Category Archives: Tech

4 Reasons Why Text Messages Can Lead to Broken Relationships

We live in the age of information and instant communication. As I am writing this article I am having a text message conversation with my mother who is in New Zealand. We can text each other and receive the messages across the world in less than a second. Technology is really amazing. It is so amazing that we have decided to pretty much let it take over our lives.
This text messaging business is so convenient it just might nearly be the very end of us.
Let’s face it. We will all admit that texting is sometimes what we want to do because we don’t want to get into a deep conversation with someone. Or maybe we don’t think we have time to deal with someone or something and so we can just shorten it all by texting. Maybe we don’t have free time at the moment and so texting is the polite but simple way to say we will talk about it later. But it’s the 21st century. We are busy. And often what we say we are going to talk about later never really gets discussed at all. And guess what. The number one cause of a broken relationship is poor communication or lack of it. How ironic! We texted! We actually thought we were doing a great job communicating!
Here are a few reasons why texting, though convenient, can lead to broken relationships:
1. With text messaging, there is no voice inflection and there are no nonverbal communication clues. Even something as simple as, “I’m sorry” – can either be meant sincerely or flippantly depending on the timing and the context. How often do we mistakenly emote something through texting that was not intended? How often do we take something someone has texted to us the wrong way because we did not understand the heart that was behind the words that were communicated?
2. Text messages happen so fast we haven’t had time to stop and think long enough to respond correctly. Someone texts us something we don’t understand or like (already discussed). It’s so easy to just respond from head to thumbs with a quick reply before we have had time to digest it. This escalates arguments, hurts feelings, and invokes unhealthy words and conversations. A quick reply text is the modern day proverbial sticking one’s foot in one’s mouth!
3. We often pause to wait for a reply text that never comes. You know what I am talking about. You text something that the other person may not want to hear, then….silence! The no reply text may be the loudest silence on earth. Are they mad at me? What are they thinking? Did they understand what I meant? They are not talking to me now! Now I’m mad too! (Assuming they are mad). We are so expectant upon others to quickly reply to us that we come up with 1000 reasons why the person didn’t text us back. And none of the reasons are ever good. Sometimes we find out later that they got interrupted by a call or their phone died or something else happened. And here we were thinking the world was ending and they hated us all just because we have let text messages make us completely impatient!
4. We use poor judgment when we decide to discuss anything that is truly important by texting. If it is worth talking about it, this is exactly what we should do. Instant messaging can be great and so helpful. We can tell our loved ones we made it somewhere safely. We can tell them where we are and what we are doing. But when it comes time to talk about anything that really matters to us, we need to respect the ones we love enough to come into their presence, put all devices away, and sit down one on one and talk it out together. No problem or question or controversy or anxiety should ever be attempted to be solved through text messaging. We owe it to the people we love to give them the proper amount of time and the consideration of our actual presence in order that we might participate in real, meaningful, and full relationships.
Texting is convenient. It can be a blessing in many ways. But abused, just like any tool of communication, it WILL lead to relationship disaster.
“…You will make me full of joy in Your presence.” – Acts 2:28
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Yes, Our Kids Are Sheltered in Their Entertainment. Yes, We Want It That Way.

Our family loves movie night! On Friday nights when we are at home, odds are we will have a simple supper and sit down in our living room to watch a movie. It’s been a tradition now for 4 or 5 years, and we love it.

We also enjoy going to movies sometimes. While it is expensive, we enjoy making it a special outing. We don’t go see every “kids’ movie” that is produced, because we want a trip to the movies to be special.

Though we watch quite a few movies, have a couple of favorite TV shows on DVD, and enjoy listening to the radio at times, we are very selective in what we let our kids see and hear through the entertainment media.

Very selective.

If they take the Lord’s name in vain? We don’t watch it.

If there is cursing..at all? We don’t watch it.

If there is homosexuality? We don’t watch it.

If there is immodesty? We don’t watch it.

And, yes, there is more on our “don’t watch” list, but I figured you didn’t want to read every possible thing we will not watch.

I sometimes hear parents talk about choosing movies and TV shows and they have very low standards for their children (sometimes, even small children). One reason they often give is this: “I don’t want my kids to be sheltered as to what is really out there.”

Really? That’s our logic?

Now, let me say this: I fully understand that we cannot keep our kids as “kids” forever. Virtually every day I am struck by how quickly they are growing. In fact, as I write this, my “little” boy will be 10 in just a few days, so both of my children will be in double-digits for their ages. They will not be kids forever.

