Categories
Christian Blog honesty

Talking Face to Face Versus Facebook

Photo by Jopwell on Pexels.com

Confession: I used to spend an inordinate amount of time on Facebook. But I didn’t even realize when too much was enough–until my wife said, “David, you’re on your phone ALL the time!” So I checked my usage. Sure enough, I spent an average of 2 hours 20 minutes every day–on Facebook alone!

I ended up deactivating, and then deleting my account.

Yes, there were withdrawal symptoms, but after about a week I stopped constantly checking my phone for those little red numbers. FOMO was eclipsed by FOMU–Fear Of Messing Up.

Being off Facebook has been a mixed blessing. We’ve missed a few funerals; yep, it was on Facebook, and we don’t take the newspaper. It’s also harder to keep up with some of our family members.

But here’s something on the positive side: being off FB has encouraged me to have more face to face conversations–especially with people who aren’t exactly like me.

And when someone is right in front of you, you benefit from tone of voice, facial expressions, and other non-verbal cues to help prevent misunderstandings. Plus, unlike when I was on social media, I’m not as tempted to quickly (and often inappropriately) respond to a perceived slight.

The Original Social Validation Feedback Loop

The Christian love (agape) found in the early church was deep and purposeful. (Acts 2:42-47; 4:32-37). Such mutual benevolent concern is hard to find in cyberspace, where interactions are often superficial and impulsive.

When Christ Himself was asked about the greatest commandment, He responded, Love God first, and your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12:28-31) Loving your neighbor was not a recent rule, (Leviticus 19:18) but by the time of the New Testament, most folks held a rather narrow view. Jesus challenges this thought with the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37).

He makes it crystal clear that any person in need is our neighbor.

On FB, my ‘neighbors’ tended to be people who were a lot like me; there’s nothing wrong with that, but it felt like an echo chamber. It just wasn’t a good place for me to try to live by the Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12).

I simply share my story, and am not judging you. Facebook took up too much of my life, so I quit. Perhaps you’re stronger and can handle it.

God’s best to you.

Categories
Christian Blog honesty

The Night Watch

I broke the crystal on my Apple Watch the other day. I was super-sweaty after a bike ride and took it off to clean it. Walking into the kitchen, as I reached for a towel, the slippery watch fell out of my hand and onto the tile floor below. Murphy’s law was in full effect, as my go-to gadget landed flat on its face with an audible crunch. Thankfully, the watch still works, but oh what a sad face!

☹️😢😳

When I woke up early the next morning, my broken gadget was sitting on the dresser next to the bed. I picked it up and put it on, but then I noticed something unusual: in the dimness, the face looked pristine–like it had never been broken. However, once I made it into the bathroom and turned on the light, the damage was clearly visible.

Sin is like that. I don’t notice cracks in my relationship with God until His light makes them visible.

This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.

John 3:19-21

I recently started following a high quality blog by Anna Sofia called Purpose Not Perfection. It was her post, Finding Identity in Jesus Christ, that prompted me to let the light of God shine on my heart’s condition. You can read it here.

These are some of the powerful things she said:

“Our identity cannot be found in ourselves. We cannot rely simply on feelings, because we are sinful. When we become Christians, we no longer search for identity, because Christ defines us. We no longer search, because we have been found.”

Anna Sofia

Thank you, Anna, for reminding me that the only place to find my true identity is in God’s light—Jesus Christ.

Photo by Wallace Chuck on Pexels.com

Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you–unless, of course, you fail the test?”

2 Corinthians 13:5
Categories
Christian Blog

Publication Schedule and Plans

After two years of writing this blog, a definite pattern has emerged. I post often in the summer, but slow to a stop once school starts. Once stopped, I don’t resume until the NEXT summer.

My plan going forward is to post every Saturday at 6 pm. To keep this going, I am writing and scheduling posts now —when I have more time to write. My goal for this fall is to set a time-slot every week to write. This way, I’ll be more consistent with content.

I enjoy applying scripture to stories from my own life and others. Thanks for reading my blog, and I look forward to reading yours. God’s best to you. David

Categories
Perspective Self Care

Let Me See Your Tongue

As water reflects a face, so a man’s heart reflects the man.

Proverbs 27:19

My mother grew up on a 160 acre cotton farm in the sandy hills of southwest Oklahoma. The nearest town, of any size, was 15 miles away. Such isolation made self-reliance a given.

