Sep 13

An App Called “Self-Control” and the Iphone 5

2012 at 8:26 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre

How’s your #LessforMore Challenge going? I love re-reading Knowing God, marking it up with yet another pen color. And my soul is more peaceful, and less distracted without the morning dose of social media. Today’s Bible reading plan had me in the Psalms—taking the Psalmist’s hand in his journey from despair to delight in God.

We’ll have more from our Connected Heart series next week, but we wanted to pass on two more resources for our LessforMore challenge participants:

From Jessica: I have a really good (and techy) resource that I use to stop my internet browsing late at night or early in the morning, which are excellent wastes of time! It also helps me focus on other things that are more important - devotions, chores, family stuff. I use a free application (on my Mac) called “SelfControl”. It is a timer on your laptop that cuts off your internet COMPLETELY until the timer is run out. I set it an hour or two before I go to bed and have it run until an hour after I wake up. That way, I can’t even check facebook or email if I tried! I know it sounds a bit extreme, but it really works for me and it’s a great way to start a lifelong habit! Here’s the link to the website: http://visitsteve.com/made/selfcontrol/

From Jennie: I thought this short blog post and 2 minute video by John Piper was excellent and particulary apropos to the current series and #LessforMore challenge:

Keep the great ideas coming!

Sep 12

Not Only Idlers

2012 at 4:36 pm   |   by Carolyn Mahaney Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Time Management

“Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not.” 1 Timothy 5:13

“Idle hands are the devil’s tools” is a quaint old phrase—literally, it dates back to Chaucer, who got the idea from Scripture. You may have heard it as a child, from a grandparent or some other elderly person; but this bit of wisdom isn’t bandied about much these days. When we hear the word “idle” we may think of the minivan in the driveway, but not a person whose hands are in danger of becoming devilish instruments.

That’s because we are no longer troubled by idleness. We no longer warn our children of its dangers or confess it to a friend. Our culture cultivates idleness, and so we are reasonably comfortable with it and even (unwittingly?) encourage it. But idleness is condemned throughout Scripture and so it should be of serious concern to the Christian.

Why? What is the big deal? We know idleness may not be admirable, but isn’t it rather harmless? Why did the biblical authors and people throughout the centuries speak so strongly about it, even comparing it to a devil’s tool?

We see the answer right here in 1 Timothy 5:13. Idleness is serious because it leads to all kinds of serious sins. Two of them are mentioned here: an idle person is in grave danger of becoming a gossip and a busybody.

Idleness is the fertile soil in which gossip and busybody behavior grow like weeds. And nowhere is the soil of idleness more rich than on the Internet. Pondering this fact can help restore a healthy fear of this “forgotten” sin and give us pause before we go online.

Sep 11

Less for More

2012 at 12:22 pm   |   by Carolyn Mahaney Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Time Management

“What is the best thing in life, bringing more joy, delight and contentment than anything else? Knowledge of God…[It] provides at once a foundation, shape and goal for our lives, plus a principle of priorities and a scale of values. Once you become aware that the main business that you are here for is to know God, most of life’s problems fall into place of their own accord…. What makes life worthwhile is having a big enough objective, something which catches our imagination and lays hold of our allegiance, and this the Christian has in a way that no other person has. For what higher, more exalted, and more compelling goal can there be than to know God?” JI Packer, p. 33-34

We love the ideas coming in for our #LessForMore challenge. If you are on a Facebook fast like one of our readers (keep it up!) , here are a few helpful comments that may spark your imagination:

Kristina - From hearing John Piper say he has the rule: No Bible no breakfast. I have adopted: No Bible no Facebook! I haven’t been perfect. When I get late and the day disappears I have broken the rule. But I love that it rings in my ear!

Angelle - I’m a sophomore in college and this last year I decided I needed to make a big change with regards to my devotions. In the past I’ve read in the evenings because I fell asleep too easily in the morning, but I really felt like I needed to be starting my day out with God’s Word to help me stay focused throughout the day. This semester I have a new plan: every evening before I go to bed I unplug my laptop, put it in it’s case, and put it in a drawer in my dorm. The laptop doesn’t come out until I’ve read a chapter in Luke (the book I’m working through now), prayed, and read Morning & Evening. I’ve thankful that I have been able to keep this commitment all but two mornings and this is the 5th week of school!