And I want them to know that sin is real and it is out there in the world. We are not trying to hide the fact that people do bad and sinful things. We are not trying to make them think that everyone on the planet goes to church and always speaks properly and always dresses in modest apparel (a trip to a shopping center or high school football game will teach them that that’s not the case).

Two Reasons Why I Feel This Way

But, when it comes to entertainment? Yes, I want to shelter my children. Yes, I like it that way. And here are two reasons why.

First, I want to teach them that just because it is produced for entertainment does not mean that we have to consume it. It is remarkable how many children in Christian homes are experts on virtually every entertainment option that is produced. They have seen all the movies. They watch a constant stream of TV shows. They can name music artists and songs…

…just like people in the world can.

We are not required to be entertained in order to survive! I want to teach them discernment in their entertainment. (By the way, that means I must model that in my own entertainment choices, as well.) Instead of just vegging out in front of whatever is on, I want them to see that there is more to life than just mindlessly consuming whatever is put out there in the world of entertainment.

Second, I want to shelter them because I do not want Hollywood opening the eyes of my children. It is not up to Hollywood to educate my kids. It’s not up to record producers, radio stations, iTunes, DirecTV, or Google, either. It’s up to me!

Christian parents, we have got to quit just giving lip service to saying our children need to be morally pure. We cannot say that and then let the entertainment industry teach them their version of morality. Hollywood’s morals are going to slide further downward over time. We know this.

But since we know that, how can we just let them feed our children more and more rude, crude, vile, and immodest material? Our children, literally, are not ready for what Hollywood feeds them, yet we let them have the minds of our children.

Not this parent! I want to show them what sin is from the Bible, and show them how to stay away from it. I want to be the one to help them begin to think through how to face temptation, not let them see Hollywood’s “just do what feels good” message.

So, yes, they are sheltered when it comes to entertainment. And, yes, I like it that way.

Because it is one way in which I, as a parent, am refusing to abdicate my responsibility to parent.

I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless.

I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me. (Psalm 101:3)


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AUTHOR: Adam Faughn

Episode 76: Reflections on Louisville, Dealing with Entertainment Choices, You Can Get Your Family to Worship on Time, and More! [Podcast]

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On this week’s podcast, Adam and Leah talk about some recent goings-on, they discuss how Christians can deal with entertainment choices, and encourage families with tips to get ready for worship.

Plus, they talk a little college basketball. It is March, after all!

Resources below.

Links

Is Genesis History? [Homepage]

To Go or Not to Go…” [Amber Tatum; A Legacy of Faith]

6 Tips for Getting to Church On Time” [Of the Hearth]

More from A Legacy of Faith

To subscribe to A Legacy of Faith by email for free click here.

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes

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Episode 72: Capturing Great Family Photos on Your Smartphone (guest: Chad Landman) [Podcast]

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With smartphones now having great cameras, how can families take good pictures? Where do you store those pictures?

On this podcast, Chad Landman rejoins the program to talk with Adam about taking great pictures with your smartphone, and then what to do with those pictures.

Lots of links below!

Links and Resource List

Chad’s website

Active Digital Parenting

Camera and Photo apps for Android Phones 

Google Photos

Google Camera

Instagram

VSCO Cam

Camera Zoom FX

Snapseed

Camera and Photo apps for iOs (Apple) Phones

VSCO Cam

Instagram

Snapseed

Snapfish

Chat Books

Mosaic

More from A Legacy of Faith

To subscribe to A Legacy of Faith by email for free click here.

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes

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Visit the show archives

Connected to What?

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Leslie Stahl may not be well known to those of us who choose to worship on Sunday evenings. That may be due to the fact that she is a regular contributor to the long-running (on Sunday evenings) CBS program 60 Minutes.

lesley-stahl-becoming-grandma-book-jacketMs. Stahl (she is married, but is one of those thoroughly modern women who does not use her husband’s last name) also appears on other CBS news shows. As the picture of her book cover shows, she is also an author.      

Recently, I watched part of an interview with her about her new book. (The interview was not on 60 Minutes, by the way.) As you can see from the picture of the cover of the book, the book is about being a grandparent and how, at least in her mind, that role has changed in recent years. 

What you cannot see is the “behind the scenes” story about how the picture was taken. I found that part of the interview to be more fascinating than Ms. Stahl’s views about being a grandparent. 

What the picture supposedly shows is a grandmother sitting with two adorable granddaughters who are fascinated with a book. According to Ms. Stahl, that is not what was going on when the picture was taken.

According to her, the older granddaughter was, indeed, fascinated by the book. She posed willingly for the picture. 

