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Apple and GE announce deep partnership

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While Apple has had its share of enterprise partners in recent years including IBM, Cisco and SAP, today’s announcement that it will be working directly with GE feels a bit different with the two companies more closely intertwined than in previous deals.

Apple and GE have committed to build a set of development tools and to develop apps together using Apple’s design sensibility and deep understanding of iOS, but the deal doesn’t stop there. Apple’s sales team will also push the GE Predix platform with its industrial customers when it makes sense, and GE has committed to standardizing on the iPhone and iPad for its 330,000 employees, while offering the Mac as a computer choice. All of this adds up to a level of cooperation we have not seen in Apple’s previous enterprise partnerships.

For starters, the two companies announced an iOS software development kit (SDK) for GE’s Predix platform, which is a set of cloud services designed to help industrial customers track the health of the huge industrial equipment GE sells and services. It can help predict failures before they happen and bring down this expensive equipment such as jet engines, wind turbines and train locomotives.

The key here is that the new SDK gives both external developers and those inside GE the ability to build native apps on top of the Predix platform, allowing them to take advantage of the full Apple ecosystem whether that’s iBeacons, the internal gyroscope sensor inside iPhone or even augmented reality in the latest iPhones.

To prime that software development pump, GE has built a new Applications Performance Management case management app built on top of Predix. Using this tool, customers can see the health of their industrial equipment on an iPad and collaborate more easily, sharing information like last action taken, notes and photos; all designed to provide the data to make decisions in real time.

Susan Prescott, VP for apps, markets and services at Apple was clearly charged by the possibilities that this partnership brings. “For the first time, we’re unlocking incredible new potential for industrial workers by giving them access to native apps that tap the functionality of iOS devices in exciting ways. Now employees can make better informed decisions through the native capabilities of the apps right at their fingertips,” Prescott told TechCrunch.

She offers some examples of how this could work: “A technician can now use the iPhone’s built-in camera to capture a thermal image of a piece of equipment to diagnose an issue or iBeacons and built-in location services can push critical information to a nearby worker’s iPhone or iPad in real time to help quickly flag an issue. We’re essentially closing the feedback loop between the employee in the industrial environment and the analytics and data that’s stored in the cloud,” she said.

Surely GE, an industrial company that was launched by Thomas Edison in 1888 couldn’t be more different than Apple, a computer company launched almost a 100 years later in 1976, but there is more in common than you might imagine.

There are the strong charismatic and demanding founders in Steve Jobs and Edison. There was also an internal mission to change the world with technology. GE has done it with giant industrial equipment like wind turbines and airplane engines, while Apple has gone smaller with phones, computers and watches.

In recent years, GE has been making a hard push to modernize and this partnership is clearly part of that.

The SDK and the APM app will be available for download on October 26th as part of GE’s Mind + Machines conference.

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2017/10/18/apple-and-ge-announce-deep-partnership/

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Teen Abortions Surged In Texas After Republicans Defunded Planned Parenthood

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NEW YORK Republicans are trying to find a way to defund Planned Parenthood as part of an overall effort to limit abortion in America. But doing so had the opposite effect in Texas, according to a new study out of Texas A&M University.

The study, conducted by economics professor Analisa Packham, shows that in the first three years after Texas Republicans slashed the family planning budget in 2011 and shut down more than 80 womens health clinics, the abortion rate among teenagers in the state rose 3 percent over what it would have been had the clinics remained open.After cutting Planned Parenthood out of the states subsidized womens health program, then-Gov.Rick Perry (R) said his goal was toensure abortions are as rare as possible under existing law. But the move actually interfered with an overall downward trend in abortions in Texas.

This certainly isnt the way to have fewer abortions, said Dr. Diane Horvath, an OB-GYN in Maryland and an advocate with Physicians for Reproductive Health. The abortion rates nationally have decreased and are at a historic low. So for Texans to see an increase in adolescent abortions is really telling it seemed to have followed the national trend until these clinics were defunded.

The greatest rises in abortion rates occurred in rural areas, where access to affordable family planning care was already scarce.In Gregg County, where the local health center lost 60 percent of its family planning funding,the abortion rate increased by 191 percent between 2012 and 2014. The Austin American-Statesman reported that at least five counties in East Texas also saw considerable increases in abortions over that two-year period.

