Posts tagged Facebook

Facebook Friday: To Gripe or Not to Gripe?

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There are two kinds of people in this world: those that like to gripe and those that do not. I fall into both camps at times, but I am making a concentrated effort to look for the good and focus on that. Recently, Facebook actually considered changing its name to Gripebook, but Zuckerberg thought it was a terrible idea. I think it might do well, but I’m not a business genius like he is.

Have you ever paid attention to the amount of griping that goes on in your Facebook feed? Statistics say that 46% of all Facebook posts are a gripe about something (Okay, that statistic isn’t real. You know what they say. 63% of statistics are made up on the spot. Yea, I made that statistic up as well. Usually the stats I give are accurate. I promise). But seriously, I don’t know the real statistics, but people like to gripe. Don’t they?

When I was in college, for my final in Counseling Theories, our professor told us we had to take the final at his house. Our class shows up, and he says we are going to watch a film on counseling that will drastically change how we work with clients. After he served us a good meal, we all settled in to watch this “master therapist” at work. The film we watched was Pollyanna. You know, the Disney film with Hayley Mills from 1960. Aside from all of the “techniques” he pointed out from the movie, there was a quote that has stuck with me ever since.

During the film Pollyanna says, “When you look for the bad in mankind expecting to find it, you surely will.” Isn’t that true? If you want to find the negative in any person, situation, or organization you will find it every single time. You don’t really even have to try all that hard.

Now am I saying we should be the eternal optimist that lives in denial about problems or negative situations? Most certainly not. I am saying that I think we can do better things with our time than sit around and grumble about things. We can take action and change things, we can look for the good, and we can encourage those around us. Any of these options will serve us, and those around us, much better than ranting about how bad things are.

Think about it. Everything is amazing and we gripe about so much. Sure, we all have our struggles, but most of us are extremely blessed. Could we just be happy? Could we be thankful? Could we focus on the positive? Could we uplift others? Could we live like Christians are suppose to live and be filled with joy?

Next time we are going to post on Facebook, let’s let our finger linger on the enter key and ask ourselves, “Am I just complaining, or am I being positive?” Let’s stop adding to the noise of negativity. Let’s let others know how truly blessed we are. I mean, aren’t Christians suppose to be the ones with all the joy?

Walk good. Live wise. Be blessed.
Josh

The Number 1 Post of 2011

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This was by far the most viewed and shared blog of the year. It is from the Facebook Friday series and is entitled “Sweeter Waters?”. I think this blog resonated with so many people because we are aware that we must fiercely guard what is valuable to us. I hope we watch over our own hearts with all diligence and help guard the hearts of the one we love.

There is a word that I am increasingly hearing when I do marriage counseling: Facebook. Currently, the best statistic I can find reports that Facebook is involved in approximately 20% of divorces. What? Yes, you heard me right. Facebook is involved in about 20% of divorces. Facebook is a direct portal for infidelity. Don’t get me wrong. I really enjoy Facebook. My wife and I both have accounts. It is great to stay in touch with old friends and be involved in other people’s lives, but every good thing can be used for destruction.

Currently, about 1 in 5 men and 1 in 6 women will have an affair at some point during their lifetime. Many of these will be done through social networking sites, especially Facebook, due to it’s massive amount of members.

There are some relationships that will fall victim to infidelity regardless, but Facebook has definitely opened the door wider and made the path more convenient for people to cheat on their spouse. Why is this? Facebook has made it much easier to keep in touch with “old flings”. Chances are good that relationships from your past are a member of the social networking giant. Communicating with others via Facebook can be done discretely. It is easy to justify relationships on Facebook, and things can start innocently enough. After all, what is the harm of looking at someone’s pictures, chatting, or catching up? A lot actually. If your spouse is in the dark, it is a problem. Casual talking and flirting have high potential to lead to seeing the other person and/or a physical relationship. It is also important to remember that research shows that emotional affairs are just as damaging as physical ones.

So for those of us that are married, how can we protect our relationships? I think we first need to remember that none of us are above temptation. We may be tempted to think other waters are sweeter, but they always turn out sour. When a marriage is struggling, it is easy to think that finding someone else will end the problems. However, the problems simply follow a person to the next relationship where they are met with compounded problems. It is also easy to idealize past relationships, because we have a tendency to remember the good and forget the bad.

