“Selfies” Are Sinful! Here’s Why…

OK, perhaps I am overstating it JUST a bit!  🙂  But, the “selfie” culture on Social Media is very telling.

Much of the time (not ALL, so no hate mail OK?), these selfies are simply a means of saying, “Look at me!  I want attention!”  Everywhere you look on Social Media people are taking pictures of themselves doing the most mundane things in the most elaborate poses – as if the rest of us really want to see this.  “Check out my new shoes!”  “My hair is ON POINT today!”  “Look at these abs, baby!”  It’s all about me, me, me!  It’s all about self, self, self!

Our society suffers from a “ME-First” mentality.  It’s the reason – when you are coming up on a stoplight – that you change lanes just to get further ahead of the car in front of you. You are GOING to get ahead of them.  Or when a car begins to pass you on the road, you speed up.  You will NOT allow them to get in that coveted position!  Talk about a ME-First world!

It’s the reason you get angry when someone else in the restaurant gets their food before you when you CLEARLY sat down before they did.

And, the ULTIMATE example of a ME-First mentality?  Black Friday!  This is where you can see the disgraceful sight of people pushing, elbowing, and biting so they can be the one to save $10 on bed sheets for Christmas.

It’s the reason you check how many friends you have on Facebook or followers on Twitter and Instagram in comparison to someone else.  If you have more, you are higher up on the social ladder.  You are sitting in the seat of honor.  Some of you even have the app “Followers Plus” that tells you how you rate against others.  It gives you the ability to see your “fame value” and your “acclaim value” to see if you really are as popular as you feel.

So, what does Jesus say about elevating yourself above others?  What does Jesus say you should do INSTEAD of trying to live with a “ME-First” mentality?  Jesus says…

For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” – Luke 14:11

Jesus seems to be saying, “Don’t wait for other people, circumstances, or even God to humble you. CHOOSE to humble yourself.”

You must CHOOSE to put others first.  You must CHOOSE to put yourself in the lowest position – not because you were forced to be last. Not because you’re having a pity party because everyone else got the breaks.  But, because you CHOSE to humble yourself.

So, how do you choose to humble yourself?  How do you actively humble yourself on a daily basis so you never have to go through the pain of BEING humbled?

I shared a message with our congregation on this very topic.  In it, I share some insights from The Bible that will help you in this process of choosing to HUMBLE YOURSELF!  I hope it is a blessing to you:

“Friends In Slow Places” (Time Change Parody 2015)

And our final installment in our Time Change Sunday series this year is for all of you Country fans (of which I am NOT).  Hope you enjoy our spoof on a Garth Brooks classic.

Missed our other Time Change Parodies?  Here you go:

“Set My Clock” (parody of Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off”)

“All About Time Change” (parody of “All About That Bass”)

 

“Set My Clock” (Parody of “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift)

Well, we are back with another funny video to remind your church about TIME CHANGE SUNDAY, March 8th.  This is a great spoof of “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift.  The performer is Madison Russell, who is one of the young worship leaders on my Kids Ministry Team.  WOW, she did a great job singing this!  I think she gave Taylor a run for her money – and Madison is ONLY 13 years old!  Feel free to use this video in your church!

Check out last year’s wildly successful “What Does The CLOCK Say?”

“All About Time Change” (parody of “All About That Bass”)

Every year, our church does a great job at poking fun of Time Change Sunday (the day that clocks Spring an hour forward and for some reason people freak out because they are losing an hour of sleep).  To keep people from forgetting and ultimately being late for church that day, we create crazy videos to remind everyone.

The last few years, we have done parody songs and videos of the hottest pop songs of the day.  Well, this year is no different.  For your entertainment, here is a parody of “All About That Bass” (yes, we are fully aware of what the song is actually about and we don’t endorse the message – which is why we changed the lyrics).  After all, it’s “All About Time Change” – NO SNOOZING!

 

Wanna see some of our other videos from past years?  Here are a few below:

Time Change-ian Rhapsody”

“Call Me, Wake Me”

“On Time Style”

10 Principles To Help Kids Make WISE Choices

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We all want our kids to be wise.  We train them, talk to them, model for them, do everything we can to instill Godly wisdom and practical intelligence in their minds.  We spend eighteen years (sometimes more) monitoring their every move, correcting when necessary, and preparing for the day we will set them free to go out into the world and make a life of their own.

We hope and trust that the scripture we have quoted numerous times throughout our trials and tribulations of parenthood will come true:

“Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.” – Proverbs 22:6

But, the question still remains…how do you GUARANTEE that your child will walk in the way they should go?  How do you GUARANTEE that all of the principles, lessons, and wisdom you have poured into them will actually stick with them when they launch out into the world?

After all, we have all seen children who grew up in godly homes, had amazing parents, went to church every single Sunday – and when they left the nest, they ended up walking away from it all – into a lifestyle of sin.

