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INSS 300 Social Media Affects Mental Health

We live in an age where we are becoming more and more increasingly connected to one another in terms of technology. Though on the surface there are many benefits of being connect to one another, though as this new age continues to develops, we are seeing the not so glamorous side effects of these advancements. Researchers have done studies and have discovered the following consequences of social media.

-We compare our lives with those around us. This can be a dangerous place to be in ones life because if we feel as though we don’t measure up to someone else, we begin to devalue ourselves.

-Social media is highly linked to cyber bullying. Young adolescents are the primary group in which we see cyber bullying at its highest, though not limited to adults. The important aspect of this is that it is during the adolescent stage of important developmental changes are underway and thus shape the outcome for many young people.

-Utilizing social medial also leads to multitasking, though multitasking may seem like a strength, though it greatly inhibits one’s ability to focus and do projects and tasks well.

-Over using social media tends to lead to isolation in may ways. I have seen this in my own life, were I would be hanging out with a group of friends and everyone is on  their phones, which in many ways discounts spending real face to face time with each other.

These are just a few of the effects that I have seen in my own life and have researched for myself as to how social medial has changed our society in many ways and has affected our mental health.

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Aside

Over the past several months I have had the utmost pleasure of teaching our youth ministry on Saturday nights  at church, and I say what an honor it is to be a part of speaking into the bright young minds of tomorrow.  There are several things in particular that I would like to mention that these awesome kids teach me, which I hope they learn from me as much as i learn from them.

It is the lessons that I have learned in the classroom that I believe you should take into your personal classroom.  Whether that is work, school, family, friends or simply wherever you have the ability to speak wisdom into someone’s life.

Something that everyone can agree upon is that we all strive to noticed.  I do it, you do it, we all do it.  Whether its to be noticed by our peers, family, or God , we all want to someone to acknowledge that we matter.  You matter.  Those two words possess such great power and are life changing.  Think of the last time you heard those words.

You matter.

Your essential.

I couldn’t have done it without you.

I have seen the difference in my students when I use words such as these and it breaks me down to see that we, myself included, omit these words from our conversations and priorities.  We can become so focused on life that we neglect the things that are truly important.

This is how the story of Mary and Martha played out, Martha was so worried about the presentation of “things” for the arrival of Jesus to her home, but it was Mary who understood the true significance of why she was there.  It was she who saw the significance of simply putting the busyness of life aside and wanted to be taught what was truly important by who was most important.

Another very important thing that I have learned in is that people don’t have signs around their necks that say “Do you notice me?” “Do you value me?”. Kinda obvious I know!  I do know that we all ask this from time to time, but most importantly most people, even strangers, are saying “Let me know how to help you because I’m dying to.”  “I want to give you what I have, but I’m  just dying for you to ask me.” I cannot tell you how many times I find myself screaming this on the inside as I see someone who I’d do almost anything for go though a rough spot or need help.  Now i am so grateful to God for having this insight because it really showed me that this is important for all of us on a people to people relational level, but also just as important on the us and God level.

God is saying those exact words, for in Matthew 7:7 we are told to ask, seek, and knock.  Imagine the amazing things that would happen if we did. If we took God and those around us at their word.

I know that many of these things are difficult to do.  Growing up I was the kid that sat in the back and didn’t really contribute much, even when I had  the solution to the problem at hand.  I’m grateful that over time God has put a desire in my heart to want to teach, despite how stressful it can be at times.  One thing we all want is the ability to connect.  Connection is the reason why we are here.  But I have learned myself over the years that to connect with others we must become vulnerable.  To be vulnerable means we have to be seen. That is why I sat in the back of the classroom growing up.  I worried about being seen, or rather being vulnerable. I have now learned that the main thing that will keep us form connecting with other people is the fear that we are not worthy of connection.

God wants us to live our lives whole heartily.  Jesus tells us in Deuteronomy 6:5 “Love your God with your whole heart: love him with all that is in you, love him with all you’ve got!” After watching people who live “whole heartily” I have discovered several keynote attributes of them.

