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U.K. skeptic tweets tough question

A young malnourished baby boy from Haiti named Nelson, sitting outside a home with a pot before he was rescued by Love a Child and Feed My Starving Children (Credit: Feed My Starving Children via Flickr)I sometimes forget how global and yet personal social media can be.  Last week I tweeted the statement, "God shows us how much we need him, dealing with us as gently as he can or as harshly as he must."  A man in Great Britain responded: "Ahhh I see, so he must deal harshly with this little one . . .?"  He attached a picture of a starving child.  I wanted to respond, but knew I would need more than 140 characters.  So here is what I would say to the skeptic in England.

Is God dealing harshly with us?  Does it seem to you that our world is more broken and chaotic than ever before?  Sunday morning we got news of a second Ebola patient in Dallas, the first person actually infected in the U.S.  More than 4,000 have now died from this epidemic.

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Archaeologists discover a beardless Jesus

Spanish archaeologists at the Forum MMX excavation project have found a depiction of Jesus on a green glass paten, which is a plate that holds bread for the Holy Eucharist, that dates back to the 4th century, making it one of the earliest images of the Chrst ever unearthed, in the ancient town of Castulo in southern spain (Credit: FORVM MMX) Spanish archaeologists have found a depiction of Jesus dating to the fourth century, one of the earliest ever discovered.  They unearthed a green glass paten, a plate used to hold bread for the Lord's Supper.  It is inscribed with an image of Jesus with two men, thought to be Peter and Paul.  Surprisingly, none of the three are wearing beards.

When you think of Jesus, what image comes to mind?  If you're like me, you envision flowing brown hair and a full beard.  Why?

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Londoners give up firstborn child for Wi-Fi

A young mother holds her 4-month old son while she tries to work on her laptop at sidewalk cafe (Credit: Ekaterina Pokrovsky via Fotolia) A security company in London recently sponsored an experiment to show how little attention we pay to Internet agreements.  They set up an open Wi-Fi network in a busy public area.  When people connected, they were presented with lengthy conditions and terms.  Included was a "Herod clause" that offered free Wi-Fi in exchange for the company's ownership of the user's firstborn child.

Six Londoners agreed.  Presumably they did not read the terms and conditions, thus illustrating the security firm's point.  Or perhaps they'd had a rough day at home that morning.

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Why Turkey's election affects you

Prime Minister and presidential candidate Tayyip Erdogan talks with media during presidential elections in Istanbul August 10, 2014 (Credit: Reuters/Murad Sezer) Recep Tayyip Erdogan (pronounced "Erd-wan") is the most important politician you've probably never thought about.  You may have heard that he won a landslide victory in Turkey's recent presidential election, after serving three terms as prime minister.  Erdogan is now Turkey's most powerful leader since Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who founded the Republic of Turkey in 1922.

Why does his victory matter to you?

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Is Israel losing a war it's winning?

An Israeli soldier carries a weapon near the border with the Gaza Strip July 27, 2014 (Credit: Reuters/Ronen Zvulun) Jeffrey Goldberg notes in The Atlantic: "It seems as if Israel is losing the war in Gaza, even as it wins the battle against Hamas's rocket arsenal, and even as it destroys the tunnels meant to convey terrorists underground to Israel (and to carry Israeli hostages back to Gaza)."  He suggests six reasons why this is so.  I'd like to review his points and add my own thoughts.

One: "In a fight between a state actor and a non-state actor, the non-state actor can win merely by surviving."  So long as Hamas survives this war with Israel, it will be perceived as winning in the eyes of its supporters.  Goldberg is right: as Henry Kissinger noted, "The conventional army loses if it does not win.  The guerrilla wins if he does not lose."  U.S. forces faced the same reality in Vietnam that Israeli forces face in Gaza—what it takes to win the war exceeds what they are prepared to do.  So long as Hamas survives as a result, it "wins."

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