canWe live in a fast-paced age marked by technological advances that have changed the way we live. Thanks to Samsung, people think of the Galaxy more in terms of a cell phone than they do the planets and stars.

As a child, I can remember being taught that an apple a day keeps the doctor away.  Today, however, many people think they can’t live without an apple, as in iPad, iPod, and iPhone.

While it’s true, that in some cases, technology has made life much easier, it has also made it more complex and less simple. With this in mind, let me share the simple truth of my iCan approach to life.

The basis of my iCan methodology is found in Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  I believe I can:

  • Find the strength I need in times of trouble—Psalm 37:39: the salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; He is their strength in time of trouble.
  • Find the confidence I need to face the challenges of life—2 Timothy:1:7: For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
  • Find the light to lead me out of the darkness—Psalm 27:1: The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
  • Find the strength to persevere—James 1:2-4: Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
  • Find the grace I need for today—2 Corinthians 12:9: My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness

I encourage you to take an iCan approach to your life, and remember that, God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work (2 Corinthians 9:8).

A Selfie Sentence: 3 Years in Jail


woodySelfie on a Stick is a company that sells a stick-like Bluetooth device that allows a person to take a self-portrait.  Sales figures from is company have shown a 3,000% growth in sales in November alone, and Nordstrom stocked their shelves with the Selfie on a Stick three times and completely sold out.

Invasion by  selfie stick has been such a problem in South Korea that the government has criminalized the unlicensed sale of selfie sticks, and anyone caught selling one faces a 3 years in prison.Selfie-Stick-Mann-Selfie-Fun-S7

The selfie stick is a sign of the times; it’s a time of self-presumption, self-consumption, and self-gratification that knows very little about denying self, taking up the cross, and following Jesus.

What’s the theme of your life?   Do the words of Frank Sinatra’s My Way describe you?

And now, the end is near

And so I face the final curtain

My friend, I’ll say it clear

I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain


I’ve lived a life that’s full

I’ve traveled each and every highway

But more, much more than this

I did it my way

Your life motto should not be  “my way” but “Thy way.”  Instead of living a life that is posed for a selfie stick and an Apple iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy, your life should be lived for the glory of God and framed in the image of Christ.

To get a good picture, a photographer will tell you to think in terms of contrasts, light, lenses, and shutter speed.  To get a clear picture of who you are relation to Christ, ask you’re a couple of questions:

  • Am I conformed to the image of Jesus (Romans 8:29)?
  • Am I focusing on the old self or the new self, and am I being renewed in the image of my Creator (Colossians 3:9-10)?
  • Are my eyes focused and fixed on Jesus or am I distracted by nonessentials (Hebrews 12:1-2)?

The next time you reach for your smartphone or a camera to take a picture, ask yourself another question:  Am I listening to God and living a life that’s a mirror-image of His principles?

I’ll close with these words from James: “Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like!” ~James 1:22-24 The Message

Siri: Where Am I?

pigeon-statue-11If you were a statue, you would think of a pigeon about like the kennel boy does a dog.  Not me—I raised pigeons when I was just a kid, and the unique ability of these birds to find their way home has always amazed me.

Evidently Cornell and the University of Pittsburgh share my appreciation for this innate ability of pigeons.  The research from both universities has concluded that pigeons use multiple facilities to help them determine the correct sense of direction.  While the sun is their primary orientation, they also use the earth’s magnetic field as a guide to get them safely home.

After an all-to-common and failed attempt to get directions from Siri (iPhone), I’ve decided I might have better luck finding my way home if I could somehow tether my truck to a pigeon.  Even though I speak clearly, Siri only understands about 10% of what I say when I ask for directions.

As I thought about the proficiency of the pigeons and the sad service of Siri, I was reminded of the words of Jesus:  My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me.

Whenever we are lost or feel alone, we can listen for the Shepherd’s voice and have the comfort of knowing we are never lost when we are with Him.

The Iconic Brain or Do Smartphones Make You Smarter?


In the world of information technology the term icon is about as outdated as a dial phone.  In the not so distant past, the images on the screen of your computer were called “ICONS.”  From a religious perceptive, the word means “a window to heaven.”  From the viewpoint of technology “ICON” was used in reference to a window to an application.

The ICON has been buried in the bone yard of outdated computer technology and replaced by the APP.  The birth of the APP has walked in step with the proliferation of smartphones.

A story in US News & World Report has examined a study on the correlation between finger and thumb dexterity and the development of the sensory processing component of your brain while using a smartphone.  Each part of your body, from the top of your head to the tip of your toes, “has a corresponding ‘processing area’ in the emotional center of the brain, a region known as the somatosensory cortex.”

