Posted in Life

Facebook

Maybe it’s time to deactivate Facebook again. My heart is drawn there when it’s sad instead of drawn to Jesus. I find myself seeking comfort by scrolling when true comfort comes from Jesus. It’s easy to find myself scrolling mindlessly and letting my more creative outlets fade into the lie of “I don’t have time”. Ultimately it is a temptation to compare and judge myself and others positively and negatively.

“Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes! And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire.
Matthew 18:7‭-‬9 ESV

I need to run from this temptation to waste time, judge others and myself, and worship a false god. It may be temporary because I do see some benefit in having an easily accessible account. I’m praying about the right way to do this or if God simply wants to shift my mindset towards Facebook. I don’t want to lose contact with people, but I have to trust that God will keep the people I need and who need me in my life other ways.

For now I’ll delete the apps, but I’ll keep listening to God about the heart matter and what methods he’ll use to heal me. Pray with me?

Just so you’re aware, I have a cell phone that works when I hold my head the right way and get signal, another number that runs off WiFi, and a landline. I also update on Instagram (where I feel like I have more control over myself) and this blog (where I would love some comments and interaction). I also answer old fashioned knocks on the door if you’re in the area.

Posted in Bible Study

God, I’m so…(blank)

This comic was posted by someone on Facebook, and while I chuckled, I also had some deeper thoughts in relation to it. 

This may be how we treat God sometimes, or at least I know I have. I have a bad day, and I rush to God and start complaining. My complaints are even sometimes similar to Dagwood. I expect God to listen to all of my complaints, and then I expect to move on with life. Sometimes I feel guilty about complaining, so I throw in a few comments about how great he is. Mostly though I just vent.

I don’t think God completely minds when I come to him with my problems and complaints. He does urge us to come to him when we’re weak and weary. He is pretty great that way. In fact he’s better than Dagwood’s doctor in that he can provide a miracle cure for my ailments. 

My problem lies in the time though when that’s all I come to God for over a period of time. If I’m only coming to God when I have problems, what kind of relationship is that, and how does that depict how I view God? God is so much bigger and more capable than any problem I’ll ever have. I’m grateful for that, so when things are going well, I need to come to him as well and thank him. In fact I can also thank him during problems as well because I know he’s capable and willing to give me rest. 

Thanks God!

Posted in Bible Study

God, I’m so…(blank)

This comic was posted by someone on Facebook, and while I chuckled, I also had some deeper thoughts in relation to it. 

This may be how we treat God sometimes, or at least I know I have. I have a bad day, and I rush to God and start complaining. My complaints are even sometimes similar to Dagwood. I expect God to listen to all of my complaints, and then I expect to move on with life. Sometimes I feel guilty about complaining, so I throw in a few comments about how great he is. Mostly though I just vent.

I don’t think God completely minds when I come to him with my problems and complaints. He does urge us to come to him when we’re weak and weary. He is pretty great that way. In fact he’s better than Dagwood’s doctor in that he can provide a miracle cure for my ailments. 

My problem lies in the time though when that’s all I come to God for over a period of time. If I’m only coming to God when I have problems, what kind of relationship is that, and how does that depict how I view God? God is so much bigger and more capable than any problem I’ll ever have. I’m grateful for that, so when things are going well, I need to come to him as well and thank him. In fact I can also thank him during problems as well because I know he’s capable and willing to give me rest. 

Thanks God!

Posted in Bible Study

The Power of Words

 

Last night, some friends and I were having a conversation about Facebook interactions. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know I have mixed feelings about Facebook and you know that I’ve taken several breaks from the social media platform. This specific conversation was about how some people scroll and rarely make any indication that they’ve even seen posts. To me, that’s the creepy part of Facebook; I try to always keep in mind all of the friends I am speaking to when I post something because it is easy to forget the large audience of Facebook. Then the conversation shifted to the new emoji reactions that Facebook recently released. My input to this conversation is that comments are more valuable to me. I don’t get much satisfaction from seeing a notification that someone “liked” or “reacted to”. A comment is more cherished in my heart because of my strong connection with words.

As a book-lover, I wholeheartedly agree that words are powerful. Rudyard Kipling said that “Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” Or as James put it, “the tongue is a flame of fire….It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.” James 3:6. Lately, God has been revealing to me about how to make everything about him, and specifically God has shown me that the words I choose to speak and write are powerful. It’s always been a problem of mine to speak and write what comes to mind and what I think others want to hear. Through painful discipline, I’m learning (over and over) to really apply James 1:19 by pondering my words very carefully.

In fact, God has quite a bit to say about words and how we use them. In Psalm 12, the psalmist makes the bold request that God cut off all flattering lips and the tongue that makes great boasts. Instead, the tongue should be used to spread wisdom, healing, and encouragement (Proverbs 12:18; Ephesians 4:29).

