Friday, December 21, 2012

Are we ready for Christmas?

Are we ready for God to break in?

Christmas is about the creator of universe, God almighty himself, breaking into humanity.  Yahweh becoming human.
Who was ready for Yahweh to come?
No one in Bethlehem.  They did not even care enough to make room for a woman about to give birth.
There were some who were ready.  The shepherds, the wise men, Simenon  Anna.  Even Herod (though he tried to kill Yahweh).
Where was everyone else?  The priests?
Yahweh faced rejection the moment he entered the world as a baby.
But he still entered into the muck of this world.

And the miracle is that Yahweh still breaks into this world, still enters into the muck.
Are we ready?

"Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me."  
Revelation 3:20

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Prayer affects God

Regarding prayer from Dallas Willard, The Divine Conspiracy:

God's "response" to our prayers is not a charade.  He does not pretend that he is answering our prayer when he is only doing what he was going to do anyway.  Our requests really do make a difference in what God does or does not do.  The idea that everything would happen exactly as it does regardless of whether we pray or not is a specter that haunts the minds of many who sincerely profess belief in God.  It makes prayer psychologically impossible, replacing it with dead ritual at best. (page 244)

prayer is a matter of coming to a person other than oneself and asking that they do something that one cannot do oneself.  It is coming to One who has repeatedly invaded human history and continues to do so.  It is intelligently working with him to accomplish ends that fulfill his purposes in creation and in fostering human life upon the earth for a short while.  (page 249)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Was Jesus fun?

Dallas Willard, in The Divine Conspiracy, invites us to think about who Jesus is:

We should, to begin with, think that God leads a very interesting life, and that he is full of joy.  Undoubtedly he is the most joyous being in the universe.  The abundance of his love and generosity is inseparable from his infinite joy.  All of the good and beautiful things from which we occasionally drink tiny droplets of soul-exhilarating joy, God continuously experiences in all their breadth and depth and richness.  (page 62)
We have commented several times on how the currently accepted image of Jesus all but makes it impossible to find him interesting and attractive, lovable.  The responses of common people to him throughout the pages of the gospel show how false that image is.  He was such an attractive person and such a powerful speaker that, from the human point of view, the leaders of the day killed him out of envy for his popularity (Matt. 27:18).  He was a master of humor and often used it to drive home the truths he imparted, as any good speaker does.  But few today would put him on their guest list for a party - if it were really going to be a party.  Jesus as we don't think of Jesus as intelligent, so we don't think of him as pleasant company, someone to enjoy being around.   (page 239)

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Is Jesus smart?

Dallas Willard, in The Divine Conspiracy, invites us to think about who Jesus is:

It is not possible to trust Jesus, or anyone else, in matters where we do not believe him to be competent.  We cannot pray for his help and rely on his collaboration in dealing with real-life matters we suspect might defeat his knowledge or abilities.
And can we seriously imagine that Jesus could be Lord if he were not smart?  If he were divine, would he be dumb?  Or uninformed?  Once you stop to think about it, how could he be what we take him to be in all other respects and not be the best-informed and most intelligent person of all, the smartest person who ever lived?  (page 94)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Voice for the voiceless

My wife, Cindy, just got back from leading a team from our church to visit SEEDS of Hope's home for orphans in Zambia.  To hear of their stories see SEEDS of Hope blog and Cindy's blog.

Why did they go? 

A voice for the voiceless.  This team is now the voice for these kids who had no voice.  Most of the kids that our team held and played with would have been dead without SEEDS of Hope.  They would have had no future.  But someone saw them and spoke on their behalf.  These kids are no longer a statistic or a tragedy that happens far removed from us that we can easily ignore.  They are people.  We know their names.  We see their faces.  We hear part of their story.  We care for them.
And this is true even for us who have never gone, because our friends and family have gone and are speaking for these kids.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Seth Godin and Education

Education is important.  Something that should be constantly talked about, reviewed and improved upon.
I have a friend who just pulled one of their kids from the school system to home school because she believes that her kid is not being taught anything.
Another friend told me that in one of her kids classes they watch a couple of movies every week.  These are not educational movies but Disney movies.
Now my kids' schools are great.  I am impressed with most of the teachers in my community.  However I am wondering if that is the norm or are we just an exception 
The questions that I have are:
Why are bad systems tolerated in our society?  
Can we make great systems even better?  
Seth Godin has some interesting ideas about education and its future.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Zambia - SEEDS of Hope

