Foto Friday: Baby Girl Edition

eva with bowMy baby is 8 YEARS OLD TODAY!!!

WOW!

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Greatest Twits. #narcissism #ICYMI

Just because it’s my blog and for fun, here are some of my personal favorite tweets from the last few months.  (context in parenthesis when necessary)

October

I’ve yet to figure out if my goldendoodle is a narcissist, a full-fledged psychopath, or simply an extrovert
So, it’s just a matter of time until Brittany Spears and Miley Cyrus are dating…on a Reality TV show, right? We’re like 14-18 months away

#DearCongress , Not really surprised, I had already lost faith in you when you allowed an American remake of #Oldboy

Someday, I hope to have the kind of loving relationship with my wife, that she has with our goldendoodle. #puppylove

September

Does anyone else picture Bobcat Goldthwaite when you hear Eddie Vedder sing? Or just really miss Bobcat Goldthwaite? (before I saw him in the Robin Williams Snickers Commercial)

So, there’s a new show called “dads” about annoying/overbearing dads, and a new show called “moms” about annoying/overbearing moms? #sigh

Newschannel 5 anchorwoman dressed like she graduated from Prof Xavier’s School for Gifted Mutants #nashville (funky leather)

“Keep it real, bro.” -Carl Rogers

Buying gas in 2013 is like gambling. Do I fill up in case it jumps 20 cents or only put in $5, hoping it drops. #Syria

August

some days I feel like an artist trapped in a scientist’s brain & other days I just put Stevie Ray Vaughn’s “Little Wing” on repeat & all is okay

My wife just made me kill a spider instead of doing it for me #toughlove

Because of my growing hatred of mosquitos, I may have to change my long-held position on spiders. #enemyofmyenemyismyfriend

HEY, #Falloutboy, keep your stupid songs out of my dark/business. Thank you.

When I listen to “Hail to the King” by #AvengedSevenfold, I pretend they are a #Christian rock band, at least during the chorus

My neighbors are going to think I am a devoted Catholic: my bug checking/swatting routine closely resembles the “sign of the cross”

I put “exercise” in my daily planner, but added an “?” to give myself an out.

Why do we have a marriage problem in this country? People freak out about a 2-yr #commitment to THEIR PHONE!!

Why does so much of current rock sound like Nine Inch Nails shattered into a 100 tiny pieces?

Had a great time at a family reunion today. Of course, it wasn’t my family, so there’s that

My kids have been constantly sharpening pencils on electric sharpener; thinking about how old I would be when I got out of prison…

you can follow, ya know, if you want to: @briannicklaus

Pedophiles in the Church

I have recently discovered and been reading two blogs by the same family who have been dealing with a terrible tragedy.

They discovered after decades that a beloved Preacher Husband/Father was a practicing pedophile all along.

They share lots of good information about detecting pedophiles, boundaries that need to be set up, and how the church can/should respond, especially about protecting our children.

Here is a quote from Jimmy Hinton’s blog

“Repentance needs to be proved. A repentant pedophile will perform deeds by demanding that he not be near children again. A repentant pedophile doesn’t ask for pictures (no matter how innocent they seem) of any children. A repentant pedophile will renounce any internet use for the rest of his life, since pornography and fantasy drive them to their core. A repentant pedophile will not happily accept a role as minister where people now look to him as a spiritual leader of old and, yes even very young, people. A repentant pedophile will make sure that his presence is not traumatizing to survivors of child sex abuse in the congregation. And if it is, he will gladly find another church and not put up a fight. A repentant pedophile will not ask church members if he can babysit their kids. Please beware of these things and let’s work together to make our churches safe.”

Clara Hinton was the wife of a pedophile for 40 years and only looking back, do all the red-flags appear obvious.  She is courageously telling her story in attempts to help and save others.  It’s difficult to read.  It will make you cry and make you sick.  But the family is on a crusade (in a good sense) to educate people and especially churches about the dangers that exist. They will sound alarmist to some, especially because of all that they have been through, but if you love your children, you should listen.  If you are a preacher, elder, or youth minister, you should listen.

Finding a Healing Place by Clara Hinton

The Digital Invasion

I heard a great lecture by the authors of a book entitled, The Digital Invasion last week. They also have a website www.thedigitalinvasion.com

The authors are a father/daughter team.  Dr. Archibald Hart is a clinical psychologist and has been at Fuller Seminary in CA for 40 years and written alot of good books.  Sylvia Hart Frejd is connected to Liberty and has a D.Min. after a Masters in counseling, and focuses on spiritual formation.

If you work with young people or just want to be aware of the possible problems of internet addiction, or just have kids, I think this book will be a great resource based on the lecture I heard.  I don’t have the book yet but it is high on my list.

