Oh Social Media…Part One

Good morning friends!  I hope hope you had a wonderful weekend!  Today on my mind, is social media.  Well, it has been on my mind for quite some time.  I kind of have a love/hate relationship with social media.  I love being able to stay connected with family who are far from me, connect with old friends, and see where life has taken them.  I love the prayer chain accessible in minutes, and the ability to connect with businesses and organizations.  Not to mention the coupons and deals I find there.  However, there is a piece of social media I dislike.

About two years ago, God laid a verse on my heart, that really began to convict me, but I was not exactly sure how He was going to use it.  The verse is 1 Thessalonians 4:11 and it says, “Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before.”  Now, there is a lot that goes along with this verse if you look at the whole chapter, or heck, the whole book of 1 Thessalonians, but for me, I knew God was giving me that first part about living a quiet life in regarding social media.

I know social media is a part of our world now, so much business and communication with organizations happens in this realm, so I have not been sure how to balance that verse, with my own social media usage.  Is this one of those cultural things I am being tricked into believing is more important than it is, or is it really something I am going to have to learn to balance to thrive in this world?  And, how do I help my kids navigate?

The part of social media I do not like, is the way it makes people feel sometimes.  Social media takes “keeping up with the Jones'” to a whole new level.  Every time we sign on, we see what some call the “highlight reel” of every person’s life.  We see everyone’s fabulous vacations, new boats, houses and cars, the great parties, gatherings and dates they have.  As well as, the plethora of other things the enemy tries to use to create discontent in us.  A few years ago, God worked on contentment in my life, and for the most part I do pretty well.  But every once in awhile, the enemy will hit me with the sting of envy through social media.

God has been working on something different in me with this though.  Over the last couple of months, when my family is somewhere, doing something, I will think about taking a picture to post on my pages.  Instantly, God has been asking me, “Why?”  I first tried not to answer this question, because I knew my answer, “Because I want everyone to see what we are doing and hit that little like button.”  Yuck!

I slowly began to realize why God wanted me thinking about 1 Thessalonians 4:11.  I was way too concerned with my audience of 500 and forgot that there is only an audience of One who really matters.  Galatians 1:10 says, “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”  Eeek!

galatians

I am absolutely not condemning social media use, or making a statement of how you choose to use it.  I just believe there may be people who feel like I do, and I hope I can encourage you.  God has given each of us a “business” to mind, including our spouse, our children, our families, friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc.  Our business includes the mission to love the world, so people will know He is God and choose to follow Him.

Where does that leave me in this social media conundrum?  I have decided not to abandon social media, or this blog for that matter.  Instead, I will ask myself a question before I post.  “Am I posting this because I want attention, or am I trying to love the world and point it toward Jesus?”

Join me tomorrow!  I will talk about how in my own life, I have seen social media affect the ability to make and develop friendships.  Have a wonderful Monday!

Please share your own feelings about social media in the comments below!  And be sure to follow me through the “Follow” link, so you do not miss a post!

Summer Reading

     I remember when my kids were little, my mother gave me a subscription to Family Fun Magazine.  It always had so many incredible things in it, but one thing always upset me.  When the May issue came out, it was the beginning of the “summer fun” issues.  I would see pictures of picnics and happy families frolicking in their insanely green backyards.  UGH!!!  If you live here in the desert, you know that is not what summer means for us.

     July is almost here, and everyone in my city is saying how they have to get out of here this month.  I drive around and even the trees and plants all look terribly dehydrated.  So…around our house, we are kicking our summer reading challenge into high gear!  I have two reluctant readers in my house, so this summer, I challenged the whole family to read 100 books and they will each get $100.  Crazy I know, but I am shameless, and they need some motivation.  I will talk more about this in future posts.  Today I want to share what is on MY reading list this summer.

     This week, I FINALLY finished my six week study on Gideon…the one I started a year ago.  I am seriously proud of myself.   So this afternoon, I walked into the Christian bookstore and found the perfect study!  Of all things, it is called All Things New.  Written by Kelly Minter.  I knew this MUST be my next study, because that is the phrase God keeps putting on my heart.  I instantly picked it up and perused the store for another hour, just because there are so many pretty things in that store.  I was so excited because I found Everybody Always by Bob Goff…and it was 50% off!!  I have been wanting to get this book, and it is discounted!  Thanks Jesus!!

img_7622

(This post contains affiliate links. Any purchases you make through my links will provide me with a small commission at no extra charge to you. Thank you for your support! I appreciate it so much!) 

