read latest – Three Wise Men Blog http://threewisemenblog.com/ Sun, 13 Mar 2022 12:42:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://threewisemenblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/3.png read latest – Three Wise Men Blog http://threewisemenblog.com/ 32 32 Here for humanity, new food bank services have multiplied https://threewisemenblog.com/here-for-humanity-new-food-bank-services-have-multiplied/ Mon, 07 Mar 2022 19:00:00 +0000 https://threewisemenblog.com/here-for-humanity-new-food-bank-services-have-multiplied/ Preston Here For Humanity needs your help Here for Humanity Preston recently announced that services have been increased. Advertising With the current climate of rising food and energy prices, the charity has found it is receiving an unprecedented number of requests for support, potentially even more than needed during […]]]>

Preston Here For Humanity needs your help

Here for Humanity Preston recently announced that services have been increased.







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With the current climate of rising food and energy prices, the charity has found it is receiving an unprecedented number of requests for support, potentially even more than needed during lockdowns.

The new dining club, called Fulwood Here for Humanity for administrative purposes, operated for the first time this week and will continue to operate every Tuesday from now.

Read more: Preston Here for Humanity will offer free packed lunches to school children for half term

This new club joins the original Tanterton Here for Humanity to a Thursday and the Plungington version on a Friday.

A spokesperson for Preston Here For Humanity said: “Each group is named differently as they are charged for their food by our supplier based on the food collected, but by opening another hub means we can now in turn support up to 50 additional people. homes in a different part of town while supporting up to 50 homes in each of the other centers.

“Food Clubs is a pantry-style service where a user pays a small membership for a share of food that we also pay a membership to collect from our supplier to share the fare.

“Food is recycled from waste and redistributed before being sent to landfill”

Food banks in your area can be seen below

Users of the proposed service receive three bags for their membership each week which contain:

  • A bag of boxes and packages
  • A bag of meat and dairy products
  • A bag of fruits and vegetables

Through this sustainable membership program, the Dining Club invites the team to donate a free bag of food to any genuine family in need who may not be able to provide food.

Read more: Preston Here for Humanity is organizing a collection to help women and children fleeing domestic violence

The community food bank also funds additional projects such as dinners for children or hot meals for the elderly.

The Food Club is funded by Preston City Council and the National Lottery Community Fund and anyone wishing to take part need only complete a simple self-referral form. The form is located here.

Read more: See the latest news and headlines from Preston


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Preston charity raises £5,000 through Workoutathon fundraiser https://threewisemenblog.com/preston-charity-raises-5000-through-workoutathon-fundraiser/ Wed, 02 Mar 2022 19:00:00 +0000 https://threewisemenblog.com/preston-charity-raises-5000-through-workoutathon-fundraiser/ Rainbow Hub Workoutathon A charity fundraiser saw over 80 people take part and raise almost £5,000 for the charity. Advertising The Rainbow Hub held its eighth Workoutathon where participants participated in three hours of workouts including Rockbox, Zumba, HIIT, Body Combat/Attack and Freestyle Yoga. The Rainbow Hub provides rehabilitation […]]]>
Rainbow Hub Workoutathon

A charity fundraiser saw over 80 people take part and raise almost £5,000 for the charity.







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The Rainbow Hub held its eighth Workoutathon where participants participated in three hours of workouts including Rockbox, Zumba, HIIT, Body Combat/Attack and Freestyle Yoga.

The Rainbow Hub provides rehabilitation services for children and youth with physical and neurological disabilities.

Read more: The Green Frog is sad to say goodbye to a much-loved member of staff who was a ‘dream worker’

The event was supported by JMW Solicitors LLP and Furness Building Society and took place at The Great Room, Preston North End Football Club, Sir Tom Finney Way, Preston on Sunday 20th February.

This year saw the return of the in-person event after it went virtual last year due to the pandemic.

Classes were attended by qualified fitness instructors – Rachel Burrows, Joanne Berends-Sheriff, Gill Walmsley, Roz Edwards, Steve Jenkinson and Rachel Holland – who all volunteered their time.

A raffle with fabulous prizes raised more funds thanks to Yoga Leggs, Clitheroe Cryo, Neom Organics, Victoria Cakes, The Market Ale House, BonBons Coffee Bar and Lavender & Thyme Artisan Catering.

Read more: Channel 4’s Great Pottery Throw Down sees Penwortham contestant named Potter of the Week

Lyndsay Fahey, Managing Director of Rainbow Hub, said, “This fantastic event has been popular from the start.

“We would like to thank everyone who supported the event, especially JMW Solicitors and Preston North End Football Club for allowing us to use their facilities.

