Human Purpose, Identity, and Sexuality

Posted: May 1, 2015 by abestratton in Culture, Parents, Videos

Dale Kuehne shares some thought-provoking insights on the modern link between identity and sexuality and how that link is impacting the next generation. The 10 minutes is well worth your time!

Walt Mueller’s thought-provoking comments on our technology are worth a read. I’ve included an excerpt below, but you can read his entire article here.

Death by iPhone… Sort of…

OK. . . that was a dirty little trick, wasn’t it? But now that I have your attention, let’s talk about technology and what it does to us.

death by iphoneBetter yet, let’s ponder Gillian Share-Raab’s out-of-the-box thoughts on what her smartphone has done not only to her life, but to the lives of her peers. Gillian, a student at a suburban Philly high school, wrote aninteresting op-ed piece for her local paper, entitled “Why my iPhone is ruining my adolescence.” Gillian’s thoughts are out-of-the-box for the simple reason that she is thinking about what her technology is doing to her life. Most people her age. . . or anyone of any age for that matter. . . aren’t thinking about these things. I’m guessing she has no idea who Marshall McLuhanwas or what he’s famous for saying, but her thoughts put meat on the bones of McLuhan’s conviction that “first we shape our tools. . . and then our tools shape us.”

Gillian writes, “In between being awake and sleeping, I need to be on my phone checking endless social media accounts in order to keep up with every friend and acquaintance whose lives somehow ended up in my daily scrolling. . . if I were to print and lay out every inch of Instagram and Facebook I have examined, I’ll bet it would circle the planet three times. . . The smartphone exists to provide a barrier between people in order to make both parties feel more secure and comfortable, allowing each person to remain in his or her security bubble forever. . . In a time when I’m supposed to be meeting new people, having new experiences and breaking out of my shell, I feel more and more as though phones act as a virtual wall. Now, my conversations consist of dehumanized, emotionless messages used for necessity that are conducted without essential facial expressions or body language (i.e., texting). . . I often think of how different the high school experience must have been for my parents’ generation, or even just 15 years ago, when two people seated next to each other with common interests and mutual friends were able to have a civil conversation without looking down at their phones in order to avoid eye contact. . . In my experience, the only way to truly be connected with the thoughts and feelings of others is by disconnecting everything else.”

I recently read an article written to a parent who was asking for advice about how to deal with their child’s inappropriate use of social media. The author who wrote the article made a powerful statement.

“I know [your daughter] probably just thinks it’s all just harmless fun, but try not to make it about [social media]. It’s about her heart, her attitude towards inappropriate topics.”

The ultimate problem with anything that dominates our children/teens or us (e.g. TV, sports, phone, shopping, IPad, internet, reading, etc.) is not the thing itself; it is our heart-desires. Each of us craves something that will satisfy us, and we each tend to seek for satisfaction in idols and empty wells. But those around us need to see from us that Jesus is the only well of Living Water!

Walt Mueller, a writer, speaker, and expert on culture, writes about how easy it is for the generations to be divided by preference, pride, and stereotypes. But God’s plan is for us all to live together, learn from one another, and grow along with each other.

“It’s in the full width, depth, and breadth of the body of Christ that we find that sweet, sweet balance of idealism, realism, optimism, and wisdom. That’s why we are committed to continuing to bring the generations together to listen and to learn. . . one from another!”

Read the rest of his brief article here.

Code Words Can Help

Posted: March 25, 2015 by abestratton in Advice for the Young, Parents

“It’s hard being a teen–and it’s hard having one. Teens need independence, that’s normal and good (and how they learn to be adults), but they also need their parents. The challenge comes in figuring out the balance–for both of you.”

Here’s an interesting idea for a way that parents and teens can help each other through the messiness and craziness that is often “teen life.”

Amazing Love

Posted: March 25, 2015 by abestratton in Videos

We’re coming to one of (if not) the sweetest times of the year for followers of Jesus – Easter. First, we encounter Jesus on Palm Sunday (March 29) as He enters Jerusalem, seemingly as a conquering King. Then we encounter Him as He descends into darkness, pain, and death on Good Friday (April 3). Finally, we see Him explode from the grave on Resurrection Sunday (April 5)!

What a glorious time of year to think about the Good News! And here is video which portrays the awful and yet glorious truths of the Gospel.

Who am I?

Posted: March 11, 2015 by abestratton in Culture, Videos

One of the biggest issues of struggle for people in our culture today is our identity.

Who am I? What determines my identity? Is my identity locked in, or can it be changed?

Here are 2 very insightful videos regarding identity.