I Am Finley

A Sin Problem and the Duggars

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Here’s the thing. We all have a sin problem. Often times we make mistakes that directly affect others. While sexual sins are often considered the worst, we must recognize that as Christ has forgiven our sins, so must we forgive others. If things are the way they appear to have been, 14-year-old Josh Duggar made some bad choices. Instead of taking this public and ruining his life, the family dealt with it in a biblical manner, seeking wise council and help from the Church. Forgiveness was sought and given. This was now 10 years ago.

As a church, we should applaud the way that this was dealt with– if this proves to be accurate— and see this as a model way of running our families when sin rears it’s ugly head.

We should also, as a church, pray for this family in this hard time. The world loves to drag out our sins and call us hypocrites. It makes it all the more important for Christians to publicly declare that we are not perfect, sinless, Jesus freaks. No, we are broken, weary men and women that have recognized our need of a savior. We need to pray for our fellow brothers and sisters that they stay strong under this attack and show what Christ would want.

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Batman v. Superman Promotional Art

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The promo art so far seems to show the Superman suit being brighter. My biggest fear with this movie is that it is as dark as a Batman film. Superman needs to be brighter and lighter. Leave the brooding to Batman.

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Young, Restless, Foolish

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I have often seen this trajectory repeated in the lives of others. I have wondered how this pattern of pride could even happen. How could a young Christian given the anchor of God-centered theology be such a fool? Here is why: he’s not mature.

The Gospel Coalition

Such a great article. Probably because I have been there. Except that I had Twitter and Facebook. I often find myself looking back at my posts. I still agree with my words, most of the time. But my tone at times hasn’t been as refined. I’m closer to maturity today, but still have a long way to go. But I am glad that the author ends on this note:

Don’t bow to cultural expectations of Christian niceness. One way people like to get the upper hand in a debate is to claim you are being mean. What they really mean is that you are a nasty person unless you agree with them. So Calvinists have a mean spirit because they have a horrible God who predestines people to hell. Complementarians are mean because they subjugate women. People will point out Matthew 7:1 and tell you to be more like Jesus (except in all the places where he castigated people). You could be the nicest person in the world and still be called a bigot. The culture’s “be nice” police does not put up with disagreement.

This falls right into the running thread of tolerance in our culture. Disagree and you are deemed intolerant. Makes you question whether they truly understand what that word means.

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Jekyll & Hyde - Jimmy Needham

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Loving this album right now. The whole Finley family was dancing around last night to this. Yes, even Lottie.

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Goodbye B.B. King

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I don’t often start my Fridays off with the blues, but when I do it’s with B.B. King. He’ll be missed, but his music will live on. Had this song streaming this morning in my living room.

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Spotify May Be Dropping Free Tier

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Looks like Spotify could be soon dropping their free tier for a three-month trial.

The three-month ‘proposal,’ advanced most principally by major labels Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment, would allow current, free-access, ad-supported (or ‘freemium’) subscribers to continue their plans for 6 months, while new users would be limited to three months only.

As I wrote earlier this year on my family blog:

The average artist makes less than a cent per stream on Spotify. Demon Hunter has seen a lot of my money, but artists that I’ve only played once or twice has seen next to nothing. I’ve gotten more value than I’ve given to them. When you buy an album in iTunes, the artist sees between 10 and 50% of the money. You’d have to stream a song some 30 times to pay the artist as much as the purchase in iTunes would pay them.

I had gotten more value than I had given. As an artist and developer, that stings. Every once in a while I think of turning back. Cheap access to music (I was a Premium, $9.99/month subscriber) is enticing, but I gotta say that owning music is way better. I’m glad I switched to iTunes. I seldom used Spotify as a radio, but instead for listening to entire albums. I use iTunes the same. iTunes Radio is nice from time to time for discovery, but I own a lot of music and buy a new album every month or so now.

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The Sky is Not Falling: Evangelical Christianity in America Is Growing

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If evangelical Christianity is growing, or at the very least remaining steady, why is Christianity as a whole shrinking and why are those who claim no religious affiliation increasing at such a rapid rate? In short, nominals — people whose religious affiliation is in name only — are becoming nones — people who check "none of the above" box on a survey.

Those who value their faith enough to wake up on Sunday morning and head to their local church are mostly still going. What I have described as "convictional Christianity" will continue. Those who say their faith is very important to their lives are not suddenly jettisoning those beliefs to become atheists.

