20 11 2018

LifePut down the smart phone! It might be the most intelligent move you make this week. Let’s return to the times when if you wanted to communicate with one another, you didn’t use your thumbs to text, but your tongue to talk! Here is my challenge as we embark upon Thanksgiving 2018! Make as much eye contact as you possibly can. Be intentional about every conversation you engage in to look to learn something new about that one you say means so much. Don’t leave the table prematurely. The Football Game will always be there, season after season. Unfortunately, that Mom, Dad, Pop-Pop, Nana, Son or Daughter may not be and will you wait too late before you realize how precious each moment with one another truly is?

Put the smart phones down. Over the river and through the woods to Black Friday Sales we go? In this day and age, what item do we need that badly that we can’t wait another twenty-four hours to purchase? If you need to get out and about, why not grab that somebody special and take a long walk together. Reminisce about the reasons you love each other. Remember the memories that helped make you who you are today. Reflect upon the many blessings that will cause you to be grateful rather than incite you to be hateful. Put on that new vinyl and dance to those oldies but goodies. Do your children know your favorite things? There is not an app for that! You are going to have to communicate if you ever hope to relate.

Put the smart phones down. The greatest treasure that we have to give is our time so that we may offer our undivided attention. As I often wonder every weekend when I officiate the Services at The Lighthouse Church, everyone is in such a hurry but is where we are going worth the priority we give it? Whenever I go to minister overseas, church is the place to be. People coming together to worship, to connect, to be there for one another is the main objective every week. I often believe that American Christians go to church on the road to their real destination. According to the Scriptures, is there anything more important than loving God and loving one another? We may agree with that principle with a shake of the head but with the results of our behavior, our walk doesn’t validate our talk. What if you made it a goal to have at least three significant conversations every time you walked through the doors of your place of Worship? How many members of your Congregation would you say that you know very well? How many of them would you consider Family? The Bible says that we are Brothers and Sisters in Christ. What do you say?

Put the smart phones down. Drive the car with your undivided attention. Sing along with the Radio. Ask your Kids what they are learning in School. We complain that the Teens don’t say very much but dare I say that we Adults are not making a very concentrated effort! When is the last time you actually skipped the Drive-Thru so that you could sit together and share a burger, soda and some great conversation? How many things do we try to do on the run? Did Jesus multi-task? The only reason that our Lord was able to do the Miracle of Feeding the 5000 is because that many people showed up and stuck around long enough to stay for dinner! I believe that God needs to instruct us to follow the instructions that He gave to Moses when He said, “Take off your sandals Moses! This is Holy Ground.” I might add, “Take off your shoes and stay awhile.”

Put the smart phones down. What if you gathered all the gadgets before you sat down to eat this Thursday. What if we risked being called a few choice names to set the stage for some Holiday Magic to take place? So, they roll their eyes. So, they hem and haw and sigh and snort. When I was a Youth Pastor, one of my favorite activities that I would do this time of the year was what we called “Destination Unknown.” The Teens would show up and I’d put them all on the Church Bus and then I proceeded to put them in Teams of Four that included three Young People and an Adult. We then drove them around our Town and dropped them off at the homes of our Senior Saints. I told them that we would come and get them in an hour and a half, but during that time, they had to find out all they could about the people who were hosting them. Do you know that this became one of the most popular events of the year? Do you know that many beautiful mentoring relationships were birthed because we just set the pieces in place for connections to blossom and bloom? There are Dating Web Sites; what if we pushed the envelope a bit and nudged people to look at each other and see if they can discover some golden nuggets of lifechanging truth? Could we be on the verge of a Thanksgiving Miracle?

Put down the smart phone. Go visit your neighbors. I know for many, it might be the very first time! Share some baked goodies. Do them a good deed. At the very least, smile! You know that I’m not a big Fan of the times we live in. I know that God has a plan and a purpose for all of us and there is a reason that we are here for such a time as this, but for all this technology, I think the Human Race has taken two steps forward and twenty steps backwards. We may be smarter but we act so dumb. Everybody reaches for their phones to document these days and times with pictures and video but while we are consumed with getting that done, I’m afraid we miss the moments that matter! I don’t have any videos of the 1960’s but I have them in my heart. And it is on Thanksgiving Day that I cherish the past while I hope for the future but take hold of the present.

I’m am not going to use my Smart Phone this Thanksgiving Day. Will you do the same? Please share your experiences with me. Hey here is a novel idea. Write me a Note and tell me how it went. I have a feeling we will see what we might have missed if we were too busy looking at our hands that we forfeited what could only be viewed by the heart! Have a Blessed Thanksgiving! You can write me Pastor Rudy at The Lighthouse Church, 1248 Route 9 South, Cape May Court House, NJ 08210… I promise I will write you back!



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