This function of the brain is often referred to as “sensory processing,” and it is the ability of the brain to interpret the information it has received, so it can prioritize and emphasize the components of the data; decide how to understand what is going on; and, decide what you will do based on the information received and processed.

Researchers used an EEG to study the brain activity of 37 people while they were using their cell phones:

  • 26 were using touch-screen smartphones
  • 11 were sing traditional cellphones with keypads

The study was able to distinguish between the length of time the subject had owned a smartphone and the frequency with it had been used.  The change in the brain was associated more with how frequently the smartphone was used over a 10 day period than just owning the phone and using it periodically.

Here’s a thought or two to keep you thinking:

  • How can these findings be applied to your life?
  • Is it more important to pray for a long time every now and then or to have short frequent prayers every day?
  • How does your prayer life mold and reshape the sensory processing region of your brain?

Perhaps this is one of the reasons Paul instructed the Christian to “pray without ceasing.”


Can You Spare 8 Seconds?

fishbowl_goldfishHow focused is your focus? This might seem like a strange question, but it’s one that calls attention to a survey that considers a person’s attention span. Studies have found that the attention span of individuals has decreased from 12 seconds in 2000 to a mere 8 seconds in 2013.

Are you still focused? It has probably take you 8 to 10 seconds to read what I’ve written so far, so I want to make sure I have your attention before I hit you with this next finding: The attention span of a goldfish is 9 seconds. That’s right, a goldfish has a longer attention span than most people.

There seems to be a correlation between the proliferation of external stimuli and the deterioration of an individual’s attention span. Cell phones, iPads, iPhones, big screen TVs and video games play a large in role in small spans of attention.

To make sure the Ephesians were giving appropriate consideration to his admonition, Paul encouraged them to: “Pay careful attention to how you walk—not as unwise people but as wise— making the most of the time, because the days are evil. So don’t be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is (5:15-17).”

Can you stay focused for another 8 seconds and “pay careful attention” to 8 characteristics of a worthy walk (Romans 12:9-16)?
• Love without hypocrisy
• Abhor evil
• Cling to good
• Be kind
• Be fervent in spirit
• Rejoice in hope
• Be steadfast in prayer
• Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.

If you live your life within the confines of a fishbowl, 9 seconds might be a healthy attention span. I suggest, however, that each of the 8 items above is worthy of more than just a goldfish’s concentration of 8 seconds. How about 10 seconds? Can you focus on each of them for 10 seconds a piece and consider their role in living the life defined as a “worthy walk?”

Give it a try—you’re better than a goldfish!

Essential Communication

scrabbleI would imagine that most everyone who reads this blog has a cell phone. Not so long ago, the cell phone was thought of as a convenience, but it’s now considered to be an essential device for daily communication.

In a sense, the same can be said for prayer. Some people think of it as a convenience, while others recognize its true importance. It is the essential means through which we communicate with God.

The importance of prayer is seen in the words of Philip Yancey: “If prayer stands as the place where God and human beings meet, then I must learn about prayer. Most of my struggles in the Christian life circle around the same two themes: why God doesn’t act the way we want God to, and why I don’t act the way God wants me to. Prayer is the precise point where those themes converge.”

Several years ago I began to use the word PRAY as an acronym to guide my quiet moments with God:

Praise: Sing praises to God, sing praises; Sing praises to our King, sing praises. For God is King of all the earth (Psalm 47:5-7)

Repent: Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way (Psalm 139:23-24).

Ask: Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).

Yield: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6).

As Yancey said, “If prayer stands as the place where God and human beings meet then I must learn about prayer.” I hope this PRAY acronym will help you learn more about prayer, and help you spend more time using this essential means of communication.

Where Am I?

A couple of weeks ago I damaged my cell phone and had to replace it.  I liked the iPhone I had, so I replaced it with a new iPhone with newer features.

One of the features I like is called Siri.  I simply push a button and ask a question:  “Where am I?”  Siri will speak to me; answer my question; and, give me my location. 

GPS technology makes it much easier to find your location and to locate what you are trying to find.  I have been a fan of the Global Positioning Satellite technology since it hit the market place.

When I think of GPS technology, I also think about God and the marvellous way that He knows exactly where we are and what we need. Where can I go from your Spirit?  Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me,  your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.  For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.  How precious to me are your thoughts, God!  How vast is the sum of them (Psalm 139)!

I hope this is a thought that will keep you thinking.