USA Today

This makes sense in regards to what Glenn Beck said yesterday:

It’s no surprise people are saying, “Christian, I’m not Christian.” Why would you call yourself Christian? Those numbers continue to dwindle for good reason. You define yourself as a Christian, and you’re going to be defined by society as narrow-minded, hateful, judgmental.

  • Believing marriage between a man and woman used to be ammunition or still is used as ammunition to say you hate gays.
  • Saying prayer in school is akin to forcing nonbelievers to conform against their will.
  • Teaching intelligent design is literally likened to child abuse now, mocked as anti-science.
  • Virginity is mocked.
  • Being pro-life is being spun as a war on women

So growing up today as a millennial, that is damn near impossible. Who would intentionally put themselves in a crowd that society has deemed anti-gay, anti-women, anti-science? I mean, sign me up. It’s a harder sell to young people in a culture that bombards them with anti-Christian messaging, but I honestly don’t think that’s the problem. I think that’s part of the problem, but I don’t think that’s the real problem.

Those that in the past have identified as Christians because of a cultural affiliation— grew up going to church and still attend a couple times a year— are seeing what Christians are associated with today and are being forthright and honest: they’re atheists or agnostics. People are not leaving the Church in troves, they are just being honest that they are not Christians and likely never were. That said, evangelical Christianity is on the rise, though marginally. “[W]eekly religious attendance as a percentage of the U.S. population is about where it was in the 1940s.” Nothing to see here except news fodder, people. Nothing to see.

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Sunrise Launches Meet

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If I had more meetings, this would be fantastic. But I don’t. I love cool, sexy things that I cannot find a use case for. Read more about the new Meet keyboard.

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Declining Christianity

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Great assessment from Beck:

It’s no surprise people are saying, “Christian, I’m not Christian.” Why would you call yourself Christian? Those numbers continue to dwindle for good reason. You define yourself as a Christian, and you’re going to be defined by society as narrow-minded, hateful, judgmental.

  • Believing marriage between a man and woman used to be ammunition or still is used as ammunition to say you hate gays.
  • Saying prayer in school is akin to forcing nonbelievers to conform against their will.
  • Teaching intelligent design is literally likened to child abuse now, mocked as anti-science.
  • Virginity is mocked.
  • Being pro-life is being spun as a war on women

So growing up today as a millennial, that is damn near impossible. Who would intentionally put themselves in a crowd that society has deemed anti-gay, anti-women, anti-science? I mean, sign me up. It’s a harder sell to young people in a culture that bombards them with anti-Christian messaging, but I honestly don’t think that’s the problem. I think that’s part of the problem, but I don’t think that’s the real problem.

Glenn Beck

All great reasons, but then he points out how from the outside we appear to be hypocritical, argumentative, and worse. One might agree or disagree, but this point is solid:

The reason for this is, as every believer knows, we’re all human beings. We’re all flawed. We’re all liars and cheats and thieves to some extent. We’re at church, at least I am, because it’s a hospital. It’s a spiritual hospital, and we don’t recognize it as that.

I’ve made this point as often as I can, but again we should always make people aware. I am not perfect. I am not righteous, pious, or good. I am the wretch the song refers to. That is why I go to church. That is why I need Jesus Christ. Yes, my faith is a crutch. The difference between the Christian and the sinner is that the Christian recognizes that leaning on Christ is better than hobbling around all day. We are not better than anyone and we don’t want people to follow our lead. We want them to follow our leader, Jesus Christ.

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An Apple Watch in Middle America

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Life here is slower, but the interruptions offered by technology have impacted suburbanites and urbanites just the same. PTA moms and barbecue-grilling dads may see initially see the Apple Watch as yet another tool forcing us to stay connected, but really, the opposite is true.

Like our city-dwelling counterparts, we also spend too much time tapping on small screens, while ignoring the vistas in front of us. We, too, carry around the guilt of having missed moments, while having forgotten the people in front of us. We stress over phones at dinner tables. Over eyes fixated on digital conversations, instead of spoken ones.

The Apple Watch’s promise is the ability to break that cycle. How ironic that is. We once paid Apple time and again for the privilege of using its many devices. And now – oh how clever, Apple! – we must pay again for the privilege of being able to stop.

TechCrunch

Growing up in a small town in Southern Illinois, I miss the slowness of life at times. Except at midnight when I’m in the mood for a burger and no McDonald’s within 15 minutes is open late, far less 24/7. Great to hear another perspective on the Apple Watch. Will this gadget move us towards not using our gadgets as much in public?

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