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Recommendations

Six Simple and Fun Christmas Games to Try at your Gatherings This Year

We are in full-swing holiday mode at our house. How about you? Are you having a large family get-together or are you looking forward to a more intimate celebration this season?

In Part 2 of An Illusion of Joy or an Infusion of Joy?, I said I’d get back to you with some ideas to pull everybody in without adding more stress to your schedule. The pressure of the promise has stuck with me and I’m here to make good on it with six simple and fun Christmas games to try at your gatherings this year.

Silly games bring laughter and make for merry memories. With just a small bit of preparation, these games have gone over huge for me. Most of them are available on the internet, but here you have them in one spot, tried and true and highly recommended.

Paper plate overhead draw

What you need: Pens and cheap paper plates (1 of each per participant. They don’t have to be cheap plates, but since they aren’t holding food, they can be!)

How to play: Each person puts the plate on their head. You lead them through drawing something simple. The plate stays on their heads until the end. We most recently did a snowman. It went something like this. I said:
“Your snowman is made of 3 circles.” I paused while they drew 3 circles on the plate, on top of their heads. Then I continued, pausing between each instruction.
“There is a top-hat on his head”.
“He has 3 buttons down the middle circle.”
“He has 2 eyes.”
“He has 2 stick-like arms.”
“He has a carrot nose.”
“He has 3 fingers at the end of his left arm.”
“He has a scarf around his neck.”
“He has 4 fingers at the end of his right arm.”
“He has a crooked smile.”
“There is holly on his hat.”
The jumping around is intentional. It is difficult to re-find a place when you cannot see it. That is the fun. When your instructions are done, everyone gets to take their plate off their head and see their masterpiece. Pass the plates around and have everyone vote on the best, the most impressionistic, the most realistic face, or whatever categories you want to include.

Behind the back paper rip

What you need: One piece of paper per person

How to play: Each person stands holding a piece of paper behind their back. The instructions are simply to keep the paper behind their back and rip it into a Christmas tree. You may want to set a timer for added pressure, but it isn’t necessary. It is harder than it seems. (You may, or may not, want to add the caveat that folding the paper and ripping symmetrically, which makes it significantly easier, is not allowed.) At the end, have everyone show their masterpiece and take votes on best, most unique, smallest, etc.

Christmas Cell-fie

What you need: One copy of the Item List for each participant. (Click the picture below for a ‘copy & paste’ printable version of the Item List. Feel free to change it up to suit your group!)

Person holding a phone with bokeh lights in the background: Some Fun Christmas Games to Try at your Get-Together this Year
(Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com)
What’s in your phone?

How to play: This is a Scavenger hunt each person conducts in their phone. The list assigns points per item and participants tally their score for whatever they can find. Examples might be ‘a contact named Mary’, or ‘a Christmas song ring tone’. Whoever has the most points is the winner. You can decide whether to make it a timed exercise or not, depending on the savvy of the crowd you have. You can also pick a few items and require the winner ‘show and tell’ to prove their win.

Snowball Toss

What you need: A bag or two of marshmallows

How to play: Divide up into pairs and have partners stand across from each other. This is run just like a water balloon toss, but when one partner tosses a marshmallow, the other must catch it in his/her mouth. We have done this many ways:
~ Large marshmallows are worth 2 points and small ones worth 1 point. Partners strategize how they can reach 14 points the quickest. (Go for small and easy, or risk the harder catch for a chance to earn more quickly?) The team with 14 points in the shortest amount of time wins.
~ Set a timer for 30 seconds and the team with the most overall catches in the allotted time is the winner.
~ Start with the partners close to each other for the first toss. Each team who makes the catch takes a step back while those who do not sit down. Each successful catch requires a step back, enlarging the distance between teammates. The last team standing wins.

The Left / Right Game

This is one of my favorites. There are two versions here. The first one is short, sweet and secular. It is good for an office party, or for a gathering where religious content is not allowed. But I prefer the Nativity version, which is the second picture. It is a fantastic way to share the Christmas story with everyone at your gathering. (Click on the pictures below for copy & paste printable versions).

