Category Archives: church

Why Are We Doing Home Groups?

CFC Lesson for 5/3/2009 – Come join us!

Information from “A Gathering Force”, by Francis Chan in Catalyst Groupzine #4 – Intentional about Community

Connection

  1. Do you believe that God started his church as a spirit-filled, loving body with the intention that it would evolve into entertaining hour-long services?
  2. What would you expect to experience as you entered the building? Now compare that to what you actually experience when you attend church.
  3. (Agree/Disagree).

Demonstration

Read “A Gathering Force” by Francis Chan aloud as a big group.

Did the words from the saved-ex-gang-member sting? Why? 

What groups are you apart of that are tightly connected, and feel like family? 

Should church feel like that? 

What is preventing it?

Integration and Testing

Re-read Acts 2:42-47.

Do you agree with the statement that the world is looking for a group like what is described in the verses? 

Do our schedules have any effect on this?

Does our technology adoption have any effect on this?

Do you think there are too many cultural obstacles for the Holy Spirit to overcome?

The Ask – The Sale

So why are we doing home groups?

I believe we are called to study the Word together, dine and party together, and pray together.  If we live like this we will excited and filled by the simple things.  I believe that we our time together in Christ creates a common bond amongst us.  We should do whatever it takes to make sure everyone’s needs, not wants, are met.  We need to meet at church together, but we also need to meet in public places and in each other’s homes.  If we live an authentic Christian life, God will add to our numbers and we will grow the family.

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Texas Sized Vacation

Amanda and I just got back from an incredible vacation to Austin, TX.  The motivation for the trip was the Q2009 conference.  I wanted Amanda to experience what I experience in Manhattan last year at Q2008.  The conference was Monday through Wednesday (4/27-4/29), but we decided to travel to Austin on Friday (4/24).  We arrived in Austin, rented a car, and drove to Victoria, TX to hang out with Dee Dee (Amanda’s sister) and her family.  We had a great time eating and listening to some original music (You all will be familiar with “Fast Road To Austin” in the next year or so).  Saturday we drove back to Austin.  We spent Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday getting to know downtown Austin.  We loved having each others full attention for five straight days – really appreciated that.  Sunday afternoon we were able to meet up with Duncan and Kathy and their crew from MBC.  Great folks!  We are looking forward to crashing their pad in Edinburgh, Scotland in the next year or so.

General thoughts on Austin:

  • I would describe downtown Austin as “uncomplicated”.  The roads are easy to walk and the restaurants are generally clustered together and easy to recognize.
  • There are no chain restaurants in the downtown area.  All restaurants were unique and added to the Austin flare.  Some of the eateries Amanda and I enjoyed include Taverna, Taste, and Miguel’s, and Lanai.  We found the corner of 4th and Colorado extremely entertaining Saturday night.  We ate Torchy’s Tacos from the Hidden Coffee Shop for breakfast many of the mornings.
  • Art is dripping off all of the walls of all of the shops and restaurants and there is live music everywhere.
  • We were lucky enough to catch the Austin Arts Festival on Sunday.  It was a big two-day event that featured about 300 artist from all over the country including many from Austin.  Live music, lot’s of native cuisine, and lots of art.  This is where we met Jeffrey Lorien, Co-founder of Zhi Tea – a small business in Austin that mixes and ships loose leaf teas.  We bought the Monk’s Blend and the Ginger Peach Oolong.  Both are very good, and I’m looking forward to ordering their Earl Grey.
  • We did not get to see the bats.  We went under the Congress Bridge on Sunday and heard them, but we never got to see them fly out (The South Congress bridge houses the largest bat colony in the US and at dusk each night they all fly out at the same time to eat dinner).
  • Highly recommend staying at the Stephen F. Austin Hotel on 7th and Congress.  Old hotel that has been restored.  The rooms have a great feel to them – you don’t feel like you are in a cookie cutter hotel room.
  • “Keep Austin Weird” is the city’s tag line.  Austin has the energy of a college town, and the maturity of a bigger city all wrapped into one.

 If you are looking for a fun place to get away – give Austin a try. 

 Special thanks to my parents and Amanda’s mom for keeping the kids for our get-away!

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Who Are You Cheating?

These are the notes I am teaching from tomorrow in Sunday School Class.  Come join us in the Couples For Christ Class at Trinity UMC in Huntsville, AL.

Reference:

Andy Stanley. Choosing to Cheat. Multnomah Books 2003.

Gather:

·         Come up with a working definition of “cheating”.

