Category Archives: Church Life

Transgender Children’s Books. Surprised? You Shouldn’t Be.

transgender childrens books

A recent Wall Street Journal opinion piece had a fairly provocative title: “Heather Has Two Genders.” The title, of course, hearkened back to the infamous children’s book that clearly announced a new wave of sexual revolution in our society, Heather Has Two Mommies.

Back then, Christians were told to just keep quiet if we said that the homosexual movement was just one step down a path of total revolution. We were right, of course, and we are now reaping the whirlwind.

One sign of that is the constant growth of support for the transgender community. Subtly, “gay” rights was changed to “LGBT” rights (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender), as if they were all the same. Our Vice-President, Joe Biden, even stated that “transgender discrimination” is “the civil rights issue of our time.”

Now…and this should come as no surprise…the agenda is moving to indoctrinate your children (and mine). How?

Through story.

Welcome to the new age, where we now have transgender children’s books. Over the next several months, a number of titles (including coloring books) will draw in children to the plight of boys and girls who are struggling with their gender. Some stories will show children “succeeding” in changing genders, while others will draw in your children with stories of a character’s struggle to “overcome” being “trapped” in a biologically assigned gender.

The recent release of I Am Jazz only continued the push of this type of literature, and other titles are planned for the future. Other books already published for children include 10,000 Dresses, When Kayla was Kyle, My Princess Boy, and the book with the most postmodern title possible: Be Who You Are.

Christians can push this off as no big deal, or we can remember a simple fact: stories are powerful.

How often have you been drawn into a film or novel, only to finally “wake up” and realize that what you were drawn into was immoral? As Christians, we have probably all had that experience. (Sadly, some of us refuse to wake up, but that’s another blog post for another day.)

Can you imagine, then, the difficulty children will have to not connect with a well-written story that is clearly pushing an agenda? They may not even be old enough to understand that a boy cannot “naturally” change to a girl (or vice versa), but they will connect emotionally with the struggle or the “success” of the person in the book.

Those who are pushing this agenda know that, if they can plant a seed early in the mind of a child, they will at least cause that child to be more accepting of the behavior later in life. As Christian parents, we simply must be planting a different seed: the Word of God.

It should not surprise us that these books are available and growing in number. Don’t be surprised if (when?) they are made into TV shows or movies. But just because they are being talked about doesn’t mean you have to let your child read the books or watch the programming. You are still the parent, and your job as a Christian parent is to fill your child’s mind with the knowledge and wonder of God.

Oh, and don’t be surprised when Heather has three daddies or five genders. And don’t be surprised when there’s a children’s book about it.

Resources

Heather Has Two Genders” (Wall Street Journal)

Joe Biden: Transgender Discrimination is ‘The Civil Rights Issue of Our Time‘” (Huffington Post)

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You Do Not Believe

you do not believe

It is very peculiar that we as a body of believers are often accused of not believing in certain things. Here is a list of ideas that from time to time people claim about us:

  1. “You are the folks who don’t believe in miracles.” This of course is not true. We believe in every miraculous event recorded in the Bible. We believe that God is omnipotent and that the very universe we live in was formed by His unlimited miraculous power. If we did not believe in miracles, we would have no hope, because the resurrection of Christ was the greatest miracle of all (1 Cor. 15:1-20).
  2. “You are the folks who don’t believe in prophecy.” This of course is not true. We believe in every Biblical prophecy recorded. We believe in the prophecies concerning judgment and eternity yet to be fulfilled. We believe that the prophecies about Christ in the Old Testament were fulfilled in the incarnate God, who has accomplished His work (John 5:39; Luke 24:44).
  3. “You are the folks who don’t believe in music.” This of course is not true. We believe in every example of musical worship displayed by the New Testament church. We believe that this is the pattern we are obligated to follow (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16; Heb. 2:12).
  4. “You are the folks who don’t believe others are saved.” This of course is not true. We believe “He who believes and is baptized shall be saved” (Mk. 16:16). We believe “And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved” (Ac. 2:38). We believe “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Ac. 4:12). We believe “…the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Cor. 1:18).

It is not that we do not believe in miracles, prophecy, music, or the salvation of others. It is simply that concerning these we choose to believe God’s commandments, rather than man’s opinion.

