Tag Archive | technology

THE Conversation

Every church I’ve ever served (in any capacity whatsoever) has had THE conversation about young people and the church.

Where do they go?

Why do they leave?

What can we do?

What will bring them in?

If you’ve been in church leadership, you know the conversation I’m talking about.

It seems everybody has something to say about this topic. And here is the latest offering.

Personally, I think this explanation is a little bit over-simplified. We’d love to think that “Facebook killed the church.” That would give us someone to blame for all our woes. But our woes began long before Facebook … or even text messaging. While it may be a contributing factor, it doesn’t get all the blame.

The value of this post, to me, is it’s laser-precision cultural critique. It’s one small (but valuable) look into the mindset of a generation of which I am not a part. And that is a treasured gift.

Read the article, then leave a comment and tell me what you think.


The Backhand of the Generation Gap

I confess that I like to think of myself as fairly literate when it comes to technology. My truly talented technical friends (Rob, Chip and others) know that I’m really not all that savvy. However, I’m willing to learn and I’m not afraid to just play around with a gadget until I figure out how it works.

Not unlike many of my generation, I sometimes field calls from my parents or others who are in need of some technical how-to help. I do my best to walk them through these dangerous waters … but admit that my patience has been challenged on more than one occasion.

Today was a perfect example.

A call early in the day found me saying, “Are you talking about the first page of text within a document named History? Or are you talking about a document called Page One in a folder called History?”

To which the caller replied, “I don’t know. How do I tell the difference?” (Silent hair-pulling ensued on my end of the conversation.)

But within only a few hours, somebody UPSTAIRS decided to teach me a lesson. My pal “J” – who is a great friend, a self-confessed “computer geek,” and an emissary from the generation after me – sent an email in reply to my technical questions about videos and the internet.

I won’t go into the technical details of J’s email … because I can’t. I have absolutely no idea what the email said. There were some links and a series of directions; all-in-all, it was a bit like reading Biblical Hebrew.

I told J that I would look at the links and experiment with the directions, and I’m hoping that it will all make a little more sense once I try it out. But in the meantime, I’ll consider this a lesson learned about what the backhand of the generational gap feels like when it smacks you in the head.

Peace, friends!


PS: Today begins ClutterBuster28! Not only will I be spending the next 28 days tackling the clutter in and around my house, but I’ve also committed to finding at least 100 things that I can either give away or throw away to help simplify my household (and, thus, my life). Tomorrow, I’ll post an update on the first day of ClutterBuster28 … as well as the “Before” pictures of several areas I plan to tackle before the month is over.

1 Thing You Probably Didn’t Know

One of the best things you can do for the environment this gift-giving season is to give gifts that don’t require batteries. Admittedly, this is usually easier if your list has a bunch of adults on it, rather than a list full of children. And, of course, it’s practically impossible to give batteries up entirely. (We still need our smoke alarms, after all!)

However, it’s worth the extra time and effort to find those battery-free gifts. All those batteries (and there are loads of them) end up in a landfill eventually. Even the rechargable ones don’t last forever. And all those discarded batteries are quite the environmental hazzard.

Nearly half of all battery sales occur during this time of year … so let’s see if we can’t trim the number of batteries that wind up in landfills this year.


And thus ends our 12 Days of Christmas. Geez! Now I’m not sure what to do next. Hmm. Maybe I’ll take a day off!

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See you then.


Daily Advent Devotional

As the holiday season approaches, the frenzy spins faster and faster as it swings us toward the year’s end. But in ancient times, this season was intended to evoke a quiet thoughtfulness in us rather than a frenzy. It was to be a time of slowing down, of resting, of renewing our strength. After the harvest, when the world becomes cold and seemingly barren, there is life that is resting and waiting to germinate.

In the upcoming days and weeks, I invite you to be intentional about finding some time for quiet thoughtfulness. In fact, I even have a suggestion for how to do so. Take a few minutes out of your day and take a Daily Advent Retreat. Use this online devotional tool to help you carve out time for reflection, in the midst of all the holiday hustle and bustle.

Cellphone Manifesto

I love my cellphone.

And I love that it allows me to connect with people by voice, text, picture, email or social media at any time that I deem it necessary, pertinent or pleasurable.

However, there are few things that I wish everyone knew. Well, I guess I should say that there are a few things that I wish everyone who had my cellphone number knew.

First: sometimes, I don’t answer.

If I am on the other line, or having a face-to-face conversation, or in an area with sketchy cellphone service, or in the grocery checkout line, or spending quality time with my nephew, or in a meeting, or spending time in prayer … then I do not answer my cellphone.

I do not mean for this to frustrate you or offend you. I do not look at the caller ID and decide that I don’t want to talk to you. I just feel that there are certain times in life when it is rude to be distracted by a device that draws your attention away from the people you are with at the time.

Second: sometimes when I can’t answer the phone, I CAN manage to sneak a quick glance at a text message.

I do not believe that text messages should replace personal interaction, but a text message can tell me whether your call is urgent (which means I need to leave the meeting or the checkout line and call you back right away) or whether you just need a quick piece of information (which I could send to you, without leaving the meeting or the checkout line to call you back) or whether there is an impending natural disaster of which I need to be immediately aware.

Finally: in any given day, week or month, I am connected and available  – often through my various technological devices (phone, computer, etc) for a good percentage of the time. But in a world filled with twenty-four-hour stores and around-the-clock news networks and an internet that never sleeps, I feel very strongly that each of us should be intentional about finding time – every single day – to unplug, to slow our pace, to attend to the needs of our souls.

Of course, it will mean that we’ll sometimes be unavailable when people call or text or email. But if we’re always running … how will we ever recharge our batteries?


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