Because the farm was a ‘far piece’ from anywhere, as my grandfather liked to say, grandmother often served as a country doctor. Cuts were wrapped in a clean rag soaked in turpentine, and the cure for almost any internal ailment was a substantial dose of castor oil.

Grandmother also had a curious way of determining a diagnosis prior to treatment. If you told her you weren’t feeling well (I did this only once) she would say, “Let me see your tongue.” This was the only time I was allowed to stick my tongue out at my maternal forebearer.

You see, Grandmother believed the color of one’s tongue revealed their general state of health. I tried to tell her about the green Jolly Rancher I’d been sucking on, but she STILL brought out the castor oil.


Jesus knows a thing or two about tongues as well.

But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man unclean. (Matthew 15:18 NIV) For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks. (Luke 6:45 NIV)

The REAL me is reflected in my words.

Here’s how I picture it:

The tongue is like a thermometer, while the heart is like a thermostat–the former is effected by the latter.

This connection between words, actions and heart is as real as death and taxes.

I love how the psychedelic NYC street performer, Matthew Silver, talks about human beings. He’s quite the philosopher.

You’re already doing, you’re always doing what’s in your heart; you can’t get away from your heart.

Matthew Silver


Above all else guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.

Proverbs 4:23

https://davidsdailydose.org/2020/05/30/thermometer-or-thermostat/

Categories
Hope Perspective

The Sky is Probably NOT Falling

“Whoever seeks good finds favor, but evil comes to one who searches for it.”

Proverbs 11:27

In the early 1990’s, social psychologist Roy Baumeister began exploring the negativity bias–the widely accepted belief that bad has a stronger impact on people than good. His team conducted extensive research, hoping to find situations where a single positive circumstance was actually stronger than a negative one.

They couldn’t find any.

In fact, Baumeister and his colleagues discovered that negative life events are typically three to five times stronger than positive ones. In other words, it takes four compliments to make up for one put down.

He lays it all out in his 2019 book, The Power of Bad.

Here’s my favorite take away: our brains are hard-wired to focus on bad, but the rational mind can take this in stride by finding the good.

Baumeister recommends a positivity ratio of 4 to 1 (4 good to 1 bad).

Finding the good isn’t a new idea; it’s as least as old as the 1913 novel, Pollyanna. In the book, a young orphan named Pollyanna uses the “glad game” to cope with the circumstances and sorrows of her life.

Here’s how to play:

Always look for something to be glad about in any situation.

This makes sense. Maybe it’s why gratitude journals are so popular, while keeping an ingratitude journal is a non-starter.

But let’s take it all the way back to the first century. The apostle Paul reminded the Christians in Rome that God uses EVERYTHING for the good of those who love and serve Him (Romans 8:28).

“Child, I got this. It’s ALL good.”

God

Finally, brothers, Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Philippians 4:8

https://davidsdailydose.org/2020/05/23/the-sky-is-probably-not-falling/

Categories
Hope

God Doesn’t Make Junk

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 2:10

Many people considered famous today were once oddballs who refused to do their art the established way. The painter Jackson Pollock laid a humongous canvas on the floor of his barn and dripped paint on it. The critics thought he was nuts–until people started calling it art. More recently, there’s Lindsey Stirling, who was told by the judges on America’s Got Talent that her unusual combination of dancing and playing the violin was not marketable. After being voted off the show, she took her skills to YouTube to prove the naysayers wrong. Her channel now has 12.4 million subscribers!

“Jackson Pollock, Cathedral, 1947” by Detlef Schobert is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Personal expression doesn’t have to be justified to hold value.

Come to think of it, Jesus was somewhat of an oddball during His days on earth. His ‘art’ was unappreciated by the religious experts, but people with the ears to hear believed (John 1:12). He now has over two billion followers!

If Christ completed the good works God prepared in advance for Him to do, you can too (John 14:12).

Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!

Dr Seuss

You are God’s workmanship, and God doesn’t make junk!

https://davidsdailydose.org/2020/05/21/god-doesnt-make-junk/

Categories
Hope

God’s Social Media

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.”

Psalm 19:1

My uncle Wayne lived alone on a hardscrabble Texas panhandle farm. It was a forsaken piece of packed dirt with more tumbleweeds than trees. His ‘home’ was a tottering old shack with a rusty roof, complete with natural skylights. The front pasture, lunar-like in its geography, was punctuated with scattered pieces of tired farm equipment.