The Short and Secular Left / Right Game story:
The Short and Secular Version of the Left / Right Christmas Game
The Nativity Story for the Left / Right Game: Some Fun Christmas Games to Try at your Get-Together this Year
The Nativity Version of the Left / Right Christmas Game

What you need: At least 1 wrapped gift. I would suggest 1 gift per 5 participants. It does not have to be expensive.

How to play: Everyone sits in a circle, close enough to pass the gifts. You read the story. Every time you say the words “Right” or “Left”, the present(s) get passed to the person to the “Right” or “Left” of whoever is in possession. When the story ends, the person or people holding the gift(s) wins it.

This can be a fun way to do a gift exchange. We had a party where everyone brought a Christmas mug. Everyone carried the one they’d brought to the circle and left with the one they were holding at the end of the story.

Reindeer Ring-Toss

What you need: Antler headbands, rings, Rudolph noses (optional)

This one might take a bit of preparation if you don’t have Reindeer Antlers on hand. I found mine at Party City for $1. If you have a crafty teen in your life, I’m sure they could rig some up for you. Some people can work wonders with pipe cleaners and others can make anything with duct tape!

How to play: I have 2 pairs of reindeer antlers, so we play this game with 2 teams. Each team picks one of their members to be the reindeer, who wears the antlers and stands at least 5 feet from the rest of the team. Their teammates take turns trying to toss rings onto the antlers. The team with the most wins. (The reindeer is ABSOLUTELY allowed to duck and dive to try to catch the rings!)

Each participant can make their own ring by cutting the middle out of the plate they used in game 1 (Paper Plate Overhead Draw). Or the rings can be made in advance with pipe cleaners. I upped the ante this year by purchasing blinking Rudolph noses from the dollar store and using glow sticks as rings. We turned out the lights and played by the Christmas tree.

Reindeer Ring Toss Winners: Some Fun Christmas Games to Try at your Get-Together this Year
Winners!

Our family has been doing Christmas game night for several years now. My husband and I purchase an array of small denomination gift cards as prizes and organize the games. This is our Christmas gift to everyone. It is low stress, and we avoid the mall and the dreaded pressure of shopping for perfect presents all around.

Everybody always shows up, and with 5 adult kids and their significant others, all with jobs and some living hours away, that says something. We enjoy the experience of playing together. In fact, we held this year’s gathering a couple weeks ago because it was the only night on the calendar everyone could make it and no one wanted to be left out. It is one of our favorite nights of the year!

These games I have listed are our favorites. We also play a Christmas version of Bingo, do word games, relays, Family Feud, and others. The competition is surpassed only by laughter and our face muscles are always sore the next day from smiling so hard.

Christmas Bingo: Some Fun Christmas Games to Try at your Get-Together this Year
Christmas Bingo with Red and Green M&M Markers.

My parents recently had a family party and we played games there too. Some of our winnings were translated to a dollar amount, which will be donated to charity in our names. I thought that was a great idea!

What do you think? Will you introduce any of these six simple and fun Christmas games to try at your gatherings this year? Do you have any other favorites you’d like to share?

Categories
Conversations

Moments are Quick but They’re still Mighty! Grab one and Share one – Post 8

I captured this quick moment before it went fleeting by:

Stretching Cat: Quick Moments Post 7
The question mark of confusion was replaced by the exclamation point of amusement

I returned, from the kitchen, to the desk in my home office with a small dish of almonds in hand. I sat in my swiveling chair and swung it to face my computer. I lifted my knees slightly and then relaxed my legs, so my feet could land on the footstool beneath the desk. This has all been done hundreds of times and was completely without cognition, until my feet pulled me forward and clunked to the floor. My elbows landed hard on my keyboard without any semblance of grace. My brain was sent searching for context. In that quick moment, the question mark of confusion was replaced by the exclamation point of amusement. My granddaughter had removed my footstool! As it all became clear, I could hear her behind the couch trying to contain her laughter. She got me! I have to admit, I was impressed!

