Tuesday, July 29, 2014

We're turning into iPhone zombies

I love the TV show The Walking Dead.  I don't know what it is about the show that fascinates me.  It certainly isn't the gore and the violence, but the character development, and the lengths that they will go to in order to survive is fascinating.  Sure the idea of a zombie apocalypse seems far-fetched, but that doesn't temper my fascination with the "what would life be like" scenarios.

But as far-fetched as the idea seems, the reality is we're turning into a society of zombies, controlled by our iPhones.  I've had this nagging angst over the past few months - I've been unable to escape the idea of the level of control we've given over to technology.  The amount of our social dynamic that we've mortgaged to our handheld devices is astounding, and it's only growing exponentially worse.

There are a handful of articles and videos that have started to address this plague - and it IS a plague.  There's this article that my friend Scotty Smith posted last week, from the Desiring God website.  The key statement - we feel like if we're not obsessively scrolling through Facebook or Twitter or Instagram, we're going to miss out.  My only regret in the article was that I read it through my Facebook browser.

There's also this incredibly telling article about how our phones have changed the way we experience a restaurant….

How about this article - where we are actually CALLED iPhone zombies...

There's this video that is one of the most convicting pieces I've watched in a long time….

Then there's this…

and finally, this…

We're becoming a society obsessed with "everything else" instead of being fully present in whatever we're doing.  As has been written many times before - we create fictional versions of our lives in order to gain validation and affirmation, instead of seeking after the only one that can offer both.  We've elevated tweets and status updates to the level of heightened debate that we used to reserve for only the highest-level thinkers.

I went last year with my wife on one of the best vacations we've ever taken.  Part of why the vacation was so great was that we actually completely disconnected from everything else - social media, work, email, phone… Our destination was one of the most exquisite places we've ever been.  We spent a week in what we could easily call "paradise."  But we started to notice a disturbing trend.  We were watching couples sit at their dinner tables in silence.  They had nothing to talk about.  There were honeymooners there that were incapable of talking - so they'd pull out their phones and engage with "anything else…"

I was on my Alma Mater's campus around the first of December last year for a convocation.  I was taken aback as I watched class dismiss - and the first thing everyone did in the room was take out their phones.  How do these kids create relationships that exist in real life?

I'm struck at how many times I'll see folks out at dinner on a Friday night, obsessed with "anything else" that might be happening on their phones.  What is happening to us?  Are we really becoming this zombified?

I want more.  I want more for my kids.  I want them to grow up learning about the world that really exists, and not what we have put online… and I have to be willing to model that.

So, like I've done with most things in my life - I'm going cold turkey, trying to wean myself away from the zombie-esque nature of the smartphone, and the influence it has in taking me away from actual, real life.  If it means missing out, i'm ready to miss out.  The irony is - as we try not to miss out, we're missing out on what's actually going on.  If it means not being up on the latest controversial statement from a Facebook friend that got 145 likes, then I'm ready.  I THINK though, that it'll mean being more present in my actual relationships, marriage, and parenting.  I THINK that it'll allow me to fully experience here, and now, instead of "anything else…"

Monday, July 28, 2014

Monday Morning Recap for Sunday July 27, 2014

Bullfrog choir was awesome.  I love the picture of a stage full of men, leading our congregation in worship, and the sound is unbelievable.  Thanks to all who participated.  Already looking forward to next year's July 26th date for our 12th Annual Bullfrog Choir.

We opened yesterday with I Am Free, along with an air guitar solo from Mark Gell.

After our call to worship we sang Your Grace is Enough, The Solid Rock, 10,000 Reasons, and How Deep the Father's Love for Us.

Our offering song was You Never Let Go  - which led nicely into the first of a two-part series from Bob on the book of Job.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Monday Morning Recap for Sunday July 20, 2014

I loved the way Robbie Hinton opened our 10:45 service yesterday - reminding us that we LONG for so much, and so often the harried nature of our summer vacations represent just that - trying to achieve shalom through the perfect vacation, and of course posting pictures online.  How is God trying to recapture your attention to stare at his gaze?

We opened yesterday with Famous One.

After our call to worship we sang Beautiful One, The Stand, Holy (by Matt Redman), and Fairest Lord Jesus.

Our offering song was a tune that I just love from Brenton Brown called Adoration.

GUYS!  Join us this Sunday for our 11th Annual Bullfrog Choir.  We'll have a brief run-through at 10AM - and then lead worship for the 10:45 service.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Monday Morning Recap for Sunday July 13, 2014

Only two more weeks until our 11th Annual Bullfrog Choir!  Guys - come join us as ALL the guys in the church are welcome and encouraged to lead worship.  We'll have a brief run-through right before the service starts, and all the songs will be very familiar to you.  Bring your boys too!  That's Sunday - July 27th for our 10:45 service.

We opened yesterday with Here For You.

After our call to worship we sang Joyful, Search Me, We Will Run, and Amazing Grace (Chains are Gone).

Our offering song was Relentless.

Monday, July 07, 2014

Monday Morning Recap for Sunday July 6, 2014

Enjoyed a one-service Sunday yesterday with folks being out for the 4th.  Nevertheless, a great crowd, great singing, and a terrific sermon from Bob.  If you missed it - you can always check it out on iTunes.

We opened yesterday with a hymn re-write called Awake My Soul - words by Isaac Watts.

After our call to worship we sang You Lifted Me Out, The Same Love, I Stand Amazed, and Lay it Down.

Our offering song was a new tune from Hillsong United called Relentless.  Gonna be a great tune for Oak Mountain to sing together.

GUYS!  Join us in just three more sundays on the 27th for Bullfrog Choir!  Great time for ALL guys of the church to get up and sing or croak.  Easy tunes, no rehearsal, and no singing experience needed.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Monday Morning Recap for Sunday June 29, 2014

It doesn't seem like June should be over - the year is flying by.  Our next big event for the Worship Ministry is our 11th annual Bullfrog Choir - coming up at the end of July on the 27th.  GREAT time for all men of the church to get involved in leading worship.  No former singing experience is necessary.  Guys - come and lead by singing (or croaking) whatever you sing or croak in the pew.  with over 100 guys singing at once, you'll blend right in, and be able to help model worshipping for your family.

We opened last Sunday with All Who Are Thirsty.

After our call to worship we sang All Because of Jesus, Crown Him with Many Crowns, Jesus Only Jesus, and Enough.

Our offering song was Oceans - sung by Carlee Green.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Monday Morning Recap for Sunday June 22, 2014

The Choir led in worship last Sunday.  I love choir Sundays.  Great group of people, great friends, great time of community and fellowship.  Also had a great guitar solo at the end of Blessed Be Your Name by one of my longest serving guitarist - Jack Swaim.  As Bob has quoted many times, from that great movie Chariots of Fire - "when I run I feel God's pleasure," when Jack plays his guitar, I sense God's pleasure.  Something amazingly humble happens when Jack cuts loose.  It's never too much, always fits, and always leads me closer to the throne.

We opened last Sunday with Never Stop Singing - a song from Tim Hughes that we introduced to Oak Mountain at this year's Palm Sunday service.

After our call to worship we sang Come Christians Join to Sing, Forever Reign, One Thing Remains, and Blessed Be Your Name.

Our offering was Lord I Need You - a great tune from Matt Maher

Choir takes a break for the rest of summer, and will resume regular rehearsals on Wednesday August 13th!