·         Do you work to support your family or your ego? Perhaps some of both?

o   Has your focus shifted with time? If so, how?

o   Are you prone to leverage the pressures and responsibilities of work as an excuse to spend more time there?

o   If you knew you were going to fail either at home or at work, where would you choose to fail? Would your spouse agree with the way you answered that question?

Warm up:

Everybody Cheats

 

The tension we feel between work and family is complicated by the fact that most of us love what we do at work and we love being with our families at home.  On top of that, both are ordained by God!  Who gets top billing?

 

Work:

·         We typically have more to do than we can ever hope of getting done.

·         There are always loose ends

o   Phone calls and emails that didn’t get returned

o   Meetings that were cut short or skipped

o   People that deserved and didn’t get my undivided attention

·         If you stayed at work until everything was finished…if you took advantage of every opportunity that came your way…if you sought out every angle to maximize your abilities,  improve your skills, and advance your career…Would you ever leave work?

 

Family:

·         Have your kids ever looked at you and said, “Hey Dad, We’ve played enough.  Why don’t you go back in the house and see if you can get some work done.”?

·         Has your spouse ever complained about you coming home early?

·         If you stayed at home until every ounce of affection was poured out in all the appropriate places…if you kept giving until every emotional need was met (every love tank filled)…if you did every chore, finished the honey-do list, and did everything necessary to ensure that everyone felt loved…Would you ever leave home?

 

Creating a healthy family environment is difficult because of the inherent selfishness of each family member.  Creating a successful career is difficult because of the competition in the market place.  Either one of these environments or the struggles related to both could consume our undivided attention.  We don’t have the luxury of allocating all of time to one or the other. So, we are forced to wrestle with the conflict.

Our knee-jerk reaction to this dilemma is to answer the call of the squeakiest wheel.  We run from fire to fire, troubleshooting our way through life, rescuing the needy and rewarding those who can’t seem to stay out of trouble.  Over time, our families learn that the only way to get our attention is to create a crisis.

Heavy Lifting:

 

Role of Work vs. Role of Family    

 

Role of Work: (Discussed in Lesson #1 of this series.) 

·         Refer to Genesis 2:15.  God created us to work!  Before there was a family to support, God put Adam to work.

·         Today, men and women get up at the crack of dawn to plow their vocational fields in order to produce a crop.

·         Work is task-focused. 

·         We tend to find our worth through accomplishment.

·         Rewards are tangible, progress is measurable, accolades are notable

 

Role of Family:

·         The family is relationship focused.

·         We find our value simply by who our relatives are.

·         Family is about “be-ing”

·         Rewards are intangible, progress is subtle, seldom given accolades

 

At work, I am expected to show up and produce.  My family is just happy if I just show up.

 

Taking your task oriented focus into the home causes things to fall apart.  Can you “fix” your family? Can you “fix” your marriage? Can you “fix” your kids?

 

You do your job.  You love your family.  If when we reverse the order that the tension escalates and the tug-of-war begins.

 

How many of us have taken the “good intention alibi” into the spiritual realm?  Do you strike a deal with God and pray the following prayer when you get extra busy or are having to travel a lot?

 

Lord, you know my heart.  You know how badly I want to spend more time with my family.  So while I’m away, please watch over and protect them.  Please fill the void that I have left while I am away.  Lord, You understand my love for them; help them to understand as well.

 

If you are expecting God to do you job for you while you do a job for somebody else, you have made an arrangement with God.  What is wrong with that?

 

1.      We are assuming that God could not just as easily fill the void at work as He could the void at home.

2.      We are asking God to fill a gap that only we can fill while we scurry off to do a job that a thousand other people could do.

 

We might as well pray

 

Dear God, You do what only I can do while I go do what many others could do just as well or better.

                                    

As a counselor, Andy Stanley states that he has never talked to an adult who reported that while growing up his father worked all the time, but God filled the gaps and there was no residual relational or emotional damage.  He has never talked to a mom who reported that her husband neglected his family for the sake of his career, but fortunately God filled in the void, and everything was fine?

 

If we can’t expect God to cover for us in a way that protects our families from the residual effects of our misprioritization, then what are we to do?

 

The answer is simple.  But it is simple in the way that telling a smoker the solution to their addiction is to stop smoking.

 

Cool down: 

 

Holding the Rock

 

Everybody is willing to be “understanding” when a loved one needs to cheat a little.  Why do they accept it? Easy, because they love us.

