Moving from Reacting to Reflecting

Social Media's effect on our thinking

Think about this.  All recorded history and facts are at our fingertips.  No longer do we have to wonder “what year did that happen”, “what’s the RBI record for 2nd basemen in odd number years”, or “what movie was that guy in?”  With a few clicks, the answer can be ours.  The same goes with social media.  No longer do people have to wait to know how we feel about something.  We can either post our thoughts or react(like, heart, smiley face, shocked face, etc.) to the thoughts of others in an instant.  How many times have you been reading or thinking and something great pops in your mind or you see the perfect quote?  What is one to do?  Share it immediately of course!  In July, our family went to the beach.  I needed it.  I was burned out on a molecular and spiritual level(did I mention that studies have shown a link between depression and cell phone use).  I was excited to begin the habit of daily morning devotions and journaling(on the beach no less) and to delete Facebook and Twitter off of my phone.  An amazing thing happened.  The first day of devotions I came across a great quote from John Wesley’s writing and instinctively thought, “I’ve got to share this right now!”  The only problem was I had intentionally left my phone in the car plus…no Facebook or Twitter.  When the urge to post subsided my mind returned to the quote and I reflected on it more deeply than I’ve reflected on anything in a long time.  One thought led to another and soon I found myself lost in the moment, scribbling down my thoughts, and taken away by the Holy Spirit to a place I had not been in a long time.  It was a euphoric feeling.  I continued my morning reading and praying and at the end I just sat and took it all in.  It hit me.  How many times has God given me(or you) a great thought and once we have shared it on social media that’s it.  We feel our work is done and the moment passes and that thought soon fades away except on the Wall of Facebook or the Timeline of Twitter.  I have tried to calculate how many hours(days, months!) that I have wasted on the scroll.  You know what I mean: the mindless social media scroll of thumbing down the page until something catches our eye and we either click our reaction or click on the article.  I have permanent tendonitis in my thumb.  I have encouraged my son to look into being a carpal tunnel surgeon.  Between video games, keyboards, and phones he would always have a line of patients.  What if, instead of going right to our phones to find the answers, we took the time to think about it?  Of course, I’m not talking about if you need life saving medical advice or something like that.  What conversations and thoughts would be borne out of letting our minds search for…anything?  To fire back up those connections that have grown dormant?  What if, in the light of recent racial events in Charlottesville and other cities, I sought the Lord and let my mind consider all of these things instead of scrolling through to see what everyone else thought and reacting to it?  I’m not saying that there’s not a time and place to scroll through your social media feed, but we have gotten to the point where it’s our go to solution for any dead time in our day.

Now, I will add Twitter and Facebook to my phone when attending an event that I want to “report” on which is usually a church conference or a wrestling match.  Insert your joke here.  Most of the time though, I’m only getting on from my computer or iPad and only at the times I’ve set aside to do such.

I kept Instagram on my phone.  I have never struggled with it personally as far as getting lost in the scroll.  It allows me to post to Facebook and Twitter and now I will mark the quotes and scriptures I find in the morning for posting later.  I have also traded the screen for a book every night 30 minutes before I go to bed.  There’s been an amazing difference in my quality of sleep and sharpness of my dreams.  Here are some books that have really impacted me over the past month or so…and yes, I am reading more than I ever have before.

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World

Mind Hacking: How to Change Your Mind for Good in 21 Days

Switch On Your Brain: The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking, and Health

The Emotionally Healthy Leader: How Transforming Your Inner Life Will Deeply Transform Your Church, Team, and the World

The Caped Crusade: Batman and the Rise of Nerd Culture(Hey, I didn’t say these were all serious books.)