On November 8 my wife, Cindy, leaves for Zambia.  She will be gone for two weeks.  She is leading a short term missions team from our church.
A couple of years ago our church asked a question at our annual meeting.  "There are 15 million orphans in Africa.  What is our response?  Do we have a responsibility to help and if so, what should that look like?"
Our answer was to partner with an organization called SEEDS of Hope.  They have a home in Zambia for children with or affected by AIDS.  It is our desire to be committed for the long haul, not just send some money once and move on.
This means relationship.  We want to have a relationship with the people and kids we are partnering with.
So we are sending teams of people to Africa.  To build these relationships, to learn, to grow, to help out wherever we can.
Please pray for the team.  Pray that they will be a blessing, they will be blessed, and that relationships will be strengthened.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Wrong direction?

Reading The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard.  
Willard really challenges how we orientate our lives.

"Stand up for your rights" sounds so good.  How about "All I ever needed to know I learned in kindergarten?"  And "Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty?"  And so forth.  Such saying contain a tiny element of truth.  But if you try to actually plan your life using them you are immediately in deep, deep trouble.  They will head you 180 degrees in the wrong direction.  You might as well model your life on Bart Simpson or Seinfeld.  But try instead "Stand up for your responsibilities  or "I don't know what I need to know and must now devote my full attention and strength to finding out" (consider Prov. 3:7 or 4:7) or "Practice routinely purposeful kindnesses and intelligent acts of beauty."  (page 9-10)  

Friday, October 26, 2012

Flimsy walls

Ezekiel 13
The prophets are rebuked: "when a flimsy wall is built, they cover it with whitewash".

What areas of my life am I "whitewashing"?

When do I minimize my sin?  Claiming that it is "not that big of deal" or "it is not really affecting anyone else" or "others are worse than me"...

When do I try and cover up for my brokenness?  Distract myself by pointing out the faults of others.  Work hard at maintaining my image.  Allow no one to come close and see what I am truly thinking or feeling.

Perhaps Jesus and I need to work on the foundations of my life a bit more.
Character development not just painting over flimsy walls.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Trespasses or Debts

The Lord's prayer:

"forgive us our trespasses as we have forgiven those who trespass against us"
"forgive us our debts as we have forgiven our debtors"

Trespasses or debts.

To trespass means that we have violated the rights of another person.
The most common use of this term is to go on to someone's land without permission, to violate their private property.
To ask for forgiveness for our trespasses is to ask to be forgiven for the way that we have wronged others.  To forgive people for their trespasses is to forgive people for how they have violated our rights.
This is very important, extremely important.

To be in debt means that you owe someone something. 
We could be in debt to someone because we have been bad.  Throwing a brick through someone's window for example.
Of course we can also be in debt for a neutral reason.  I am in debt to the bank, not because I am bad but because they hold the mortgage to my house.
Or we can be in debt to someone because they are good.  When someone helps us we feel that we are in their debt.  Someone helps you move and you feel like you need to pay them back some how.  We become indebted to others because of their goodness.

"forgive us our debts as we have forgiven our debtors"

Stop trying to pay God back for his goodness.  Just accept that he is good and he loves you.  
Bless and encourage people without expecting them to pay you back.  Just bless because you are filled with love.

** Interesting side note: I cannot find an English translation that has trespasses, they all say debts.  As far as I can tell trespasses comes for the book of common prayer put out by the Anglican Church.  I have no idea why it says trespass.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Does God speak?

Hearing God is sometimes difficult.
Why does God not speak more?
These are common feelings and questions.


In the book of Jeremiah (25:3-7, 35:14-15) God asks again and again
Why do people not listen to me?  
He speaks - persistently - but people do not listen.

The problem may not be that God is not speaking, it may be that I just do not want to really hear what he is saying.  

Friday, October 05, 2012


Being thankful changes how I approach the world.
I see more beauty
I have deeper sense of wonder and amazement
I am happier
I treat others with more respect
I pay attention to the details of my world
I am inspired by people
I guess being thankful helps me see God...

What are you thankful for?

Thursday, October 04, 2012


A topic we avoid, while at same time embrace.
We avoid because it is filled with pain.
We embrace because it has affected all of us.

