Is your Christmas shopping done yet? Yes? Congratulations, you win Christmas this year! No? Good luck. Haven’t you heard about all the shipping delays, inventory shortages, and lack of retail workers?
Almost a decade ago, there was a movement that dealt with the rise in motorcycle accidents. It started with a simple billboard campaign, “Start Seeing Motorcycles.” Unlike some ads, this one worked. It got the attention of motorists, and many changed their driving behavior. I became more aware of bikers on the road. That was easy to do, since at the time I lived in Harley country.
The following is an excerpt from Redeeming Technology by A. Trevor Sutton and Brian Smith MD. Social Media has become increasingly prevalent across age groups. Although it does bring some benefits in terms of connection, social media can also be a breeding ground for discontentment, pride, and distraction.
“God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector” (Luke 18:11).
Every year as Christmas approaches, I find myself making wish lists—clothing, makeup, housewares, you name it. My Instagram feed is filled with ads for products that would make great additions to my closet or jewelry box.
I lean toward materialistic tendencies anyway (I’m working on it!), but during this time of year, I definitely lean even more towards wanting more, more, more.
There are forty-one days until Thanksgiving, forty-four days until the start of Advent, seventy-one days until Christmas morning, and seventy-eight days until the beginning of the new year. I’m guessing that if your life is anything like mine, you also have personal countdowns you could add to this list. Perhaps your countdown is for an upcoming birthday, the end of a school semester, the next time you will see your family, a doctor’s appointment or test result coming up, or a special event or trip. There is always a countdown to something. And a countdown is just another way to say that you are waiting for something to happen.
Not too long ago I found myself with a hand full of the most surprising war tools. In my right hand, multiple bottles of assorted potions sitting between the crevices of my four fingers with my thumb curled around them. In my left hand—a comb.
“I hope we are going to learn about Jesus!” These were the words my three-year-old, and newly minted preschooler, spoke to me as we chatted about what she might do at school the next day. “We didn’t do any activities, but we did learn about Jesus!” was the report from my four-year-old after his first day of school.
One of the hardest parts of being a young adult is building Christian community. Whether you live in your hometown and are trying to find new friends since your hometown friends have left, or whether you have moved to a new city and are trying to find a new group of friends, you probably have felt the struggles of building a community of friends.
Stop me if you have heard this, “Boy, has this been a difficult season.” That is an attitude I have heard time and time again. I think we have given up on the idea of ever returning to normal, but we should not give up on the Church getting back to what it does best. However, in this season, I wonder if the Church needs a reminder of its purpose.