Whole hearted people…

Have the courage to be imperfect.

Have the compassion to be kind to themselves first as well as to others.

A willing to let go of who they thought they should be in order to be who they really were.

They fully embraced their vulnerability.

The last one is most vital in my option because what makes you vulnerable, is what makes you beautiful.  This feeling isn’t comfortable, but it isn’t horrible and frightful, its simply necessary.  For me vulnerability is when one does something where there are no guarantees, or a real example, the willingness to say “I love you” first.  Whatever the example is we all can relate to this instance.

Vulnerability is one of the greatest gifts and a true blessing from God.  It is where our joy, creativity, love, compassion all come from, however it is also the same place where shame, fear, struggle for worthiness also come from if we succumb to lies we tell ourselves.  We all know what they sound like.  Your not blank enough. Your not this enough. To be honest I’ve fallen prey to that sort of negative thinking. The most effective way to remedy this is to simply let ourselves be seen in a vulnerable way.  To love with our whole hearts, even when there is no guarantee.  I can tell you from experience of traveling, and moving about to the opposite side of the country that it is tremendously difficult, but totally worth it.  When those feelings of questioning do come and worry begins to seep into my mind, instead of regretting my circumstance, I thank God because to feel scared about something that is important simply means that I am alive and not numb to life around me.

I learned recently that educate come from the root word “educe” which according to the English Oxford Dictionary means to “bring out from within”, “bring out potential.”  and it is understanding the great responsibility of that privilege   We are told in James 3:1 “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.”, and I finally know and understand why.

As teachers we have the ability to speak life or death into the lives God has entrusted us with.  We have the ability to inspire and encourage a spirit, but we also have the ability to crush a spirit as well.  The definition of a crushed spirit is one that doesn’t have hope, doesn’t see beauty, or no longer has the ability of the natural child-like curiosity and unable to imagine.  If we as teachers and as people are speaking life into others by giving hope, helping others to see beauty in themselves and others and to be curious and innovative than we are using great power in an honoring way.  If a person has those qualities then  bad circumstances no longer shape who they are and who they will become.  There are countless example of this happening.

As mentioned above, we all have certain needs in our lives ranging from connection, love significance, and trust.  I’m not saying I have this all sorted, I don’t even want to pretend for a moment that I have this all sorted.  I have screwed up, but  I’m sharing these things as areas that I need to grow in.  This is my current map that God has given me, though I am not sure of the destination of where it will take me.  I can be certain though that this map will lead me somewhere good.  I invite all people to join me on this journey of sharing these significant truths with others.  Thank you for taking your time to read this.

Musings of a Learning Teacher

 
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Posted by on October 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Confession to Redemption

Lately I’ve been feeling the burden and stress of everyday life, from school to the future and the things in between.  One thing though that I made it all the worse was that my focus on God was slightly off.  Similarly to focusing microscope, God was in my field of view, I just had him out of the fine focus.  It was during my time figuring things out that I wrote this poem to simply navigate and make sense of life itself,  and it is my prayer that this may also help those who may read it.

I confess that sometimes my awe is not on you as much as it should be and is on the trials, temptations and tribulations at hand.  That my focus isn’t where it should be.

And I know better.

That I shouldn’t be in this no-man’s-land, but running full sprint towards your promised land.

I feel how the disciples must have felt when they were on the pitching and yawing sea that night with their awe on the storm and not on what it should be.

And you stood up with the authority of a king; with your hands raised like a conductor of a symphony quieting the storm and declaring just how small their faith was even after being with you continually.

The truth is, you weren’t just talking to the disciples that night.  I was in that boat to, and I see just how right you are.

I’m sorry for the worries and fears that I have.  As I tightrope across this death defying circus act called “Life” fit with trapeze and high stake plight,

I sometimes cant help but wonder if you know what form my fear gives to the dark once I blow the candle out at night.

But You said once “Those who dwell in Your shelter will rest in your shadow.”

That must be why I cant hear you!