“But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.” ~ Acts 15:11

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Our Tearful Announcement

Yesterday, part of the Legacy of Faith family had quite a few tears to wipe away. Adam and Leah announced that they are leaving Lebanon Road after 6 1/2 years, and moving to fill the pulpit of the 9th Avenue church of Christ in Haleyville, Alabama. Below is a copy of the letter that Adam read to the wonderful people of Lebanon Road.

While they are thrilled about moving to 9th Avenue, sharing the news to people you love so dearly is difficult, and yesterday was no different.

——————————–

To Our Family at Lebanon Road,

Solomon wrote, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). Sometimes, trying to determine which season it is, and what is best in those seasons, however, is difficult. But, we come to you today with an announcement that we pray is right for this season. After countless hours of prayer, thought, and conversation, I have decided that it is time to move to a different work. With that in mind, I informed our elders last week that I was resigning as the preacher at Lebanon Road. While we will be here for several more weeks, the decision has been made, and we felt the need to announce it publically today, so that the Lebanon Road family could all hear about it at the same time.

Let me say from the outset of this announcement that I hate the timing of this. Today is a highlight for this congregation, and needs to be treated as such. As clearly as I can, let me say this: my decision has absolutely nothing to do with any disagreement with our elders, nor any dissatisfaction with the three being installed today. I trust all 9 of these men, and their great leadership is just one of the many factors that made this decision so difficult. I apologize sincerely for taking away from a day that is wonderful for this congregation.

I also want it to be known that we are not being asked to leave, nor feeling forced in any way. We love Lebanon Road and are happy here. We feel, however, that this decision is in the best interest of the Kingdom of God, and we have agonized in prayer over it.

We do not yet know a date, but we will be moving to Haleyville, Alabama, where I will become the pulpit minister for the 9th Avenue church of Christ. This is the same congregation from which we moved here, though before, I served as their youth minister. The elders of that congregation have confidence that I and my family can use both our experience and knowledge to help them, and we are simply praying that we do not betray that confidence. So, sometime in late November or early December, we will begin our work in Haleyville.

Allow me to make two promises. First, for our remaining time here, we will continue to work hard. While distractions always come in the midst of moving, I will do my best to keep preaching, teaching, visiting, and doing all the other things necessary to be faithful to the Lord’s command to work as unto Him, and faithful to your trust in me as a preacher.

Second, I do not know the process or timing the elders have in mind concerning looking for a new pulpit minister. Whatever process they determine, and whatever timing they determine, I will not stand in the way. If they decide to begin the process while I am still here, I will continue to support our elders and will not be jealous of the pulpit, if they feel the need to have someone else preach. If they decide to wait until we have left, I will honor my word in preaching each Sunday and will continue to pray that the process that is agreed upon in seeking a new preacher is the best.

We love you, and we want you to know that this has been a hard decision to make. In the 78 months I have been the pulpit minister here, not once have I made the first move in looking for a place to move. I’ve never even tried out anywhere…including 9th Avenue. We have tried to be not only as hard-working as possible, but also as dedicated to Lebanon Road as possible. In both, I am certain we have not been perfect, but it has not been for a lack of care or love for you.

As I said earlier, I hate the timing of this, because it puts a damper on an otherwise good day. But we are going to go forward in honoring this congregation and her elders, because they are worthy of honor. We will always honor Lebanon Road, because you stand for the truth and you have been far kinder to us than we could have ever been to you. Your gracious attitude and friendly demeanor have helped us more than you will ever know. About 6 ½ years ago, we moved here, and Lebanon Road became the first congregation which I served as a pulpit minister. We cannot forget how wonderful and gracious you have been, and we pray we have returned that favor to you, along with our thanks.

We simply ask for your prayers, and we hope you know that you will always be in ours.

We love you.

Adam, Leah, Mary Carol, and Turner

The Church and Inexpensive Online Technology

the church and online technology

“Church” and “technology.” Two words that don’t seem like they belong in the same sentence, unless it is “the technology at church isn’t working.”

But in our online world, churches can have a major impact using technology. Yes, it takes a little work. No, it should never take the place of personal, one-on-one conversations and encouragement.

But technology can be a great tool to help spread the message of Christ, both near and far. Still, there are hangups.

