Don’t Let Social Media Zombify You


RePosted on 9/28/2018 from

Learn From These Bugs. Don’t Let Social Media Zombify You

Gabriel Alcala

You’ve heard that social media is screwing with your brain. Maybe you even read about it on social media. (So meta; so messed up.) The neurochemical culprit, dopamine, spikes when you like and get liked, share and are shared. You’ve probably also heard scientists compare the affliction to drug or alcohol addiction. That’s fair. The same part of the brain lights up.

Scroll, scroll, scroll. It’s a phenomenon now so pervasive that it’s got a name: zombie scrolling syndrome. (The security company McAfee coined the phrase in 2016.) We are the undead of lore, shambling through the world, moaning and groaning with half-closed eyes. I’d like to be able to tell you this is a fantastical bit of exaggeration, that we shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves. I can do no such thing.

The analogy, it turns out, has legs. Consider parasites. An astonishing number of them exist in nature, from worms to wasps, and some have the power of mind control. Or, said another way, zombification. And these fiends are doing it in—gulp—ways that bring to mind social media.

Take the jewel wasp. She grabs a cockroach twice her size and drives her stinger through the poor thing’s neck and into its head, feeling around the brain before injecting nonlethal venom in two precise spots. (OK, not quite like Facebook, but stay with me.) Post-surgery, the cockroach just keeps grooming itself while the wasp drags it into a burrow by its antenna. The wasp then lays an egg on the cockroach’s leg, seals the tomb, and goes about her life.



RePosted on 9/28/2018

In Defense of Job’s Wife

by Lena Arnold

So I was listening to Dr. Tony Evans on the way to work today and don’t get me wrong, I love Dr. Tony Evans.  He has great messages and commentary and he is very inspirational.  But he did something today that I have heard every preacher,  pastor, evangelist, etc. do since I have been old enough to listen to a sermon-that is denigrate Job’s wife for telling Job to “curse God and die.”

I won’t bother to repeat the story verbatim.  If you have ever read the Bible or attended church at any time in your life, then you already know the story. In a nutshell it goes something like this:

Job was a righteous man of God who had it all. Literally.  A wife, ten kids, lands, servants, thousands of cattle, goats, sheep…you name it he had it.  The dude was healthy, wealthy, and famous for his day. Job was the man and he gave God thanks for everything everyday.  So one day Satan was running around on the earth seeking to wreak havoc and he happened upon Job, but he couldn’t touch Job because Job belonged to God.

So he goes to God and basically tells God the only reason Job serves you is because you give him everything, but take it all away and he will curse your name.  God basically says that he knows Job and Job won’t curse him.  So long story short in one day Job lost it all.  All ten kids, all his cattle, goats, sheep, virtually all his servants, and even his health.  He was basically left with a few servants, his wife, and the roof over his head. In effect he was now broke, childless, and sick.

To top it off, he found out his friends were worthless and were also poor consolers.  To the point that Job called them “miserable comforters.”

Enter Job’s wife, who in my opinion has gotten a really bad rap for the last few thousand years.  She’s been called a lot of names by people, some of which I will not mention.  She told Job to “curse God and die” and has been vilified for it ever since. Maybe it’s because we read the Bible like we read our email?  You know how we often misinterpret tone and context?  What if we gave her the benefit of the doubt instead of assuming she’s some hateful jezebel?

Think about it.  Job must have loved her and she must have loved him because together they had ten children and built a life together.  TEN CHILDREN PEOPLE! From her own womb!  Like Job, she’d lost all those children and was in terrible emotional pain that she must have desperately wanted out of. She was still reeling from the loss of her children when they lost their servants, who imagine were also friends and maybe even family members. On top of that, day after day she is watching her husband suffer from terrible, painful boils, while listening to Jobs miserable friends telling him he must be a sinner and a liar for God to be doing all this to him.  I believe it was an act of love when she spoke those words to Job.

In my world she is holding Job in her arms as she is crying “Job, please curse God and die!”  She just wanted to be free from the pain because listen Job’s death would also mean her death as well.  Think about it.  She lived in a very patriarchal society.  All her children were dead and their wealth was gone, so who was going to care for her if Job died? No one.  She would have died too.  I believe she wanted to die, but didn’t want to leave Job alone. She obviously understood the wrath of God and that if Job cursed this all powerful God that Job put himself into a position to be in His wrath-which in turn could very well lead to Job’s death, which would in turn lead to hers.

Everybody wants to talk about this one sentence and make it the basis of all that she is and that is unfair. I believe she had a group of sista friends hugging her and supporting her while she was watching Job’s friends do the opposite.  I believe she wept everytime she went to hug her husband and he cried out in pain.  Think about it.  She couldn’t even hug her husband or get comfort from him, or give physical comfort to him because of his condition. This is super sad.  I can’t even imagine.

So I believe it was with love in her heart when she looked at Job, reaching out to him but not able to touch him when she spoke those fateful words.  Words that would be the basis for how men talked about her for thousands of years.  Words that would shape how people defined her character-demonizing her for thousands of years.