“We are also extremely grateful to everyone who gave their time to help, especially the instructors, Ultrasec for assisting in providing first aid if needed, Gareth Edwards Photography and Kat and Emma from our fundraising team who organized the event so well.”

Participants were also able to register for the annual Rainbow Hub Ramble which will take place on May 21, 2022.

See what’s happening near you by entering your postal code below or visit InYourArea

Read more: See the latest news and headlines from Preston

Would you participate in a charity workoutathon? Let us know in the comments below.


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Preston man writes news while recovering from stroke https://threewisemenblog.com/preston-man-writes-news-while-recovering-from-stroke/ Tue, 22 Feb 2022 19:00:00 +0000 https://threewisemenblog.com/preston-man-writes-news-while-recovering-from-stroke/ Paul Walmsley A Preston man has written his first book after major surgery to remove a cyst from his brain. Advertising Paul Walmsley, who underwent his operation at the Royal Preston Hospital, then unfortunately suffered a stroke, which caused loss of movement in his left arm and affected his […]]]>
Paul Walmsley

A Preston man has written his first book after major surgery to remove a cyst from his brain.







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Paul Walmsley, who underwent his operation at the Royal Preston Hospital, then unfortunately suffered a stroke, which caused loss of movement in his left arm and affected his speech, among other issues.

To help her on the road to recovery, Paul, senior manager of a tennis and fitness center in Preston, challenged himself to write a short story book.

Read more: Penwortham youth worker impresses judges during Channel 4’s Great Pottery Throw Down

Paul said: “In March 2020 I had surgery to remove a cyst from my brain. It took six and a half hours and when I came out of anesthesia I suffered a stroke.

“It caused loss of movement in my left arm, affected my speech and more severely damaged a nerve in my eye. It caused me double vision (diplopia), which I still have today. J recovered from the other two.

“Determined to get back on my feet and back on track, I challenged myself to write a short story book, completed in December 2020 during lockdown.

“I could not have recovered the way I did without the care, patience and love of my wife. My book is dedicated to him.

Read more: Lancashire County Council to explore ‘new vision’ for libraries and museums

Twenty-one Short Tales With a Twist is a collection of scenarios in the lives of ordinary people.

The synopsis reads: “From start to finish, this is a warm collective covering topics such as work, television, hobbies, friends, relationships, vacations, family life , but all end with a key.

“The stories are generally in a lighthearted and fun vein, but there are also thought-provoking events that serve to underscore the fact that things are never always what they seem.”

Read more: An explosion of colors! The Larder hosts an exhibition of abstract works by Iain H. Williams

Paul said: ‘I would like to thank all the staff in Ward 2B at Royal Preston Hospital for looking after me in March 2020.

“I hope my story gives hope to stroke victims or people with visual problems that things can get better with exertion.”

See what’s happening near you by entering your postal code below or visit InYourArea

Read more: See the latest news and headlines from Preston


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World Overview – Dr. James Emery White’s Christian Blog https://threewisemenblog.com/world-overview-dr-james-emery-whites-christian-blog/ Thu, 10 Feb 2022 08:00:00 +0000 https://threewisemenblog.com/world-overview-dr-james-emery-whites-christian-blog/ There are two ways to assess the state of Christian faith in relation to culture. One is to look locally at your own immediate context, the other is to look at things globally. So if you live in the Global North, like Europe and North America like me, the picture isn’t very pretty. As I […]]]>

There are two ways to assess the state of Christian faith in relation to culture. One is to look locally at your own immediate context, the other is to look at things globally. So if you live in the Global North, like Europe and North America like me, the picture isn’t very pretty.

As I wrote in a blog post earlier this year, the Pew Research Center revealed that in 2021 the percentage of Americans who self-identified as atheists, agnostics, or no particular religion rose to 29% of all American adults. That’s nearly one in three adults, up 10 percentage points from the 2011 survey. board questioned, self-designation marks 39%. The same survey found that the number of professing Christians fell from 75% in 2011 to 63% in 2021. The Pew researchers’ conclusion was fitting: “The secularization changes evident in American society so far in the 21st show no signs of slowing down. .”

But if you live in the Global South, it’s a whole different story. So, if those in the North were taken out of their cultural context, what would they find? Here are two headlines taken from the latest statistics from the Center for the Study of World Christianity.

1. Christianity grows

Worldwide, the number of people who embrace the Christian faith continues to grow, albeit modestly at a growth rate of 1.17%. By the middle of 2022, nearly 2.56 billion will identify as Christians. This number is expected to reach 3.33 billion by 2050. Moving down these numbers, the largest Christian group (about 1.26 billion) is made up of Catholics, and Evangelicals and Charismatics are growing fastest. The growth of Charismatics is particularly dramatic, from less than one million identifying as Pentecostals or Charismatics in 1900 to a projected billion by 2050.

