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A Recipe for Self-Renewal
Energy-management is more important than time-management

Did God Write the Story You Didn’t Want?
“When my husband left our family nine years ago, my adolescent daughters and I were reeling. We never imagined we’d be a splintered family. All we knew were unbroken families, and suddenly we weren’t in that group any more.”

6 Ways to Teach Your Children History
“Children should be exposed to history early and often through artifacts, oral stories, old art, and especially good books. History gives our children so many benefits. It is a fantastic—though frequently neglected—parenting tool. Here are six ways history can bless your kids.”

9 (More) Things You Should Know About the Opioid Epidemic
“[Today] President Trump is expected to release his administration’s plan for dealing with opioid-related overdoses and deaths. Since writing about the issue two years ago the crisis has worsened and the need for public awareness has increased. Here then are nine more things you should know about the opioid epidemic.

Cultivating Praise in Marriage
“Praise and affirmation are essential to the health and vitality of a marriage. Genuine praise and verbalized thankfulness are like marital fertilizer (think Miracle-Gro®) in the soil of your spouse’s heart. They have the power to help heal an ailing marriage or strengthen an already healthy one.”

Sex Change: Physically Impossible, Psychosocially Unhelpful, and Philosophically Misguided
By the author of the important new book, When Harry Met Sally.

What I Learned on My Week-Long Digital Fast
Kevin DeYoung challenged his students and family to join him on a week long digital fast. Here are the results.

Gentleness – All About Communication
“Both Overbearing Otis and Shy Shelly fail the test of gentleness. Overbearing Otis fails to value the people around him and cannot build bridges. In the process, he tarnishes the treasure he holds. Shy Shelly is too fearful to build bridges. She also fails to value the treasure entrusted to her, leaving people around her with the sense that she has nothing to offer anyway. The work of the Holy Spirit is necessary for each of these souls to become gentle.”

How Electronics Affect Sleep And What You Can Do About It
We live in a wired world at the height of a digital age. But even if our technologies have advanced at lightning speed in recent decades, our bodies remain unchanged and in many ways, ill-adapted to a fully plugged-in lifestyle. This mismatch between man and machine is never more clear than in the pursuit of quality sleep. An understanding of how electronics affect sleep is the first step toward healthier living in the digital era.” Here’s an Infographic to help you.

How to Break Up With Your Phone
“Here are some of the key things I learned on how to navigate a successful breakup and create a better relationship with your phone.”

Kindle Books

Keeping Place: Reflections on the Meaning of Home by Jen Pollock Michel $3.99.

Union with Christ: A Zondervan Digital Short by Michael Horton $0.99.

Heaven and Hell: A Zondervan Digital Short by Wayne A. Grudem $0.99.

Union with Christ: The Way to Know and Enjoy God by Rankin Wilbourne $2.99.

Expedition 11: A Bad King and a Good King

Here’s the video to show your kids at the end of Expedition 11 of Exploring the BibleIf you want to bookmark a page where all the videos will eventually appear, you can find them on my blog, on YouTube, or the Facebook page for Exploring the Bible. Thanks to Darryl Bradford, Video Producer/Editor at PRTS for all his work on these videos.

If you haven’t started your kids on the book yet, you can begin anytime and use it with any Bible version. Here are some sample pages.

You can get it at RHBWestminster BooksCrossway, or Amazon. If you’re in Canada use Reformed Book Services. Some of these retailers have good discounts for bulk purchases by churches and schools.

Entering the Promised Land

Here’s the video to show your kids at the end of Expedition Ten of Exploring the BibleIf you want to bookmark a page where all the videos will eventually appear, you can find them on my blog, on YouTube, or the Facebook page for Exploring the Bible. Thanks to Darryl Bradford, Video Producer/Editor at PRTS for all his work on these videos.

If you haven’t started your kids on the book yet, you can begin anytime and use it with any Bible version. Here are some sample pages.

You can get it at RHBWestminster BooksCrossway, or Amazon. If you’re in Canada use Reformed Book Services. Some of these retailers have good discounts for bulk purchases by churches and schools.