The overall abortion rate in the state dropped 14 percent between 2013 and 2016 but this was largely because in some low-income rural areas, like the Rio Grande Valley, women would have had to drive over 100 miles to find the nearest safe and legal abortion provider. Those women either had to seek out unsafe, do-it-yourself proceduresor simply have babies they didnt want or couldnt afford.

President Donald Trump and the Republicans in control of Congress now want to defund Planned Parenthood nationwide by preventing Medicaid recipients who account for more than half of Planned Parenthoods patients from going there for birth control and cancer screenings.

The Congressional Budget Office estimatesthis would cause 15 percent of women in rural areas to lose access to family planning care entirely, which in turn would lead to more unplanned pregnancies and likely more abortions.

Studies show that 40 percent of unintended pregnancies end in abortion, so cutting access to birth control is not the way to reduce the overall abortion rate.

Only a few moderate Republicans, like Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), seem to understand the flaw in this plan.

If youre serious about trying to reduce the number of abortions, Collinstold reporters in March, the best way to do that is to make family planning more widely available.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/texas-planned-parenthood-teen-abortion_us_59653229e4b09b587d63018a

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As We Rethink Old Harassers, Lets Talk About Clarence Thomas

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Long suppressed talk about the sexual predation of men, in Hollywood, politics, business, the news industry, professional sports and life in general has swept across the country, exposing decades of dirty laundry and putting an entire nation of men on notice and on edge.

The discussion in which the nation is engaged almost daily at this point, has exposed the rank hypocrisy of a right-wing Christianity that would sooner see a child molester stalking the well of the United States Senate than free its captive base to support a Democrat, and which still stands foursquare behind braggadocious predator-in-chief Donald Trump.

It has put on display the Republican Partys radical lack of moral conviction as its leaders rush to condemn the gross, decade-old antics of now Sen. Al Franken, who has at least apologized for his past misbehavior, while they smirk from behind the cameras at Fox News where they are surrounded by anchor women in the required uniform of tight sweaters, mini-skirts, and four-inch heels. Among the Republicans ripping Franken for kissing a woman without her consent and snapping a juvenile groping picture in 2006: the great hypocrite Trump himself, of the I just kiss beautiful women and grab em by the pussy un-humble brag of 2005.

The national moment of self-reflection on the culture that produces such entitled men has compelled the left to indulge in its favorite ritual: curling into the fetal position as it self-flagellates over the eternal sins of the Clintons. Its as if theyve forgotten that the former president who left office 17 years ago indeed paid a price, including years of forensic investigation culminating in impeachment for his illicit affair with a 24-year-old White House intern.

Well if we are getting about the business of re-examining the past indecency of powerful men, wed be remiss not to include the moment in 1991 when a woman was not believed and her alleged abuser was elevated to the highest court in the land, where he remains 26 years later.

The late Andrew Breitbart, who took down Democratic congressman Anthony Weiner by having his minions troll Weiners Twitter account in search of his vices, and having found them, waved the lurid visual evidence before the world, once said he was inspired to become a conservative because of Clarence Thomas, whom he viewed as a persecuted man. Breitbart cloaked his savage politics in alleged concern for a beleaguered black man, saying of Thomas critics: [t]hese white, privileged men knew that by taking this conservative, religious man and asking him if he rented pornography, the mere exposure of that would hurt I was so pissed off. You guys are just trying to ruin him. You dont have anything.

Not anything, that is, except the word of Anita Hill, an African-American woman who risked national humiliation and ruin to publicly tell her story of repeated sexual harassment at the hands of Thomas, her onetime boss at the U.S. Department of Education and the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission.

Its hard to see Thomas, who wrote off his Yale degree as worthless because of affirmative action yet retreated to the language of lynching to disparage his accuser and her supporters, as much of a victim. Particularly when most Americans, and most African Americans, took his side against Anita Hill and against prominent civil rights and womens rights organizations who were unanimous in their opposition to his elevation to the seat once occupied by the great Thurgood Marshall. Democrats including then-Sen. Joe Biden, took Thomas side against Hill, tooeven refusing to allow witnesses who could corroborate her account to testify at Thomas Supreme Court confirmation hearings.