The Quest for Holiness-From Shallow Belief to Mature Believer

Here are 3 suggestions I would make to move from reacting to reflecting

  1.  Take social media off of your phone if you can’t resist the urge to immediately post every good thought you have.
  2. Give yourself time(I prefer the mornings) to read, reflect and pray.  Get up early enough so time is not an issue and you don’t feel rushed.  Start writing down what you’re reading and the thoughts that come to your mind.  Feel free to share these later, but don’t lose the power of the moment to go deeper.
  3. Schedule scroll time.  Set aside 15 minutes(not right after you wake up, right before you go to bed, or during family time) to see what’s happening and when time’s up that’s it.

I hope to continue the daily of deeper reflection and thinking.  God continues to bring my mind back from a dark place of depression every single day.  The depression has always kept me from my best work including writing which I hope to remedy shortly.  Thanks for reading.  What’s been your experience with social media and smart phones?  How are you combating the pull to the mindless scroll?

3 Ways to Hurdle the Big Blogging Hump

Writer's Block much?

Writer’s Block much?

“How do I start a blog?”

“I’ve got a great idea for a blog.”

I hear things like that all the time.  Friends will excitedly tell me, “Hey, check out my new blog!”  They write a few great posts, but after a month or two it dries up on the vine.

Although this blog in one form or another has been around for almost 7 years I can honestly tell you that there are a few blogger blogs(that’s blogspot for you newbies) floating in cyber oblivion

It’s Time to Start Your Blog

green light

Are you ready to start your own blog?

I have been blogging for 6 years.  From MySpace to Facebook to Blogger to WordPress.com to WordPress.org I have used just about every major blogging platform.  Tumblr and Typepad are two other popular blogging tools.  A survey of the top 100 blogs shows which platform is preferred by almost half of them(48%):

 WordPress

Many people are familiar with wordpress.com which is a free solution.  You can still see one of my original blogs at dailydoseofheath.wordpress.com.  With wordpress.com you can also use your own domain which is where heathmullikin.com started several years ago.  While free is great, it isn’t always better.  With wordpress.com, you don’t have a ton of flexibility with how your blog looks and functions.  Since wordpress.com is hosting the blog for you they have most of the control.

Three years ago I started Chase Your Lion as a self-hosted wordpress.org site.  Why?  I was looking to earn some money with my blog and wordpress.com does not allow affiliate links(to sites like Amazon) or ads.  With a self hosted blog, I own the content, control the content, and can make money off the content.  A self-hosted wordpress.org blog gives you total control over how your blog looks and functions.  In early 2010, I moved this blog to a self hosted account.

There are probably three reasons you haven’t moved your blog to a self-hosted account:

  1. You don’t want to pay for your blog.
  2. You don’t know how to set it up.
  3. You don’t want to lose all your old posts from blogger or wordpress.com.
What if I told you that I make enough money from blogging to pay for my hosting each year and I will show you how to do the same?
What if I told you I will set up your blog for you on a hosted account?
What if I told you I could import all your old posts into your new blog?
Here’s what you’ll get from me when you CLICK HERE TO SIGNUP FOR BLUEHOST.COM.
1.  I will set up WordPress for you on your BLUEHOST account.  $100 value
2.  I will install the following plug-ins:  $40 value
  • WordPress SEO-helps people find your blog using search engines so you don’t have to rely on friends and family to read your blog.
  • W3 Total Cache-keeps your blog running nice and fast
  • Akismet-removes all comment spam
  • Jetpack-provides various tools including blog stats and social network sharing
  • nrelate-provides thumbnails to related posts to help people discover more of your content
3.  I will include 17 WordPress 101(WP 101) tutorial videos on how to use wordpress.  $50 value
4.  I will import posts from your old wordpress.com or blogger site.  $75 value
What’s the Cost?  

BLUEHOST.COM is the number one hosting company recommended by wordpress.org.  They have excellent 24/7 customer service, call you to verify your account set up, and do not allow pornographic sites on their servers.  Their regular price is $8.95 per month but right now you can SIGNUP FOR  12 months at $6.95($83.40), 24 months at $5.95($142.80), or 36 months at $4.95($178.20).  After your initial contract is up the cost goes up to $8.95 per month($107.40 yearly).  Did I mention that this cost includes your domain name and if you already own a domain name BLUEHOST and I will show you how to switch it over?

