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Reclaiming the Soul in the Digital Dark Age - Part 1

Scott Ritsema


Scott Ritsema

Founder and Speaker for Belt of Truth Ministries




  • June 17, 2019
    7:45 PM
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Father in heaven we thank you so much for your goodness and love to us that you promise to abide with us and that where 2 or 3 are gathered there you are with us and so Lord we're going to explore your will and ask for your voice to be made known that we might hear your direction on our media use this week and so Lord please give us wisdom and guidance please give us your direction your directives from on high we want to set aside our opinions and our preferences and just say that I will be done On earth as it is in heaven in Jesus' name we pray Amen this afternoon session as in titled How to be human again now the year was 1844 you know that as Bible prophecy students as a very significant year pointed to in Daniel 8 verse 14 what a lot of people don't know about the history and I was surprised to learn myself that a big event happened in 1904 in addition to prophetic sanctuary heavenly events and that event was pictured right here you know who that man is this is Samuel Morse tapping away the 1st telegraph ever sent the year was 844 you could say this is the 1st text message in history the now all of a sudden human beings can communicate across this then says simultaneously This was a foreshadowing of what we have today with modern media now you see it's 844 there's a spiritual significance to that isn't there and there's a spiritual controversy with the media use issue it goes without saying that media can be used powerful we're sitting here in the midst of the midst of very well funded communications equipment that 3 a.b.n. has brought in to to put on children's programs and and our our ministry actually has put out D.V.D.'s and we're on satellite media you've heard of strong tower radio Adventist world radio all these different ways to get the truth outright and even social media we're going to talk about some of these things this week some of the dangers some of the mental health issues associated with them but. Mine had an injury a major emergency that required a fundraiser and $50000.00 was raised in 9 hours another friend of a family friend of ours a little boy 7 years old had a flu and pneumonia like multi-dimensional illness that just was stricken his body and he was in the hospital and nearly died and prayer requests went out on social media and everybody rallied behind this little boy and prayed for him and he was healed miraculously And so you can see how social media even all sorts of media can be used to present truth to spread the truth so $844.00 you might go to that and be like Ok the devil's going to be up to something in the last days modern media is going to be a stumbling block in many people's lives and I can say Amen to that as I know you can as well as you've seen the media on the brain seminar that was predominantly an exposé of worldly media but here we are with these technological tools perhaps ceasing to be tools in our lives using the Internet using social media using smartphones using digital media in a way that maybe is becoming destructive to our spiritual life to our experience of God's nature and the family life we're going to explore all these themes this week but I'm going to start out with this it was the year 2012 this is a ways after 844 but maybe some of you because this is Michigan camp meeting maybe some of you were here when I started this media on the brain journey I was a teacher and I was seeing in my own students' lives morally media crowding in and violent video games and how we would entertainment in the worldly music industry and I said Lord what's going on with our own youth here so I started sharing information with them about media and that led to a camp meeting some an hour that watched this ministry belt of truth ministries has been in existence for that period of time can you believe it's been 7 years it's kind of fun 7 years is a biblically significant number if you have no idea what I'm talking about don't worry. I'll catch up on some media on the brain stuff on pariah day I hope you're planning to come to each one of these meetings Sunday through Friday 330 at this same place but all that to say you fast forward to 2016 and I'm looking at the data that's coming in what's the latest into terms of the numbers of hours people are consuming of media I couldn't believe what I saw I thought that in 2012 the numbers were so catastrophic Lehi that they couldn't get any worse. Boy was I wrong the percentage of our country that consume 5 hours or more of screen time per day doubled in just 4 years in that time period so all the way in 20163 years ago now I said it's time to update this information and keep preaching this media message so that we can replace these things as stumbling blocks and allow them to become tools again in God's hands to present the truth instead of the devil using these as his agencies of destruction now fast forward to 2018 I couldn't believe this one from Nielsen Media You know how many minutes of media per day the average American consumed last year per day the average American consumed an average of 666 minutes of media per day. We wouldn't we wouldn't suggest this is any direct fulfillment of prophecy but that's a pretty ominous number and a very large number to that physical physiological effects start to come in when you're consuming this amount of media it becomes a problem beginning with just our posture because when you're on your phone you're in this position and what you tend to do is get forward head like that and what the chiropractors in the child development people in the physical therapist tell us is that in that position at a $45.00 degree angle you're putting $49.00 pounds of pressure on the upper spine there and this becomes problematic for our health for our breathing for many reasons that I'll get to in much more in in much more detail by the way when you saw this on the screen this is coming out in the next couple of months so you guys are hearing the media mind bits of a. Before the full series is out so if you're wondering can I get the rest of this information Yes Just stay tuned on that we'll talk about D.V.D.'s actually after the closing prayer but back to this at the I hunch they call it it's becoming the new posture like people have this permanent now forward head posture because we're training ourselves that way with so much sitting so much computer time so much phone time and I guess the people who believe in evolution who have the chart where you're coming down from the monkey they're going to have to update the chart and the next guy over is coming back down we have course we know that God made man upright and not like this chart suggests but the people who subscribe to that will have to update it take a deep breath sit up straight for a 2nd did you know that the study reveals that a large part of the population is not able to breathe properly because we're we're aware we have high stress and we don't have proper