First off, I want to say what a privilege it is MOPS 9-14to be a part of MOPS. I’ve so enjoyed getting to know you and, if you’re new to MOPs, I look forward to connecting with you too! If you ever want to talk more about my message or anything else please call me: 803.807.9112. Or contact me in the form below. Our deepest desires are so close to the heart. It’s hard to share them with others. I know. But if I had just had someone to talk to, to pray with me…I might have saved myself years of living so small, so emotionally distant from Jesus and the Life he longs to give us. Here are the 4 Questions I mentioned in my talk; scroll down for more resources:

DaydreamsHow might we tell if our media/daydreams/ distractions/indulgences are providing us wholesome recreation, renewing us for the reality of daily living, or hurting us?

Question #1: Are we thinking about our indulgence more and more?

Do we clip articles and pour over magazines and join fan clubs?

Do we run to check our email, fb, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest pages and labor over our responses with lots of little endorphins dancing in our heads?

Do we go to more meetings, more practices, spend more and more time at the gym?

Do we withdraw from our family and friends to spend time with our indulgence and with other people who share the same indulgence?

Our great indulgence can even be our children…Do we withdraw somewhat from our husband to focus more and more on them?

If we are a follower of Jesus, do we give less thought to worship, prayer, Bible study, doing life in community with other Christians or because as a family we are so involved with our indulgence?

Although we may think that time we indulge is within proper balance—safely contained in the privacy of our head or our screens or within the bounds of our leisure time—do the consequences begin leaking into other areas of our lives, esp our life with Jesus?

Are we spending considerable time and money, maybe even money we don’t have, on our indulgence?

Do we have nagging doubts about whether our investment in our indulgence is appropriate or not? Do we think about laying it out before our spouse, a friend or even our heavenly Father and asking for their wisdom?…Or do we prefer the “don’t ask; don’t tell” approach?

Question #2: Are we sneaking?

Sneaking messages or chat? Sneaking around the Web looking for info or stories?

Sneaking out to buy substances and hide them at home?

Are we covering up the way we think about our indulgence or the time or money we spend on it? Someone calls and asks what we’ve been doing. We may have been watching TV all evening, every evening, but we won’t admit it.

Rather than acknowledge our misplaced affections, do we deal with the increasing tension by blaming our circumstances or other people?

Do we devise occasions to indulge and avoid places where we can’t?

Does our indulgence begin to significantly affect our finances, marriage, or work?

Question #3: Is our indulgence starting to control us?

Do we run to it when problems surface? Instead of learning how to deal with conflicts in relationships or work, do we look to our indulgence to offer a temporary fix?

Do we create problems in the home as an excuse to resort to it?

Is lying becoming a way of life?

Do we try to lay it down…just say no…only to find…we can’t?

Do we find that promises easily made, even promises made to God in confession, are quickly broken?

We can believe our indulgence is helping our self-image and giving us a deeper sense of worth and reality when really it is becoming an addiction.

Question #4: Has our indulgence become a full-blown addiction?

Is it separating us from God, our family, our friends, all the things that are truly Life?

An addiction becomes our master—the center of our life. We do not control it. It controls us. We’re hurting many loved ones, but either we don’t care, or our guilt drives as deeper into addiction and bondage. We still don’t think we have a problem.

idol liesWant to break out of living small?

If you would like a Bible Study that offers real transformation of our deepest desires and indulgences I highly recommend Idol Lies by Dee Brestin. An idol is simply anything we love and treasure more than God. I invite you to watch these 10-25 minute videos on each chapter here at the author’s website. You can order the book there or on Amazon. I am facilitating this study at Fellowship Bible Church on Thursdays at 10:00 am and we offer free child care. We’ll be on Chapter 5 (out of 10) next  Thursday, Oct 23rd.

I would love for you to join us. Call or contact me with the form on this page.

 Signs you are developing an emotional affair (written tongue in cheek so these are things NOT TO DO):

  1. To have an emotional affair it’s helpful to forgo intimacy and substitute closeness. Intimacy is the willingness to know your mate as well as a willingness to be known. Avoid speaking up and creating conflict in your marriage. Instead settle for closeness and avoid the risk of rejection by your mate. Save conversations about marital dissatisfaction for your ”friend”. Read more here

Help and grace…other blogs I’ve posted on living wisely/loving well in the world of internet/social media:

The Tyranny of the Expected Response…what lies beneath?  Why are we feeling stressed by all the email/messaging/tweets/texts? Our machines are running us instead of us running our machines. Time to retake control. Here are 4 tips to help you get back in the driver’s seat of your life…

New Research Shows How the Internet is Rewriting Our Stories, Rewiring Our Brains I don’t need to read the new research in scientific journals,Newsweek or the New York Times to know that hours of immersion in Facebook, email and web-surfing while keeping an eye on TV news or sports jangles my brain. I feel it. But seeing the dangers of it laid out in black and white moves me to DO something about it. Here’s a quick summary

Are you OK without your Facebook, twitterfeed, instagram…? A report from the front  Features my friend’s story of her grandaughter’s slumber party and the revolt to get their phones back. Also more helpful tips on taking control of social media.

Trying to get a grip on internet/social media? It’s good to remember that God deals with his children graciously…with conviction, not condemnation. Condemnation brings a sentence. You are guilty. You are damned. It is a sea of regret. Endless replays of failure and disappointment in ourselves. It is worldly grief. Conviction brings repentance. A fresh start. New life. Joy in the morning. Restored intimacy.

How Do We Know if the Thing We Love Is Becoming an Idol?  How can we tell if we’re living small? If our escapes and diversions are really costing us? If they are softly becoming the things we love and desire more than God? More questions to discern the difference…

GodsightEscaping the Temptation to Escape  Much of the content I delivered in today’s message came from my book, Godsight: Renewing the Eyes of Our Hearts and I included it in this post. Godsight is out of print, but if you’d like a copy I’d be glad to bring you one from my “store.” Just message me below.

A video to persuade us to put down our iphones/push back from our screens…here


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