Back To Periscope!

Happy 2017!  Can you believe we are in the year 2017?  I am really having a hard time coming to terms with this.  =)  Well 2016 was a good year, full of learning experiences and rest.  God was faithful and a good, good Father and I know He will continue to be this year!

Through prayer, I am starting back up on Periscope again in a more focused and structured manner.  I really feel led to broadcast about things that I am passionate about.  So I am including my schedule on this post for those of you who would like to join me in the broadcasts that matter to you! periscope-broadcast-sheet

We will begin our study in the Book of Matthew today at 9am p/t.  Then, I will teach a vocal class at 11am p/t.  Lastly, we will have some casual worship time at 6:30pm p/t where I will lead you in worshipping the Lord through song, with prayer time at the end.  It is going to be a good day!

Hope you will be able to join me on Periscope.  Here is the link to my Periscope page: https://www.periscope.tv/LaraMarriott/1yNxadnkyBXJj

Blessings to you as you go into this year.  It is my prayer that God’s Holy Spirit will draw you closer to Him.

Lara~

 

Yes!!! I Am Done!

YES!!!

Have you felt this way recently?  It comes to no surprise to some of you that I am technologically illiterate.  However, through watching YouTube tutorials and sitting on my butt for a couple of hours, I was able to organize my blog a little bit better.  This is a HUGE accomplishment for me!  We all need to celebrate all of our accomplishments big or small.  So today I am celebrating the small/huge step towards a better blog.  Cheers!  lol

Lara

http://www.laramarriott.com

Kid “Friendly” Websites ~

My kids are at the ages where they are wanting to be social with their friends on the internet.  As a parent I try to research and make sure the sites they go to are kid safe.  However, peer pressure is extremely strong.  My kids will come up with all sorts of reasons why they should be allowed to go on a particular site and how their friends parents let them.  It’s a balancing act to maneuver around the whole peer pressure issue without having our protection backfire causing rebellion.

We’ve had to put parental controls on our computers and phones.  We’ve had to screen each website they go to.  Unfortunately, what we learned tonight is that there still are sites that pride themselves as being “kid friendly” but in actuality are not.

animal jam picMy kids have been playing Animal Jam for a few months now with their friends.  I didn’t allow them to buy a membership until recently when my son earned it with his own money.  It didn’t take long for his account to get hacked.  He logged on tonight to find that all of the items he had been working on getting and paying for had been stollen.  His sister also received a message from him that said, “let’s make kittens together.”  Both his sister and myself knew that message was not from him and immediately disabled and changed his password.  I am disgusted by the lack of protection on this site as well as the sin that is so heavily prevalent in this world.  My poor children will no longer be allowed to have a membership on there and will unlikely go back to play.  Animal Jam is very fun and addictive.  It was a cute way for my kids to socialize with their friends. It also was a great way to keep them occupied.  Not anymore.  It has been compromised.

So here are a list of all the websites that promote kid safe play, but are really not safe at all:

1) Animal Jam – hackers, predators, addictive gambling games, unsafe chatting, poor monitoring

2) Petra’s Planet – hackers, predators, unsafe chatting, poor monitoring

3) Penguin ? (Disney) – unsafe chatting, make sure you look into this one to find out if there are more concerns

4) Chicken Smoothie – unsafe chatting, photos, forum style communication, poor monitoring

I hope this post will help other parents as they too try to navigate around the whole internet thing with their kids.  Let’s keep the dialogue going.  If you know of any other sites we need to be aware of, please post those here.  I will do the same.  Raising kids takes a village. (A friend of mine said that to me once and I agree!)

Lara~

www.laramarriott.com & itunes

What! No Technology! What To Do?

Now, I am not going to be talking about the technology that has brought forth enhancements to medicine and other scientific discoveries. I was actually thinking about my tv, the internet, the computer, the iPhone, as I laid in my bed ill and under the weather.  What would I do if I didn’t have these entertaining options at my disposal?  How would I pass the time away?