posture it's talking about even people not breathing properly taking full respiration of the longs in child instance as with the children among the 1st things to be aimed at should be a correct position both in sitting and in standing God made man upright and he desires him to possess not on the not only the physical but the mental and moral benefit the grace and dignity and self-possession the courage and self-reliance which an erect bearing so greatly tends to promote it says Let the teacher give instruction I've got a kind of watch myself on this give instruction by example and precept show what a correct position is and insists that it shall be maintained so I'm not going to be spying on you guys down and pointing people out here where posturing ourselves but I seeing actually in myself I get excited about something I'm teaching and I come forward like this and I see a video I'm like whoa what are you doing you've got to stand up straight there have that proper posture and respiration because actually when you're slumped down they've done studies on this in people who stand like that they have more depressed feelings and more fearful feelings this promotes more courage didn't we just read it in the quote. That it will produce more courage and same thing here when you when you read in the Bible that it is no longer I who live that self is lost and that in Christ to live within me you start to come alive and you have that energy and you have that my talent in you have that courage and not no longer self reliance but reliance on Christ through faith they've also shown that standing and sitting in this position produces more negative words that we speak where this we have more positive outlook more positive words how about in schools school children which one do you think they perform better academically when they're sitting up straight just like the quote said from Child Guidance so we have physiological effects about posture but not just that arthritis this is something that afflicts people as they age right not anymore arthritis timebomb warning for the under forty's doctors say constant texting and gaming can wear out your joints and the hearing evidence of hearing damage in teens prompts researchers warning it goes on to explain that there are 28 percent over a quarter of teens today have persistent tonight it's in the ears there's a ring in the in the ears from so much loud music so we're starting to damage our bodies all over the place teen and young adult cell phone related injuries are up 84 percent you might be like What's a cell phone related injury I've never heard of that well they exist and they keep track of how many there are there are up 84 percent and one of those could be your there was a guy who was on his phone in San Diego California walked off a cliff and died and Christmas Day Did you see that in the news that was a very sad and tragic thing in fact the selfie kills more people now than sharks because you're on the edge of the precipice you know in Peru or wherever you are and people are they are falling off to their death and of course it's not very large this isn't a huge percentage like 28 percent of teens with tonight is that's a bigger deal and terms of the broader population but smartphones are killing Americans but nobody is counting the. When he's talking about traffic fatalities 67 percent jump in the percentage of people who are texting and driving and taking their lives into their hands and also pedestrian deaths this one really surprised me and I you think you know where the curve is and where the on coming traffic is but people are so immersed in their phone they have no idea you're about to walk into on coming traffic and there's been an increase in deaths to the point where they said Ok we need to move the traffic signals from being up at eye level and put them down that curb level because nobody's going to know otherwise this is a new world we're living in right if I would have told you that 7 years ago in the near future you will live in a world where the traffic signals are moved from being up at eye level to down here because we now live here it's a different place a different orientation we now live in a world where they put pads on the light posts on the sidewalks in Austria we now live in a world where the federal government put out a grant out of the National Institutes of Health to train people's g.p.s. on their phone so that it would signal exactly when they're going to walk into the street and it gives you an alert it gives you a notification Hey don't walk into the street you're going to die no I don't know what it would say on your phone something like that but we're totally immersed in a virtual place now and even in a place like you go get your hair cut right you maybe have some common conversation little small town witnessing Yassar going to be a witness you get to know the person a little bit it's a it's a 20 minute experience where you where you talk right you have a conversation Yes Not anymore this now exists it's the Cape for the haircut place the barber the stylist who will then allow you to see through the transparent medium and you can just sit there on your phone the entire time you're getting your hair cut I mean we are so checked out that it's not really going to fall and there is a. There it goes that really happened there are dozens of these kind of things on line I'll just show you one for the sake of it. And one last time I hope he's Ok that's where we've come to now the media mind the media mind is checked out but the mind of Christ is in gauge you know the Bible invites us to let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus right so when we get so involved with so much nonstop media we start to develop a different mind if we're going to get into that in great depth throughout the week but it's the media mind that is developing in this 21st century culture in which we live let's contrast that with God's plan for us to use media in a balanced way but to start to ask is it time to learn to be human again but we're starting to lose a grip on what it means to be human in the hour forementioned examples and in much more what we will see in family life oh man that's huge I hope you come into every meeting every one of these going to be important I was trying to rank in my mind like which one is the most important and I'm like Well Monday is my favorite one to present Tuesday is probably the most dire and important Thursday is the one that's probably the most the most I opening Thursday is probably the one that is the most enlightening and then Friday is the summary of the old media on the brain stuff if you need to catch up on that or never heard that so that's all the big teaser for you to come every every day but learning to be human again in family life in social life in church life experiencing nature experiencing revelation in God's Word and in his in his creation around us learning to be human again in our labor in our study in our entrepreneurial endeavors in cooking and physical things and all of the 3 dimensional non revert you will place in which we inhabit on this earth that God has created for us time to