That was definitely not the case with the younger granddaughter. She was causing all kinds of problems until a solution was found.

The solution was that somebody thought to tape an iPhone into the book!

The smaller child is not reading. She is being entertained! She was, in fact, watching a movie! Instead of connecting her mind with the book and her will to that of her grandmother, she was “connected” to an electronic device. 

I’m not so much of an old fogey that I resent and oppose modern technology. I went online to find the picture of the book. I’m typing these words on a computer. I plan to attach this post to an email to send to our son. You may read this on a computer or some sort of digital device. As I see it, there is nothing inherently wrong with any of that.

However, in my mind, there is a danger when entertainment becomes a substitute for some very important things. I have in mind things like true education, interaction with family members and others, and worship. Have you ever noticed that many of us don’t talk about what we think any longer? Instead, we talk about how we feel

I am not advocating that computers, tablets, or smartphones should be thrown into the trash. I am advocating, though, that these things need to be put aside fairly often in favor of an old-fashioned book. 

Read. Think about what you read. “Argue with” what you read. Take notes. Make comments in the margins. Do something besides turning your mind off and a device on. 

Maybe we could even expand on this a little. Instead of an email or text message, how about a handwritten note? Instead of Snapchat (whatever that is), how about a phone call? Instead of a Facebook post, how about a personal visit and conversation? Instead of being LinkedIn, how about being “tuned in” to your spouse, your children, your friends, and others as they communicate with you?

How about being connected to the things that really matter instead of things that are of much less importance?


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[Episode 66] Family Friendly Entertainment (guest: Robert Hatfield) [Podcast]

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Entertainment is not bad in itself, but Christians are to be discerning in all they do. How can we, and our families, enjoy entertainment when there seems to be so little of it to be found? Robert Hatfield joins Adam on this week’s podcast to talk about the dangers of entertainment, as well as how to find wholesome forms of entertainment.

LOFpodcast

Resources

The Light Network (homepage)

The Light Network Facebook group

Arrows in Our Hand (family podcast)

Common Sense Media

Plugged In

More from A Legacy of Faith

To subscribe to A Legacy of Faith by email for free click here.

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes

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Visit the show archives

About Video Games in Worship

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I see it virtually everywhere I preach, both at 9th Avenue as well as in various guest speaking opportunities. It is a trend that is disheartening to me, not just as a preacher of the Gospel, but also just one who loves the hearts of children and who wants to see them grow to love God and His Word.

It is kids playing video games during worship.

They bring their iPad, tablet, or phone and while many of us are singing “I Surrender All,” they are striving for a high score. While we are praying to God, they are playing baseball. While we are mining the depths of God’s Word, they are on Minecraft.

Parents, may I just ask: what are we teaching our children about worship?

It’s boring.

It’s only for adults.

It can’t compete with electronics.

It’s something you do if you can’t find something more interesting.

Those lessons, spoken or unspoken, are what your children are picking up when you allow them to play games during worship.

And I know that there are plenty of Bible apps and websites that are also being used by some. That said, I have randomly asked children at places I have spoken about what they were doing on their iPad (or other device) during worship. Never–not a single time–has it had something to do with the sermon. It has always–every single time–been about playing a game or watching videos. (Yes, I’ve seen kids with headphones hooked up to their tablet during worship. Not a good way to show that they are paying attention to the worship service!)

Is this what we want for our children? As we are gathering around God’s throne to praise His holy name, do we want our kids to be off in virtual gameland? If I may say so, I want my children right in God’s throneroom with me as I praise Him!

Excuses, More Excuses

“They can’t sit still through a whole sermon.” “They pick up quite a bit as it is.” “They don’t understand what’s going on.” “It helps me worship because they are still and quiet, at least.”

I’ve heard all the excuses. They just don’t fly. Worship is something that children must be trained in, and it starts when they are very little. What’s more, if they are trained how to act during worship when they are younger, children will most likely come to enjoy worship as they grow up.

Of course, children will be restless during worship (especially the sermon). That’s part of it, and it is understandable. But putting Temple Run in front of their face is not the answer. All that teaches our kids is that they can act up in worship, and they are rewarded for it!

What Can I Do?

I am not saying that children–especially smaller children–need to sit perfectly still during a worship service with just a King James Bible open to the text for the sermon.

But there are far better things to do, or even to give your children, than a video game (or social media access, for the older ones).

