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July 26, 2021 2:00 am
What holds our hearts' attention and affection? Wendy Speake asks us to evaluate whether our phones are actually the ones sitting on the throne of our hearts.
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So you've got a lot of fasting over the years Dave food fast food fast what has been your longest and fast 21 days that I'm not always the nicest during the food fast. I should be okay. So what if it was a social media fast don't think what no I don't think I could do it deftly could do 21 days you got be connected to the world of interesting.
Sounds like it could be a little idle welcome to family life today where we want to help you pursue the relationship that matter most and will send it on Dave Wilson and you can find firstname.lastname@example.org or on our family life.
This is family life today. It sounds like it we got home she sitting right here today when the speak has been here before author of this 40 day sugar fast, which I should read and are here with triggers. Yeah, that's right here with triggers with Amberly talking about all of our parenting triggers yeah and I know will share lots of stories coming out that in a roundabout way.
All of these fasting backs have come out of really the triggers ministry really yeah we have.
You mentioned but you wrote a social media fasting book read for the social media fast which is why and brings us up when I even see that title I'm like honestly I can do a food fast the nothing is easy but when I think of doing a social media fast. That's why she asked conversations he had a conversation I said let's do this 40 day social media fast. He goes know that I will send Riley and I think other people can feel that as well and let's go back your married you have three sons, three sons, teenagers also now 13 my heroes strength, 15 and 17 a tight think of this book, you know, we haven't done lots of social media for them and we've set some some boundaries when they hit junior high if they would like to have an Instagram account.
It's on my phone and down when they're done with school and stuff that I think checking with their friends are for out doing something fun. They want to post something they compose something and there's not a lot of arguing over what their time limit is in seconds on my phone they just check in and then once they show that they are making wise choices about who they follow who follows them how they communicate online. I think the stakes were parents we taught them how you say yes me him at the grocery store we can be involved in how they learn to communicate in another realm. That was my thinking.
When I put that together. But as soon as it gets on their phone while it is still hard to not get swept away in the cultural norm for kids and how social media is being used and we think that we have an addiction. We just fall down virtual rabbit holes and watching YouTube videos.
There is a whole netherworld and other pressures that our kids are facing Wendy do you remember when you started using social media. I remember before I had a smart phone.
I was very smart and I got him thinking now smart, always smart that I do remember the first time someone came over for dinner and she had first generation iPhone, and she was using this term smart phone is know what that mean you like is mine a dumb phone.
I had a flip phone, and I remember I had a toddler and a baby and I was pregnant and I would put that flip phone down into the diaper bag and take him to the park and if my husband and tried to get a hold of me that I didn't even hear it and he would come on, what's the point of even having a phone, maybe if I get in an emergency. I can use it so I can get a hold of you. I didn't have an de-hands and I had always made the commitment that I would never talk on the phone when I was with my family unless like we were going somewhere and I need to make a reservation like to chat with someone when I'm already with someone else. I just set boundaries early on and I'm glad that I did, but man it seems like a smart phone.
It was easy to forget those boundaries and pick up a phone and use it as a form of escapism when life is stressful, which life stressful but I remember this friend coming over and she and her husband even joked about her found that it was her boyfriend. They used that term and I thought that though they gave it to Allawi. That's what I have called his phone. Oh, are you on the phone with your girlfriend yet will and it's not another person in the phone itself because it and a cute little adult will both idolatrous and adulterous in that you know something is pulling us away from our first love and isn't really that what we want to talk about. Is it possible that sometimes become an idol. If so, how late. If so, what should I do about it and I get asked all the time but is it bad, Wendy. Come on, that I would say well it's not good at being God and I'm reminded of Isaiah 55 tells us the story about the man who chopped down the tree and uses some of that wood to make a fire and by that fire. He warms himself and I would say Haywood is really good at being led and with that that same fire he warms up some food and I would say okay what is really good at doing that to and then he takes some of the wood and with it he carves an idol and I would say all the lid is not good at being a God. We need God to be God, so is social media bad grade for social media is you. Too bad it's great for YouTube and is LinkedIn good or bad, but it's very good at that. But if you're if your identity is wrapped up with it and if you're always focused on who seeing you and who you're seeing or I would say even your online apps for new sources. If the news has gotten in the way of the good news and you're opening yourself up to the knees before you open yourself up. The good news.