On Sunday I preached on Matthew 19:1-12.  Jesus talks about divorce.
Here are a few things that I had in mind as I preached:
  1. Grace.  There is grace and forgiveness.  The story just before this one is a story of forgiveness.  A man who owns too much to pay back is forgiven.  He then is to forgive those around him.  We are forgiven by God based on the cross, this includes those who have been divorced.  All of us need to extend the same grace that we have received.  
  2. Hard hearts.  Jesus states that divorce (marriage breakdown) happens because of hard hearts.  Yes, there may be an innocent party in divorce (it takes two to make a marriage thrive).  But we need to realize that divorce is a result of sin.  Most of the time both individuals in a marriage breakdown have hard hearts.
  3. All of us have hard hearts.  
  4. Two shall become one.  The goal of marriage is greater than not getting divorced.  The purpose of marriage is to not suffer through life with some other person.  The goal is oneness.  To be one means that you stand together and face all of life together.  It is not about being roommates.  Divorce happens because we are not pursuing "oneness".  We do not want a spouse, we want cheerleader. 
  5. Change.  To be married means that we need to change.  Marriage changes everything.  Our hearts have to be open to allowing the other person to change us.
  6. Singleness.  Sometimes it is better to be single rather than being married.  Jesus holds up that a single life is blessed.  Married life is also blessed (in different ways).  

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur - or the Day of Atonement

Recently I have begun to explore the Jewish holidays.  I am actually a little surprised that I know so little about these festivals.
As a Christian:

  • I read the Jewish scriptures
  • I follow a Jewish Messiah
  • A Jewish Messiah who would have observed all the festivals
  • The New Testament was written by Jews
And yet I know almost nothing of the holidays that are mentioned in the scripture.  I have even been to Bible school, studied at seminary.  Yet even in these places little was ever mentioned about the Jewish festivals.  
So I am beginning to ask how much am I not seeing in the Bible because I do not have a grasp of the Jewish festivals.  
Now I should note I do not believe that as a Christian I am obligated to follow the festivals (just like I do not believe we need to strictly observe the Sabbath).  But on the other side it is not wrong to follow them.  So why not?  Or at least become aware of them.

Yom Kippur (which started Sept 25 in the evening) is the most holy day.  The major themes are repentance and atonement.  The people are called to repent for the wrongs that they have done to God and to others.  Actually they are to spend the days leading up to Yom Kippur getting things right with God and the people around them.  This day is then spent in prayer and fasting.  

Jesus made atonement for our sins.  Out of being forgiven by God we are to repent and forgive others.
Today would a good day to confess, make things right with others, and remember the wonder of God's mercy and grace found in the cross.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Young Adults

Young Adults are leaving the church.  It appears that as soon as young people get to decide on their own to come to church or not about 70% walk away.
Next week David Sawler, author of Goodbye Generation, is coming to Altona and will be doing a workshop Saturday morning.
Also there was a new report just released that looked at this issue from a Canadian perspective.  It is called "Hemorrhaging Faith" (you tell by the title this is not good news).
100 Huntley Street interviewed some people about this.  Take a look.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Matthew 18:1-14 - Going deeper

Sunday's message was on Matthew 18:1-14. 
A quick summary:
  • How to be great in God's kingdom?  
    • Become radically dependent upon God
    • Become passionate (care for) the little ones (children).
Here are some things we should do as result of this passage:
  • Practice hospitality
  • Volunteer and serve (Sunday School possibly)
  • Pray for children/youth/young believers

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

End of Summer

Summer is almost at an end.
Summer often disrupts my routine in life.  Not a bad thing - holidays, camping...
However now in fall I get a chance to re-think what routines am I going to keep doing, which ones should I drop, and which ones should I add.  Here are some of things I am thinking as of right now:

  • A prayer time as I walk my dog (pray as you go)
  • Continuing to read through the bible
  • Learning French
  • Learning drums
  • Riding bike

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


I am (or at least close to being) a pacifist.
Interesting to see some reasons why C.S. Lewis was not a pacifist.  And interesting to see how Stanley Hauerwas responds to him.
Hauerwas responding to C.S Lewis.

I would like to read C.S. Lewis entire argument against pacifism.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Read about increase of violence in prisons due to overcrowding (CBC).
Pray for the chaplains (Dean and Brian are the chaplains at Stony Mountain), guards, wardens, and inmates.  Pray that the believers would walk closely with the Holy Spirit.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Religious traditions

Other people's religious traditions, for most of my life, fit into three categories: interesting and/or irrelevant and/or a hindrance to actual spiritual growth.
As I have grown older I discovered the value in other people's traditions.  Encountering God through other people's traditions has opened me up to a fuller understanding and appreciation of God.  
Right now one of the traditions I am exploring is from the Jesuit monks.  They run a website called "pray as you go".  I have been listening/praying as I have been walking my dog in the mornings.  

