Sunday, August 5, 2012

Someone is watching you...

A friend told me the other day that she "stalked" me on face book. That has kind of rolled around in my head the past week and so I thought I'd look up the meaning of the term. According to the dictionary, to stalk means: 

1. To follow or approach (game, prey, etc) stealthily and quietly
2. to pursue persistently and, sometimes, attack (a person with whom one is obsessed, often a celebrity)

Okay, I'm PRETTY sure she didn't mean she's planning on attacking me. She simply reads my posts on Facebook! (Sure hope that's all she meant! LOL) Anyway, I got to wondering if I "stalk" people on facebook, too.

Of course, I do the normal keeping up with old friends, engagements, weddings, birthdays, new babies, and growing kids kind of thing. Over the years I've been blessed with so many good friends that have since moved all over the country. Thanks to Face book, I feel like they still live close by and can keep our friendship going despite the miles between us. 

There are also posts I rarely pay attention to. These include game notifications (which somehow pop up no matter how many times I turn them off;) bathroom photos - seriously, I don't really want to see pictures of you in your bathroom unless of course you have GREAT decorating sense and I want to copy what you've done with the place; pictures of what you are eating - unless you are inviting me to join you or sending some to me in a doggy bag; and mean-spirited political pictures - I won't even dignify those with an explanation.

Then there are those people I guess I do kind of "stalk." Some are the friends I don't get to see very often anymore, and some are people I see almost all the time. Thanks to face book, I "follow" their posts on a regular basis. They usually fall into one of the following categories (in no particular order):

Encouragers - these are the people I can count on to post an encouraging word each day. It is almost as if God uses them to speak those words that are like a cool drink of water in the desert heat. It may be a funny picture or a Bible verse, or just a word in due season. There just aren't enough "encouraging words" now days, so I am especially thankful for these friends.

Different points of view - I will admit to checking in regularly with my friends who differ GREATLY from me with their point of view on life. Most often these people tend to fall into politically different points of view. I find that while I sometimes get angry at what they post, by reading those posts I allow myself to realize that not everyone sees things the same way...not even people I love. Yesterday I saw a quote by Rick Warren that I really liked. It said, "Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is if you disagree with someone's lifestyle, you must fear them or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don't have to compromise convictions to be compassionate." That pretty much explains things. I want to know what you think and believe, even if I don't agree with you. Isn't that what we're supposed to do? I don't want to argue or shout, I just want to listen. If I feel you will listen in return, I MIGHT comment. Otherwise, I'll just pray.

Wisdom: Oh how I love to find those people who are able to, in a short comment, bring clarity to a situation. I count myself as blessed that over my morning coffee I can find friends who have posted something that helps me begin my day with focus on what is really important. You friends are rare indeed!

Laughter: I list these friends last but they certainly are not least. Sometimes after a long hard day, it is that unexpected laughter that gives me the strength to go on. The phrase or picture that makes me really "Laugh Out Loud" is such a treat. I must add, the ones that do this best are never mean spirited or aimed at another person. They just look at life in such a way that the stress of the day slips away and I smile. Thank you so much for sharing your gift for making others laugh. It may not be listed as one of the "great spiritual gifts" of the Bible, but I bet Jesus likes it a whole lot!

So, I guess in a way I am a stalker. I am "watching" your page and you are blessing me in ways you did not know. Thank you....for through it all you are helping me "stalk" the one I want to follow most of all - Jesus. In each of you I see a part of my Lord and you make me want to draw closer to Him.

I guess if I have to find a way to close this blog, it would be simply this: Thank you so much to my friends. You bless me more than you know. Also, I will remind myself to watch what I say on face book....someone may be stalking me...and since I call myself Christian, they are also deciding if they really want to know the One whose name we carry.

See you on Facebook, my friends!

Ephesians 4: 

1-3In light of all this, here's what I want you to do. While I'm locked up here, a prisoner for the Master, I want you to get out there and walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called you to travel. I don't want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don't want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere. And mark that you do this with humility and discipline—not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences. 4-6You were all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction, so stay together, both outwardly and inwardly. You have one Master, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who rules over all, works through all, and is present in all. Everything you are and think and do is permeated with Oneness.
 7-13But that doesn't mean you should all look and speak and act the same. Out of the generosity of Christ, each of us is given his own gift.....He handed out gifts above and below, filled heaven with his gifts, filled earth with his gifts. He handed out gifts of apostle, prophet, evangelist, and pastor-teacher to train Christ's followers in skilled servant work, working within Christ's body, the church, until we're all moving rhythmically and easily with each other, efficient and graceful in response to God's Son, fully mature adults, fully developed within and without, fully alive like Christ.

 14-16No prolonged infancies among us, please...God wants us to grow up, to know the whole truth and tell it in love—like Christ in everything. We take our lead from Christ, who is the source of everything we do. He keeps us in step with each other. His very breath and blood flow through us, nourishing us so that we will grow up healthy in God, robust in love.

Titus 3: 1-8

1-2Remind the people to respect the government and be law-abiding, always ready to lend a helping hand. No insults, no fights. God's people should be bighearted and courteous. 3-8It wasn't so long ago that we ourselves were stupid and stubborn, dupes of sin, ordered every which way by our glands, going around with a chip on our shoulder, hated and hating back. But when God, our kind and loving Savior God, stepped in, he saved us from all that. It was all his doing; we had nothing to do with it. He gave us a good bath, and we came out of it new people, washed inside and out by the Holy Spirit. Our Savior Jesus poured out new life so generously. God's gift has restored our relationship with him and given us back our lives. And there's more life to come—an eternity of life! You can count on this.

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