I did have a few books beside me waiting to be read.  I had a note pad waiting to be written on.  I had the blinds open with nature waiting to be enjoyed.  I had my bored-out-of-his-mind son waiting for attention.  I had the Lord waiting to engage in conversation.  There was nothing wrong with this list now that I step back and look at the  possibilities.  However, what typically happens is I want instant gratification.  My boredom can be pacified  and diffused by checking my emails, my Facebook, the news, youtube.  Why then, would I want or need to take the next step in engagement?  It’s ironic that I am venting my thoughts on a computer; typing away.  Those ideas listed above start looking dull in comparison to the interactive, entertaining drive of the internet.    It’s the next best thing to happen for humanity.  Right?

My daughter is also sick in bed today.  We’ve allowed her to have my computer to watch Netflix and be on a kids game since there is not much she can do, but stay in bed.  It became interesting this afternoon when I took it away and said she needed a break.  There was a pleading in her tone, an anxiety too.  She expressed her dependency on it to keep her calm and happy.  I don’t know about you, but when you were sick, did you remember what you did to pass the time away?  I never had a tv in my room or a computer when I was sick.  I had a window to look out of, books to read, music to listen to, toys to play with, a bed to sleep in, a mind to dream with.  I am living proof that one can survive sickness without watching tv or browsing the web.  But I am starting to sound like an out of touch parent.  Ug!  Is it really being out of touch or just embracing wisdom?

Being a homeschool mom, I find when I am firm with the boundaries of technology, my kids thrive in other more beneficial ways.  They make up games, they play with their toys, they remember they have a dog to love on, they create music, they draw, they cook, they write stories, they play with friends, they read.  It brings me great joy to watch them develop so many of their gifts that they, let’s be honest, they would put aside doing those things if they had the choice between technology and lack their of.

I believe with my whole heart that there is a battle going on for our minds. Who are we going to give our minds over to?  Technology or Creativity?  How do we fight back?  That is the question I’m still trying to figure out.  You see, I am enjoying sitting here writing this blog on a computer.  It is bringing me a lot of fulfillment.  I honestly don’t think writing this blog is the problem.  I think the little things we do on the internet and what we watch on tv are the culprits.  Add all of those little minutes and hours and our day flies by.  Even as I write this blog post, my dog, Molly, is pushing up my arms with her nose gently demanding my attention.  She has been outside all day and hasn’t seen me in a couple of days due to illness.  I have a choice to make.  I can either check my Facebook after I publish this post or I can turn off this computer and let her know I still love her.  Hmmmm….. ; )  I think I know what I need to do.

 

Lara~

www.laramarriott.com & itunes

Media Fasting…And It’s Hard! ~

I’m media fasting again until the middle of October. I know it is medicine to my soul because of the outcome from my previous “Jesus Calling” fast a few years ago. However, I have been craving attention and affirmation a lot as I fast. On Facebook I can always talk to somebody. I can find out what is going on with my family, friends and community.  A few days ago, I figured out why it is much harder this time around…..I have an IPhone.   Last time I had to go through some hoops in order to get on Facebook.  After a while, I didn’t want to open up my laptop, turn it on, get on the internet, go to Facebook, and finally sign in.  This time it takes me a minute to log onto Facebook and I’m dialed in.

So, I’ve cheated a few times and have logged on to check it.  There have been times when it was beneficial, but for the most part it just frustrated me further.  I found myself staring at my phone for 10 mins, scrolling down, looking at everyone’s life events.  That 10 mins. could have been used to call a friend, hug my child, play on the piano, crochet, drink some tea, pray, read a chapter, throw a ball, sing a song.

It is a hard, hard, hard lesson to learn, especially when one is addicted to social media like myself.  I feel so disconnected without it.  But, when I’m off, I am forced to engage with those around me.  If no one is around me, I am forced to engage with God.  Shouldn’t being engaged with God be a privilege?  Ya know?  It is.  He speaks when I listen.  We have had conversations Him and I.  Seriously!  He is not an idol made of gold.  He is present and available 24 hours a day.  He is living.  I hear His voice!  Only, however, when I am tuned out to social media.

Now, the more I hear from the Lord, the more I get distracted and pulled into my selfish desires.  It is a battle of the wills.  I can have instant gratification if I succumb to the demands of my IPhone, but it always leaves me empty and unsatisfied.  Or, I can still quietly push through boredom to hear the voice of God speaking to me.  Whenever I do this, I am filled with contentment.  It is not a one time fix; nope.  I have to spend time with God regularly everyday.  It is through our relationship that I am ministered to.  Relationship is key!