Instead, we were treated to a bipartisan spectacle of the old men of the United States Senate lecturing Professor Hill from the dais; scowling at her as she was forced to recount in mortifying detail how Thomas pushed her to date him and taunted her with disgusting jokes and insinuations at work that included graphic tales of pubic hair and Coke cans.

Again, most Americans chose not to believe Hill, who was castigated as a liar, a temptress, and a race-traitor trying to keep a black man off the Supreme Court. Never mind that the American Bar Association had delivered a mixed verdict on whether he was even qualified for a lifetime appointment of such grandeur. I can personally recall knock-down, drag out arguments with black colleagues and relatives who were defending Thomas, and demanding a West Indian gypsy cab driver in the Bronx pull over and let me out of his car after he called Hill a whore.

Having been placed on the court anyway, Thomas became the silent justice; voting in lockstep with the late Antonin Scalia and authoring precious little worth remembering for posterity save for his serial attacks on labor rights, womens rights and the voting rights of fellow African Americans. Needless to say, many black men and women who sided with Thomas against Anita Hill soon came to bitterly regret it.

When Weiners political career went up in flames, he was in the midst of exposing Justice Thomas with regular rants on the House floor for his ostentatious habit of consorting with major Republican donors who might have business before his court, often with Scalia at his side.

Thomas chummy ways with the rich and well-heeled, and his wifes clear conflicts of interest as a paid crusader against Obamacare despite it coming imminently before the court, presaged the age of corruption we find ourselves in today, with Donald Trump and his extended family of kakistocrats blundering their way around Washington and the worlds capitols in search of grubby gain. In many ways, the banality with which Americans dismissed Thomas alleged sexual misconduct, his disparagement of his victim, and his ethical flexibility were a portent of the Trump era to come.

And like Trump, and unlike Bill Clinton, Thomas sits in power still; with the authority to make life and death decisions over the fate of those facing capital punishment, those needing health care, and most ironically, over the rights and liberties of women.

As happened with Trump, Thomas elevation despite the shocking allegations against him ignited women to action. In 1992, a record number of women ran for federal office, increasing the number of female United States senators from just two to six, prompting the media to declare it the year of the woman. Among those newly elected senators was Barbara Boxer, who as a House member had helped lead a march with six of her female colleagues to the Senate to demand that Hills allegations against Thomas be taken seriously and that his confirmation be delayed.

Ironically, the wave of elected women, including the first black woman senator, Carole Mosely Braun, in 1992 helped carry Bill Clinton, himself accused of sexual indiscretions and misconduct as governor of Arkansas, into the White House. When Bill Bennett and the self-righteous, self-appointed moral majority in the conservative movement announced the death of outrage after Clinton failed to be taken down by his affair with Monica Lewinsky, they perhaps forgot that outrage died first with the shaming and dismissal of Anita Hill.

Or maybe they didnt forget because they never really cared. Who, after all, was Anita Hill to them but some black woman trying to keep a good, conservative Christian off the high court. Its an echo of todays advent of rank hypocrisy, when Roy Moores accusers are accused of trying to keep a good, conservative Christian out of the Senate. Or when the right wing furrows its collective brow at the predatory men of Hollywooddiscarded by Democrats without a second thoughtwhile they vow to die on the desiccated moral hill of Donald J. Trump.

Indeed, we need to continue to talk about predacious men. That needs to include the sexual raptors armed with immense power right nowbeginning with the president of the United States and the high courts scandalized associate justice, Clarence Thomas.

Read more: https://www.thedailybeast.com/as-we-rethink-old-harassers-lets-talk-about-clarence-thomas

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Robin Williams’ Widow Says He Only Had Three Years To Live And Reveals His Final Words To Her In Heartbreaking Interview

We can’t imagine how difficult this must be for her.

Susan Williams, the widow of the late

Susan not only reveals the last loving words exchanged between her and the love of her life, but also talked quite a bit about seeing her husband “disintegrating” before her eyes.

Apparently Robin suffered from Lewy body dementia, a disorder that would have caused a progressive decline in mental abilities. Susan explained:

“If Robin was lucky, he would’ve had maybe three years left. And they would’ve been hard years. And it’s a good chance he would’ve been locked up.”

Susan also revealed the last moments she spent with her husband, as he offered to give her a foot rub before bed:

“And I said, ‘It’s OK, honey. Not — you know, it’s OK. You don’t have to tonight.’ And I’ll never forget the look in his eyes of just, sad because he wanted to. And I wished — you know?

