TECHNOLOGY: HELP OR HAZARD?

Here’s a good one from Lee for us to think about!  Take a look….  -anita

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Technology: Help or Hazard?

I came across an article recently by Dr. John D. Payne, a pastor in Charleston, SC, in which he discussed the technology age in which we live. His thesis is this:  while computers, smart phones and other technological devices are ubiquitous in our culture, they need to be controlled at a personal level.

 

Dr. Payne points out that this electronic information age happened very quickly: Personal computers in homes since the late 1970s, and smart phones in everyone’s purse or pocket just since 2007. It’s a bit frightening to note that young people have never known a time when these devices were not part of their lives. Maybe, in the view of these young folks, even an essential part of their lives!

 

As Christians, Payne suggests we would do well to assess the role these devices play in our lives and how much time and interest we invest in them. And for myself, I would include television in this assessment. Dr. Payne raises this question: “Are we losing our spiritual moorings in this vast and growing ocean of digital technology and omni-connectedness?” He really got my attention when he posed the question, “Could it be that our gadgets and gizmos that guarantee so much are actually fostering a new level of spiritual and relational superficiality in our lives?”

 

Admittedly, I used my laptop to write this blog piece, and certainly, smart phones to stay in touch with work or family are all legitimate uses of available technology. But a valid question to ask ourselves might be: how many hours a day do we sit in front of the TV or at a computer screen looking at the news or events of the day or texting jokes to friends far and near from our phone? None of these things are inherently bad in themselves, but can become a detriment depending upon degree and personal reliance.

 

Dr. Payne quotes a favorite Scripture passage of mine. “Look carefully how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” [Eph 5:15-16] With that verse as a backdrop, I can say I probably spend far too much time on my computer.

 

The real bottom line on this topic is not that it’s a missive on time management. The real teaching is that we must be careful to monitor/control the sources of those entities which influence us, our thinking, and our actions. To the degree we live in a way where our free time is spent poring over the phone-tv-computer screens in our lives it will assuredly affect our relationships, both to friends and family and also to God.  All those ones who love us the most!

 

Dr. Payne astutely reminds us, “Christians should never live passively, allowing the culture to shape and mold them into its image. Indeed, [be careful or] the tools of digital technology that we have shaped will soon be shaping us.”

-Lee Pierce

Honor Your … Mother

I know Mother’s Day just passed, but we should always remember to honor our mothers -everyday, and those who have given wise counsel and advice!
Take a look at the following…I found it on one of my favorite blog sites called Fat Beggars School of Prophets. -anita

Fat Beggars School of Prophets

I am thinking again, as I did in a recent post, about my grandmother who died before I was born.  I only have a few stories my dad has shared with me about her, and I have not really internalized all of them.  But she comes to mind again this Mother’s Day because one of the tales I know of her is how she frequently got called in for disciplinary meetings with the elders from her church, not for her flagrant sins, but for her passion to serve Jesus in ways they did not appreciate!

Yeah.

In the 1950’s and 60’s, women had little or no voice in the church.  That was true almost all the way across the board in American churches.  But in churches of Christ, there were also divisions about whether to support financially children’s homes.  Yes, this was one of the issues that actually divided…

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What if you could change the Future?

Here’s a good one from Hard Times Ministries! Take a look…then get motivated to share the Gospel! -anita

Hard Times Ministries

This should be an ingrained principle of every Christian that as a result of our interdiction, we can secure eternal life for those who are lost.  Actually, this is a very big and major task.

Can you imagine if you could stop a war or a raging cancer or the starving among children? How about the lies and killings and torture and divorce and drug addiction and the various other many plagues that storm our earth?

In effect, you have no idea how the change of one person can really affect the rest of the universe. The consequence of change can be either good or bad.  The choice is somewhat ours.

Yet, to accomplish this we must in obedience proclaim the Gospel and Spread the Good News of Jesus Christ.  But with even all of us doing that, will we change the World?

Probably not.  Yet, Christ due to His…

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TICK-TOCK…

In this day and age, I’m sure we’ve all heard the expression, “Time is money!”  That’s because time is valuable!

We’ve all been told, “Don’t waste a minute…”, “There’s power in a moment…”, “Stop wasting time…”, “Time waits for no man…”  Those are just a few.

All these sayings are true.  However, we all need to rest from time to time so we don’t get burned out!  Even Jesus rested.  After creation, He rested on the seventh day.  Many places in Scripture tell us that He went off by Himself to rest for He was weary.

Alli Worthington says, and I quote: “WE HAVE TO START BREAKING BUSY BEFORE THE BUSY BREAKS US!”  Good quote to remember!

It’s good for the soul to take a quiet walk alone and see the beauty of God’s creation.  Or to stand on the river bank and go fishing, and hear the sounds of nature.  Maybe have a short nap in your lawn chair listening to the rustle of the leaves and feeling the soft breeze on your face.  Solitude!  We need more of it now days!  Life is too busy!

Even in music there are rests…pauses…breaks.  There are dynamics in music just as there are in life.  There is the fast tempo, the slow-down, the crescendo, staccato, the loud and frenzied, the sweet and quiet…the rest.  Why?  because after the rest-be it life or music, everything seems sweeter.