I would say is not good at being the good news. So is it bad now. That is not good at being God. So if the phone is on the throne and the throne of his then that's what were talking about and I think the question is how would we know that and Dave I wanted you to to do this because he came up with the question here was my digital test okay. So as you listen to these comment good or Instagram page or Facebook grade family life and comment and tell us how many but Jerome randomly question is do you answer yes to a loved one has told you that you have a problem with your phone or device, what would you would have to say yes to sitting writer. Second one you regularly do email, text Facebook while sitting on the toilet you just say that I believe he did say that our autos they are going busted you use our men do that than women are both don't think I have now come out of the door with a pen is not sitting with us like your husband is sitting here that leads you to everyone else. You go do a very good time so there was this the last thing you look at before you go to sleep first thing you look at when you wake up that said that said you talked about that in your book home 10 years ago was the first night I would do that if you could do that scratch that Jan and I reach over and off the side table or sometimes if I was really in a desperate state.
I had my my thin little Bible under my pillow.
I would wake up and I did reach in and grab it and I would just start reading from where I'd left off the day before and that was my morning routine of spending good time with the Lord. And even once I had children.
I remember people said even in that season you have to give God the firstfruits of your life of your day and I would wake up and there'd be a little kid like in my face and I learned early. I made the choice. Those aren't my firstfruits.
They don't belong to me because someone meets me in that moment.
And God has given me the privilege of being a mom and a wife, and when they need me. I'm available to them. So as soon as I have my firstfruits. I will get back to the Lord and so I would say until I spent time in his word. I don't want to do other things. Of course I didn't have a smart phone so I spent time in the word.
In the mornings as soon as I had time to spend and now we say that I don't have time for that, but we get to the end of our days and we can look at our phones and say, but I spent three hours and 26 minutes on my phone. I guess I did have some time today so yeah time came, where I reached over and I would pick up my phone and not my Bible and I would open up the Bible app except all these pains and rings and day notifying me that you know I had a comment from that thing I posted late last night and this and that but I'm going to get to the Eno Bible lab and opened it up and read it online. So yeah I go number out of the year three hours and 26 message pretty close to the average. That's pretty close to the average which is just here you think. I think this year it's supposed to hit about four hours a day, that there have been days where it's been seven. Do you know because honestly we can do a lot of our work there and we can stream our church video. If you're not back in the know gathering on Sunday mornings and you're watching church services online as you zoom. You can zoom from your phone and it's not just this is in a phone fast social media fast really. I would call it a screen fast.
If you're using all of you know your screens. I like the word devices and I like root words.
I think that devices can be divisive. We can be divided from the real life people who matter most. God first that our spouse, our children, our neighbors, the people in line, but with us at the grocery store and I will talk about all of this.
Maybe one by one will take it by the numbers. If it's not the most important thing in your life that you're spending more time with those online people then you are your real life people I would say your priorities are probably not what you would want them to be.
And so, what's the difference between a digital detox and spiritual fast help. Why is this a spiritual fast and if we were talking about food fasting then were not just doing a diet right we are going to fast from food and feast on our time with the Lord now hungry for for him and so the same as is true with social media were going to fast from being social, so that we can get social with the Lord and that's why it's different than just a digital detox riff and talk about your 40 day sugar fast because he saw some incredible results from that did that spur you on.
Then goodness these these things go hand in hand. They are really doing just even a little back story before that because we've sat around this table before and had a conversation and that was for triggers and even the sugar fast came out of that conversation because I was ministering to a group of moms online. His struggle with just overwhelmed, exasperated, even angry parenting go to bed feeling crummy about it every night and one day on social media. Ironically enough I said what would happen if we fasted from sugar for 40 days and we see what happens to our kids when they're all jacked up on Mountain Dew fruit snacks or whatever it is when they think that will II can see my kids and I knew as soon as my kids went down for naps.
I would go in my pantry and I grab a handful of chocolate chips to get me through 3 o'clock and make me stink and feel better for hop to be witching hour.
It is seriously so I would do that but then they would wake up and I wasn't more calm. I wasn't more kind. I wasn't more consistent. I would say I wasn't more Christlike than I know that when I turned to the Lord in my parenting angst in my marital angst and angst in life he actually gives me what I need for life and godliness, but this chocolate chips weren't and for other people is the 4th cup of coffee that is highly sugared with this sweet Italian cream and or the extra couple pumps of the vanilla syrup, peanuts. It's sugar and it's caffeine, and Christ has said such a loving invitation.
