Wednesday, March 21, 2007

emails and cell phones and IMs, oh my!

i am a very large user and abuser of technology. i love the convenience that comes with being reached anywhere, being able to reach anyone all the time, being able to just shoot off a message to convey a thought or idea. i use email, cell phones, and IMs each and every day.

with all of the convenience and availability comes a cost however. i am becoming increasingly aware of the fact that these good things, like anything else in life, can become abused and overused. i have often been proud to call myself a "man of moderation". i like to keep things balanced and not too extreme. if i am not careful, the very good things in life can become bad things just due to excess use and misuse.

one problem with the constant use of the technologies mentioned here is the "always on" mentality. as i become more aware that God calls us to live in rhythms that he has set forth (i.e. work six days, rest one) i realize that i am never really "off". i always have my computer and/or cell phone in very close proximity -- likely on my lap. this is not God's design.

one other issue that is very dangerous is the lack of full human interaction. we are told by experts that somewhere around 90-95% of our communication is non-verbal. if this is the case, we have the propensity to be misunderstood by our electronic messages. there are absolutely huge benefits to being able to communicate electronically, however, there are certain situations that may not be appropriate. i am convinced that God designed us to connect at deeper levels than we do. part of the reason that we do not is we are relying on 5-10% of our communication process that he has given us --- using electronic methods to communicate rather than face to face.

so, don't be concerned if you try to reach me sometime (likely a Sunday) and i don't answer my cell phone and don't respond to your email. also, if you hear me say "let's get together over coffee", you'll understand that i am trying to work with God's help to apply what he is laying on my heart.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Our Russian Princess

Alena Katerina Svetlana Maley

We've just returned from "trip one" of a two trip process to adopt our daughter. She is a precious 17 month old girl from Ivanovo, Russia. We will be making a second trip to in May to bring her home. We are very excited that God has allowed us the privilege of going through this process. The fact that it mirrors the process of us being able to become adopted children of God is amazing. This is shown in the verses:

Rom 8:15-17
(15) So you should not be like cowering, fearful slaves. You should behave instead like God's very own children, adopted into his family--calling him "Father, dear Father."
(16) For his Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts and tells us that we are God's children.
(17) And since we are his children, we will share his treasures--for everything God gives to his Son, Christ, is ours, too. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.

The trip to Russia was a good experience. We look forward to being able to bring her home and make her part of our family. We appreciate your prayers and support.