There is boundless wonder in every quick moment! Tell me about one of yours


Need some background on the Moments Series?
Click here for the Quick Moments Introduction in Post 1.

Categories
Recommendations

3 Types of Blogs & 6 Bloggers I Really Enjoy, and Think You Might Too

You are amazing and oh, so appreciated! Yes, you! My loyal followers and precious readers, I adore you. I am humbled and honored by the gift of your time and friendship. You are what makes this Back Porch a hang-out spot worth visiting.

Today I want to treat you to something different. I am going to highlight a few blogs and bloggers who have given me joy this year. There are so many great sites out there, and I would love to shine a spotlight on all of them. But for my first attempt at an applause post, I decided to appreciate some which are very different from mine. I’ve narrowed it down to 3 types of blogs & 6 bloggers I really enjoy and think you might too.

Applause: 3 Types of Blogs & 6 Bloggers I Really Enjoy, and Think You Might Too
Photo by Guillermo Latorre on Unsplash

1) Fiction

Oh, how I admire good story tellers! And when a tale is told with a worth-while moral and a valid lesson to be learned, I just cannot get enough. On her blog, Deeper Waters, Sandi Meadows Carlson kept me impressed and intrigued as I followed her fictional cast, the Lancaster family, from week to week. “Blessed Assurance: A Story of Hope” has just come to ‘The End’. Lucky you! If this is also your cup of tea, you can binge read this delightful account at your leisure!

2) Short and Punchy

There was a time I was pretty active on Facebook. It was my go-to scroll for waiting in line, 2-minute mental breaks, and the like. But there is so much on there now that I just don’t want to read. I am sure you know what I mean.

Instead, I am loving short and punchy blogs. Two of my favorites are Beth’s blog, called I didn’t have my glasses on…, and Fred’s site titled Abba’s Art. Both combine pictures and words to make succinct and creative points. These bloggers provide brilliant, quick diversions.

3) Different Angles

My posts come out of my life circumstances. These next three bloggers write from different angles than I do. They each have unique perspectives born of experiences, locations, and values specific to them.

Arrows: 3 Types of Blogs & 6 Bloggers I Really Enjoy, and Think You Might Too
Photo by Javier Allegue Barros on Unsplash

I cannot recommend The Book of Joe highly enough. Visit her page, and you will see that Rhonda Price has a way with words that just sparks the soul. She is raw and honest and a natural born teacher. She has taken a step back from weekly writing, but everything is still up on her blog and you should definitely pay it a visit. It was a gift every time her new posts showed up in my feed.

Speaking of anticipating posts, Cheryl Loreglia’s genius, showcased on her blog Living in the Gap, is always fun to read. She is entertaining and makes a real connection with her readers. I feel as if I’m part of Cheryl’s family because she is incredibly adept at writing their portrayals and has completely drawn me in.

And that brings me to Winds of Change. Reading this blog just feels peaceful. The author’s posts about her quiet days of normal, blissful imperfection bring with them a steady calm, which I crave in my 100-mile-a-minute life. She also pens vivid imagery on occasion and just knocks it out of the park. I cherish the genuine, friendly comments we exchange and consider it a precious part of my day.

Thank you, God: 3 Types of Blogs & 6 Bloggers I Really Enjoy, and Think You Might Too
Photo by Ashkan Forouzani on Unsplash

The above are 3 types of blogs and 6 bloggers I really enjoy and think you might too. If these sites are not familiar to you, please go have a look! If you have some to suggest to me, let me know in the comments. Your time, your posts, your comments… YOU bring me joy and I sincerely thank you! You make the Back Porch the blessing that it is.

