Brett.Ullman

Category - leadership

To students NOT working this summer… and their parents

This vlog is for both parents and students. Just some thoughts for those students who did not get a summer job. I have had about 50 conversations with parents about students, summer jobs, and responsibilities around the house in the past few months. I think we need to address these conversations up front?

Students: things you should not do this summer
Students: thinks you should be doing this summer
Parents: are we equipping our kids properly in this area?

Love to hear your thoughts.

 

The Shadow of the Fear-vangelicals

This is a really important article for Christian people in the climate we have today. I really like at the end of the article when Skye Jethani writes:

The question is, how do you primarily view the “other”…as a threat to your safety or as a person worthy of your love?”

I actually see this trend in both the church world and in the mainstream culture. We really don’t know how to have the ability to listen to one another.  I really love the chart I pulled from the blog below.

Do you see yourself on either side of this chart?

Yesterday I read a few articles on both gun control in the US, and Ontario politics as we head towards an election. The “Fight” side of the chart was alive and well in all the articles and blogs I read. Both sides calling each other names like stupid, brainwashed, uneducated as well as comments that bordered on racist, homophobic, and sexist. None of the articles I read really even talked about opinions and were more just slamming the other side and how “dumb” they are. I think we actually call these “red herrings” where we don’t even argue the actual topic anymore.

I see the other side of the chart in our Christian world where we continue to create a safe “side culture” where Christians run from the society we are in and circle the wagons waiting for impending doom.

Rob Dreher in this article is quoted as saying:

But doesn’t the Bible tell us that perfect love drives out all fear? What happened to the evangelical tradition, a movement that was noted for its robust engagement in the world, to turn a significant section of it into such a fearful bunch?

There has to be a better way. Each time I do one of my talks I address that fact that we might have differing opinions, and that is ok. If we can stop attacking and running from each other maybe we can start to find more common ground. Let us spend more time listening to each other and having a posture of openness and see where it takes us.

Please take a few minutes to read this article. Well worth your time.

7 Crippling Parenting Behaviors That Keep Children From Growing Into Leaders

A really good article in Forbes for parents. Always good to be evaluating how we parent.

“I think both fear and lack of understanding play a role here, but it leads with the fact that each generation of parents is usually compensating for something the previous generation did. The primary adults in kids’ lives today have focused on now rather than later. It’s about their happiness today not their readiness tomorrow. I suspect it’s a reaction. Many parents today had Moms and Dads who were all about getting ready for tomorrow: saving money, not spending it, and getting ready for retirement. In response, many of us bought into the message: embrace the moment. You deserve it. Enjoy today. And we did. For many, it resulted in credit card debt and the inability to delay gratification. This may be the crux of our challenge. The truth is, parents who are able to focus on tomorrow, not just today, produce better results.”

Click here for the entire article.

CCLP 014: Brett Ullman On Anxiety, Depression And Mental Health In Church Leaders And In The Church

I had the privilege of sharing my mental health journey with Carey Nieuwhof on his Canadian Church Leaders Podcast. It’s probably the longest conversation I have had on my journey to date.

Mental health is not a subject we discuss well in the church. But at any given time, about 20% of your church and leaders are struggling with various mental health issues.

Brett Ullman, a nationally respected speaker and authority on parenting and teens, talks about how his struggles started and how to respond in the church and in leadership when mental health struggles arise.

Please click here to listen to the podcast. I would also encourage you to subscribe to this podcast. It’s one that I never miss.

Did you hear Justin Bieber refused Satanic child abuse?

Really great article. Please take the time to read our Christian response to Fake News.

Many Christian influencers, especially those on social media, contribute to this trend by spreading stories such as the Bieber one or by adding sensationalistic anecdotes and hearsay about newborn sacrifices at hospitals, Oprah Winfrey endorsing face creams made from infants’ foreskins, Illuminati plots by entertainers such as Katy Perry, Jay-Z and Beyonce, and other claims.

It’s an understandable reaction, but it’s not the right thing to do.

People should be able to look to Christians as a source of truth, not a source of panic.

When we ascribe darkness and Satanic attribution to everything we see (or think we see), the devil doesn’t have to do much work himself.

We see everything a little bit blacker.

As Lewis feared, it will make us into devils.

Click here for the entire article.