Its simple manners that you don’t shout at those you’re talking to.

You only raise your voice to get the attention of those who are out of view.

It is me that needs to listen to Psalm 91.

That way, I can strive more and more to act like your son.

You said not to worry about the world around us, for we cant even add a single day to our life if we do.   But I confess to you that it is hard sometimes.

I admit I don’t have it all together, but we both know it is not I that holds me together….but you.

You are the light of the world and in you no single fiber of darkness can be found.

This light is truth and the darkness is lies.

I wish I could say that there is a full saturation of white in this frame that is my life, but we both know there is a bit of contrast and that’s why me and myself are at strife.

God, You know the darks and you know the brights.

Just as you knew how to guide the Israelites that spent their time following light.

You will guide us lovingly and always be truly forthright.

You say that we are a city on a hill which is a to say a beacon for the world to see.

Follow the light you say, follow the light, but this is hard at times God, and I ask for the constant courage and an unwavering heart to follow your decrees.

God this isn’t to punch some ticket or receive an award, but simply my desire to show others the life you can restore and the one true thing to reach toward.

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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A Love Poem

Lately I’ve been asking myself “What characteristics do I have that would show up in an inanimate object?” Then I expanded that thought and was wondering if the object that I have seen around my house or outside could be sentient, what would their relationships with other objects be like?  So this is a poem about an anchor writing a love letter to a hang glider, and is called Anchor to the Hang Glider.  I also love metaphors!!!!

Hanging in there has always been easy for you.

Always going one way or the other.

Where ever the wind takes you, that is your destination.

Your lifestyle is way over my head and they say that when it comes to conversations, you have the depth of a piece of cloth.

Others say that your just “streaming on the airwaves”, but I know it to be otherwise to.

For there is a method to your madness

I think to myself “What a luxury that must be!”

But unfortunately I always felt the weight of my self bearing down on me.

My friends tell me that its just “water weight” but I know it to be highly unlikely.

As lonely as this ocean is that surrounds me, I find comfort when I see you sail above in the midday sun

Knowing that you see me.

You are always moving towards the heavens, regardless of the air beneath your wings.

I have seen you in the doldrums and seen you out there in the hurricanes going full swing.

I witness the rips and tears that have tried to ground you, but they are stitched and mended from a man far wiser.

Now, I know we live in different worlds, but if loving you means giving up mine

Than I would have no problem in trading this scenery for a skyline.

But I can see your true goal is not found in the sky, but beyond.

Where as mine, for now, is found in this eternal pond.

As much as I want to be in the airwaves, ill settle for these waves for now.

Because being with you, would only weigh you down.

Weights and kites are like oil and water.

They just don’t mix.

That is why I must say good bye.

But I know that God has been the air under your wings helping you fly.

And I know one day you will meet Him past this blue sky.

For this gives me hope down here.

Knowing that He is up there seeing things through a bird’s eye,

This means He is also with me in this ocean nearby.

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Aside

Many times we are faced with impossibilites, whether its job, school, work, and life itself.  It seems to be a constant reacourring theme throughout the bible.  God askes his people to do impossible things, and based on the particular person’s faith in God, their reactions differ.  I get great encouragement from individuals such as David, Gideon, and Abraham, and of course Jesus.  However, one individual that has stood out to me as of late is Abraham’s wife, Sarah.  When God asked Sarah to do something impossible, she laughed because she didn’t know what to do with “impossible”, and frankly neither do I when faced with certain challenges.  That being said, I seek and anticipate the times in which I am faced with things that are seemingly impossible, simply for my faith in God to be grown.

This similarly as to how Elisha had asked Elija for a double portion of God’s spirit that was within him and the only way to acquire it was to see God take Elijia.  No doubt Elisha was faced with a difficult and seemingly impossible task to take up his predecessors gauntlet once he was gone, but more and more as I look at this event I see how Elijia was asking him ” What do you see when faced with difficulties?”  We are all faced with an opportunity to see God when trials come our way or we can choose not to see him.  Truth is God is there.  He has already proven he’s been there.

