Month: February 2014

10 Tips For Keeping Tech In Check

Kip“I love technology,
but not as much as you, you see…
But I STILL love technology,
Always and forever.”

Check out the article below for 10 Tips For Keeping Tech In Check.  What this article lacks in connecting the spiritual implications for too much tech, it makes up for with practical  suggestions on how to keep your students or kids from OD-ing on technology.

10 Tips For Keeping Tech In Check, Family Edition

At what age is social media appropriate? How much screen time is too much? Research only goes so far to supply the answers.

April 11, 2013

10 Tips For Keeping Tech In Check, Family Edition

At what age is social media appropriate? How much screen time is too much? Research only goes so far to supply the answers: you can find one study that says “video games make kids violent” and on the next click, another study claiming, “video games make kids more creative!”

As a general rule, I tend to fall back on what my grandmother always said: Moderation is key. Here are 10 tips for keeping tech in check with your family:

1. Talk to your kids about technology. In my interview with Dr. Larry Rosen, a psychologist and author of iDisorder: Understanding Our Obsession With Technology and Overcoming Its Hold On Us, he recommended setting clear limits for technology, particularly at dinnertime – absolutely no technology (adults or children) at the table. He also recommends weekly family meetings starting with kids as young as age three. Sit on the floor with your kids, at their eye level. Ask them questions about technology: what is your favorite game? Ask them about online teasing. “Parents have to be absolutely non-judgmental in their responses,” Rosen says, “the goal is to develop family trust so that as kids grow older, and things like cyber bullying do come up, kids feel comfortable sharing.”

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1 Goal and 5 Ways to Enrich Your Small Group Time!

One goal that I have in creating and maintaining this blog, which is yet to be seen, is to pass along stuff I like or find interesting.  Essentially that is articles or blog post that I didn’t write nor had anything to do with but I found beneficial.  Below is one such post.  I’m not familiar with the rules of blogging, so I don’t know if what I’m doing is frowned upon or not.  I just want to pass on that information and if that means you pass through my blog to a better blog, I’m okay with that.  It doesn’t bother me that you skip right over the paragraph (this paragraph) that I’ll try to write to introduce the actual blog that I’m highlighting.

Today’s blog is from “More than Dodgeball.” I’m highlighting a post about 5 way to improve or enrich your small group experience.  I’ve lead multiple small groups and could probably come up with my own list of ways to improve your small group experience, but “More than Dodgeball” has already done it.  Plus they’ve come up with a bunch of other good stuff that you might stumble across  on their site.  So check them out!

I can attest to each of the 5 points that are made, but would actually add at least 1 more.

6. Be Flexible – Be open to the leading of the Spirit.  Be open to the direction of the discussion.  Be open to how it’s suppose to look.  The goal is growth.  That is achieved in many different ways.  Be flexible to adjust to how the Spirit leads you, your plan, the conversation, and how you think this is all suppose to take place.

5 Ways to Enrich Your Small Group Time!

Aaron Crumby

This year with my small group I decided to try somethings that I didn’t do with my last group, and boy has it paid off. So I thought I’d share with you five things that I’ve tried this year in my small group that has brought them closer, and has also made them more interested in their life with God. Now, maybe a lot of you are already doing these things, and if that is the case, keep going strong. But if not, I encourage you to try a few:

  1. Remove all social media devices. Make sure you let parents know that this is happening and how important it is that their child cooperates with this rule. Let them know your phone will be on if they need to reach their child.

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FDA’s new no smoking campaign – The Gospel

Recently the FDA put out a new ad campaign targeting teenagers about the risks of smoking.  These ads contain ingredients that intended to grab teen’s attention.  They are graphic; containing disgusting displays of people pulling their own teeth and peeling away their own face.  They are shocking; can’t say I saw that one coming.  They are provoking; well written and well acted with a clear and disturbing message.  They are expensive; costing over $115 million to produce. Should be a home-run, right?

Maybe yes or maybe not.  Claims have been made that over 100,000 teens kicked the habit after watching those ads.  Others cite the fact that every day, more than 3,200 kids under the age of 18 smoke a cigarette for the first time.  About 700 of those become daily smokers.

While shocking and expensive, these ads tell us nothing new about the dangers and risks associated with smoking.  Unless you live in a remote tribe in the jungle somewhere, we all know that smoking is bad.  So why do students still smoke? The answer – Sin and Rebellion.

We are all born sinful and bent towards rebellion.

The only solution to this problem is a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Romans 7:7

What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.”  But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead. I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died. The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me. For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.

Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure. For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin.  For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.  Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good.  So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.  For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.  For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.  For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being,  but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.  Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

Romans 8

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.  For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.  For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.  For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.  Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.  But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.  For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,  and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

Romans 7:7-25, 8:1-17

Even Paul continued to struggle with sin after a personal encounter with Jesus Christ.  A war is waging in our flesh (our mortal bodies) for control of our actions.  It is only by the power of the Spirit of God living in and through us that we can have victory over sin and rebellion, a victory that is already won through our relationship with Christ.  It is simply our job to walk in that victory, trusting in the Spirit to do the work.

Maybe the FDA should adopt a new plan to stop teen smoking.

Share the Gospel with teenagers.

‘The Demise of Guys’: How video games and porn are ruining a generation

https://i2.wp.com/i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/dam/assets/120523015438-demise-guys-teenagers-video-games-story-top.jpg

By Dr. Philip G. Zimbardo and Nikita Duncan

Editor’s note: Psychologist Dr. Philip Zimbardo is a professor emeritus at Stanford University and is world-renowned for his 1971 research, the Stanford Prison Experiment. Zimbardo teamed up with artist and psychologist Nikita Duncan to write “The Demise of Guys: Why Boys Are Struggling and What We Can Do About It,” released Wednesday by TED Books.

(CNN) — Is the overuse of video games and pervasiveness of online porn causing the demise of guys?

Increasingly, researchers say yes, as young men become hooked on arousal, sacrificing their schoolwork and relationships in the pursuit of getting a tech-based buzz.

Every compulsive gambler, alcoholic or drug addict will tell you that they want increasingly more of a game or drink or drug in order to get the same quality of buzz.

Video game and porn addictions are different. They are “arousal addictions,” where the attraction is in the novelty, the variety or the surprise factor of the content. Sameness is soon habituated; newness heightens excitement. In traditional drug arousal, conversely, addicts want more of the same cocaine or heroin or favorite food.

The consequences could be dramatic: The excessive use of video games and online porn in pursuit of the next thing is creating a generation of risk-averse guys who are unable (and unwilling) to navigate the complexities and risks inherent to real-life relationships, school and employment.

Stories about this degeneration are rampant: In 2005, Seungseob Lee, a South Korean man, went into cardiac arrest after playing “StarCraft” for nearly 50 continuous hours. In 2009, MTV’s “True Life” highlighted the story of a man named Adam whose wife kicked him out of their home — they have four kids together — because he couldn’t stop watching porn.

Norwegian mass murder suspect Anders Behring Breivik reported during his trial that he prepared his mind and body for his marksman-focused shooting of 77 people by playing “World of Warcraft” for a year and then “Call of Duty” for 16 hours a day.

Research into this area goes back a half-century.

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Kevin DeYoung – How Many Motivations Are There for Godliness?

DeYoung outlines 20 reasons for pursuing godliness.

How Many Motivations Are There for Godliness?

Is there just one proper gospel-centered rationale for holiness? Should we, in speaking about sanctification, avoid threats and warnings and coming judgment and focus simply on our acceptance in Christ? How many motivations does the Bible have for godliness?

I see at least twenty. In the three chapters of 2 Peter alone.

1.    We pursue holiness so that we might become partakers of the divine nature (2 Pet. 1:4).

2.    We make every effort to grow in godliness because God has already set us free from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire (2 Pet. 1:4).

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The Creation Debate – Is it wrong to want to win?

Last night a debate about the existence of humanity and planet earth happened between Bill Nye “the science guy” and Ken Ham, the founder of the creation museum in northern KY near Cincinnati.  I personally did not get to watch the debate but have read multiple posts about the debate.  I actually visited the creation museum in 2007 with a group of middle school students from the suburbs of Chicago.  We were accompanied by Dr. John Walton, professor at Wheaton College, who admittedly does not share the same views as Ken Ham.  It was an interesting and thought provoking tour as Dr. Walton walked through the museum with me and a few students explaining his version of each exhibit.  More information can be found on Ken Ham’s Young Earth perspective at Answers In Genesis. (Linked Here)

You can read Walton’s view of Genesis 1 in his book, “Genesis 1 as Ancient Cosmology.”  You can find a short review of the book in a blog post from The Gospel Coalition.  (Article Linked Here)  Needless to say, I do not agree with Walton’s view but find it an interesting perspective. I had never taken to into consideration the Near Eastern worldview in studying Genesis 1.