2. The Global South is Exploding

The anchor for the global growth of Christianity is the Global South, particularly Africa (2.77% growth rate) and Asia (1.5% growth rate). To put this growth into perspective, in 2000, 814 million Christians lived in Europe and North America, compared to 660 million in Africa and Asia. Currently, the entire Global North has only 838 million Christians, while Africa and Asia alone have soared to nearly 1.1 billion followers of Christ. In the lead is Africa, where the Christian population is growing faster than any other continent. In fact, more Christians live in Africa than on any other continent in the world. By 2050, Africa will have nearly 1.3 billion Christians. North America? Only 276 million.

One conclusion is clear: the Global North has always been the one that sent missionaries out into the world for the sake of the gospel, usually to the Global South.

Now we need Africa to send them here.

James Emery White

Sources

Gregory A. Smith, “About three in ten American adults are no longer religious”, Pew Research CenterDecember 14, 2021, read online.

“Status of World Christianity, 2022, in the Context of 1900-2050,” Center for the Study of World Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, read online.

Aaron Earls, “7 Encouraging Trends in Global Christianity in 2022,” Lifestyle ResearchJanuary 31, 2022, read online.

About the Author

James Emery White is the founder and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, and the assistant professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also served as their fourth president. His latest book After “I believe” is now available on Amazon or at your favorite bookstore. To take advantage of a free subscription to the Church & Culture blog, visit ChurchAndCulture.org, where you can view past blogs in our archive and read the latest church and culture news from around the world. Follow Dr. White on TwitterFacebook and Instagram @JamesEmeryWhite.



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Children, School, and Church – Dr. James Emery White Christian Blog https://threewisemenblog.com/children-school-and-church-dr-james-emery-white-christian-blog/ Mon, 31 Jan 2022 08:00:00 +0000 https://threewisemenblog.com/children-school-and-church-dr-james-emery-white-christian-blog/ Public health expert Tyler VanderWeele and his Harvard team looked at more than a decade of developmental data from 12,000 children. This was a longitudinal study examining “social, physical, and mental tendencies within the group, such as substance abuse, anxiety/depression, community engagement, and sexual activity.” Specifically, they wanted to know how four categories of schools […]]]>

Public health expert Tyler VanderWeele and his Harvard team looked at more than a decade of developmental data from 12,000 children. This was a longitudinal study examining “social, physical, and mental tendencies within the group, such as substance abuse, anxiety/depression, community engagement, and sexual activity.” Specifically, they wanted to know how four categories of schools – public, private, religious, and homeschooling – “could affect the long-term well-being of adolescents.”

Many will find the results surprising.

  • In terms of key health indicators, there was little difference between the long-term well-being of adolescents who attended public school and those who attended private school.
  • There was only a marginal difference – 10-15% – between those who were sent to public schools and those who attended church schools. Specifically, those who attended religious schools were slightly “more likely to register to vote, less likely to be obese, and more likely to have fewer lifelong partners by the time they became young adults.” Negatively, those in religious schools were “slightly Continued likely to indulge in excessive alcohol consumption. Children who attended faith-based schools were also “only slightly more likely to attend church services as young adults than those who attended secular private or public schools.”

Nevertheless:

  • There was a significant difference between those who attended public school and those who were homeschooled. “We found a lot of positive and beneficial results from home schooling,” VanderWeele said. Specifically, homeschoolers “were more likely to volunteer, to forgive others, to possess a sense of mission and purpose, and to have significantly fewer lifelong sexual partners.” Homeschoolers were also “51% more likely to attend religious services frequently into young adulthood.”
  • Church attendance during adolescence was very important in terms of health and well-being, and much more influential than attending a denominational school. “What we found was that church attendance makes a bigger difference than religious schooling,” VanderWeele said. “Attendance of religious services has beneficial effects on different types of schools and has stronger effects than religious schooling.”

Translation: “…children who grew up attending church regularly achieved much higher overall well-being as young adults than those who went to a religious school but did. do not attend church services during their formative years. And for those who have done both? Church attendance among young people “was clearly the most dominant force.”

In a previous article for Christianity today, VanderWeele noted that “Regular attendance at services helps protect children from the ‘big three’ dangers of adolescence: depression, substance abuse, and premature sexual activity…. People who attended church as children are also more likely to grow up happy, to be forgiving, to have a sense of mission and purpose, and to volunteer.

So, beyond homeschooling getting more than a few shoutouts, perhaps the biggest headline is that, regardless of school type,

…you have to bring your family to church.

James Emery White

Sources

Stefani McDade, “Getting Kids to Church Matters More Than ‘Good’ School, Study Suggests,” Christianity todayJanuary 25, 2022, read online.