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Sabbath

Do Christians have to keep the Sabbath (specifically Saturday)?

Jesus (his life, death, resurrection and accession) is the pivotal moment in all of human history.  God became flesh, lived among us, died for us and was resurrected to new life.  Jesus is not simply a prophet or good teacher or wise person.  He is Yahweh become flesh.
This changes everything.  I do actually mean everything.  To go back to the way we related to God and others before Jesus is not a real option.  We need to remember that God actually becoming human is amazing and totally earth shattering.  The question is not, “do things change?” but “how and to what extent?”
So how does the Sabbath change as a result of Jesus?  (To claim that we have to obey the Sabbath simply because it is in the Old Testament fails to take Jesus into account.)

Now I am not advocating that we throw out the Old Testament.  The Old Testament is God’s word, it is inspired, it is an account of how Yahweh interacted and dwelt with humanity.  To understand Jesus, Yahweh, and the rest of the New Testament, we need to understand the Old Testament.  What I am advocating is that Jesus was Yahweh and his presence ushered in a new time period for humanity.  Things changed.  The Old Testament is read and understood in light of the New Testament.

So how do we know to what extent things changed?  We read and study the New Testament comparing it to the Old Testament.

So let’s talk about the Sabbath.

One of the most striking things I find is that after Jesus’ death and resurrection the Sabbath is hardly mentioned in the Bible.  It is just not an issue.  Now this is striking when you compare this to the writings of the Old Testament prophets.  The Sabbath was huge for the prophets, it was vitally important, it was the marker of faithfulness to God.  Sabbath is also huge in the life of Jesus.  There is constant dialogue about the Sabbath with Jesus and the Pharisees.  Suddenly after the resurrection the whole conversation about the Sabbath disappears.  It is impossible to imagine that suddenly at this point everyone finally figured out the Sabbath and got it right.  In fact if it was such a vital issue one would think that there would be even more written about it since the church was reaching out to Gentile people, Gentiles who would not have known or grown up with the Sabbath.  Or at least you would think there would continued conversation about Jesus’ teaching on the Sabbath.  But no, the Sabbath is hardly mentioned.

New Testament passages after the resurrection that specifically mention the Sabbath.
Hebrews 4:9 
There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God

The context of this verse is actually not about the Sabbath at all but about God giving rest to his people.  So this is not really relevant to the discussion.

Colossians 2:16
Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.

The context of this verse:  Paul has just explained the significance of the cross of Jesus.  He has described how Jesus defeated “the powers and authorities”.  From understanding Jesus' victory on the cross Paul moves and says this verse.
Now some of have argued that “a Sabbath day” refers only to pagan holidays.  However I am not sure one could ever link “Sabbath day” to pagan holidays.
Some say that this does not refer to the normal Sabbath but to the special Sabbaths.  This is a possible interpretation, which would mean that this passage is not that relevant to this discussion.
Of course this passage can be understood as referring to a regular Sabbath day.  If this is the case then it becomes obvious that the Sabbath is not vital in the new covenant.

It is interesting to note that outside of the gospels these are the only two references that explicitly mention the Sabbath.

However there is another verse that is important.
Romans 14:5-6
One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord.

Is this verse about the Sabbath?
One reason to say no is that within this context Paul talks about meat sacrificed to idols.  He talks about whether to eat or to not eat of these meats.  Since he is talking about food sacrificed to idols the reasoning goes then he must be talking about pagan holidays.  However there is a small problem with this understanding.  It is difficult to believe that Paul is saying that it is not a problem for a person to honour a pagan holiday, to think they are “sacred”.
Another interpretation is to say that this is once again referring to a special Sabbath, or a holy day.  This is a possible interpretation.
However I think this is talking about the regular Sabbath.  The entire context of the book of Romans is how do Gentile and Jewish believers get along and worship together.  One of those conflicts would have been the Sabbath.   Here Paul basically states that this is a non-issue.

