4 Things to do When You’re Afraid of Snakes or Technology or…

Last year my One Word was Fearless.  Even if it wasn’t your “word”, it clearly struck a cord with many of you.

I’d really like to say, “Fear shmear!  Puh-lease!  We’ve dealt with you and we’re so done!  Shaking the fear dust off our feet!  Moving on!”

Unfortunately, like bad hair days and weeds, it can keep showing up.  What’s a current fear of yours?   Is it a risk in business?  A parenting decision?  A move or change? 

Recently as daughter Maggie was getting ready to head to northern Uganda she was researching snakes – a phobia we both share.

She texted me asking if I thought mace would deter a Black Mamba.  I said I thought it might just make him angrier.  Her husband, Austin did research and assured her that she’d have 20 minutes to find an antidote (in the middle of nowhere) before she died.  And then this:IMG_7102

So, she’s got that advice in her hip pocket.

But a fear of mine, not as dramatic as snakes, has been plaguing me recently – fear of technology. Continue reading

Spiritual ADD

Often people ask me for suggestions of good devotionals or Bible studies.  It happened again this past week after John preached on the Bread of Life and it got me to thinking.  I’m delighted to share what’s been helpful to me, but with a few caveats and a request to hear from you too.  I am so grateful for my relationship with Jesus but…

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The Most Important Thing to do When You Make a Mistake

When was the last time you made an embarrassing mistake?

My answer would be, “Yesterday, thanks so much for bringing it up!”

I’ve been convinced for quite awhile that evil elves live inside my computer and conspire against me with every technological weapon at their disposal, putting their tiny pointed heads together and hatching plans for my destruction.

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Are you really Here?

I love this photo I saw recently of a basket at the door to someone’s home.

Be with the friends who are here!”

I love it because it expresses what I desire.  For people who are with me to be truly present and attentive to… ME!

But it’s also convicting, because I’m an ADD, multi-tasking friend and wife who isn’t always “present” to others.

Have you ever been talking to someone on the phone and can hear them typing on their computer while they talk to you?  Or people having coffee with you, texting (even under the table!) at the same time they’re talking to you?  Or you’re in a meeting and someone is surreptitiously checking FB?

Does it make you wonder if you’re that boring?  Or if they’re that important?

I keep thinking of Luke 10 where it says “Martha was distracted“, but “Mary chose what was better.”  Being present to Jesus.  Is technology distracting me from my relationship with Jesus, others, and even myself?

Just this morning as I was reading scripture, and praying, I stopped to text someone I thought of.  Could it have waited?  Absolutely.  I wonder…when we’re not fully present are we really saying to the other (in this case, Jesus)…

  • Someone or something else is more important than you.
  • I am more important than you.
  • Posting, tweeting, texting, being in demand defines my value.

Here’s something that really impacted me this week.  I’m not an “important” person (yeah, yeah, I know I’m important to God, but I mean in a worldly sense).  I’m not famous, but somehow I’ve been privileged to spend time with many people who are.  Leaders who are having a huge impact in the world.  They are smart, articulate, anointed, sought after, and extremely busy.

This past week I was with one of the most gifted, influential teachers of our day, and the thing that struck me the most powerfully was that I never once saw him check his iphone while he was with us.

He wasn’t receiving texts during dinner.

He didn’t interrupt conversations to answer a call.

His eyes didn’t stray around, searching for more “important” people other than who he was talking to.

And he didn’t hurry through the room.  He was truly present to the people he was with.

That in itself is a big deal.  But the question I thought of beyond that was, what does this say about his ability to be present to Jesus?  To not allow the demands, interruptions, requests, distract him from the discipline of being truly with Jesus?  I wonder if these two things are related.

How might the practice of being present to Jesus affect our ability to be present to each other?  And vice versa.  Does practicing being present in one relationship carry over into another?

How can we “Hang up and arrive.” as Jon Acuff says?

Are there times we leave our phone at home?  Days we turn it off?

How much does technology affect your ability to be present to Jesus and others?

Is There an App for That?

I’ve told you before that our family likes to make a game out of anything.  Especially if there are points involved.  Maggie is famous for making up these games and somehow she always ends up being the boss of the game in charge of giving and (more importantly) taking away points.

Anyway, when the girls were growing up we would work on memorizing scripture.  Now don’t get the idea this was any systematized, consistent, we’ve-now-memorized-the-whole-book-of-Leviticus kind of thing, but we would do a game from time to time at dinner where we would go around the table and each person would have to say one word of the verse we were memorizing in order.  Like this (Hebrews 12:11):

Laura: No

Maggie: discipline

Katy: seems

John: ?

Well the girls thought it was hysterical because the person who was the WORST at this game was John, the professional holy man.  He would have them cracking up as he tried to guess the most likely words like “LOVE!, JESUS!, GRACE!….RATS!”

Now, I’m NOT a good memorizer either, but I’ve been hugely impacted by the way God has used my meager attempts at putting His word in my heart, and it is uncanny how He’ll bring a verse to mind (or even part of a verse 🙂 at just the moment I need it encouraging (or convicting!) me.

Since Maggie’s birthday and since John finally gave up his $15 phone, we now all have Iphones.  I’ve discovered a verse memory app that I really like.  Just type in “Bible Memory Verses” in the search box of the App Store.  It’s free and it’s the first one that pops up (Woody Hays).  It has a lot of core verses already in-putted, but you can also add your own and can designate some as target verses you’re working on.  The coolest thing is that you can pull up a verse and touch “blanks” and it will create the verse with mostly blanks you need to fill in.  If you forget a word you can just tap the blank and it supplies the word your missing.

My big idea is to have our family all work on the same verse again.  The girls were all for it, (I think mostly cause they’re looking forward to us going around the table at Thanksgiving and watching John sweat.)  In order to get buy-in I told Katy she could pick the first one (although maybe I should ask John so he’d have a head start).   She chose Isaiah 58:11 for our first group effort.  You’re welcome to join us or pick your own verse and ask someone to join you.

For Spirit Stretch Friday I thought I’d pass this along in case you’d like to add the app.  Obviously you don’t need a special phone to find effective ways to memorize scripture!  Is there other technology that you’ve found helpful in following Jesus?