Tag Archives: social media
Today my daughter received her college acceptance letter. What an exciting moment celebrating her invitation into the biochemistry program she desires to begin her journey toward a career in pathology. Yet when I think of this new journey she is about to embark upon, I am reminded of a recent fortune cookie statement – “All great things had small beginnings.”
This interest she has in pathology was something she developed as a young child watching Dr. G: Medical Examinerwith me. This seed then blossomed over years of schooling and research. As we celebrate today as a family, we recognize it was small things that led to this great thing. It also will take a lot of study and sacrifice to reach the end goal; lots of small things that will lead up to the great things.
With social media today, we are shown a lot of great things, but we do not see the back story. We see the grand vacation photos, but not the overtime hours or intense saving with a budget that went on to offer a great opportunity with no additional debt. We see well-behaved children and fancy dinners and homes decorated to look like the homes shown in magazines. We do not see the small beginnings; we do not see all that has led up to this very moment.
It is truly a blessing to look back on all the small beginnings of life and see how God has moved. It is awesome to look at how God used our faithful obedience, our struggles, etc. all for His good purpose and for His glory. May we give Him praise as we remember the small beginnings. May we stay focused on what matters, remembering that the social media posts we see are only showing us what someone wants us to see. May we stay humble, remembering that God is in control and every great thing is only great because He has paved the way and opened the doors. To Him be all glory, honor, and praise.
“He is your praise and he is your God, who has done for you these great and awe-inspiring works your eyes have seen.” – Deuteronomy 10:21 [CSB]
Many people want to be up front and in the limelight. With social media, more are encouraged to share everything and be in front of everyone. Being in charge, being a leader, being a teacher—these positions of authority come with a great warning. James notes that these people “will be judged more strictly.”
Remember that it is a huge responsibility to have the opportunity to teach others. When given this responsibility, it is important that we share God’s Word and not our own. It is crucial that we do not become a stumbling block. It is also important to share only the Truth, so you do not cause someone to get off course. You will be judged more strictly. Don’t allow your opportunity to be neglected or abused.
Today if you are a leader or teacher, make note of this warning. Even if you are not a teacher, be aware of what you are sharing online and in person. Are you sharing the Truth or lies? Are you making the most of every opportunity or are you wasting your opportunities? Are you focused on telling people what you think or are you adamant about sharing only what God thinks?
“Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly.” – James 3:1 [NLT]
I love when it is time for church. When I get myself ready, I try to prepare myself to fully be open to encountering Jesus. The world always tries to interrupt. The world wants to keep us away from our time with Jesus, no matter whether we are at home, out and about, or even in His church. The devil will do whatever he can to try and keep us from uninhibited worship and from hearing the Word of God.
One of the biggest distractions at church is social media. We spend so much time on social media at home, at work, and at school. It has become an obsession to many people. Often people do not want to turn their phones to silent or keep them out of their hands. Something might happen. I might miss something big. But when you enter the church with your phone in hand, you have an option. You can put down your phone and fix your eyes on Jesus, or you can keep your eyes fixed on your phone.
The age of cell phones and social media has added to what we bring to church to distract us. Before, we were distracted by some people in attendance, perhaps a loud baby, a talkative neighbor, or playful children. Maybe the distractions were internal distractions, thinking about what happened yesterday. Now we have the entire world that we bring inside the church. The phone notifies us of a new friend request, three likes, and someone sharing your pin. Your eyes are fixed on the world—away is time with Jesus. You went to church to encounter Jesus but you settled with the world instead. As you enter church, silence your phones. Put them aside. Try to push away each distraction and fix your eyes on Him. Don’t allow the devil to keep you from spending time with the One Who is I AM.
“I stretch out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.” – Psalm 143:6 [ESV]
When King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream that troubled him, he asked the astrologers the meaning of the dream but they couldn’t tell him. As a result he was furious and ordered that all of the wise men in Babylon be executed. Men were sent to find Daniel and his friends to follow the orders of the king. When Daniel was found by the king’s guard, “Daniel handled the situation with wisdom and discretion.”
Daniel was given important information. Lives were in danger. His life was in danger. Daniel did not run away and hide. Daniel did not run away and make a big announcement to all of his friends. Daniel did not get frantic. Daniel did not act first and think later. He responded with wisdom and discretion.
There are moments in our lives where we should do the same but instead we make a post on a social media network or send text messages to a group of friends. There are moments when we act too soon without much thought and end up getting ourselves into more trouble. As you go through this week, with each situation you face, aim to act with wisdom and discretion.