 

(Parable)

 

Your mental willingness was overcome by your physical and emotional exhaustion.

 

·         When we ask our husbands and wives to carry our load as well as theirs, it is like handing them the rock.

·         When we are absent at critical junctures in family life, they are left holding the rock.

·         When we find ourselves pointing to the future to somehow make up for the past and present, they are holding the rock.

·         When we assure our families that things are going to change and they don’t, they are holding the rock.

 

When the rock drops, it usually shatters into a million pieces.  The grip on the rock usually fails on something that seems to trivial.

 

What does your family want from you more than anything else?  Love, you say.  Yes, but it goes deeper than that.  They want to feel like they are your priority.

 

The problem is, you love your family in your heart, but you don’t love them in your schedule.  And they can’t see your heart.

 

Our family’s willingness to hold the rock for us is born out of their desire to please us. Part of their reason for wanting to please us is that in pleasing us they hope to gain what they value most, our acceptance.

Whenever you compromise – or cheat – the interests of a family member in order to fill gaps somewhere else, you shuffle your priorities.  Loyalty that was intended for a loved one gets displaced and given to someone else.  However small, it increases the emotional load they must carry.  It may not seem like a big deal.  But it sends the message: You’re important…but right now something else is more important.  When we take advantage of their willingness to support our dysfunctional schedules and misprioritization, we send a message of rejection.

 

And our actions speak louder than our intentions.

 

Assignment

 

This week try both of the following:

·         Spend intentional time with your spouse.  Really inquire about them and what they think. Taking time to figure a woman out makes her feel valued.  (Guys, this is why girls love the book/movie Twilight).  Ask your spouse if you (collective) are ok?  Ask if they feel like they are hold a rock in certain areas.  Be honest and explore this.

·         While tucking your kids into bed, as the following series of questions:

o   Is everything okay in your heart?

o   Did anyone hurt your feelings today?

o   Are you mad at anyone?

o   Did anyone break a promise to you?

o   Is there anything I can do for you?

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God is good for church, but that stuff won’t work where I work

These are the notes I will use for our Sunday School Class tomorrow.  Come join us.

Reference:

Andy Stanley podcast “Taking Care of Business, Part 2: Current Market Indicators”. 8/11/2008

Andy Stanley, Choosing to Cheat. Multnomah Books. 2003

Gather:

·         In your workplace, which of these are valued more

o   Economics of the deal versus the ethics of the deal

o   Income versus integrity

o   Cash flow versus character

·         How do you justify Christian values in a capitalistic economy where return on investment, cash flow, bottom line, and shareholder , … are the ultimate “ends”?

 

·         What happens if in your place of employment, you are called upon or expected to do things that are clearly in opposition to what God has called you to be as a Christian? (Does this ever happen?)

 

Warm up:

I believe that there is a tendency to develop two sets of books to operate out of – one for personal life and one for business life.  We need to be careful in our work life otherwise we become idolaters – we say we are Christians, but we bow down to one of these

 

1.      Security – I have to pay my bills, my mortgage, get my bonus to make ends meet, …  The quest for security becomes the Lord of your life.

2.      Recognition – I have spent years developing this client base, company profile, reputation, etc.  People view me in a certain way, and if I all of the sudden interject my Christian values into the workplace, I would lose my reputation.  Recognition of your accomplishments becomes the Lord of your life.

3.      Progress – You want to move forward and going backward makes you cringe.  I love God, Jesus and all that church stuff, but when it comes down to it, I’m not going to make a decision professionally that makes me take a step back.  You have a hard time with decisions where the “right” decision may make you back up versus the “wrong” decision that may make you back up.  Progress becomes the Lord of your life.

 

The market encourages and reinforces you to pursue these three idols.

 

A major problem arises when you live one way in your church/family/friendship life and a different way in your business life.  Your ethics are like water – they seep.  It doesn’t matter how high a wall you build between the two, eventually there is a relationship that will be compromised from living out of two sets of books.

 

·         Parents that compromise themselves in the workplace compromise their moral authority at home

·         Eventually you will lose self-esteem and self respect – You are caught in an awful tension and you realize that you are a coward and a hypocrite.

·         “I’m afraid of what will happen if I do the “right” thing”

 

If you are willing to sacrifice your ethics for a “deal”, you are afraid of something – What is it?

 

Heavy Lifting:

 

·         When you say “no” to the right decision, you compromise and you lose the opportunity to see what God could have done if you stood your ground.

