Five More for Another Friday, 10.18.13

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t is Friday again and time for a few good articles from the week.

Jay Sanders, the best kept secret on the Internet, introduces us to the book he needs to write. It’s called The Devil’s Dictionary of American Politics. A couple of excerpts:

Bipartisan (adj.): When politicians who represent opposing viewpoints come together to really stick it to the American people.

Extremism (n.): The belief that one should be able to say what he wishes, worship where he wishes, own a firearm and put as much pine straw in his flower garden as he so desires.

Thom Rainer addresses as issue with which many church struggle, busyness, in Seven Reasons Your Church Needs to Go on a Diet.

Most churches—more than eight out of ten—are busy. Too busy. These churches need to slim down their plethora of programs, activities, and ministries. They need to go a busyness diet.

Unfortunately, many church leaders equate activities with godliness or ministry fruitfulness. For certain, churches must have some clear plan of discipleship for their members. Sadly, some of the busiest churches actually diminish discipleship fruitfulness. And ceasing certain activities in the church can be extremely hard. You can run into sacred cows and favored ministries. Still, most churches should pursue a busyness diet for at least seven reasons.

German magazine Spiegel explores Danish protection of its entire Jewish population during World War II. The article is The Exception: How Denmark Saved Its Jews from the Nazis:

At this point, the deportation and murder of European Jews had already been underway for some time in other countries that had submitted to Nazi control. In the Netherlands, Hungary, Greece, Lithuania, Latvia and Poland, the overwhelming majority of Jews, between 70 and 90 percent of the Jewish population, disappeared and were murdered. The Nazis deported and killed close to half of all Jews in Estonia, Belgium, Norway and Romania. About a fifth of French and Italian Jews died. As historian Peter Longerich writes, the Holocaust was dependent, “to a considerable extent, on the practical cooperation and support of an occupied country or territory.”

The Danes provided no assistance to the Nazis in their “Jewish campaign” in Denmark. They viewed the Jews as Danes and placed them under their protection, a story documented in “Countrymen,” a new book by Danish author Bo Lidegaard. “The history of the rescue of the Danish Jews,” writes Lidegaard, “is only a tiny part of the massive history of the Shoah. But it teaches us a lesson, because it is a story about the survival instinct, civil disobedience and the assistance provided by an entire people when, outranged and angry, it rebelled against the deportation of its fellow Danes.”

Trevin Wax takes on the concept of “every kid a winner” in sports. The father of three suggests Don’t Give Your Kid a Trophy for Losing.

I feel like I’m going against the tidal wave of parental niceness to even say such a thing, but it’s true. During this game, I don’t want him to just have fun or play safely. I want his team to win. And I hope every dad cheering from the sidelines for the other team feels the same way.

I believe we should resist the fashionable tendency to take competition out of sports.

That’s why, at the beginning of the soccer season, I asked my son: ”What’s more important? Having fun or winning?

He answered: “Having fun?”

“No,” I replied. “Winning. Because if you’re not winning, you’re not having fun.”

What do they teach children in school these days?

And, one oldie: From June 2013, WSJ suggests an answer to the question many business leaders have asked in the last few months, “Who is the next Steve Jobs?” The venerable business paper suggests Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

There is no shortage of big dreamers in tech land. Mr. Jobs stood out because he had accomplishments to match. For Mr. Musk, there is a lot more reality to distort before his more-fanciful visions get realized.

Still, there is no denying the gravitational pull of his visions.

Marty Duren

Just a guy writing some things.