When I got home, I opened the book by Bob Goff and read just a few pages.  I am hooked and challenged already!  Here’s a little taste:

“They give away love like they’re made of it.  Like my friend, they do this because they have developed completely unrealistic ideas about what their faith can do in the world when it’s expressed in love.  They decided to spend more time loving people than trying to game the system by just agreeing with Jesus.  You see, they wanted to follow Jesus’ example; instead of telling people what Jesus meant, they just loved people the way He did.”

Yes God!!!  This is how I want to love and live!  I seriously cannot wait for more reading time!!!  I am sure I will need to share some of the new things God is teaching me through this book.  For now, I am going to sign off, but I have to know, what are you reading this summer?  Let me know by commenting below!

 

The books I mentioned above can be found on Amazon.com here:

Everybody, Always: Becoming Love in a World Full of Setbacks and Difficult People

All Things New – Bible Study Book: A Study on 2 Corinthians (Living Room)

Unexpected Blessing

(This post contains affiliate links. Any purchases you make through my links will provide me with a small commission at no extra charge to you. Thank you for your support! I appreciate it so much!) 

Have you ever had God show up and do something completely unexpected to bless you?  On Monday evenings, a few of our friends come over for Bible study.  We are currently working through the book, The Story.  Last night, the above question was one we answered.  It was encouraging to hear all the ways God has shown up and unexpectedly blessed our friends.  I was reminded to tune in to God each morning, so I do not miss the unexpected blessings.

Well, you guessed it, this morning, God sent an unexpected blessing my way.  My middle child and I were home, and he was babysitting my nephew.  I saw a salesperson walking outside and told J not to answer the door.  I NEVER answer the door!  Mostly because I watched too much Oprah as a teenager and am afraid of killers pretending at someone’s door.  Also, because I do not want to talk to salespeople.  Well, just a few minutes after I told my son not to answer the door, the doorbell rang…and I answered it.

img_76121

Indeed, there was a woman with a clipboard there talking to herself.  She pulled an ear bud out of her ear and greeted me and said, “Well, I wasn’t even going to stop because the trim on your house looks really good, but then I saw the verse you have written on your sign.”  When I opened the door, she was reading, out loud, the verse, on the sign, by our front door.

A couple of weeks ago, I had my daughter put a verse on the sign before our friends arrived for Bible study, hoping it would bless them.  But here was this woman, who rang my doorbell because she read my sign.  Her name was Holly.  Holly proceeded to tell me that she listens to worship music while she walks the neighborhoods, told me my neighbor is a widow, and a Christian, and wants to go to church, but doesn’t like to go alone.  Holly told me she loves how God shows up as she knocks on doors and just wanted to tell me to have a blessed day!

Wow!  Talk about an unexpected blessing.  And man, I could go on for hours about all the lessons I could draw from this encounter, but I will keep it simple.  Holly and I talked about Christian music, concerts, God’s goodness, church…she was a light shining brightly this morning.  Before she left, we wished each other well and she reminded me of my neighbor.  Funny how He works, isn’t it?!

If you do not know God, or feel far from God today, I would love to pray for you.  Comment or send me a message!  God wants to show up in an unexpected way for you today!

 

The Bible study I mentioned above is The Story by Randy Frazee.  It is available on Amazon.com here:

The Story: The Bible as One Continuing Story of God and His People (Selections from the New International Version)

All Things New…

Hello!!!  Welcome to my new blog!!!  Many of you know, over the last few months, my family has made a HUGE change.  Three months ago, I quit my full time, ministry job and we left the church we have called home for the last seven years.  Yikes!!  Our church was kind of our life.  Needless to say, this has been a bit of an adjustment, and every once in awhile a bit emotional.  However, God is so faithful, and although it confuses me at times, I am really excited about what God has next.

At the very beginning of this change, I asked a Pastor friend to “pastor” me through this.  He gave me many, many words of wisdom, but one thing he told me to do was meditate on the promises of God.  One of those promises is that God makes all things new.

“Look at the nations and watch– and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.” Habakkuk 1:5

     God is indeed putting together a new vision for our family and our ministry.  We are still waiting for many pieces, as everything is not in place yet.  I will admit, I am bit antsy about a few things, but this blog is a start.  I cannot wait to share all the new things God is doing, and share some of the struggles along the way.   For now, God has made it clear that this is a time for learning more about His Word, patience, leaning into friendships, and trusting in His plan, and I know many of you are in the trenches with God right now.  I would love to have you join me on this journey!  Please give me your email address below, so I can be sure to stay connected to you!