 

·         When you refuse to exercise faith and do the right thing, you miss an opportunity for God to show up, and you will always wonder what would have happened if I had done the right thing. (shame/guilt).

 

·         The Old Testament is full of stories of men and women that have to make difficult decisions – often times with their life on the line – where God intervenes after they make the “right” decision. 

o   David and Goliath

o   Moses and Pharaoh

o   Saul and David

o   Abraham and Isaac

o   Ester and King ?

 

These stories capture out imagination.  These are the stories we tell our kids.  Why?

 

Look in the book of Daniel

 

Background: 605 BC, Babylon (King Nebuchadnezzar) destroyed Israel and took best and brightest captive.  Integrated them into Babylonian culture – very metropolitan.  Became most powerful nation in the world.  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego identified as extraordinary administrators.  Build up quite a professional reputation.  All the perks that go along with being at the top of their game professionally – invited to all the parties, access to people of power and influence, had their own servants, …

 

Daniel 3:1-8

The city is full of people worshipping different gods.  King N. comes up with a crafty plan and says you can worship whatever you want, but ultimately you worship me.  I’m the one that holds your fate in my hands.

 

Daniel 3:8-12

Jealous people that were overlooked for these high positions plotted to present SMA in a negative light to the king. Jealous  backstabbers.

 

Daniel 3:13-15

King gets mad.  Confronts the boys.  Gives them a second chance (he really likes them and wants them to succeed).  Finally asks “what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?”  He wants the boys to know that their life lies in his hands.  He controls them and could squash them if he wanted to.

 

Daniel 3:16-18

The boys stand their ground.  “We don’t need to defend ourselves to you, O King” (i.e. tell that band to pipe down).  Our God is able to save us.  If he does, then it shows you don’t control us.  If not, we die – still don’t worship your image – either way our God wins, and you lose.

 

Daniel 3:19-30

King N. throws them in the furnace.  They don’t burn and they come out of the fire not even smelling like smoke.  King freaks out and declares their God the God of all Babylon and them gives the boys a raise.

 

You don’t belong to your manager, boss, ceo, board, etc.  You belong to the Invisible King and he is in control of your life.  Do the “right” thing regardless of the cost and give God a chance to show up.

 

Cool down: 

 

Do you think you are where you are professionally due to God’s goodness, grace, and opportunities he has given you, or do you think you are where you are professionally because you are a hard worker and “got after it” and God didn’t have anything to do with it?

 

This is a binary question.  You are on one side or the other.  No middle ground.

 

Once you get to a certain level in your career, do you have to compromise the principles of God to maintain the blessings of God?  (A question I would love to ask Politicians).

 

Assignment:

 

Wish every Christian in the midst of your success would come smack up against a situation that calls you to abandon your faith and Christian morals for the sake of income.  In that moment you will discover something about you, God, and the strength of your faith.  (As a parent you will also have  a story to tell your kids about a time you made the right call when you had a lot to lose).

 

Do the right thing and give God a chance to show up!

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The Boss

These are the notes I will be using for the Sunday School Lesson tomorrow.  I am doing a four part series on When Work and Family Collide.  I am feeling pretty convicted on this subject right now since I am traveling a lot and missing some of the things going on at home.

References:

Andy Stanley, Northpoint Podcast “Taking Care of Business, Part 1: Meet the Boss”

Andy Stanley, Choosing to Cheat – Who Wins When Family and Work Collide?. Multnomah Books.  2003.

 

Gather:

·         Describe your first job.

·         Describe the worst job you ever had – what made it “that bad”?

·         Describe the best job you ever had – what made it “that good”?

Warm up:

·         How do we view work?  What are the important elements of your “job”?

 

·         How does God view work?  (Genesis 2:8,15)

o   Work for man was not a product of The Fall.  It existed prior to The Fall.

o   When God had everything perfect, 1st thing he did for man was put him to work.

o   When earth was perfect, mankind (the image of God) was working – as a gardener.

o   God loves it when we work!

 

We tend to place more emphasis on the “where” and “how much” aspects, while God just wants to see us work – where we are, whatever you do.

 

Heavy Lifting:

 

Paul addresses work in his letter to the Colossians (Colossians 3:22-4:1).

 

·         Who does God address first?  —–Slaves

o   Colossians 3:22 – “Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord.”

o   Basically tells the slaves to be the best slave you can possibly be and work as if they are working for the Lord.

·         Who does God address last?  —–Masters

o   Colossians 4:1 – “Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven”

o   Basically tells the Masters to be fair and good to their slaves because they too have a Master over them.

