• Engage

    Tidy Up in the New Year and Benefit Charities

    Marie Kondo (KonMari) has taught more than ten million people to tidy up. Or at least, she’s sold them books about how to do so. Lots of people have simplifying on their minds, and January seems to be the prime month for getting organized and setting goals.               Releasing our grasp on too much stuff is great for us (Matt 6:19–20). And in the process, we can also reap more benefits than merely purging. As the adage goes, one person’s junk is another person’s treasure. Here are some organizations that would love your gently worn treasures: ·      Used Bibles and Christian literature. “Love Packages” recycles Bibles, Sunday school materials, VBS literature, and…

  • Impact

    Time Savers, Life Takers

    Leadership is broken because leaders are unbroken You have the watch, we have the time –African proverb Well, Apple has the watch anyway! Mac has taken a bite out of the apple with its heart measuring, health monitoring, run pacing—and, oh yeah, time telling—watch. There’s a whole new world of time savers available in any language from IOS to Android to Windows.  And there’s all those other tech time savers like DVRs, online banking, texting, caller ID, and navigational tools, Yes, and Evernote and Dropbox too, both of which have cost me more time trying to figure out how to use than they ever saved me. That’s my problem, I’m…

  • Heartprints

    Keeping Preschoolers Safe Online

    Several years back, I observed a 4-year-old playing on his parents’ computer during our adult small group time. He couldn’t read yet, but he entered website addresses into the URL and surfed the net. I begin to realize we live in a generation where we need safeguards in place on the internet even for preschoolers. After having my own kids, this has become even more apparent. There are few things that capture their attention quite like computers, cell phones, or tablets. Here are a few suggested safeguards for preschoolers: Put passwords on all your electronic devices. Have separate user log-ins for your computer—Set up a separate user name and password…

  • Engage

    The Tyranny of the Expected Response… What lies beneath?

    A farmer sits on his front porch. Just inside the screen door the phone rings. And rings. His neighbor asks, “Aren’t you going to get that?”   The farmer spits and leans back, “I bought that phone for my convenience. And right now…it’s not convenient.”   Not so long ago…if someone phoned you and you didn’t answer…they just called you back.  Then, If someone emailed you…you responded within a day or two. All was well. Then came instant messenger and Facebook messaging. We see you are logged in on Facebook so we kind of expect you to respond… Then came a river of  tweets rushing by…I know you’re always checking…

  • Engage

    Long Distance Connecting

    Technology and the millennial generation are joined at the hip! Capturing these innovations to aid personal and spiritual growth is a key aim of the women’s section of bible.org.  If you haven’t perused the postings under curriculum check it out. Not only are resources available for group members, but many supplemental resources for the leaders and teachers as well.  This fall several of our women created a blog in order to study together from a distance. Most of the women have small children and this enables them to study at times they can manage. They chose the curriculum “Footsteps of Faith, Following the Call” from this portion of this website. …

  • Engage

    The Gift of Being Fully Present

    Our technological world breeds distraction. Our televisions or IPods draw us during dinner, whether at home or in a restaurant.  Our phones interrupt us with calls and texts. There is always a fresh blog to read. If we miss anything, it usually isn’t from lack of trying. What happens to our relationships? It’s difficult to have in-depth conversations and caring relationships when we are distracted by other things instead of being fully present. Last night I observed two groups at the restaurant where we were eating dinner. Whereas people at other tables were enjoying both food and conversation, these particular groups rarely looked up from their texting to converse with…

  • Engage

    Technology and Discipleship

    Technology—gotta love it! I live in Dallas but I’m in Seattle right now, having joined my husband for some badly needed Sabbath rest. There is internet access in our hotel room for both our laptop computers. I am able to retrieve my email from anywhere and stay in touch on my schedule. From here I am able to update our ministry’s website (Probe.org, where I serve as “webmistress”). From here I am able to access maps for my husband’s treks to go hang out with Jesus in some of His finest creation. From here I am able to do research for the book I’m writing. From here I’m able to…