Ying Chen, Christina Hinton, and Tyler J. VanderWeele, “Types of Schools in Adolescence and Later Health and Well-Being in Young Adults: A Global Analysis of Findings”, Plos OneNovember 10, 2021, read online.

Tyler J. Vanderweele and Brendan Case, “Empty Benches are an American Public Health Crisis,” Christianity todayOctober 19, 2021, read online.

About the Author

James Emery White is the founder and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, and the assistant professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also served as their fourth president. His latest book After “I believe” is now available on Amazon or at your favorite bookstore. To take advantage of a free subscription to the Church & Culture blog, visit ChurchAndCulture.org, where you can view past blogs in our archive and read the latest church and culture news from around the world. Follow Dr. White on TwitterFacebook and Instagram @JamesEmeryWhite.



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The Importance of Innovation – Dr. James Emery White Christian Blog https://threewisemenblog.com/the-importance-of-innovation-dr-james-emery-white-christian-blog/ Thu, 27 Jan 2022 08:00:00 +0000 https://threewisemenblog.com/the-importance-of-innovation-dr-james-emery-white-christian-blog/ Innovation is one of the least talked about issues within churches. We talk about the importance of evaluating current approaches in light of continued effectiveness and the strategy to adopt in adopting new methods, but these topics are different from innovation. What most churches talk about is whether to embrace something other churches are doing. […]]]>

Innovation is one of the least talked about issues within churches. We talk about the importance of evaluating current approaches in light of continued effectiveness and the strategy to adopt in adopting new methods, but these topics are different from innovation. What most churches talk about is whether to embrace something other churches are doing. They don’t discuss creating something new on their own. But evaluating current approaches against other “existing” models or methods is only half of what is needed. The other half is your own raw innovation.

Jim Collins, one of the best organizational leadership thinkers I know, suggests that there are at least six basic elements of what it means to be an innovative organization:

  1. Receptivity to ideas from everywhere
  2. “Be” the customer
  3. Experimentation and errors
  4. people are creative
  5. Autonomy and decentralization
  6. Awards

Here’s a primer on what he means by each:

First, “responsiveness to ideas from everywhere” is really about fostering a culture of learning. It’s reading books, listening to podcasts, attending seminars, and reading blogs.

“Being the customer” is about doing all you can to experience the world – and more specifically, people’s interaction with you – as they do. For churches, it’s about trying to get so close to the people you’re trying to reach that you’re experiencing what they’re experiencing.

“Experiment and error” involves the willingness to take risks, try new things, and not worry too much if the majority fails. Collins notes how Thomas Edison went through over 9,000 iterations before successfully inventing the light bulb. When one of his associates asked him, “Why do you persist in this madness? You have failed over 9,000 times. Edison replied, “I haven’t even failed once; 9,000 times I’ve learned what doesn’t work.

The idea behind “people being creative” is nothing more than helping people develop their creative abilities. It can be as simple as providing books on creativity, such as A blow to the side of the head by Richard Van Oech or Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull, who was president of Pixar and Disney Animation. Anything that will inspire people to challenge conventional wisdom.

For example, from Catmull, we learn several key organizational principles that foster creativity and are particularly suited to the church, such as:

  • If there are people in your organization who feel they are not free to suggest ideas, you lose. Don’t overlook ideas from unexpected sources. Inspiration can and does come from anywhere.
  • It is not enough simply to be open to the ideas of others. Engaging the collective intelligence of the people you work with is an active and ongoing process. As a manager, you need to coax ideas from your staff and constantly push them to contribute.
  • When it comes to shutting down alternate viewpoints, nothing is as effective as being convinced that you are right.
  • Failure is not a necessary evil. In fact, it’s not bad at all. It is a necessary consequence of doing something new.
  • A company’s communication structure should not reflect its organizational structure. Everyone should be able to talk to anyone.
  • Beware of making too many rules. Rules can make life easier for managers, but they can be humiliating for the 95% who behave well. Don’t create rules to control the remaining 5%, deal with abuses of common sense individually. It’s more work but ultimately healthier.
  • Tackling exceptionally difficult problems forces us to think differently.

“Autonomy and decentralization” are key to innovation, and I have written in previous books about the importance of rethinking traditional church structures, especially in Rethinking the Church and What They Didn’t Teach You in Seminar. The decision-making and management structure of a church will determine whether innovation is stifled or unleashed. As I wrote in What They Didn’t Teach You in Seminar,

“I can’t begin to tell you how frustrating it is to lead a seminar or conference, lay out a simple decision or action that would radically improve the health or effectiveness of a church, and then do it. meet by a chorus of leaders saying, ‘We can’t do that.’ And nine times out of 10, it’s not because they don’t have the money, or the volunteers, or the facilities, or even the desire, it’s because they don’t have the freedom.”

