Tag Archives: culture

An Addiction Or Tool? Would Cigarettes Be Safer?

I didn’t think of the cigarette part until I started writing the title, but it’s an honest question worth exploring.

Is there one addiction more dangerous than another? Of course. Honestly, cigarettes would kill me sooner than cancer from my phone.

The point that I want to make this morning is that I think I might be addicted to my cell phone. And if I am, then admitting it to the world is a good way to overcome it.

Hello, my name is Anthony. I’m an iPhonaholic. I think.

Official Terms and Stats

OK, so let’s look at what the professionals have to say. When I did a quick google search of “what do you call someone addicted to looking at their phone?”, I discovered that much of the research and writing that popped up was several years old. Even the most recent professional articles referenced research that was done as far back as 2008.

The official term, nomophobia, was derived from combining “no mo-bile” with phobia (irrational fear). Simply defined, nomophobia is “an extreme fear of not having your phone or not being able to use it.”

Since this is not an official research paper, and I don’t really want to get into the work of sourcing everything I read, just google what I did and you can find it all. But when it comes to the numbers, they are pretty disturbing.

  • In the original 2008 UK study that coined the term nomophobia, 57% of men and 47% of women suffered mobile phone anxiety.
  • In another study of college students (2013), 64% were at risk of developing nomophobia, while 77% checked their phones at least 35 times per day.
  • A 2010 study showed that 61% of adults check their phones first thing in the morning.
  • In 2014 it was observed that with college students there was a correlation between low GPA’s and frequent cell phone usage.

If you are reading this and wondering, “Do I have nomophobia?”, then social psychologists at Iowa State University have put together a 20-item questionnaire meant to help you self-diagnose. Now, this, too, was from several years ago, so I don’t know if anything has changed. But if you’re like me, we’ve got problems.

Not So Fast

But on the other hand, back in 2015 Brian Fung, a reporter with the Washington Post, questioned the legitimacy of equating nomophobia with ” real, clinical addictions.” Fung argues that true addictions and disabling phobias generally affect only 10 to 12 percent of the population, so, cellphone “addiction” might not be as bad as described.

And let’s think about this… Before there were cell phones, how did we stay in contact? We had pay phones, didn’t we? And before we had Waze or Google Maps, how did we find our directions to destinations? We either used maps or wrote down directions. Yet, where are the pay phones these days? Have you tried to buy a map, lately?

Before there were cell phones, business was conducted over land lines, desktop computers, in stores, and on paper. Nowadays, as you know, business, shopping, and even legal documents have  been adapted to mobile devices. And what’s more, a lot of our daily activities now require we have a cell phone, or the immediacy of the transaction demands it.

As one researcher rightfully noted, the increased usage of cell phones may not be the result of increasing addiction as much as it is the increased demand put on individuals by the culture and evolving economy.

But We Can Do Better

So, back to the original assertion that I have an addiction… Do I? Probably not, at least not in a clinical sense.

Am I going to give up my iPhone? No. Do I go to bed with it and wake up with it? Yes, because it has replaced my clock and my alarm and the “white noise” app helps me sleep.

But do I look at it too much? Are my daily “pick ups” excessive? Am I comforted by feeling of the phone in my left hand? Do I reach for my phone at the first sense of boredom? Do I panic if I leave home without it? Do I take it with me to the shower? Is it the first thing I look at when I open my eyes in the morning and the last thing I look at before i go to sleep?

Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. and Yes.

SO…

Below are MY stats from this morning and last week. Are you willing to share yours?

This Monday morning, with Sunday’s stat’s setting the average.

Last week’s average per day, along with a breakdown of what I viewed.

The average number of pickups per day – 74.

Let’s come back to this next Monday and see what changes can be made. I will not quit using my phone, but I am going to try to lower the screen time stats and change what is most commonly viewed.

Would you like to post something like this and join me? 

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Filed under Christian Living, Culture Wars, fitness

20 Things I Want To Be Perfectly Clear In 2020

“I wonder what he thinks about this?”

Two years ago, at the end of one post, I promised that I would write another post addressing 20 things I wanted to be perfectly clear about in 2020.

Before I got to work on the following list, I was afraid it might be difficult to come up with 20. But once I got started, I realized I could easily create a list much longer (but you wouldn’t read a list of 100, would you?).

