Cheri's Blog

Dangerous Apps You Need to Know About

Dangerous Apps You Need to Know About

Dangerous Apps

Welcome to the Stirring Faith Podcast – Dangerous Apps You Need to Know About

Hi there. I am your host of the Stirring Faith Podcast, Cheri Strange. If you have any tweens or teens in your life, you’ve probably noticed they are somewhat attached to their phones. But aren’t the majority of us? There’s some scary stuff out there and savvy parents need to know what is coming into their homes through those devices. I’ve done my homework. As a mom to a house filled with phones and teenagers, this is an important and essential issue for me. Today I am bringing you Five of the most dangerous apps you need to know about for 2020. Please pass this link along to your friends who might benefit from the information.

And While you are here — Don’t forget about The Show Notes!

Just fill out the form and today’s note will go straight to your inbox. Because this episode is not hardy in material, we won’t send out notes, but, generally speaking, every episode, after you sign up, should show up on the device of your choosing. What could be better?

How Awesome is Show Notes?

If you are already a subscriber to the She Yearns Updates, you will begin receiving a link to a pdf. But this is different. By signing up here, you will ONLY RECEIVE Show Notes for the podcast. There is nothing to download unless there is some sort of bonus offered.

You can also use this resource to take with you to coffee with a friend or sit with a small group and talk about the topic together. It’s a quick low prep to no prep way to have a deep discussion about relevant Gospel-centered topics that matter to your everyday lives. So don’t wait! Sign up Dangerous Apps You Need to Know About, Joy in the Hard Things is a really applicable episode for what we are experiencing right now. You can find it here if you are interested.

You can now check out the latest episodes from iTunes, GooglePlay, Stitcher, iHeartRADIO, or BuzzSprout. Just click on the links below! As always, you can scroll down and listen right here!

soul care

soul care

And if you have not already become a subscriber to the podcast, allow me to invite you to become one for the She Yearns Podcast by going to any of the providers and signing up for the RSS feed to have it automatically updated to your device! It’s basically ONE CLICK! And it doesn’t use any extra memory and really makes life easier.

If you enjoyed this episode, Dangerous Apps You Need to Know About, or found it helpful, please leave a comment or review in your hosting provider service! We cannot do it without you! The only way the word goes out further is with your help. Please share it as you feel the leading.

Thank you for listening,

21 Things to Do Stuck at Home

21 Things to Do Stuck at Home

21 things to do stuck at home

Hello there, from the Strange home front! You and I have now been asked to stay at home in order to help slow the spread of the Coronavirus for about 40 days–give or take a few. You’ve had time to deep clean the house, do all the puzzles and finish that project you have been putting off. To make matters more challenging, my governor just canceled all public schools for the rest of the calendar year. Let’s face it. You are I are stuck at home. The question is, what do we do to make the most of the opportunity? Today I’m going to give you 21 things to do when you are stuck at home.

Most of the time I spend a lot of time working to stir your faith and mine in the deep spiritual places that land where we live. But today I want to move into the extremely practical. I am here to offer 21 things to do you might not think of while you are stuck at home. Some of these will be perfect for families. Others include everyone, regardless of your situation or season in life. For certain, they go beyond most of the lists I consulted which suggested things like, “draw a picture, learn a language, or do yoga.” If you are looking for that sort of thing, just Google it. These should be fun, meaningful, and offer a way to buy back the time we have been given.

So let’s get started.

21 Things to Do Stuck at Home

#1: Read a book with your family (of 21 Things)

Not just any book. Read Take Heart by Matt Chandler. We just finished reading it at night. It’s totally approachable with teens and applicable for what we are going through today.

#2: Start a gratitude journal (of 21 Things)

You can easily find a cute one on-line, but a spiral notebook will do. Now is the perfect time for thinking about all the good God has done and been in your life, not to mention all you and I have for which to be thankful.

#3: Have a virtual slumber party (of 21 Things)

Make a plan to get together virtually with your besties and Zoom together. Make it fun. Pick a theme. But don’t neglect to get together, even if it’s for a few minutes.