In life, after you’ve rested, you can face almost anything that comes your way.  That’s because resting gives you a new perspective on things.  Your perception regarding  the severity of your problems diminishes after rest.

Let’s use our time wisely, and take advantage of every opportunity God puts in our path, and yes, let’s continue to be busy for God and His Kingdom…but don’t forget to take time to rest awhile!  Jesus thought it was important!  So should you!

Anita

Life’s Broken Road

…A breath of fresh air! Take a look… -anita

Wilderness Joy

Don’t be afraid to continue down the broken road.
God will meet you there.  ~ David Burchett

Broken road 1My feet stay where His footsteps lead;
I kept on His pathway and haven’t turned aside. ~Job 23 v 10

~~For those who have stumbled long over life’s broken road~~
Maybe your way has been long and arduous, full of sharp
stones and overhung by thorny briers.
Every now and then you have come to small refreshing
glades where green grass and summer flowers
restored your tired, worn out soul.
Sometimes, it has all seemed meaningless and harsh,
and yet as you reach out to the Heavenly Father,
your way becomes a path by which
you reach His storehouse of abundant treasures.
Of these, Jesus is the greatest.
He guides, leads and refreshes you along the way.
He stands at your destination with arms wide open
to embrace you in tender, compassionate…

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I’M SORRY LORD…

This morning, I had to tell Jesus that I was/am sorry for my impatience.  It really gets the better of me most times!

I mentioned recently that my husband and I had an opportunity to get into full-time ministry.  We’ve felt a call for about five years now, but nothing would ever open up.  We tried to move to another city, tried to find employment, and housing…but nothing ever panned out.   That’s because God wants us here.

A few weeks back, God opened the door for us, and we have decided to walk through, so everything is settled!  But here I am, still being impatient!  I’m so excited, I can’t sleep at night.  My mind is going a hundred miles an hour.  It’s like I have A.D.D.!  I can’t concentrate…I’m scattered!  Why?  Because I don’t want to wait another minute!  I WANT TO DO IT RIGHT NOW!  But there are a few things that must be taken care of first…so I must wait a few more days.

Pray for me!  I’m not good at waiting!

I went to my Promise Box this morning, and asked that God would ease my mind and help me with this urge I have to “Git ‘er done!”, “Jump at”, “Dive in”, “Fall head long into…”, or whatever other cliché you know that describes my condition.  HE gave me not one promise…but five! LOL!  He knows how bad my condition is…so He increased my dose…loaded me up on the medicine of His Word!  Take a look….

  1. “Therefore is any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” -2 Corinthians 5:17
  2.  “The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” -Deuteronomy 33:27
  3.  “The Lord shall open unto thee His good treasure.” -Deuteronomy 28:12
  4.  “For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and His ears are open unto their prayers.” -1 Peter 3:12
  5.  “We KNOW that ALL things work together for good to them that love God, who are the called according to His purpose.” -Romans 8:28

Here are the poem and prayer that accompanied two of the promises….

“I know not what the future hath

Of marvel or surprise,

Assured alone that life and death

His mercy underlies!” -Unknown

 

Dear Lord, help us to give up our fears, and anxieties and give ourselves fully to YOU!

 

I think I got it now…at least for today, but please pray for me in the days to come!  My “condition” causes me to forget the promises of God…and I dare say…I’m not in that boat alone!

Anita

THE AGE OF MAN

Here’s some food for thought!  Lee Pierce has done it, yet again!  This is a good one to share with your older children.  If they’ve been taught evolution in school…have them consider this…based on scientific facts.  Good one Lee! -anita

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A thought came to me a while back during prayers and it continues to sit and be reworked in my mind. This thought kind of came to a head the other day when my wife and I were watching a program on the Neanderthal Man. The program made the statement that Neanderthal Man lived some 250,000 years ago and became extinct maybe 40,000 years ago as Homo Sapiens became dominant in the land.

 

The thought I had during prayer was this: if we look at the advances made by mankind in the last 100 to 200 years, that’s a stunning testament to our ingenuity and ability to think and adapt to our surroundings. If you stop and think about just the topic of transportation, and that our ancestors were riding horses and traveling in covered wagons a little over 100 years ago, it is completely amazing how we travel now. Airplanes, cars, trains, even self-driving cars soon!

 

As my thoughts, during prayers, on mankind’s development took shape, this thought came to mind: if we have the mental capacity to make the great strides we have in the last few hundred years, what were all those early hominids doing for the supposed tens, or even hundreds, of thousands of years? I’m willing to allow that the speed of our learning may have accelerated based on diet, free time, and social necessity… but I can’t fathom the thought that our direct ancestors wouldn’t have pondered their world—just like we do—and began to conceive of ways to improve upon it.

