Jill Jarrell Newsome
Connecting Hearts....Far and Wide
About ten years ago I was in Sunday school and we were reading Scripture and a friend (I had known for years) got out his phone! I was blown away. This man teaches Sunday school some time - he knows better than to have his phone out. I think having phones out during conversations, dinners, meetings, etc is rude. Those things can wait. The next Sunday he did the same thing again! I am sure I missed some of the Word because I was worried about someone else being on their phone! You probably know where this is going. He had a Bible app on his phone and he was reading along with the others. I was the only one not paying attention!
There are times that I really appreciate technology but there are often times I remember a simpler life! Most people will agree that life continues to get busier and crazier! We have information at our fingertips - more information than we can process. We have news, tweets, blogs, commercials, apps, programs, ads, games and music. And most of us have more than one electronic to do these things!
I remember when I was a little girl and Billy Graham’s crusades were on tv. He conducted 417 crusades in 185 countries and territories on six continents. Our family would sit and watch on tv. Look at all of the people he reached! There are lots of good things that come with these innovations like keeping in contact with friends and family who live far away. Sadly, sometimes, we are so busy that that is how we keep in touch with those in our own community! We can send out prayer request and let people know we are praying for them. We can do our banking online, order flowers, order pizza, book a vacation and even chat with a doctor instead of going into the office! We can even read the Bible on our phone!
Recently I spoke with Kathy who had raised her three kids as a member of my pastor's former church. Her kids are now grown and spread out with her daughter and granddaughter being in New Zealand. She starts out telling me how thankful she is for technology. Even though her granddaughter is in New Zealand, she is able to see her! She said another reason she is grateful for technology is that she is able to watch our service online. She attends her church but also watches ours online.
She was raised feeling like she would get struck down if she did something wrong. Her son became a quadraplegic at 16 years old in 1995. That July she moved to North Carolina. In 1997 our pastor went to their church. Their family continued to experience many devastations. Romans 12: 12, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” She said that pastor was the common thread in the spiritual life of her and her three kids. He facilitated her relationship with God through his genuineness and his sermons. Isaiah 32: 8, “But the noble make noble plans, and by noble deeds they stand.” He continues to touch her family in many ways. It started out when she wanted them to watch a specific sermon and now she has everyone watching weekly. Hebrews 2: 12, “I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters; in the assembly I will sing your praises.” Kathy says her son in Florida, her sister in Maryland, her brother in Pittsburgh, another brother in New Jersey and, of course, her daughter in New Zealand, all, are watching online! She loves how technology can bring people together!
I mentioned to her that the first time I came here I felt the power of the Holy Spirit when I walked in the gym door. I asked her what made her feel connected online? She said even though she is not physically here, she feels the power of the Holy Spirit reaching through the computer to her! 1 Corinthians 12: 7, “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” She feels the Holy Spirit’s agenda facilitated by our pastor. There is a joy! This service keeps her grounded spiritually. She said people want what she has and that is joy! Mark 16: 15, “He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”