Signs and Wonders
Google's birthday doodle.
Google's birthday doodle.

Signs and Wonders: Google turns 15


Google it. It’s hard to imagine life on the Internet without Google, so it’s interesting to note that the search engine monolith is barely a teenager. Google turned 15 years old yesterday. To celebrate, the company held a press conference in the Silicon Valley garage it used for an office in its early days. It also rolled out a temporary new feature: If you type “Google in 1998” into the search field on, the website will transform into the design it had 15 years ago when the search engine first launched. And you don’t have to worry about being stuck in a time warp. You’ll find a link on that page saying “Take me back to 2013.”

Worse than Catholics? The Religion Newswriters Association is meeting this week in Austin, Texas, and sexual abuse among evangelicals is among the hot topics under discussion. Boz Tchividjian is a Liberty University law school professor who founded GRACE—Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment. He said when it comes to sex abuse, “Protestants can be very arrogant when pointing to Catholics. I think we are worse.” He added that “the protestant culture is defined by independence” and that makes transparency and accountability difficult. He also said abusers use scriptural admonitions against gossip to discourage whistleblowers.

First floods, now snow. Colorado is still digging out from floods earlier this month, and residents and relief workers now have to contend with snow. According to Dennis Belz, disaster relief director for Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (SBDR), this week brought snow to Colorado’s Front Range: “The peaks are white now and there was snow as we traveled to do assessments.” Belz said freezing temperatures were coming soon and full-scale relief operations would have to scale back by the end of October: “We are working in Longmont, Bolder, Loveland, and Greeley. We hope to be opening up Estes Park and some of the other mountain areas soon. Jobs are being completed, but we have a lot of work to do, weeks of work.” Volunteers from Colorado, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Texas are a part of the Baptist effort. Additional SBDR volunteers are on the way from Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Utah, and Idaho. Southern Baptists have 82,000 trained volunteers—including chaplains—and 1,550 mobile units for feeding, chainsaw, mud-out, command, communication, childcare, shower, laundry, water purification, repair/rebuild, and power generation. SBDR claims to be one of the three largest mobilizers of trained disaster relief volunteers in the United States, after the American Red Cross and The Salvation Army.

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Warren Cole Smith
Warren Cole Smith

Warren is vice president of mission advancement for The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview and the host of WORLD Radio’s Listening In. Follow Warren on Twitter @WarrenColeSmith.


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