Based on my understanding of the impact of Jesus becoming flesh and through my reading of the New Testament, I believe that as Christians we are not obligated to strictly observe the Sabbath on Saturday.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Love God

Love Jesus
This is what I am called to do.
It is surprising how quickly I get distracted from this.  Distracted by good things
  • Love the bible
  • Love reading and studying the bible
  • Love teaching
  • Love worshiping
  • Love talking about God and Jesus
  • Love going to church
All good things...but they are not the same as loving God.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


I here a lot about the need to have a "brand".  Churches are encouraged to have a "brand".  People are encouraged to develop their own personal "brand".

Here is an interesting take on Brands
The reason brand conversations get so convoluted and end up feeling like wordsmithing exercises is because so often brands don’t stand for anything.  So instead of capturing what you stand for, or capturing how what you stand for needs to evolve or be sharpened, you instead end up pretending to stand for something and then writing pretty words around an idea that has no core and no truth.
Unfortunately, the branding team (and the firm they’ve hired) isn’t in a position to actually get the company to stand for something.
The next time someone suggests a branding exercise, a new logo, a snappier tagline, grab ten people in your company and ask each of them to tell you in simple, plain words: what do we stand for?
Instead of asking what's your "brand" can I just ask: "What do I stand for?  What do we as a church stand for?"

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Meaning of Marriage

The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God, by Timothy and Kathy Keller

A good book.
The Kellers really nail the number one problem in marriage.  We are selfish.  We care more about ourselves then we do about spouses.
In Western culture today, you decide to get married because you feel an attraction to the other person.  You think he or she is wonderful.  But a year or two later - or, just as often, a month or two - three things usually happen.  First, you begin to find out how selfish this wonderful person is.  Second, you discover that the wonderful person has been going through a similar experience and he or she begins to tell you how selfish you are.  And third, though you acknowledge it in part, you conclude that your spouse's selfishness is more problematic than your own.  (page 64)
The solution that they offer is the gospel:
The gospel is this: We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared to believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.  (page 48)
Out of this acceptance and love found in Jesus we are able to move to love our spouses through action, even if we don't feel like it, or we feel they don't deserve it.
In any relationship, there will be frightening spells in which your feelings of love seem to dry up. And when that happens you must remember that the essence of marriage is that it is a covenant, a commitment, a promise of future love.  So what do you do?  You do the acts of love, despite your lack of feeling.  You may not feel tender, sympathetic, and eager to please, but in your actions you must be tender, understanding, forgiving, and helpful.  And, if you do that, as time goes on you will not only get through the dry spells, but they will become less frequent and deep, and you will become more constant in your feelings.  This is what can happen if you decide to love.  (page 104)
If we all live like this, gaining our worth and significance from Yahweh and from there deciding to be loving to our spouses, then our marriages will be awesome!

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Marriage Challenge

Here are some ideas of how to enhance your marriage:

  • Go on a date
  • Write love notes
  • Buy flowers
  • Make a special meal
  • Help your spouse with something they normally do
  • Tell your spouse 10 amazing things about them
  • Read a book together
  • Snuggle
  • Watch a movie you both enjoy
  • Kiss and hug - often
  • Go for bike rides (or walks)
  • Watch the sunset (or sunrise)
  • Take a marriage course (our church will doing one in fall)
  • Read a book about marriage (and do what it says)
  • Forgive
  • Have sex
  • Look at the stars
  • Dream together
Other ideas?

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Play at your marriage

"Don't work at your marriages.  Play" - Leonard Sweet

Too often work is something that we try avoid.  We wait for the evenings, weekends and holidays.  Work is viewed as a burden and drudgery.  A boring thing we must suffer through.
We want to play.
Now playing at something does not mean that it is easy.  Consider playing sports.
It can be very difficult at times (watch the Olympics).  But we embrace the difficulty because of the joy of playing.  We push ourselves to get better and better out of our love for the sport.

When we play instead of working we actually become better.

At a cyclocross race (the best kind of bike racing) there are different categories, A race and B race (A being the better bikers).  Watching a race I noticed the B racers worked.  They worked hard, they were pushing themselves (sometimes to the point of throwing up).  There was blood, sweat and tears.
The A racers played.  They were showing off to the crowd, smiling.  Still pushing hard, and there were still blood, sweat and tears.  But they played...and they were a lot faster and better then the B racers.