Nevertheless, here are 20 things I believe; 20 statements that define who I am and where I stand on current issues;  20 things I want to be perfectly and absolutely clear in 2020 … just in case you wondered.

1. Jesus is the only way to God, the only Way. As Jesus said in John 14:6, He is THE Way, THE Truth, and THE Life.

2. My wife is my #1 earthly priority. Period. After that comes my family, then church, etc.

3. Even though God called me to preach and blessed me with the opportunity to pastor a great church, my very first mission field is my family, starting with my wife. If I fail there, I’m no good anywhere else. 1 Timothy 5:8, “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”

4. “Thoughts and prayers” are worthless unless there is One who hears the prayers and can answer them. Prayer is not a magic formula, nor does it have intrinsic power. However, those who mock people who send “thoughts and prayers” are arrogant fools.

5. I prefer the simplicity, predictability, and consistency of iPhones. I don’t need flash; I need function.

6. I am exactly where God wants me to be… in Warthen, GA, at Bethlehem Baptist Church.

7. I can’t see any Democrat in the current field of contenders defeating President Trump in a fair election.

8. I am not a Calvinist (by choice).

9. If you ask me to dinner at a restaurant , don’t expect me to sit on the inside of a booth where I can’t get out – I will panic.

10. Cottage cheese I will not eat, even if it’s mixed with something sweet.

11. Anti-Gun laws are stupid and the people that want to keep creating more are either uneducated, uninformed, or nefariously evil. Anti-Knife laws, and those who write them, are comically insane.

12. I believe ALL murder, attempted murder, and rape are hate crimes. It matters not the color of skin, sexual preference, or religion; it’s all hate-driven. To kill murder someone should result in the death penalty, so how much more can you punish someone if when they kill you they hate who or what you are?

13. Convicted sexual predators should be castrated.

14. Antifa and similar groups should be considered terrorist organizations.

15. We don’t need more Star Wars films. Heck, we didn’t need any after Han Solo was thawed.

16. Greta Thunberg needs to respect her elders, and when the world is still here in 2031, she and AOC need to sit over a dunk tank full of ground glacier ice while man-made climate change deniers get 3 free throws each.

Image result for greta thunberg how dare you meme

17. There are only 2 sexes: male and female. Medicine, surgery, and the way one thinks does not change a man into a woman, nor a woman into a man. This is reality. Anything else is delusional or imaginary.

18. My wife is beautiful, and so are our daughters! I’m tremendously proud of all of them!

19. Chiropractors and essential oils (especially CBD) are totally over-hyped, regardless their actual benefits.

20. I’m totally grateful for those who read and share the content in this blog. Without you, I’d might as well stick with scribbling notes on my desk calendar. God bless each and every one of you.

Bonus: My dog loves me more than anyone else.

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Filed under current events, Future

Thoughts On Impeachment

I am not a politician, nor do I play one on TV. Once I daydreamed about running for Congress, but then I returned to reality and drank a strong cup of coffee – no more of that nonsense.

However, I am a voter who has been watching politicians for many years, especially the last three, and I’ve been pretty disgusted by the whole lot.

Granted, not all politicians are sleazy scumbags. I get it. As a matter of fact, over the years I have had the privilege to know a couple of government officials, servants, who love our country, had high moral and ethical standards, and were not afraid to put their careers on the line while doing the right thing. But those are truly, truly rare these days.

Now, today, I get to see the culmination of three years of attacks on the President of the United States of America: impeachment.

Frankly, I find it funny that we went through two years or more of people absolutely sure Donald Trump colluded with the Russians and played patty cake in a hot tub with Vladimir Putin. They had “evidence” to “prove” it. Yet, none of that is part of the impeachment being voted on today.

As a matter of fact, the Democrat Party in America, aided by the mainstream press (a willing extension of the Party), has done nothing but look for any reason whatsoever to destroy President Trump and remove him from office, even before his inauguration! Even before he took the oath of office, there were protests, calls for violence, fires in the streets, intimidation of voters, and yes, calls for impeachment.

Simply put, the Left has hated Donald Trump since he shattered their dreams and defeated the Ice Queen, Hillary Clinton. There was nothing he could every do to win them over. There would be nothing he could ever do to gain their approval. Simply because he won the election, he, along with half the country (the “deplorables”), would be the recipients of attack after attack after attack. The Left’s pathological hatred would drive their whole agenda.