 

Setting aside the whole debate about the reliability of carbon dating, I struggle to accept the fact that bones in the ground and some stone, hand-worked tools nearby lead some to conclude that this demonstrates a period of time of hundreds of thousands of years ago. Carbon dating (C14), a concept upon which science often proclaims fossils to be millions of years old, actually helps confirm a young earth. As carbon 14 radioactively decays (its half-life is about 5,700 years and C14 is not even detectable  much beyond 80,000 years) from carbon-based, formerly living things (that is all plants and animals, including us), it becomes impossible to date long-ago objects. [See the RATE Group findings in the answersingenesis/geology/carbon14 web site] As part of the RATE project, wood fossils, coal samples, and diamonds—all considered by evolutionary science to be millions of years old—yielded significant, detectable C14 levels when studied, which places them at a much, much younger age.

 

So, what’s the point of all of this? Mankind, in its sinful state, wants to find ways to attribute the world we see to chance, aided by billions of years of time passage. In an effort to refute God’s word, which places us and our world at only a few thousand years old, non-believers search high and low for mechanisms to support their world view. Even if their own utilized devices fail to support that very world view!

 

Given our rapid, remarkable development in a comparatively short time as a species, I just can’t buy that our ancestors sat around aimlessly and unproductively in caves for thousands and thousands of years. God gave us minds teeming with curiosity and brains quite capable of creative, imaginative thought.

 

As someone once said: God said what He meant to say in the Bible. And, if He says the world is only a few thousand years old, then that’s good enough for me. I hope it is for you, too.

-Lee Pierce

WHO IS QUALIFIED? …REALLY?

When I was growing up, I was always made to be the example…that’s because I was a P.K.-otherwise known as a Preacher’s Kid.  Since this was my position in life, I was somehow held to a higher standard than all the other kids in the  church.

This view of thinking caused my brother and I to rebel to a degree far higher than most.  However, had we been given the same grace as all the other children, we perhaps would not have gone astray to such lengths!

I had the verses in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 crammed down my throat so many times that I could quote them, verbatim by the age of nine!  Here’s what it says… “ Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full[a] respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.”

I completely agree…but all parents KNOW that you can only enforce obedience in young children.  Once they reach a certain age, they become “adults” and make their own decisions.  If you’ve brought your child up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, He promises He will bring them back to what they’ve learned.  BUT…most kids stray for a time. Does this make their parents unworthy or unfit for ministry?  That kind of thinking is ludicrous!

The Bible calls David, “a man after God’s own heart”, yet he had a wayward son named Absalom.  Does the wanton actions of his son negate the ministry of David? NO!  And, we all know the story of David; he strayed from the Lord when he lusted, and then took Bathsheba.  But it didn’t end there…he had her husband sent to the front lines of battle, knowing full well that it would mean his death.  David was an adulterer and a murderer! Did God change His mind about David?  Of course not, because God looks at a man’s heart!

God’s call on your life is without repentance!

One of my close friends and I were chatting about this the other day, because like most parents, we have at least one child that seems to have lost their way… for now anyway.  We pray for their return to God!  But, if we want to get right down to it…let’s take it to the top.  My friend said this, and I quote…” God is, was, and always will be, a perfect parent and his kids (Adam and Eve) sinned and rebelled.  So, clearly, being a perfect parent doesn’t guarantee perfect results!”  So true!  This is where ‘free will’ comes into play.

Next time you see the Preacher’s kids misbehaving…pray for them!  Pray for all the children you know.  Life, in this day and age is not so easy as it used to be!  Our kids are bombarded on all sides…on a daily basis by Satan and his vices.  Pray for their parents as well!

Stop your gossip.  Take your judgments to the altar.  Begin to pray for them, and yourself.  Look at your own life.  Lay down your stones.  Fall to your knees!  None of us are without sin!

Anita

 

Bringing in the Sheaves (Everyone left behind)

Here’s one to really think about! It is TRUTH, to the core! Thanks for the reminder, T. F.! -anita

Hard Times Ministries

For some people it may seem that in bringing in the sheaves, we are only talking about ‘those kinds of people’ that fit the mold. You know, the ‘worthy’ type and kind, not those…well, for more or less speaking in the vernacular, the bums and hobos and homeless.

No, we don’t really want to bring those bums into our churches nor do we want them around us.  Sure, we’ll embrace them if they clean themselves us and attempt to be a ‘proper’ person like other folks.

The same holds true with the drug dealers and ex-cons.  We don’t want them either.  They should remain with their ‘own’ kind.  We don’t need to be influenced by their bad habits.

And so when we look around the church and see all those ‘good’ people, we realize we are supposed to work to bring in all the others.  It is supposed to be…

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SPIRIT FILLED GATHERING…

until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. Act 1:2

“‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. Acts 2:17,18

And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.” Acts 5:32

And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” Acts 8:29

the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, Acts 8:39

the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Acts 13:2

And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia

we stayed there for seven days. And through the Spirit they were telling Paul not to go on to Jerusalem Acts 21:4

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. Romans 8:5

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

Romans 8:14

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. Romans 8:26

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Romans 15:13

the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.

1 Corinthians 2:10

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 1 Corinthians 3:16

To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.  For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.1 Corinthians 12:7-11

What is your gift?

How do you use it to encourage others?

-Pastor Danny Leavitt