rediscover that and ask tough questions about finding the right boundaries in our media use and yes using media in its proper balance in place is part of what it means to be blast days people living in this time post 844 after the invention of the 1st modern telling. Indications of ice if you missed that if you came in late the telegraph was invented in 1904 the birth of modern media was 844 so you're going to have a bifurcation we're going to have a conflict Christ and Satan God using media to spread the truth Satan using it to disrupt our human experience and redemption and bring in a lot of worldliness as well we now touch our devices 2 $1617.00 times per day that's an awful lot of touching tapping and swiping every individual and every unique touch $2617.00 times a day and did anybody do any math and multiply that by $365.00 are you curious how many that is per year it's nearly a 1000000 times per year that we're touching tapping it's wiping our devices that's more than all the combined total of how many times we touch our children and our paths and wood and nails and soil and plants and real things it's a different place now isn't it teens now consume 9 hours of entertainment media per day these numbers could they get any higher than that I just remembered I have these yellow notebooks and I forgot to hand those out at the beginning if you want to get on our ministry's newsletter put an e-mail address right on there and pass it up and down the rows and we will send the occasional update about we what we are up to thank you for whoever just pulled the notebook out a 2nd ago and got my attention it made me think of my notebook 9 hours of entertainment media per day but you might say we're getting to the point where Scott you know we've always heard you start your media seminars out with the number of hours of media we're consuming and all that is it becoming like an almost constant thing where keeping track of the number of hours is kind of an irrelevant thing and the new way to look at it is the way these teens do look in 201415 a quarter of teens admitted that they were on their phones almost constantly that nearly doubled to almost half of teens today in 2018 last year almost half of them admit that they are almost constantly on their devices then the c.n.n. article really blew my mind when it said this by the numbers kids are not spending more time with screens than they were in the eighty's. Is anybody else questioning that statement right now and going what did he just say by the numbers kids today are not spending more time with screens than they were in the eighty's I was blessed to have a studied handed to me by Spitzbergen 20 and Martin at San Diego State University a fantastic paper and publication they put out and I got to comb through all the data going back to the seventy's how much screen time teens have been doing decade over decade through the past half century and what it showed was back in the eighty's it was about 3.5 hours per day of screen time how many are teens doing today 9 hours so do you believe this statement right here that said by the numbers kids are not doing more screen time than they were in the eighty's that's absolutely false it's nearly tripled since the eighty's it's nearly doubled just since 2007 in 2007 it was 5 hours today per day today it's 9 hours per day so we're looking at catastrophic Lehi numbers and if we just read news articles like that are watching the cable news and we think we're being informed with factual information and we're just plugged into mainstream sources of entertainment the media mind is that says d.c. verbal the mind of Christ is critically thinking and so we want to be thinkers and not mere reflectors of other men's thoughts can I get an Amen to that I include myself in that by the way as a teacher my my goal my agenda my whole my aim and mission is always to prompt people to think to really probe the Word of God for themselves because when it comes down to the stuff of 9 hours of media per day for the teens we all need to take heart not just the teens us adults parents of that of the children are doing nearly 8 hours of media per day they're spending more than twice as much time on Netflix then all the quality time they spend with their children. Fine let me say that again parents are spending 2 times more time just watching Netflix alone then all the quality time they have with their children combined is that sad or what we're going to talk about the family in the next session tomorrow but a survey from Common Sense Media found that 47 percent of parents worry their child is addicted to their mobile device Yeah I would think you'd be even higher than that but by comparison only 32 percent of parents said that they are addicted so way more are concerned about their teens than themselves but 9 hours 8 hours it's not that different so we're all struggling with this let's take the plank in the beam out of our own eye right and not just whipping boy the teens because the mother measure we use for others that we measure to us and so here's the thing God has a standard and a plan for every person's media use and we all have to take that to him individually in prayer and when it comes to our our use of worldly media we know what the numbers are supposed to be and that how many hours of worldly media from how he would sources and immoral worldly things how many hours per day should God's people be consuming of that 0 right that's that's where we start and that's what we covered 7 years ago with media on the brain and we'll do that again on Friday but we're dealing with some other tougher issues like the average adult spends more time looking at screens than sleeping. The average American spends 65 percent of their waking hours consuming media is this out of balance or what the average American now spends 4.7 hours on their smart phone per day and checks their phones 80 to $150.00 times per day and still somehow manages to watch 4 hours of television per day this is this is where we live now isn't it now there's a temptation at this moment for each one of us to go I'm glad I'm not one of those statistics I'm way below those numbers and so I feel say you know the Bible says this it says they measuring themselves by themselves and comparing themselves among themselves are not wise so is it wise for us to say Ok the average parent is doing 8 hours I'm doing 6 so I'm Ok Well not necessarily God probably has a higher standard for you than that and I'm not going to be the one to come down and say this is what everybody should do the bible will say when it comes to worldliness come apart and be separate say at the Lord and touch no unclean thing but as far as using technological tools smartphones Internet social media etc We're going to be dealing with some tougher issues that we've got to really pray deeply about in terms of setting rules for ourselves and for our children what kinds of media at what ages and what types of devices at what locations for what purposes at what times of the day. At what frequency of use meaning how often and for what duration of use meaning for how long so think through and pray through these questions as we