I’m being honest, just in case it peeks someone’s interest.  I’m human and make mistakes.  God knows this about me and is still so gracious and answers me when I call.

What have I learned thus far?  I’ve learned to check my social media pages every once and awhile.  People will continue to be people.  Yes, I will be missing out on the news of my contacts, but there will be people in their lives who will be there for them if they need them.  They will have people where they live to reach out to.  My focus needs to be reaching out to the people where I am.  Just the other day I saw a friend I had been missing for quite some time and was able to give her a great BIG hug!  That connection was awesome that Facebook will never be able to provide for me.

Anyway, thought I would write a little update.  It is hard, but much more fulfilling.

Tomorrow is going to be a special day for me.  I get to sing a song I wrote as I interceded for my church called, “Spirit of the Lord.”  A friend of mine is also planning on introducing it at his church tomorrow.  What an honor!  I pray God will use it to pour His Spirit on all who hear.  We are waiting…Spirit of the Lord, You are welcome here.

Lara~

www.laramarriott.com & itunes

Merry Christmas ~

I am going to do something that doesn’t make a lot of sense since I am supposed to stay connected through social media.  I love hearing from people.  I love writing from my heart to encourage others.  However, my life is full of distractions right now.  I took a walk with my dog and asked God what I was to do.  I had just spent an hour trying to develop a new website and blog when it crashed and I lost half of my work.  I believe God told me to stop doing all of the things that were not providing rest in my life and begin to focus more on Him, on my husband and on my family.  He would provide people to come alongside me to help with all of the little details I would be needing when the time came, but for now I needed to stop the stressful things so He could give me rest and renew my spirit.

So that is what I am going to do.  This is going to be my last post for 2013′

I pray you will find Jesus before the year ends.  His sacrifice of life gave us (you!) life, eternal life all you have to do is believe it and receive it.  It is His gift to you! There is hope in Jesus.  He is where you will find everlasting hope and blessing.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

 

Love,

Lara~

www.laramarriott.com & itunes

To Blog or Not To Blog – that is the question ~

What do Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google, LinkedIn and Email all do when combined?  They drain my brain.  I was just remembering back to about 9 years ago when my mommy friend introduced me to “Blogging.”  That sounded so foreign and very strange.  You mean write out my thoughts and post pictures for the whole world (who is that really ;/) to see?  Crazy!  But I went to her blog and enjoyed hearing about her life.   She posted pictures, recipes, books she was reading to her daughter.  I really enjoyed getting to know her better by reading her blog.  So I began and started my own blog called: http://www.chickideelilly.blogspot.com

I didn’t know what I would write about or if anyone would want to read it.  However, my mommy friends joined in and we became our own little moms blog group.  It was a life line for me with young kids.

Now, 9 years later, I want to get back to that simpler place.  I would think of what I wanted to talk about that day and post it.  Then leave to do other things.  Now, I check my other media outlets regularly because I have them on my phone and I want to see what other people are doing way too often.  I want them to know that I care about what is going on in their lives.  I want to stay in contact with my friends in other places.  But really, does it have to happen every hour?   Blogging used to be once a day on the computer.  It has been very interesting being an inspiring singer/songwriter/worship artist (if anyone has a better title please let me know) lol!  I have gotten sucked into the idea that being on facebook, twitter, youtube, linkedin etc. is a great way to connect and share more about my ministry.  It is, but to tell you the truth those things are draining me.  I think I’d like to try to just blog again.  Ya know, we only have 24 hours or 12 hours ,give or take a few, in a day.

Here is the tension…I want to be heard.  I want to leave my stamp on life.  So I try to connect.  The internet has paved the way for me to reconnect with so many people from my past.  So I try to stay connected.  However, it is taking me away from spending more quality time seeking after God and being in His Presence. I felt His Presence today at church and I didn’t want to leave.  His Spirit was so refreshing.

Can you relate?

I am going to try to get back to the basics of socializing on the internet.  This blog.  We’ll see how that goes.  I know a lot of you are much better at balancing social media then me.  You have a gift that I just don’t have. = )  We’ll see how this goes…

Lara~

www.laramarriott.com & itunes