Friday, May 19, 2006

Self Phones

Come on admit it. You have done it too. We all have. You are driving down I-4, stuck in traffic. There is nobody around, except for the guy in the other lane who is more interested in picking his nose than picking a lane. You have scanned the radio twice, and there is nothing on. Then, as if silence and solitude will kill you. You reach for the self phone. You know, that little device, that security blanket, that thing we do not know how we ever lived without. We scroll through the numbers looking for someone, anyone to talk to. At last check my phone book had 235 names. We then call some unsuspecting schlump, and totally use them. They could be hard at work, spending time with family, reading their Bible but it does not matter. We are bored and alone and want someone to talk to so we pull out the old self phone and say those now famous words ... "Can you hear me now?" Lately I have become aware of my tendency to abuse my friends and family in this way when I am alone in the car. Once I noticed it, I began to learn the driving patterns and schedules of people who call me. I like people, I am honored with their call, and I guess the only thing that annoys me is how quickly they dispense with me when they arrive at their destination, or another call comes in. "Oh, I gotta go because there is a telemarketer beeping in." That is insulting.
I guess that is how God feels. We only talk to him when we have nothing better to do. Or worse yet, we only call when we want something. Then the entire time we have him on the line we are distracted by the traffic of life, and as soon as there is someone else to talk to we quickly hang up on Him. I bet, he would like us to turn the radio off more often, and instead of scrolling through the phone book on our self phone to talk to Him for a while. Maybe He wants us to know that when we are all alone, that He is there. He is available. He is sitting by the phone waiting, hoping it will ring, that it is you on the line, and that you will say, "Hey God, it's me, what are you doing?" Well I need to go, you see I have a call to make. More on this Sunday. - Joel

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Today’s culture is marked by individualism. The iPod is the mascot for a culture where everyone wants to express themselves. The desire for personal distinction increases in a world where the population has become so large and communication so vast that the only thing you can claim as strictly, personally, yours is your DNA. It is into this culture that the church is challenged to run counter culture. The church is described in the Bible as a body; all working together for the common good. We may live in an iworld, but God has called us to become a weChurch. For the next four weeks we are going to look into our culture of individualism and see the lonely individuals around us who are starving to connect. People long to be a part of something that is greater than themselves, to belong to a place where true community exists. This community is what the Bible calls the church.