Categories
Vacations

1 Best Kept but Emerging Secret You Want to Know: Northern Arizona

When you imagine the state of Arizona, do you think of fields of flowers and evergreens? If not, I have to let you in on 1 best kept, but emerging secret you want to know: Northern Arizona. It has a vastly different topography than the state’s southern side and it feels like an entirely different place.

In winter months, Arizona is a phenomenon where you can ski in the snow-covered northern mountains and be back in the desert warmth in just a couple hours by car. I visited the Phoenix, East Valley (click here to read my 3 favorite things about that portion of my trip) and the mountains of Northern Arizona in the summertime, traveling low to high elevation. This took me from triple digits on the thermometer to cool and breezy low eighties temperatures on a short stretch of highway.

I experienced three main highlights which completely convinced me that Northern Arizona is the 1 best kept, but emerging secret you may want to know.

1. Summer Flowers

Northern Arizona is bursting with life and color! The evergreen trees already provide a surprising year-around hue for what is known as a desert state, but the summer flowers are on a whole other level! Northern Arizona is anything but dusty and dry.

‘Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.

Luke 12:27

The mild, breezy weather and the summer colors of blue sky and vibrant foliage made Northern Arizona ripe for exploration. And explore we did! This brings me to the 2nd reason why I am convinced that this area is 1 of the best kept, but emerging secrets you want to know.

2. Nostalgia

Historic Route 66 runs through the mountains of Northern Arizona. The museums, shops, and restaurants cater heavily to the theme of nostalgic transportation and adventure. Have you heard the famous song “Get Your Kicks on Route 66” song by the Nat King Cole Trio? Everywhere we looked, we saw nods to this idea, but my silly self got a good chuckle out of this one.

Firewood on Route 66: 1 Best Kept but Emerging Secret You Want to Know: Northern Arizona
Get your Sticks on Route 66, Firewood Pile

Here are more photos I took along the few miles we experienced of Route 66.

We got our kicks, even just on this small portion of Route 66, and wow, did we work up an appetite! The third reason I think you should consider Northern Arizona the 1 best kept, but emerging secret you want to know is my favorite of them all.

3. The Food

In Phoenix, we got spoiled with amazing home-cooked meals. On this part of the trip, we had to rely on local restaurants. We found some favorites in the Northern Arizona city of Flagstaff. I just couldn’t keep them a secret. Here are 4 places I simply have to highlight, because… well you’ll see why.

Mexican appetizer platter: 1 Best Kept but Emerging Secret You Want to Know: Northern Arizona
El Tapatio’s Mexican Food

El Tapatio Mexican Restaurant: We’ve been really trying to eat healthy lately, so this appetizer platter was such a decadent treat! Cheesy goodness upon cheesy goodness! This was more than enough to be my meal. You can see my husband’s taco and chili relleno in the background there. Every inch of this restaurant was decorated in native prints, Mexican style art, and authentic textures, even the backs of the chairs! I hope I get to eat there again someday!

Matty G's Steakburgers: 1 Best Kept but Emerging Secret You Want to Know: Northern Arizona
Matty G’s in Flagstaff

Matty G’s Steakburgers: This was the best burger I’ve had in a long time. Ok, to be fair, it is the only burger I’ve had in a while, but even if that were not the case, this place, Matty G’s, would have made my list. I have to say this was a moment of discovery for me.

I expected to receive Matty G’s sauce for my burger (the orange one in the photos) and ranch for my sweet potato fries. When I opened my ranch, it was super sticky! I licked my finger, and it was sweet…?

“Eww!”, I said out loud. “Is this marshmallow cream?” And then I felt my facial expression change from repulsion to curiosity as my mind thought of the possibilities. I cautiously dipped a fry into the white, clingy fluff. I put it in my mouth with some concern, which quickly turned into happy revelation. Boy, was that good! I ate way more of my fries than I had otherwise intended. Have you ever tried this combination? If not, do it – I triple dog dare you!!