The final element of innovation, “rewards,” may be more difficult for some to translate into a church environment, but the essence of the idea is actually highly transferable. It is enough to make it legal that the time is spent not only on the management of things, but also on their development. And yes, create incentives for that. And for many church staff around the world, the freedom to devote time to new endeavors would itself be the reward.

All this to say that the next time you feel the need for something new, before you turn to other churches, maybe look to yours,

…and become the innovation leader.

James Emery White

Sources

Jim Collins and Bill Lazier, BE 2.0: Transforming your business into a great sustainable business.

Ed Catmull with Amy Wallace, Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Get in the Way of True Inspiration.

James Emery White, Rethinking the Church.

James Emery White, What they didn’t teach you in Seminar.

About the Author

James Emery White is the founder and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, and the assistant professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also served as their fourth president. His last book After “I believe” is now available on Amazon or at your favorite bookstore. To take advantage of a free subscription to the Church & Culture blog, visit ChurchAndCulture.org, where you can view past blogs in our archive and read the latest church and culture news from around the world. Follow Dr. White on TwitterFacebook and Instagram @JamesEmeryWhite.



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Preston North End to host Rainbow Hub’s eighth annual Workout-athon https://threewisemenblog.com/preston-north-end-to-host-rainbow-hubs-eighth-annual-workout-athon/ Wed, 26 Jan 2022 19:00:00 +0000 https://threewisemenblog.com/preston-north-end-to-host-rainbow-hubs-eighth-annual-workout-athon/ Rainbow Hub Pre ​​2020 Workoutathon The eighth annual Rainbow Hub Workout-athon returns to Preston North End FC next month after going virtual last year. Advertising Supported by JMW Solicitors, the event takes place on Sunday February 20, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., in The Great Room, Preston North End Football Club, Sir Tom Finney […]]]>
Rainbow Hub Pre ​​2020 Workoutathon

The eighth annual Rainbow Hub Workout-athon returns to Preston North End FC next month after going virtual last year.










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Supported by JMW Solicitors, the event takes place on Sunday February 20, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., in The Great Room, Preston North End Football Club, Sir Tom Finney Way.

The Rainbow Hub Workout-athon is back with challenges to help residents get fit for 2022 and to raise money for the Mawdesley-based charity which supports children and young people with physical and neurological disabilities .

Read more: The Winckley Square relief charity is seeking nominations from local causes

Rainbow Hub Pre ​​2020 Workoutathon

Lyndsay Fahey, Managing Director of Rainbow Hub, said, “It’s been a fantastic event that has grown from the start.

“Unfortunately, we had to go virtual last year due to the pandemic, but it was still a success, and we expect a strong turnout next month.

“We would like to thank everyone for supporting the event, especially JMW Solicitors and Preston North End Football Club for allowing us to use their facilities.

“We are also grateful to everyone who gives their time to help, especially the instructors, Ultrasec, for attending the event to provide first aid, and Gareth Edwards of Gareth Edwards Photography.”

Read more: Housing group supports Preston’s most vulnerable with winter fundraisers

The event will feature three hours of energetic workouts including Rockbox, Zumba, HIIT, Body Combat/Attack and
Freestyle Yoga (subject to change).

The deadline for mail-in entries is Thursday, February 17 and the deadline for online entries is Friday, February 18 at noon. Alternatively, entries can appear the same day.

Sponsorship is not required but is encouraged as participants can raise more funds for Rainbow Hub by asking family and friends to support them.

Read more: Preston set to get more funding for emergency accommodation for rough sleepers

There will be a raffle and prizes to be won on the day, and qualified fitness instructors will lead the classes.

The organizers thanked Rachel Burrows, Joanne Berends-Sheriff, Kurt Mcdonnell, Roz Edwards, Steve Jenkinson and Rachel Holland.

The annual Rainbow Hub Ramble will take place on May 21, 2022.

Read more: Cottam’s Tipping family reveal £16,000 total after Christmas lights fundraiser

Admission is £10 in advance or £15 on the day, and entry forms are available online.

To enter, email parish@rainbowhub.org, call 01704 823276 or visit – www.rainbowhub.org/event/workoutathon/

Find out what’s happening near you by entering your postal code below or visit InYourArea

Read more: See the latest news and headlines from Preston

Will you be present? Let us know in the comments below


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Pray for India – Dr. James Emery White Christian Blog https://threewisemenblog.com/pray-for-india-dr-james-emery-white-christian-blog/ Mon, 24 Jan 2022 11:05:00 +0000 https://threewisemenblog.com/pray-for-india-dr-james-emery-white-christian-blog/ The director of our mission partner in northern India made an unusual request when he visited the United States last summer. We wanted to interview him on camera, and he politely declined. He said it wasn’t safe. He even asked if we would refrain from mentioning his name, the name of the ministry, as well […]]]>

The director of our mission partner in northern India made an unusual request when he visited the United States last summer. We wanted to interview him on camera, and he politely declined. He said it wasn’t safe. He even asked if we would refrain from mentioning his name, the name of the ministry, as well as anything that would refer to where in India they were operating.