Too often, the singular hangup is money. For so many years, anything under the umbrella of “tech” was code for “expensive.” In the last handful of years, though, all that has changed. (After all, how do you think we keep this site going? It’s not from our overflowing coffers!)

In this post, I want to share some ways through which nearly any congregation can flood the internet with good material for very (very) little money.

1. Social Media. In reality, this is the least expensive way to utilize online technology for a congregation. If done well, it can also be highly effective. Considering how many members are on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and other platforms, why not meet them there? Facebook and Twitter are wonderful tools for building pages that include both information and encouragement. Instagram is a great way to share pictures, as well as cool invitations. All of these are totally free, and just require someone (or several people) willing to keep them up to date. With a little work, these can reach into a community, and show a congregation that is active and encouraging.

2. Podcasting. It is amazing to me how inexpensively a congregation can produce a podcast. If a congregation has a computer that can record sermons digitally, it can literally cost nothing. (Here’s a tutorial on how to do this for free.) For just a few dollars a month (less than $20), a congregation can go all out and make more of a “show” type of podcast (like A Legacy of Faith, for example). Since the world of podcasts is less saturated than blogging, but is growing, this is a great way to get messages out to the world.

3. Blogging. Even if a blog is nothing more than bulletin articles, it is a great way to get Biblical information out. There are several free blogging platforms (Blogger, Tumblr, etc.), or a blog can be incorporated into the church’s website, usually at no additional cost. Again, this takes some dedication, in order to produce new content regularly, but it is a good way to share messages in a bit more relaxed way. (Before you decide to start, though, take a moment and read this quick “before you start blogging” post I wrote some time back.)

4. Website. A church website can be wonderful and cost almost nothing. Hosting fees can be found for less than $10/month (in fact, here’s the hosting site we use for this blog, and it is just $4.95/month for a 3-year commitment), and then anything else you do, cost-wise, is up to you. There are free templates, as well as paid ones. There are free ways to do pictures, graphics, etc., or you can pay for them. Just remember to keep the site up to date!!!

Now, add it all up: Social media (free), podcasting (less than $20/month, and could be free), blogging (free), website (less than $10/month). A congregation can flood the internet with good material for less than $30 each month, and could even do ALL FOUR of these things for less than that, if they chose.

So, here is the question: why aren’t we doing that? In a time when online technology is so inexpensive, the church needs to dedicate itself to putting content online regularly to help people both near and far learn more about the Gospel.

QUESTION: What are some other ways a congregation can effectively utilize online technology for very little money? Share your suggestions in the comments!

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I’ll Try It Out Sometime

I'll try it out sometime

Because of the location of our house and my office, I get to see a lot of high school students walking to or from school. Maybe “trudging” would be a more accurate description — especially in the mornings.

It is not unusual for our paths to intersect when I am walking to or from my office or our house. Every time that happens, I say, “hello,” ask how their day has been, wish them well for the day, kid them about getting smarter every day, etc. I even get a response every once in a while — when they are not too much into the music that is being “mainlined” into their ears.

It happened again recently. I was walking from the house to the office and met a young girl who was walking to school. We exchanged greetings (in spite of the wires hanging out of her ears). I asked her if she lived close by and she said her home was a few blocks away.

It was at that point that I asked her to worship with us. I’m still thinking about her response:

“I’ll try it out sometime.”

The way she shrugged her shoulders and the fact that she had to work her response around yet another bubble she was blowing, didn’t add a great deal of legitimacy to that response. But who knows? Maybe she was serious about “trying us out.” I am praying that she was.

However, at the same time, I’m wondering if her statement is not indicative of how many view the whole concept of religion. For many, it may merely be just something to try out. If it doesn’t “fit,” or suit one’s needs, it can be discarded in favor of something more appealing and satisfying.

The problem with that thinking may, in fact, be found in one word — religion. “Religion,” in itself, is not necessarily a bad word. James wrote in both a positive and negative vein about religion. In the space of two verses, he wrote about a vain, worthless, or useless religion and about a religion that is pure and undefiled.

It is not that the word is bad. What is bad is the thinking that religion is only something we do from time to time.