Wildflower: This cozy spot had an amazing atmosphere. From the loaves of fresh baked bread to the imaginative menu and indoor and outdoor fireplaces, Wildflower willed us to linger. We savored the delicious cuisine. My husband ordered salmon toast and fried eggs. My entrée was greens and pepitas with sweet potatoes and fresh veggies under fried eggs and a drizzle of sriracha. I want to return to Wildflower again and again until I’ve tried everything on their menu. If you’re nearby, I highly recommend stopping in for a bite.

Tourist Home All Day Cafe: I’m sorry if I’m belaboring the point with the food I ate in Northern Arizona, but Tourist Home Cafe begs to be mentioned. This was the tallest quiche I’ve ever seen, full of spinach, sun dried tomatoes, and roasted bell peppers. You can’t tell from the way it is hidden behind the greens in the photo, but it was at least 4 inches tall, like a majestic cheesecake. My husband enjoyed eggs benedict (look how small it looks next to my quiche!) with homestyle potatoes, which were also scrumptious.

The last thing I want to share is a photo of a sign I found on a wall at a Route 66 gift shop. It seemed a bit out of place where it was, and I resisted the urge to bring it home with me. It would, however, have fit in very nicely above the desk where I write this blog, which I call Mama Lava’s Back Porch.

Life is Better on the Porch sign: 1 Best Kept but Emerging Secret You Want to Know: Northern Arizona
Life is Better on the Porch! I’m so thankful to all who join me here!

Well, are you convinced? I’ve told you about the perfect temperatures and summer flowers. I’ve invited you to surround yourself with nostalgia on Route 66, and I’ve tempted you with photos of amazing food. Could Northern Arizona be the 1 best kept, but emerging secret you want to know? Are you interested in visiting there some day? Have you already been? Do you have any suggestions for rival best kept secret places?

Categories
Vacations

3 Favorite Things to Recommend from my Vacation to East Valley, Phoenix

I am here to testify that a trip to the Phoenix area of Arizona can be an absolute delight, even in the summertime. You may need to explore the hiking trails early in the morning and frequent air-conditioned buildings and refreshing swimming pools for the rest of the day, but don’t let the thermometer scare you away. I am so excited to share with you my 3 favorite things to recommend from my vacation to East Valley, Phoenix. Each are well worth the visit, no matter the season!

1. San Tan Mountain Regional Park


This East Valley destination is one of my 3 favorites because it is jaw-dropping awesome! It contains mazes of trails from short and flat to long and steep. There is something for everyone. The natural terrain is breath-taking, with saguaro cactus and desert colors as far as the eye can see. Did you know a saguaro cactus does not sprout arms until it is 50-100 years old? Just think of what these beauties have seen and endured over the years!

The trails in San Tan Mountain Regional Park are dusty. Bring plenty of water! There are ample opportunities to stop and hydrate while you rest on a benched viewpoint or stand aside the path to let a horse or mountain bike pass you by.

Jumping Cholla Cactus: 3 Favorite Things to Recommend from my Vacation to East Valley, Phoenix
Jumping Cholla:
Photo by Patrick Perkins on Unsplash

Have you heard of the Jumping Cholla cactus? They are totally terrifying and incredibly interesting. In my opinion, they definitely deserve your cautious intrigue. Apparently, their real name is Teddy Bear Cholla, but they are not cuddly! They easily release their wads of barbed spines, so if you or your pet get too close, it will seemingly “jump” and stick into the flesh of whatever disturbed it. Know what they look like and stay on the trails if you hike in San Tan Mountain Regional Park. Watch this short but incredibly informative and also agonizing video!

2. The Queen Creek Olive Mill

Do not miss this attraction if you are anywhere near the Phoenix East Valley. Seriously, this is a must stop! It is one of my 3 favorite recommendations, because whether you are an information junkie, a nifty souvenir hunter, a food connoisseur, or all the above, you will thoroughly enjoy the time you spend here.

