It’s not often we do “Top – Whatever” lists for the Whetstone. With spring break for a lot of us right now, I thought I’d share with you my favorite podcasts. Check them out and download a few episodes for your commute. They are in no particular order.
So… I’ve got to rant a little. There is no such thing as perfection in this life! One can always get a little more done, the service can always be better, and you can always find a flaw or imperfection in all things… so why should I rate anyone or anything a perfect 10?
Recently, we were asked to fill out one of those customer satisfaction surveys and it was made very clear that anything below 10s would cause trouble. Really? I have a hard time giving anything or anyone… especially myself… straight 9s, much less 10s! As I thought about it, though, the word “grace” came to mind. I came to the conclusion that they were doing well, they had been perfect… well as least as perfect as we humans can be and they deserved to be rated high! By the way, part of that reflection included doing some soul searching myself on how imperfect I really am and thinking who am I, an imperfect person, to expect true perfection out of someone else? So… it made me think even more about my relationship with my family and friends.
I realized that at times I’ve been pretty hard on people… expecting true perfection when it just wasn’t possible and then getting frustrated, disappointed and impatient. How about you? Have you found yourself expecting perfection out of your spouse and kids… and finding yourself disappointed? Maybe you’ve done it to yourself. I know I have. Beating myself up for not being a better dad, husband, employee or pastor. That word “grace” keeps surfacing…
Jesus showed the perfect way of grace. He came to us while we were still sinners… undeserving, broken, rebellious, apathetic, pathetic humans with no chance of ever being able to measure up to God’s standard of perfection. Jesus came anyway. Jesus gave His life anyway. Jesus showed grace… free and unmerited favor. Isn’t that what we’ve been asked to do so others can know Him? Imperfect people giving other imperfect people grace…
But Gerry… isn’t that what’s gotten us in trouble? People getting trophies for just showing up? Hear me out on this… I’m not proposing that we look the other way when people don’t try, don’t care, don’t at least attempt to do well. But wait a second… that doesn’t even sound right. God showed us grace when we were trying to get away from Him… trying to do everything opposite of His perfect will. So what do we do? Maybe show a little more grace to our families, to ourselves when it isn’t all perfect.
I guess this is a really gray area. I don’t know all the answers but what I do know is “grace” is something beautiful. Grace, when applied well, heals, encourages, lifts a burden and is… well… just beautiful. So, what I do know is that this imperfect person is going to try to err on the side of grace more than I’ve ever done before.
I’ve decided to pursue a different avenue for support of the Whetstone through Patreon. com.
What Is Patreon?
During the renaissance period artists such as Michelangelo, Raphael, and da Vinci were supported financially by “patrons” like the Medici family of Florence. This allowed the artists to concentrate on creating instead of raising money for things like food and paint. Like the Medici family, Patreon allows patrons to support projects like the Whetstone.
How Patreon Works.
Patreon is not Kickstarter or Gofundme. Patreon works by providing a way for supporters to give on a monthly or per project basis. The Whetstone will work on the monthly giving basis. You sign up for a monthly amount to support. It also allows you to help the Whetstone to achieve the goals we’ve set (you can see them on the page) and to reward you for your patronage. Patreon also gives you exclusive access to the Whetstone’s private Patreon stream.
Why Is It Needed?
Why does the Whetstone need Patreon and patrons? At this point in the growth of the Whetstone, we are limited by two factors. First is time. I’m working a full-time job with a family, so my time to create ways of self-funding the Whetstone is limited. Second is financial. For the Whetstone to grow it will take money. I intend to keep the blog posts, newsletter, and the planned podcast free. But, they are not free to create and maintain. Websites cost money. Web hosting costs money. Even having the addresswww.thewhetstone.co costs money on annual basis.
Here’s what you get from supporting the Whetstone. First is the continuation of the Whetstone as it is now. Free blog posts and newsletters that inform, entertain and hopefully challenge you. Second, you have a direct hand in the foundation of the Whetstone of tomorrow. You will directly have an effect on the men and families that the Whetstone will impact. Just over 1,300 people visited the Whetstone web page last year viewing 2,700 pages. That doesn’t even count the number reached on Facebook, Twitter, and email. Third, check out the rewards for the levels of support on the website.
So, stop what you’re doing right now. Click on the button below and sign up to support the Whetstone. From 50¢ to $500 we really appreciate your support and belief in the Whetstone.
FOMO. Instacurity. Digital Detox. Phubbing. Crackberry. Digital Zombie. All words that didn’t exist a few years ago but describe our current technology-saturated lifestyles. The internet and mobile technology are ingrained in our lives to such an extent that we get anxiety when we’re away from our phone for a few minutes. Focus. I believe that focus is now more valuable than time. What we focus on is more important than the time we have. WE NOW HAVE A SHORTER ATTENTION SPAN THAN A GOLDFISH……A FREAKING GOLDFISH! This month’s newsletter is focused on our focus on technology.
A quick thank you to Randy B., a faithful Whetstone reader, for prompting this topic when he shared this video on Millennials with me. If you’ve got something that the Whetstone community might be interested in, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In any case, one of the greatest daily challenges a Christian faces in the modern world is to think clearly about his or her use of any technology. Does it help you achieve good ends in your heavenly calling and service to Christ, or is it an avenue of distraction and temptation? Would Jesus look on and say, “Well done, good and faithful servant”?
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: We need to think out how we use the wonderful technology that’s available to us today. Do you use it to save time? What do you use that extra time for? Mindlessly scrolling your facebook feed or twitter feed? Or being present with your family or friends without the interruption of beeps and dings from your digital leash?
Technology isn’t going away—so we’re going to have to find ways to redeem it.
It’s not going away and it’s only going to become more and more ingrained into our lives. It’s in toasters for Pete’s sake! So, we need to help our kids figure out how to use it in ways that build them up rather than tears them down. Tim advises us to turn negatives into positives.
Try out silence in your life this week. Give aloneness a try. In our crazy busy, crazy connected, need-to-know-now! world, we need the sanity and sanctifying power of boredom every once in a while.
When was the last time you were bored and didn’t pull out your phone to “pass the time”? I don’t remember the last time I didn’t. Give it a try. Where does your mind go when you don’t force feed it from your phone?
I hate facebook. I’ve quit it several times. And, I wouldn’t be on there now if I didn’t feel the need for the Whetstone to have a presence there. So Cal’s message really resonates with me. Give it a thoughtful watch, as we all really need to question what value, if any, social media platforms have in our lives. My guess is that they cost us more than we think or want to admit.
In this podcast episode, Dr. David Greenfield discusses online addiction and teens. Dr. Greenfield is the leading expert in the field of internet addiction. The discussion ranges from dopamine, to porn, to signs of addiction.
If you can’t tell, this topic has really struck a nerve with me. During my research, I ran across a TON of material on how harmful mobile technology and social media can be. I probably listened to 3 hours of Ted Talks on the topic. One of the recurring themes I came across was the analogy of a slot machine. Mobile tech and social media are engineered to be addictive. Designers have literally taken notes from gambling to design addictiveness into apps and phones. Their goal is to keep you on their app or platform as much and as long as possible to make money off of you.
So, do you own your technology or does it own you? The reality may be hard to admit.