Then he came back in the room a couple of times. Once to his closet. And he said — and then he laughed. And he said, ‘Goodnight, my love.’ And I said, ‘Goodnight, my love.'”

The next morning, when Susan heard the tragic news, she rushed to see her man:

“That 20-minute car ride, I just screamed the whole way, ‘Robin!’

And I just wanted to see my husband. And I got to see him … and I got to pray with him. And I got to tell him, I forgive you 50 billion percent, with all my heart. You’re the bravest man I’ve ever known.’ You know, we were living a nightmare.”

Check out the entire emotional interview (below) to hear more about the couple’s final moments together, details of the Oscar winner’s struggles, and whether Robin had shown signs of being suicidal before:


ABC Breaking News | Latest News Videos

It must be so difficult for Robin’s family and loved ones to cope with the loss.

We hope that Susan speaking out will not only shed some light and bring awareness to the health problems her husband had, but help bring her some peace and closure.

[Image via ABC.]

Read more: http://perezhilton.com/2015-11-03-robin-williams-susan-williams-good-morning-america-depression-lewy-body-dementia-suicide-final-words

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59 Percent of Millennials Raised in a Church Have Dropped OutAnd They’re Trying to Tell Us Why

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Only 4 percent of the Millennial Generation are Bible-Based Believers. This means that 96 percent of Millennials likely don’t live out the teachings of the Bible, value the morals of Christianity and probably won’t be found in a church. This author goes deep to explain why.

By Sam Eaton

From the depths of my heart, I want to love church.

I want to be head-over-heals for church like the unshakable Ned Flanders.

I want to send global, sky-writing airplanes telling the life-change that happens beneath a steeple. I want to install a police microphone on top of my car and cruise the streets screaming to the masses about the magical Utopian community of believers waiting for them just down the street.

I desperately want to feel this way about church, but I dont. Not even a little bit. In fact, like much of my generation, I feel the complete opposite.

Turns out I identify more with Maria from The Sound of Music staring out the abbey window, longing to be free.

It seems all-too-often our churches are actually causing more damage than good, and the statistics are showing a staggering number of millennials have taken note.

According to this study (and many others like it) church attendance and impressions of the church are the lowest in recent history, and most drastic among millennials described as 22- to 35-year-olds.

  • Only 2 in 10 Americans under 30 believe attending a church is important or worthwhile (an all-time low).
  • 59 percent of millennials raised in a church have dropped out.
  • 35 percent of millennials have an anti-church stance, believing the church does more harm than good.
  • Millennials are the least likely age group of anyone to attend church (by far).

As I sat in our large churchs annual meeting last month, I looked around for anyone in my age bracket. It was a little like a Titanic search party

IS ANYONE ALIVE OUT THERE? CAN ANYBODY HEAR ME?

Tuning in and out of the 90-minute state-of-the-church address, I kept wondering to myself, where are my people? And then the scarier question, why I am still here?

A deep-seated dissatisfaction has been growing in me and, despite my greatest attempts to whack-a-mole it back down, no matter what I do it continues to rise out of my wirey frame.

[To follow my publicly-chronicled church struggles, check out my other posts The How Can I Help Project and 50 Ways to Serve the Least of These.]

Despite the steep drop-off in millennials, most churches seem to be continuing on with business as usual. Sure, maybe they add a food truck here or a bowling night there, but no one seems to be reacting with any level of concern that matches these STAGGERING statistics.

Where is the task-force searching for the lost generation? Where is the introspective reflection necessary when 1/3 of a generation is ANTI-CHURCH?

The truth is no one has asked me why millennials dont like church. Luckily, as a public school teacher, I am highly skilled at answering questions before theyre asked. Its a gift really.

So, at the risk of being excommunicated, here is the metaphorical nailing of my own 12 theses to the wooden door of the American, Millennial-less Church.

1. Nobodys Listening to Us

Millennials value voice and receptivity above all else. When a church forges ahead without ever asking for our input we get the message loud and clear:Nobody cares what we think. Why then, should we blindly serve an institution that we cannot change or shape?

Solution:

  • Create regular outlets (forums, surveys, meetings) to discover the needs of young adults both inside AND outside the church.
  • Invite millennials to serve on leadership teams or advisory boards where they can make a difference.
  • Hire a young adults pastor who has the desire and skill-set to connect with millennials.