Again, it wasn’t safe.

I have been to India for the past few years, and the climate there regarding Christianity has been rapidly deteriorating for some time. When I last visited, mobs attacking churches, homes of pastors and individual Christians were not uncommon, especially in outlying villages. Today Hindu nationalism is rampant and violence against Christians is becoming the norm across the country.

When the New York Times covers the persecution of Christians, you know it’s wrong, and that’s precisely what happened in a story called “Arrests, Beatings and Secret Prayers: Inside the Persecution of India’s Christians ” by Jeffrey Gettleman and Suhasini Raj. It is worth a full read.

In the article, an attack on a Christian church in the city of Indore is detailed, including the beating of pastors, assaults on terrified women and children who are in hiding for their lives. When the police arrived, they did not arrest the attackers; they arrested and imprisoned pastors and other church leaders who were still physically reeling from the assault. Christians were

“…accused of violating a newly enforced law that targets religious conversions, a law that mirrors at least a dozen other measures across the country that have sparked an upsurge in mob violence against Indian Christians. .a growing anti-Christian hysteria spreading across this vast nation….”

There are over 30 million Christians in India, making it “one of the oldest and largest Christian communities in Asia”. A community that now lives in fear as anti-Christian vigilantes “sweep villages, storm churches, burn Christian literature and assault worshippers”. And, like the New York Times reports that in many cases, the police and members of the ruling party in India help them. “From church to church,” they write, “the very act of worship has become dangerous.”

You may have read recently that even the revered Missionaries of Charity, founded by Mother Teresa in what was then Calcutta (now Kolkata) in West Bengal, were recently denied the opportunity to receive and use sources of foreign funding, thus ending the ministry in this nation. International outcry was enough for it to be quickly reinstated – for example, the UK Parliament began debating blocking foreign NGO funding in India – but it was a harbinger of the effort aimed at cutting off the flow of outside money to help Christians and Christians. ministry in the nation.

What motivates the persecution? Again, from New York Times:

“For many Hindu extremists, the attacks are justified – a way to prevent religious conversions. For them, the possibility that some Indians, even a relatively small number, will reject Hinduism in favor of Christianity is a threat to their dream of turning India into a pure Hindu nation.

This makes the situation more serious in central and northern India,

“…where evangelical Christian groups are making inroads among lower-caste Hindus, albeit quietly. Pastors hold clandestine ceremonies at night. They perform secret baptisms. They distribute audio Bibles that look like little transistor radios so that illiterate farmers can surreptitiously listen to the scriptures as they plow their fields.

For our part, we will continue to support our partner in India in every way possible. But every church in the West should have India – one of the most populous nations on the planet (second only to China) – in their hearts and minds.

And in their prayers.

James Emery White

Sources

Jeffrey Gettleman and Suhasini Raj, “Arrests, Beatings and Secret Prayers: Inside India’s Christian Persecution”, The New York Times, 23 December 2021, read online.

“The Indian government. Allows MC nuns to continue to receive foreign donations,” Vatican News, January 8, 2022, read online.

About the Author

James Emery White is the founder and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, and the assistant professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also served as their fourth president. His latest book After “I believe” is now available on Amazon or at your favorite bookstore. To take advantage of a free subscription to the Church & Culture blog, visit ChurchAndCulture.org, where you can view past blogs in our archive and read the latest church and culture news from around the world. Follow Dr. White on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @JamesEmeryWhite.



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It’s a TikTok world – Dr. James Emery White Christian Blog https://threewisemenblog.com/its-a-tiktok-world-dr-james-emery-white-christian-blog/ Thu, 20 Jan 2022 11:05:00 +0000 https://threewisemenblog.com/its-a-tiktok-world-dr-james-emery-white-christian-blog/ The most popular site in 2021 was not Google, Amazon, Facebook or YouTube. It was TikTok. If you’re unfamiliar with TikTok, it’s a Chinese video-sharing platform similar to YouTube that allows users to post videos of up to a minute or less. TikTok stars now earn more than most of America’s top CEOs, such as […]]]>

The most popular site in 2021 was not Google, Amazon, Facebook or YouTube.

It was TikTok.

If you’re unfamiliar with TikTok, it’s a Chinese video-sharing platform similar to YouTube that allows users to post videos of up to a minute or less. TikTok stars now earn more than most of America’s top CEOs, such as Charli D’Amelio’s $17.5 million in 2021; and not too far behind her was her sister Dixie who made $10 million.

