31Jan

The 30-day Facebook Fast

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Addictions come in all shapes and sizes. They are as diverse as the species of insects on planet earth — the blood sucking, life draining insect varieties. At first glance they seem small and harmless. You tell yourself you can handle them, but it isn’t long before you’re wasting too much of your time scratching.

Enter facebook. What a great tool to keep in touch with friends and family, especially if the majority of your friends and family are scattered across the four winds. Then I found out I could connect my facebook to my blackberry and always just be a click away from instant updates and contact. I could share what was happening anytime and anyplace. Not only that, I could program my phone to buzz every time someone responded to a post. I became Pavlov’s dog. To make matters worse, my wife and I would often communicate through facebook sometimes while we were in the same room. Facebook was taking time away from real face to face time with those around me, and more importantly it was taking time away from real “face to face” time with Jesus. After all, last time I checked Jesus doesn’t have an official facebook fan page — just cheap imitations.

So why would we cheat ourselves with a cheap imitation instead of the real deal? That’s when a thought flashed through my mind — what if for 30-days I took the time I would normally spend on facebook and devote that to Jesus. This would be a personal journey to reconnect with my saviour.

Colossians 3:1-4

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.  For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ, who is your  life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”

Am I the first to create the concept of a facebook fast? As King Solomon once wisely stated — there is nothing new under the sun. A quick google search led me to another brother and sister in Christ who advocated living an unplugged life from today’s technological distractions. Kerry and Chris Shook, a husband and wife team, authored the New York Times Best-Seller “One Month to Live.” This book takes the reader on a journey of trading our virtual “plugged in” lives for a life of meaning and purpose through face to face interaction with those around us and more importantly with Jesus. It is a tool meant to help Christians combat mediocrity and habits that rob us of living a life of purpose.

I’m looking forward to this 30-day journey — although I do not believe that there is anything inherently wrong with facebook or other types of social media — of getting unplugged from facebook and plugged back into Jesus.

28Jan

Buckner’s Family Restaurant

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Since moving to Georgia, I’ve lost count of the invites to eat at Buckner’s. The first invite I received was from the Tag office when I was switching my car over, the second was from a listener welcoming me to the area, and from there it seemed just about everyone I met was raving about Buckner’s. I think I even got a few invitations from God himself when our preacher kept encouraging people — from the pulpit — to check out Buckner’s. So finally after being here for almost a year I gave in and took the family to Buckner’s.

People who know me understand that I tend to be very spontaneous, so the decision to go to Buckner’s was just that. The kids were fussing as we were leaving church one Sunday and I didn’t feel like cooking or messing up the kitchen so Buckner’s seemed logical. We had no idea how to get there so we decided to punch in the address on the ole Garmin. At one point we found ourselves in the middle of a farmer’s field on an old dirt road, but I figured we must be headed in the right direction. It wasn’t long before we arrived at our destination.

At first glance we figured we’d be in line for a good while, but surprisingly the line moved quickly. It wasn’t a fancy dining establishment by any means, but the smells of good home cooking were more than we could stand. If you’re not familiar with Buckner’s seating arrangements, they have large round tables with a lazy suzan in the center that all the fixin’s go on and then you just spin the wheel and grab yer meal.

All in all we enjoyed our first Buckner’s experience. There was just one hitch when my two-year-old daughter mistakingly grabbed the hot sauce and slathered it on her chicken thinking it was ketchup. The whooping and hollering that ensued was enough to turn heads in the farthest reaches of the restaurant. However, Daddy likes hot sauce on just about everything, but when I went to grab the bottle I squeezed a little too hard and a stream of hot sauce exploded from the bottle like lava from a volcano. It landed in my beard, hands, on my shirt, and a glob found it’s way onto my bald head — which I didn’t notice until I was back in the car looking in the mirror.

So our first outing to Buckner’s was quite the experience, but I think we’ll do better next time.

13Jan

Snow days

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As I pen this blog, hopefully the great ice storm of 2011 is now relegated to the history books. Three days of un-drivable roads and closed communities were enough to drive one crazy, especially the host of a drive time program. Who was I supposed to talk to when the roads are closed? Ha! Hopefully the regular friends of NewLife FM tuned in at home, and maybe we even made some new friends. One never knows.

Day 2 of the icy siege saw the roads refreeze overnight and that morning I was awakened by a call telling me to stay put. It was kind of odd for a New England boy, especially being the first snow/ice day of my life, but I wasn’t about to look a gift horse in the mouth. This would be a time for family bonding! Years ago I had taken a trip to Vermont to bring my old metal runner sled down south just in-case we ever got enough snow to use it — ice is even better. So my family and I had fun using the old sled on the icy driveway and giving rides around the house.

It was at this time that I realized that despite all the chaos the storm had brought with it, here we are in the middle having fun and enjoying the beautiful scenery. The ice that threatened to bring down our power lines and snap our trees instead encased them in beautiful crystal and made for some great photos. And the whole ordeal reminded me that no matter how bad the storms of life may be, no matter how threatening they may appear, and no matter how much they inconvenience us, there is always beauty to behold in the midst of the storm if we just slow down long enough to admire it.

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