·         In between these two, he addresses us.  In reality, aren’t we all somewhere between Masters and Slaves in our jobs?

o   Colossians 3:23 – “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart”

§  “Whatever” is significant.  It means what you are doing right now – not your dream job, not when you get to start your own business, not after that promotion you think you deserve, not once I get to leave my job and work in the home raising my kids.

§  We want to raise our hands and ask for a pass – Look at what I do, God?  “All my heart”?  Come on, All I do is ______.  The people above me don’t put their heart into it, why should I? 

o   Colossians 3:23 continued – “As working for the Lord, not for man”

§  What does “working for [the] man” look like?

·         Do as little as you can to get by, unless someone is watching.

·         Appear to be very busy, even if you aren’t.

·         Appear to be indispensible to the company, even if you are not.

·         Take credit for as many ideas as you can.

·         Jockey for position.

·         Look at employer as source of income and source of security.

§  This verse gives us a new standard – Do it as if you were working for God.  You are working for a big Boss in heaven, not for [the] man.

o   Colossians 3:24 – “since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward”

§  Paul pulls us into a broader context.  As Christians, you will give an account for every single part of your life to the Lord.  We are rewarded for all parts.  We want to say, “I will put my whole heart into my family, worship, friendships, … but work?  All I do is ______.”

§  God does not compartmentalize!

§  In heaven (when God makes all things perfect again – like it was in Eden) we will have jobs.  We will work.

§  God is interested in our work.  He wants to know who the faithful workers are that can be trusted with greater accountability later on.

§  WHAT YOU DO IS NOT AS IMPORTANT AS HOW YOU DO IT!

·         We focus on what and where

·         God focuses on how and your diligence.

o   Colossians 3:24 continued – “It is the Lord Christ you are serving”

§  Pretty blunt for those that haven’t understood the message yet.

§  We serve Christ in the job market, career, homemaking, WHATEVER.

 

Cool down:  4 Statements –

 

1.      Your work has eternal implications even if it appears it doesn’t have any eternal significant.

·         Everything has eternal significant – even though your “product” does determine eternity.

·         If I were a doctor, pastor, missionary, … 

·         God loves to see you work.

 

2.      How you perform at work is as important as where you work.

·         This should be a very liberating statement.  Is it?

·         We are all focused on the “where” – we all have friends with better jobs, higher paying jobs, … the grass is always greener.

·         God doesn’t mind you asking for a better job, but what about NOW.

 

3.      How you perform at work is as important as how you behave.

·         Have you ever run into the person at work that prides themselves on the Christianity they display, but at the same time feel like it’s ok to be a slacker.

·         Poor workmanship is never balanced out by good character.

·         “God doesn’t care about the secular world or the market place” – Yes, He does!

4.      Putting your heart into your work allows God to bless your work.

·         God does not bless disobedience.

·         God won’t give you success in areas that you are clearly violating His command.

o   Bless my marriage – Are you following the commands for marriage in the Bible?

o   Bless my finances – Are you stewarding your money according to the principles in the Bible?

o   Bless my family – Are you raising your family according to biblical standards?

o   Bless my work – When you do your job with your whole heart, as if unto the Lord, you make yourself blessable.

·         You can’t got to a job where you give half effort, ask God for something better, and expect Him to respond.

·         Invite God into the areas that you want blessed.  Think you will see a difference in the way you operate in those areas if you truly invite God in?

 

Assignment:

 

For one day this week, show up to work and work at it will all your heart, as if working for the Lord.      

 

Think through what this looks like:

·         When would you arrive?

·         How quickly would you respond?

·         How long is lunch?

·         Where would you go?

·         What does break time look like?

·         etc.

 

Try it and be ready to discuss it next week.

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Flickering Pixels – How Technology Shapes Your Faith by Shane Hipps

flickering-pixles-coverI have been following Shane Hipps for the past year after I heard him speak at Q2008. Flickering Pixels is a thought provoking book that fluidly incorporates some key topics from his previous book The Hidden Power of Electronic Culture along with new material from presentations, podcasts, and short articles. Mr. Hipps has distilled the information from his past publications and presentations into a coherent story that makes the reader question the positive and negative effects of technology and media on our personal, social, and spiritual lives. Mr. Hipps’ unique career path, juxtaposing a previous career as an advertising executive with Porsche and a current career as a Mennonite Pastor, gives depth to the message in the book. Both careers spend a lot of time attempting to deliver messages that stick with us. Whether discussing a particular brand from a company or the gospel from the church, most people assume that as long as the integrity of the message is protected, the method of communicating doesn’t matter. Mr. Hipps builds on the message from Marshall McLuhan (The patron saint of Wired Magazine), “The medium is the message”. A quote from Mr. McLuhan bluntly states, “Our conventional response to all media, namely that it is how that are used that counts, is the numb stance of the technological idiot. For the ‘content’ of a medium is like the juicy piece of meat carried by the burglar to distract the watchdog of the mind”. The message and the methods are tightly coupled – you can’t change one without affecting the other.

