The Charlie Charlie Challenge

The Fringe Files

The Fringe Files: topics that are edgy and out of this world.

There’s a new trend among young folks.

Actually, it’s not new at all. It’s as old as time itself.

And it’s just as dangerous as it’s always been.

Since Halloween happens in October, I feel led to address the dangers of interacting with demons in the spirit realm.

Walk in any bookstore or library and in the teen section you’ll find shelves overflowing with books dealing with the paranormal. And it’s not just the Teen or Young Adult/Adult bookshelves anymore. These books are abundant for all age groups. Kids and teens are hungry for the supernatural. Unfortunately, to satiate their appetites for the paranormal, they’re drawn into dangerous realms that God very much wants to protect them from.

According to the Barna Research Group, 73% of teens admit to participating in some kind of psychic or witchcraft activity. And:

“…seven million teens have encountered an angel, demon, or some other supernatural being. More than two million teens say they have communicated with a dead person (10%). Nearly two million youth claim they have psychic powers.” — David Kinnaman, author of the Barna Group report


Young people (and people in general) are exposed to more supernatural hype and temptation than ever before via technology and media. One click and they can participate in a seance, cast a spell, watch a paranormal movie. These things shape their belief systems. They feed the yearning they have (and don’t recognize) for intimacy with God.

The spiritual vacuum in all of us longs to be filled. We know instinctively that there is more than what we experience in this world. From the beginning of time, though, the enemy–Satan–has known this, and has exploited our longing by offering cheap counterfeit experiences. (I’m going to be writing more about the history of demons, giants and so forth in coming weeks. Stay tuned.)

People are hungry forthe supernatural.Give them JESUS.

One popular activity these days is a a so-called game going viral via social media (twitter, YouTube, et. al.) called the Charlie Charlie Challenge. In this game, kids make a spinner out of two pencils then write “yes” and “no” on four quadrants of a paper. They ask if a demon named Charlie would like to play and wait for the pencils to move in an answer. It works similar to a Ouija board. They film themselves doing this and then tweet about it or post it on their blogs and YouTube.

Bing Free Use Image

Bing Free Use Image

While this  may seem like a harmless past time, and several websites claim that gravity is all that moves the pencils, it’s much more than child’s play. Christians and worshipers of the One True God are forbidden to communicate with the dead or any other-worldly entities of any kind. Yahweh, warns us in His Word:

“Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord, and because of these detestable practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you” (Deuteronomy 18:10-12, NIV).

“Do not practice divination or sorcery” (Leviticus 19:26).

The reason God doesn’t want us to communicate with spirits isn’t because He is a mean old God who doesn’t know how to have fun. On the contrary, He doesn’t want us to in order to protect us. Ephesians 4:27 warns us: “do not give the devil a foothold.” When you invite a spirit into your life, you are doing exactly that. You are giving them permission to hang around. And be warned: they do not have your best interest in mind. They hate you. They despise you because you are what they can never be: created in the image of God.

“So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27).

Does this book pass the Philippians 4:8 test?

Does this book pass the Philippians 4:8 test?

There is no such thing as a friendly or playful spirit. They have no access to the promises of God, and God is their enemy. For this reason they will do all they can to destroy you because you are the apple of God’s eye. If you invite one spirit, they will likely bring others along, too. And yes, they may appear friendly (as in a spirit guide sort of way) but I assure you, they are not. They are no different than a charming serial killer. Friendly at first, but in time, will turn on you.

This Halloween and always, be smart not stupid. Ask for Jesus to protect you. If you long for the supernatural, invite Jesus into your life. He longs to be your friend.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11).

woodprint twitter bird sepia small

Tweet this: #CharlieCharlieChallenge dangerous game. Don’t do it.



My Interview on the Wealthy Wednesday Radio Show!


Everything you wanted to know about me but were afraid to ask.

I hope you’ll take the time to listen to my interview on the Wealthy Wednesday Show and leave your comments and questions. I love interacting with you!

Thank you to Luci McMonagle for inviting me to be on her show. I had a blast.


Pink Motorcycle & Bird Final (1)Kindly tweet:  Interview with Karla Akins with tips on starting your writing business!

The Methuselah Project by Rick Barry


Order at Amazon

Order at Barnes and Noble

Order at Kregel

Since I’ve been overbooked, I asked a friend of mine, Joe Fausnight, to read and review this book for me. Here’s his take:

Captain Greene was an American Pilot from Indiana who was flying missions over Germany in 1943 when he was shot down.  As his plane fell he cried out to God.  He landed in a woods between to giant oak trees destroying his plane but leaving him and the cabin of the plane intact.

He was picked up by the Nazis and a civilian car was following the truck he was in.  Taken to a secret underground lab he was number 7 guinea pig for a Nazi science project for long life and quick wound repair.

