Getting Unplugged (for a short time only!)
To plug, or unplug – that is the question! Take a walk, experience life offline, switch off for 24 hours. We drug ourselves with phones and gadgets because it’s easy and right there; we don’t want to feel loneliness so we remain in a state of lazy, partial contempt. When we allow sadness, anger, and boredom to hit us full on, it is amazing and fulfilling, the manner in which we choose to overcome them all.

I am all for the occasional excursion into the great world of the digital-less and the unplugged; however, to play the devil’s advocate and make one think somewhat about the flip-side, here are some things to consider. Unplugging because there might be someone who needs you is indeed a noble cause, especially to those within “whole” busy families with everyone scooting around at cyber-speed. Coming at it from personal experience after years of being single following divorce, it is through the convenience of online communication that I keep in touch with my sons; learn of my friends in need; am able to help those across the world who are perhaps too shy to share their situations with those they know who are close to them; and also to seek answers and advice on some of my own situations.

Also through this same form of communication, I can stay in contact with extended family overseas, and with those who insist on being real caring friends. I also learn about those who care, and I let them into my life when I otherwise wouldn’t. Friends from around the world can brighten my day simply with a texted “what’s up” at any time of day or night. As an avid writer, I also enjoy the luxury of being able to tap into the very finest libraries in the world, to research whatever it is that I am working on at any given time.

So don’t worry about being an internet addict, feel free to stay on the web, as long as you know why it is you wish to do so and what it is you wish to accomplish.  For some, unplugging is not as beneficial as for others.  Simply do what may be best for you and avoid the romanticized beauty of the very simplicity of it.

Getting Plugged In (to God, Jesus Christ, and the Bible, that is!)
I forever look at life as FACT that God is the Real, Intimate, One reaching out to us as one who truly loves us. In Jesus we have a wonderful opportunity to see things with wide-open eyes. It is a choice to ask God to fix the broken furniture in our lives, in our hearts. That fixing can be as painful as the initial brokenness, but the words we share from God, express so well that His heart is always for us, taking us by the hand.

“How do we find joy in the midst of deadlines, debt, drama, and daily duties?” New York Times bestselling author Ann Voskamp wondered. When your days are filled with the mundane, disappointment, or even darkness, how can you break the bondage of self-hatred and fear that has white-knuckle control on your life and instead embrace the everyday blessings that will immerse you in Christ’s fullness? How can you live your life with a heart overflowing with delight? Ann encourages people to take on the life-changing discipline of journaling God’s gifts – to really look at life and find the good in it. It’s only in this expressing of gratitude for the life we already have that we discover the life we’ve always wanted .. a life we can take, give thanks for, and break for others. And only then can we know the impossible right down in our bones: we are wildly loved – by God.

A Few Video Responses (real and heartfelt)
This is something I need to understand, something I need to do, to begin opening my hands in Thanksgiving and allowing the Lord to heal me – my quick temper, my frustration, my constant irritation that bubbles hot, my anxiety, my fears – and allow me to be the Mother and Wife that He has BLESSED me to be. ~ Querita

I grew up on a Farm in Minnesota, with nine other siblings. There is something special about the farm, where we see Life and where we often see death. It was on my family’s farm at the age of ten, that I suffered my first Life and Death experience, no one but the Lord was there to witness it. That Life and Death experience made me realize that there is a God, as a matter of fact it was when I cried out, JESUS SAVE ME, that I was immediately wrapped Up into HIS Presence. That was 41 years ago. ~ Lisa

Thank you for sharing your story with us. Your words are beautiful, haunting, poignant, encouraging. I look forward to hearing more. I am so sorry for all you have had to endure, but your amazing attitude of gratitude and joy is truly an inspiration. You have the many gifts and I am convinced writing is definitely one. I was drawn into your world – surprised by joy in the pages – beyond the physical and into your very heart. Thank you Ann without an E – who needs an E when you can stand alone with God without one. This goes along with the verse: “In EVERYTHING give Thanks”!  Not always easy—but it WORKS! Hugs and much love to you Ann. I pray God will enable us to meet one day!!! ~ Compilation

I wanted to let you know how God has used your little book to open my eyes. Things have been tough, we have lost loved ones to suicide, we have a dear one suffering from PTSD, and although my faith in God never left me, I lost the ability to see anything but the sorrow, I was just holding on, clinging .. I read a lot, a friend shared your little book with me, and I decided to try and count my blessings, to thank Him for the gifts He gives. It has changed my heart. I can see again. Thank you. ~ Griego

The Eternal Message (no strings attached)
The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off and we fly away .. So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. ~ Psalm 90: 10, 12

Our interests are centered in ourselves. We are preoccupied with material things. Our supreme god is technology; our goddess is sex. Most of us are more interested in getting to the moon than in getting to heaven, more concerned about conquering space than about conquering ourselves. We are more dedicated to material security than to inner purity. We give much more thought to what we wear, what we eat, what we drink, and what we can do to relax than we give to what we are. This preoccupation with peripheral things applies to every area of our lives .. We must learn to live triumphantly amid the traumas and pressures we face daily. ~ Billy Graham, World Aflame, 1965/Till Armageddon, 1981


H/T Gerard Vanderleun and American Digest; Ann Voskamp and her website; personal archives…

Face of Jesus by Richard Hook

Soli Deo Gloria!