Episode 12, The AWP: Mindfulness & Mastery of Technology

Episode 12, The AWP: Mindfulness & Mastery of Technology

Mobile devices, screen time and social media… while it is far too soon to see the full affect of these forms of technology on communities and history at large, there are some early correlations that should be respected.

There are correlations for anxiety and depression, for ADHD and for a number of neurological dysfunctions.

On a personal level, I feel addicted to my phone going to it for each additional hit of cortisol and adrenaline.

This habit has left me with wasted time and a shorter attention span for my wife and kids. I am interested in taking up a radical challenge in my life to create new habit-forming patterns. Will you join me?

See the actual challenge below and find me on Instagram for updates and accountability!

Please have a listen:

iTunes

MP4

Books:
Friction by Jeff Rosenblum and Jordan Berg
How to Raise a Wild Child by Scott D. Sampson
Simplicity Parenting by Kim Payne and Lisa Ross

Article links:
https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/11/the-binge-breaker/501122/?utm_source=wdfb&mbid=social_fb (article on Tristen Harris, founder of HumaneTech)
https://tifwe.org/four-lessons-faith-work-brother-lawrence/ (how to be more mindful all day!)
http://humanetech.com/take-control/ (“Time well spent” organization and further tools!)
https://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/07/technology/07brainside.html (Tech affect on identity)
https://apple.news/AKVy8sR0PQ-GyXywLtFLVog (Article about AI and our kids)

The “No Phone Challenge”
1. In the waiting (use this time-as rob bell says-to think…)
2. During all meals (use this time to connect and commune)
3. Just after waking (use this time to pray, plan and fill) (cortisol is already high in the morning; its when I get my best work done!)
4. As a passenger (enjoy the ride instead)
5. One weekend morning-off limits till noon! (Use this time to be active, learn, rest, sabbath!)
6. Driving (use this time to drive)

Episode 11 (Part 1 & 2), The AWP: Growth Through Tough Things Featuring Bill Applebee

Episode 11 (Part 1 & 2), The AWP: Growth Through Tough Things Featuring Bill Applebee

Today, I welcome my dad to the show, Founder and CEO of Best Overnite Express, Bill Applebee and we’re talking about growth trough tough things.

Over 30 years of business and marriage and raising 4 kids he has faced numerous battles from economic crisis to health crisis and beyond.

We talk about facing the battles in life with a growth mindset that will better help you move to accept the tough things in your life.

The outlook of the episode is not just acceptance but growth and flourishing through a tough season or moment.

As in other shows, I used Paul David’s Tripp’s Parenting book for reference in this week’s parenting pro tip; you can us this link for his wonderful book.

Here is the mp4 link-PART 1.

Here is the mp4 link-PART 2

Here is the link for iTunes.

Here are some questions to consider after listening:

Application:
1. What is your response to tough things; indifference or acceptance?
2. Ask and answer the question why is this really happening to me?
3. Pause and consider how this circumstance may be an opportunity for growth.

Episode 10, The AWP: The Language and Led Blanket of Love

Episode 10, The AWP: The Language and Led Blanket of Love

Featuring Special Guest Eric Markle: father, friend and fellow church leader.

Early last year I talked about the rare and unlikely event of having a very tranquil experience in the dentist chair…

I know, like I said, rare and unlikely.

But I wrote about one particular aspect of which: the moment that big, heavy, led blanket is laid across your chest and hips prior to x-rays of course.

So there is our metaphor for God’s love in fact.

God’s love is like a led blanket in at least 3 ways:

  1. It is the only place you will find real and lasting protection
  2. It must be made available to every single person and deserving of every single person
  3. It is used indiscriminately, even with an arch-enemy

Please have a listen!

Here is the MP3

Here is the iTunes link

References:
Gary Chapman book “The Five Love Languages”

1. There is no protection like the Led Blanket of Love
2. You are worthy of a love like the Led Blanket can offer
3. Led blanket love is enemy love

Bonus:
-in all things, choose love
-optimize love by loving others according to how they best receive and experience love

Application:
Five Love Languages – Gary Chapman
1. Gift Giving
2. Quality Time
3. Word of Affirmation
4. Acts of Service
5. Physical Touch

What are some examples, in your daily walk with God, of how he shows His love to you?
What is your strategy with your spouse, to express the ethic of love?
What is your strategy with your children, to express the ethic of love?

Episode 9, The AWP: Get Unstuck, Use Your Dashboard

Episode 9, The AWP: Get Unstuck, Use Your Dashboard

Ever felt stuck or stagnant in your work or relationships because you’ve lost track of what the point behind it all is…?

