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How to outrun zombies

Google Glass for fitness - RaceYourself - Virtual Reality Fitness Motivation (Credit: Race Yourself via Youtube) Are you looking for new motivation to get in shape as the new year begins?  You might try racing with zombies.  Google Glass is a head-mounted computer which displays images before your eyes as you walk or run.  Race Yourself is software now available for the device—it includes game modes that pit you against a giant Indiana Jones-style boulder or even hordes of zombies.

This is just one of the amazing new inventions making news today as the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show continues in Las Vegas.  You can buy curved televisions that are six feet tall and nearly nine feet wide.  You'll be able to ask your refrigerator what groceries you need to buy.  Your smart toothbrush will track your brushing habits.  A full-body gaming suit will make video game consoles obsolete.

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Did you see the latest pope hoax?

Pope Francis leads the weekly audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican October 2, 2013 (Credit: Giampiero Sposito/Reuters)Pope Francis has reportedly declared, "Whether we worship at a church, a synagogue, a mosque or mandir, it does not matter.  Whether we call God, Jesus, Adonai, Allah or Krishna, we all worship the same God of love."  He supposedly stated that "the church no longer believes in a literal hell" and claimed that "all religions are true."

In other religion news, did you hear about the pastor who drowned while trying to walk on water?  The report was published last December 28 by MJ Celebrity Magazine and has been shared and liked on Facebook 100,000 times.

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Minnesota is colder than Mars

John Brower has snow in his eye lashes after running to work in the frigid -20 weather Monday, January 6, 2014 in Minneapolis (Credit: The Star Tribune/Elizabeth Flores) Embarrass, Minnesota is a challenging place to live.  Known as the coldest place in a very cold state, the community was named for the French word embarras, "to hinder with obstacles or difficulties."  This week it lived up to its name as temperatures dropped to -42 degrees Fahrenheit.

By contrast, the coldest day reported by NASA's Rover Environmental Monitoring Station on Mars is -24 degrees Fahrenheit.  To be fair, the rover is stationed inside a crater at about the same latitude on Mars as Venezuela is on Earth.  But you get the point.

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How the persecuted church became personal for me

Map of many countries where Christians are persecuted and martyred (Credit: Open Doors USA) Pope Francis has asked the world to speak out against the persecution of Christians.  His request came a day after three Christmas Day bombings targeting Christians in Iraq killed at least 37 and wounded others.  According to the pope, more Christians are suffering from discrimination and violence today than in the early centuries of Christian history.

Estimates of Christian martyrs range from as many as 100,000 (including those who die in genocides) to as few as 7,300 (including only those who are killed because of their personal stand for Christ).  The precise number is not my point today.  This statement is: "Two thirds of the 2.3 billion Christians in the world today live... in dangerous neighborhoods.  They are often poor. They often belong to ethnic, linguistic and cultural minorities.  And they are often at risk."

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First15: What is a devotional?

First15 on January 3: What is devotional?Scripture: "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!" Psalm 103:1

Devotional: The devotional section of the First15 began with the idea that there needs to be a daily resource for Christians made to stir their desires and affections for God. This devotional exists to serve that purpose. There are tons of devotionals out there, so many of which are incredible. There is a seemingly limitless amount of incredible teaching available today. My hope is that the First15 would be a place where you know you can daily encounter the heart of God, be filled with a desire to know him more, and engage culture with the transforming power of the gospel. In order to live out what the Bible outlines as a Christian life, you must be consistently encountering God and "be being filled" with his Spirit (Ephesians 5:18).

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