Brett.Ullman

A photographer edits out our smartphones to show our strange and lonely new world

Do you see yourself in these photos? If so changes need to be made.

Are you reading this on a handheld device? There’s a good chance you are. Now imagine how’d you look if that device suddenly disappeared. Lonely? Slightly crazy? Perhaps next to a person being ignored? As we are sucked in ever more by the screens we carry around, even in the company of friends and family, the hunched pose of the phone-absorbed seems increasingly normal.

Click here for the entire article.

Being silenced on sex isn’t the end of Christianity

Really like this. So many things the Church can engage in.

Is the conservative arm of the church so focused on sexuality and marriage that being told to shut up about it is seen as tantamount to a complete public gag order?

In asking this I’m not defending the public vitriol heaped on bakers and brewers. But I don’t think being silenced on sex can be equated with the death of Christianity.

Feel free, outraged ministers and bloggers, to speak up about immigration policy, climate change, and gun control.

Feel free to enter the public square and champion the rights of disadvantaged first nations.

Please, don’t hold back on the corrosive effects of our nations’ addictions to gambling and alcohol and junk food.

Fulfill your mandate, please, to steward creation by opposing rampant strip mining, destructive pipelines, and corporate greed.

Feel free to speak out against bulging military spending, arms races and world leaders’ compulsion for conflict.

Sure, you’ll get plenty of debate, and there will be those who’ll tell you to keep quiet. These aren’t easy matters to address, nor popular campaigns to engage in. But surely, the church should have as much to say about justice, reconciliation, ecology and peacemaking as it does about marriage and sexuality.

Click here for the entire article.

The biggest threat facing middle-age men isn’t smoking or obesity. It’s loneliness.

I found this article really interesting. I would say that I agree. I know it is a struggle I have had in my own life.

This is a long article but one I would challenge men (and women) to read and to take some time to ponder where are you in this conversations and look at how you might be able to make some changes.

As men grow older, they tend to let their friendships lapse. But there’s still time to do something about it.

I TURNED 40 IN MAY. I have a wife and two young boys. I moved to the suburbs a few years ago, where I own a fairly ugly home with white vinyl siding and two aging station wagons with crushed Goldfish crackers serving as floor mats. When I step on a Lego in the middle of the night on my way to the bathroom, I try to tell myself that it’s cute that I’ve turned into a sitcom dad.

During the week, much of my waking life revolves around work. Or getting ready for work. Or driving to work. Or driving home from work. Or texting my wife to tell her I’m going to be late getting home from work.

When people with children become overscheduled, they don’t shortchange their children, they shortchange their friendships. “And the public health dangers of that are incredibly clear,”

Click here for the entire article.

We Can Change the World by Changing the Way We Raise Boys

Saw this online yesterday and loved it. Thought I would share it with you in case you have not seen it. Well worth the read.

Click here for the entire article.

Men do not have to give up their masculine nature. They have to redefine it. They don’t need to be warriors for territory and power over others. They can be warriors for peace, the environment, social justice and equal rights.

Men do not need to become more like women. They need to become more fully human, more in touch with who they are, free to achieve their human potential, including the full range of emotional expression.

Social change happens one person at a time. When we change the way we raise boys, we will change the world.

Serving Parents Who Do Not Go To Your Church

This is a really good article for anyone who works with students in the church world. I have often said that a Jr/Sr High Pastors job needs to be educating and empowering parents as well. As a parent myself I had to take a second and try and figure out if I am one of the parenting styles he mentions:

  • Helicopter Parents– they hover too close to the kids at all times.
  • Karaoke Parents– they try too hard to be cool, often parroting back what their kids do, say, and wear.
  • Dry-Cleaner Parents– drop their kids off for others to raise.
  • Volcano Parents– erupt over minor issues. (If you’ve never witnessed this just spend more time at Wal-Mart.  You’re bound to encounter these parents.)
  • Dropout Parents– these parents have just quit on their kids.
  • Bullied Parents– can’t stand up to their kids.
  • Groupie Parents– treat their kids like rock stars.
  • Commando Parents – let rules trump relationships.