You may be in need of a dashboard…

Dashboard, defined as a ‘picture of performance.’ Like the dashboard of a car, everyone needs a crystal clear AND visible dashboard for progress and destinations.

We have all been stuck, unsatisfied or void of purpose in work or life and for many different reasons. One that is cheif among them-I would bet-is a lack of vision for where you’re going AND how you’re doing getting there!

That’s where a dashboard would be helpful for creating clear and visible goals for your relationships, families and organizations.

The beauty of the dashboard is not just focus on the destination, but attention to the ups and downs of the journey.

Here is the episode audio file.

Here is the iTunes link.

Here are 3 questions to ask about moving from stuckness and plateau into passion in your work, life or family.

The 3 questions:

1. What’s your fight?

2. What’s your position?

3. Are you competing?

Application:

1. Create a dashboard that’s based off of a 1, 3 or 5 year plan (for your Prefered future, desired outcomes or goals)

2. Fill the dashboard with some of the things you want to see movement on

3. Review it early and often (otherwise its not a VISIBLE dashboard at all)

4. Use new numbers (not merely budgets or bottom lines; go beyond numbers to find what you really want to measure along the way)

Here are some Sources for further reading-each one of these guys are giants in this area (compared to me!)

–>Paul David Tripp book on Parenting https://www.amazon.com/Parenting-Gospel-Principles-Radically-Change/dp/1433551934/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1530216267&sr=8-1&keywords=parenting+by+paul+david+tripp

–>Ravi Zacharis https://rzim.org

–>Chris McChesney and people knowing they are playing a winning game; has a book out but also found here: https://www.franklincovey.com/speakers-bureau/chris-mcchesney.html

–>Craig Groeschel on Declarative Statements https://openblog.life.church/the-power-of-personal-declarations/

Episode 8, The AWP: Two Things you Must Tell Your Leaders every Week (Vision & Affirmation)

Episode 8, The AWP: Two Things you Must Tell Your Leaders every Week (Vision & Affirmation)

Another really personal topic for me this month: leadership identity.

The truth is: in the constant swirl of self-doubt, negative self-talk and overall mental negativity bias, we all need to hear the following words early and often:

Who you are as a leader is worth multiplying.

Fresh & passionate leadership lies at the intersection of consistent vision and identity affirmation.

If you have even one person in your life who counts on you, a child, a friend, a co-worker or mentee, then you are a leader. You have tremendous influence. And the “stuff” that’s inside you-all the character and competency and heart and faith-is worth multiplying in the next generation of leaders.

I hope you are encouraged by this month end post.

As always you can have a listen using the following two platforms:

MP3 file

Or

iTunes

Here are some application questions and links for further support:

Application Questions:

1, Who is one person you may have overlooked calling out the best in?

2, What is one thing you can do to begin building the habit of offering consistent vision & affirmation for your people?

Entering the Podcast Space!

Hello my faithful blog subscribers!

I’m super excited to announce this new development in content.

I hoping with the new addition you can take this encouraging content on the go with you!

Yes another podcast. But not really… because if I didn’t think it offered something unique AND if I thought it wouldn’t be worth the time (HELLO! We have 7 kids now; if anyone appreciates the value of time well spent, its me!)  I wouldn’t do it!

Do me a favor if you are going to the trouble to actually click on the podcast link (provided below!) please

RATE AND REVIEW!!!

If we all do that it gives the podcast better position for ‘best new podcast’ category (which is really all about reaching and encouraging more people!)

Here’s the run down:

2 posts a month.

No more than 25 mins each.

About family life, leadership and faith.

The point is to better get through stuck and plateau seasons. I GUARANTEE if you listen you’ll be encouraged and inspired.

I would not, will not post content that is worthless! The sound of my voice is not that great! But if you could use useful anecdote from my life and the wisdom of great leaders I’ve come to know, then tune in!

And if enough of you ANDROID folks are interested I’ll put it up on your favorite podcast platform too!

Here is the link for iTunes:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-applebee-way-podcast/id1360268888

Here is the podcast website link (for those not using Apple products):

http://www.buzzsprout.com/145440

 

 

Porn, Covenant, Intimacy and the Answer to our Broken Sexual Worldview

Porn, Covenant, Intimacy and the Answer to our Broken Sexual Worldview

It’s every week for months now that another high-profile figure is engulfed in the next alleged sexual assault scandal.

This last one regarding comedian and actor Aziz Ansari finally struck a chord and I’m connecting the dots.

First, my heart breaks for any person who has every felt intimidated, pressured, trapped  or manipulated into a situation mental, emotional or physical. And I can only imagine the isolation that ensues from feeling voiceless-before, during or after such an episode. For those, I simply say: 1, I am glad if you find voice or advocacy for your voice; 2, solidarity of any kind is good and; 3, God is close to the broken-hearted.