#4: Digital Escape Rooms (of 21 Things)

Maybe you have experienced a physical Escape Room but did you know there are tons of digital Escape Rooms set up in much the same way? Hail the librarians and critical thinking teachers of the world! By Thursday my twins have finished everything they could possibly do plus they yardwork. Praise God for these people! Here is a starting point but there are oh so many more- https://sites.google.com/smcsc.com/historywritten-boothkillsabe/home

#5: Hold your own Egg Olympics (of 21 Things)

The rules are simple. The Olympics have not been postponed. They are happening on your property. Each person must have an egg as their Olympian. Your egg must be able to make it through various death-defying events on your property. This is where Pinterest is your bestie. You can spread this out over a week or more, or get it done in an afternoon. Include neighbors, your life-group, and family would also be appropriate. Of course, pictures and medals are always encouraged.

#6: Secret Church, with David Platt (of 21 Things)

Visit https://secretchurch.radical.net/. April 24, there is a Simulcast, from 6 pm-midnight or 1 am. God, Government, and the Gospel. There is a small fee. And yes, you need to download the notebook. We just did one from 2018 with our teens on Good Friday. I cannot say enough good about trying out this resource.  There are older ones available, just check it out. But know that it’s not light or easy. And it’s not at a reasonable pace. Expect to be challenged and changed.

#7: Read-alouds by the actual authors and significant others (of 21 Things)

There are so many authors reading books aloud on-line. Just take a look. I even found Olaf the snowman from Frozen reading books. I also discovered a program from the International Space Station using astronauts to read books from Space! https://storytimefromspace.com/

#8: Christmas over Corona (of 21 Things)

Forget Faith over Fear — we need Christmas over Corona. Go all out to turn your May into a beautiful winter holiday. Make Christmas cookies, dig out that Christmas Sweater, watch a Christmas movie or two, make ornaments, and turn up the Christmas music. Then, think of someone who loves Christmas and Facetime them with some caroling. That will be sure to brighten someone’s day, even if it only makes them laugh.

#9: Support a local business (of 21 Things)

Buy something take-out and deliver it to your neighbor. Use this gesture to build a relationship and help save a local business owner. Drop it on the porch. Write a note. You know the one–the person you really don’t want to serve or give anything to who really needs to Gospel. That’s the one. This is your moment.

#10: Hold a family talent contest (of 21 Things)

Gather on Zoom or live in your living room. You could even organize a neighborhood one or something with friends. Yes, I’m serious. Set a date in the future. Make tickets if you need to, but make it a real event. This is your moment to reveal that hidden obscure talent.

#11: Hold a Minute to Win it game night (of 21 Things)

Minute to win it games are easy peasy. Again, go to Pinterest. You probably already have everything you need. Or if my ideas are too over the top just have a Spade’s marathon or any card game. But set the time aside and be intentional about spending time together. Make it fun.

#12: Organize a Book Club (of 21 Things)

I may have told you a few weeks ago, but I have been walking our new puppies so much – I’m in the neighborhood out and about so much more – I got myself invited to a BYOB party and I went. I went because I have been praying for opportunities to meet these girls and this one was thrown in my lap. Walking in my yoga pants, I took my Dr. Pepper down to the girl’s backyard and we all sat 6 ft apart. That’s where I met this one woman I made a connection with. We’ve been texting and I have found a way to start that friendship. I just got invited to my second gathering.

But here is what really upset me about me. The woman who lived in my house BEFORE me knew everyone because she hosted parties and sold boutique-y type clothes and jewelry. Everyone knew her and loved her. This girl moved here about three months ago and she has hosted us to drink it up in her back yard now twice – and what have I done? Nothing? Because these people are not going to come to a bible study or my life group that meets in my home. They just aren’t there.

Taking my own advice

As a result of reading my #1 suggestion, I am praying about my #12 in my own backyard. Start a book club. Maybe we will have to do it virtually at first. I’m not doing it because I need another thing to do, but because I need to be in relationship with people I live around. I need to know them and get involved with their lives – even though they will be very different than mine – making choices I’m likely not going to approve of. This is living out the Gospel in my sphere of influence. Think about your own. What could you do in your sphere of influence to get to know who you live around so that they might know who Jesus is?

#13: Organize your pictures (of 21 Things)

Mine were in boxes. This is my corona project. I’m only 15 years behind right now, but I’m making progress!

#14: Clean out the pantry or a closet (of 21 Things)

Don’t do the entire house! Pick one thing. Do that.