go day by day through this seminar called the Media mind because we want to develop the mind of Christ and not enter into this cultural insanity that we've seen in how to be human again will bring the screen up a few times over and over again through the week so will will deal with those just that 1st one in media on the brain already talked about that how we would movies violent video games 0 right but what about these other things let's think about this in terms of well is it really that bad you know that would be something that we would want to maybe justify if we're saying well come on it's not there is it really that bad I don't know I'm Ok I'm good you know I hear the message about this and these are facts and while it doesn't affect me in that way here's what I always have to say when somebody is considering and I've had those thoughts myself actually say this to yourself it's kind of like a man who comes into the optometrists office and he says Oh Dr someone so I'm here to get my eyes checked but I'm I'm good I'm seeing just fine I don't have any problems with my I said Ok go ahead and sit down in that chair we're going to have you read that top line and then comes the instruments in front of his eyes and he goes Ok read that top line that's m.r.v. w c l got it Ok read the next line please wait a 2nd when I read that. Senate seat oh or a q. and an ad for hash tag dark I can't read the line and he's like Ok which one is clearer one or 2. To 2 or 3 to 2 or 4 to Ok and then he breaks it to you now I know you feel like you're seeing Ok and everything but you actually aren't. This is one that's no lens that's your natural eyesight this this is 2 it's clearer isn't it yeah I can see more clearly with 2 than with 12 is your new prescription would you like glasses or contacts or both what I thought I was fine so when we think about things in our lives our diet our habits of various kinds our media use it's always good to try something else to you know what I mean taking the time to try something different and not just fall back on I'm good the way I am and I'm just going to stay in the comfort zone in the rut that I'm in because we all want to grow ever more into the perfect day so there's just a little challenge to get us all thinking and stretching ourselves a little bit this week maybe we'll consider a media fast maybe I'll consider certain types of media that need to go if they're worldly they definitely need to go will keep preaching that loud and clear but how about some more physiological effects you ever heard of near-sightedness speaking of the optometry example this is a very literal thing because we're doing so much near work with our devices that it's starting to cause increased myopia in fact there is there's an effect that happens when you're looking at a screen as your brain your blink rate tends to drop my dad is actually an optometrist he told me about this himself it's in the literature as well but he says Scott when you're on your computer you're making power points you're doing a lot of research on line be sure to blink intentionally or you can just get into that stare mode and the eyes dry and then you're doing the near work and so much bright blue light and that's going to affect things screen sidedness near-sightedness is up dramatically I think 34 percent since the advent of the smartphone and 70 percent since the advent of the television so we're doing more and more of this near near work now I'm going to tell you another melody that affects 2 thirds of adults and it's all of these things combined it increases heart disease lung disease kidney disease appetite suppression poor weight control we continue functioning lowered resistance to disease higher pain sensitivity slowed reaction times and there's more increased injuries mood fluctuations in your ability your like whatever this is I don't want this mean either depressed brain functioning there's something that has all these things in common reduced work and academic performance depression obesity diabetes and certain cancers What is this one thing I'll give you a hint it has to do with the blue light factor of what I was just talking about increasing myopia. When you view media at night and you're doing screen time at night it's different than the light of the fire and the light of the setting sun which signals to the brain blue light is diminishing in dimming produce melatonin it's about to go to time to be to go to bed God wants to have sweet sleep if you read the Bible says he give it his beloved sleep that sounds so nice I hope it doesn't sound too nice right now I don't get interested in sleeping right now but I like to have a good night's sleep I don't want anything to disrupt that especially when it's going to cause this list of things that's not something I want sleep deprivation increases all of this and sleep deprivation is exacerbated big time by evening media use blue light suppresses the melatonin in the brain because it's telling your brain it's morning time it's time to wake up no no it's 9 o'clock at night like we're going to bed shortly so we've got to think about this sleep deprivation issue teens should be getting 9 hours of sleep per day per night and they're getting less than 7 hours of sleep per night now that's over 2 hours that's more than 20 percent like 25 percent less than what they should be getting 80 percent of them teens say they rarely or never get enough sleep and it's not just teens adults too you know 95 percent of us are using our devices in the hour before bed 87 percent of people go to bed with and wake up with their smartphone so this is the vast majority of us dealing with this thing and you see the picture of a little child there are children who are using devices before bad are 2 times as likely to be sleepy The next day in school and even just 15 minutes of media use shortly before bed can cause this effect especially if it's highly arousing media and explain that a little bit later but it's the quality of the sleep can drop to even if we're not 7 hours when we should be getting 9 in the teen years even if the number of hours isn't dropping dramatically the number the quality is dropping you're not getting as much of that deep restore its of sleep which is good for immune system boosting and assimilating learning and. Everything I mean you saw the list we want good sleep so the media mind is tired the mind of Christ is energized that's what God wants for us and again it's not just kids we used to in our families we used to have this thing called the work day remember how the workday used to work had an end to it didn't it you'd come home and the work day was done child gardens talks about this as a rule the labor of the day should not be prolonged into the evening but now we're go on you know work is there with us all the time on our devices or we got to get on line real quick or it's something else that I've got to do or I'm shopping you know we used to go shopping and then you'd come home and then you'd have the evenings together but now we're on Amazon's 11 at night noon all our shopping let parents devote the evenings to their families layoff care and perplexity with