The demographics of TikTok users are young. Almost a quarter of its users in 2021 were between the ages of 10 and 19. This helps explain the number of viral TikTok videos that have been dangerous or, in many people’s minds, just plain stupid, coining phrases such as a TikTok video that has gone “tok-bottom” or “a- tok-alyptic”.

Two dynamics fuel the popularity of TikTok content: it’s short and it’s visual. I talked about the importance of both dynamics in my book Meet Generation Z.

Attention spans

What has been the conventional wisdom is true: attention spans have dramatically decreased in recent years; more dramatically than most realized. According to research from the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the average attention span has dropped from 12 seconds in 2000 to just 8.25 seconds in 2015. That’s down about 25% in just over a decade. So what does this mean for, say, a church trying to reach an internet-based generation? Here are some internet browsing stats that may make you rethink everything:

  • Average length watched of a single internet video: 2.7 minutes
  • Percentage of page views that last less than 4 seconds: 17%
  • Percentage of pageviews that lasted more than 10 minutes: 4%
  • Percentage of words read on web pages of 111 words or less: 49%
  • Percentage of words read on an average web page (593 words): 28%

At the end of the line ? Everything we try to convey, let alone explain, will need to be communicated more frequently in shorter bursts of “nibble content – at least early in the engagement phase.”

Some have suggested that what really works are highly evolved “eight second filters”. Generation Z, for example, grew up in a world where options and information are virtually limitless; time, of course, is not. So they developed, almost out of necessity, the ability to quickly sort through huge amounts of data. Or they rely on sources that do it for them, like trending information in apps.

The good news is that once something Is it that catch their attention, and is deemed worthy of their time, they can become intensely engaged and focused. The very internet that forced them to develop “eight-second filters” is the same internet that allows them to delve into any topic they want and learn from a community of other interested parties. This means you can still engage people on a very deep level with the truth. The bad news? You have eight seconds to pass their filters. As one 18-year-old UCLA student put it, “Gen Z instantly absorbs information and loses interest just as quickly.” That’s why Dan Schawbel, managing partner of Millennial Branding, a New York-based consulting firm, tells his advertising partners “that if they don’t communicate in five words and the big picture, they won’t achieve that generation”.

This leads to what might be the most needed overhaul of all: this “big picture”. In other words, the importance of being visual.

The importance of the visual

As I wrote in The rise of the nuns, a lesson from history could be in order as to the importance of the visual. The Lindisfarne Gospels, a 1,300 year old manuscript, are revered to this day as the oldest English version of the Gospels. Lindisfarne is a small island located just off the English coast of Northumberland. It is often called Holy Island. Tidal waters cut it off from the rest of the world for several hours each day, adding to its mystique as a spiritual pilgrimage.

Produced around AD 715 in honor of St Cuthbert, largely by a man named Eadfrith, the Bishop of Lindisfarne, the Lindisfarne Gospels feature a copy of all four New Testament Gospels. But he is not revered simply for his age. Its pages reveal curved and embellished letters, strange creatures and spiraling symbols of exquisite precision and beauty. In the 8th century, pilgrims flocked to St Cuthbert’s shrine where he was housed, making the Lindisfarne manuscript one of the most visited and viewed books of its day. His artwork and symbols helped convey his message to those who could not read.

Professor Richard Gameson of Durham University considers it a precursor to modern multimedia because it was designed to be a visual, sensual and artistic experience for its audience. Michelle Brown of the University of London notes that the book’s impact was similar to today’s film and electronic media. As Gameson adds, “the focus was on reaching as many people as possible.”

I have written elsewhere that there are striking parallels between our time and that of the Middle Ages. If Western society enters a new era akin to the earlier medieval era, what Umberto Eco called the neomedieval, What does it mean? One thing is certain: there will be a profound need for communication of a visual nature. Over the past 20 years, we have moved decisively to a visually-based world. The most formative influences aren’t books, theater or even music, it’s video.

Consider the suggested parallel with the Middle Ages. In medieval times, there was widespread spiritual illiteracy, as well as actual illiteracy. People couldn’t read. This is why pilgrimages were so important to pilgrims. Beyond the relics and holy places they thought could bestow grace, the cathedrals they visited usually told the story of faith through a medium they could understand: stained glass. In other words, pictures. Thus, even if people could not (or could not) read, they could not help seeing, and seeing, understanding.

It’s no different today.

We are spiritually illiterate and visually oriented and visually informed. Only now, instead of stained glass, we have TikTok.

An entire subgenre known as “Christian TikTok” exists where Christian TikTok influencers post everything from sermonettes to Bible study best practices. And many young content creators “are on a mission to spark a revival among Gen Z.”