Flavored Olive Oils: 3 Favorite Things to Recommend from my Vacation to East Valley, Phoenix
Olive Tree Treasures from Queen Creek Olive Mill

Ok, forgive my ineptness at taking selfies, I’m learning. Focus on the bounty! The large gift shop area of the mill contains bottles upon bottles of olive oil in many varieties of richness and flavors. The best part is you can sample them all! In addition to the oils, they have a section of balsamic vinegars and recommended pairings galore. They also sell wooden treasures made from the bark of the olive trees and olive oil skin care products. We found gifts for all our adult kids at this one-stop souvenir shop!

And the food! You can dine on baked goods, deli creations or signature entrees, and the olive oil is the star of every selection! I’m not yet an olive oil aficionado, but every one of my senses enjoyed this experience. We ate lunch indoors, but the outdoor patio was equipped with misters and a stage for live music. Just one more reason to go back and enjoy the Queen Creek Olive Mill again and again!

Photo by SHVETS production on Pexels.com

We took a guided tour of the working mill and learned that an olive tree can produce, seasonally, for up to 3000 years! If you’ve been to Israel, you may have walked under an olive tree that was there when Jesus walked by. I read that there is an olive tree in Bethlehem that is thought to be 5000 years old. Think of that!

We were given information about the process of making olive oil and how to know if you’re paying a good price for the quality. But honestly, it was the Biblical references that occupied my thoughts. I simply must interrupt this recommendation post with a quick devotional thought…

2 Corinthians 4:8, 9: 3 Favorite Things to Recommend from my Vacation to East Valley, Phoenix
2 Corinthians 4:8, 9: Biblical reference to the process of making olive oil.

Our mill tour guide explained that the olives are pressed, but never crushed. If they are crushed, they fall apart, and the particles contaminate the oil. Suddenly, 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 came alive to me. The Apostle Paul, who may have eaten olive oil from a tree whose oil is still being served in Israel today, was making a reference to something familiar.

We may be pressed, perplexed, and the rest, but only to the extent that Godly purity can pour forth from us and shine. We are not crushed or abandoned by our Lord in any way which would contaminate His goodness. Tell me that isn’t an incredibly relevant picture!

3. Peixoto Coffee Roasters

This was my favorite coffee stop on my trip and coffee is one of my favorite things, so there were many coffee stops. If you are ever in the East Valley area of Phoenix, this quaint shop in Chandler must be on your list. I had a decadent iced coconut espresso, complete with coconut crème and toasted coconut flakes on top. My husband had something similar with cold brew and my friend tried the matcha green tea. We all raved!

Well, those are my 3 favorite things to recommend to you from my vacation to East Valley, Phoenix. The best thing about the whole trip, though, is not a recommendation I can make, only an experience to tell you about. My most cherished thing of all was staying with friends.

They rolled out the welcome mat for my husband and me and made us feel right at home in theirs. I can’t finish a post about the wonders of the East Valley without including a few photos and comments about our time with these dear people.

This gal has been blessing me with the gift of Godly friendship since 7th grade and I couldn’t appreciate her more. Besides being the ultimate tour guides and taking us to each of the above highlighted 3 favorite places, she and her husband spoiled us and made us wish vacations could last forever.

The morning Arizona sunrises were glorious in their backyard hammock. My blogging time was interrupted only by mosquitos, who must have been as surprised to find themselves in that beautiful spot as I was to see them there. Normally, there are very few mosquitos in the East Valley, I learned, but due to the unusual monsoon activity in the Phoenix area this year, there were many.

Any discomfort from mosquito bites was quickly forgotten when I bit into my friend’s from-scratch, oat and blueberry pancakes topped with strawberries and a mountain of homemade whipped cream the size of my face. She also served us huevos rancheros, lemon chicken, carne asada tacos with street corn, several delicious and healthy salads, and so much more! She has inspired me to be more creative in the kitchen again because I’ve tasted the results and they are worth it!