2. Were Sick of Hearing About Values & Mission Statements

Sweet Moses people, give it a rest.

Of course as an organization its important to be moving in the same direction, but that should easier for Christians than anyone because we already have a leader to follow. Jesus was insanely clear about our purpose on earth:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these. (Mark 12:30-31)

Love God. Love Others. Task completed.

Why does every church need its own mission statement anyway? Arent we all one body of Christ, serving one God? What would happen if the entire American Church came together in our commonalities and used the same, concise mission statement?

Solution:

  • Stop wasting time on the religious mambo jambo and get back to the heart of the gospel. If you have to explain your mission and values to the church, its overly-religious and much too complicated.
  • Were not impressed with the hours you brag about spending behind closed doors wrestling with Christianese words on a paper. Were impressed with actions and service.

3. Helping the Poor Isnt a Priority

My heart is broken for how radically self-centered and utterly American our institution has become.

Lets clock the number of hours the average church attender spends in church-type activities. Bible studies, meetings, groups, social functions, book clubs, planning meetings, talking about building community, discussing a new mission statement

Now let’s clock the number of hours spent serving the least of these. Oooooo, awkward.

If the numbers are not equal please check your Bible for better comprehension (or revisit the universal church mission statement stated above).

If our lives do not reflect radical compassion for the poor, there is reason to wonder if Christ is in us at all. Radical, David Platt

Solutions:

  • Stop creating more Bible studies and Christian activity. Community happens best in service with a shared purpose.
  • Survey your members asking them what injustice or cause God has placed on their hearts. Then connect people who share similar passions. Create space for them to meet and brainstorm and then sit back and watch what God brings to life.
  • Create group serve dates once a month where anyone can show up and make a difference (and, oh yeah, theyll also meet new people).

4. Were Tired of You Blaming the Culture

From Elvis hips to rap music, from Footloose to twerking, every older generation comes to the same conclusion: The world is going to pot faster than the state of Colorado. Were aware of the down-falls of the culturebelieve it or not we are actually living in it too.

Perhaps its easier to focus on how terrible the world is out there than actually address the mess within.

Solution:

  • Put the end times rhetoric to rest and focus on real solutions and real impact in our immediate community.
  • Explicitly teach us how our lives should differ from the culture. (If this teaching isnt happening in your life, check out the book Weird: Because Normal Isnt Working by Craig Groeschel)

5. The You Cant Sit With Us Affect

There is this life-changing movie all humans must see, regardless of gender. The film is of course the 2004 classic Mean Girls.

In the film, the most popular girl in school forgets to wear pink on a Wednesday (a cardinal sin), to which Gretchen Weiners screams, YOU CANT SIT WITH US!

Today, my mom said to me, Church has always felt exclusive and cliquey, like high school. With sadness in her voice she continued, and Ive never been good at that game so I stopped playing.

The truth is, I share her experience. As do thousands of others.

Until the church finds a way to be radically kinder and more compassionate than the world at large, we tell outsiders theyre better off on their own. And the truth is, many times they are.

Solutions:

  • Create authentic communities with a shared purpose centered around service.
  • Create and train a team of CONNECT people whose purpose is to seek out the outliers on Sunday mornings or during other events. Explicitly teach people these skills as they do not come naturally to most of the population.
  • Stop placing blame on individuals who struggle to get connected. For some people, especially those that are shy or struggle with anxiety, putting yourself out there even just once might be an overwhelming task. We have to find ways to bridge that gap.

6. Distrust & Misallocation of Resources

Over and over weve been told to tithe and give 10 percent of our incomes to the church, but where does that money actually go? Millennials, more than any other generation, dont trust institutions, for we have witnessed over and over how corrupt and self-serving they can be.

We want pain-staking transparency. We want to see on the church homepage a document where we can track every dollar.

Why should thousands of our hard-earned dollars go toward a mortgage on a multi-million dollar building that isnt being utilized to serve the community, or to pay for another celebratory bouncy castle when that same cash-money could provide food, clean water and shelter for someone in need?

