Airplane Mode: Apply Liberally

[In my January 1, 2015 post, I christened this the “Year of Learning” here on the blog. Each post, I’ll aim to share something recently discovered (or re-discovered) in the hope that you might add my learning to your own discoveries and make double-moves forward and upward this year!]

airplaneWhen I was younger, I was always amused at creams or ointments that would include in their instructions the phrase “Apply Liberally.”

It was permission — more than that, an urging — to be generously free-wheeling with the application of their product. Don’t cheap out. Don’t fear side effects. Go for it. If a bit is good, imagine what more might achieve!

I’ve learned that Airplane Mode might be treated the same way.

In case you need a catch-up, Airplane Mode is a setting on electronic devices like cell phones and tablets that provides a one-click cutting-off from all external signals. As the name suggests, it was designed with air travel in mind, so that we could all respond in a split second to the flight attendant’s request that all transmitting devices be shut off. This great feature provides the compromise humanity has longed for: We can now appease the flight attendant and keep playing Angry Birds.

My discovery: Use Airplane Mode more liberally than that.

Nights: I flip on Airplane Mode right before I determine it’s close-my-eyes time. Who needs a sound sleep interrupted by even the vibration of a not-quite-silent phone?

Meals: If you’ve ever determined that family suppers are being compromised by texts or tweets, treat your dining table as an airliner. Your spouse will love you, and you may well rediscover the pleasure of a beep-free meal.

Visits: Rediscover the luxuries of speaking with and listening to the people your Facebook page claims you love most. When anyone can interrupt any moment for any reason, something has been lost — mark that down. This available-at-all-moments access, once reserved for brain surgeons and rulers of nations, now proceeds to thin out every moment in which all of us live. Hit Airplane Mode for an hour, and re-establish your skills at attentively caring for one person at a time.

Movies: Theaters already warn customers to turn off their phones so as to avoid being pummeled by angry film buffs during the show. If powering off seems too extreme, use Airplane Mode to fully engage in your entertainment and save your skin.

Thinking: There are some tasks that can be achieved with the fringes of one’s attention. But there are other tasks (particularly creative work or focused study) that demand our uncompromised A-game. Why self-sabotage by holding or wearing a buzz-bomb through which any time-terrorist can detonate the device and blow your hard-earned train of thought right off the tracks? In the name of efficiency, use Airplane Mode. Flip it back when you need that mental breather later on, and grant yourself freedom to ride every wave of inspiration or concentration as far as you can.

Airplane Mode: Start applying it liberally. You may be surprised at its healing benefits!



Six-Pack (70)

Welcome to the Six-Pack!

After a long stretch of rain and cloud, the past week has been “real summer” on the prairies — bring on a handful of great links!

If a half-dozen directions feels daunting, start with the *Picks of the Week*, and branch from there.

For a steady stream of such links, follow me on Twitter to the right of this post.  Sharp quotes and solid articles are tweeted 3-4 times daily.

Today’s edition:

1) Cultivating Faithfulness in a Culture of Efficiency (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
J.R. Briggs has a new book that I’m excited to read. Missio Alliance has this post, adapted from one of its chapters.

2)  My Name is Mike, and I’m a Recovering True Believer (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
Mike Anderson was once high up in Mars Hill Church. Here’s why he isn’t anymore. Please note that I have no particularly strong feelings on Mars Hill or Mark Driscoll; this article is a fascinating read all the same, of one man’s perceptions from inside such a large church/organization.

3)  Farewell to the Golden Age
Philip Yancey has long been one of my most influential authors. Here he looks back on his writing career and notes profound changes in the industry.

4)  Contemplative Prayer: A Cure for Ministerial Burnout
Tony Campolo shares this post on the blog of Contemplative Journal.

5) People Prefer Electric Shocks to Being Left with Their Own Thoughts
If you’ve ever wondered why sitting quietly in prayer or meditation is so hard, this piece from The Atlantic may help decode your insides.

6)  Sitting and Thinking About Sitting and Thinking
Psychology Today got hold of the study mentioned in #5 — here’s their take on the findings.

May your week ahead be filled with life, as you seek the One from whom it flows!

leaveacommentYOUR TURN: Your input makes this post better!

  • Which link above was today’s best-of-the-best?
  • Why that one?

Direct others to the best of the bunch with a quick comment.

[You can subscribe to this blog via RSS or email, in the upper right corner of this page.]

Saturday Six-Pack (25)

Welcome to Wandering & Wondering!