SO GOOD! Please take a few minutes to read. Love your comments. Thanks

Truth vs Fear – Please stop posting fear based content…

In the past year, I have seen a growing trend in the social media posts that I see … fear. I don’t really know where to go with this post as I write it. I could easily talk about all the fear that is in articles today talking about personal health

  • doctors say these 5 foods you should never eat
  • 2 exercises you must never do
  • don’t you dare exercise before bed
  • don’t you ever eat this food before bed
  • don’t ever eat this for breakfast

Or articles I see from parents:

  • these 5 apps you MUST delete from your kid’s phones
  • don’t have your kids on screens until they are at least 5
  • don’t you dare do this as a parent …

Or news articles

  • what really happened at …
  • the truth about …
  • The real story about …
  • Here are the Facts …
  • _____ destroys someone who believes in _______
  • The Eclipse on Aug 22nd was the date of the 2nd coming of Jesus. (I read 2 dozen Facebook messages and as you can tell they were all wrong)

Or the crazy stories that have come across my social media feeds recently (actual articles)

  • Justin Bieber: Pedophiles Run The ‘Evil’ Music Industry
  • Katy Perry Dragged off Stage as Monarch Mind Control Meltdown Goes Viral
  • Police: Chester Bennington Was Murdered

Is it just me or have we lost any basic critical reflection as a society? Many people seem to believe and share anything that comes to their social media feeds without doing any checking.

Let me say something that I would hope you already know:

Just because it is on the internet does not mean it is true.

I would also say that just because you want something to be true, or feel something is true does not make it true.

Something is true because it is true.

I also know that there are differing sides to any topic and that is where the good healthy debate comes in to play. We must be able to challenge the status quo in areas but it has to be done with facts and not fear.

There are some assumptions with the language in all of these articles:

  • We really don’t know what is happening but the person posting does
  • If we only “opened our eyes” we would see that is truly happening
  • For some articles, there is this vast conspiracy that if we only knew the facts we would believe
  • We are pretty stupid as people and need to “get with the program” and what is really going on

So how do we move from what all of these articles have in common – fear; and look towards teaching people how to learn what is true or not.

Let’s just take one online article and see if we can learn how to distinguish the difference between fake articles and real ones.

A few weeks ago Chester Beddington from the band Linken Park took his own life. As someone who struggles with anxiety/depression, these stories always hit close to home. Within days I saw people posting this article on social media talking about how he did not commit suicide but was murdered. This shifts all the conversation on mental health, suicide prevention, supporting friends and family etc (where the conversations should be) and moves it to a homicide investigation which by the way is just not true. So how do we know something is just not true.

I had some conversation with a few people related to this article and no matter what I said they could not think any other way other than this article was true. I had statements like “It might be true”, or “I think it is true”. We need to use some thought as we look online. I like the infographic below. It asks you to look at things from 8 perspectives.

So looking at this article about Chester being murdered.

  1. Consider the Source – the website YourNewsWire.com is not one I have ever heard of. A quick google search shows all kinds of people talking about how this site is a fake news site. Even the site itself has a tab for conspiracies. Not a site that I would trust for news.
  2. Check the author – The article says the author is Baxter Dmitry. A quick search and there is really no information on this guy. Not something a credible news source would be. Even their own website has basically no information.
  3. Check the date – There is a date for this article. It is not an older article being reposted which happens to often.
  4. Check your Biases – this is always a tough one. I do come from the bias that this article is false and fake news. We all come at the news with a bias. I just want there to be something in this article that is newsworthy and not all hearsay. For me to move to another direction there has to be something real to make me move in that direction.
  5. Read beyond – We need to go further than the headlines. I get it. The headline says Chester was murdered and then we have to look beyond that.
  6. Supporting Sources – this is where this article falls apart. From what I can see there are basically no sources. It says “police have reportedly launched a murder investigation? Did they or did they not? The title of the article says he WAS murdered. The police either did or did not launch an investigation. It says that “insiders beliving that it is extremely likely”. So which insiders? Who are” they”? The entire article is the same. No real evidence and lots of generalizations and no proof.
  7. Is it a joke – to be honest, I assumed it was when I first read it due to the shoddily written article with no sources but I think that there are people who actually believe this
  8. Ask the experts. Sites like Snopes say this is fake and if you read the comments in this article people then call Snopes fake. There are no experts arguing this. No real reporters or actual facts.

There is another great website that I would encourage people to go through. https://checkology.org They have a number of great videos to walk through 4 main steps to decide if something is real or fake. They talk about how anything posted could be made to entertain as opposed to inform. Great thoughts.

  1. Filtering News and Information
  2. Exercising Civic Freedoms
  3. Navigating Today’s Information Landscape
  4. How to know what to believe

I think that we have to be really careful what we post these days. We live in a world where anyone can post a blog or news article online. In our current culture we have a responsibiltiy to not be perpetuating any articles that are just not real. Before you post to take some time to think through what you are posting, sharing and “liking” online.

Love to hear any comments on this. How do you discern real news from fake or fear based news?
Thanks