By Christy Barritt
Most Popular Bible Verses
YouVersion Bible App revealed the most popular verses people looked up in 2014.
Topping the list was Romans 12:2: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
The second most popular verse was Philippians 4:8, which is about focusing your thoughts on things that are true. Coming in third was Philippians 4:6 about anxiety. Fourth was Jeremiah 29:11, about God knowing the plans for our lives.
The app revealed that the most shared verse of 2014 was Colossians 3:23, 24: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
Church Receives Surprise
When a staff member at Africa Lighthouse Baptist Temple in Charlottesville, Virginia, opened an envelope last December, she fully expected to see another Christmas card. Instead she found a check for $52,000. The money was given to help pay off the church’s mortgage.
The church moved to its current location one year ago and launched a $100,000 fundraising campaign to pay off the building. The church had raised $70,000 before the check arrived.
Now that the church has surpassed its fundraising goal, the congregation will use the money for more community outreach. The church helps African immigrants with life skills, including getting cell phones, cars, learning English, and applying for jobs. They’d also like to start a homeless shelter eventually.
The donor would like to remain anonymous.
Wealth Gap Breaks Records
The Pew Research Center released a survey on consumer finances. Their results show an increasing gap between the wealthy and poor in America. In fact, the numbers they recorded show the highest disparity ever recorded.
High-income families appear to be gaining wealth, while everyone else is remaining static. Upper-income families ($639,400) have a wealth that is nearly seven times that of middle-income families ($96,000).
Even more, wealth for higher-income families is nearly 70 times the wealth of lower-income families ($9,300). Note: These numbers reflect wealth (a person’s total net worth)—not income (a person’s paycheck).
Other results from the survey show that during the recession of 2007-2009, lower-income families lost 41 percent of their wealth, middle-income families lost about 39 percent of their wealth, and upper-income families lost 17 percent of their wealth.
Since that time, almost no one has regained what they’ve lost. Since the recession, most American families are in the same place they were more than 20 years ago.
Christy Barritt is an award-winning author in Chesapeake, Virginia (christybarritt.com). She and her husband, Scott, have two sons.