March 20, 2018

Life in the Age of Smartphones

If you're reading this, you're probably old enough to remember life before cell phones. Think back to that time for a moment . . . Remember how quieter things were, how less distracted everyone was, how intentional you had to be to stay in touch with friends or family. Remember the hand-written notes in your mailbox, the hours of visiting quietly on the porch, the curiosity about other's life-events, and the satisfying hard work of searching for answers by making actual conversation with people in front you. Do we romanticize those pre-cell-phone days? Sure, to some extent. But there were aspects of life that we can never go back to, so in a way -- it's worth romanticizing a [...Read More]

Social Media: Resources for Christians

{Read "Social Media: a Christian Perspective" here} Social media comes with great responsibility, especially for Christians. We are commanded to think on what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praise-worthy... and so everything we share promote those things. That means everything we speak in real life, as well as everything we post online.   How can we do that? How can we fulfill Philippians 4:8 in every social media situation? How can we glorify God in our time online? First, by reading God's Word. You must read it, to know it. And you must know it, to understand and apply it. Second, by reading Scripturally-centered resources. Blog posts, [...Read More]

Social Media: a Christian Perspective

Social media has evolved rather drastically, hasn't it? Twenty years ago, hardly anyone you knew had email. Ten years ago, people were just finding out about instant messaging. Now we have Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram... Email and other media sites allow us to make connections, share opinions, and voice our thoughts to the world. It doesn't matter whether you're popular or well-known: you can be heard just as loudly as the next guy. It doesn't matter if you live hours or days apart: you can chat in real-time, and keep up with every detail of a loved one's daily life. But what should a Christian do with social media? How should we interact? Are [...Read More]

Helpful Resource: YouVersion

I'm not even sure where to start with explaining YouVersion, other than to say that you HAVE to check it out! It's a Bible application that you can use online both on your computer and on your phone (Android, iPhone, Blackberry, Windows Mobile, Palm, Mobile Web, etc). It has at least 100 versions of the entire Bible. It has audio for many of the versions. It has reading plans, both "through the Bible" as well as sectional and categorical plans, ranging from 4 days to over 1 year. It has options to highlight, bookmark, and take notes. It lets you share your notes and bookmarks with others. Oh, and did I mention that it's completely free? [...Read More]

Helpful Resource: Sermon Audio

One of the ways I find inspiration for spiritual growth is by listening to sermons - not just in church on Sunday, but during the week as well. I can listen to them on my laptop while I'm doing housework or on my headphones while I'm working out. It's not a substitute for personal time with God, but it's a fantastic way to keep my thoughts focused on Him and to be ever growing in "the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18). Some churches make their sermons available on cd. Some post them online, on their websites. Take advantage of these opportunities to listen and learn. Sermon Audio is another great resource.* They have thousands of sermons by hundreds of [...Read More]