Do You Need to Find Time to Slow Down?

Do You Need to Find Time to Slow DownRecently I had a birthday. Don’t feel bad if you missed it—I have everything I need and most of what I want—so it’s all good!

For a birthday, it is the time spent with family and friends—be it directly or indirectly—that are the most significant and the best remembered.

I now often say 'no' to good things so that I may have time for the best things. Click To Tweet

Not to be dismissed are the cards from service providers, such as insurance agents and financial advisers. This reminds me, from ten years ago, I was amused and then taken aback by the generic message in one such card that read:

“Wishing you time to slow down and enjoy your special day.”

What does that say about the pace at which we move in today’s society? Is being too busy so common that a wish to slow down has become a universal sentiment? I hope not, but I fear it is so.

Take Time to Slow Down

That’s not to imply that at times I don’t need to slow down, because sometimes I do. Sometimes my workload overwhelms me; sometimes I get frustrated by the commitments I have thoughtlessly made; and sometimes I say, “I’m too busy”—but not too often.

It took awhile, but I’ve learned the freedom of saying “no.” I now often say “no” to good things so that I may have time for the best things. And when I consistently do that, I don’t need to take time to slow down to enjoy the day—I’m already moving at the right pace, which allows me to enjoy just about every day that comes along.

Regardless of the speed of your day, I hope the same for you.

Wordsmith Peter DeHaan is a magazine publisher by day and a writer by night. Check back each week for updated content, and look for his upcoming book, Woodpecker Wars.

Book Release: 52 Churches: A Yearlong Journey Encountering God, His Church, and Our Common Faith

Book Release: 52 Churches: A Yearlong Journey Encountering God, His Church, and Our Common Faith

The Book 52 Churches is Now Available

52 Churches: A Yearlong Journey Encountering God, His Church, and Our Common FaithVisit fifty-two churches in a year?

Am I crazy? Maybe.

My wife and I spent a year visiting churches, a different Christian church every Sunday. This book is our story.

I’m sure we visited a church just like yours.

And wow, did we learn a lot. Things that will surprise you and make you cringe. And more than a few things that will inspire you.

In 52 Churches, you’ll:

  • Discover the shocking approaches that some churches use.
  • Learn the essential dos and don’ts when you have a visitor.
  • Make sure your church avoids the really creepy things I saw.
  • Uncover traditional church practices that no longer make sense.
  • See what’s not working, and what to replace it with.

You’ll Laugh, You’ll Cry, You’ll Wince.

But 52 Churches isn’t a rip at the modern church or a mean-spirited journalistic exposé. Instead it’s a gift that offers encouragement, hope, and ideas on how your church can thrive and be relevant in today’s culture.

52 Churches is ideal for church leaders, church members, and church outsiders. And if you’re still reading this, it’s perfect for you too.

Get your copy of 52 Churches today!

How Many Friends Do You Have?

How Many Friends Do You Have_How many friends do you have? For many, a quick answer resides in Facebook. In addition to Facebook friends, some might consider Twitter followers or LinkedIn connections. But for most, the number of online “friends” overstates the situation.

Try removing social media from consideration. For a revised answer, people may count the number of email addresses in their email account or the length of their phone directory in their cell phone. But that still overstates things.

Let’s remove all technology from consideration. How many friends do you actually see face to face on a weekly basis? The number of “friends” is shrinking. But is everyone in this group truly a friend?

For me, my true friends are those I could call for an emergency at 3 AM. It’s a short list. How about you?How many friends do you have? Click To Tweet

Wordsmith Peter DeHaan is a magazine publisher by day and a writer by night. Check back each week for updated content, and look for his upcoming book, Woodpecker Wars.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I’m thankful for family, friends, and faith.

I’m thankful for food, clothing, and shelter.

Everything else is a bonus—and I’m thankful for that too!

May you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Take the time to reflect and appreciate everything you have. Click To Tweet

Wordsmith Peter DeHaan is a magazine publisher by day and a writer by night. Check back each week for updated content, and look for his upcoming book, Woodpecker Wars.

Login Fatigue

Do you suffer from “login fatigue?” I know I do. Login fatigue is that overwhelmed feeling produced by having too many computer login names, passwords, and codes to keep track of. (A Google search for “login fatigue” resulted in 75,400,000 entries, more than a hundred times higher then when I last checked. I am sure that number will keep growing.)

It’s not that I’m lazy or trying to make a statement about logging in. The sad reality is that I had way too many logins to keep track of.  As a result, I’ve had to resort to maintaining a list of my various cyberspace logins. For the most part, I needed every one of them to conduct business. There are a variety of financial websites, secure access for numerous services, a plethora of logins for my diverse Internet presence (email, Websites, blogs, search engines, and so forth), and even a few—a precious few—for personal enjoyment.Login fatigue is that overwhelmed feeling produced by having too many computer login names, passwords, and codes to keep track of. Click To Tweet

Because of this frustration, I used to regularly close websites that require I login just to peek at their treasure trove of information. I’m not talking about those pay-for, subscription sites—which I steadfastly avoid. I’m referring to those free sites that demand that I setup an account and login with each visit. Nope, it’s not going to happen.

Its been suggested that we need some sort of universal login, one login that will work for multiple sites. That sounded great to me; I needed it. And so when I’ve heard about Last Pass a password manager, generator, and vault, I tried it. This might be the solution we all seek.

Wordsmith Peter DeHaan is a magazine publisher by day and a writer by night. Check back each week for updated content, and look for his upcoming book, Woodpecker Wars.

The Cost of Daylight Savings Time

Did you change your clocks over the weekend? (About 70 countries currently observe Daylight Savings Time, though they may follow a different schedule than in the US.)