What’s the Catch?

There is no catch.  As an affiliate for BLUEHOST.COM I make a commission when you sign up.  If you don’t like your blog when I’m done there is a 30 day money back guarantee they offer.  If you’re not satisfied in any way they will refund all of your money and I will still email you the weekly blogging tips.  My goal here is to build connections around the blogosphere and get more people blogging.

Step 1:

Sign up for Bluehost using one of the links provided or the banner below.

Step 2:

Choose a domain.

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Choose a domain

Step 3:

Choose your plan and payment options.  I personally do not choose any of the extras that are offered.

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Choose your plan and payment options.

Step 4:

Email your bluehost receipt and log in information to heath.mullikin at(@) gmail.com.  Also include your name that you will be blogging under, the Title you want to use for your blog, and what it will be about.  This information will be entered into your settings and can be changed at any time.  After I email you your wordpress log in information I will destroy the email with your bluehost information.

Step 5:

Verify your account when BLUEHOST.COM calls.

Step 6:

Start Blogging!

What are you waiting for? CLICK HERE TO START YOUR NEW BLOG AT BLUEHOST.COM

The 8 People You Meet at Christian Conferences

A conference speaker

Are you a conference junkie?

I meet a lot of people at Christian Conferences.  Today, I am attending the Newspring Leadership Conference (#nlc) in Anderson, SC at Newspring Church.  I’ve been to all of them so far(this is year 3) and the speaker lineup includes Matt Chandler, Steven Furtick, Criag Groeschel, James McDonald, Perry Noble, Judah Smith, Andy Stanley, Judah Smith, and Jud Wilhite.  The first 2 years were challenging and life changing and I will miss Mark Driscoll this year.  I have been to a conference at Willow Creek before and that was incredible, but mostly I’ve stuck with local and denominational events.  Our district has a yearly retreat that is required for full-time pastors and it is always refreshing.  In 17 years of attending conferences, here are a few

The Devil is in the Distraction

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What’s distracting you?

Some people think that God set everything into motion and has been sitting back watching since Creation.  I don’t think that’s true. I think He is always active, always involved, and always engaged in what’s happening in the world.  People blame the devil for everything.  Dead car battery?  The devil.  Runny nose?  The devil

As a pastor, I get to see God transforming

Are you a consumer or a creator?

guitar in progress

It’s time to put your inner creator to work.

When was the last time you created something?  Maybe it was a term paper, a speech, a t-shirt design, or something else that was created by your mind and hands.  I think that God, the original and ultimate creator, put it in our DNA to be creators as well.  It’s why a child has this strange urge to

God’s Ways are Not Our Ways

Moving truck 2007

“It’s hard to trust God when everything you own is in a moving truck.”

Today is a historic day for me.  5 years ago, our family was all packed up and ready to drive the 638 miles to our new church in Aston, PA.  I felt unqualified for ministry, unstable emotionally, and unprepared for the task ahead.  I found myself going through the motions during that

4 Reasons Every Pastor Should Blog

blog sticky note

Pastor, remember to blog.

I’m a big believer in blogging. Blogging has given me a great outlet at times in my life when I needed to clear my head.  It’s also helped me understand and follow God’s next steps for my life. There are lots of great blogs out there and many of them are by pastors. Here are 4 reasons every pastor should blog.

1.  Blogging is a great way to communicate your church’s vision beyond Sundays.

Perry Noble does a great job of writing a “letter” to his

Even Wesleyan Pastors Make Mistakes

I missed the mark this time.

I received a message last night that this blog had sent out upwards of 400 emails to everyone who subscribes to this blog via email.  First, let me offer my sincerest apologies for blanketing your inbox with what must have seemed like a spam attack from Uranus.  Even Wesleyan pastors make mistakes.

Secondly, I want to explain why this happened and