How about some words that more accurately describe what pleases the Lord? How about words like “commitment,” “servant,” and “sacrifice?” How about the whole concept of Jesus being Lord (with everything that Lordship entails)?

It’s beginning to sound like we’re talking about a lifestyle instead of a fad. It sounds more and more like the purpose of our existence is to please Jesus and glorify Him and His Father instead of pleasing ourselves.

I wonder how many are willing to try that out — all the time.

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A Response to Victoria Osteen about Worship

response to victoria osteen

It is only 36 seconds in length, but it has caused waves in the online world. It is a video of Victoria Osteen, wife of Joel Osteen, as she described the reason why we worship.

If you haven’t seen it, here it is:

(Video not playing? Click here to watch on YouTube.)

So, when we worship, it isn’t about God. It’s about us being happy. Overall, that’s the takeaway from Victoria Osteen’s short speech.

If I may, I would like to respond to her words.

1. God’s Primary Concern is Not Our Happiness. It’s Our Holiness. Mrs. Osteen’s words only reflect a very commonly held view in modern religion, and that is that God’s primary concern with my day-to-day walk is that I be happy. While that certainly sounds good, it is not the message of Scripture. Yes, I know we are to be people of joy (Philippians 4:4, et.al.), but joy and happiness are not the same thing. When Paul was shipwrecked, when Christians were run from Jerusalem, and when Stephen was stoned, were they happy? Well, then I guess they weren’t living right in Victoria Osteen’s world. But they were certainly people who were holy, and that is what matters to the Lord (see 1 Peter 1:16).

2. Worship is Primarily toward God. In studying, preaching, and writing about the Psalms this year, I have been filled with this idea in a deeper way than ever. Worship is ascribing to God what He is due. Every aspect of our worship (singing, Bible study, prayer, giving, and communing) is God-centered and is meant to lift Him up as the only One worthy of such adoration. Anything less than that puts something else before God, which is the very definition of idolatry. If I come to worship seeking my own happiness, I have made my personal feelings my idol.

3. Our “Horizontal” Goal in Worship is Teaching and Admonishing, Not Happiness. We are told in the New Testament that our singing is to be such that it teaches and admonishes (Colossians 3:16). There is an encouragement bound up in admonition, but the word also means “to warn.” Teaching can lead to happiness, but not everything we teach is going to make us happy in the moment.

4. Knowing God is Pleased is My Joy. This is where the “God wants you to be happy” doctrine misses it. Their idea is that, if I’m happy then God is happy. Instead, when I have done my best to worship God and I know He is pleased, then am filled with joy.

I know that Victoria Osteen is not the first person to teach this idea of doing what makes you happy and that will please God. But I also know, tragically, she will not be the last. Our joy as Christians is to lift God up before the world, no matter if it brings us some earthly happiness or not. Mrs. Osteen would do well to understand that concept, but so would we all.

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Freeze Tag

freeze tag

It’s the movie my little girl loves and her older brothers tolerate because of one very funny little snowman and some trolls. This movie has been lauded for amazing songs and parodied in almost every way possible. It has also caused a swirl of controversy over the possibly not-so-hidden agenda of those who created it.

I, of course, am talking about Frozen. It broke the debut record set by the Lion King and changed lives (and ears) of elementary school teachers everywhere. There is much more I could say about this movie, but I want to make one – hopefully – unexpected application.

Many Christians have been upset by a trend set by Disney that is, at best, moving away from traditional family values as established by God (cf. Genesis 2:24). Instead of focusing on that, may I suggest that we spend our energy sending our “own” message?

You see, when I saw Frozen, I saw a young woman in the beginning stages of a romance with the “reindeer king” decide that sacrificing her own wants and even needs was the right thing to do. She knew someone else, her sister, needed her help much more than she needed “true love’s kiss” so she put her desires and her life on hold to offer that help.

Now, I’m sure that’s not the message Disney intended. But instead of allowing the world to dictate what we see and hear, why don’t we make some noise about an altruistic, others-focused love that sounds an awful lot like what we are told to do in the Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12) and in countless other passages of scripture (e.g. John 15:13, Mark 12:31). Maybe if we as Christians were busier teaching God’s way instead of bemoaning the agenda of others, we could be that light that Christ called us to be (Matthew 5:14).