Solution:

  • Go out of your way to make all financial records readily accessible. Earn our trust so we can give with confidence.
  • Create an environment of frugality.
  • Move to zero-based budgeting where departments arent allocated certain dollar amounts but are asked to justify each purchase.
  • Challenge church staff to think about the opportunity cost. Could these dollars be used to better serve the kingdom?

7. We Want to Be Mentored, Not Preached At

Preaching just doesnt reach our generation like our parents and grandparents. See: millennial church attendance. We have millions of podcasts and Youtube videos of pastors the world over at our fingertips.

For that reason, the currency of good preaching is at its lowest value in history.

Millennials crave relationship, to have someone walking beside them through the muck. We are the generation with the highest ever percentage of fatherless homes.

Were looking for mentors who are authentically invested in our lives and our future. If we dont have real people who actually care about us, why not just listen to a sermon from the couch (with the ecstasy of donuts and sweatpants)?

Solutions:

  • Create a database of adult mentors and young adults looking for someone to walk with them.
  • Ask the older generation to be intentional with the millennials in your church.

8. We Want to Feel Valued

Churches tend to rely heavily on their young adults to serve. Youre single, what else do you have to do? In fact, were tapped incessantly to help out. And, at its worst extreme, spiritually manipulated with the cringe-worthy words youre letting your church down.

Millennials are told by this world from the second we wake up to the second we take a sleeping pill that we arent good enough.

We desperately need the church to tell us we are enough, exactly the way we are. No conditions or expectations.

We need a church that sees us and believes in us, that cheers us on and encourages us to chase our big crazy dreams.

Solutions:

  • Return to point #1: listening.
  • Go out of your way to thank the people who are giving so much of their life to the church.

9. We Want You to Talk to Us About Controversial Issues (Because No One Is)

People in their 20s and 30s are making the biggest decisions of their entire lives: career, education, relationships, marriage, sex, finances, children, purpose, chemicals, body image.

We need someone consistently speaking truth into every single one of those areas.

No, I dont think a sermon-series on sex is appropriate for a sanctuary full of families, but we have to create a place where someone older is showing us a better way because these topics are the teaching millennials are starving for. We dont like how the world is telling us to live, but we never hear from our church either.

Solutions:

  • Create real and relevant space for young adults to learn, grow and be vulnerable.
  • Create an opportunity for young adults to find and connect with mentors.
  • Create a young adults program that transitions high school youth through late adulthood rather than abandoning them in their time of greatest need.
  • Intentionally train young adults in how to live a godly life instead of leaving them to fend for themselves.

10. The Public Perception

Its time to focus on changing the public perception of the church within the community. The neighbors, the city and the people around our church buildings should be audibly thankful the congregation is part of their neighborhood. We should be serving the crap out of them.

We desperately need to be calling the schools and the city, knocking on doors, asking everyone around us how we can make their world better. When the public opinion shows 1/3 millennials are ANTI-CHURCH, we are outright failing at being the aroma of Christ.

Solutions:

  • Call the local government and schools to ask what their needs are. (See: Service Day from #3)
  • Find ways to connect with neighbors within the community.
  • Make your presence known and felt at city events.

11. Stop Talking About Us (Unless Youre Actually Going to Do Something)

Words without follow-up are far worse than ignoring us completely. Despite the stereotypes about us, we are listening to phrases being spoken in our general direction. Lip service, however, doesnt cut it. We are scrutinizing every action that follows what you say (because were sick of being ignored and listening to broken promises).

Solutions:

  • Stop speaking in abstract sound bites and make a tangible plan for how to reach millennials.
  • If you want the respect of our generation, under-promise and over-deliver.

12. Youre Failing to Adapt

Heres the bottom line, churchyou arent reaching millennials. Enough with the excuses and the blame; we need to accept reality and intentionally move toward this generation that is terrifyingly anti-church.

The price of doing the same old thing is far higher than the price of change. Bill Clinton
The art of life is a constant readjustment to our surroundings. Kakuzo Okakaura
Adapt or perish, now as ever, is natures inexorable imperative. H.G. Wells

Solution:

  • Look at the data and take a risk for goodness sake. We cant keep trying the same things and just wish that millennials magically wander through the door.
  • Admit that youre out of your element with this generation and talk to the millennials you already have before they ask themselves, what I am still doing here.

You see, church leaders, our generation just isnt interested in playing church anymore, and there are real, possible solutions to filling our congregations with young adults. Its obvious youre not understanding the gravity of the problem at hand and arent nearly as alarmed as you should be about the crossroads were at.