I believe it was with love that job reached out to her and held her face in his hands when he told her not to speak foolishly, but to rather remember that humans must accept both the bad and the good (paraphrased). To read the ful text read Job 2:9-12 Job held fast to his integrity and faith, while teaching his wife to trust God as well.  Even Job did not vilify her the way many preachers have.

In defense of Job’s wife she did not divorce him.  She suffered all that good and bad with him, and then to top it all off, when the suffering was over and God turned the tide the woman had TEN MORE CHILDREN with Job!  Ten More!  That means unless she had multiples, she was pregnant TWENTY times in her lifetime! Seriously, you want to disparage a woman like this!  I only have three and I have been tired since I gave birth!


Hey pastors and preachers, when you birth, nurse, diaper, and potty train 20 children, then you can criticize Job’s wife.  Until then, please keep your mouth off my nameless sista (Who I personally have nicknamed She-Ra Storm). She-Ra ’cause she’s a princess with power, and Storm because she kicks ass.


Job’s wife is one tough chick who I personally feel deserves way more respect than she has been given.  So today I toast to Job’s wife aka She-Ra Storm.  You go girl!


Proof That God Has a Sense of Humor

Lena Arnold-September 2018

I have been telling people for years that God is not some old stogie sitting up in heaven frowning all day.  God has a sense of humor and I know it. Now I can prove it.20180903_091111

See this photo.  It’s a watermelon vine.  Only I didn’t plant it.

The seeds I planted were supposed to spring up into a beautiful cover of white flowers. So I  was excited when the first sprout appeared.

A single sprout that I anticipated would be the first of hundreds as I literally threw them out by the handfuls.  More sprouts never appeared.  But this single sprout kept getting bigger.

Then much to my excitement it began to spread.  When the spread happened I thought, “Maybe that’s how this seed works.  I don’t know. But I should start seeing white flowers any day now.”

Only I didn’t.

As it spread it began looking familiar.

“Hmm,” I told my husband one day, “if I didn’t know better, I’ d think this was a watermelon plant, only I didn’t plant any watermelon.”

Suddenly I call to mind the old Yiddish adage “Man plans God laughs.”  I figured by now He’s up in heaven having fun watching me waiting for flowers to grow and getting watermelon. All the while I’m trying to figure out how it happened.

So one day friends come over for dinner.

Me: Hey guys you want some watermelon while we wait for dinner?

Steve: What you think ’cause I’m black I must like watermelon.  You know white people think we got a watermelon gene.

Eve: (Steve’s white wife) Shut up Steve.

Me and Horace: Laughing like crazy.

Me: Well Steve I think it might be true.  I’m growing watermelon and I’m not even trying to.  Check this out.

I take him outside and show him this rapidly growing plant and he bust out laughing.

Steve: Yep, that’s a watermelon vine alright.

Me: Yup.

Eve: You black people are funny.

I do like watermelon and I ain’t ashamed to admit that during the summer I often sit on the back stoop and indulge,  Apparently a stray seed got in the dirt, rooted itself into the good soil I’d prepared for my pretty plants and took off.

So what does this mystery watermelon plant have to do with leadership.

A good leader has to prepare for whatever plants find their way into the landscape of work.  We prepare our soil for what we want, but often get something that is completely different from what we thought we had.  The question then becomes, “Do we nurture the plants (i.e. people) or do we ignore them, root them up and try to replant them elsewhere, or let them die (metaphorically speaking.) Or do we get excited about the unexpected vines in the garden.

At first I was like “Aw Man!”  But I kept on watering the plant and cultivating it anyway.  I  decided to change my perspective and got excited about this new plant that dared to grow where it wasn’t planted and thrive where it wasn’t wanted.  “What if this new plant produced sweet melons I could not only enjoy, but seed I could replant later?”  This new plant might not look as visually appealing, but it could certainly be very useful.

As a leader, what if we looked at people under our supervision and management the same way? Those people who find their way into our departments who might not be the pretty flowers, but have proven to be very resilient and resourceful. We might not even like them because they are not what we anticipated them to be. What if instead of being hasty and uprooting them, we cultivated them? Gave them what they needed to grow instead of working hard to disrupt that growth? Maybe we might gain subordinates who will be assets to us in the future.  Loyal and faithful subjects who trust that we want what’s best for them and who in turn give us their best. Because maybe, like that watermelon seed, God sent them to reward us with sweet fruits of success.

I say maybe because I am reminded of God’s sense of humor-’cause I’m still waiting on this usurper plant to reward me with some sweet watermelon. If they don’t come then I will say, “See God you got jokes huh?  You wrong for that!”  Then we will laugh together.  Yeah that’s right. God knows how to have fun and I can take a joke.

In the meantime it’s fascinating to watch it grow. I’m having fun, and I even learned a little lesson about leadership. I hope you did as well.  Please feel free to add your comments.  I love hearing from you.

Update: I wound up getting two small watermelons from this wonderful accident.