Click Away

Has anyone else noticed that Facebook is slowly taking over all the websites on the entire Internet? Everywhere you go, whether you’re looking for a zucchini bread recipe or videos on how to perform open-heart surgery at home, you will find a little Facebook icon somewhere on the page. “Sign in with Facebook!” “Do you want to share your top score on ‘Life Waster 3000’ on Facebook?” “Invite Facebook friends?” The World Wide Web is saturated with Facebook. You can’t run away from it! It’s like the McDonalds of online media: Everywhere you turn, there it is.

Now imagine that for a whole week you cannot see anything about Facebook in your daily Internet explorations. No icons, no share buttons, and especially not visiting the Facebook website itself. This would be ridiculously difficult in this modern age! If you were to continue the online intake you currently have, there is a 99% chance that you are going to see something about Facebook. It’s unavoidable unless you take the greatest, most meticulous care in what websites you visit and how you act.

I’ve used Facebook as an illustration for the impurity that exists on the Internet. It is so easy to take a wrong turn and drop smack in the middle of something you never wanted to see. And if you go looking for it on purpose, it is assured that you will find it. And what with the inventions of incognito mode and the “delete history” button, no one has to know, right?

Being a Christian in the world we live in is full of temptations all on its own, but the Internet has opened up so many more opportunities for sin right inside of our homes. This is something to be aware of. Amazing things can be done through this unbelievable gift that God has given us. We can connect with people who are on the other side of the world. We can make Christian resources easily available to the general public by putting it up on a website. It is a tool to be taken advantage of.

Yet it is dangerous. We have become very comfortable with its existence and I believe that some of the rules we young people used to be held to before they could even touch the keys of the keyboard have been dismissed and faded. Keeping clear eyes, pure hearts, and retaining the ability to shut the computer down and walk away is a skill that needs to be called back. As children of God we cannot throw away grace for fleeting seconds of pleasure that a laptop can give us because it is simply not worth an eternity in hell.

So next time? Click away.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” – Philippians 4:8 NIVUK

 

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Home

I’m what most people would call a homebody. I don’t like leaving home and therefore do not do it often (I’m completely serious; I barely get out of my room unless it’s for church or piano lessons), and when I’m away from my house up on the mountain for too long I begin to feel worn out and sick. Just the sight of home can bring a smile to my face and steady my heart. But less than three years ago I called an entirely different house my home and wouldn’t even dream of calling where I’m currently sitting home. When I first moved, it felt strange to sleep in the house on the mountain because it wasn’t home yet. I still was attached to my previous house. (Forgive me if I overuse the words home and house a little bit; I’m afraid it cannot be avoided.)

You see, there is a decided difference between a house and a home. A house is a building. It’s a set location and cannot be changed. A home, however, is a different story. It’s an idea. You don’t have to even live in the house for it to be your home. It changes whenever you do. It’s where the things you love most are, where you feel comfortable and the most relaxed. It could be a leaky old shack with glass missing from the windows, but you wouldn’t care if it were your home. Everyone needs someplace to call home.

When I think of my home, I get a warm, fuzzy feeling inside. I don’t know what you get, but I assume it’s something similar. It’s wonderful, isn’t it? Home? No matter what state it’s in it is hard to find fault with it. But guess what? Our homes on Earth are temporary. They will crumble away to dust just like everything else. Because no matter how much you love this home here, it’s only preparing you for something better.

Heaven.

Heaven is our truly perfect home. It is so beyond anything we could create on Earth or even dream of. Its majesty and beauty are unparalleled and cannot be compared with anything else. The image we have in our heads when we think of Heaven does not come anywhere near the real thing. The places we call home down here on the blue planet are giving us periphery hints as to the glory of Heaven.

And to think there is a mansion waiting for me! I pray that you, as well, have given your heart to God so that we may rejoice together in Heaven, which my mother likes to describe as the party that will never end.

So you know what? As strange as it sounds, I’m excited for death, because that is the day my Father takes me away from suffering and I go where pain, sadness, heartbreak, and every other evil, Satan-infused thing does not exist, so that for the first time I can properly say, I’m home.