#15: Learn a Bible verse per week (of 21 Things)

I know we all planned on doing this in January. Then February. March was a complete disaster as you well know. Today is a great time to begin again. You can easily get these anywhere. Do what works for you. I try a number of things to get it in. I’m going to post a series this week called Flourish in Your Present, centered on verses for this period. It’s a digital Download of 8 one-sided 4×4 cards that go along with the YouVersion Reading Plan coming out April 30, Flourish in Your Present. I just sent mine to Walgreens to print for less than $5, So check back for the links.

#16: Clean out your purse / or your car (of 21 Things)

I put purse because God only knows what some of you are carrying around and how long it’s been there! It’s time. I added your car for people who make their vehicle their second bedroom or office. Get all those cups full of old mints and melted gum with toothpicks and wrappers and stale french fries out of there! This is a great time to throw those solo cups out with the receipts you don’t need and the old mail you are never going to look at. You know who you are.

#17: Have a tea party (of 21 Things)

Use all the dishes BECAUSE You have all the dishes! You can make it simple or more complex. You might come up with a craft or some activity to do together and have someone make the food. I recently saw this friend of mine organize one. Some people decided what was needed: a person organized it, they made the pastries, gathered the materials for the crafts, and delivered these to whoever wanted to participate for $x amount per person. On a certain day at a certain time, they all did it together – with a hashtag and took pictures. Even if you aren’t together you could so something like it, virtually. It’s something to think about as Mother’s Day is approaching.

#18: Check-in with your local food Bank for needs (of 21 Things)

You can host a virtual food drive at some of these banks. Just go to their websites to see what the needs are.  See how you can give back to the community right now. I know our neighboring county has set a date to come out and pick up bags of nonperishables. Keep your eyes and ears open to the needs.

#19. Listen to Podcasts (of 21 Things)

Favorites: The Briefing, Albert Mohler; John Piper, Desiring God; Focus on the Family

#20. Use the Bible App, YouVersion (of 21 Things)

Do a reading plan with friends! Next week I have a new one coming out, Flourish in Your Present, and Help for the Discouraged is my most popular one given the state of things, but find one and ask your friends to do it with you. If you would like to do plans with me, just become a subscriber and I send out a link. We generally do every plan I release together and more.

#21: Lego challenge of the day (of 21 Things)

There are lots of calendars for finding lego challenges, with tons of variety and levels of difficulty. Just find what works for you. I picked one to link for you so you could get a taste of what’s available.

BONUS: Hold a night of worship in your living room

Christian artists are like me and anyone else who holds events with larger than a gathering of TEN people. They’ve all been canceled. YET- ministry still goes on. The Nashville types have found a solution by holding living room sessions. And it’s fabulous. Just Google your favorites. See if they are doing any living room sets. Generally, announcements are made posting times and dates. Make plans to sing along in worship, not only providing quality time but draws our thoughts upward. Now that’s a bonus.

There you have it. Hopefully, adding these 21 things will help you navigate the next days of this season while you are stuck at home.

How to Memorize Like a Boss

memorize like a boss

How to Memorize Like a Boss

Recently I posted on social media the same sort of thing most of you post on social media–the Who’s Who and What’s What of your people and the events of life. My post consisted of our happenings on New Year’s Eve which to most would be considered uneventful and not worth the hoopla of a post. But my post consisted of our tradition that involves the culmination of a year’s worth of effort. My children collectively recited 292 Bible verses that night, without assistance from their parents and one is special needs. We are not part of a club or group or association that spurs us on to make these strides. It’s just a need I recognized years ago and the results of a strategy we set in motion to memorize. What I didn’t realize was how many other people needed what I recognized I needed.

I agreed to get my thoughts together and provide my insight and notes for whatever it’s worth. I posted a podcast on the topic and here I’m just going to offer the overview with links. Today we will consider 4 questions:

Question 1: Where are the verses going to come from?

  • Personal Devotional
  • A portion of Scripture, like a chapter, set of verses, or book
  • Something you download or purchase
  • A, B, C, D, it
  • Which version of the Bible are you using?
  • Below you will find a list of verses I created that are easy and important to memorize. I set something like this up for my kids in the beginning and for my special needs daughter, this kind of approach is golden. Here is a link to the PDF version.

how to memorize

Questions 2: How are you going to organize them?

