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Toolkit

Practical ideas to care for your God-given gifts

Toolkit offers practical ideas to care for yourself and others, particularly in ways that reflect your faith and values. Published every other month, this free newsletter is a quick read – only two pages – on current news and trends with important but simple applications for your life today.

Volume 44, Number 2 - March/April 2017

Which verse is first?

Which Bible verses are the favorites around the world? … YouVersion, whose Bible app has been installed on more than 250 million phones and other devices, recently reported some trends … The world’s (and the United States’) favorite verse in 2016 – measured by highlights, bookmarks and shares – was Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him …” … But the verse most popular in the most countries (29) was Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you …” … One interesting result: Israel and Afghanistan, which christianitytoday.com notes have little else in common, had the same most popular verse: Zechariah 14:9.

Decline in insured women

Only 56 percent of American women have life insurance coverage, a decline of 1 percent since 2010, according to LIMRA, a life insurance research group … During the same period, the proportion of men in the U.S. with life insurance rose slightly, from 61 to 62 percent … Women historically have been less likely to have life insurance, “but in today’s economy more American families rely on women’s income and resources to be financially secure,” said a LIMRA research director … For example, 60 percent of U.S. households with children are dual-income, compared with just 25 percent in 1960 ... Talk to an Everence® advisor for an assessment of your life insurance needs or learn more at everence.com.

A trend or temporary blip?

Life expectancy in the U.S. has declined for the first time since 1993, when high death rates from AIDS contributed to the result … The National Center for Health Statistics reported in December 2016 that Americans could expect to live for 78.8 years in 2015, down 0.1 percent from the year before … Death rates increased for eight of the 10 leading causes of death, including heart disease, strokes, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease … Researchers are looking at everything from obesity to abuse of opioid painkillers but there appears to be no obvious cause for the life expectancy downturn.

Bring your own Bible

If you stay in one of the 53,000 hotels in the United States, you may still find a Bible in a nightstand, but it’s becoming less likely … The percentage of hotels offering religious materials in rooms dropped from 95 percent to 48 percent in the last 10 years, according to a survey by a hospitality analytics company … Reasons include more young travelers who are less devout than their parents or grandparents, the Los Angeles Times reported … One pastor quoted by the Times said travelers who read the Bible regularly usually have one with them anyway, in book or digital form.

The comforts of home

For the first time in more than 130 years, Americans ages 18-34 are more likely to be living in their parents’ home than in any other housing … Pew Research Center noted that 32.1 percent of Americans in that age group lived with their parents as of 2014 (the most recent data) … Only 31.6 percent were living with a spouse or partner in their own household, compared with 62 percent in 1960 … Pew said major factors include people delaying marriage or deciding not to marry; and only 71 percent of young men are employed, compared with 84 percent in 1960.

Putting sun and rain to work

Costa Rica is setting the pace for use of renewable energy … For the second year in a row, the Central American nation in 2016 fulfilled 98 percent of its energy needs from sustainable sources, according to cnbc.com … The country generates 75 percent of its electricity from hydroelectric dams (it ranks fourth in the world for highest average rainfall) … Solar panels and wind turbines make up for most of the remaining energy needs ... It also helps that Costa Rica doesn’t consume a lot of energy – the average resident uses one-seventh of the electricity consumed by the average person in the U.S.

Jesus statue restoration needed

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro launched an international appeal for donations to help restore Christ the Redeemer, Brazil’s 98-foot-tall statue voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World … The statue was completed in 1931 on a mountain overlooking Rio … Cracks caused by lightning strikes allow water to seep in … The architect overseeing restoration said parts of the original structure could be lost to decay and corrosion … Cardinal Orani João Tempesta, archbishop of Rio, said the Friends of Christ the Redeemer campaign is a way of “continuing to spread the Christian faith,” Religion News Service reported.

Perspective on the markets

Trying to keep up with how various trends – such as interest rate changes – might impact your investments, including those in your IRA or 401(k) plan? … Chad Horning, CFA, Everence Chief Investment Officer, offers his perspective on key developments in his monthly market commentary … Visit everence.com regularly to see Chad’s latest commentary video.

Working on their own

Some people like doing “hands-on” work, and others don’t want the potential aggravation of hiring, managing or overseeing employees … For a variety of reasons, the U.S. was home to more than 350,000 manufacturing establishments with no employees other than the owner in 2014, up 17 percent from 2004, according to the Commerce Department … The internet makes it easier for one-person businesses to promote and sell their products to markets they could not have reached years ago, an economist for the National Federation of Independent Business told The Wall Street Journal.

Digital radio taking hold

Norway is pulling the plug on FM radio … Government leaders approved switching to digital audio broadcasting because digital networks can carry more radio channels … Critics say the government is rushing the move and many people will miss emergency warnings that historically are broadcast via the radio, reported Thomson Reuters … About 2 million cars on Norway’s roads are not equipped with digital receivers … The shutdown of the FM network is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year … Switzerland plans a similar shift in 2020, according to the Reuters report, and the U.K. and Denmark are among those considering such a switch.

 

March/April 2017 issue

 
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