Quality time with Friends: 3 Favorite Things to Recommend from my Vacation to East Valley, Phoenix
My Husband and Me with our Dear Friends!

We all cleaned up pretty well, if I do say so myself! We spent our last evening with a meal out and a movie in. It was the perfect ending to a wonderful visit full of fellowship and fun. My hubby and I are deeply grateful for the warm hospitality we received. We are already looking forward to our next visit to Phoenix, East Valley. Have you ever been there? What were some of your favorite things?

Tell me about somewhere you’ve travelled or somewhere close to home you like to visit. Do you have a recommendation to share from one of your favorite spots? I’d love to hear them!

Categories
Reflections

3 Examples God Used to Convince me that YouTube and the Bible are Alike

How did we ever live without Google, TikTok and YouTube? These and other platforms allow us to search for just about any topic and watch someone solve, answer, demonstrate, and teach us all about it. Got a question? Need to know how-to? Want to watch someone demonstrate a process or a procedure? It’s all at our fingertips these days!

In fact, there is so much to watch and see and learn right on our phones that it can provide a major distraction from other things we are supposed to be doing. Social media and online apps can be beneficial but not when they keep me from time in God’s Word. I was thinking along those lines when I recognized 3 examples God used recently to convince me that YouTube (along with its counterparts) and the Bible are alike.

TikTok and other aps on a screen: 3 Examples God Used to Convince me that TikTok and the Bible are alike
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com
  1. TikTok to the rescue:
    Our laundry started smelling funny last week. My daughter watched a tiktok video and was then able to take parts out of the washer that I had never seen before. Following the recorded example, she cleaned the pieces thoroughly (They were filthy!) and replaced them. Then she ran a special cycle programmed into the machine, which I had never done, and solved the problem. I was impressed!
  2. Google on display:
    While I was out on a walk, I passed a guy tinkering with a tail light on the car in his driveway. He had it in pieces. His gaze went from his phone, which was propped against the car’s trunk, to the pieces in his hand, and back to the phone. He was clearly following online instructions to give him the directions he needed to accomplish the work.
  3. YouTube punctuates the point:
    My sons spend hours watching screen recordings of other people playing the video games they like. Trying to understand, I asked why. They explained that, by watching these replays, they gain strategy ideas and insight on using available resources to their advantage in the games. They taught me the acronym META, which stands for the Most Effective Tools Available. They watch gaming videos to learn to use the latest META.
Bible Ap open on phone: 3 Examples God Used to Convince me that TikTok and the Bible are alike
Photo by Daniel Dara on Unsplash

It suddenly clicked. I read the Bible for the same reason. It gives me the ability to learn from others who have gone before me and faced similar obstacles as they navigated life in this fallen world.

I benefit from their experience. They have encountered the enemy and employed various strategies; some I will want to emulate and others I will know to avoid. Their stories in the Bible expose traps and pitfalls while highlighting effective shortcuts, preparation tricks and the best access and vantage points. I can learn and employ the META, to use my new word.

Even Jesus provided an episode, where He displayed perfect technique against the hardest level of opposition. (Matthew 4:1-11) In the wilderness, alone, hungry, tired, and depleted, He defeated every weapon his opponent had at his disposal. He modeled all we need to know!

YouTube: Examples God Used to Convince me that YouTube and the Bible are alike
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

We don’t need Google, TikTok or YouTube to learn how to live, solve, fix or win at this game called life. Those things can be helpful, but what we really need is the Word of God and its lessons from those who have already played. What’s more, we do not strategize alone. Jesus walks with us and His Spirit whispers in our ears, sharing tricks and tips as we play, so we will not fall prey to the foe He has already vanquished.

I found myself smiling at the 3 examples God used to convince me that YouTube, those other platforms, and the Bible are alike. Decidedly, there are many dissimilarities as well. I have full confidence that getting sucked into rabbit trails while perusing the Bible will always be beneficial. I am certain the opposite is true of Google, TikTok and YouTube. What are your thoughts?