There are some good practical ways to engage the parents of the students you work with.

Click here for the entire article.

Theft is Theft is Theft. No excuses.

Ever have one of those weird conversations?

Last week I am having dinner with my family and the waitress asked if we had a Scene points card (movie rewards). We talked briefly as she scanned my card and she said we could also use the points for food. She then went on to say “Why would you pay for a movie anyway” and explained how she has one of those Android boxes at home and just streams movies for free. She said she just watched Lego Batman (which is still in the theatres) and then went on to talk about how much she loved Fifty Shades Darker (again still in theatres).

It seem everywhere I look I see people getting these Android boxes (and other versions of the same thing). Now people might not like my opinion on this but I want to ask …

When did downright theft become normal?

I have asked people who have these boxes how they justify NOT paying for current movies, TV etc. There responses are all very similar:

  1. People complain about how much the cable companies are making or that they are being forced to pay for channels they don’t want
  2. People tell me that they are not downloading movies (which is illegal in Canada) but streaming them
  3. People tell me that movies are too expensive
  4. People tell me that everyone is doing it
  5. People tell me that they just don’t care

None of these comments change the fact that you are NOT paying for something that people have created.

I love Marvel superhero movies. If you are a Marvel fan you know that if you want until all the credits are completed there will be a small bonus scene. Each time I wait for the end of the credits I am amazed at the hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of people who created the movie I just watched. The job these people have is to do something to support the creation of the movie you just watched.

In a quick search online I found this list (click here for the entire article):

It is a weird expectation that I see many people have today.
They want to see amazing movies with great affects but not pay for it.
They want great music but will not pay for an album or subscribe to a streaming service (Apple Music, Spotify etc)

When we just stream a movie and no money goes back to the people who created the movie what we will start to see is less movies being made. It is the same with music. If everyone just downloads free music and no money goes to the musicians then we can expect to see more artists leaving music. As someone who loves seeing what people create (movies, music, video games etc) I am happy to pay for their services.

We all need to work and make money to support our families.
Why do people in the entertainment industry matter less to us?

Upcoming Tour Dates in Victoria / Duncan, B.C.

Date: Wednesday, March 8th
Location: Pacific Christian School (654 Agnes St Victoria, BC)
10-11am (media.faith.culture)

Date: Wednesday, March 8th
Location: Lambrick Park Church (1780 Feltham Road, Victoria, BC)
7-9pm (Parents 101)

Date: Thursday, March 9th
Location: Glad Tidings Church (1800 Quadra St., Victoria, BC)
6:30-8:30 (Walking Wounded)

Date: Friday, March 10th
Location: Victoria Church of the Nazarene (4277 Quadra St., Victoria BC)
7-9pm (media.faith.culture)

Date: Saturday, March 11th (World Vision Sponsored Event)
Location: Oasis Church (3540 Auchinachie Road, Duncan, BC)
Equipping.ca Conference (Walking Wounded) 9-4:30

Date: Saturday, March 11th (World Vision Sponsored Event)
Location: Oasis Church (3540 Auchinachie Road, Duncan, BC)
7-9 (Parents 101)

Date: Sunday, March 12th (World Vision Sponsored Event)
Location:Oasis Church (3540 Auchinachie Road, Duncan, BC)
10:30 morning service (TBD)

 

8 Things Kids Need to do *By Themselves* by the Time They’re Teenagers

As parents we must look forward at how we are launching our kids into being young adults and then adults. I really like this article on things our kids need to learn to do for themselves. I do think there is  balance that needs to be had. The more my kids do for themselves the more I am open to helping them out in a jam. I tell my kids always that “I am for them” I think this article misses a little of the grace we all need some days but I love the idea of kids having to learn and grow themselves.

Anything you think is missing?

Click here for the entire article.