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Living space per person has doubled over last 40 years

Though the economy has been tough in many ways (e.g., declining work force participation), housing space per person is dramatically on the rise. Mark Perry of AEI writes, “In 2013, the average size of new houses built increased to an all-time high of 2,679 square feet (see blue line in top chart), and the median size new home set a new record of 2,491 square feet (see red line in chart). Over the last 40 years, the average home has increased in size by more than 1,000 square feet.”  (The average is greater than the Continue Reading…

Preparing Teens for College (And Adulthood)

The opening of my article on the Desiring God blog:

Raising teens to be faithful Christian adults has never been easy. Like us, our children enter this world as sinners whose hearts must be transformed by the Holy Spirit. As parents, pastors, teachers, and mentors, we seek to be God’s instruments in this process.

And while we pray and instruct them about the kingdom of God, we also prepare them to live fruitfully in the kingdom of man. The two are not disconnected: Academic, professional, and relational success flow primarily from character and maturity. And as Christians, we know that character and maturity flow most readily from a God-mastered life and soul, from the hearts of men and women who have bowed the knee to Jesus as Lord.

Read the rest.

Related: Promo Video for Preparing Your Teens for College, which is now available for up to 50% off.

Preparing Your Teens for College

I’d like to say thank you to everyone who has already helped in some way to spread the word about my new book, Preparing Your Teens for College.  It was the result of over 16 months of fairly intense work. It was a far harder book to write than Thriving at College, but I believe it has a far greater potential for fruitfulness. It’s written to parents, youth pastors, guidance counselors, ministry leaders and anyone else involved in the great work of equipping parents to train their teens to leave home with the faith, character, and maturity to be successful not just in college but in the totality of their lives. Help the parents and you help the students. Thriving at college begins before they get there.

To encourage people to check this book out, we’ve made a number of free resources available.  You can look at the Table of Contents. You can read the Foreword by Tedd Tripp (a seasoned pastor and the best-selling author of Shepherding a Child’s Heart).  You can read a brief overview of the book.  You can find out why I wrote this book. You can read the 16 endorsements (from Jerry Bridges, Josh McDowell, Alistair Begg, Marvin Olasky, Tullian Tchividjian, Gregg Harris, Mark Bauerlein, Jim Daly, Derek Keenan, Kay Wills Wyma, Doug Wilson, Gene Veith, David Dockery, Michael Horton, Gene Veith, R.C. Sproul Jr., and Burk Parsons). You can even read two full chapters for free! More material can be found in the press kit (including how you can request a review copy or an electronic review copy).

Would you be so kind as to consider this book for yourself or for a friend? If you think it looks worthwhile, could you please spread the word to others? Thanks for reading.

Related: Check out the short promo video for the book, the up to 50% off sale (through March 3), or the guest post I wrote about it for the Desiring God blog.

The High School That Will Get You a Job

Fantastic cover story on P-Tech high schools by Rana Foroohar in the latest edition of Time magazine. P-Tech high schools are six-year programs in which graduates earn both a high school diploma and an associate’s degree.  Thanks to industrial partnerships, they also graduate with a guaranteed job paying $40,000 or more (something only one in five 27 year olds, let alone 20 year olds,  have today). Here’s the opening:

Sarah E. Goode is the name of one of the first African-American women ever to be granted a U.S. patent, in 1885, for a foldout bed that converted into a desk–a prescient object that would fit right into a modern-day Ikea catalog. It’s also the name of a new high school on Chicago’s South Side that is redefining what it means to be educated in the 21st century.

Continue Reading…

Christians Get Depressed Too

David Murray, author of Christians Get Depressed Too:

This series of films from HeadHeartHand Media presents five Christians with five very different stories of depression and of how God gave them hope and help to recover. Each 35-40 minute episode tells the story of one such Christian. Their reflections are intercut with interview footage from six counselors representing a wide range of Christian knowledge and experience. While the pain of depression is evident, the overall tone is hopeful and practical.

We’re convinced that this holistic and biblical approach to depression will equip churches to minister to depressed Christians with greater understanding, compassion, and effectiveness. The unique combination of narrative and teaching will be a great resource for any individual, family, congregation, or small group, and will serve as a helpful supplement to the book, Christians Get Depressed Too. A new film will be released every couple of weeks and we start this week Continue Reading…

Louis Zamperini’s Amazing Story – Coming to the Big Screen

My wife read Laura Hillenbrand’s breathtaking, runaway best-seller Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption when it came out in 2010. What’s not captured in this title is that upon his return to America Louis Zamperini experienced the converting power of God’s grace, which gave him a supernatural ability to love his enemies, even the man who had tortured him. The book is fantastic (from what I’ve heard) and I hope to read it myself soon.

All the more so because this Christmas a major motion picture is being released (directed by Angelina Jolie). I hope the movie does not mute all aspects of this remarkable man’s Christian faith.

HT: Collin Hansen

Let Them Come Home (John and Abraham Piper)

Abraham Piper (son to John and Noel Piper) spent four years as a young adult wandering from the Lord, at which time he was decisively saved. This essay he wrote sometime later would be useful to Christian parents wrestling with how to interact with their non-Christian adult children. He unpacks twelve principles:

1. Point them to Christ.
2. Pray.
3. Acknowledge that something is wrong.
4. Don’t expect them to be Christlike.
5. Welcome them home.
6. Plead with them more than you rebuke them.
7. Connect them to other believers.
8. Respect their friends.
9. E-mail them.
10. Take them to lunch.
11. Take an interest in their pursuits.
12. Point them to Christ.

Today’s 25-32 Year Olds Have it Bad

No, really. They’ve got it bad. As in, a higher unemployment rate than previous generations at the same age, across all educational attainment levels. This is a big reason why, as I discussed in the Introduction to Preparing Your Teens for College, more is riding on college today than ever before (to say nothing of the fact that’s it’s never been more expensive).

Read more.

God in the Whirlwind – David Wells

God in the WhirlwindNew from David Wells, this book promises to be a great addition to Wells’ previous work. It’s on sale for through February 18 for 45% off at WTS Books.  The publisher’s description:

Building on years of research, writing, and cross-cultural ministry, renowned author and theologian David Wells calls our attention to that which defines God’s greatness and gives shape to the Christian life: the holy-love of God.

In God in the Whirlwind, Wells explores the depths of the paradox that God is both holy and loving, showing how his holy-love provides the foundation for our understanding of the cross, sanctification, the nature of worship, and our life of service in the world. Continue Reading…

Michael Sam – First Openly Gay NFL Player?

e82d472ab2bc4951ea4f74bff829688fThe 2013 SEC defensive player of the year, Michael Sam, is in a position to become the first openly gay professional football player. But first he needs to get drafted. Josh Alper of NBC Sports reports that Sam’s chances of getting drafted may have diminished:

Pete Thamel and Thayer Evans of spoke to eight NFL executives and coaches, none willing to put his or her name to their opinion of a man revealing part of his identity, on Sunday to find out how Sam’s choice to take that on will affect his position in the draft.

Because Sam had come out to his teammates already, one person Thamel and Evans spoke to said that 90 percent of teams already knew and had dropped Sam on their draft boards as a result. Others said that the NFL would be ready for an openly gay player “in the coming decade or two” and that being openly gay would “break a tie” with another player going before Sam. An NFL assistant said Sam’s move was not a smart one.

If Alper’s analysis is correct, there could be something of a parallel to the Tim Tebow situation. Fair or unfair, perhaps football teams are averse to having media attention from anything other than the sport itself.

HT: Denny Burk

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