Deuteronomy 30:8 tells us this Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD will personally go ahead of you.  He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”

I get shivers when I read that!  Resting in the fact that God will personally go before us, and knowing that He has already gone through what we have makes me ever so grateful that He is the air in my lungs that tells me to breath easy, even when its hard to.  It is my hope that He will be the air in your lungs to.

-Chris!

Many times we a…

 
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Posted by on July 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Various Thoughts on Dating Through a Godly Scope

These questions were from a youth series at my church about dating and how to go about it in a Godly and God honoring style.  Some friends and I were out grabbing a bit and the concept of “what we look for in a woman” came up, and I was reminded that I spend alot of time on this, so hopefully someone will find some incite with it!

View on singleness?

I would have to say due to the culture in which we live in being single is looked on in a wonky fashion, meaning there is much pressure to date and to always be dating. So in that regard it can be a tad difficult to combat social pressures to date simply to date. Singleness isnt a bad thing, for me, I’m amid the greatest change of my life and still growing into it, so if i were to be dating someone right now I know it wouldnt be fair to them because i wouldn’t be able to give them the attention they deserve. Another facet of being single is right now im choosing to take my time with relationships, meaning not diving into them and instead choosing (effortfully!) to grow into the man that God wants me to be for that other person. So practicing delayed gratification has been an ongoing theme in this particular area of my life.

Have you battled with discontentment in the area of relationships? How has God worked “contentment” and “trust” in you?

This is a smashing question!!!! and YES!!! I have battled with discontentment! Ive wanted to date various folk now and then for a long time, however it simply doenst work out and i can honestly say that it was during those times in which i peered inward and discovered that there were areas of myself in which i needed to work on a skoch! The areas being:
-Its okay to wear my heart of my sleeve.
-Seeing how your parents treat one another doenst mean you have to treat others that way.
-Marriage is a good thing!!!
For me seeing how my parents treated one another did not make the married life seem all that thrilling to me, so for a long time i had this mindset of “forget marriage, why would anyone want this , and be perpetually unhappy?” But thankfully ive had such great influences in my life and have had the privileged of seeing happily married folk in my travels. To which my reaction was “THEY DO EXIST!!!”

3) How do you deal with the times of anxiety that can come from being single?

Yet another great question! Well simply put I used to be wigged out by this but this is my simple mindset. My worth isnt dictated simply whether or not im married, its important to use every season to the fullest. If that season of life is with a significant other SMASHING!, if it isnt then I choose to pour into others around me and not sit feeling bummed out, I can make difference by leading a good example of being expectant and patient. Another thing to, is that I know how much God cares about lineages and families and seeing how much God has worked on me and me being the only Christian in my family that there is value there. I know God sees that and that it mean alot to Him, and that wont be in vane.

When did you know that you were ready to be in a relationship?

I’m not right now but I think I would know when i see someone that is on the same ground as me in regards to their walk with Christ. Another important thing i would look for is that God is her #1 and she doesn’t sacrifice that.
In your own words, how do we, as followers of Christ, date in a way that is honoring to God?

Well this is where I firmly believe where 1Corinthians 13:4-8 is VERY IMPORTANT!!!Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

To branch off of this, once we continue to grow in this and we do it sincerely we will be very happy!

4) How does dating sharpen you if in the right timing?

How can dating be harmful if in the wrong timing? Well simply put, you can hurt yourself and others if the timing isnt good.
5) How does this season of dating prepare you for marriage?

This season of dating ( if I was was dating) prepares us to become good spouses to our significant other, whether that person be the one we are currently dating or someone else we will run into later on down the road. For me though being single i take the approach of having the Bible guiding me and shaping me and also regarding the people in my life as teachers and also being prepared to face difficult truths of myself as im being molded into what God wants best for me.
6) What things are you doing to prepare for marriage, to build to last?