When it comes to my marriage, my wife and I have no secrets. We have each others passwords to every online account. We keep all things out in the open. We also set boundaries. Neither of us message members of the opposite sex unless the other is aware. We keep an open line of communication about our relationship. We talk about things that are uncomfortable instead of stuffing them down. We check in to make sure the other person’s needs are being met. We are not naive enough to think our marriage is above temptation, so we are proactive. We try and be vocal about how much we care about one another openly. We also make sure to keep God in the center of our relationship.

No marriage is perfect. Just like anything else in life, marriage is hard work and can be exhausting at times. You definitely get out what you put in. If we allow our relationships to drift and start to neglect our spouse, it is important to remember that there is always another person out there who will be more than happy to provide our spouse with attention.

“I have known many happy marriages, but never a compatible one. The whole aim of marriage is to fight through and survive the instant when incompatibility becomes unquestionable.” – G.K. Chesterton

Walk good. Live wise. Be blessed.
Josh

Best of 2011 – Number 3

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Today, we have reached number three in the countdown of the most popular posts in 2011. This post was first posted in October and began the Facebook Friday series. It is entitled “Addicted to Love.” Sorry for the picture, but sometimes you have to be shocked into hearing something.

Well, it is our very first “Facebook Friday.” This picture was inspired by all the tweens (and the not so tweens) who find it necessary to confess their undying love to the world for the person they met three days ago.

“Might as well face it, you’re addicted to love.” That seems to be the mantra our society chants. I mean, after all, “All you need is love” (bum bum bumpadum). Is the love that we are addicted to really love? We use the word for everything from, “I love to eat bearclaws from the donuts palace” (these are the nectar of the gods) to “I love my friends, to “I want to hop in the sack with you” (and I am not talking about a two person sack race). Love has become one word with a multiplicity of meanings.

The ancient Greeks (with all their brilliant philosophizing philosophers) were smart enough to know one word for love would not do, so they broke it down into four separate kinds of love: affection, friendship, romance, and unconditional love. Each of these types of love have their place to be used individually, but for a love relationship (I want to date you, marry you, spend my life with you love) all four must be present.

Think of love like a chair. Obviously chairs have four legs (I see where he is going with this). If one leg is missing you have a wobbly chair. If two legs are missing the chair does not stand. What we see in society are people trying to have relationships that won’t support themselves. They are trying to sit in a chair with one or maybe two legs. That just won’t work.

Mainly, we focus on the romantic form of love or more specifically the “I want to sleep with you” form of love. Then we wonder why the chair is broken and we get hurt. Can I be the voice of reason? We are trying to sit in a chair with one leg. That never works.

For lasting dating (remember, you marry who you date) or marital relationships, all four types of love must be present. All four legs must be there or it will be dysfunctional. Romance and affection are nice, but it eventually hits a cold season. If the unconditional love or commitment isn’t there you will find yourself jumping from one relationship to another whenever it gets difficult. If the relationship is all friendship, it gets dull without the romance or passion. If all that is there is the commitment, you will find that you have a nice (probably expensive) roommate.

Are you married? Work on cultivating all four types of love. Are you dating? Well stop trying to sit in chairs with one or two legs. I promise, it won’t work. Get four on the floor. That is how relationships are meant to be.

Might as well face it…we’re addicted to love. Let’s make sure it’s the right kind of love.

Walk good. Live wise. Be blessed.

Best of 2011 – Number 5

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Since it is the last week of the year, we are counting down the most viewed blog posts of 2011, beginning with the fifth most popular post.This was part of the Facebook Friday series entitled “Have Your Private Parts Become Your Public Parts.”

How recognizable is this picture? The “ever so casual, hold my camera from above, and lean over a bit, exposing my cleavage, but not focusing exclusively on said cleavage, so people will find me attractive, but not overly trashy” shot. If I had a dollar for every time I saw a picture like this on Facebook I could afford to have my own Island built somewhere in the South Pacific and stocked with a never ending supply of pastries (bear claw anyone?) and Diet Coke.

