Tag Archives: devotion

Tech = Baal (Re: Idol worship)

Personal Handy-phone System mobiles and modems...

Baal worship...new skool

Baal worship...old school

TECH = Baal. True or false?

We’d like to think idol worship isn’t something we practice. We don’t bow down to manmade gods like the foolish people of old we read of in the Bible, right?

Not so fast. (I think we do)

Probably, if we can’t live without something invented in the last 150 years, it qualifies as an idol–Yes. A full-tilt false god.

If we have a trust and loyalty to something we assume is a necessity, I think we should challenge this devotion.

Here’s the ugly truth. You probably worship your computer, your Apple product, your GPS, your phone, or your car. (Our association with technology is the modern equivalent of Old Testament style idolatry.)

A “long ago” 2007 British study of 1,256 people showed that 1/3 of those asked would pass on $2 million to keep their cell phone. 85 percent of those studied said that having a mobile phone was “vital to maintaining their quality of life.” The statistics are likely far higher now, almost 4 years later.

So, it’s simple. Tech = Baal.
Now, will you give up your false god?

At first we rebuff this allegation of idol worship. We’ll think of ways that the things we adore are for safety, common sense practicality, or we’ll come up with a rationalization for why our devotion isn’t really so bad.

The prevailing idea is that if the technology is available, there’s a kind of moral imperative to utilize it. “If it’s possible–it should been done.” Hence, things like octoplets, an artist being fitted with digital camera skull implant, and decades-long life support situations happen. (Can you think of another gross abuse of technology?)

What of ourselves is lost because of these unnatural loyalties?
Probably, a basic part of our humanity.
Sound overblown?
Let’s be serious: We become what we serve. We are enslaved to what we worship. What are the repercussions for serving technology?

Here’s a case in point:

It seems no one (especially under a certain age[?]) can image going without a mobile phone, or internet capabilities for a few hours, let alone a few days. Could you give up technology that’s been created within the last fifty years for a full week? Would it cramp your style, and make you grouchy? (Signs say yes…that’s old school tech…the 8 Ball.)

281 million youth have cell phones. I admit I have withdrawal symptoms without access to the internet for more than a day. I get twitchy. It’s uncomfortable. And no, I don’t like it.

So, I think we have to be honest and address this. What do you think about it? When have you worshiped technology? What do you think you do about it?

Is there a Christian spiritual practice that can help us?

Absolutely. It’s called fasting. Prayer, fasting, and giving to the poor are the pinnacle of Kingdom of God living, according to Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. Without these things, we are not living as a follower of Christ as he laid it out.

A Tech Fast should be part of your spiritual practice, because it will get your attention better than most things will. This will create growth and maturity.

Fasting challenges our loyalties.
(Read that again)
When we desire the thing we fast from, it creates a space to concentrate and reflect. It re-proritizes our habits, calls them into question, and helps us sift through the what we we should hold dear versus what should be leashed and subdued. When the pang to digitally connect, shout out our thoughts to the masses, or get instant information strikes, we can train our hearts as we place prayer and worship in that void that feels like need. The point isn’t to prove our righteousness by going without, but rather to create time and space for heightened refocus and Christian spiritual practice. God has us engage in fasting for our benefit, not his. It’s a training method…a.k.a. a disciplineIt’s a command to fast. (Sorry to break this to you.)

BUT GOOD NEWS: The effect is refreshment, and quite likely a more informed outlook on our lives.

Will you take the JANUARY TECH CHALLENGE with me? Kick the new year off on a new foot. Between now and the end of January, fast 3 times from technology. Start off with a few hours, or half of a day (if you’re ready for THAT-gulp), and try to build up to 2-5 days by the end.

Feedback appreciated on this. Thanks.

God Bless you.
Lisa

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Third Sunday of Advent Meditation 12/12/2010

church in winter -click for source-

 

(from the online Book of Common Prayer)

Third Sunday of Advent

Stir up thy power, O Lord, and with great might come
among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins,
let thy bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver
us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with thee and
the Holy Ghost, be honor and glory, world without end.
Amen.

160    Collect:  Traditional

O God, who hast caused this holy night to shine with the
illumination of the true Light: Grant us, we beseech thee,
that as we have known the mystery of that Light upon earth,
so may we also perfectly enjoy him in heaven; where with
thee and the Holy Spirit he liveth and reigneth, one God, in
glory everlasting. Amen.

Do you have any reflections for this Sunday?

Ahhh Warm and Fuzzy Easter Church Signs-NOT

(Yes, if you smell something weird, it’s because there is a nearly sardonic mood here today. I snapped this photo myself last night.)

