Why Netflix Is Costing You More Than You Think

Why Netflix Is Costing You More Than You Think

Gone are the days of $5 movie rentals. With Netflix, you can get unlimited access to a number of movies each month for just under $10. What a deal! What a steal! Or is it? Netflix may be costing you a lot more than you think. A few months ago, I was trying to find a certain foreign show on the internet only to discover it was not viewable from my country. Then I remembered Netflix. Sure enough, they had the show. Since our family has never signed up for it, we could get a trial month for free. Perfect! I could watch the show I wanted and then cancel. Except Netflix doesn’t want you to cancel. They are banking on the fact that you won’t cancel once you sample their wares (isn’t that what drug dealers do?) and they are usually right. But they didn’t get me. A couple days after I watched my show, I browsed through the other offerings Netflix has. The reality donned on me. I no longer have to go to a video rental store – the video rental store is right in my house! And therein lies the problem. Here is what I discovered about Netflix, and why it costs more than you think: It’s Too Accessible – There are all kinds of movies I would never rent from a video store, and now I’ve invited them all into my home.  There are genres and topics that go against my faith… and if I sign up for Netflix, I’m paying to have them delivered directly to me (whether I watch them or not)....
3 Ways Minimalism Is Good For Your Soul

3 Ways Minimalism Is Good For Your Soul

Less stuff. Less TV. Less distractions. Less clutter. Less, less, less! How can less give you more? Since beginning my journey in minimalism a year ago, I’ve been finding out the answer to that question. Here are just three ways I’ve discovered that minimalizing is good for your soul: 1. A decluttered home brings a decluttered mind – A home that isn’t full of stuff brings peace. Less house cleaning. Better finances. Less things competing for your attention around. It gives you room to breathe. 2. Simplifying means evaluating – Minimalism forces you to take a good look at what is really important – stuff, time, people, work, God. It helps you become more thoughtful about why you have certain things and why you do certain things, and prioritize accordingly. 3. Minimalism brings you closer to God – As the old quote says, “When you come to the place God is all you have, you realize God is all you need.” And although  I certainly haven’t minimized down to nothing, removing the distractions and needless things from my life has caused me to look deep down into my soul and examine what lingers there. Instead of turning on the television to ‘veg out’, I spend time reflecting. Instead of playing computer games, I spend time reading the Bible. I’ve been facing what’s truly in my heart and walking taller and stronger because of it.   As Joshua Becker posts on Becoming Minimalist, there are many other benefits of minimalism. If you haven’t yet, I would encourage you to step out and try minimalism for...
7 Ways To Stop Time From Flying By

7 Ways To Stop Time From Flying By

Time flies. Kids grow up so quickly. Summer vacation went by fast. We’ve all felt it. We’ve all uttered the phrases. But is it true? How can time seem to go faster as you get older, when 24 hours is the same today as it was 50 years ago? Here are 7 ways to help time slow down: 1. Stop wishing for the next big thing – Many hours are lost because we’re plodding ahead, counting down the days until the next vacation, until Christmas, until the kids are out of the house, until retirement. When we’re constantly thinking of what’s ahead, we miss what’s in the ‘now’. 2. Focus – Part of the reason time flies is because we are split into so many different directions. We live in an age where we are bombarded with constant interruption. Telephones, texts, e-mails, advertisements – a bazillion things vie for our attention. The more we can learn to set aside interruptions and focus on the task at hand, the more productive we will be in life. This includes work, rest, family time and God time. When you are supposed to be there for something, really make an effort to be there with your whole mind, body and spirit. 3. Start the day right – I’m a firm believer that how you spend the first hour after you wake sets the tone for the rest of your day. If you’re rushed and busy – the rest of your day will follow suit. Likewise if you’re relaxed and focussed. 4. Guard your tongue – Words bring life. If you’re constantly talking about...
What the Amish Can Teach Us About Communication

What the Amish Can Teach Us About Communication

I really respect the Amish. If anyone knows about living a ‘simple’ life, it’s them. But there’s more than that. It’s about what they value. They keep God first, and second after God is their community. They look out for each other. They help each other. They’ve got each other’s back. The PBS show American Experience  recently aired a documentary about the Amish. When describing their adverse reaction to having a telephone, it had little to do with ‘cutting off the outside world’ and more to do with protecting their community. But that doesn’t make sense, you say. A telephone helps bring people closer together. You can pick it up and call someone any time. You can talk to people more often. Right? The Amish gentlemen disagrees. He says that when you pick up the phone to make a quick call, you’re less likely to visit the person. He values a face-to-face visit more than a quick phone call. Now think of that in light of today’s cell phones. Sure… texting and messaging keeps you in constant contact with the people you love. Or does it? Perhaps every text or quick message is taking away from a more meaningful conversation. Can we look into one another’s eyes with a text? Can we see facial expressions or mannerisms? Can we touch? Or hug? If most of our communication as humans is actually non-verbal, then how much are we missing by texting instead of visiting face-to-face? And ironically, when we do visit, we spend most of our time on our phones texting other people. Where is the connection in that? So,...
6 Ways to Minimize Your Facebook Time

6 Ways to Minimize Your Facebook Time

Is Facebook a ‘time suck’ for you? Do you find yourself stuck in a trap of aimlessly clicking on the Facebook icon many times a day? Is your brain full with knowledge about what your high school classmate ate for lunch or where your distant cousin went on vacation? Yet the pull is still there, isn’t it? The pull to continually check and make sure you’re not missing anything… the pull to improve your score on the latest addictive game… Well, guess what? You are missing something. You’re missing out on living your own life by focussing so much on the lives of others. You’re missing bonding moments with your children because you’re playing a game on Facebook instead of a game with them. It doesn’t have to be this way. But you don’t have to close your Facebook account either! It can be useful.   Here are 6 ways to get quality time from your Facebook account: 1. Take Facebook off of your smart phone – that’ right. I said it. Remove it and stop checking it. It will be there on your computer when you get home. There are enough distractions in a day when you are out and about. Don’t worry about Facebook. 2. Turn off most notifications – Do you really need to know about every new post on all the groups you’ve joined? Pick three essential groups. Shut off everything else. For me, I only get notifications from the homeschool group I’m a part of. That’s it. One group. 3. Unfollow everyone but your closest group of friends – And by closest, I mean...