So, on this historic day, President Donald Trump is being impeached in the House for the most pitiful of excuses for “crimes and misdemeanors” anyone has ever seen. He’s not being impeached for colluding, lying under oath, bribery, tweeting too much, bad hair, getting jiggy with an intern behind the “resolute desk” in the Oval Office, or breaking into the Democrat headquarters. No, he’s being impeached because of misrepresented conversations and disrespecting those who’ve done nothing less than try to carry out a coup.

And the American people are wising up.

Blind hatred can lead one to do stupid things, including self-destructive behavior. When your sole mission in life is to destroy another person, you become bitter, narrow-minded, angry, mean, and eventually delusional. What’s even worse, hatred and a desire for vengeance can wind up hurting the very ones you love – including your country.

When nothing else is as important than vindication, retribution, and the orgasmic desire for the destruction of your enemy, you  become the servant of Evil and the hand tool of the Destroyer.

America is worse off now than if it had let the man elected President do his job, good or bad. Seething, delusional, maniacal, and pathological hate has divided and wounded this nation, all because a single man won an election, thereby stalling the radical agenda of those hell-bent on cultural transformation.

It’s an historic day, for sure.

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Filed under America, politics

Disturbing Reality: Children Are Ruining Everything

Yes, the children are ruining everything we used to hold dear.

Hold on a second…

I’m not talking about young skulls full of mush who haven’t lived long enough for their brains to develop; I’m talking about chronological adults who act like children.

We are truly living in an INFANTILIZED culture that not only refuses to grow up, but is rapidly losing its understanding of what “grown up” and “adult” even means.

I don’t know what you think of Paul Joseph Watson, but when I watched his latest video “The Infantilization of Popular Culture” I felt sick to my stomach for the future of this nation – and the world.

Is it any wonder that this is the same culture that is becoming less and less religious? This is the culture who constantly decries the need for organized religion, pastors, and church, and says, like a toddler who refuses help, “No! I can do it!

“And he himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, equipping the saints for the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son, growing into maturity with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness. Then we will no longer be little children, tossed by the waves and blown around by every wind of teaching, by human cunning with cleverness in the techniques of deceit. But speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way into him who is the head ​– ​Christ.” – Ephesians 4:11-15 CSB

A self-indulgent world without Christ will never grow up and never mature. The end result can only be full-blown playground bullying and temper-tantrum-driven destruction.

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Filed under America, Christian Maturity, Culture Wars, current events, World View

7 Words that Distinguish Our Founding Fathers from Modern Americans

“We hold these truths to be self-evident…”

If there were ever any words that are so antithetical to today’s culture, these words from the Declaraton of Independence stand out above them all.

Believe it or not, the founding fathers of the United States of America firmly held to the belief that there are absolute, transcendent truths by which we are able to govern and judge society.

They not only believed there are “truths,” but they believed that these truths are “self-evident.” In other words, they believed that these transcendent truths, rooted in the nature of God, were not hard to find, but plain for all to see, should they only open their eyes. Hence the term self-evident.

Today’s culture has totally rebelled against the concepts of truth and anything that is self-evident. For example, the truth is that God created male and female (Gen. 1:27; Mark 10:6), and what is self-evident are their differences. Yet, modern Americans cannot bring themselves to admit what is obvious, no matter how self-evident.

Not too long ago I read of a transgender activist, Zinnia Jones, who maintains that men who are not attracted to transgender women have “issues”…issues “they should work through.” In other words, Jones believes that biological males who are attracted only to biological females, not trans women, should be relegated to the fringes of society.

In the book of Matthew, chapter seven, we read of two men: a wise man, and a foolish man. Jesus said that a man who listens and does what He says is like a wise man who builds his house on a solid, rock foundation. The foolish man is the one who doesn’t listen to the sayings of Jesus and therefore builds his house on sand. When the storms come, the house built on rock stands firm, but the one built on sand comes crashing down.

A bedrock foundation is un-moving, un-changing, consistent, able to bear weight, and unaffected by the changing weather. However, sandy foundations, although conforming and accommodating, are inconsistent, unable to bear weight, and always changing with the winds of time.

The foundation on which America was built can be found in the “truth” of the Scripture. Without these truths a free, self-governing society cannot not exist for long, if at all.

“[I]t is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free constitution is pure virtue.”