the labors of the day let the evenings be spent as happily as possible I don't you love these these kind of commands it's like I just want you to be happy we're going to talk about happiness and media use in a subsequent session this week form a whole reading circles or something we can do instead that's a cool concept let's read together in which every member of the family should lay aside the busy cares of the day and unite in study so you remember this list here about you know i do we set boundaries and standards for our media use thinking about the times of the day there were a couple examples I read about Bill Gates kids were not allowed to be using media past a certain hour of the evening and I'm going to tell you more about some of the Silicon Valley executive tech owners founders gurus engineers like the top names in these people and how strict they are with their families I'll tell you that that's that's tomorrow you will not want to miss that but I'll tell you one more right now Ok there was one example of a Silicon Valley engineer who's name I'm forgetting right now but it has to do with this evening thing so I got to tell you what right now he has a timer in the in the power outlet where his wife I router is plugged in and at 7 o'clock in the evening his family his whole household is cut off from Internet and they don't use their computers or their internet or wife I after 7 pm And so that. It's kind of a cool concept to these people know something that the rest of us don't know we'll get into that you're going to see some very eye opening stuff about big tech this week but to make this thing works I said the highly arousing media when kids are using interactive screen devices whether it's i Pads smartphones video game console when it's interactive instead of viewing a television program it enhances the sleep disruptive effect in fact it does it 4 fold that is a huge increase for you for 30 minutes of video gaming you get the same level of sleep disruption as you get from 4 hours of television viewing and television viewing is pretty high stimulating I'll talk about that a little bit on Friday again and as we review some of that media on the brain but it's elevating the quarter saw when they have the stress response in it's fight or flight you're doing the video game right when you're supposed to be getting ready for bed you get the obesity epidemic happening because of the cortisol response and the stress hormones that are resulting in all of us not just kids and then also kids who are watching just 30 minutes of media per day they are twice as likely to pester their parents for junk food so it's like it's enhancing our cravings and we're being advertised to it's just a toxic soup of childhood physiological and mental and moral toxicity so the American Academy of Pediatrics pointed out that 96.6 percent now of toddlers and preschoolers are using mobile devices 2 to 5 year olds average average 4 hours of screen time per day and by the age of 7 these little ones have spent an entire year of their lives in front of a t.v. screen that's then there's hundreds hundreds and hundreds of studies that are showing the developmental delays the psychological problems associated with just 2 hours of television pre-date and then and held devices and the video games in hand set even further so as we think about the at what ages we're going to talk about the children more tomorrow but what types of devices and at what ages these are really really questions we've got to take seriously and I'm going to posit myself right now or I'll go into that right now and I need to save it for tomorrow thank you. That but what you want like you want to boil down of the Ok let's get the recommended number of hours per day what do you what do you what do you think I'll give you my I'll give you my recommendation you're ready for. Here's my recommendation it comes from desire of ages page 72 the more quiet and simple the life of the child the more free from artificial excitement and the more in harmony with nature the more favorable it is to physical and mental vigor and to spiritual strength can we chew on that and assimilate that and think that through and then we go what are the implications of that quote for how we do childhood today in this multimedia high stimulant hyper arousing entertainment oriented culture it says the more in harmony with nature the more quiet and simple the more free from artificial excitement the better it is for their development the kids are growing up immersed in media from the word go let's see if the video has audio attest to us but everything around us these days we're going to show you some You Tube video your one year old who is have fully and expertly playing with the i Pad barely knowing just what to do then she try to reel magazine brick and mortar magazines she's trying to move in swipe the real magazine doesn't work quite the same way now that's kind of cute in an bearing on one hand and also tragic and heartbreaking like what I'm up to raise the alarm bell we're doing something wrong here kids don't know how the 3 dimensional world works when we undock them into their from babyhood this exists this is a real thing I thought this was a parody somebody sent me this and like imagine the day you know the day is now the Fisher Price activity newborn to toddler newborns having the i Pad and the i Pod You've got to have that because they can't learn anything human. Nothing of the human experience can be virtual free can it's nothing. We've become so immersed from an early age in multimedia distraction and high the high stimulant effect. That we now have a shorter attention span than a goldfish Time magazine 8 seconds the average human attention span in the industrialized world is now only a mere 8 seconds the goldfish clocks in at 9 superior to our attention span what now does God have the answer to this all of this madness of course he does how about for the attention span issue numerous studies have shown that mere nature exposure just being outdoors in the woods going through for a walk here in the birds even just looking at fish in a fish tank enhances our attention span which gives new meaning to by the holding we become changed we can achieve that level of 9 seconds by beholding that fish we will achieve that high level of attention span the fish as and we can become even maybe even superior to the fish again in our attention spans when I started doing these seminars back in 2012 I was telling people you know how quickly they're changing the scenes in the in the t.v. shows in the movies every 3 seconds or put a new image on the screen it's so fast paced well guess what just 3 years later 2015 somebody came to me from the movie industry is like Sky that's not the industry standard anymore 3 seconds that's outdated it's every 2 seconds now I haven't talked to anybody in the last 4 years of what it is now but they're increasing the pacing with every succeeding generation and the commercials are also increasing their pacing as well this shows that in 2004 in down to 2017 the shorter commercials are becoming more and more of them the longer commercials are becoming less and