Youre complacent, irrelevant and approaching extinction. A smattering of mostly older people, doing mostly the same things theyve always done, isnt going to turn to the tide.

Feel free to write to me off as just another angry, selfy-addicted millennial. Believe me, at this point Im beyond used to being abandoned and ignored.

The truth is, church, its your move.

Decide if millennials actually matter to you and let us know. In the meantime, well be over here in our sweatpants listening to podcasts, serving the poor and agreeing with public opinion that perhaps church isnt as important or worthwhile as our parents have lead us to believe.

About the Author: Sam Eaton is a writer, speaker, and in-progress author whos in love with all things Jesus, laughter, adventure, hilarious dance parties and vulnerability. Sam is also the founder of Recklessly Alive Ministries, a mental health and suicide-prevention ministry sprinting towards a world with zero deaths from suicide. Come hang out with him at RecklesslyAlive.com.

Read more: http://faithit.com/12-reasons-millennials-over-church-sam-eaton/

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Zuckerberg defends immigrants threatened by Trump

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While other tech leaders glad-hand with The Donald, Mark Zuckerberg is facing him head on. Today the Facebook CEO called out the president for his unAmerican views that demonize immigrants, while also tactfully encouraging the few positive policies and comments Trump has offered on the subject.

You should read Zuckerbergs full Facebook post on the topic embedded at the bottom of this story, but the highlights include:

Like many of you, Im concerned about the impact of the recent executive orders signed by President Trump.

We need to keep this country safe, but we should do that by focusing on people who actually pose a threat.

We should also keep our doors open to refugees and those who need help.

That said, I was glad to hear President Trump say hes going to work something out for Dreamers immigrants who were brought to this country at a young age by their parentsover the next few weeks Ill be working with our team at FWD.us to find ways we can help.

Im also glad the President believes our country should continue to benefit from people of great talent coming into the country.

We are a nation of immigrants, and we all benefit when the best and brightest from around the world can live, work and contribute here.

Many business moguls see cooperating with Trump as crucial to protecting their businesses, but in this case, Zuckerbergs oppositional perspective is also vital to Facebooks success. The company employs a large number of immigrants in the U.S. via the high-skilled H-1B visa. Additional restrictions on the already overloaded H-1B visa program could prevent Facebook from hiring the talent it needs to keep building the worlds most popular social networking products.

zuckerberg-in-government

Zuckerberg meeting with heads of state

Trump has railed against globalizations inevitable effect of manufacturing and other jobs moving to countries with looser worker protection and minimum wage laws. Trumps election happened in part because he harnessed the fear of less-educated American whites looking for an easy answer or scapegoat for their financial troubles.

While the country will have to come to grips with how to deal with the coming unemployment crisis fueled by globalization and automation, and Zuckerberg doesnt claim to have an answer here, hes brave to stick up for inclusive values that underpin the modern American spirit. Even if that means sparring with the other most powerful man in the world.

Meanwhile, Zuckerberg today announced hes droppinghis Hawaiian land lawsuits that were part of him securing land on the island to build a home, calling the suits a mistake and planning a different route forward. The CEO has learned a lot about listening to the public since the early days of Facebooks privacy missteps.

In other Facebook-Trump news, COO Sheryl Sandberg yesterday posted her stern disagreement with Trump signing an executive order that will pull funding from foreign aid organizations that provide counseling about family planning options including abortion. She wrote, Womens rights are human rights and there is no more basic right than health care. Women around the world deserve our support.

Zuckerberg has said hes not currently planning to run for president. But its clear he still plans to use his immense audience, power and fortune to push for progressive policies that dont rely on turning Americans and the nations of the world against each other.

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2017/01/27/trump-faces-resistance/

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Next-Level Gaming: The New Call Of Duty Will Penalize Players For Shooting Nazis Who Are Actually Very Fine People

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We thought we couldn’t be any more excited for Call Of Duty: WWII. Oh, how wrong we were!

Details are still trickling out about the upcoming installment in the Call Of Duty franchise, but some new info shows just how committed Activision is to giving players a truly next-level gaming experience. Today we learned that this new entry won’t just offer gamers pulse-pounding combat in a historically accurate World War II setting; it will go even further by penalizing players for shooting Nazis who are actually very fine people!