“[W]e have no government armed with power capable of contending
with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. . . . Our constitution
was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the
government of any other.”

– John Adams, Signer of the Declaration of Independence, 2nd President

Unfortunately, modern Americans are rebuilding America on top of a foundation that is comfortable, conforming, and accommodating, always able to shift with the changing winds of culture. And just like the foolish man that Jesus describe in Mathew 7, our “house” will eventually come crashing down, “and great [will be] the fall of it.”

People wonder how long America will survive. My contention is that it can’t survive much longer. How can it when the very foundational truths on which our liberties are grounded has been reduced to shifting sand?

“We hold no truth, and nothing is self-evident; all is relative to self-identification.” – Modern Americans

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Filed under America, Culture Wars

Pre-Salvation Counseling?

Pre-Marital Counseling

Have you ever given pre-marital advice? Have you ever sat down with a young couple, stars in their eyes, and tried to break them up? No? Then maybe you don’t know what real marriage counseling is all about.

OK, no, I don’t go into a counselling session with the intent on making them run out of the room crying and screaming at each other. But what I do try to do is bring to the surface issues that might cause problems down the road which will ultimately lead to major problems, even divorce.

Believe me, a lot of people could have been spared a lot pain and heartache had they been asked some serious questions before they tied the knot.

Salvation Counseling 

But much like the syrupy-sweet lovers who want to jump into marriage without even considering what comes after the honeymoon, many are led into believing that becoming a Christian is the answer to all their problems.

Because of many one-stop Vegas-like “wedding chapels” we call “worship centers,” scores of people have been drawn into a relationship with Jesus – but without the “pre-marital” counseling.

Reality check: Following Jesus will not be easy. As a matter of fact, it might even result in a life of pain and suffering, of hunger and want. This relationship may even cost you your life.

And when [Jesus] had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” – Mark 8:34

Oh, make no mistake about it, entering into an eternity-long relationship with Jesus is totally worth it!

Just make sure you know what you’re getting into.

 

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Filed under Defending Traditional Marriage, Defining Marriage, Divorce, Life Lessons, Movie review, salvation, Witnessing

The Vampire Ring

The First Question

It was this past Friday, the last day of school, and I was standing in the bus, facing the rear, with my right knee in the driver’s seat and my right arm resting on the barrier between the seat back and the first passenger seat behind me.

The students were loading (all Kindergarten thru 4th graders), and I was watching the chaos when a young African-American boy, no more than 3rd grade, asked a question…

“Why you wear’n a vampire ring?”

Now, there are some questions that immediately make sense, and then there are others that make one stop wonder if he really heard what he thought he heard…

“What vampire ring?” 

All I wanted was clarification, but I never expected the conversation that would follow.

“You ever watched a vampire movie?”

“Yeah,” I answered with a tilt of my head.

“They hold dat up to da vampires. Why you got dat on yo’r ring?” the boy asked.

“That’s a cross,” I replied. “It’s not a ‘vampire’ ring!”

“Yeah,” said the boy, “and so why you got dat on yo’r ring?” 

The Open Door

As most of you know, it’s a big NO-NO for a Christian to openly share his faith on a public school bus. Well, it’s at least a big NO-NO for the bus driver to do it.

But what do you say when some kid asks the meaning for the cross on your ring? Do you let it go, or go for it?

I went for it!

After all, it was the last day of school! What are they gonna do, fire me? …Maybe.

I said:

“This is the ring I got for graduating from seminary. I’m a Christian, and this cross on my ring symbolizes the cross on which my Savior, Jesus Christ, died for the sins of the world. It has nothing to do with vampires!” 

All I got in response was an “Oh.” Then the boy proceeded to pick on the kid next to him and forgot that I was even there.

The Second Question

So, the first question eventually led me to ask myself the second, saddest, most troubling question of the whole day…

“How can a child grow up in America and only associate the Cross of Christ with vampire movies and know nothing of the true meaning?” 

Evidently, very easily. And it breaks my heart. 

Ironically, when’s the last time you ever saw a vampire movie, a modern one, in which the Cross had any value at all? The last one I remember was Fright Night back in the 1980’s. So, not only did this kid not know the true significance of what was on my ring, if anything he probably thought it was nothing more than a joke.


But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; – 1 Corinthians 1:23

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. – Galatians 2:20

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Filed under America, General Observations, Witnessing