Well I have always loved watching people especially couples. And heres why. I have always been intrigued by old couples because they act differently from young couples and the thing that sets them apart that ive come to realize is this. They are living in and experiencing the tender loyalty that awaits the lucky on the opposite side of passion. And i want to experience that, being a newly wed, so happy, so excited and so passionate! Then transition into being older, having a family, still happy! still exuberant! Then finally into older age where I get to experience a simpler life with the one I love, similarly to how we were when we first got married, but now having that loyalty to one another knowing that we can leave peacefully knowing we honored God with all our heart,mind, body and spirit.

What does “honor” mean to you

(1 Peter 3:7) In this sense honor means treat them respectfully, and above all with much care. It all ties back to 1Corinthians 13:4-6 about love and if you have that one cant fail. On a personal note i tend to pray that I know the following in many areas of my life and it hold importance when having a relationship with your spouse or simply a girl friend or boy friend. I pray that i learn to know that shinning the light on myself will never enlighten me. Being self righteous precludes me from being right. Boasting about myself will never boost my eminence. Finally that parading myself parodies leadership. My goodness its sometimes hard to pray this!

How should men honor women?

Examples? well i guess I kinda sandwiched this answer back in number one lol
How can men help women live like this?

Well for started us guys need to stop being so fixated on the external and see that inner beauty that will last a life time!!!Granted looks are important, but they shouldnt be the driving force behind the wholistic sense of why your dating the person! I think holding onto things like integrity, purity, love, and things like that are far more important than looks and will gain the person far more star power in the long run! But to show that we value those Godly things I think simply we need to acknowledge it, Ive learned that its far better to have an appreciation for things that go unnoticed and telling the other person that you’ve notice it and seeing the reaction tend to put the bloom back in their tude!

\
-Chris!

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Aside

Jesus makes it quite clear to us that “where our treasure is there our heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21) To break that passage down a bit, Jesus is saying that the things we value most in our lives have procession of our hearts.  This alone can be an awesome glorifying thing, but it also has the ability to be very dangerous if we value the wrong things in life or a higher value of goods than God.

God also emphasizes time after time to serve Him full heatedly without selfish ambition.

Romans 12:11 “Never lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual favor serving the Lord”  


I know that we tend to do things when it convenient for us and sometimes we might even allow the importance of serving God fall into that category.  Why do we do that to ourselves?  Its so backwards!  When the rigmarole life with a job, a relationship, ect comes our way, why should the first thing we sacrifice is time with God, the one who provided such things in the first place?  God also shows us what is in store for those who don’t serve him full heatedly in Revelations.

Revelation 3: 16 “So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”

Now all of the things mentioned above are important, but we are told by God himself that we are to first seek out Him, His righteousness, and His kingdom and then all the other elements to life will fall into place. How he takes care of the wild flowers and sparrows, he surely we will take care of us.

I know that sacrificing time is now easy task, it hurts!  But God has shown me time after time that what may hurt for a season it will be rewarded later on.  In Luke, Jesus tells us about what we give will be given back to us but in a greater measure than when what we originally put in.

Luke 6:38 “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”  

Now this is a promise we should hold onto and seize!  God sees the sacrifices we make, and the effort we put forth and it wont go unnoticed by Him.  We have to remember as well, that Jesus didnt die so that we could live a comfortable lifestyle of convenience.

It was not a convenient thing for Jesus to be nailed to a cross.

Our full hearted serving attitudes honor what He has done for us and what He is doing through us and His church. We are all called to be God’s hands and feet to do his will on Earth to do His will, as well as to love the Lord our God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our strength and with all our mind.  But how many of us are taking the leap to do such a venture?  Are we trying to change the culture around us or simply “going through the motions”?

Critics of anthropology believe that just by observing a culture you inevitably change it. Think about that.  Simply by  watching a culture we can change it.  I honestly hope those critics are right because I see just how much we can change a culture not simply by watching it, but by acting and serving it.

Much of this was inspired by a conversation with my bro Jake and here is a link to his blog

http://ieatlionsforbreakfast.wordpress.com/

-Chris

Do You Know Where Your Heart Is?

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2012 in Uncategorized