Here are some things to pique your interest:

  • The problem with the internet is obviously the addictive nature, the main consequences result from sleep deprivation
  • Internet addiction changes the brain:  you lose grey matter and gain white matter, and that’s bad for you.
  • we are creating new psycho-pathologies (new mental diseases, the brain is actually changed by behavior)
  • Silicon Valley CEOs send their kids to Waldorf Schools, one aspect is lack of technology (Google it)
  • Schools in South Korea don’t allow kids to use computers for the first two years of education
  • The digital world rewires the brain for speed, and multitasking is less efficient/productive.
  • They quote neurological studies about the impact, “rewiring” is an accurate description of what happens
  • Some children born today will learn more from a machine than a mother/father
  • Whybrow calles the internet, “electric cocaine”
  • Internet is lowering EQ, IQ and capability for empathy
  • Internet is comparable to food addiction, because it’s something we can’t fully avoid, but must set boundaries
  • Frejd uses the term “Godspace”, and says we must protect it
  • Internet overuse/addiction does the opposite to our brains as what silence/solitude does.  Contemplative disciplines can help the pre-frontal cortex part of brain heal itself. She cited Curt Thompson.
  • “We have lots of connections but we need conversations.  With God, with self, with others.”
  • The presenters were mildly alarmist, but did recognize the good of internet.  Their big concern is for the next couple of generations.
  • Frejd has a Family Digital Use Contract to limit use, such as no smartphones/tablets at dinner table, boundaries for parents and children

Other resources

  • Nicholas Carr at Harvard, wrote “the Shallows”
  • Mark Baurlein at Emory
  • Dr. Kimberly Young in PA, has opened inpatient internet addiction centers
  • Dr. Sherry Terkle at MIT, “we are all cyborgs” she works in robotics and wrote, “Alone-Together”
  • The Center for Internet and Technology Addiction
  • Her son has dealt with gaming addiction, and she mentioned “The Demise of Guys” by Zimbardo

Of course, this is a remake of an 80s film, but it’s very relevant to our lives now:

The Conjuring: a Review with a Moral

The family was gone and after a long day I went to the movies to see the latest horror film, The Conjuring.  I know, I know, but everyone relaxes differently.

It was a good horror film with minimal gore and lots of scares.  It’s a combo of the haunted house/exorcist genre. Usually haunted house films are slow and boring and PG-13.  The Others with Nicole Kidman was an exception and very good.

First, the bumps and creaks in the night come.  Then the friendly ghost child.  Things continue to escalate in typical (but well-done) fashion. Finally, we get the full story.  150 years ago a Satan worshipper/witch killed her child and hung herself, cursing anyone who took her land. So we have our antagonist.

The events are based on a true story, at least real people.  Ed and Lorraine Warren were paranormal researchers in the 60s-70s and participated in séances and witnessed exorcisms.  They were catholic and religion played a minor theme.

The evil ghost had possessed and caused mothers to kill their children.  Here’s where you might think it gets creepy and sick and unChristian, but this is actually where it gets serious and spiritual.  Family was an important theme.

We learn early on as the ghost lady tells one of the 5 girls that she is going to kill the entire family. And HERE is where the spiritual application kicks in.

It was a movie meant to scare and make money. The director is the guy from the original Saw film. But it was a great allegory for the true spiritual struggle that every family–Christian or not–is going through. What the film portrayed through people being tossed around and scared and possessed was graphic and frightening.  What Satan does every day doesn’t make a great film but is essentially the same.

He wants to destroy your family. He is a powerful malevolent being.

Maybe you believe exorcisms are a Catholic thing or only in movies.  Go read Seeing the Unseen by Joe Beam. That book is a great study on Satan and evil spirits who interact with the material world (which includes you and me).

Satan doesn’t need to try to convince parents to take a butcher’s knife to their offspring.  Families are full of demonic activity:  anger, abuse, selfishness, greed, pornography and more.  Dysfunction is here to stay because of sin.

The film is about fighting for one’s family against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 6:12).  My family has been through some battles and so has your family.

SPOILER ALERT:

Love for family helps to overcome evil in the film.

ANOTHER SPOILER ALERT

An evil, sadistic, powerful being wants to destroy your family.  He wants to influence you to live a lifestyle and make decisions that will destroy your relationships with your spouse and kids.  He wants you to make as many mistakes as possible to mess up your kids even more than average. We live in a culture where marriage has been crumbling for decades, where parents cease to parent, where divorce is common and dysfunction is the norm.

How is the Evil One attacking you or your family?  Do something! Call on the name of Jesus.  Pray.  Seek advice from the Bible and mature men and women who have known Jesus a long time. Call a counselor/therapist/shrink.

Don’t let your life be a horror film.

The film ends with a real quote from the real Ed Warren.  Take it to heart.

“Diabolical forces are formidable. These forces are eternal, and they exist today. The fairy tale is true. The devil exists. God exists. And for us, as people, our very destiny hinges upon which one we elect to follow.”

An interesting interview with the guys who wrote the screenplay HERE.