less frequent So they've got to get our attention right away 2 thirds of kids are growing up in a home where the television is on the majority of the time flash flash flash flash and psychologists observing children in their little native environment there they describe it as if they are pulled away by the screen they don't make a conscious choice to watch it so we can talk about freedom of the free will and freedom of choice we're going to hit on that on Wednesday actually but when it comes. Children but when you think about this it says I got to pick on the c.n.n. article again it's just it's enjoy it says and more often than not the television it's speaking of brings a sense of calm and even joy to the house whole flash flash you know how this noise and racket could be all in jarring you there was this written by a Comcast representative Seriously kids are doing more screens and than they did in the eighty's in television brings a sense of calm and joy to the household. But let's be thinkers not mere reflectors of other men thought as streaming booms songs are getting faster so the commercials the shows the movies the songs there are getting faster faster faster faster faster it used to be in the popular music industry that the the vocals would come in at the 23 2nd mark on average so you'd have an sure mental introduction and then the vocals would come in 23 seconds on average today 5 seconds it's like boom we've got to get people the vocals right away to keep their attention and it used to be that there would be you know in a popular song of the world there would be a little you know melodic. They call it a little chord progression something that would grab your hear and it would be like the thing that gets in your head these are one of those persons on average to be respectable thing today they're laced with hooks like in the chorus in the verse in the bridge in the everything there is just it's just a song of constant hooks not one person anymore decreasing attention span whether it's television whether it's whether it's the music whether it's the commercials and even the social media we're going to talk about social media a lot more on Tuesday but this this issue of social media day they took people 2000 people in a study is a pretty broad study and they wanted to see what people's attention spans were and how it correlated with their social media use and they found heavy social media users had significantly lower attention spans than people who use very little or no social media so all of that about attention span to say the media mind is distractable But when we balance our media and we get in nature we start to lengthen ours and stretch our attention spans the mind of Christ becomes a. If that's what we want and you might say well does attention span really matter know that much maybe for children in school but really this isn't that spiritual thing think about it from the standpoint when the Bible says He did it says Take heed 80 times in the Bible it says Take heed you know what that word means means pay attention sit up and listen I'm going to give you an instruction I want you to obey because in the biblical mindset in the philosophy of the bible times to hear and to listen and their language that carried with it an implied obedience as well so I'm going to listen and listen humbly I'm going to listen obediently and in addition to that I just want to great attention span for listening to long messages like I preach what are other people I want to be able to have an attention span for the Bible I want to be able to have an attention span for spiritual things I don't want to be continually always needing to be distracted and and and stimulated by something this is the prefrontal cortex it's referred to as executive function it's where our prefrontal cortex pays attention did you know that this very same area of the brain for paying attention to something is also helping us regulate our emotions and impulses exercise wise judgment and planning and having the fruit of the Spirit which is self control can you say this is a spiritual thing so when we are struggling with attention spans we're also going to be struggling in these areas as well because it's the same circuitry in the brain and this is kind of a mean study they did just to show the correlation of the tension with the emotional regulation they took these babies even just little ones and they scared them they put a clown mask on or whatever it was that they did in the baby start crying and screaming and then they track how long it would take them to get over that emotional trauma and they discovered that babies who have a longer attention spans were able to recover and have better emotional regulation than the babies who had who took a shorter amount. Of time so the more attention span we have the quicker we are at regulating our emotions so it just showed what what the neuroscientists are talking about very clearly here on a spiritual level for us another thing about attention span that really matters is our ability to think and to do and to be small seed creators we've been given a power akin to that of the Creator the power to think and to do and that takes some attention span I remember learning that takes an average of 15 to 20 minutes of really thinking through something pondering something rolling it over going through it and then the light bulb goes off whether it's some ministry idea or creative outlet or problem solving thing or entrepreneurial endeavor you name it 15 to 20 minutes is usually what it takes us to have the lightbulb moment happen now you know how many seconds 15 to 20 minutes this is a 1000 seconds what's our attention span again. 8 seconds so we're going to struggle to be able to achieve any any any thing that we human beings have been created to do by God The average person 77 percent of young adults admit that when nothing else is occupying my mind I just pull out my phone and at the home and I just I was on there or see what's on there is going to see you know I don't know of anything in particular I need to do but I'm just but when I found out was to see what's on social media or whatever 77 percent of people don't have the down moment we won't be able to hear the voice of God we won't be able to have the creative thought we need the stimulant effect and we'll talk about addiction in digital pharmacopeia on Wednesday hugely important session you won't want to miss the media mind is dull less creative the mind of Christ becomes more creative now when speaking about the issue of attention deficit I remembered back in the late eighty's I had a sibling on the cutting edge of this a.d.d. thing where they started prescribing the Ritalin at that time and I remember I never heard of such a thing but what I was told by the all the teachers and the parents and given your brother's got this disorder is called Attention Deficit Disorder and they said what he has is a chemical imbalance in his brain that's inherent in him and Ritalin has the compounds that will correct that chemical imbalance like Ok You know I was just a kid so I didn't really think through that more deeply but as I got older I saw the