Reclaiming Attention

It was immediately clear that vigilance was required, some set of rules. And so here are mine:

The internet goes off before bed.

The internet doesn’t return until after lunch.

That’s it. Reasonable rules. I’m too weak to handle the unreasonable.

What would it take to reclaim our own attention? It is so easy to be always-on. It might be a good idea to give some consideration to how and when we use our devices and what healthy parameters would look like.

(via Backchannel)

Memorizing Extended Scripture

First Corinthians takes about 60 minutes to read aloud. It took me about 14 months to memorize the whole letter, and I’ve been spending the last several months reciting the entire letter each morning to lock it in.

Andy Naselli shares some wisdom on how to memorize an entire book of the Bible. I’m not undertaking 16 chapters, but I am starting the process of memorizing Paul’s first missionary journey (Acts 13-14; Galatians). Just in the first couple of weeks of memorizing the opening verses, I’m starting to see things I’ve never noticed before.

(via The Gospel Coalition)

Bullet Journal

I enjoy using technology – especially when it helps me work more efficiently and effectively. I have noticed that I have the tendency to jump from one task manager app to the next. The grass is always greener, apparently. As I jump back and forth, I tend to dump anything and everything into the task manager, and when I eventually make it back around to the app, it is filled with the fires of overdue tasks and projects. It’s not that I’ve forgotten to do everything – I just have a big mess of cluttered and unmanaged digital work to deal with. The set it and forget it nature of these apps can get the better of me more than I’d like to admit. Sometimes (maybe a lot of the time) I am more interested in working on the task manager than I am working on the tasks themselves.

For the last month I’ve been trying out the Bullet Journal as a way of staying a little more connected to my work. It is forcing me to be more in tune with everything and it is easier to see when I am allowing too much onto my plate at one time.

The official Bullet Journal website has some basic instructions.

This video offers a simple presentation of how to get started. It’s surprisingly fun to set up. It is simple and effective.

Smart Phones – Pavlov’s Little Box

The smart phone (so called in honor of the profit-seeking companies who were smart enough to make them) is an optimized, tested and polished call-and-response machine.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how I use my devices with screens, especially my phone. I’m not always pleased with when and how and how often I use them, either.

(via Seth’s Blog)

Next Steps for the Open Web

I believe the next step for the open web and Twitter-like services is indie microblogging.

I am super interested in where the open web is headed in light of tools like these. This trajectory is one of the reasons I am putting more focus on my personal blog than on proprietary services. Note his linked Kickstarter for Indie Microblogging.

(via Manton)

Humanity & Digital Life

In an lengthy article for NYMag, Andrew Sullivan speaks to some of the dangers of the technology we hold so closely:

Information soon penetrated every waking moment of our lives. And it did so with staggering swiftness. We almost forget that ten years ago, there were no smartphones, and as recently as 2011, only a third of Americans owned one. Now nearly two-thirds do. That figure reaches 85 percent when you’re only counting young adults. And 46 percent of Americans told Pew surveyors last year a simple but remarkable thing: They could not live without one. The device went from unknown to indispensable in less than a decade. The handful of spaces where it was once impossible to be connected — the airplane, the subway, the wilderness — are dwindling fast. Even hiker backpacks now come fitted with battery power for smartphones. Perhaps the only “safe space” that still exists is the shower.

Note a key point he makes deep in the article:

If the churches came to understand that the greatest threat to faith today is not hedonism but distraction, perhaps they might begin to appeal anew to a frazzled digital generation.

I’ve been reading a lot about the precarious or even dangerous position we are in with our screen-filled digital-first lives. I see it every single day on the college campus – flocks of students who are linked at the palm to their devices. I don’t question the incredible value we get from modern technology, but there are costs associated with it too.

(via NYMag)

Five Big Benefits of Blogging

Most new bloggers don’t realize the demands a blog can place on time and creativity. However, once the discipline of blogging is developed, it can benefit you in other aspects of life. Maintaining a blog practically forces you to develop routines and content plans. These routines can be mimicked in your dietary planning, workout regimens, personal discipleship, and relationships. A successful blog may not always mean more page views. Personal growth through the discipline of blogging can be success in and of itself.

In 2016 there were 4 months when I didn’t publish a single blog post. There were 2 months where I only posted one single blog post during the entire month. I published 24 posts from January-October. I published 16 posts in December and 1 post per day in January so far.

Over the course of most of 2016, I lacked discipline with my blog. It simply wasn’t a high value for me. Looking back, I can see missed opportunities personally (growing myself) and professionally (helping others grow), but I’m OK with how the year went. I am discovering the truth of the quote above. As I have shown greater discipline over the last month to publish something more regularly (at this point, daily), I’m finding it more natural to be disciplined in other areas of my life too. The final sentence is correct – page views are not my greatest measure of success – my own personal growth through the process of publishing regularly is my measure of success. I hope you’ll find what I write to be helpful. It is helpful to me just to write and publish in the first place.

(via Auxano)

Collegiate Ministry is the Edge

img_4200

At any gathering of people, from a high school assembly to the General Assembly at the UN, from a conference to a rehearsal at the orchestra, the really interesting conversations and actions almost always happen around the edges.

Change almost always starts at the edges and moves toward the center.

This blog from Seth Godin makes me think immediately of collegiate ministry. I see it as the edge of mainstream ministry. It is where some exciting innovations of modern ministry are happening and where the next wave of catalytic leaders are right now.