Sunday, August 29, 2010

A taste of Heaven

I have just come back from New Staff Conference and feel refreshed and encouraged! Over the years while being involved in student work and missions, I have been to many Christian conferences and each time I always feel like I am getting a taste or glimpse of Heaven. I always feel that friendships are made quickly and deeply, the Gospel is warming our hearts and we share in fellowship over food and laughter. I feel like its a taste of heaven because I see a glimpse of deep, encouraging friendship centered around Christ. Its also an outflowing of Grace.

I am not only looking forward to developing the friendships made this week, but also seeing Christ in them. To see these people grow and love Jesus more everyday. This also makes me excited about being apart of the South West team and enjoying the delights of fellowship here. I can't really put across how much I am looking forward to being apart of this family and being gracious towards each other when we sin, showing the love of Christ by serving each other and reminding each other of the Gospel. And just feeling apart of a greater vision and the family I have been adopted into that has an amazing Father in heaven.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Living life too much online?

A new feature has come to facebook - A "Check In" app. Which allows you to tell people exactly where you are and allows you to share your favorite places to your facebook world. The facebook blog tells all here. And CNN has written an article online about it here.

But does anyone get scared that we may be living our lives through a computer screen? We are in a social media craze and no one can doubt the benefits it has brought us. And we can argue that its a fantastic way to share the Gospel - you can send out a message of the Gospel into the cosmos through twitter, facebook, msn, skype or blogging. It saves talking face to face (although is that a good thing?) And I do love the fact that I can chat to people across the world, that I can instantly keep in touch with them and have live chats or instant messenger.

But I wonder whether we live our lives too much through these social networks. The first thing we do in the morning may be to check our emails or facebook page. We find out gossip through the main facebook feed... who is going out with who, what new pictures there are, who has done what etc... is there any privacy? But of course you dont have to post anything or even be on facebook.

And yet its addictive. Technology is addictive and social media scratches that itch we all have. It seems that we spend most our lives in front of a computer screen instead of in person. However you cant really visit the sick through a facebook "poke"...

My point is not to say that facebook is bad, because I enjoy using it. But I wonder as a Christian if I can use my time better and if there are other ways that are more effective and more heart warming when it comes to fellowship with people in the church or sharing the Gospel with people? I dont believe church can be done online. I think church is about tears, joy, sharing burdens and being in contact with people which is more then an email can do. Otherwise I think we just shut ourselves off to personal human communication and we relax into twittering our spouse when they are upset or facebooking someone who is lonely instead of getting up and speaking to them or making the effort to see them... Its very easy to hide behind a screen and perhaps we (including myself) are is too scared to actually open up to people beyond cyberspace. 

What do you think?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Far too easily pleased...

C.S.Lewis says:

"We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink, sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us..."

John Piper says in Desiring God:

"The enemy of worship is not that our desire for pleasure is too strong, but too weak! We have settled for

a home
a family
a few friends
a job
a television
a microwave oven
an occasional night out
a yearly vacation
and perhaps a personal computer.

We have accustomed ourselves to such meager, short lived pleasures that our capacity for joy has shriveled. And so our worship has shriveled. Many can scarcely imagine what is meant by "a holiday at the sea" - worshiping the living God"

How true that is. How we think we will be happy and fulfilled with these things listed above. How sad it is that as Christians we believe we will be happier with those things. When actually its destroying our joy in Christ. How would we feel if we lost those things? Like life wasn't worth living? 
How it would be differnet if our pleasure and joy was rooted in Jesus instead of things and status?