Blog Vacation

I’ll be taking a break from blogging for the next ten days or so. I’ll resume my normal blogging schedule on Monday 19th March, when I’ll continue the Digital Technology series. I do plan to post the weekly Exploring the Bible videos at the end of this week and next.

Good Theology is the Answer to Bad Technology

The longer I’ve wrestled with the challenges of digital technology in my life and in the lives of others, the more convinced I’ve become that the ultimate answer is not “no technology” or “more technology” (see yesterday) but “more theology.” If we want a deep, lasting, and spiritual solution, we need to learn and teach deep, lasting, and spiritual truths. Digital theology is the answer to digital technology; the oldest truths are the best rebuttal to the newest challenges. More Trinity is more effective than more technology.

God is Three-in-One

Seriously? You think the Trinity is the solution to technology? Partly, yes. The three persons of the Godhead enjoy perfect relationship with one another and seek to share that relationship with us, inviting us into that sacred community.

The Father, Son, and Spirit’s relationships with one another are characterized by love, trust, openness, and communication. Isn’t that the model for our relationship with our children, especially when it comes to technology? Isn’t that what we want to cultivate and emulate? The healthier relationship we have with our children, the healthier relationship they will have with technology. Deeper relationships are more effective than more detailed rules.

Additionally, this Three-in-Oneness is not just a relationship to copy, but a relationship to be enjoyed. We are invited to enter into that communion, to live in that holy family. The more we do that, the more the Trinity will replace technology; or, at least, regulate it so that our relationship to it is more balanced and beneficial.

God is Good

Sometimes we can view technology with such terror that we give the impression that it’s all “of the devil.” No, technology is a wonderful gift of God. We are blessed to live in such times and benefit so much from the role of technology in our daily lives. How many lives have been saved by cellphones? How many separated families have been kept together by Skype and FaceTime? How many sermons and lectures have been spread around the world by Christian ministries like Ligonier? The devil didn’t create and invent this. God did, as the giver of every good and perfect gift.

Sure, the devil abuses the gift; sure, we pervert it into sinful uses. But none of that changes the fact that God created the materials, the forces, and the brains that have produced so much beneficial technology. The more we recognize that technology is a gift of God, the more we will abhor taking his gift and using it against him; the more we will take this gift and use it as he intended.

God is All-Knowing

Our parents or spouses can’t see everything or be everywhere. Accountability software can be circumvented and our accountability partners duped. But we can’t escape, circumvent, or dupe the all-seeing eye of God. He sees everything: every place, every second, every screen, every click, every tap. He has a daily report of all the sites we visited, all the messages we sent, all the Instagram accounts we follow. If we knew that he knows, what a difference that would make. The more we can remind ourselves of God’s omnipresence and omniscience, the more we will seek to use technology in a way that gives him pleasure and not in a way that provokes his wrath. Yes, our technology use can please God. He delights to see truth instead of falsehood on Facebook, to hear sermons streaming across the world, and to witness our online witness to unbelievers.

God is Judge

God’s knowledge of us is not being filed away in some dusty cabinet or distant server that will one day be lost or wiped. No, as Judge, he will one day call us to account not just for every idle word but for every idle and idol click, for every second spent in pointless time-wasting. We may silence our internal judge, our conscience; we may outsmart our earthly judges, our parents and accountability partners; but we shall never escape the judgment of God. Let his discerning judgment help you make discerning judgments in your use of technology

God is Savior

Sometimes guilt stops sin; our consciences pain us and warn us to change our ways. More times, guilt multiplies sin; it leaves us hopeless and despairing. We’ve sinned yet again with our cellphone, failed once more on our iPad. We feel so condemned, what’s the point in trying any more? We’ve sinned so much; what harm will another sin do?

Guilt also multiplies sin by creating distance between ourselves and God. It alienates us and separates us from God, making sin all the easier. That’s why we need to hear about salvation, grace, and forgiveness all over again.

Nothing deters sin like the forgiveness of sin because it not only removes guilt, it also multiples love for the Forgiver. The more we can embrace forgiveness, the more we embrace the Forgiver, the more love to (and from) Christ we will enjoy.