stats that there's been a 50 percent increase in a.d.h. d. in the last 10 years now you can explain that by inherent genetic things because people aren't reproducing fast enough and it's not like only 80 people are reproducing it how do you get a 50 percent increase in just 10 years well researchers in the clinical practitioners are talking more about environmentally induced attention deficit is that just an inherent thing in your chemical. Brain chemistry for many of these children who. Are diagnosed with these problems there are actually environmental causes at play not exclusively chemical causes and so when they studied this they looked at video games in Singapore they did a study of 3000 children and they said Ok let's see if we can identify not just correlation between video gaming and attention problems but let's see if there's a causation factor you know what I mean by that it could be just that low attention span people are drawn to video games and so people who play more video games have lower attention spans but the video games aren't causing it this study prove they're wrong this and other studies as well that they found in this study it was bi directional In other words it went both directions 2 directions by directional low attention span people are drawn to gaming more but video game exacerbates and causes attention problems and so that's one of the environmental factors that's been shown in research and they also showed in this study that violence in the video games was only a minor factor it's video gaming period that was reducing attention span and causing increased a.d.h. the symptoms even just being a smartphone user is starting to increase a.d.h. the symptoms they have adults who are non 8080 people use a smartphone for 2 weeks with all the alerts and notifications in the run of the mill stuff we use this for and they found increase in hyperactivity and increase in inattention In other words decrease in attention that's a very confusing statements are increasing in inattention decrease in attention forget about it if you didn't get it horrible words in the English language to try to communicate with it anyway if it's environmentally induced then here's some good news you know what I'm about to say next then it can be environmentally reversed isn't that good news God has the answer to all of these media induced problems oh by the way you wondered what is the environment that's causing this we saw the video game study with the brain simply works like this it adapts to the environment that we surround it with what we fill our minds with the kind of low. Life we live the kind of the way we live life our brain's going to respond to that adapt and research and rewire the circuitry accordingly so when we 1st ourselves as children or adults in a hyper stimulating environment then our brains expect that level of input and that level of stimulation and when it doesn't come then we're just like you know we start with on our thumbs and boredom increases we'll talk about boredom as well in a subsequent session and activity problems and inattention problems there came out clear that time praise God Ok this is Dr Victoria Dunkley she wrote The Big Book reset your child's brain highly recommended I've read lots and lots and lots and lots of books about media use in child development all of this this is the best one this is the best one by far that I've ever seen it's not written from a religious standpoint but from a clinical standpoint and it is solid solid on the money stuff every parent who has kids in the home should read the book and they do it even if you don't have all these problems because she's diagnosed children with all these disorders a.d.h. d d v d this is disruptive mood dysregulation disorder depression anxiety bipolar a lot of problems she's a she's a practicing psychiatrist and the kids come into her come into her office and they say are the parents bring the kids in they say Ok we're struggling with all these things they've been diagnosed with this and with this and with this what do we do we don't necessarily want the pharmaceutical solution is there alternative ways we can do this well she's become known for resetting your child's brain through a media fast so her prescription is a 100 percent media abstinence for 3 weeks for some children it takes 4 weeks and the results of this are absolutely astounding This is what got my attention when I saw the proofs in the putting here and reached out to her actually been in communication to help promote what she's doing with this here's what she found results 80 percent of her patients have had the majority of their symptoms disappear. That's awesome 50 percent of her patients have had all their symptoms disappear screentime is a contributing factor to virtually all the children she has treated she put it this way she says I began prescribing videogame restriction with startling results she says I observed how the vast majority of children exhibited certain symptoms surrounding gameplay symptoms strikingly similar to are you ready for it and fed a mean exposure. She says but they resolved in the days or weeks of complete abstention so you completely abstain from stimulating media as actually was a 100 percent screen time fast like no screen time for these kids for 3 weeks these problems resolved and their development would grow by leaps and bounds when the screens were most restricted because the prefrontal cortex now can become engaged and develop in those circuits can widen and those pathways can form so when we say the media mind is not well we can follow it up with an enthusiastic and hopeful shouting from the rooftops that the mind of Christ is healing when we learn how to be human again when we learn how to live life God's way and not doing everything in the virtual When we take our kids out in nature this was a study in Sweden the absolutely just filled my heart with joy because I love seeing kids come alive in nature and they put kids in a nature environment and a playground and had them play and they observe their play to see what kind of play they engage in they also put a group of children in a urban playground environment and observe their play there now the good news is that no matter whether they're playing in the urban or the nature environment when they're playing outdoors their attention spans begin to lengthen versus when they're doing so much so much media but the really exciting news for those of us who believe in the God of creation who has revealed himself in the creation we want to see his ways proven and they have been the nature environment was leaps and bounds ahead of the urban environment and how these children played there they played with stretched attention spans and more creativity and more ingenuity and just just be being more like children that you have probably heard of before and so attention spans have increased when when we get the kids in nature and there are hundreds I'm telling you hundreds hundreds of studies of children's exposure to nature. And how that can improve their their not just their attention span but so many other things that I will tell you more about tomorrow but I want