Sheltered Beliefs

When I was a young lassie with hair like a neon sign and skin whiter than snow, I thought quite a few things that I now know not to be true. I’m not going to say I was sheltered, but I was sheltered (and thank God for that). Here are a few examples of my innocence and partially submerged fantasy consciousness.

Kissing masks

When people kissed in movies, I thought they had mouth guards of some sort because, um, hello, why would you kiss someone if you weren’t married to them? I would always look closely at the screen to see if I could make out a glimmer of plastic or something of that sort. I concluded later that they must edit the guards out so that it appears more natural to the movie watchers. I could believe in editing and CGI, but not kissing.

Thou shalt not swear in music

I honest to goodness thought that you were not allowed to. I knew that people swore in real life, but I honestly thought that there was a rule that you couldn’t do it in music. I just had never heard it before and that resulted in the belief that there was a law or something that you couldn’t. My shock when I heard my first swear in a song destroyed that belief pretty quick.

Pop! There’s a baby

I was never told the stories of a stork (until around three days ago I thought it was a swan) or anything like that, so I came up  with my own concept of how a baby is conceived: when a woman and a man get married, God simply implants the baby in the woman when it works with His plan. There were no other factors. God decided a baby needed to be born so He made a baby. That’s basically how it works, but there’s a couple more steps mixed in. Imagine my confusion when I heard the term “out of wedlock pregnancy”.

A lake under every house

My childhood consisted of Harry Potter and running around with a wand in my hand casting spells, and in the books, all the plumbing underneath the magical castle goes to a lake, so naturally I thought that underneath every house there was a lake holding all the dirty water and pumping clean water back up. The fact that my grandparents live on a lake and always refer to the tap water as lake water did nothing to dissipate this fantasy.

Tubed souls

They always talk about your soul being inside of you at church, so I envisioned an actual physical thing that looked somewhat like a marble column that ran down between the center of your chest and your belly button. Even now when my pastor mentions a soul I still get a mental image of a marble column inside of me. It’s quite disconcerting.

Chris Tomlin and Bonnie Tyler

Continuing off of music from before, I didn’t know any genres of music other than 80’s rock ballads and Christian contemporary/hymns. I had an inkling that other genres might exist but I had never heard them. It’s difficult to believe in something you’ve never heard, and so I didn’t. Rap, pop, country, were nonexistent.

But thankfully, one childhood fantasy has never been disproven and I’ve held on tight to it over the years, that Narnia is at the back of a wardrobe. I haven’t found it yet, but I’m 100% confident it’s real. I mean, how could that awesome of a place not exist?

 

Bad Words

Every household has a set list of words that they simply can not say, depending on the situation and the location of where the phrase is said. We all have our own rules. Perhaps it is the worst possible thing to mention anything pertaining to the bathroom at the kitchen table in your family. I know that’s true with ours. Or maybe it is that something misusing the name of God is something not even to be thought of anywhere in the entire home or out of it.

Whatever the case, it happens. Not only do we create these lists, we have degrees of bad words. The word for stubbing your toe on a wicker basket and the word for stubbing your toe on a metal chair will be considerably different in both how you say it and how severe you consider the expletive. For some reason, “ow” won’t cut it. The desire to say something that we wouldn’t express in normal conversation is strong, especially when we are undergoing emotions.

You may argue that because words have power only because we have given them it, saying /!@#^* casually doesn’t actually have any significance. Sadly, these words have come to mean things that they didn’t mean before and are not articles of speech I would care to just throw out on a daily basis. Whether we like it or not, these words do have power in today’s society, so when you say it, it doesn’t matter how you do it – it still comes off that you are experiencing strong emotions and have a dirty mouth.

On the other hand, if you say an everyday word properly, it can still come off as extremely purposeful. I once yelled “ALMIGHTY CHEESEBALL CANNONS” at the top of my lungs when I was once quite angry over the destruction of my room and, judging by the way my siblings avoided me for the next thirty minutes, it came across as clear as day that I was mad.

What I’m trying to say here is that it isn’t necessary to use bad words that mention things inappropriate to normal speech or talk of private matters. An “ow”, or “shoot!” or even an “almighty cheeseball cannons” (getting into some serious profanity here) will do.