Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

A Strange Twitter Conversation

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

twitter-conversationI had a strange Twitter conversation with my husband the other day. This is how it went:

“I just purged my Twitter. I looked at each person, to see if they were following me back or not. And I was shocked to find that Jesus unfollowed me on Twitter. I just find that disturbing.”

“Jesus is on Twitter?” my husband asked me.

“Well, it was His face. It was called All About Jesus or something. He must have dumped lots of people to continue following more people so that his followers would increase. That doesn’t seem like Jesus at all. He didn’t even want to have a relationship. He didn’t interact with anyone. It was quite sad really.”

“If Jesus was on Twitter, He wouldn’t need to follow anyone. Everyone would follow Him,” my husband answered.

“That’s true,” I said.

The People on Facebook are Real (Synchronized Prayer)

Monday, May 14th, 2012

synchronized-prayerAre the people on Facebook real? I’ve had so many people tell me that virtual friends aren’t real people. Well, I have a Facebook friend that I’ve never met. She lives in an exotic country I’ve never visited. But one day she was going through a crisis in her life and was asking prayer over Facebook. I began praying for her every day.

Suddenly God woke me up in the middle of the night to pray fervently for her; then I went back to sleep. The next day I told her on Facebook that God woke me up to pray for her, and another Facebook friend said God had woken her up at the same exact time. The odds that this would happen is impossible. This woman I was praying for was making a major life decision at the exact moment we were praying, and since the country she lived in was on the other side of the world, God used two American women to pray for her in the middle of the night by waking us up. We had synchronized prayer. The woman we prayed for decided to recommit her life to Christ, after having gone through an agonizing decision.

You see, God considers my Facebook friend a real person, or He wouldn’t have used me spiritually in her life.

This is not to justify spending hours upon hours on Facebook, neglecting the flesh and blood people in our lives, especially our spouses and children. Facebook can be idolatry just like anything else. The key is to ask God what you should be doing at each moment. If you feel guilty that you’re not doing something, for heaven’s sake, get up and go do the thing that you know you should be doing.

The Joy Dare

Friday, March 30th, 2012

the-joy-dareAt the homeschool Moms’ Night Out a month ago, a woman handed out pages from Anne Voskamp’s “The Joy Dare,” based on her book One Thousand Gifts. It was a list that would help people to find joy in everyday things. You were supposed to list 3 things you were thankful for each day, to come up with a grand total of 1,000 gifts from God in the year 2012. I went ahead and took the challenge for just one month, posting on Twitter once or twice a day what I was grateful for. This one month made a difference in how I look for things to take joy in, that I probably would never have thought of.

Many of the items on her list were unusual, like “3 gifts behind a door.” I had to think about that for several days before I came up with a hot shower, my back porch, and antique books. I don’t take hot showers for granted because having grown up in Guatemala, for many years we had to heat up water on the stove in pots just to bathe. So I’m grateful whenever I can enjoy a hot shower. My back porch was a gift from God, too. It was decaying and rotten, and God provided miraculously for us to replace our deck a couple of years ago. (You can read that story about God’s provision here.) And when I lived in England, I always looked at leather bound antique books of poetry, which were almost always behind a glass door. I own six of these antique books (if I was rich, I would have a huge collection), and I forgot all about them until I had to think of something behind a door that I was grateful for.

I was also stumped with “3 gifts found in giving/serving.” I thought long and hard about it, and I answered “the expression in the other person’s eyes, fulfillment, the Holy Spirit loving through me.” When God supernaturally loves someone through me, I feel such a sense of joy that I can’t describe it.

The last one I did was “3 gifts hard to give thanks for,” and I wrote “suffering, lack of money, and growing older.” These are three things that have been blessings in my life, so I’ve praised God for them many times, even though it’s hard. James (from Scripture) tells us to count it all joy when we suffer, because through it God produces endurance in our lives, and I can bear witness that this is true. My lack of money for so many years has made me more dependent on God and caused me to see miraculous answered prayer for provision, kisses from God that would never have occurred if I had all the money I needed. And then growing older has given me perspective on life and has caused me to pay attention to what matters the most in life, because my remaining days are few compared to when I was younger.

The reason I stopped is that I’m poetic and philosophical, and this list was consuming my mind. I found that I was thinking about it sometimes in the middle of the night. For this reason I quit. But I enjoyed it while it lasted, because my tweets on Twitter were poetic, deep, and spiritual, and that represents who I am. It was as if I was writing a short poem daily, in less than 140 characters. If you want to read my entire list (which consists of 126 things I am grateful for), you can read them all on my Twitter (SusanCEvans).

Scared of Facebook (Part 2)

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

scared-of-facebook-2When I joined Facebook last April, I did it with fear and trepidation, knowing it had been idolatry for me in the past. Several things made it idolatry:

  1. I considered it more fun than spending time with God.
  2. I spent time on Facebook instead of spending time with my husband when he was home.
  3. I spent well over an hour a day on Facebook, so it swallowed up my time.

Because I love God and my husband more than life itself, I’m holding myself accountable. I promised my husband it would not be the same this time; that if I joined Facebook again, I wouldn’t let myself get swallowed up in it like a black hole. So now I have come to the end of the year, which is a time for reflection. Has Facebook been idolatry for me? Even though I have spent an enormous amount of time on Facebook this year, the answer is, unbelievably, “no.”

Do I look forward to Facebook more than I look forward to spending time with God? Does it cause me to speed up my prayers like it did that first day? The answer is no. I love my time with God way more than Facebook.

Do I spend time on Facebook instead of being with my husband? At first I made myself the rule to be off the computer whenever my husband was home. That way Facebook would never interfere with my marriage. But then guess what? My husband got me a cell phone with a connection to Facebook. He got himself a cell phone, too. Now picture this: my husband and I are sitting quietly on the couch on any given evening. My husband has his cell phone out and is showing me some silly YouTube video. Or he’s playing Angry Birds or some other inane game, to unwind from work so that he can sleep. I WANT my husband to unwind, so I highly support anything that helps him to relax and unwind.

But this now puts me in the position of sitting with my husband, with him playing on his phone, and me doing nothing. If I continue to do nothing, my husband will feel a false guilt for unwinding instead of “spending time with me,” so I get out my cell phone and check Facebook. My husband is not bothered by my sitting beside him and looking at my Facebook page while he’s playing Angry Birds or whatever. We are both happy. I pray for my Facebook friends, encouraging them in Christ, and developing deeper friendships. This is not sin.

I probably spend MORE time on Facebook now than I did back when it was idolatry. It’s because when I’m at the checkout line at the grocery store (alone), instead of just wasting time standing there, I check Facebook and encourage other human beings. It is good use of time.

And yet I must pause. I could easily be blind to my own sin. I must continuously check my heart and make sure that my priorities are straight. I haven’t even mentioned that I’m trying to run a business that God put on my heart to start, and the greatest amount of traffic for my blog and website comes from Facebook, because I truly love the people there. I read their stuff and watch the videos they post and care about what they think and pray for them. They’re real people, and I love them for real.

So is Facebook idolatry for me? I was off Facebook for three months in the summer, and I had no withdrawal symptoms. That indicates no addiction. But to be honest, it’s an ongoing struggle because I do enjoy it, and anything in my life that I enjoy can become idolatry if I don’t keep it in check. So I must continuously give it back over to God and pray that I will bring glory to Him with however much time I spend on it.

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