How do you make sure your child doesn’t end up that way?  The truth is – there is no guarantee.  I don’t mean to be a pessimist or to rain on your parade, but it’s true.  There is no guarantee that every child will choose to follow the way that is set before them.  They are individuals.  They make their own decisions.  There is no guarantee in the Scriptures that your child will become a life-long follower of Jesus if only you follow steps 1 thru 3.  It just isn’t in the Bible.

We are a culture obsessed with getting ahead and ensuring a win. We have little tolerance for failure.  We want guarantees on everything – purchases, programs, etc.  We want a 100% money-back guarantee that this will work.  “If you can’t guarantee the weight-loss program, I’m not trying it.”  “If you can’t guarantee that I will get a job on the first interview by using your training program, I am not even giving it an attempt.”  We want guarantees on EVERYTHING – including raising our children to follow Christ and make wise decisions.

It really breaks my heart when I see children raised in Christian families by parents who were desperately trying to raise them the right way – those children walk away from their faith.  In many cases, (though not all) it was the actions and attitudes of the parents that drove their children away from Christ.  The parents’ micromanagement and attempt to control their kid pushed the kid away. In trying to guarantee their child love the Lord and grow up to think exactly like them, the parents became the biggest obstacle in their kids’ spiritual development.

So, now that I have thoroughly depressed you – let me share some things that I have learned.  I want to again remind you that I am NOT an expert.  My children are 14 and 12.  I have SO MUCH still to learn and experience when it comes to parenting.

However, having been a Kids Pastor for 22 years, I have seen a LOT of kids grow up.  I have watched parents train their kids.  I’ve seen kids who have grown into amazing leaders and exemplary Christ followers.  I have also seen many who have fallen away, never to return to faith (not yet anyway).

So, although I cannot make any kind of overarching guarantee about whether or not your child will become the next Billy Graham or Joel Osteen – I do believe there are some basic principles to learn about how to train your children to make wise decisions that will draw them closer to God and help them become life-long followers of Jesus Christ.

In this video, I share 10 principles that will help guide the conversation with our kids when it comes to making decisions that are “in agreement with the Bible, influenced by the Holy Spirit, and promote the spiritual growth of the individual and those they influence.”  

I have included a fill-in-the-blank outline PDF for you – in case you want to play this video for your parents and use it as teaching tool.  How To Talk To Your Kids About Making Wise Choices (OUTLINE)

What If Your Family Were Shot With 3,192 Paintballs In 5.3 Seconds?

paintball family

This would be a ludicrous question – if it hadn’t actually happened to this family!  It was all done to prove a point – a POWERFUL point!  Watch below and you will understand what I mean…

Movies these days are often filled with gratuitous language, violence, nudity, and suggestive material.  It can be almost impossible for the family to sit down and watch a movie together without being subjected to all of this content.  Well, the people over at VidAngel have innovated the Family Movie Night.  They have introduced a streaming service that allows YOU to be in control of what you watch, see, and hear.  You can “turn on” and “turn off” language, violence, and more.  Just head on over to VidAngel.com to see what I am talking about.

**THIS IS NOT A PAID ADVERTISEMENT!  I JUST REALLY BELIEVE IN WHAT VIDANGEL.COM IS TRYING TO ACCOMPLISH!**

If you would like to check out the “Behind The Scenes” video, check this out:

 

 

Talking To Kids About SEX

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There is a long held belief in many circles that there are certain subjects that should not be mentioned at church or from the pulpit.  They are “reserved for the home.”  There are two problems with that whole frame of reference.

Shouldn’t SEX Talk Be Reserved For The Home?

1)     SEX was created by God.

The idea that sex should not be discussed in church flies in the face of the fact that SEX is a beautiful gift, created by God, for the purpose of giving a husband and wife an intimate physical way of connecting and expressing their love for one another.  It is also designed by God as the way for the human race to reproduce.

“As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it.” – Genesis 8:17

In fact, to say that SEX should not be mentioned in church means that you probably haven’t read the BIBLE lately.  SEX and instructions about SEX are all throughout the Bible.  Depending on what translation of the Bible you use, the topic of SEX is addressed between 100 – 137 times.

In fact, the Bible gets pretty graphic at times.  And it’s not relegated simply to a couple of poetic passages in the Song of Solomon.

For too long, the church has been silent on this issue.  For years, children (and adults alike) heard little to nothing on the subject of healthy sexuality from the church.  Part of the reason it is not spoken about from the pulpit is that it makes us uncomfortable.  It makes us uncomfortable because it is rarely brought up in the pulpit.  It is a vicious cycle, so we consider it off-limits.

Sadly, this ends up working against us.   The only time kids or teens ever hear the word SEX brought up in the pulpit, it is only in a negative context.  “DON’T have sex, kids.  It’s bad!  It’s dangerous!  Stay away from SEX!”

There’s a problem with this.  SEX isn’t bad.  It is good.  It is VERY good.  God designed it.  He created it.  We have turned it into a taboo subject for the church, and it is not and should not be.