This is an interesting statement from a person that lived before texting, Facebook, American Idol, and mega-churches, but it’s hard to imagine that we are as manipulated by the TV as by the content. The book supports and explains this position by highlighting historical examples. For example, consider the technology of printed text. Mankind originally lived in tribes where anything that was known, was collectively known by the tribe. Stories and history were told and retold in order to keep them alive. Once written text was invented, a single person could transfix thoughts in time and space and there was no longer a need for the tribe. Writing and reading are linear, logical activities that exercise the muscles in the left-hemisphere of the brain. As these muscles got stronger, Western civilization created new economic models, new government models, and new religious models. When civilization got too left-brain strong, they started deconstructing and reducing everything in the name of “efficiency”. The problem with a lopsided, left-brained approach to Christianity is that we tend to make formulas about how to be Christian – “apologize for your sins” + “Believe in Jesus” = “Go to Heaven”. Christianity became a highly individualized place where emotions, feelings, and experience had no place. The church became a million points of light. Dogma (what we believe) won out over ethics (how we behave).

From the fifteenth century to the early nineteenth century, no new communication technologies were created, so Western culture had 400 years mentally feeding strictly from printed text. If Printing had such a profound influence on Western thought over the past five centuries, how is the image-based internet society shaping us today? Since the invention of the photograph and the television our media has changed from primarily text based too primarily image based. Our strong left-brain muscles are atrophying and our right-brained muscles are getting most of the exercise. In many ways the mental-strength pendulum has swung to extreme right-brained. In this new image based society we vote for political candidates based on intuition and appearance rather than reason and analysis of policy positions. We are hostage to brands. We are stuck to the surface and want to be entertained instead of lead to a deeper understanding. Hipps says, “Internet text presents a nonlinear web of interconnected pages and a vast mosaic of hyperlinks with no fundamental beginning, middle, or end. We are immersed in a boundless, endless data space. These are the conditions specially suited to the right-brained.” As a result, our intellects are spread a mile wide and an inch deep. In the church, it is no surprise that we see a growing biblical illiteracy in the electronic age.

We should strive to have equal left and right brained approach to our Christian faith. For example, the left-brain is fed by the Pauline epistles and the right-brain is fed by the parables and examples of Christ. Your whole brain is necessary for a well-rounded faith. To get there, we need to have an understanding of the technologies and media that have and are currently shaping us.

Flickering Pixels explores many other ways that technology and media are shaping our psyche and approach to faith. How do virtual communities affect our ability to relate in real social settings? How does the imbuing of information affect our ability to develop wisdom? How does exposure to the entirety of planetary suffering affect our ability to extend compassion to those close to us? How do the benefits of getting close to those that are far from us, via Facebook and other social network sites, affect the closeness we exhibit to those nearest to us? How have parent-teen relationships changed and what are the implications given that parents are undocumented immigrants and teens are native citizens in the digital world? Mr. Hipps does an excellent job exploring these topics and more in Flickering Pixels.

It seems that mankind has this idea that we create and are the sole influencers on the world. We seldom slow down, take a look back and realize how our own creations are influencing us. Flickering Pixels is not a Luddite’s Handbook bashing technologies, rather it highlights the benefits and discusses the potential harm that can occur if the technology is overextended. I highly recommend reading this book, but if you are not that into books we can message each other about it on my blog or Facebook… lol… :).

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7:15 – 1/25/2009

 

1-25-2009reduced

Tonight at 7:15 I was playing my first-ever game of Butt-Charades during Converge (Youth Group).  We met in our small groups from 6:00-6:45.  Instead of worshiping as a large group, we had group game night.  Butt-Charades is a game where you divide into two teams.  You send a representative up.  Tony shows you a word, and then you have to spell the word out with your rear-end.  Your team has to try to guess the word.  Very funny!  C-A-T looks an awful lot like O-A-T or O-W-L when spell with your bottom.

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