Rick Barry

Author Rick Barry

After they had gassed and worked on the men the place was bombed by the Allies. The scientist who had come up with the project was killed as well as number 1 through 6 men.  He survived as did the assistant scientist and he was kept in a cage for many years after the war was over as they experimented on him and tried to duplicate his success.  He looked and acted like a 30 year old even as decades passed.  He knew nothing of the outside world except what he was told that the war was still going on decades later.

They gave him lots of books to read to pass his time and after reading many classics he asked for a Bible.  He got a lot of comfort from it over the years.  He exercised daily as well as taking flying trips in his mind including all the safety checks so he didn’t forget how to fly.

Did he ever get free?  Did he ever find anyone who cared about him other than as a lab rat?  Did he ever discover the changes in the world since his capture?  You will find out and enjoy this book when you read it.  A very good read and worth the time to read.

I give this books five stars.

Star Review!

Kindly tweet this: Methuselah Project by Rick Barry gets a 5-star review!





How I Get It All Done (Sorta)

Waste your time--waste your life.Like you, I’m insanely busy. Sometimes I feel as if I don’t even have time to breathe. This can make writing hard. Not only for finding time to write, but having the mental clarity to write.

It doesn’t get easier as we get older. We need a lot more brain support in terms of exercise, nutrition and supplements. I was sharp as a tack until I turned 40 and then I realized how fallible and fragile this thing called life is. And I don’t know who told me parenting adult children was easy, but I have a hunch they didn’t have adult children.


Most of you know that I’m a full-time pastor/pastor’s wife, full-time college student and “full-time” writer. That is, I spend at least four hours a day on my writing career. (Often, I spend much more than that.) As a pastor I spend at least 40 (ahem, to 60) hours and my college homework gets squeezed in there in between it all.

On top of that I’m a Mom, grandma, wife, daughter-in-law to my mother-in-law who lives with us and has Alzheimer’s. My candles are pretty much melted. If I don’t keep track of my tasks, they don’t get done.

unnamed (2)

Here’s how I do it.

My first favorite item is my physical planner notebook, The Planner Pad. I love this planner because it not only gives me a full calendar view but also lets me plan by the week and day. Now, I also use a digital planning system as well, but it’s different than this planner, and I’ll get to it later. This physical planner helps me write out my week by hand in order to internalize it.

Here is a pic of my calendar page for the month of September 2015 (it’s not nearly as pretty as the video).


And here’s the “funnel” pages I use each week to categorize and prioritize my activities. This is the one for this week. It will fill up more as the week goes along.


Now, if you watch the following video, you’ll see I don’t use the funnel pages correctly. For some reason I want to put my specific times on the middle part of my page instead of at the bottom. What you’re supposed to do is break down the tasks in the middle of the page and then schedule specific times for them at the bottom. I tend to just schedule appointments at specific times on the middle of the page.

unnamed (1)

Our lives are so interrupted that I get discouraged if I write something like, “blog from 9 AM – 10 AM.” No sooner will I write that than someone in this house or at the church will have an urgent need. And then I feel even more frustrated. Since I’m a little too task-oriented in life as it is, the way I do it works for me so I don’t become resentful.

The Planner Pad does have a digital planner. But I don’t care for it because it’s not all on one page. That’s why I use KanbanFlow on my computer instead of planner pad.

I like this system because I can see every segment of my life in one glance. (The column on the far left, “Chris” is a part-time consulting job I do. Nothing going on this week. Yay!)


An example of a week (incomplete)

I can also create a whole new board for a specific task.


I can also break down the week and tasks into “Do Today” and  “Do This Week” and really, any type of column I want. And if you delegate a lot of things on your list (I don’t) then you can add a name and photo to the task. (I don’t usually bother with the photo thing but did it to show you here.)


I’m a bit addicted to Zulily and tumblr…

The drawbacks of this system is that there isn’t an app for the iPhone. However, you can still access it via the web. Still, I’m not sure why they haven’t created an app. But for me, this works because I usually only use it when I have my computer on and open. (And that’s most of the day.)

It also has the promodoro timer!


I can keep track of time spent on different tasks or make myself focus for different stretches of time with the timer. And it will also keep statistics for you. To learn more about the different details, watch the video below.

I’m still learning how to use different colors to code urgency or type of task. For me, just getting the tasks down (brain dumping) is a huge relief. And I like being able to drag the task tiles over into the “done” column. There’s a lot of satisfaction in that!

This system was actually developed for collaborators designing software. I absolutely love it for juggling the different roles I play in life.

What system do you use to stay on task?


Would you be so kind as to share a tweet?

What do you use to stay on task?