We get it. You have breasticas. Just like the other 3.5 billion women in the world. Just because you have them does not mean everyone wants to see them. I wish we could all understand the chasm that divides love and lust is vast. Ladies, you do not have to show skin to get attention. Guys, our lustful lust is crippling our ability to truly love and have a true connectedness with women. I work with so many men all the time having to untangle problems in their relationships because they never figured out how to love. They only learned how to lust. Lust promises something big and under-delivers in a colossal way.

I wish I could say it is only adolescents (with their crazy out of control hormones) that post pictures that devalue themselves. I wish it was only the teenage guys that have a lust problem. Truth is, this post applies to people of all ages. But surely Christians don’t struggle in this area? I wish that were the case. Brothers and sisters, lets get this whole love/lust thing figured out because it is killing our capacity to truly loved and be loved.

Speaking as a guy and a counselor, I know so many men that desperately struggle to keep their hearts pure. I can’t count the guys I have talked to who deleted their Facebook account because women (yes even Christian women) were posting pictures of themselves that made it easier to lust. Sure, when a man lusts it is his choice and his problem. I get that. But please don’t make it easier. My wife knows not to bring cheesecake home if I am trying to watch what I eat. It is my choice if I eat it, but that would be setting me up for failure.

Guys, what if we gave women the respect they deserve? What if we related to them as sisters. What if we worked to keep our eyes straight, our minds clear, and our hearts pure. What if we served women instead of serving ourselves?

I realize women lust too (as a matter of fact 17% of women struggle with a pornography addiction) but again, I am speaking as a guy. So ladies, please keep your private parts just that, private. Guys, don’t let your eyes linger. Maybe if we fixed this love/lust problem our lives would be different. Our relationships stronger. Our walk with God closer. Our ability to truly love intact.

Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. – Ephesians 5:3

Walk Good. Live Wise. Be Blessed.
Josh

Disclaimer: I felt dirty posting this picture.

Sweeter Waters?

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There is a word that I am increasingly hearing when I do marriage counseling: Facebook. Currently, the best statistic I can find reports that Facebook is involved in approximately 20% of divorces. What? Yes, you heard me right. Facebook is involved in about 20% of divorces. Facebook is a direct portal for infidelity. Don’t get me wrong. I really enjoy Facebook. My wife and I both have accounts. It is great to stay in touch with old friends and be involved in other people’s lives, but every good thing can be used for destruction.

Currently, about 1 in 5 men and 1 in 6 women will have an affair at some point during their lifetime. Many of these will be done through social networking sites, especially Facebook, due to it’s massive amount of members.

There are some relationships that will fall victim to infidelity regardless, but Facebook has definitely opened the door wider and made the path more convenient for people to cheat on their spouse. Why is this? Facebook has made it much easier to keep in touch with “old flings”. Chances are good that relationships from your past are a member of the social networking giant. Communicating with others via Facebook can be done discretely.  It is easy to justify relationships on Facebook, and things can start innocently enough. After all, what is the harm of looking at someone’s pictures, chatting, or catching up? A lot actually. If your spouse is in the dark, it is a problem. Casual talking and flirting have high potential to lead to seeing the other person and/or a physical relationship. It is also important to remember that research shows that emotional affairs are just as damaging as physical ones.

So for those of us that are married, how can we protect our relationships? I think we first need to remember that none of us are above temptation. We may be tempted to think other waters are sweeter, but they always turn out sour. When a marriage is struggling, it is easy to think that finding someone else will end the problems. However, the problems simply follow a person to the next relationship where they are met with compounded problems. It is also easy to idealize past relationships, because we have a tendency to remember the good and forget the bad.

When it comes to my marriage, my wife and I have no secrets. We have each others passwords to every online account. We keep all things out in the open. We also set boundaries. Neither of us message members of the opposite sex unless the other is aware. We keep an open line of communication about our relationship. We talk about things that are uncomfortable instead of stuffing them down. We check in to make sure the other person’s needs are being met. We are not naive enough to think our marriage is above temptation, so we are proactive. We try and be vocal about how much we care about one another openly. We also make sure to keep God in the center of our relationship.

