It's so funny when you can look back on your own lifetime and remember when we didn't have some of the modern conveniences that are so easy to take for granted, as if they always existed. One of those for me is the microwave oven.
I remember getting our first one when I was in High School. It was huge, very expensive, but glorious. It had a meat probe in it, which seems strange now, for when you wanted to cook a large piece of meat, like a roast or something. I'm pretty sure we only tried that once after figuring out that browning meat was pretty big part of making it the least bit appetizing.
Now of course, microwaves are something that I couldn't imagine living without. There are a lot of things, but one of the biggest is the Internet.
I remember when I was in my late 20's when this "World Wide Web" thing was something that people started talking about but seemed like something out of a sci-fi movie. We lived in the Montana Wilderness at that point so it took us a few years to get on board, but it was like a whole new world had opened up.
No longer did we have to depend on the library for information or, heaven forbid, the encyclopedia. Web sites started popping up and we could actually connect with people all over the world. It was truly mind boggling. Dial-up service was what we used then and I still remember the funny sound as we waited in anticipation for the "web" to be at our fingertips. We of course would have never dreamed at that point that we would someday be able to connect this vast supply of information from a small phone, without a cord mind you, in a split second.
Our world is in a constant state of change and progression and it's amazing what advancements have been made even over my 50+ years. It has it's disadvantages to be sure, but oh so many advantages. We do however have to be smart and make good decisions in what we expose ourselves to and what we allow to affect our thoughts.
Along with a lot of negative and damaging "teaching" and expression of viewpoints, there are just as many valuable sources online. I am excited to share 3 of them with you again and hope that you are able to carve a little bit of time this weekend to catch some of them. Some of you even get an extra day over President's Day so that's even better!
1. Andy Stanley's sermon series at Northpoint Community Church, called Get Way You Really Want. It's a 4 point series and sermons range from 35-45 minutes.
What I love about these messages is how he addresses both the believer in Christ and the non-believer. He challenges us to think through what we really want from life and to see how the goals we have that really matter to us on a deep level, are usually what God wants for us as well.
He encourages us to look past the distractions of life that seem pretty, but sidetrack us from getting what we really want, which is to live a life that leaves something worthwhile behind. One exercise that has had a profound influence on him was from Stephen Covey's book "7 Habits of Highly Successful People." The exercise involves thinking through what you would hope the people closest to you would say about you at your funeral. The areas of positive influence that you hope to have had is what you want to achieve most out of life. Those areas are what we need to pour into.
The series consists of 4 messages: "Careful What You Want For", "Don't Be Deceived", "Last Things First", and "Thinkin' it Through". The site also has a study guide resource for the series. I highly recommend it. You can watch it online or download it take on your walk (like Finn and I do) or in the car.
2. "The Right Way to Praise Your Kids" by Donald Miller on the Storyline blog is a good read. It goes right along with what my previous post on identity talked about and stirs your mind to think through how best encourage kids as well as anyone involved in your life.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 says, "Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." We want to be sure that we are actually encouraging those around us instead of mistakingly setting standards that they feel compelled to live up to. It's an interesting article and he provides a different way to look at praise.
3. My TEDTalk for the week is one that has already made an impact on me as I have used what I have learned a couple of times. It is by Tina Glenvik and is titled "Fake it Till You Make It". She is an opera singer who teaches ways to deal with stage fright, whether you are performing on an actual stage, making a presentation, or even starting a conversation.
She explains 3 simple tricks that you can use to settle your own nervousness in stressful situations until your mind catches up to your body and you can feel more comfortable and confident. Another great TED teaching moment.
Enjoy and let me know if any of these had had an impact on your life like they have mine!