“When Arioch, the commander of the king’s guard, came to kill them, Daniel handled the situation with wisdom and discretion.” – Daniel 2:14 [NLT]
Whenever there is a trial, the courtroom hears both sides of the case before the judge or jury makes the decision. The facts are presented and looked at closely. Even so, there are many people who listen to some pieces of the case and immediately say their piece. They spout off before even hearing everything. Then as the case is presented and the truth is revealed, they look foolish.
This happens a lot today because so much information is available via media outlets. We get news through tweets. We read the headline of the Facebook link without reading the article and immediately form an opinion. Go to a newspaper or media outlet on Facebook. Look at one of the statuses posted about a criminal act or disputable law. Read the comments. Most people never read the article. Most people do not know the facts. They read the one or two lines they can see and start “spouting off.” They look very “foolish” and some people even point it out.
If you are always “spouting off” no one wants to hear what you have to say because they know you do not check into things. How can they trust anything you say? Your words become just meaningless words. There’s then no way for you to point them to Christ. They won’t listen to you because you are always spouting off about things. You never listen to facts. What you say becomes irrelevant. Listen to facts. Look for truth. Don’t just spout off. There’s too much of that going on today. We all need to hear some truth!
“Spouting off before listening to the facts is both shameful and foolish.” – Proverbs 18:13 [NLT]
It is my 2nd Year Anniversary on WordPress. Thank you Lord for allowing me to serve with this medium using the talents you have given me. Thank you to everyone who has joined along in the journey, with encouragement, support, etc. Over the years, FearNot Ministries has connected with people in over a hundred countries through WordPress and YouTube alone. This doesn’t count all of the other social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. It is amazing to see how FearNot Ministries is being used by God.
Today I am continuing my work on a book project based on 1 Kings and as I write this I am about a third of the way finished with the rough draft of the project. My youngest child is actually assisting me with this project by designing the cover artwork. My third book was recently featured as a Book-of-the-Month, surely in part due to WordPress and the social media networks. I have received such great feedback from many readers, resulting in the recent creation of a mailing list to deliver daily devotionals via email to anyone who subscribes to the FearNot Mailing List. This has prompted a free giveaway of a 14-day ebook. Already many people have signed up to join FearNot in digging into God’s Word. I am blown away by how many people are connected with FearNot Ministries.
Recently I have started to not only share devotional and reflective writings, but also to publish some free ministry resources. From time to time, these resources will be posted for anyone to use for ministry purposes free of charge. It is important as the body of Christ to support and encourage each other in our ministry efforts, and with working in ministry for so long, I understand how difficult it is to find free ministry resources for teaching Children and Youth and for leading Small Groups / Bible Study. I have also ventured out into the world of Tumblr and Glipho to engage with a broader audience, though WordPress has a special place in my heart.
Thank you again for all of your support. Let us continue to press forward with the call Christ has laid upon us, reaching all nations with the Good News. May God continue to bless you in all that you do for His Kingdom. Please let me know in any way I can help support your ministry efforts as well—I am always looking to help out anyone who is devoted to working for the Kingdom of God.
In closing, it has been a very difficult year for my children and I; however, I know that God has done some amazing things in our lives and I look forward to seeing what He has next for us. I cling to Him and His Word. He is my anchor and my strength.
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10 ESV)
Did you know that the FearNot logo was sketched by hand, scanned into a computer, and then edited twice? Recently it was re-edited another time by a friend who made sure to keep the integrity of the logo intact. Before this logo, the FearNot logo was simply an image of a favorite body of water I visited often with my dog with the words “FearNot.” Though that area has a very special place in my heart, it didn’t adequately represent FearNot Ministries, it’s mission and vision. The current FearNot logo has five different characters that actually represent the five purposes of church.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16 [NIV]
We learn interesting things about people on Social Media. I quite enjoy getting to connect with people from around the globe, not simply as a number, but to be a part of someone’s life. In all honesty, the numbers don’t make the person—followers do not make a person. Jesus had many followers. Jesus has many followers. But Jesus didn’t collect people.
I have noticed that there are people on Twitter who go around following as many people as they can with the hope that the people they follow will follow back. Then the same people un-follow most everyone that they followed so they have a high number of followers. The numbers look good. Someone relatively unknown to most people can have thousands of followers.
What saddens me is to see Pastors and Christian Leaders doing this to people. What does this tell a person about you when you simply collect them? How does this make them feel about themselves? I never heard about Jesus trying to gather together a large number—a collection—simply for display. I never heard about Jesus tossing people aside as if they meant nothing because He wanted to look like He was in high demand.
Today, remember everyone is special. With Jesus, it is not about collecting numbers. He knows each one of us personally. Each one of us is special. We are not collected for any reason but love.