Friday, May 28, 2010

What would you do with 50 extra hours per week?

A recently released study on video gaming habits found that the average "extreme gamer" spend 48.5 hours per week playing video games. We're talking about a full work week and then some. You think you didn't have any time. This is only 4% of America's 174 million strong gaming world. In other words 6.9 million people average age 29 spend 50 hours per week on video games. We wonder why this generation doesn't get any thing done? Oh they have, they conquered 20 million levels, and beaten 40 million boss levels. They've upgraded, and invested over time as well. Most of the extremer's who by the way are 1/3 female bought 24 games in the last 3 months. A quick stop at Walmart will reveal most games go for 30-80 dollars. So conservatively we're talking about $4800 a year just on games. Figure minimum wage on all those hours... $18000 dollars. Do you have $22800 dollars lying around? It's very easy to cast stone at this group. However the average house watches over 38 hours of TV a week. I only have three channels and if I'm not careful I can find myself watching TV all night. Because I like what's on? Nope remember 3 channels and I'm not a target demographic for most networks, because I'm easily distracted. Gaming adds another level of there always being something else to accomplish. I've played and beaten games. There is this sense of urgency when playing about getting to the next level. Once you're there it's never enough, and once you win the game, it's very anticlimactic. Where is your sense of urgency right now? Are your priorities the same things that would be valuable to God? Do you Read his Word the same way a gamer plays a game, or a drama show viewer waits for that next episode? Spend some time evaluating your priorities going into summer. It's easy to be distracted.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Why do we face the front in an elevator?

I just got back from attending a technology conference, the E3 ministry summit, put on by Fleetwood Group. Grace gave away a one day corporate training to one of the churches attending. It was a very good conference. The keynote was presented by Greg Stielstra, and was about the influence we have on others.
He showed this old video from Candid Camera.
Do you know that they studied monkeys, and found out the very same neurons responsible for actually doing an action, fire just by seeing some one else do that action? The implication is we subconsciously mimic and imitate people all the time. You've seen and probably done what I've talking about.
What does this mean for a Christian? The old adage actions speak louder than words might fit. St. Francis of Assisi once said, "Preach the gospel at all times, when absolutely necessary use words." I used to think my great grandma came up with that.
The bottom line is this, not only can we influence those around us and culture, we have to. I'm not talking about talk shows, Christian TV, letters to the editor, or famous celebrities championing our cause. I'm talking about basic social pressure. A Christian lifestyle is no more out of the norm than standing backwards flipping your hat on and off in an elevator.
This is why Grace is so passionate about making a difference in the world. We truly believe one life touched by God can change the world Imagine what it would look like if you a person knew the power they had through their actions, had a God honoring purpose, and had the skills to lead and influence those around them? We're finding out. We have high school and college students changing the cultures of their campuses. Some are going around the world making a difference. We're working with businesses that are leading the way in their communities.
Get out and do something! For the Lord of course.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Crossed wires

Hello world, I know it's been quite a while. I apologize. If you don't follow me on face book or twitter, I had a son. Colton Scott Prudhomme was born April 14, 9 lbs 6 Oz's and 21 inches long. I have been learning quite a bit lately, and haven't had a shortage of material to blog about, more a shortage of time. He and Kendra are doing great, and I'm having a ton of fun. In other news, I bought a used horse trailer the other day. If any of you know me, I am not the most mechanically inclined. Actually I'm mechanically challenged (thanks dad). I used to tell the maintenance guys I'm their job security, because as long as I manage the ranch, things break. So when my lights and breaks weren't working right, I had a problem. I'm also pig headed. I was going to fix it on my own. I went out and bought the tools, borrowed things from my father in law, and went to work. First I had to replace the trailer plug-in on my truck. I've always had problems with trailer brakes with my truck, so I was bound and determined to fix it. I unplugged, unscrewed, and cut off the old receiver. Now I have seven wires staring at me, and none of them are responding when I press the brakes. As I get underneath the truck to investigate I am confronted with a cacophony of wiring, splices, and overall mess. The truck is a 1995, so it's had its' fair share of repairs. I eventually follow this wire all the way to the front of the truck and out of the electronic break controller. It starts out Blue (the correct color), then right before the firewall we splice and change to red, then we run the length of the truck, and about the rear fender we splice again and turn black. However, right before we hit the end of the wire and tie into the receiver, there is a break and it is sheared in two! How I was supposed to know all this staring at seven wires, none of which were the right color I don't know. Did I mention I was starting to get frustrated! We're in the later stages of the interview season at Grace right now. As I was dealing with my wiring struggles (and that was about 10% of the story, I didn't even start on the trailer, or how when I turn my headlights on, I blow a dash fuse, which is awesome), I was thinking about that brake wire and how it relates to people. You see to look at the outward you would see a black wire connected correctly to trailer receiver. It looked fine. It wasn't working though, as I investigated I found three colors of wire, and one break in the line. When we're interviewing college students many at first glance appear to be very "Christian". However it requires getting underneath the truck to examine things closer. Is the Bible reliable? What are your views on homosexuality? Is Jesus the only way to heaven? How do you know you're saved? These questions are important because they help us ascertain the worldview of these students. More and more we're running into very post-modern worldviews. They believe that there is no absolute truth, all religions are equal, and what works for you works for you. The problem is this is infused into adolescent and young adult Christianity with rampant force. There are tons of "Christians" in word, but not deed. Their orthodoxy doesn't line up with their orthopraxy, and often their orthodoxy is screwed up too. All that to say, our students have some very crossed up wiring when it comes to religion and Christianity. In a USA today article on religion the following was found;
a study of 1,200 18- to 29-year-olds, 72% say they're "really more spiritual than religious." Among the 65% who call themselves Christian, "many are either mushy Christians or Christians in name only," Rainer says. "Most are just indifferent. The more precisely you try to measure their Christianity, the fewer you find committed to the faith." Key findings in the phone survey, conducted in August and released today: •65% rarely or never pray with others, and 38% almost never pray by themselves either. •65% rarely or never attend worship services. •67% don't read the Bible or sacred texts. Many are unsure Jesus is the only path to heaven: Half say yes, half no.
So what's the point? Grace is committed to educating and equipping students and adults to have a Biblical worldview. During our summer program this is done by hiring college age students who have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that they have a mature, sound, Biblical world view. They in turn help answer those hard questions from the campers. We also offer programs to college students and adults going through Biblical World view. Even as the world is crossing up students wires left and right we can and are helping to straighten things out.
Also I got the brakes working, still working on the whole headlight blows fuses issue.