When they are really small, give them Bible pictures, Bible story “board-books,” or even small stuffed animals (and whisper in their ear, “God made the dog on day 6,” or “God made the birdie on day 5”). That way, though they have something in their hands, or that they are looking at, it is teaching them to focus on their wonderful Lord during these few minutes.

As they grow a little older, Bible story books are a good idea. Also, make sure they are at least trying to sing and that they are still during the prayers. They can do this much!

Another idea is to have little worship worksheets that they can draw and write on. (Note: We offer these for free in our “Training for Worship” pdf that’s in our store. Again, it’s free!) These sheets let them write the names of the songs or something we prayed about. Have your children draw a picture of something the preacher talked about on the sheets, or write down the verses he used in his sermon.

It’s Not Easy, but It’s Worth It

I know that all this means that you may struggle to worship at times. During those younger years, those children are forming such valuable thoughts in their little minds. Wouldn’t you rather struggle a little bit and have them grow up loving to worship and understanding what is going on?

Then please, not for the sake of the preacher, but for the sake of the souls of your children, nix the video games.

Replace Mindcraft with Matthew.

Replace Temple Run with Titus.

Replace sports games with singing with grace.

God is worthy of your effort. It will be a fight for awhile, but the eternal destiny of your child is in the balance. It’s worth every effort.

Resources

“Training for Worship” [Arrows in Our Hand podcast. Contains other helpful links, especially for parents of smaller children.]

“Training Your Children for Worship” [A Legacy of Faith podcast]


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AUTHOR: Adam Faughn

What Could be Better than Facebook?

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Facebook is, by far, the largest social media site in the world. According to some information I have seen, there are over 1.1 billion Facebook accounts. Facebook is about three times larger than its nearest rival, Twitter, which still has several hundred million accounts.

I am not writing this from the vantage point of an “internet Nazi.” I am not among those who believe that the internet in general–and Facebook in particular–are inherently evil. 

Yes, there are dangers, but there are dangers with all other forms of media. There are dangers inherent in driving, but I choose to do that instead of walking everywhere I go (and maybe getting run over by a car!). There are dangers involved in just about anything we do.

Even with all of its dangers, I have found the internet and some computer programs to be a valuable tool for research, Bible study, etc. With a few keystrokes or a mouse click or two, I can now find and/or link to information that it would have taken hours (if not days or weeks) to find in earlier years. It is helpful to connect with all of that information in such a short time.

It is also great to connect with people by means of Facebook. I do get tired of reading and seeing some of the things that people post on Facebook. (I’m sorry, but I really don’t care a great deal about the latest trick your pet can do.) I also get discouraged when I see people who wear the name of Christ approving of and practicing things that sully His name. 

I’ve also seen way too much indecency on Facebook–indecent jokes, indecent language, and indecent attire. I wish I could honestly say that all of this has been posted by non-Christians, but, sadly, that is not the case.

Even with all of that being said, Facebook remains a wonderful way to connect with family, friends, old classmates, and others. Because of Facebook, I have been able to connect with people I’ve almost (if not altogether) lost track of. 

As wonderful as Facebook can be, what could be better than that? What could be better than connecting with people all around the world? What could be better than using the internet to access information from countless sources and countless centuries?

How about this:

Face in the Book

When I put my face in the Book (God’s Word), I am also connecting. I am connecting with Him and with His truths. I’m connecting with people who, throughout the ages, have been loyal to Him. I’m connecting with His Son and my Savior. I’m making the ultimate connection.

So, there you have it. I think that some of the time I spend connecting with people via Facebook would be more profitably spent with my face in the book.

How about you?


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Learning Leviticus [Video]

Okay, so most of us avoid the third book of the Bible unless we “have to” read it for our daily Bible reading. Leviticus is a difficult book to read, mostly because there are almost no stories. Instead, the book of Leviticus is filled with law after law after law.

But there is more to the book than just a series of laws. If you are not familiar with The Bible Project on YouTube, I hope this video encourages you to check out what they are doing. In less than nine minutes, they share more helpful information about Leviticus than you may have ever seen before. Enjoy, then check out more of their videos on YouTube.

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10 Ways Every Congregation Can Utilize Periscope [Video]

Recently, I recorded a short video about Periscope. This free online tool is one that I think congregations need to be using more and more. In this short video, I shared 10 quick ideas for how every congregation–no matter their size or budget–can utilize Periscope.

One additional note: I got a phone call later in the day from someone who had watched. She had a great reminder that I failed to mention in the video. She mentioned that, when you stream events–especially involving children–you need to have permission from parents. At the very least, you need to have your location setting turned off. Just a simple online safety tip, and I appreciate the reminder!