Cell Phones Are Killing Us

Even without active use, the presence of mobile technologies has the potential to divert individuals from face-to-face exchanges, thereby undermining the character and depth of these connections. Individuals are more likely to miss subtle cues, facial expressions, and changes in the tone of their conversation partner’s voice, and have less eye contact.
— Virginia Tech research study

This is all just because cell phones are present. Simply in our pockets. The idea that someone else might be trying to reach you... or tweeting something amazing, or "liking" something you've posted...it robs of us genuine face-to-face experiences. 

This is not news. We know this is happening. Yet do our actions change? How are we rebelling against the temptation to look down and flick our thumbs? Look up. Jesus loved people by truly seeing them. How do we see and love people if we won't look up?

Scripture: Matthew 9:20-22 (NRSV)

Then suddenly a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his cloak, for she said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be made well.” Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well. 

 from Jumio's 2013 Mobile Consumer Habits survey

from Jumio's 2013 Mobile Consumer Habits survey



I Was A Bad Husband This Week

I blew it this week. Sophie got home from a really long day of work (literally serving those who were displaced from the San Diego wildfires). She was tired, had her arms full, and was so excited to be home. Background information: our television cords run across the bedroom doorway. The only accessible outlet is super loose and finicky.

When Sophie walked in, her foot hit the cords, and the tv (which I was watching) turned off. I was way more frustrated than I should be. I expressed displeasure in her actions.

She apologized. Plugged it back in. I go back to watching tv, and I felt that I overreacted.

Literally four minutes later I got a do-over. She moves to unload her bags from the day, and a pair of shorts fell off and hit the cord. **Shpewww**  The television turns off. Did I learn my lesson? No. I was perturbed. Flustered. Annoyed.

Scripture: Matthew 18:21-22 (NLT) 

Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?”

 “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!

Jewish rabbis suggested forgiving someone three times. Peter thinks he is being extra generous by offering more than double that amount. But Jesus is literally saying, “Forgive infinity times.” Seventy times seven is an unfathomable number, nothing we would practically count. We are not to be limited by a number in the law, but to live in the overflowing of grace and forgiveness.

Why can I pray every day to actively forgive people who intentionally hurt me, but when my wife (someone whom I have publicly committed to love and support for every day I have on this planet) needs forgiveness I blow it?

How can we show more grace to those we interact with daily?

Knowing Those Who Suffer

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Our comfort becomes a sin when we fail to know those who suffer. The more we know people, the more we will love them. Knowing someone changes them from a statistic into a human with a story…into a human with thoughts, feelings, desires, and dreams. This is impossible to do solely through online giving and charity handouts. 

It happens through handshakes and shared meals. Through breaking our stereotypes and false expectations.  We need to know people who suffer. I cannot allow myself to become insulated to the point where I fail to give, fast, and pray. Where I fail to ask God for my daily bread, because I believe I can provide it for myself.  The luxuries of being able to buy what I want when I want it slowly choke out the God alive in me that desires to feed, clothe, and commune with my neighbor.

Do you know those who suffer?

Do you give?

If you suffer, do you allow yourself to be known?

Scripture: Luke 14:13 (NIV)

 "But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind."

 

Merry Christmas!

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Merry Christmas! Today we celebrate the Word made Flesh, God with us, Emmanuel. We not only celebrate the historical birth of Christ but the ongoing incarnation, the dwelling of the living God among us. May the grace and peace of Jesus Christ extend over your holiday celebrations! 

 

 

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.

And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end.

He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. 

The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.

Isaiah 9:6-7 (NIV)