Monday, January 31, 2011

A Distraction Challenge!

Has anyone else noticed of late how distracted our society is becoming?

Has anyone noticed that in spite of being the most "connected" culture in the history of mankind, we are isolating ourselves via the same technolog that is supposed to be "connecting" us?

I had given some thought to this concept in times past, but it really lept to the forefront of my mind on numerous occasions over the just passed Christmas and holiday season.

While enjoying time with family and friends during the holidays, it was my observation on more than one occasion that the majority of people in the room were far more enthralled with what was taking place on their smart phone, Ipad, laptop, tect, etc. than what was taking place in the room they were currently supposed to be fellowshiping and conversing.

Whether it was checking emails (guilty here!), text messages (guilty again!), or the latest buzz from the around the world via the internet (also guilty!), the very technology that was supposed to be "connecting" us, was instead isolating us from the ones that we love most, and are attempting to spend time with during significant moments in our lives.

When was the last time we carried on a complete, in-person conversation with another person we love or value, whether it was for an hour, or for an evening out without one time "checking in" to see what else was taking place around the world?

When we gather with someone dear, whether a friend or family member for a dinner, a reception, or some other type of social in-person event, we are saying by our attendance and by the requested attendance of others, that this particular person is important and significant in our life and in our individual world. Yet, many times, by our actions, or  via the "distractions" of the technology at our finger tips, we tell them they are not near as important as the text we just received, the lastest Facebook posting or update, or any other sundry of distractions that technology affords us at any given moment.

Am I the only who has been guilty of this? Is there anyone else bothered by this constact "distraction" in our world of individual communication and conversation?

This "distraction" manifests itself many times in verbal over the phone communication as well, when we in our attempt to "multi task", actually only "distract" away from the person we should be speaking with.

I invite you to take a "distraction" challenge! The next time you schedule a dinner, a date, or evening with dearly loved family and friends, make a concerted effort, to for a specified period of time, lay aside your "distractions" of technology and enjoy the powerful and extremely enjoyable tool of verbal conversation, shared in person!

You might find topics of conversation yet un-covered. You might discover mutual interests! You might even get the enjoyment of friendly debate and dis-agreement over some late bit of news in politics or religion that will challenge your view points and serve to challenge those to whom you are communicating!

A Scottish Proverb says, "When all men speak; no man hears"

How about it!? Anyone else have thoughts along these lines!!??

Fire away!! :-)

Thanks for reading the ramblings of a pair of Cheeks in Owasso, OK today!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Just Do It!

By grace.........I will do today what others will not do, so that tomorrow, by grace.........I can do what others cannot do!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Why Are You Afraid?

Jesus posed this direct and probing question to his disciples in Matthew 8:26, when in the midst of a ferocious storm taking place all around them, he simply asks them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?”
We live in a time of great fear. We live in a time when psychiatrists tell us that ordinary children are more fearful today than psychiatric patients were in the 1950s.
Fear has the ability to grip our hearts, to rob us of our joy, steal our happiness and take precious relationships away from us.
Fear however, never accomplished anything. It never composed a great symphony, it never built a great nation, it never pulled a family from the depths of despair and poverty. Courage and faith did that.
Jesus poses this very probing question in the midst of a storm that Matthew sought to describe as simply being “great”. It was no ordinary storm, it was epic, it was massive, and it was in the Greek described as “seismos”, meaning it was of earthquake proportions, it was a storm that was shaking them to their very core.
Yet Jesus had chosen this particular time to find a place to lay his weary head and take a nap! This wasn’t, at least in the eyes of his disciples, exactly the best time for the master to be laying down somewhere sleeping.
You see we all live lives, that at times causes situations and circumstances to conspire together and create the atmosphere for fear to seize our heart and grip our senses.
Jesus would warn us in John 16:33, “In the world you will have tribulation”.
Life will cause you to question everything, life will cause you to question every circumstance, life can cause fear to overwhelm your heart, however it is not the absence of storms that sets us apart, it is who we discover in the storms of life, an unstirred Jesus Christ.
You see fear corrodes our confidence in God’s goodness. Fear creates spiritual amnesia. It dulls our memories of the past victories God has wrought. It tends to make us forget what God has done and how great he truly is.
Fear is dreadful. It sucks the very life out of your soul, causing one to curl up in a fetal position waiting on the proverbial shoe to drop, but Jesus responds to fear by simply saying, “Fear not”.
If Jesus had an oft-repeated phrase, it was “Fear not”. 
“Don’t be afraid. You are worth much more than many sparrows” Matt. 10:31 NCV
“Take courage, son; your sins are forgiven.” Matt. 9:2 NASB
“Don’t be afraid. Just believe, and your daughter will be well” Luke 8:50 NCV
“Take courage. I am here!” Matt. 14:27 NLT
I could go on and on, with passage after passage, but I think we get the point. 
Paul admonishes Timothy in 2 Tim. 1:7, "for God gave us a spirit not of fear, but of power and love and self-control."

The reason we don’t have to fear is he is near, and if he is near, he is still the master of the wind and the calmer of the seas!
Just a few ramblings from a pair of Cheeks in Owasso again!
Thanks for reading today!