Now here is my proposition. This issue, while not new by any stretch-but finally proliferated from an uncovering standpoint-originates from 3 fundamental societal shortcomings.

1 The pornification of society.

These men-and I can almost guarantee you (though there is obviously no possible way to prove this) that every single one of these accused men has been addicted to pornography.

And while I will not list all the objectively and quantifiablely destructive aspects of pornography I will simply highlight a couple relevant issues and cite what is one of the best articles ever published on the topic.

The bottom line for me is this: an insane number of-yes, mostly men-are addicted to porn; they are becoming exposed to porn at earlier ages and there are AT LEAST two horrifying side effects: 1, boys and men come to view woman as objects and 2, after a certain level of exposure to porn the type and degree of porn gets more and more graphic and grotesque.

These and many other notable objections are posted here for further reading; if you even know a person of the male variety, I HIGHLY recommend checking this article out.

2, The distortion of true intimacy

When I was still in student ministries we did a series on dating and sex and here was the big idea from 4-6 weeks of teaching on the subject: the definition of intimacy is to know someone fully and to be known by someone fully.

The basis is trust, security and in-depth knowledge of one another. And, biologically speaking, boys tend to be more wired for the pleasure of sex, while girls are wired for the real ethos of intimacy: to be known, cherished, trusted, wanted, valued and LOVED!

In the article I read about the Aziz Ansari accuser, you want to know one of the parts that stuck out to me the most? It wasn’t the graphic and very sad sexual advances. It was the part where they sat down, she had expressed discomfort and she imagined that perhaps he would rub her back or play with her hair… THAT is the very personification of intimacy.

Note that those gestures could have been accomplished by a father figure rather than a sexual partner. That may sound odd, but which one is trusted, honored and cherished more: the father who raised this young woman or the one night stand super star?

3, The lostness of covenant

Though an intensely Biblical word, I would define covenant as compact, contract, agreement, vow, commitment-all powerful words that evoke a mutual promise. A mutual promise, by the way, that forms the bedrock for ALL ELSE in a relationship-of any significant kind-romantical or otherwise!

When I was a freshman in college, I had my first major breakup where I had been intimate with the girl. Without going into too much detail, she was the one who had a breach of trust and for days and weeks I pouted about like a real victim! And then something rocked me to the core.

My dad-in no uncertain terms-said something to this affect, ‘Ben, sooner rather than later you are going to have to admit at least equal fault because you actively engaged in a relationship where there weren’t really any terms…’ It was a sort of the “alls fair in love and war” comment, but he was saying so much more than that…

He was saying that apart from covenant, it’s all up for grabs… cheat, lie, makeup, “open relationship,” sleep around, commit, don’t commit… nothing is truly defined so nothing is truly agreed upon.

So listen: does cheating and unwanted sexual advances still happen within the covenant of marriage? Sure, I suppose so. But without that starting place, without that foundational piece, without that plan you are playing a losing odds game that I just do not think is worth the human heart.

Don’t believe me? Test it for yourself: go ahead and continue serial TBD relationships and report back if it leaves you feeling more fulfilled, more known, more satisfied and happier or not… because if year over year, guy after guy, girl after girl you wind up with the same results isn’t that the definition of insanity?

Conclusion:

The thing is: all 3 of these are intertwined… the pornification leads to a demented sexual worldview, intimacy-in any significant sense-is a foreign term AND this leaves (mostly) women at a loss for a man who knows how to really unlock the needs of her heart.

The lack of covenant leads to the brokenness of serial sexual encounters-damaging both parties ability to give and receive love. The lack of covenant love-making leads to a hunger to fulfill that need elsewhere and we are back to square one (porn or getting sex wherever we can)!

As a father, husband and man I will keep my prescriptions brief and pointed. I put the onus squarely on the shoulders of other men: father a young man (spiritually or biologically) and be bold and courageous enough to teach them the biblical worldview of intimacy, sex, purity, the dangers of porn and, of course, what it really means to win a woman for life… to lay your life down for her like Christ served the Church.

Take the book of Ruth as a beautiful starting place if you want a Biblical example of BOTH intimacy AND covenant; Ruth 1:16 says (from one widow to another),

But Ruth replied, “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. 17 Wherever you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!”

Do me a favor and share this; I think this message needs to go out… to the hurting and those doing the hurting alike. Share and challenge others to break free from the broken cycle of repeat sexual encounters and/or porn consumption. Real and lasting intimacy is not found in those places. It’s found at Calvary-where a covenant was offered to give life and meaning and hope to any and all future covenants.