Easter 2014

I thought I’d put a post on the blog with a few Easter photos from this year.  We have a tradition of attempting a family portrait every Easter… which is no trivial task with our crew!  We always prefer taking a photo outside, the lighting and overall ‘feel’ of outside shots is just much nicer than indoor photos.  However, it had been raining, raining VERY hard the couple of days leading up to Easter, so I was worried.

Easter 2014 1, © Steve Webel

Turned out, the weather cooperated and we were able to get a nice family portrait, outside, this year.  The sky was not sunny and blue… but then again, we live in Hunan, China, blue skies are something we vaguely remember happening here every once and awhile.   Continue reading “Easter 2014” »

Do you think it’s important to regularly read the entire Bible from cover to cover?

The poll is anonymous, so please give me your REAL answer, not the “Sunday School” answer!


Do you think it's important to regularly read the entire Bible from cover to cover?

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NINE Years Already? Happy Birthday Elizabeth!

I can hardly believe it has already been NINE years since Elizabeth came into our lives!
Elizabeth Joy, © Steve Webel
S l e e p y, © Steve Webel

When trying to pick out a couple of photos to put into this blog post, I just couldn’t decide, so I grabbed A BUNCH of them…

If you’re interested, keep scrolling down and take a look at Elizabeth as she has grown up over the past 9 years!   Continue reading “NINE Years Already? Happy Birthday Elizabeth!” »

Why is American internet so slow?

The country that literally invented the internet is now behind Estonia in terms of download speeds
By John Aziz

20140329-102535.jpg (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

According to a recent study by Ookla Speedtest, the U.S. ranks a shocking 31st in the world in terms of average download speeds. The leaders in the world are Hong Kong at 72.49 Mbps and Singapore on 58.84 Mbps. And America? Averaging speeds of 20.77 Mbps, it falls behind countries like Estonia, Hungary, Slovakia, and Uruguay.

Its upload speeds are even worse. Globally, the U.S. ranks 42nd with an average upload speed of 6.31 Mbps, behind Lesotho, Belarus, Slovenia, and other countries you only hear mentioned on Jeopardy.

So how did America fall behind? How did the country that literally invented the internet — and the home to world-leading tech companies such as Apple, Microsoft, Netflix, Facebook, Google, and Cisco — fall behind so many others in download speeds?   Continue reading “Why is American internet so slow?” »

7 Obnoxious Jesus Jukes

It’s funny because we can relate to all of these on some level… either we’ve said it, or someone has said it to us!  enjoy

by Morgan Guyton

The phrase “Jesus juke” was originally coined by Jon Acuff in a 2010 post on his blog “Stuff Christians Like.” Jesus jukes are moves that you make in online conversation to showcase your superior Jesus-ness at the expense of other people who have said something, often in banter or jest, that is inadequately theologically correct (or TC for short, the Christian version of PC). Jesus jukes are the 21st century online conversational version of the exhibitionist piety that Jesus calls out in his Sermon on the Mount, like praying on the street corner, disfiguring your face when you’re fasting, and announcing your alms-giving with trumpets (Matthew 6:1-18). I’ve come to realize that many Jesus jukers actually aren’t doing it on purpose, so I figured some examples might be helpful to my accidental Jesus juking friends. Continue reading “7 Obnoxious Jesus Jukes” »

Six Benefits of Ordinary Daily Devotions

Private devotions aren’t magic. We know that (for the most part).

But still, we can be tempted to think that if we just figure out the secret formula — the right mixture of Bible meditation and prayer — we will experience euphoric moments of rapturous communion with the Lord. And if that doesn’t happen, our formula must be wrong.

The danger of this misconception is that it can produce chronic disappointment and discouragement. Cynicism sets in and we give up or whip through them to alleviate guilt because devotions don’t seem to work for us.

Quiet Time, Coffee, iPad MiniOur longing for intimate communion with God is God-given. It’s a good thing to desire, ask for, and pursue. The Spirit does give us wonderful occasional tastes. And this longing will be satisfied to overflowing some day (Psalm 16:11).

But God has other purposes for us in the discipline of daily Bible meditation and prayer.

Here are a few:     Continue reading “Six Benefits of Ordinary Daily Devotions” »

Oreos as addictive as cocaine in lab rat study

I lost the link to the article where I found this, but I thought this was interesting and wanted to share!

Anyone who’s ever eaten an Oreo knows how difficult it can be to eat just one.

oreoScientists have long suspected that our brains crave junk food in the same way they crave other pleasurable substances, such as illegal drugs. Previous studies in rodents and in humans have shown the same area of the brain that lights up on scans when people use drugs, also shows increased activity when study participants consume, or even look at, high fat, high sugar foods like ice cream or bacon.

Some scientists believe certain foods trigger the brain to signal for more, similar to the way addictive drugs prompt cravings; if we don’t fulfill the brain’s request, the body could produce a physical response (like caffeine headaches) similar to withdrawal symptoms.

New research from undergraduate students at Connecticut College adds to the growing evidence suggesting that food can be addictive. The students were interested in understanding how the availability of junk food in low-income areas has contributed to America’s obesity epidemic.

“Even though we associate significant health hazards in taking drugs like cocaine and morphine, high-fat, high-sugar foods may present even more of a danger because of their accessibility and affordability,” study designer and neuroscience major Jamie Honohan said in a statement. Continue reading “Oreos as addictive as cocaine in lab rat study” »

3rd ‘Occasional’ Yueyang Turkey Trot!

Turkey Trot '13, © Steve Webel

This year we got back to a fun tradition started a few years ago, of having a ‘Turkey Trot’ race on Thanksgiving Day.  Little things like importing fun holiday traditions into our lives here in China really go a long way in helping our family ‘thrive’ here rather than just ‘surviving’.

Turkey Trot '13, © Steve Webel

Everyone participated… some moved faster than others! Continue reading “3rd ‘Occasional’ Yueyang Turkey Trot!” »