard, but we also warned them we would never have a perfect record and asked them to be gracious with us. Like every healthy relationship, trust is absolutely crucial. We are all aware if donors trust you they are more likely to support you. What we learned is that we also need to have enough faith in our supporters to be transparent with them."
Racial Divides in Spiritual Practice (The Barna Group)
"Black communities tend toward communal rhythms of spiritual development while white communities prefer a more individualistic setting. It is unsurprising therefore that white Christians are more likely to view their spiritual life as “entirely private” (42% compared to 32%). Black Christians, on the other hand, are much more likely to believe their personal spiritual life has an impact on others—whether they are relatives, friends, community or society at large. For instance, black Christians are much more likely to believe that their personal spiritual lives have an impact on broader society (46% compared to 27%). 
This was a strong belief of Martin Luther King, and it appears to have had great staying power. He fundamentally believed that one’s personal spiritual life had implications for societal justice, and he called Christians—on both sides of the debate—to bring their faith to bear on the struggle for civil rights, to which he dedicated his life. This impact is also tied to the approach to evangelism: half of black Christians (50% compared to 34%) believe it is their responsibility to tell others about their religious beliefs, further reinforcing the public / private contrast between both groups."
The Longstanding Crisis Facing Tribal Schools by Alia Wong (The Atlantic)
"Children who are disciplined in school are far more likely to end up in prison as adults; it goes without saying that being disciplined as a child via formal law enforcement has similarly deleterious, if not worse, effects. The alleged practices at Havasupai Elementary are, the suit contends, characteristic of those at tribal schools across the country. Indeed, a March 2014 U.S. Department of Education report found that Native Americans across the country are disciplined at disproportionate rates. Unsurprisingly, they’re also incarcerated at a rate 38 percent higher than the national average."
Repealing Obamacare without a Replacement: How It May Hurt Small Church Pastors and Church Planters Near You by Ed Stetzer (Christianity Today)
"I’m not defending Obamacare, it’s success, and certainly not its implementation. And, furthermore, this is not just about pastors—it impacts a whole lot of people in your church (and not in your church). But, I’ve talked to a lot of pastors about this topic, so I’ve made that my focus here. In short, the point here is that big policies aren’t simply big policies. And when they appear (or actually are) broken, there isn’t a simple answer. Big policies impact real people. A plan approved by Congress impacts millions of everyday, hard-working people. And I’ve only focused on one group here, small church pastors and church planters, since I have often heard about this from church planters. Actually, I have spoken in conferences on this very topic: how the ACA has opened the door for many church planters to get insurance."
Twin Sisters Separated at Birth Reunite on Good Morning America

Two sisters, each adopted from China by different American families, meet in person for the first time on ABC's "Good Morning America." Here is their touching story.

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