If we stop working at our marriages (doing the minimum because we have too while just waiting to do something fun) and instead play at our marriages - embrace difficulty, bring blood, sweat and tears - because of the joy of being married, it will become more and more wondrous.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Marriage resources

Here is a list of marriage resources that we have in our library:

  • Love & Respect by Emerson Eggrich
  • Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas
  • The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
  • Best Friends Best Lovers by Bob & Audrey Meisner
  • The Love Dare by Stephen & Alex Kendrick
  • For Men Only by Jeff Feldhahn
  • A Husband After God's Own Heart by Jim George
  • For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn
  • Sacred Influence by Gary Thomas
  • What's It Like Being Married to Me? by Linda Dillow
DVD Series & Movies
  • Love Respect
  • Sacred Marriage
  • Fireproof
  • From Anger to Intimacy by Gary Smalley
What resources have you found helpful?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


"greed which is idolatry" - Colossians 3:5

Money is not wrong in and of itself.  However we all know that greed is wrong, in fact it is idolatry.

When have we fallen into greed, worshiping money?

Timothy Keller in his book Counterfeit God notes that no one thinks that they are greedy. He states that he has had lots of people confess almost every sin to him.  But never greed - not one person.

How do know if we are worshiping the idol of greed?

Keller suggests "An idol is whatever you look at and say, in your heart of hearts, "If I have that, then I'll feel my life has meaning, then I'll know I have value, then I'll feel significant and secure."  (page xviii - Counterfeit Gods)

Peter Anderson gives this list of questions:

  1. What one thing do you hope for in the future?
  2. If you could change one thing about yourself right now, what would it be?
  3. What have you sacrificed for, and what do you value most?
  4. Who can you not forgive and why?
  5. What do you do that makes you feel the most value?
  6. What triggers depression in you?
  7. Where do you turn for comfort?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Demise of Guys

The Demise of Guys: Why Boys Are Struggling and What We Can Do About It 
by Zimbardo, Philip; Duncan, Nikita .
The Demise of Guys: Why Boys Are Struggling and What We Can Do About It
The premise of the this book is that guys are failing at an alarming rate in society (specifically America).  The authors say,
"In fact, society — from politics to the media to the classroom to our very own families — is a major contributor to this demise because they are inhibiting guys’ intellectual, creative and social abilities right from the start"
They point out many ways society is contributing to this demise, however they specifically focus on pornography and excessive video gaming.  (A while back I posted Zimbardo's TED talk about this subject).
For the most part I do believe that they are on to something, both with the porn and video gaming.

What can we do about?
I really appreciated that fact that the authors did not try and give simple solutions.  But they also attempted to give some practical advice to different groups.  Two things stood out.  One is they said fathers need to be involved in a boys life (or at least some older males).  Second, (this is linked to the first) was that fathers need to
"Teach your son about sex. You may feel awkward about it — too bad for you. Your son’s future health depends on him developing balanced perspectives on sex now."

Good book to read (also t is short and it is cheap - a couple of the reasons TED books are awesome).

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


This sure makes me ask - am I wanting to live with God?


Monday, April 09, 2012

Best/worst Lent ever

I gave up complaining for Lent.
This is has been the best Lent ever.  Often in the past my Lent hasn't seemed to really "work".  What I mean is that I have not found myself thinking more about God or praying more.  Usually I make a couple adjustments in my life to avoid whatever I have given up and then carry on as normal.  However this year Lent has really assisted me in being more aware of God.  Giving up a thought pattern meant that I could not just adjust something to avoid what I gave up.  What I gave up was with me.  And therefore it was a constant reminder of God.
This constant reminder has also made this the worst Lent ever.  I did not realize what a complainer that I am.  When I say that this has been a constant reminder I am not really exaggerating.  Every day I have broken my Lent.  This Lent has helped me realize how much I need God, I need a savior, I need to be filled with the Holy Spirit every day.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lent - complaining

We are now a week into Lent.
I really struggled this year in figuring about what to give up.  There were lots of ideas but nothing resonated with me.  I am positive that a large part of it was that I am lazy and self-centered and did not want to give up anything that I enjoy.  However another reason (excuse?) was that I wanted Lent to really draw me close to God.  Often during Lent instead of really making me more aware of God's presence I have just been aware of what I am giving up.  Which is a good sign of how self focused I actually am.
Anyway after thinking, praying, I read an article where a lady gave up worry.  That's interesting.  Then when I was praying I felt God telling me to give up complaining (of course this something that I should give up forever not just for Lent).
So for Lent this year I am giving up complaining - and just just out loud but also in my brain.

And in the past week what I have discovered is that I like to complain.