See the bigger picture. Show the love God wants us to show. Put others first. Play “freeze tag.”

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

John 15:13

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“Ohhhhhh Boy!”

ohhhhhh boy

Many years ago a gentleman was born in western Kentucky named Odell Lamb. They called him “Red Lamb” because of his wavy red locks and his ruddy complexion. Odell went from the Kentucky farm to the German battlefields. He served in World War II and was present at the Battle of the Bulge. He came back to the Unites States and settled down with his wife Edna.  They had two children together. He worked at the stove plant and also farmed in beautiful Calloway County.

By the time I came to the New Providence church, Odell had lived a long and healthy life. He was retired, but still farming. He had served as an elder in the church for many years, but had now left that work, too. I was only 25; he was about to turn 80. He had a kindness about him. His smile was warm and genuine. He never missed an opportunity to worship with the saints. He always – ALWAYS wore a suit.

Every once in a while there is a person in your life who brings nothing but positive things. In the four years I preached at New Providence, Odell Lamb was peace and joy. Always encouraging – always thankful – always one of my biggest fans. He was dependable, and as solid as a Christian man could be in every aspect of life. He was honorable, he was gentle, he was strong, and he was loving. If you wanted a walking definition of a mature Christian, you would look no further than Red Lamb. When he prayed, you could tell you were listening to a man who had prayed before. He talked with God as one who had carried on life’s conversations with his Creator for more than a generation.

In 2003, I left green fields of Kentucky winter wheat for the rolling hills and streams of southern Tennessee. But I still go back to Murray State Racer country now and then. When I go, I always stop by and look for Mr. Lamb. He resides at Emeritus, an assisted living facility for the elderly. Last October when I saw him he was in bed and could not leave it. I was sure that visit with my friend would be our last. But this past Wednesday, I stopped by again and he was still there; still in bed, and only two weeks short of his 95th birthday. When I walked in the door he immediately straightened up, smiled, and exclaimed, “Jeremiah! I never would have thought it!” We sat and talked for awhile about old times and caught up on the new. What a wonderful visit we shared with one another!

Before I left our discussion turned to more serious matters, and he said to me plainly, “I am ready to go to heaven.” “So ready….Ohhhhhhh boy!” As I relay his words it is impossible for me to express his tone of voice and the look behind his eyes. But he said these words with excitement, joy, and a deep longing for something he had been working toward for 95 years. He did not say this because he was unhappy. He was not complaining about his age or the weakness of his body. He was simply saying that he was so blessed to be a Christian and that his time on earth was over and he could hardly stand to wait any longer. He said these things with the understanding that the better country was on the horizon and he could almost touch it. I have seen many a weary Christian long for heaven on a bed of affliction. But I do not know if I have ever seen a deeper joy, a greater hope, or a truer, more genuine faith.

I left and thought, wow! I had just seen something really special. I now know what I want if I ever live to be old. I want that feeling. I want that confidence. I want that anticipation. I want that hope.

Heaven is really going to be glorious beyond imagination. I pray that one day I will be able to see it from the place where I lay my head and say, “Ohhhhhhh boy!”

“For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland.”

– Hebrews 11:14

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Never Out of Character

 

never out of character

It has been a while since the comedian, Robin Williams, took his own life. Probably by now, millions of words have been written and read about him, his career, his family, etc. In addition to that, countless words have been written about depression, suicide, the “shallowness” of fame and fortune, and a host of other things connected with him and his passing.

I hesitate to add to all of the dialogue, but one comment I heard has been on my mind ever since I heard it shortly after his death. The comment was made by a man who was identified as a friend of his.

I can’t remember the exact quote, but it was something to the effect that this friend had known Mr. Williams for thirty-five years, but that he had never really known him. The reason for that, his friend said was (and I do remember this part of the quote) “he was never out of character.”

By that, of course, he meant that Robin Williams was always “putting on an act.” Even when he was not in the spotlight, he was “on”…even with close friends. For that reason, maybe nobody ever saw the “real” person.

Some of the thoughts I’ve had about that quote center around word that is used in both the Old and New Testament. Interestingly enough, every occurrence in the New Testament is from the lips of Jesus Himself. It is also of interest that our Lord had nothing good to say about this word.

