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Reflections from Pastor Jennifer
You want every part of your body to be functional, right? You don't want any part of you to be amputated, right? The same is true of the Body of Christ. Each member of the body has an important role to play. Just as you feel the strain when you have a headache or a sore muscle, when one of us hurts, we all feel the pain. While it is possible to be a believer on your own, away from church, it is impossible to be a body on your own. You are a vital member. You have a lot to do. We need you.
Let's provide plenty of items for the shoeboxes. For the month of January, please bring hats, scarves, and gloves. If you want to get a head start on the items for February, we need dental care items (toothbrushes and floss). Shoeboxes and shipping costs always help.
Share the Love
If you were able to get a bottle for the Baby Bottle Boomerang, remember to fill it with coins, cash, or checks. If not, there are still plenty left, so pick one up on Wednesday or Sunday. They are due back on Sunday, February 18. The QR code on picture also works as a "digital bottle" for those who are not able to get a bottle. The money helps the moms and moms-to-be associated with the Lake Norman Crisis Pregnancy Center.
Sunday, February 4 is First Sunday Meal. The focus for February is "share the love". One way that we can share love is through fellowship. Invite friends and family to join us for service, followed by our meal.
Bring your pals, gals, and Vals to a movie. Due to the cold, this event will be held in the fellowship hall. Concessions will be provided. As before, concessions will begin at 6pm, followed by the movie at 6:30. The date will either be Saturday, February 10 or 17 (please let me know if you have a preference. We will try to accommodate the majority).
Fasting From Social Media
In this devotional, I will share why I chose social media as a form of fasting and four ways God revealed that it had become a distraction. As fasting from food serves to cleanse the body of its impurities, a fast from social media will help you return to the Lord, change your habits, and redirect your impulses to healthier choices.
Approximately five years ago, the Lord began to impress on my heart the danger of social media and how these sites were distracting me from true healing and growth. I felt intensely that I should log off completely for a season and fast. During this time, life as I knew it was completely turned upside down. My daughter had just passed away unexpectedly from SIDS, and my marriage was suffering. I decided to use my platform to share the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ to others, all the while walking through the darkness of the valley of grief. Though I was seemingly doing good by encouraging others adversely, I also utilized the apps to escape the reality of what was happening deep within my soul. Although social media distracted me from what was happening in real-time, the danger was that it was also taking me down the long dark road of depression. I was broken and needed healing, but instead, I reached for my phone to suppress my grief from life and loss.
When you don’t deal with your hurt, your pain will begin to deal with you, leading you further away from God, His Word, and our confident trust in Him, which is the antidote for all of life's grievances. Before long, prayer and praise will be far from your lips and heart as you gravitate more towards the virtual world, which lacks the ingredients for the real healing you need in real life.
Sometimes, the Lord will require you to give something up while you are at the peak of what feels like success. Proverbs 14:12 ESV states, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” Though I had garnered over 17,000 followers, one video had over 2 million hits, and my live stream videos were pulling in thousands of views, spiritually I was drifting, and spiritual death was imminent. So, I decided to follow the Holy Spirit's conviction to fast from social media.
In scripture, when we observe the Saints’ fasting, it often involves food. As a millennial, born into a technology-driven generation, I believe fasting from social media can be beneficial as well. Laying down social media for a time has been one of the best decisions I could have ever made. Not only have I matured in my spiritual disciplines, but I have also healed and am more aware of those around me that need encouragement versus those in my virtual world. Both are equally important, but I’ve learned that sometimes God can do more in our obscurity than in our large platforms.
My hope and prayer are that you will allow the Lord to search your heart to reveal if this may be something He is leading you to in this season of your life. It is never my intent to make this a doctrine but simply share a few lessons from my journey on why God may want you to lay it down so that you may pick up more spiritual habits.