I began using something like the list above with my children. I went to the Dollar Store and purchased a small spiral notebook for each person and recorded one verse per page so they could flip between each one. They have honestly kept these books and continue to use them. It’s a cheap immediate and useful solution.

A second option is to utilize your phone. I do this in two ways.

  • YouVersion— The YouVersion app offers the verse of the day and it allows you to highlight Scripture and create a VERSE IMAGE that can be downloaded and shared. I use this feature often for memory work. First I select the option to make the image rectangular like a screen saver rather than square for social media. Then after I have downloaded the image to my photos, I create a folder within my photos on my phone to better navigate these images.
  • Fighter Verses— I love this app. You can use the verses they have selected for the year OR you can select your own. I select my own. Either way, you can listen to the verse, hear a song using the words to the verse, download a verse image or screen saver straight from the app (it’s not as pretty), read a commentary about the verse, and play games until you have it memorized. Once it’s memorized, you can click a button and it then goes into a rotation so that you practice it and you don’t forget what you have learned. The downside is that the app is not free. It costs $2.99. But it is well worth it! I use it all the time.

Question 3: How are you going to ensure they are being memorized?

Researchers suggest 4 proven strategies:

  • Food choices — Include the following in your diet to increase cognitive abilities– fish, green tea, blueberries, walnuts
  • Times of Day — Memorize in the afternoons, even if you don’t feel you are most effective this time of day
  • Utilize spaced repetition – or flashcards is their best advice, even in 2020. You can make these any way you like. Find what works for you. I have been using flashcards all my life. It works for me. That’s why in 2020 I began to design them for you. They are perfect to go along with you — fitting in the palm of your hand, with a ring and a prayer! 🙂 This first set published goes along with Unleash Your Brave, finding joy in badness. I needed it. I figured someone else might need it, too. You can check it out here or from the image below.

 

  • Chunking — memorizing a larger piece of material that goes together, like an entire Psalm or a passage. Our brains seem to work with these types of larger pieces better than if we try to helter-skelter our way down the road.

Question 4: What is the personal or collective incentive to keep going?

That’s what began this whole discourse: our family New Year’s Eve Verse-a-thon. Here is the nitty-gritty:

  • Decide and announce what the incentive will be for memorizing Bible verses? What will it be based upon? Number of verses? Age of person? You decide. Then announce the parameters.
  • On the given day, everyone must be ready and meet the requirements set up. If they do, they receive the incentive. If they do not, they do not.
    • Note – it cannot be verses they already have learned or recited before.
    • Note — it cannot be a half-hearted effort to memorize. There are no participation trophies at the Strange House! We left one kid in a pile of tears who was beside themselves last year because they thought they deserved the “prize” for mumbling through some sort of half learned jibberish. No. It was a lame effort and all of us knew it. Cry your eyes out. This is not Upward Basketball where you get kudos for just showing up. I’m not paying for poor performance when the person had AN ENTIRE YEAR!! But this year—-that same kid did an AMAZING job. So, I suggest sticking to your guns on what matters.
  • Lead. Remember it’s not just for kids. Grownups need to lead out, to show the way and model following Christ.

You CAN do this. It has eternal significance. Keep after it. Take your next step. I cannot wait to hear about it!

For His Glory,

 

 

how to memorize like a boss

5 Best Things on Your Summer Bucket List

5 Best Things on Your Summer Bucket List

Podcast #56

5 Best Things on your summer bucket list

It’s the summer!

Yea! We’ve all been looking forward to it. Now what? How do you and I make sure we embrace all that there is for what it’s worth? How do we make the most of every opportunity? Today, I am starting a new format for the summer, looking at five of the best of something. Let’s get started, right where you and I live. Today, I want to talk about 5 of the best things that you need to have on your Summer Bucket List.

Let’s not waste the season, the weather, the good vibes, or the time given. Come over and join me for the She Yearns Podcast.

What’s on YOUR Bucket List?

You can now check out the latest episodes from iTunes, GooglePlay, Stitcher, or SoundCloud. Just click on the links below! As always, you can scroll down and listen right here!

Allow me to invite you to become a subscriber to the She Yearns Podcast by going to any of the providers and signing up for the RSS feed to have it automatically updated to your device! It’s basically ONE CLICK! And it doesn’t use any extra memory and really makes life easier.
If you enjoyed this episode or found it helpful, please leave a comment or review in your hosting provider service. I also love it when you post below! It really helps the ministry. We cannot do it without you! The only way the Word goes out further is with your help. Please share it as you feel the leading.