Here it is–the final “Saturday Six-Pack” of 2012, with one last dose of the best online offerings I’ve found before the calendar runs out.

As usual, if a half-dozen options paralyzes you, begin with my two *Picks of the Week*, and move from there.

For a steady stream of such links, follow me on Twitter ( @JasonBandura ) to the right of this post.  Sharp quotes and solid articles are tweeted 3-4 times daily.

Today’s edition:

1) Why Discomfort is Good for You
Michael Hyatt makes the counter-intuitive (and counter-cultural) assertion that comfort is highly overrated.  Here is why I think he’s right.

2) Narrative Numbness (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
The language of “story”, significant as it is, has almost been sapped of its power by overuse. That said, this piece from Relevant Magazine nails squarely the key component that cannot be missed as Christians consider their roles in carrying the Jesus-story. Insight is sharp in this brief offering.  Thanks for sharing, CJ Casciotta.

3) 50 Motivational Quotes That Will Put Your Motivation on Overdrive
With January 1, and its spoken or silent resolutions, perhaps one of these fifty quotes, served up by LifeHack, will be just what you need to make that change stick in the year ahead.

4) The Death of a Child: A Parent’s Worst Nightmare (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
In light of the recent tragedy in Newtown, this piece, by a parent who tasted loss, will offer some insight to any pastor or friend who ever has to walk this road with someone.  Read it, and then pray you never need it.  But if you do, walk that road as well it can be walked.

5) 4 Things I’ve Learned about God through My Baby Who Was Born Blind
This article opens with this: “It’s not often that you get the opportunity to empathize with God; I recently experienced that bitter-sweet insight when I found out that my eleven-week-old baby girl was born almost completely blind.” And on it goes from there.

6) Work Less and Do More by Applying the Pareto Principle to Your Task List
The Pareto Principle says that in most situations roughly 80% of effects come from only 20% of the causes.  Translation: There are a few things in your life that can make all the difference.  Are you aware of what those are?  Lifehacker wants to know.

Happy New Year, my friends.  May the year ahead be unusually full of an awareness of God and how very close He is to you.

Blessings on you, my friends.

YOUR TURN: Direct other readers to the best stuff with a comment below, or weigh in on what you read.  Your input makes this post better!

[You can subscribe to this blog via RSS or email, in the upper right corner of this page.]

Saturday Six-Pack (14)

Welcome to the weekend, and thanks for spending some time “Wandering & Wondering”.

This weekend’s Six-Pack features a half-dozen online offerings from the past week.  As usual, these articles are mostly faith-focused or ministry-geared, with a bit of disorderly-pile-of-who-knows-what tossed in!

Today’s edition:

1) Cheap Law
In his latest post for Gospel Coalition, Tullian Tchividjian shares this word: “Jesus shows that because God’s demands are unqualified and undiluted, the grace we desperately need must be unqualified and undiluted.”  He warns that the great problem in the church today is the same problem Jesus addressed in Matthew 5–cheap law, not cheap grace.  He then directs us to a very sharp piece by John Dink.

2) When the Church Lost Its Voice
Scot McKnight summarizes a chapter from Ross Douthat’s recent book, “Bad Religion” that sketches five major shifts that have undermined the faithful witness of the church over the past six decades.

3) The Enemy of Innovation and Creativity
That quest that many of us have toward ever higher levels of efficiency?  Patrick Lencioni has a warning about that.

4) Sectarianism Sucks
Frank Viola’s more proper title opens this piece that includes some powerful text from Watchman Nee on this divisive disease that still damagingly infects Christ’s Body.

5) Five Warning Signs of Declining Church Health
From his archives, Thom Rainer shares these five tip-offs for diagnosing un-health within one’s church before it hits dangerous extents.

6) The Moral Importance of the iPhone
This very brief piece from John Pattison provides a few provocative questions for any of us who depends regularly on technology.

Enjoy your weekend, friends, through renewing yourself and reverencing God.

Tuesday Trick: Getting Better Mileage from Your “To Do” List

I am a list-maker.

I haven’t always been, but when I am serious about getting things done, I turn to the practice.

But that doesn’t solve everything.  Sometimes BEING ORGANIZED can feel like an extra task ON TOP of the ones needing tackling.  How to best use this simple tool?

David Allen, productivity guru, recently shared some thoughts around this topic.  If you’re looking to live more happily alongside your list AND check more items off it, this might be worth your coffee break.