Image this Potential Backstory:

Been away from church for awhile? Thinking this Easter Sunday might be a good time to go and get back into the fold?

Are you ready for a spiritual reawakening? A kind of rebirth? A cleansing in your spirit?

NOT SO FAST. WE’LL HAVE OUR EYE ON YOU. So-WATCH your back, Slacker!

Maybe you’re thinking… “Lots of family members will arrive for a big dinner at 1:00 pm. Will there be time to do it all?”

Before you make your final decision, we at Christ Church have something to tell you:

Yes, suicide is an option, Traitors!

We know what you’re up to, and that won’t fly here.

You’re welcome, America!

(What are your comments on this Epic fail?)

Other posts on various fails can be found on this site. Click #fail in the categories section below.

I guess you could say, the irony of  human weakness against the stuff of hubris is just something that amuses me.

Weird Comparisons

Sometimes our praise to God falls short.

Actually , it alway does.

But, like a proud and loving parent, God delights when we love him. Through praise, worship, the devotion of our heart, and the actions that spring from this, God accepts us, where we are.

Now-When kitsch meets passion meets God you might get this:

I love you more than...

Can you think of another one? Put your funny hat on.

Jedi Training, coming in 8 weeks.

 

jedi-t

Anyone can be a Jedi... eventually.

 

No, Mr. T is not officially endorsing my program, (which is really a focused learning group) but if he knew about it, he might.

If you’re curious, and ready to be a Jedi, click the tab at the top that reads “Jedi Training – Info.”

Only 10 people will be chosen, at a time. We begin in January.

May the Schwartz be with you.

 

Who do you Love? (this guy’s tat proves his love)

Sometimes it’s painfully obvious what a person loves. Take this guy. McDonalds is really important to him. I can’t stress this enough, and by the looks of it, neither can he. The golden arches are embedded on him–for LIFE. How’s that for a Mac Attack? How…er..um..sweet, I guess.

McDees tat

One of the most earth-shattering things I’ve come to comprehend spiritually is that God desires loyalty, and not perfection. For a performance-oriented person like me, this comes as a great relief. I only wish I had known this in my teens and 20s. Now, loyalty doesn’t mean you have to be devoted enough to get a fancy yellow tattoo with clouds and stars on it, but it does mean you’ve decided to hang in close, through thick and thin, for life. Loyalty is actually simple to understand, but it’s rare to find. It is really what we all hope for in true companionship from a spouse or best friend.

What would you have tattooed on you, if anything? (hypothetically)

If you have one, submit your real tattoo photo, or a great idea for one, and maybe I’ll send a nifty goodie your way.

Thanks for stopping by!

“Is God Knowable?” (Response to reader)

Can we know God?

The easy answer would be to come out right away and say, “Yes!”

But, I won’t. I think the more honest answer is, “Yes and no.”

For one thing we can’t even know people that well. We can live with a spouse, or family member for years, and still find out new things about them, time and again. People are deep wells of information, experiences, natures, and characters… but through time and devotion, we can get to know them…. We never know them completely. What I mean is, we become thoroughly familiar with those we’ve spent plenty of time with, but it is naive to say we know them fully. 

BUT- what about God? God is SO different, right? He is UNFATHOMABLE. He created everything, and is everywhere, all-knowing, all-powerful, so says the Bible, right? How can we REALLY REALLY possibly KNOW him, right? He is beyond language. Correct? Well, the short answer is “yes, kind of.” 

God made it possible for us to have an amazing book in our reach called the Bible which talks all about him. It can’t capture him fully with words, but the narrative that runs like a river through the whole council of the Bible can loosely give a good contour of the Supreme Being that is all at once Almighty God, Father, Savior, Friend, and much more. We can’t sketch a sunset with pencil, but we can get some shapes down. We can’t use words to describe what tasting coffee is truly like, but with words, we can outline a bit what the aroma is like, and how good a warm cup tastes and feels when it is drank. One can imagine well what it is REALLY like based on a word description. So too with God. The reality of him can be known, but not fully grasped. He is knowable, but not fully comprehendible. It is limited knowledge, but entirely useful.

Let us not dismiss some of our best ways to encounter God by calling them shoddy when we use and trust language for so much else. It is on the basis of language, words, and propositions, that we first encounter all our initial ideas before they are incorporated into our lives. They are a starting point, not the end all be all to knowing God. Like any complex relationship, knowing God involves invests of time and devotion, not just mere research.

Do you know God? How have you encountered him? Feel free to leave your comments.