No marriage is perfect. Just like anything else in life, marriage is hard work and can be exhausting at times. You definitely get out what you put in. If we allow our relationships to drift and start to neglect our spouse, it is important to remember that there is always another person out there who will be more than happy to provide our spouse with attention.

“I have known many happy marriages, but never a compatible one. The whole aim of marriage is to fight through and survive the instant when incompatibility becomes unquestionable.” – G.K. Chesterton

Walk good. Live wise. Be blessed.
Josh

Facebook Friday: Dirty Cup? Clean It Up!

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Is there any mission field bigger than Facebook? There are so many unchurched people floating around out there in Facebook Land. It has become a pretty standard thing for us Christians to give regular shout outs to J-E-S-U-S on Facebook. Can I get a hallelujah (did you say it out loud)?

There are some people that make Facebook entirely about Jesus. Their wall is basically a stream of daily encouragement, praise, and Bible verses. Daily manna, so to speak, for your feed.

There are some that try and make every status update into something spiritual. “I just woke up! Praise the Lord for letting me breathe another day. Thank ya, thank ya, Jesus.” “Getting in the car to head to work, but not before I have a talk with the Lord.” “Headed to lunch. Nothing beats a sandwich and some prayer.” “Spending time with my friends tonight. Really hoping we talk about people’s salvation and stuff.” “Home at last, home at last, thank the Lord Almighty, I am home at last. Goodnight Facebook friends. Don’t forget to say your prayers.”

Then there are the Jesus Facebook police. They strive to make you feel bad if you vent, have a bad attitude, or say that you are watching a PG movie. They are sure to make you ask yourself, “WWJP?” (What would Jesus post?).

We also have the prayer request gossipers. They post status updates like, “Please pray for Ray. He is living in sin.” Please lift up Irene, she is sick because she hasn’t been living for Jesus.” “I am worried about Tommy, he had a cussin fit at my house last night. Please keep him in your prayers.”

Sometimes we also have the clever Christians status updates. “If you love Jesus, like this status.” “You have a friend request from Jesus. Will you accept it?” “God says, get off of Facebook and get into My book.”

Maybe you think I am being hard on us. I include myself because I talk about Jesus/God/Christianity/Church on Facebook rather often. Is there anything wrong with having God status updates? Absolutely not. I had never thought much about it until a few of weeks ago. I typed in my God exhorting status update and right before I hit “share” I stopped. I asked myself, “Why am I sharing this on Facebook? Is it because I want to seem spiritual to others or because I want others to be encouraged? Am I posting about Jesus so others can see me or because I want to praise the Lord?” My fingers went to the backspace key. I was updating my status to make me look like a “good Christian”.

Remember the Pharisees? Jesus was always having words with them. There was this one time when Jesus called them out. Let me share with you some of what He said to them in Matthew 23:25-26. “You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence! First clean the inside of the cup, so the outside of it may also become clean.”

The day I was going to post a status about Jesus, I realized I was fixing to do a dirty cup post. That is, I was trying to look good on the outside. I was sharing for my own glory. It is so easy to make ourselves look good on Facebook. It is really easy to build a clean outer cup image to all of our friends while the inside of our cup is kind of crusty.

Let’s keep giving God praise. Please continue to allow Jesus to spill over into every area of your life. Feel free to encourage others with what God puts on your heart through Facebook, but please, no dirty cup posting. Every time we type a status update let’s make sure we are doing it for the right reason. Let’s make sure the inner cup is just as shiny as the outer cup.

Walk good. Live wise. Be blessed.
Josh

Facebook Friday: Don’tcha Wish You Were Hot Like Me, Don’tcha?

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I can’t help it. I. Am. Awesome. Sometimes, it is hard to be so much better than everyone else. Ripley’s called wanting to do a special on me, but I don’t waste my time with frivolous stuff like that. I can’t say as I blame them though. I am young. Attractive. Have good taste. I have many leather bound books. Could pretty much have my pick of any girl. This would be the anthem of a narcissist.

What is a narcissist you ask? A person who is vain, self-absorbed, and selfish.