That word is “hypocrite.” According to Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, the Greek word means:

…a ‘stage actor’; it was a custom for Greek and Roman actors to speak in large masks with mechanical devices for augmenting the force of the voice; hence the word became used metaphorically of ‘a dissembler, a hypocrite.

It is important for each of us to be “real.” This seems to be especially true with regard to those who are close to us. How sad it would be for a friend, a child, or a spouse to never really know us.

However, there is another and even more important aspect of this. Every time Jesus used the word “hypocrite” He was talking to or about religious people. He denounced them because their worship of, devotion to, and relationship with God were all just part of an act. In short, it could be said that their entire life could be characterized as being never out of character.

What the world saw was the mask; not the real person. What our Lord saw was the real person and He did not like it at all.

Please consider some words written a long time ago by David. They may help all of us to determine whether our commitment to God is real or if we are merely playing a part.

Search me, O God, and know my heart!

Try me and know my thoughts!

And see if there be any grievous way in me,

and lead me in the way everlasting!

–Psalm 139:23-24

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What I Learned when I Quit Facebook

what i learned when i quit facebook

I like to communicate. I like a room full of people. I like activity. I like to share ideas and thoughts and dreams with others. I am a people person. The advancement of social media for a person like me has caused a reaction similar to that of my six-year old daughter when she recently tried a new dish. She took one bite and said, “Where have you been all my life?!”

As an evangelist I use social media for the gospel’s sake. I have had countless Bible studies and private spiritual discussions involving counseling online. I have left “chat” immediately to meet the very people I have been chatting with at the church building to baptize them. I do not deny many friend requests because I want to be a link between people and God. This is my job. I know Jesus is the only mediator between God and men (1 Timothy 2:5), but I want to be a link between people and the mediator. I care for souls and this love for people influences my decisions within the social realm.

But social media can take over your life if you are not careful. I had to cancel my Facebook account once and start again when the number of friends reached over 3000. Slowly but surely it began to build again. By the end of last year, I needed a break. I decided to quit all social media for a month with absolutely no cheating. I did not look on anyone else’s page. I did not ask questions. If people started talking about anything related to social media I walked away. It was a refreshing experience. Several realizations came in the process.

1. Social media can become an addiction just like anything else. It can drain time and energy and productivity. Don’t get me wrong, it can be a blessing in many ways and it is not wrong to engage in it. But if you want to know if you are addicted I have one easy litmus test: Do you ever sit in your office or at home at night on your computer, phone, or tablet refreshing newsfeed? Yeah, you may have a problem.

2. Social media can keep a person from engaging in real relationships. If you have to use media to have a relationship with someone, you may be living in a false reality. Some use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to create a person they want people to see but is not truly them. They post certain pictures and say certain things in order to project the person they wish they were. Looks can be deceiving. The best person you are is the person you are in public – talking with people, working, and being a regular part of society. The world deserves the real you. You need to contribute and be functional in the outside world. Never hide behind technology.

3. Social media keeps us in the loop. It’s the 21st century. Some people might want to think about deciding to enter it with the rest of us. I was amazed at how much information I was gleaning from social media, especially Facebook. My timeline for gathering information or finding out about situations was considerably affected when I left. If you want to minister to people information is valuable. I lost several opportunities to be a Christian influence when I stepped away for a month. In truth I am definitely closer on some level to people whom I communicate with electronically. If you don’t answer email, text, return calls, or do any social media in today’s world you are almost a hermit. Sometimes people reject these avenues of communication because they really are very private and just want to be left alone.

4. Quitting anything you habitually practice is healthy for you physically, mentally, and spiritually. I would suggest at least a short break from anything that consumes a fair amount of your time. You are missing out on the rest of the world if you dwell too often with the same people in the same places. You need to drive outside of town on a clear night and just look at the stars for a while. You need to take your kids fishing or to the park. You need to go have a long and meaningful one-on-one conversation with an older person you love who will not be here forever. If you will step away for a few days or weeks you will be practicing one of the fruits of the spirit: self-control. And let’s face it, self-control is the hardest spiritual fruit of all for anyone to grow – and the tree God wants us to be growing cannot plug in to an electronic outlet. The only real and lasting power is in His Word.

“But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.”

– Philippians 3:7

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