Lindie - challenge accepted! I just downloaded a Bible for my mobile. Everytime before checking facebook i am going to read a chapter.

Rebecca - What a wonderful idea! I will take you up on that challenge. I think for number three I will pick a specific time out of my day (an hour or less) to check e-mail, facebook, and the rest. Instead of going on the computer anytime my heart desires. Thank you for posting this challenge.

Tell us about your #LessforMore challenge and may God give us all grace to spend less time online and more time seeking Him!

“Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord.” Hosea 6:3

Sep 10

A Social Media Challenge

2012 at 8:49 am   |   by Carolyn Mahaney Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Time Management

Last week we tweeted a social media question: Has our appetite to know about people eclipsed our appetite to know about God?

Here’s one way to tell: if you had to do without one or the other—God’s Word or social media—for two weeks, which would be harder to give up?

If your desire to commune with God is weak and waning, and your desire to stay in touch with others on social media has morphed into a “need,” there may be a connection between the two.

So, we’d like to issue a social media challenge, beginning today. Less for More.

Less time on Twitter, more time in Scripture. Less time on Facebook, more time in God’s Book. Less time on Pinterest, more time in the Bible. Less time stalking people, more time seeking God.

For the next two weeks we challenge you (and ourselves) to:

  1. Read a portion from God’s Word every day. (Here are some great Bible reading plans if you don’t have one already.)
  2. Read 5 pages of J.I. Packer’s Knowing God every day.
  3. Spend less time on social media in order to make more time for #1 and #2.

It’s up to you to determine the scope of #3. Maybe you need to fast from social media for the entire two weeks. Maybe you resolve to complete #1 and #2 each day before you go online. Or, maybe you need to evaluate when you waste the most time on social media (evening? morning? bus or train ride? children’s naps?) and read the Bible and Knowing God during that time instead.

And consider asking someone to keep you accountable. We’ll keep you posted on our progress (ironically!) via Twitter and Facebook. But we’d rather you complete the challenge than check in with us.

Think of this as a desire realignment. For if you spend more time seeking God in the Scriptures and less time perusing people’s feeds and walls, your heart posture will change. And your vision will change too: you’ll see more clearly how magnificent God is and forever will be, and, by comparison, just how meaningless social media is. As the song goes:

“Turn your eyes upon

Jesus Look full in his wonderful face

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim

In the light of His glory and grace.”

Sep 7

52home

2012 at 10:00 pm   |   by Janelle Bradshaw Filed under Biblical Womanhood | 52home

10:30 a.m. Oldest child attempting to do school at the table while middle child is pulling youngest child in a laundry basket tied to a blanket. And yes, those are all of my shoes which youngest child has emptied from my closet into said laundry basket.

52home

Sep 6

What Killed the Cat

2012 at 2:56 pm   |   by Carolyn Mahaney Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Time Management

“Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not.” 1 Timothy 5:13

The young widows in Timothy’s town went about from house to house. Why? Did they want some fresh air? A bite to eat? Were they lonely? Maybe, but what really drove them from house to house was an insatiable curiosity to know about other people.

They wanted to know what was going on in everybody else’s lives—the dirt, the juicy secrets, the pains and struggles, the successes and triumphs, the failures and foibles.

Is this what drives us from Facebook page to Facebook page? From Twitter feed to Twitter feed? From celebrity gossip column to headline news? We are curious. We want to know. Who is seeing whom? Who broke up with whom? Who’s fighting with whom? Who hit bottom? Who made it big?

Problem is, this curiosity can become a craving. And this craving to know about others can eclipse our desire to know about God.

Has our curiosity about other people’s lives become insatiable? Do we just have to know what is going on with all our friends and acquaintances? Do we feel out of touch if we can’t have constant access to social media? Do we have more of a desire to read our Facebook feed than God’s Word? Has curiosity become a sinful craving?