God is Powerful

Sometimes we can feel like giving up the battle against the dangers of technology. We look at the forces ranged against us and our children and ask, “What’s the point?” What am I against so much?”

You’re right, the forces are too many and too mighty. However, greater is he who is with us than he who is with them. With God all things are possible, and he loves to demonstrate his possibility especially in our impossibility. His power is made especially manifest in our weakness. When we feel and confess our helplessness, that’s when he moves in with his almighty power. He can keep us and our children. He is able and mighty to save. He can also give us and all our children the Holy Spirit to resist temptation and to do what is right and good. His Spirit is far more influential than the spirit of the age.

God is Wise

Sometimes we might be tempted to think God did not foresee this massive moral and spiritual challenge, that he did not anticipate it, and, therefore, has nothing in his Word to help us. After all, the Bible was written thousands of years ago. What can the papyrus age say to the digital age? Thankfully God did foresee, he did anticipate, and has put sufficient truth in the Bible to guide us through this minefield. Many New Testament verses on Christian ethics can be applied to technology, but I’ve found the book of Proverbs especially helpful as a source of divine wisdom for the digital age. Why not read through it asking God for light on how to apply these ancient wisdom principles to modern times. God is wiser than the wisest tech moguls and has anticipated every development in technology until the end of time. We will never reach a day when we say, “Well the Bible has run out of truth?”

I’ve only scratched the surface, but I hope you’re persuaded that the ultimate answer to digital technology is digital theology.

Previous Posts:  Technology is Created by GodTechnology is the Gift of GodTechnology Reveals GodThe Dangers of Digital BabylonDigital Technology is Killing our MindsDigital Technology is Killing our HealthDigital Technology is Killing our Relationships. Digital Technology is Killing our ProductivityDigital Technology is Killing our Souls. Digital DetoxThriving in Digital Babylon.

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Three Types of Evangelistic Contexts: Contact, Context, and Friendship
Over the years, I have noticed at least three different kinds of evangelistic contexts we may encounter when engaging in personal evangelism.

The Most Important Time to Go to Church
“The most important time to be at church is when you don’t feel like it. I’ve talked with three Christians about this recently—two struggling with depression, and a third who just went through a tough break-up—who’ve stopped gathering with God’s people during a difficult season. Whether for weeks or months, all three have decided to stop going to church.”

One of the best things churches can do for people with mental illness
“The people in your church who live with emotional pain and mental strain are not weaker than the rest of the congregation; they are stronger for the battles they have won. And your church needs them in ministry.”

Preaching Points: Aim for the Ear!
This is so so important:

“Don’t preach as would a writer; preach as a preacher! Preachers who fail to appreciate the vast difference between their oral craft and writing usually display very different understandings of their task—centered in the pulpit and congregation for one and in the desk and study for the other.”

How to think like John Bunyan
“I recommend to you that reading Bunyan is worth it. Every Christian in centuries before our own, if they had books, they had a copy of the Bible and they had a copy of The Pilgrim’s Progress, and there’s a reason for that. It’s a book that can help you hold onto these three realities like Bunyan did: the priority of salvation, the endurance of suffering as a good soldier of Jesus, and the priority of perseverance in the Christian life.”

Womanhood Series: What’s the Highest Calling for the Childless?
“Whether you’re childless or know someone who is, it is important that we reshape how we view our femininity and biblical womanhood. Femininity isn’t fluffy and child-centered, but a fierce and glorious calling from the Lord”

Six Core Convictions on Media and Technology
“These are the six convictions for me when it comes to media, technology, and the Christian life.”

Christians Should Prepare To Defend From Mass Shooters In Church
It is therefore no wonder that, like people who work in schools and other gun-free zones, American Christians are beginning to ask themselves, “What happens when the shooter comes to my church?” How are we to handle a situation like that? Like anyone else, Christians would rather mentally and physically prepare for such an eventuality rather than being caught unawares.

Kindle Books

Against the Gods: The Polemical Theology of the Old Testament by John D. Currid $4.99.

The Whole Story of the Bible in 16 Verses by Chris Bruno $2.99.

A Reformed Approach to Science and Scripture by Keith Mathison (free).