Have a real conversation with someone today. Truly connect with that person. Demonstrate to them that they have value. Be Jesus to someone today. Be encouraging!
I’ve been wondering about the changes we are experiencing and endorsing so enthusiastically. They are coming at a fast pace via the internet and social media. Even my Windows computer is now determined to link with my phone, though I have not directed it to do so. And simply considering social media is not to mention the increasing presence of TV via its wifi stream.
Sometimes I feel like we are caught in a tidal wave and the affect on our lives will be of tsunami proportions.
I recently took a nostalgic walk down the pathway of memory lane. I liked them in my past and the words written by a poet/musician in 1964 have withstood the test of time. Although they were comforting to me when I sought affirmation in my youth, they now speak more clearly of loneliness and isolation. They seem to be prophetic. Hear what Paul Simon said in, “The Sound of Silence.”
“And in the naked light I saw,
Ten thousand people, maybe more.
People talking without speaking,
People hearing without listening.
People writing songs that voices never share,
No one dare,
Disturb the sound of silence.”
I wonder if our “connected” age of instant messaging, texts, emails, and social media has resulted in a lack of real communication – hence, the “sound of silence.”
It seems to me that people visit with each other much less these days, and that intimate, engaging conversation is becoming a real rarity.
Yes, I am posting these sentiments on Facebook. Perhaps this writing is therefore an exercise of futile contradiction; but who will hear otherwise? Dare I, we, disturb the “sound of silence?”
The poet continues:
“ ‘Fools’ said I, ‘You do not know,
Silence like a cancer grows.
Hear my words that I might teach you,
Take my arms that I might reach you.’
But my words like silent raindrops fell,
And echoed in the wells of silence.”
And the questions echo in my brain with haunting reverberation: is the new social way of the internet God’s way, or is it the snare of a trap? Can we use it for His glory, somehow… with determination and discipline? But how?
The poet concludes:
“And the people bowed and prayed,
To the neon god they made.
And the sign flashed out its warning,
In the words that it was forming.
And the sign said, ‘The words of the prophets
Are written on the subway walls,
And tenement halls,
And whispered in the sounds of silence.’”
Yes, I know that I am only “whispering,” with this post. But, perhaps you would like to share it…?
More importantly, let’s claim social media with grace, being intentional to encourage each other with witness to Truth. This is my purpose for The Contemporary Christian.
Check it out, consider joining our discussion, and invite others who are like minded and kind hearted.
And yes, take the time to really talk to someone today.
Additional entries: Alan's study notes.
For those who are discouraged with God - feel abandoned or rejected - I want to share with you why I am giving God another chance. Have you ever wondered what you are missing?
I've been there. And, I know that it is complicated. But what if you could find true peace, not grounded in self confidence, but in an ongoing experience with an awesome God? ! I'm not saying that I have all the answers, but I have strived personally, studied, watched and analyzed others, and came to some conclusions that you probably won't hear from your pastor - because I found God outside of the box.
Sharing and encouraging others in these truths is fellowship - the kind that I seek. So yes, I am giving God a second chance - and here's why...
Let's get connected if you feel like I do:
...relinquish your control.
When life wasn’t fair, God was calling his name.
Robert Love experienced great loss. His grandmother died under a cloud of suspicion. Memories of better times became miserable haunts as the skeletons of his past continued to rattle in the closet of deceit.
On the ropes emotionally, fate (or was it God?) intervened to bring Love a new friend, a mentor and wise sage of sorts, with provocative insights. His name is John Wright.
They were perfect strangers when they met but allowed their lives to intersect and in the end each was instrumental in saving the other. But for Love, it was complicated, much like his life.
Upon becoming better acquainted, it seemed that Wright’s credibility was sketchy at best. Once exposed, Love learned that his new friend was terminally ill. So why had he stopped fighting for his life? Wright has a mysterious past.
A spiritual battle ensues. Love is nearly killed in a grinding head-on collision and suffers debilitating injuries. And then, unbelievably, Love’s home is torched and all his possessions are turned into ashes among the smoking ruins. It is more than a soul can bear; surely he must be cursed!
But it was a greater love that truly saved him once emptied of himself. Everything changed and ultimately Love endured to discover new hope and a new life.
Is God calling you? This contemporary parable is a guide for the journey of faith that leads to true salvation.
...discover your calling.
Truly alone, his head hanging low, tears are dropping onto his lap. Already disgraced, this pastor feels no need to defend himself.
There have been many arrests of the clergy in recent times, the institutional church is weak, and the public is hungry for revenge. The police are ordered by the District Attorney to bring him in, to answer his accuser for the crime she alleges.
Robert Love, the clergyman accused of sexually assaulting a minor female, searches his memory for a clue. Had he mistaken the events of his life, the way he saw God working and leading him into the ministry?
His divorce and aggressive response to the false allegation of infidelity brought by legalistic Christians is in his past. More recently there was the baby’s funeral and the unexplained reason for its death, as well as the demise of the mother, to cancer. She had refused radiation treatments, sacrificing her life for another, the unborn child that didn’t survive.
Thrisa is the only bright spot in this pastor’s otherwise dreary work at the parish and she is found in a dumpster, left for dead. Then, answers to the mystery are suddenly revealed at the bedside of a man even as he exhales his last breath. The final verdict: “not guilty!”
Doubt plagued Robert Love with the simple, haunting question: “why?” But in the midst of all his trouble, wisdom rescues with everlasting peace.
...yield to power consuming.
Young adults and siblings, James and Steffanie Wallas, who tragically lost their parents in a train wreck, are struggling to continue with their lives.
They are grieving together until something very strange happens in the cemetery where their parents are buried. Steffanie is confronted by a strange being which resembles her deceased mother.
James needs absolute proof that their mother has not returned from the dead. The weight of the evidence needed rests upon a cross necklace, the one their mom gave to Steffanie at her baptism. Rejecting faith, she returned it at the funeral to be buried with all of her hopes and dreams. It was this necklace that she saw the being wearing. Now, James must find the explanation that will bring his sister back from the brink of insanity.
Rumors leak and their town goes crazy! A police report documents the sighting and the news goes viral.
A cross necklace, the mystery of resurrection, and one young man's need for answers spin into a whirlwind of controversy that has everyone waiting for the truth to be revealed.
Not science fiction or fantasy, it’s an emotional story that demonstrates the bravery of true love in the aftermath of tragedy.
...realize the life chosen.
The Daniels men held their legacy in secret, preserved for future generations.
Levi Daniels was shot while Confederate soldiers invaded his southern Pennsylvania farm. In a small wooden box, he took his prized possession to California, seeking better fortune. But as history has it, trouble followed.
As a young boy, Darren is expected to carry the torch. From his hospital bed, Darren’s grandfather spoke reverently of the responsibility as he bypassed the birthright of the next person in line. It should have been given to Darren’s father, Joseph, but he is still missing.
Darren and his fraternal twin sister, Deidra, are able to avoid their ancestors’ haunts until engaged in the disaster. An earthquake strikes the U.S. and it falls into anarchy. Joseph returns, searching for the remnant of his family.
It is then that the secret of their past is revealed with a compelling message. America’s heritage, one of faith and unity, speaks to challenge the hearts of the faithful and the patriotic, stirring them to resist the enemy, natural and spiritual.
The future is predicted as the fictional account moves forward in time. This story challenges you to ponder the evidence of our fate. And here is realized a profound and compelling revelation - the greater purpose in it all.
"This book is meant to be shared." Tell your friends to visit UpdykeBooks.com.
Blessings! Alan Updyke, UpdykeBooks@gmail.com