But that’s of course what any church can do too.

James Emery White

Sources

Ben Cost, “The 12 TikTok Trends That Defined 2021: From Hilarious to Terrifying”, New York Post, 21 December 2021, read online.

Joseph Pisani and Theo Francis, “These TikTok Stars Made More Money Than Most of America’s Top CEOs”, The Wall Street Journal, 13 January 2022, read online.

James Emery White, Meet Generation Z (baker), order on Amazon.

“Meet Generation Z: Forget Everything You Learned About Generation Y” Sparks and honey, June 17, 2014, read online.

On attention spans, see the National Center for Biotechnology Information, as well as the US National Library of Medicine, as reported by the Statistic Brain Research Institute online here.

For Internet browsing statistics, see Harald Weinreich, Hartmut Obendorf, Elco Herder and Matthias Mayer, “Not Quite Average: An Empirical Study of Web Usage”, in the ACM Transactions on the Web, flight. 2, no. 1, February 2008, article n° 5.

On “Eight-Second Filters”, see Jeremy Finch, “What Is Generation Z, and What Does It Want?” fast business, 4 May 2015, read online.

James Emery White, The rise of the nuns (baker), order on Amazon.

Alex Williams, “Move on Millennials: Meet Gen Z,” The New York Time, September 20, 2015, read online.

Flavia Di Consiglio, “Lindisfarne Gospels: Why is this book so special?” » BBC Religion and Ethics, March 20, 2013, read online.

Umberto Eco, Journeys in Hyper Reality: Essays, trans. William Weaver (San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1986).

Rachel Seo, “Meet the TikTok Generation of Televangelists”, Christianity today, October 20, 2020, read online.

About the Author

James Emery White is the founder and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, and the assistant professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also served as their fourth president. His last book After “I believe” is now available on Amazon or at your favorite bookstore. To take advantage of a free subscription to the Church & Culture blog, visit ChurchAndCulture.org, where you can view past blogs in our archive and read the latest church and culture news from around the world. Follow Dr. White on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @JamesEmeryWhite.



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New restaurant planned for The Horns Inn in Goosnargh https://threewisemenblog.com/new-restaurant-planned-for-the-horns-inn-in-goosnargh/ Wed, 19 Jan 2022 11:35:00 +0000 https://threewisemenblog.com/new-restaurant-planned-for-the-horns-inn-in-goosnargh/ Sean Wrest runs a new restaurant in a historic inn Former Michelin star chef Sean Wrest is to run an exciting new restaurant in a historic former coaching inn near Preston. Advertising The acclaimed chef, who also won the 2021 Acorn Award, took on the lead role at the Horns Inn in Goosnargh, a Grade […]]]>
Sean Wrest runs a new restaurant in a historic inn

Former Michelin star chef Sean Wrest is to run an exciting new restaurant in a historic former coaching inn near Preston.









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The acclaimed chef, who also won the 2021 Acorn Award, took on the lead role at the Horns Inn in Goosnargh, a Grade II listed 17th century listed building which is currently undergoing substantial refurbishment.

Sean quit his job as head chef at Tommy Banks’ Roots in York last summer and since then has been inundated with offers, but has chosen to be part of an exciting new chapter at the Horns Inn.

Read more: Live music returns to Ashton Church with a piano recital

The pub has been taken over by a local construction company, J Townley, who are creating a number of luxury homes and chalets around the site and have also decided to invest in converting the hostel into a destination restaurant.

The owners of the business have also recruited Yorkshire Forager, Alysia Vasey, as an operations consultant and Sean revealed it was her involvement that secured the deal.

Sean said: “I just had the right feeling the minute I pulled into the parking lot for the first time that it was the right decision for me.

“It was Alysia who first contacted me to see if I would be interested and I knew if she recommended it it had to be something special – and she was right.

“It’s an amazing opportunity and I can’t wait to get started.”

Yorkshire Forager, Alysia Vasey who acts as Operations Consultant at Horns Inn and Chef Patron, Sean Wrest

Sean will also be joined by his fiancée, Sam Haigh, who is leaving her position as restaurant manager at the Black Swan in Olstead to become general manager of the Horns Inn.

The transformation has seen the creation of a 100-seat restaurant whilst retaining the pub side of the business and along with lunch and dinner there will also be an afternoon tea offering.

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Sean is currently working on the menu which he believes will bring together all of his previous dining experiences.

“I’ve worked in restaurants where we created menus around foraging, fermenting and pickling, but also where we used more classic techniques and recipes,” he said.

“I will bring together everything I have learned over the years into what will hopefully be a truly authentic and exciting offering.”

The Horns Inn will open in mid-March and reservations will be available from February.

Read more: See the latest news and headlines from Preston


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