Logging off in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…

iPad

Unplugged?  You must be crazy!  I need my two hours of Facebook every day!  (Ummm…that’s a joke.)

That’s right, starting Monday morning at 8 a.m., we’re launching into a four-week webfast.  We just finished up a powerful class on Worldview and the influence of the Internet on our thought processes and relationships.  To drive the point home, our final assignment is a “fast” from the Internet.

Over the next four weeks, we’re going to find out just how dependent we have unwittingly become on virtual reality and instant fixes.  We’ll be focusing instead on an in-depth study of the book of Philippians, as well as making face-to-face relational time a priority.

What’s prohibited:

  • The Web
  • Social media (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram)
  • Texting, Instant Messaging, and the like
  • TV (including Netflix, Hulu, etc.)

What’s permitted:

  • Cell phone
  • SKYPE, FaceTime (Note: used only on the weekend; total time limited to 1 hour)
  • NTM intranet (homework assignments and campus announcements are channeled through this)
  • Our NTM email accounts (call us if you’d like to have these addresses)

It’s back to basics, folks!

Please know that we don’t share this information with you out of any desire to make you feel wrong about using the internet.  This is simply a required class activity for us, and we’re really looking forward to what we’re going to learn from it (but we’re also looking forward to being free to use the internet again!).  If you’re interested, we’d love to share more with you personally about some powerful things we have learned in our Worldview class and ways that we can become more aware and responsible with internet use. 

Tradition!

Traditions run deep.  Very deep. 

Think of your family’s holiday traditions.  “It just wouldn’t be Christmas without…”  Or, “Every summer, we…”  You fill in the blanks.

For my part, birthdays just wouldn’t be birthdays without Lucky Charms for breakfast!  My dad instilled this tradition in me, and I’ve faithfully upheld it.  As you can see, I’m also passing it on to my own children (Titus just turned three):

  Birthday Cereal

Another ingrained tradition, quite the opposite of Lucky Charms, is that of healthful eating (instilled by my mother).  Ivan just turned one–much too young for a sugary cake!–so he got fancied-up watermelon instead:

Birthday Cake

Ivan's Cake

Watermelon 1

Watermelon 2

During our time here at the Missionary Training Center, we’ll be learning about how the ancestral traditions of tribal cultures will directly affect how we minister as missionaries overseas.  On Wednesday we will begin a class called “Worldview,” which will teach us many of the tools necessary to discover the deeply ingrained perspectives and thought patterns of individuals and cultures.  With this kind of information, guided by the Holy Spirit, we can become more effective communicators of the gospel, both home and abroad. 

The harvest season is swiftly approaching, and with it will come many down-home American traditions–corn mazes, football, apple picking, color tours, harvest parties, cider and doughnuts, Thanksgiving turkeys, family reunions…the list goes on!  As you enjoy these good times with family and friends, take a moment to remember and pray for people around the world who are trapped in traditions of deceit, cut off from fellowship with God.  Pray that their worldview will be transformed by the truth of Christ!   

How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed?  And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?  And how are they to hear without someone preaching?  And how are they to preach unless they are sent?  As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!’

Romans 10:14, 15 (ESV)