You might be a narcissist if you can answer yes to five or more of the following:

  • Feel that you are extremely important. Exaggerating your achievements and feeling    you deserve recognition.
  • Fantasize about unlimited success, power, brilliance or beauty.
  • Believe that you are “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people.
  • Need to be praised all the time.
  • Have a sense of entitlement.
  • Take advantage of others for your own desires.
  • Lack the ability to put yourself in other people’s shoes.
  • Find yourself envious of other people or believe they are envious of you.
  • Have an arrogant attitude.

Now, some people seriously struggle with this. They have a clinical problem. Yet, if we are honest, can’t we see ourselves in there somewhere? Don’t we think a little more of ourselves than we should? Aren’t we all at the center of our universe at times?

Think about what we see on our favorite social networking sites. Check out my new _______ (house, car, girl, television, shirt, apple gadget, and anything else imaginable). We all do this. We want people to know how cool we are. We want to get applauded. We want our kudos. Doesn’t it get a little out of hand sometimes? Do we really need everyone on our “friends list” to give us constant affirmation? Sometimes, do we possibly come across as a little bit narcissistic, whether we mean to or not?

Maybe, at times we think more of ourselves than we should. Think about status updates. Do people really care if we just drank a cup of coffee? Is the public dying to know that we just went to the bathroom? Are people checking our page every ten minutes in anticipation of what we will do next?

I think sometimes we get a little bit hyper focused on ourselves and how we are coming off to our imaginary audience out there in facebook land. We really aren’t as hot as we think we are. How would life look different if we spent a little less time focusing on ourselves? Dare I suggest we could probably find a better use of our time than being so concerned about what others think about us?

Galatians 1:10 states, “For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.”

I find it difficult to focus on pleasing Christ when all of my energy is spent trying to please others or make them think how cool I am.

Walk good. Live wise. Be blessed.
Josh

Facebook Friday – Have Your Private Parts Become Public Parts?

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How recognizable is this picture? The “ever so casual, hold my camera from above, and lean over a bit,  exposing my cleavage, but not focusing exclusively on said cleavage, so people will find me attractive, but not overly trashy” shot. If I had a dollar for every time I saw a picture like this on Facebook I could afford to have my own Island built somewhere in the South Pacific and stocked with a never ending supply of pastries (bear claw anyone?) and Diet Coke.

We get it. You have breasticas. Just like the other 3.5 billion women in the world. Just because you have them does not mean everyone wants to see them. I wish we could all understand the chasm that divides love and lust is vast. Ladies, you do not have to show skin to get attention. Guys, our lustful lust is crippling our ability to truly love and have a true connectedness with women. I work with so many men all the time having to untangle problems in their relationships because they never figured out how to love. They only learned how to lust. Lust promises something big and under-delivers in a colossal way.

I wish I could say it is only adolescents (with their crazy out of control hormones) that post pictures that devalue themselves. I wish it was only the teenage guys that have a lust problem. Truth is, this post applies to people of all ages. But surely Christians don’t struggle in this area? I wish that were the case. Brothers and sisters, lets get this whole love/lust thing figured out because it is killing our capacity to truly loved and be loved.

Speaking as a guy and a counselor, I know so many men that desperately struggle to keep their hearts pure. I can’t count the guys I have talked to who deleted their Facebook account because women (yes even Christian women) were posting pictures of themselves that made it easier to lust. Sure, when a man lusts it is his choice and his problem. I get that. But please don’t make it easier. My wife knows not to bring cheesecake home if I am trying to watch what I eat. It is my choice if I eat it, but that would be setting me up for failure.

Guys, what if we gave women the respect they deserve? What if we related to them as sisters. What if we worked to keep our eyes straight, our minds clear, and our hearts pure. What if we served women instead of serving ourselves?

I realize women lust too (as a matter of fact 17% of women struggle with a pornography addiction) but again, I am speaking as a guy. So ladies, please keep your private parts just that, private. Guys, don’t let your eyes linger. Maybe if we fixed this love/lust problem our lives would be different. Our relationships stronger. Our walk with God closer. Our ability to truly love intact.

Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. – Ephesians 5:3

Walk Good. Live Wise. Be Blessed.
Josh

Disclaimer: I felt dirty posting this picture.

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