As for where I land on the creation account, I’m still not convinced we know all the details.  I do believe that Genesis 1 is a creation account.  I believe that God supernatural spoke the world into existence.  Am I convinced that the world is billions or even millions of years old? No.  Am I convinced the world is 6,000 years old? No.  I personally lean towards younger as opposed to older (millions or billions), but the details are less important to me than the fact that God did it as recorded in His Word.  Not understanding the nuances of creation do not personally cause question about the fact that a loving God created us, our sin separated us, and His Son saved us.  The phrase “major on the majors” comes to mind.

But if you are looking for a good perspective on last night’s debate, below you will find a section from the President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Dr. Albert Mohler’s blog and a link to the full article.  Mohler is a self-professed young earth creationist and does a great job talking through the debate at a much higher level than I ever could.

Ultimately, it is and was my prayer last night in the debate that Ken Ham, a Christ-follower, would represent Christ accurately.  As ambassadors of Christ and His message we have an obligation and responsibility to represent Christ and to show the world His love and grace for all. Our job is not necessarily to just win, although I do love it when that happens.

Bill Nye’s Reasonable Man—The Central Worldview Clash of the Ham-Nye Debate

promo-postcard

Last night’s debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham attracted a huge international audience and no shortage of controversy—even before it began. Bill Nye, whose main media presence is as “The Science Guy,” and Ken Ham, co-founder of Answers in Genesis and founder of the Creation Museum, squared off in a true debate over one of the most important questions that the human mind can contemplate. That is no small achievement.

I enjoyed a front row seat at the debate, which took place even as a major winter storm raged outside, dumping considerable amounts of snow and ice and causing what the local police announced as a “Class Two” weather emergency. Inside the Creation Museum there was quite enough heat, and the debate took place without a hitch. Thankfully, it also took place without acrimony.

The initial controversy about the debate centered in criticism of Bill Nye for even accepting the invitation. Many evolutionary scientists, such as Richard Dawkins and Jerry Coyne, refuse to debate the issue, believing that any public debate offers legitimacy to those who deny evolution. Nye was criticized by many leading evolutionists, who argued publicly that nothing good could come of the debate.

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How to Tear a Phone Book in Half – The Art of Manliness

Find the secret to tearing a phone book in half.  A recent post from The Art of Manliness blog.  I’ve tried and it works!

Phone Book Header 500

Like most people, I’ve long stopped using the phone book to look up phone numbers and use Google instead. But like most people, I still get a giant phone book delivered to my door every single year. I typically just toss it into the recycling bin as soon as I get it, but this year I didn’t.

Instead I tore my phone book in half with my bare hands. And then I recycled it.

Tearing a phone book in half is a classic strongman feat of strength. Old-time strongmen like George F. Jowett amazed spectators in the 1920s and 30s with phone book tearing demonstrations. As a kid, I remember watching the Power Team rip through thick phone books during school assemblies while simultaneously warning us kids about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.

While tearing a phone book in half does require strength, there’s also a trick to it (though some strongmen can tear phone books without using it). Below, our very own Mr. Know Your Lifts — who enjoys ripping things up when he’s not pumping iron — demonstrates how to tear a phone book in half with your bare hands in five simple steps.

Step 1: Grab Phone Book With Both Hands

Phone Book 1

Place your thumbs on top and your fingers underneath one of the edges of the phone book (excluding the edge that is the binding). You can either tear the phone book by its length or its width — either way it will be impressive.

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Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon

KDF marathon

Every year I go through the decision making process of whether or not to run the Kentucky Derby Festival half marathon.  I have not graduated up to the full marathon yet for one main reason.  That reason and the decision making process all centers around one key element: TIME.

I have determined that busyness is a relative term.  Before we had kids, I thought I was busy.  Now that we have kids, I think “What did we use to do with all our time?”  Every new stage of life a person enters into comes with its own set of challenges that seem to take up all of our time.  I would imagine that in a few years when we enter into the next phase of life and the demands for our time changes, we will once again ask ourselves, “What did we use to do with all our time?”

So even though TIME is the key element in my decision making process, it is not because I am busy or don’t have enough it.  It is because I value it and want to use it wisely.  I have a wife and two children that I love to give my time.  Going into training mode requires that the time that I have with those people gets diminished.  Do I value running in the half marathon more than the time I have with my family?

For a full marathon, I can expect to double that commitment in time each day and duration of the training program.  My training program for a half is about 2 good months, which is pretty short.  I would expect to train for four months for a full.

So the question remains and will remain for at least a few more weeks.  Everything you need to know to participate in the KDF marathon can be found here or from one of the links below.

Who’s running!?

Register Now

Course Map

Training Plan