to share this clip with you. When you are here. So we go very picking for instance just if. We go watermelon planting and an old sign which was big enough for me this is great it was very slick very fast. I had a few fish in my basket and I looked up on this bluff and here's this black bear sitting there watching if he starts chasing me I'm going to keep throwing the fish out of my basket until he's gorge the water and they won't bother. You like to you know you go door to door for kids and you play all lots of games of hide and seek just going out to the field to play baseball and we built this massive forts you know the kind that you can actually sit in and and play and you know with with her friends and it was just really wonderful. So what do you like to do for. Video games. Definitely I like to. My favorite thing to do in the world is definitely watching videos and playing video games those take up so much of my time. But 3 to 4 hours and I have. 5 hours just last week I watched $23.00 episodes of a t.v. series and less than 40 ever again. I've been a house I had parents I have a sister I have a dog I. Just think I'm in the video game I completely get lost. I might die if I don't have it but whenever I feel upset I play video games and I feel normal it's really wonderful. When your daughters grow up they're great great. Bridges What do you think will happen if this trend continues. It's scary to think that I'll never have to leave the house Cindy grew up bad doing a lot of the things that I did and enjoyed and I see what my grandson's 100 doing today and it's mind boggling by the time they have kids it's going to be a really different environment actually for little sad because I feel like he's missing out on what's out there in the beautiful world. We're soul connection with nature. I think it's any and in all children needs to be nurtured. That would. Cliff every time I see it it's. It's nostalgic and it is joyful in your Remember those those simpler times and then you see this this breakdown and this generation that's coming up and you know I know I know you believe as believers in the Bible as I do that in the last days God will pour his spirit out upon your young daughters and your young your men will dream dreams and visions in the children are called forth to finish the work and here we are in the digital doldrums of the 21st century and it's like I have a sister and I have a dog and I'm totally lost in this place and that the tragic thing is they speak about it as if it's normal and Ok and like this is just how life is and we're all aghast going. What have we done and so this is this is the perfect segue into tomorrow's talk called the disconnected childhood or the disappearance of childhood and when you think about the disconnected childhood that could have 2 meanings it could mean that they are disconnected from nature from parents from God or we can spin it in the hopeful way if we can have a childhood that's disconnected from so much media then they can become reconnected to nature to labor to play to parents to books to their savior that's our hope for the children but we won't spend the whole week on the children as this affects all of us as well in on Tuesday session is called anti social media we're going to look at the founders of social media and what they have come out and said about the dangers of this and where we read to put the brakes on and some major boundaries and they say some things like we are ripping apart the social fabric of the country we deliberately were exploiting vulnerabilities in human psychology some of them went on an apology tour and like we're sorry for what we've done and how these can be used as tools come to that session you'll see the balance but we want to be really thinking through how the. How social media especially with childhood is impacting our youth our young adults and all of us I have to say are young adults as if they are a group that I'm not a part of now because I'm not in a welcome as the g. y.c. age they tell me you have to pay more when you come to. Those young adults as those young people down there 35 and under 30 Wednesday will be the digital pharmacare you're going to hear Nicholas Carr Doris author of the book Glo kids tell you that it is easier to treat a heroin addict than a true screen addict you're going to hear how addictive these technologies were deliberately designed to be else I'll quote more of the big tech people on Wednesday and how they will admit and brag about the methods and tools that they've been using to addict and captivate people and some of them many of them coming out and going public with what they've done and trying to right their wrongs and reconcile for what they've done Thursday people of the book in the age of the app that 1 May be the most enlightening I want to think through what literacy is going to look like in this digital age and how we as people of the book are to take the truth to the 4 winds of heaven using the publishing and the literature work and being under be able to understand the Word of God and comprehend and not need the seed so much to cover and I said Friday we'll do some review of media on the brain but I want to take just a minute after the prayer to tell you about the D.V.D.'s and this new series and how we can get that so we're going to close right now with prayer and then I'll mention the materials to you after prayer so let's have a moment of prayer together. Father we thank you so much for the hope that we saw with the image of the child running through the woods and we just know you've created nature for us to to walk in the cool of the day with our with our creator with our savior Jesus we thank you for how happy childhood can be when they when they walk with Jesus and know they're there for their savior their parents the joy of life and may we all rediscover that Joy rediscover what it means to be human again made in your image Lord we know you created us in your image and that we sometimes distort and mess that up and Satan's desire has been to to destroy mar the image of God in man well we know Jesus has the answer we claim the promises of the Bible thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ for we know that the redemption that he wrought out at the cross is to restore the image of God in man and we ask for that now for the wisdom that we need to have a healthier life with our sleep with our with our posture with our eyesight with all those little things and with the big things like our relationships with each other with your creation most of all with Jesus so please send us your Holy Spirit this week please bring revival and reformation in every aspect of our life including our technological use and father we just sank you for this time you've given to us to hear your voice may we not hear our own thoughts this week at all of the meetings and at this seminar we hear your voice behind us saying this is the way walk in it we pray this in Jesus' name amen this media was brought to you by audio force a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more sermons to visit w.w.w. audio dot org.


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