But the ‘dead broke farm,’ as my uncle called it, was also a place of alluring beauty. On cloudless nights the stars were so thick it seemed you could reach out and touch them! And the crisp mornings were a great time to catch a dazzling sun rise from the precariously tilted front porch.

Finding myself so often immersed in God’s creation, it was overwhelming to consider where I fit into it all. There wasn’t always a Bible handy, so I stammered out a prayer–my paraphrase of Psalm 8:3

“When I see Your handiwork: the sun, the moon, the stars, the earth,
it makes we wonder why You’d want to know me.”

Regular David–me

Fast forward to the present.

These days, I am so ‘connected’ the only time I’m truly alone with God is when I’m asleep!

But all is not lost. Sometimes, early in the morning or late at night, I put my phone down, step outside, and listen.

It’s enough.

“Holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty; the whole earth is full of His glory.” (Isaiah 6:3 NIV)

https://davidsdailydose.org/2020/05/18/gods-social-media/

Categories
Hope

Daddy Knows

Photo by Rodolfo Quirós on Pexels.com

Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it;

Psalm 127:1a

My wife and I enjoy the show “Holmes Makes It Right” on HGTV. If you haven’t seen it, the show stars Mike Holmes, a veteran contractor and home inspector, who helps homeowners fix major issues with their properties.
On many episodes, Mike runs into even greater difficulties than expected. Invariably, it turns out an unqualified person did electrical or plumbing work. The work was not done to code and has been a hazard, hidden inside walls or under floors for years. “Just one spark (or leak),” says a scowling Mike, “and the whole house could have been ruined.”

God has a reality show as well. It’s called, “Unless the Lord Builds the House.” On the show, God, the veteran creator and life inspector helps people fix major issues with their lives. Invariably, His clients find more personal problems than expected. The Lord, however, is not surprised. The work was not done to Biblical code and has been a hazard, hidden inside hearts and minds for years. “Just one prayer,” says a smiling creator, “and your whole house can be saved.”

If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!

Jesus (Luke 11:13)

Daddy Knows

https://davidsdailydose.org/2019/06/16/daddy-knows/

Categories
Anxiety Peace

Peace that Isn’t Pitiful

body of water
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“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you  I do not give as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27

Have you ever attempted to bring peace to a difficult situation and failed?

This happened to me once with a room full of squirming kindergarteners.

I was a brand new elementary music teacher determined to prove my worth.  Those little guys didn’t know who they were dealing with!  Man, was I wrong.

I attempted to quiet down the class room using a call back:  “Tootsie Roll. Lollipop.  I was talking now I’ll stop.”  The children were supposed to repeat after me, ONCE, and then get quiet.  The trouble was, several little tykes wanted to be the last one standing.  So they just kept saying it over and over.

I spoke peace, but peace did not prevail.

Jesus, however, has a better track record.  He not only speaks peace to a situation, He creates it.  Awakened once in the back of a boat during a fierce storm, he told the wind to stop and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!”  And the wind died down completely and there was a miraculous calm (Mark 4:39).

The application here is obvious.  If the Prince of Peace speaks calm to your situation, He actually has the power to make it happen.

“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” Isaiah 26:3

Categories
Hope

Wakey wake, Cupcake

Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way and me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

Psalm 139:23-24

I used to get annoyed when my laptop kept telling me it needed a software update, or virus scan, or some other preventive maintenance. Ask me later, I clicked on the screen, “Can’t you see I’m busy!?”

But then, one inevitable day, I got a computer virus that wiped out my entire hard drive. Important documents and hundreds of pictures, which I’d failed to back up, vanished in an instant.

Photo by Rafael Guajardo on Pexels.com

Needless to say, I now keep my computer healthy with regular updates and scans.

The unexamined life is not worth living.

Socrates

Our wise friend from ancient Greece challenges us to scan our lives for purpose and meaning, or risk losing everything. But King David of ancient Israel has a better idea: ask God to do it.

Search me, O God, and know my heart.

King David

After all, heart surgery is best left to the professional. That’s what God told the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah:

“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.”

Jeremiah 17:9-10

Are you like me, to busy to scan until it’s almost too late? Well, let’s both not be that way anymore. Agreed?

A closing Haiku:

Do not say, “I can’t”

When you really mean, “I won’t”

Wakey wake, cupcake.

Regular David (me)
Photo by Plush Design Studio on Pexels.com

https://davidsdailydose.org/2019/06/05/wakey-wake-cupcake/