 

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
    be acceptable in your sight,
    O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

Psalm 19:14

If you also struggle with words, I don’t have any specific advice other than to prayfully submit to God. I’ve had to ask for forgiveness from God and people quite a bit, and I expect that I will more in the future. It’s been a lesson in patience as I’ve wanted to say something but realize that it’s not appropriate or uplifting. Ultimately, though, it will be worth the discipline and patience because I trust that God is changing me and using the words he gives me to say to encourage and challenge others. I only have to learn to listen to his guidance rather than spouting off whatever comes to my head.

In closing, I leave you with words from Roald Dahl:

“Don’t gobblefunk around with words.”
Roald Dahl, The BFG

 

 

 

 

Posted in poetry, Writing

A connection

What are we doing?
Scrolling through our newsfeeds-
Facebook, Twitter, MySpace-
Feeling connected,
Filling a void.
It’s no wonder that depression rises,
More people seek counseling,
And children take more pills than ever before.
Oh it’s not the sole cause but it contributes.
People need connection
And social media just isn’t enough.
This is not a hate letter against technology.
Believe me I’ve done enough of that to realize it’s silly.
Technology serves its purpose
As long as it’s a supplement to real connection.
People need people,
Not walls or posts or tweets,
People need real breathing people.
I don’t have a solution
Except to log off and plug in to what’s real.
Thankfully what’s real doesn’t need a power cord.

Posted in Life

Communicating with Technology

I really have a problem with technology lately. It is killing the way people communicate these days. It drives me up the wall when I’m hanging out with friends and they’re on the phone texting or playing a game or surfing the net. It also frustrates me when I find myself texting while someone is talking to me. There are some people that I communicate more with via text than I do face to face. There’s a problem with that. Some days I just want to get rid of my phone and delete my facebook and not check my e-mail. I want to only talk to people when I see them.

I can see the positive uses of technology. I’m not even saying that communicating via technology is bad, because sometimes it’s all that’s possible. When it diminishes the value or takes the place of face-to-face communication, it becomes harmful.

“Technology provides many outlets for individuals to search for and seek acceptance.” Collegiate magazine. True. Personally, I find myself looking to Facebook to help me feel connected to people when I’m alone. That’s not healthy because Facebook cannot give me an accurate connection to people.

Technology communication can also harm the sharing of the gospel message. “Our call as Christians is to live out the gospel message in an incartional way….The message of grace…must be demonstrated and spoken….Let technology by your supplemental tool.” Collegiate magazine. Yes, I tend to post verses or encouraging songs via Facebook and I send verses and songs via text to friends but it’s still not the same as if I talked to people directly about what I’m reading in the Bible. In order to share Christ’s love with people, I need to form real connections with people.

Technology Communication…

1. Distracts me from homework and time with God.

2. Gives me resources to learn more

3. Is a platform for speaking love.

4. Is a crutch to avoid people.

5. Uplifts me.

6. Connects me.

7. Provides a false connection.

8. Keeps me up to date.

9. Doesn’t show me people’s hearts.

10. Provides an overly simple way to speak.

11. Confuses conversations.

12. Veils my heart and emotions.

13. Causes me to steal other’s words and attach them to myself.

14. Gives me good quotes.

15. Is fast and convenient.

16. Makes me feel content about my “witness.”

The answer isn’t to cut off communication via technology. I’ve tried that. Instead I should make a conscious effort to communicate via face-to-face conversation and avoid multi-tasking when talking to people. I should live in the moment when I’m with people, rather than having a long distance “conversation.” I also can’t expect others to do this. I must be patient when others don’t feel the need to put their phones and devices away.

It’s a battle in my mind. Ultimately, I think it comes down to motive and the heart. When using technology to communicate, ask yourself “could this wait until I see this person face-to-face? Would this be more fun to share when we’re together? Am I focusing on what is happening around me or am I neglecting connections with people who are here right now?”

 

Check out this article: http://blog.lifeway.com/biblestudiesforlife/fighting-over-connection/

Posted in Book Review, Life

Showing You Care

I just finished reading a book about social media.  While it hasn’t made me want to quit Facebook again, it has made me want to reconsider my use of Facebook and my blog and my e-mail and texting.  In the book, he includes a chart showing how people would prefer to receive communication were they sick in the hospital.  He ranks it:

 

1. In person visit

2. Phone Call

3. Handwritten card

4. E-mail

5. Social Media

6. Text

 

He then takes it farther from the context of someone sick in the hospital to pose the question of how the reader cares for people in his/her life (regardless of if they’re sick or not).

 

I wonder what your opinion is about this ranking and how you would rank these forms of communication, so I’m offering this informal survey.   Don’t misunderstand, I’m talking about deeper topics of conversation than “I’m on my way” or “did you get the notes in class today?”