Thank you for listening.

Cheri

 

Best App to Help You Pray

Best App to Help You Pray

If you ever struggle with staying focused, praying on a regular basis, remembering what to pray, or being diligent to pray Scripture– have I got good news for you! Help is on the way. I have found the best app! Let me introduce ECHO, the prayer app.

My cousin/friend turned me onto this resource a few months ago and my time with the Lord has never been the same. HONESTLY. I can journal, sticky note, and remember stuff with the best of them in terms of what I should pray– but nothing yet has compared with the help this little free app has been to me, personally.

I talked about it in the She Yearns Podcast, Best App for Praying, but I wanted you to have a written account in case you need it that way, also.

It’s so simple. First of all just download it. What you see is what you get. Two simple options: Pray Now or Add a Prayer. Let me tell you about some of the features and how you might utilize this awesome tool in your daily life.

How to use the app

Add a Prayer

First you are going to Add a Prayer.

  • Enter a title of the prayer. This could be the name of the person you want to pray for, the cause, or need, or maybe the reference if it is a verse, like Joshua 1:9.
  • Add an image if you like. (You don’t have to do this. I personally haven’t taken the time yet to do this – so you can skip it.)
  • Add a description. This is for you. Spelling doesn’t count. It doesn’t have to be a complete sentence. It can be in code. Whatever. However you want to jot down what it is you are praying for. The important aspect here is to HASHTAG IT.

For instance, if I want to pray the Scripture, Psalm 90:16-17, this is what my entry would look like:

Psalm 90:16-17

#Scripture

Let your work be shown to your servants; and your glorious power to their children.

Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!

  • Then I would push “Add” and now it would be under the “Pray Now” button. I can repeat this process to add more prayers.

Pray Now

When I am ready to pray for the requests I have entered, I simply push the “Pray Now” button and my requests begin to rotate. I turn them like I turn a page on a Kindle.

Feeds

Another feature I like is called Feeds. This is basically a collection of groups, organizations, and causes that has developed a “Feed” or what we might call a profile with different areas to pray in and for and possibly some prayers written out. Let’s say I want to pray for Missionaries. There is a category or Feed with that title. This is what you would do:

  • Click on that category.
  • Under Missionaries, there will be several Feed choices like, Pray for Napal, Vision Baptist Missions, 10/40 Window, or Vision for China.
  • Select one. Let’s say I selected the Feed, Vision Baptist Missions.
  • Next, I can just look peruse the prayer requests and pray as I want, or I can choose to “Follow this Feed.”
  • If I want to incorporate the prayer into my own prayer time, I can press, “Copy to My Prayers” and it automatically adds it to my cycle of prayers.
  • You can join and participate in any Feed for the free version of the app.

If you want to create your own, it requires the upgraded paid version. I’m looking to do this for our ministry here over the next few months. It’s just another way to connect in a meaningful way that is Gospel-Centered.

Reminders

You can set a reminder for a particular prayer, hashtag, or feed, for a particular date, and how often you want to be reminded. That’s just awesome for a mom of eight!

Answered

There is also a mechanism for keeping track of prayers you find God is answering. There will be a bar at the bottom while you are praying that gives the option to delete, share, or answered. Then it keeps track of the ones that you mark as “answered.” I don’t know if you are in the habit of doing this, but I have found this to be of such value in my journals. To be able to go back over the history I am creating with God. That He is present and active in my life- in my needs – in where I am– is so critical to faith. I love this about Echo. So I hope you will utilize it.

Additional Paid Features

There are a few features that are available beyond the Free version: the ability to create your own Feeds, Groups, share your prayers and add photos. I believe it’s $2.99/mo or $19.99 per year. I’m not sure I articulated this on the podcast. I apologize if I did not get it in there specifically. I don’t use these additional features, but I see the value in them. The most useful ones for personal use might be Shared with Me and adding photos. By and large, you can manage very well with the free version. To join a Feed or participate in a Group you do not need to pay anything.

I hope you will try it out. Let me know what you think. And if you are interested in me posting a Feed, what would you like to see on it?

Have a great week!

For His Glory,

Cheri