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Here are various links, mostly for my own future reference, but perhaps of interest to some readers as well. The links are indeed VARIED, so take a quick browse and a couple may catch your eye!

⇒ The NY Times reports that reading scores declined in half the states. America’s fourth and eighth graders are losing ground in their ability to read literature and academic texts. The dismal results reflected the performance of about 600,000 students in reading and math….The average eighth-grade reading score declined in more than half of the states compared with 2017, the last time the test was given. The new eighth-grade results show “the students haven’t developed the reading comprehension to deal with text complexity.”

⇒ One problem is smart phones. Instead of picking up a book, students pick up their phone. Parents, for a multitude of reasons, should delay giving their child a smart phone until at least 8th grade.  More here: WAIT UNTIL 8TH. Why wait? “There is a reason why top Silicon Valley executives are saying no to the smartphone until at least 14 for their children. In fact, there is a long list of reasons and parents need to know them.” More here.

Adding this: When 6th graders can access rape porn on their smartphones, school becomes toxic

⇒ From a wordpress blogger: Sometimes You Just Have to Declare
An excellent post! Christian, what should you declare? “Not claim and declare the outcome we want – claim and declare the character of the one we’re beseeching.”

⇒ From Marg Mowczko: “What I’ve learned from 10 years of blogging on mutuality”
Marg’s blog is a tremendous resource for the issue of women in the church and home. She even gets referenced in academic books. Yet her articles are written in a way that everyday Christians can understand.
“When I first started listening to questions…from people who have a problem with the egalitarian ethos, I quickly got the niggling feeling that the real issue wasn’t with 1 Tim. 2:12, Eph. 5, or any other Bible verse, but with deeply-held, negative beliefs about women.”

⇒Also from a wordpress blogger: Wise Optimism; Foolish Optimism. Know the difference between wise and foolish optimism!

⇒ From Michael Frost. Social media?? The 40:40:20 Principle — reaching those you have a chance of influencing. Most people think arguing about stuff on social media is a complete waste of time. But not if you know the 40:40:20 principle. Believe me, there are people out there open to your influence.

And a couple things shared on twitter:

“The significance of the birth of Jesus Christ will forever elude us if we are unable to take an inventory of the gravity of the human condition. Advent is designed to help us acknowledge the pervasive presence of the power of sin and death.”
– Fleming Rutledge

Daily “reminders” to myself: 1) Work quietly and diligently, as to the Lord. 2) Share the Gospel of grace with anyone who will listen. 3) Pursue obscurity.
– Mike @ReformedMike
(I replied that I don’t have to pursue obscurtiy. I AM obscure! haha)