Um, can we play this game now, please?

The new “Nazi Sense” mechanic adds a whole new gameplay dimension on top of Call Of Duty: WWII’s already intense firefights. Instead of just blasting away at every enemy soldier, players will have to consider whether each individual Nazi might be an otherwise decent person who just happens to be fighting alongside some real bad apples. Shoot a Nazi who’s actually a pillar of his community and is proud of his heritage and you’ll take a blow to your health or ammo. Shoot too many decent, hardworking Nazis, and you’ll have to start over from the last checkpoint.

For hardcore Call Of Duty fans and newbies alike, this development will definitely make playing through battles like the Normandy invasion and the Battle of the Bulge even more exciting than before. With their identical uniforms, similar shouted slogans, and almost indistinguishable behavior, gamers will have to push their skills to the limit to pick out the regular-Joe Nazis from the actually evil Nazis they’re supposed to shoot. But for true completists, it will be worth it when they unlock the “Just War” achievement for beating the game without shooting a single Nazi who, in fact, doesn’t agree on absolutely everything with his comrades!

Nazi Sense brings new strategic elements to the mix, too. When Nazis who are shooting at you because they’re driven by hateful, anti-Semitic ideology are standing side by side with Nazis who are shooting at you because they’re upstanding citizens who just want to return Germany to its former glory, you might have to think twice before tossing that grenade. Clearly, this is the shot in the arm that the Call Of Duty franchise needed!

Call Of Duty: WWII doesn’t come out until November, but if this is the kind of innovation that Activision’s bringing to the table, it can’t come soon enough.

Read more: http://www.clickhole.com/article/next-level-gaming-new-call-duty-will-penalize-play-6513

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She kept the pregnancy that resulted from her rapenow her alleged attacker has joint custody

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A 21-year-old Michigan mother is left seeking protection after her rapist was awarded parenting time and joint legal custody of her 8-year-old child after the county surveyed her about child support.

According to the Detroit News, the survivor’s attorney says Sanilac County Circuit Judge Gregory S. Ross awarded Christopher Mirasolo, 27, joint custody after a DNA test established Mirasolo was the parent of the child. The attorney, Rebecca Kiessling, has filed an objection with Ross and will be seeking the survivor’s protection under the federal Rape Survivor Child Custody Act at a hearing on Oct. 25.

According to Kiessling, Ross ordered Mirasolo to be added to the child’s birth certificate and to be given the survivor’s address after the survivor filled out a county survey about the child support she received this past year. Kiessling also said despite assistant prosecutor Eric Scott’s insistence, her client was never asked for consent to give Mirasolo joint custody nor did she give it.

As part of the custody change, Kiessling said her client was notified she couldn’t move more than 100 miles from where she lived when the case was filed without the court’s consent, and she had to “come home immediately or she would be held in contempt of court.”

Mirasolo’s attorney, Barbara Yockey, said Mirasolo never initiated the paternity test nor custody change, and that this was something routinely done by a prosecutor’s office when someone applies for state assistance. The News could not reach Ross for comment, and Scott did not return requests for comment.

The survivors’ case is believed to be the first case of its kind in Michigan.

“This is insane,” Kiessling told News. “Nothing has been right about this since it was originally investigated. was never properly charged and should still be sitting behind bars somewhere, but the system is victimizing my client, who was a child herself when this all happened.”

According to Kiessling, her client was 12 when Mirasolo, then 18, forcibly raped and threatened to kill her in September 2008. Mirasolo had abducted her client, the client’s 13-year-old sister, and a friend and kept them captive for two days in a vacant house. He was arrested a month later when Kiessling’s client found out she was pregnant as a result of the rape.

Mirasolo was given a plea deal for attempted third-degree criminal sexual conduct, and he served a little more than six months of his one-year county jail sentence. In March 2010, Mirasolo committed a sexual assault of a child between the ages of 13 through 15, for which he served a four-year sentence.

“I think this is all crazy,” the survivor told the News. “They never explained anything to me. I was receiving about $260 a month in food stamps for me and my son and health insurance for him. I guess they were trying to see how to get some of the money back.”

Editor’s note: This article has been updated for clarity. 

Read more: https://www.dailydot.com/irl/michigan-rape-child-custody/

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