As I was adjusting clocks over the weekend, I contemplated the cost of switching to and from Daylight Savings Time—and the amount of time it takes, not saves!

Did you remember to change your clocks over the weekend? Click To Tweet

First, doing some projections based on my personal clock setting experiences, I calculate that in the United States alone, about 150,000 hours is collectively spent adjusting clocks each fall and spring.  For businesses, there is direct labor cost associated with this effort.  In most cases they can address this on Monday morning, however, for some businesses clocks must be adjusted at 2:00 a.m., generally requiring overtime pay as well.

To determine the full cost, however, add in devices that are inadvertently broken while trying to set them and that are then replaced.

Next, consider all the commitments, appointments, and flights that are missed because people show up at the wrong time.  In the fall, it’s not so bad, as you arrive early—and end up waiting.  In the spring it’s a killer, because you arrive too late.

Altogether, this adds up to a huge cost, burden, and time waster—all for the delusion that we are saving time by doing so.

Wordsmith Peter DeHaan is a magazine publisher by day and a writer by night. Check back each week for updated content, and look for his upcoming book, Woodpecker Wars.

Save a Tree

In 2010, on a mailed statement, there was a notice that “for every 13 people who go paperless, one tree can be saved.” Really? What does that mean?

  • 13 people go paperless with this company for one month and one tree will be saved, or
  • 13 people go paperless with this company for one year and one tree will be saved, or
  • 13 people go paperless with this company for as long as they’re a customer and one tree will be saved, or
  • 13 people go paperless with all companies for the rest of their lives and one tree will be saved…

None of these explanations makes sense. The first two would not save much paper, while the last two contain too much variability to be accurately quantified. What does make sense is going paperless when it is sensible to do so.

Going paperless and then printing out the paperless statement gains nothing, so if a hard copy is needed, don’t go paperless. However, many statements can be received electronically, stored electronically, and later on, destroyed electronically. A tree can be planted to replace the one I used, but the time lost in trying to save the tree is gone forever. Click To Tweet

I enjoy receiving invoices as email attachments.  I don’t like the alternative of receiving a notice that a statement is available for me to download.  Although a desirable precaution for banking and investment records, it is a hassle. You need to log into a secure site, enter your login and password, navigate to the right page, and download the statement. To make matters worse, it is inadvisable to click on email links, as they can direct you to a bogus site. It is also inadvisable to use the same login and password for each site, which adds another level of complexity and confusion.

I’m all for saving trees and doing whenever it is practical.  However, when saving a tree is time-consuming and frustration-laden, I’ll pass. After all, a tree can be planted to replace the one I used, but the time lost in trying to save the tree is gone forever.

Wordsmith Peter DeHaan is a magazine publisher by day and a writer by night. Check back each week for updated content, and look for his upcoming book, Woodpecker Wars.

A Sad Situation

sad situationEight years ago, locally, a 16-year-old girl was tragically killed in a house fire—because her parents had her chained to her bed.I'm not sure what bothers me more, a child being chained up and dying in a fire or the people who caused her death claiming that it wasn't their fault. Click To Tweet

After they were given appropriately long prison sentences for her death, the father vented to any who would listen. While he admitted a “possible error in judgment” over chaining her to her bed, he justified the action as being warranted and needed.

According to reports, he then said it wasn’t his—or his wife’s—fault, launching into a tirade of blame. He accused the local school system, the children’s protective service, the local law enforcement agency, and the state, asserting that they either knew about—or should have known about—the situation and intervened. These diverse and varied authorities should have stepped in, he claimed, to help them properly raise their daughter and prevent her unfortunate death.

I’m not sure what bothers me more, a child being chained up and dying in a fire or the people who caused her death claiming that it wasn’t their fault.

What were they thinking?

Wordsmith Peter DeHaan is a magazine publisher by day and a writer by night. Check back each week for updated content, and look for his upcoming book, Woodpecker Wars.

Facts For the Fatherless

According to recent figures from the Census Bureau, over 27% of children (more than 1 in 4) in the U.S. lived without a father in their home in 2017.

'The epidemic of fatherlessness causes a strain on young lives and leaves many young men with the burden of trying to figure out how to be a good man without any solid examples to look at,' writes Carl Kozlowski. Click To Tweet

That is sad, but even more shocking are the ramifications.  Children without fathers are:

  • 5 times more likely to live in poverty
  • 5 times more likely to commit crimes
  • 9 times more likely to drop out of school
  • 20 times more likely to end up in prison

“The epidemic of fatherlessness causes a strain on young lives and leaves many young men with the burden of trying to figure out how to be a good man without any solid examples to look at,” writes Carl Kozlowski.

“Ninety-four percent of the prison population is male, 85% of which are without fathers,” cites Donald Miller.

This is a sobering reality to think about.

[To get involved, check out www.thementoringproject.org and www.bbbs.org ]

Wordsmith Peter DeHaan is a magazine publisher by day and a writer by night. Check back each week for updated content, and look for his upcoming book, Woodpecker Wars.

Gandhi’s Seven Deadly Sins

Mohandas Gandhi considered these to be society’s seven deadly social sins:

  • Wealth without Work
  • Pleasure without Conscience
  • Science without Humanity
  • Knowledge without Character
  • Politics without Principle
  • Commerce without Morality
  • Worship without Sacrifice

It sure gives one something to think about.Mohandas Gandhi considered these to be society's seven deadly social sins. Click To Tweet

Wordsmith Peter DeHaan is a magazine publisher by day and a writer by night. Check back each week for updated content, and look for his upcoming book, Woodpecker Wars.

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