Category Archives: Spiritual Discipline

Why today is my last day on Facebook

I posted this on Facebook back in August just before I left, it’s been over 3 months since coming off FB and I can honestly tell you I haven’t missed it once. I know there are lots of people who really enjoy using it to keep in touch with friends and family, but I would challenge you to honestly ask yourself if the benefits really outweigh the negatives. I’m not saying anyone else should leave it, but if you want to know why I did, read on…

 

Dear FB friends, today will be my last day on Facebook, for three main reasons:

1. The Scottish referendum has taught me what it’s like to be captive to other people’s enthusiasm. Although I post on a variety of topics, I write on things important to me, especially my faith. I have never been criticised for this (or unfriended as far as I know) but I have a much better appreciation for what it feels like to be on the receiving end of political or religious proselytising. I will still write because I want to contribute something to the discussion, but will not automatically upload these to FB.

2. It encourages insecurity, jealousy and envy – have people liked my post? Why did so and so not like it? Why do they get so many likes? Why did they post that? I wish I was doing that…I wish, I wish, I wish, why, why, why. Not healthy!!

3. The gap between reality and perception – whether intentionally or unintentionally we can easily portray a digital image of ourselves that distorts our real life and personality. What is endearing face to face can become annoying digitally. I don’t want this filter over my life – I want to decide on what I see and hear, not on an edited selection of things that other people want me to read. I also don’t want to inadvertently portray an image of myself inconsistent with the real me.

For me the positives don’t out way the negatives – don’t get me wrong there are some great aspects of FB – ease of keeping in touch with a wide circle of friends, some good articles, etc. But would my life be any less richer, fuller or blessed if I didn’t have these things? And the dependence that it breeds is like a peer pressure, approval seeking, social conforming addiction. I want to be free from that.

Follow your own path, not the one others digitise it for you. No Facebook, know peace.

You better “Like” this today, because ifacebook-freet will be gone after that…

2 Peter 2.19: “They promise that these men will be free. But they themselves are chained to sin. For a man is chained to anything that has power over him.”

Lessons in Spiritual Discipline from the Commonwealth Games

I have been doing the kids work at church over August and tied it in with the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow to use physical discipline to teach the kids about spiritual discipline. I wrote this to explain the journey we have been on for the rest of the church family and my daughter read it out:

“I would like to tell you about what we Mail Attachment have been doing in Sunday School, or as we call it BCB – Blairgowrie Church Bunch. Over the last few weeks we have been looking at the Commonwealth games and what it takes to succeed as an athlete. We started by thinking about Eric Liddell, the Christian sprinter who a gold medal at the 1924 Paris Olympics. We watched a clip of Chariots of Fire where he speaks about the running the race of life with God.

We discussed what you need to do to be a good athlete – eat right, drink well, exercise, sleep and warm up. We then thought about what we need to do to be spiritually strong – listen to God, speak to him, go to church, help other people. We compared physical disciple to spiritual disciple and worked on The Tree of Discipline.

We thought that praying was like eating – because it is vital to keep us strong and healthy. We wrote prayers on wrapping paper and wrapped them round a chocolate bar. We thought about the verse, “His delight is in the law of The Lord, and on his law he mediates day and night, he shall be like a tree planted by springs of water.”

Then we all took a turn to be blindfolded and taste different drinks – we had to say which we liked the best and which we recognised. We thought that drinking was like bible reading because it refreshes us and satisfies our thirst for God. The verse we thought about was “taste and see that The Lord is good.”

We also thought about the importance of silence and solitude and compared it to the importance of sleep for athletes. We played sleeping lions and we so good we all came first. We thought about the verse in Luke 5.14 when Jesus “went out often to desolate place to pray”.

We thought about how adrenaline helps athletes get extra help to go faster for longer or run away. We compared it to the. Holy Spirit that makes the bible and prayer come alive. We thought about what happens when you add the Holy Spirit to a Christian and compared it to adding Mentos to Diet Coke. We sneaked outside to do our experiment and made the coke explode like a volcano! Our verse was Jesus’ conversation in John 4 when he says: “rivers of living water will flow from within them”.

Thank you for your attention and please ask us about what we have been learning. Thank you for praying for us, and for making us feel part of your family.”