Jesus>Religion

I think there are millions of people who love God but hate religion. They find themselves embarrassed and loathing the task of defending the behavior of many people who call themselves Christians. If you haven’t seen Jefferson Bethke’s video, “Why I hate religion but love Jesus,” you have to see it. It hit 20 million hits in the first ten days it was on YouTube. It obviously resonates with a lot of...

So Many Books, So Little Time...

Do you like to learn from books but don’t seem to find the time to read as much as you should? I’m so grateful some books are available in audio form, so I can read while doing other things. There are millions of books, more than anyone could ever read in a a thousand lifetimes. Some are pure entertainment. Some are a waste of time. But some are darn-right life-changing. As the famous American basketball coach John Wooden said, “Five years from now, you’re the same person except for the people you’ve met and the books you’ve read.” I find it challenging to read as many books as I’d like, so I’m grateful I can listen to many titles. I subscribe to Audible.com and download audio versions of books I want to read, directly to my computer and smartphone. I then listen to books when I’m doing other things, like driving, gardening or exercising. Even while doing dishes! It’s fantastic! I just finished Quitter, a book about how to get your dream job by Jon Acuff and A History of the World in 6 Glasses, a fun listen on history and how it was shaped by our favorite beverages by Tom Standage. Both are also available from Amazon as paper and Kindle books. It’s a great way to maximize my time and learn when I would otherwise be doing mundane things. You can download books straight from the Audible site. However, you get discounts if you become a subscriber. They have various introductory programs, one offing one free book and another priced @ $7.49/month for three months. You get one credit per month for buying audio books, but can purchase more (often for less than the monthly membership fee). After that you can choose your membership level. My only criticism...

Secret to Success Apr16

Secret to Success

Video – How badly to you want to succeed? Do you want it as much as you want to breathe? Here is an awesome 14-minute video by Eric Thomas, a motivational speaker who believes it’s not where you come from, but where you’re going. Eric Thomas’s book is The Secret to Success, available as a Kindle book for only $7.69. Eric is also known as E.T., The Hip Hop Preacher. He is available as a speaker; you can find his web site here: http://etinspires.com...

Why Getting Control Of It ALL Is So Important Apr11

Why Getting Control Of It ALL Is So Important

“We like to pretend sometimes that we are made up of a system of buckets. We like to think we can live, ‘what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,’ moments in one area of our lives without affecting other areas. It’s just not true. If you’re ailing in one portion of your life, it tends to infect the other portions. If there’s poison in a glass of water, no one says, ‘be careful, the middle of that water is poisoned.’ The same principle applies to your work.” – Jon Acuff, author of Quitter: Closing the Gap Between Your Day Job and Your Dream...

How Are Devices Changing How We Think & Live?

Did you spend Easter dinner (or any other family meal) with certain members disengaged in conversation because their heads were buried in their phones or tablets? Certainly our digital devices are changing how we think and interact with each other. But it’s too early to tell how or to what extent. As one who teaches a college interpersonal communication course, I see that young people (and some not so young) struggle with saying no to immediate communication. I stress over and over how it’s ok to go against culture and to ignore texts, especially while in class, during face-to-face conversations (yes, we have to use that term now to differentiate), and most especially, while driving. Many have underdeveloped interpersonal skills, so the course is great for them. We can point to two or three major shifts in history that altered communication and how the mind works. The first two are related: written language and literacy. Before the moveable printing press, books were hand copied, so were only in the possession of the wealthiest. Once the printing press starting churning out inexpensive books, the masses began to learn to read. We know that when someone learns to read, there is a fundamental shift in the way their brain works. Consider all the things people no longer had to remember! Instead they had the possibility to write things down and look them up later. A great burden was lifted from the human brain. The third major shift we can attribute to the digital age, which is generally considered to be about the year 2000. Though we had radio, film and television in the last century, around 2000 is when the internet started to reach critical mass as well as an explosion of new delivery media and methods. These, of course, include things we can’t image living without, such as mp3 players, smartphones, tablets, inexpensive laptops, video games, video on demand, and the development of the cloud (where software and data are stored somewhere besides on your devices). The future will likely be all about the cloud. Sony and other companies are committed to this model because it’s cheaper and faster to deliver content digitally rather than by print, disc or other hard media. I focused on media effects in my doctoral studies; that means I studied how media affects people, or more importantly, how people interact with media. If you saw my interview, Do Movies Make People Kill Others?, you know that research shows that movies or other media do not make people do bad things. Or restated, they might encourage some predisposed people to do bad things some of the time. So when I came across the following article, I knew I wanted to share it with you. The Child, the Tablet and the Developing Mind is an piece by New York Times writer Nick Bilton. It’s worth keeping an eye on this developing topic. However, I can think of many instances when I’ve been in family settings where people were not communicating, devices or not! There was a day when children and young adults were educated in the art of conversation. I think we would do well to revive some of that. If kids knew how to engage in interpersonal communication, maybe they wouldn’t default to their devices. Be sure to click on the...