Tag Archives: holiday

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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Sunday Meditation – Thanksgiving

Pa. 1942 Thanksgiving (creative commons)

Book of Common Prayer
A Litany of Thanksgiving
836    Thanksgivings


Let us give thanks to God our Father for all his gifts so
freely bestowed upon us.

For the beauty and wonder of your creation, in earth and
sky and sea.
We thank you, Lord.

For all that is gracious in the lives of men and women,
revealing the image of Christ,
We thank you, Lord.

For our daily food and drink, our homes and families, and
our friends,
We thank you, Lord.

For minds to think, and hearts to love, and hands to serve,
We thank you, Lord.

For health and strength to work, and leisure to rest and play,
We thank you, Lord.

For the brave and courageous, who are patient in suffering
and faithful in adversity,
We thank you, Lord.

For all valiant seekers after truth, liberty, and justice,
We thank you, Lord.

For the communion of saints, in all times and places,
We thank you, Lord.

Above all, we give you thanks for the great mercies and
promises given to us in Christ Jesus our Lord;
To him be praise and glory, with you, O Father, and the
Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen.

See also The General Thanksgiving on pages 58 and 101.
From the Book of Common Prayer online: here.

Happy Easter!!! (plus: Lamb of God Cake?)

Easter Cake (Lam of God?)

My sister bought this cake for Easter dessert. He’s so cute. LET’S EAT HIM!

I got to thinking… “Hold on! Is this a reference to Jesus as the Lamb of God?” Gulp.
Deep thoughts this Easter.

But for real~
May you bask in the grace of the Redeemer God- Christ the Lord is Risen today.

Cooking Turkey in the Hot Tub / family

Outdoor Cooking: Turkeys in a Hot Tub

If you can find NOHING to be thankful for, thank God that these silly birds won’t be coming to your place for a holiday meal. (Notice that the tub is being held over open flames by…um, kitchen stools… (?) yeh, ok…) Why do a suddenly sense an ambulance in the future for these people?

Quite a few of us will be with family for the holidays. This may be wonderful, or well, tough. You can choose your friends, (who can function for you as a “family of choice”) but you can’t choose your family. If you only see your relations a few times a year, (or less) keep some perspective to keep yourself grounded. Firstly, think of sanity as a goal, not a good time. 😉

Plant firmly in your mind that you probably can bear anything for a few days–even prison. Maybe even full blown torture. How bad can water boarding really be? For instance, I’d take it over having to watch Adam Lambert perform, like he did on the AMAs!

If good times happen during your visiting with relatives, count that as a blessing. But, don’t expect a lot from people you don’t often see. Sure, they will bother you, and get on your nerves. They might try to make a spa whirlpool from a tub, a roaring campfire, kitchen stools, and the gas from the beans they had the night before, but you can handle it. Why? Because you’re better than them? Because you’ve had a ton of spiked egg nog? No…well, I think, no.

What will truly help, is to see a bigger picture. Time is on your side. You don’t spend your regular life with them, or in these holiday situations. Hang in there-Be your best self, and know that the holidays are just a temporary gathering time. You don’t always have to be right, or have a dream holiday experience. And you don’t have to let them bother you. Turkey soup doesn’t last all year!

What’s your strangest holiday memory?

What’s not on the menu this Thanksgiving –

 

Everybody knows you eat babies at Easter, not Thanksgiving... oh wait.

Everybody knows you eat babies at Easter, not Thanksgiving... oh wait.

Here’s a reason to become vegetarian! You never really know what kind of meat is on the menu. In China, this is referred to a “girl meat.” It’s quite common. “Boy meat” is quite rare, and for that reason considered a delicacy, though it is stinky, and chewier.

WAIT!

 

Please tell me something got lost in translation!

Thoughts, comments, ideas?

 

 

(see if you can find the Easter egg in this post)

Christmas Spirit (in July)

snowmansand

 

It’s July 25th. Christmas day is exactly 6 months behind us. It seems far away from my mind now. Time has shot by, but the happenings of the day are sort of fuzzy. Every year I hear people say, “I wish the season of Christmas spirit lasted all year.” Or, maybe they even claim it does in their hearts. It does in some ways for me, but the greater reality is that I go from season to season, and at different times certain things stand out as more special. In the summer, I enjoy the outdoors more probably for the simple reason that I spend more time outdoors because of good weather. In the winter, I appreciate my close ties with immediate family and working on my interior life in substantial ways that play out in the months that follow the hard work of that time.

Defining what is the Christmas spirit can be slippery, because each person may hold a bit of a different emphasis. The gift of the Incarnation is celebrated that day, and the love, goodwill, grace, and peace of that event can inspire us to live that out toward, God, others, and hopefully ourselves.

What is the “Christmas Spirit” to you? What of it can play out in July?

What one (or more) thing/s will you do to fill your life with this spirit this weekend?

Let’s try a concerted effort at a Christmas in July experiment for the next day or so, and see what happens.

Thanks for coming by.