The other reason that the whole “The topic of SEX should be reserved for the home” is a problem is…

2)     Few parents ever give their kids a healthy, Biblical sex education

If I were to take a quick poll of each of my readers and ask, “How many of you received healthy, value-centered sex education from your parents growing up?”  (not just a superficial one-time and confusing conversation about birds and bees, but a true explanation and education regarding healthy, Bible-centered sexuality) – the number would be next to zero.

It’s sad: Our parents didn’t talk to us about healthy sexuality, and, unfortunately, we’re not doing much better with our own children.  A vast majority of young people say they receive more information about sexuality from their friends, media, and school than from their own home.  This is not good news, especially when all studies show that the more positive, value-centered sex education kids receive in their home, the less promiscuous they will be.

Even though this generation of parents typically wants to do a better job of communicating with their kids, too many well-meaning moms and dads are remaining silent for too long.  We are so paranoid about our kids becoming sexually active, we foolishly think that by not approaching the subject of sex for as long as possible, we will somehow keep them from learning about it and falling into sin.  The typical mindset of a Christian parent is “If I talk to them about it, it will make them more curious.”

Because it so off-limits for their behavior, we’ve made it off-limits for our conversation with our kids.

Many parents are afraid that talking about “it” will rob their children of their sexual innocence, or they are afraid that their children’s sexual desires might be awakened early.  Some parents avoid bringing up the subject because they might be asked about their own experiences, and they aren’t all that proud of how they handled their own sexuality.

I am not suggesting that Kids Pastors have a series in Children’s Church on “God’s View On SEX!”  Not at all!  But, what I am suggesting is that WE must do OUR JOB to train and equip the parents in our church to have these meaningful conversations at home with their kids!

The best place for children to learn about sexuality and relationships is  – AT HOME – from their parents!

A parent is almost always the person who has the best interest of their child in mind when it comes to sexuality.  And you and I have the opportunity to provide our children healthy, Bible-centered sex education that is based on what God values.  He has given us our sexuality.  In the framework of Scripture, sex is not dirty.  In the context of marriage it is beautiful.  The world’s culture has cheapened sex, but God’s view of sexuality is wonderful and magnificent.

In this video, I teach the parents at our church on the topic of “How To Talk To Your Kids About SEX.”  I encourage you to watch it, take notes, and even take the information in order to teach a class just like this at YOUR church.  It’s time the church start talking about God’s plan for the lives of our kids when it comes to building a healthy, Bible-based sexuality.

If you would like to simply use this video at your church with the parents in your ministry, feel free.  Here are the fill in the blank notes:  How To Talk To Your Kids About Sex (OUTLINE) 

INSIDE LOOK: “High Voltage Kids Ministry BIG Announcement”

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Ten years ago, my team and I wrote and produced our very first Kidmin Curriculum called, “Got Questions?”  Since then, High Voltage Kids Ministry has gone on to be used in well over 5,000 churches world-wide!  We have a HUGE announcement that is going to be a GAME-CHANGER for Kidmin Leaders!

We are giving you an INSIDE LOOK at the BIGGEST creative venture we have ever attempted!  If you are a big user of our Curriculum or have ever thought about using it, THIS is going to blow your mind!

Check out the video below for all the details, then leave us a comment in the comments section and tell us what you think of the BIG announcement…

VIDEO – “How To Communicate So Kids Want To Listen”

There’s nothing worse than trying to communicate to a group of kids who aren’t paying any attention to you.  As a matter of fact, if they aren’t listening – then you aren’t really communicating!  In this teaching, I share some of the things I have learned when it comes to communicating to kids in large groups, small groups, and one-on-one.  I pray it is helpful to you!


If you like this video, please do me a favor.  Leave a comment below.  Which of the pointers I shared made the biggest impact for you?  What is ONE THING you can do starting NOW to help you be a better communicator of the Gospel to kids?

Head on over to my Facebook page and click “LIKE”!  Then, tweet or post on Facebook about my blog at briandollar.com.  Whoever signs up for my email updates on my blog will automatically receive several FREE resources.  Thanks everyone!  Hope this video was a blessing to you!  MORE TO COME!

FUN FRIDAY: “Goliath” Debuts At Six Flags Great America

goliath

Confession:  I am a HUGE roller coaster fan!  If I hear of a death-defying roller coaster within driving distance, I am usually there pretty soon.  Well, I just caught wind of this one!  It’s in Chicago, so……maybe someday!

It’s called “GOLIATH!”  It’s the fastest, tallest, and steepest wooden roller coaster in the world!  If you dare, expect to plunge down 180 feet while rocketing through twists and turns at 72 miles per hour at a near vertical 85 degree angle.

Check out this front seat POV video:  

Definitely going to have to check this one out!  By the way, if you love roller coasters you ought to check out the Kids Curriculum series I did last year called “Roller Coaster Life.”  I rode six different coasters as the kids learned about the “ups and downs” of the life of Elijah!  It was a blast!  You can pick one up here and check out a sample video below:

What about you?  What’s your favorite roller coaster you’ve ever ridden?  Comment and post links if you can!  Let’s share the adrenaline rush!!!