He said come to me when you are weary and heavy laden, didn't say Rainier pantry run through Starbucks or run the social media come to me and I'll give you what you need. I'll give you rest and I found that when I was running to the pantry. I wasn't sweeter say sugar doesn't make a mom sleep right and when I was running to my phone because I couldn't cope with the stress of my little children side run into the bathroom with my phone and just stay there for 15 minutes. It didn't actually help me cope with real life stress better. When I came back, but when I would go to the Lord. I turn on my worship, or I'd read a Psalm just to take a moment and say Lord you know where I'm struggling God. Here are my consistent struggles. This is how I'm responding.
You know it. How can I respond in a long-suffering way that's more like you and how you parent me then how I'm parenting them when I come to him. He gives my soul rest. He gives me perspective that social media doesn't do that and my chocolate chips don't do it either so that's really where it started. I didn't know I was starting a movement I just said is really off-the-cuff and hundreds of people at first and then thousand started signing ups about a second year. I think we had 8000 people sign up for the 40 day sugar fast and over hundred thousand people have done this whole now, but does US so how did it go out of that during the fast. I say God never asked us for a sugar sacrifice.
He asked us for a living sacrifice. So what else are you living for what else is getting in the way of living for him.
What else are you running to in little of running to him and en masse the responses for goodness sakes, is my phone is my phone.
I turned to my phone instead of turning to him all the live long day, so I'd say okay as soon as we're done with this online sugar fast that we do every January online. Let's all logoff. Let's go dark in order to experience the light of the world lets you know fast from social media and get social with the Lord. What kind of stories of come out of either of those fast like you are people responding. Great question, let me first tell you sugar fast, because those responses, the Lord is just moving big time.
I feel like God has given me this this front row seat to watch him move in people's lives do any people say this to you because this is my thing. Even with food like I deserve something now my kids are I, we just need to win so I think giving of myself all day even work right I deserve a little something for myself. I get that latte at starlight after I get that sweet tea or filet when I'm out running errands for the whole family and or that bowl of ice cream is a binge watch TV. I mean, you hear me bring up other things like coffee and Netflix. It's not just sugar and it's not just social media. Just start thinking broader about what it is you turned you and this is where the testimonies come in when you start turning to Christ instead of turning to whatever that is. Things start to change. You say yes God, I'd like you to change my my weight or what I'm eating, but he says I want to change your life, you'll lose weight if you don't eat sugar for 40 days you will, but you can gain faith and so that's with the testimonies often are are oftentimes women and men who have been in a deep intimate relationship with Christ for the majority of their lives have said to me, I have never experienced more intimacy with the Lord than during these 40 days or I remember there was one year where marriages were restored.
Thousands of people he liked. Maybe that years 15 to 20,000 people were doing it in this one group on Facebook. Together, the 40 day sugar fast on Facebook. It must've been four or five marriages that had split but were not yet divorced got back together during those 40 days a lot of healing for children. We talk a lot about how fasting is a time of intercession for others.
So we start interceding. There's a time where we go beyond even our own family and we start interceding for the world and we see God move in powerful ways. I don't even know what we could do a whole hour on testimonies I had one woman reach out and she sent me a message and she said Wendy I've been death for 10 years and during these 40 days. I got my hearing back all and I remember thinking because you know hi I'm I'm me and I was thinking okay God, but what happened like really what happened was there inflammation in the inner ear because you know sugar can lead to inflammation. That's why we have a lot of neck and back and joint. This wasn't an analogy that she was fizzing. It was just healed from from deafness auto during this and I remember thinking okay she lost her hearing 10 years ago which they are praying for her hearing to come back or was she just fasting to know the Lord and during that time the Lord said, and I've got this I got me IN the reward of fasting intimacy with me is what this is about but also I want to heal you and so people come thinking they have a sugar problem, but what they learn is that they actually had a God problem they had stopped turning to God. They started turning to food.
They stopped turning to God. They started turning to affirmation from this world online.
While I love you use one of the purses we use in our book vertical marriage. Jeremiah 213.zip which says my people have committed two sins.
They have forsaken me, and who a mind of his own reading, living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water. Yes, that's what they are yet to say yeah and so you saw that come to life. Absolutely.
When you are turning to you news sources and binge watching Netflix and even your morning cup of coffee or your afternoon glass of wine, man, couldn't we camp out there. If you are turning to that to get you through hard days you turning to the wrong thing. They are broken cisterns that can't hold water. So we we need to turn to the living water in Jeremiah is his essence go vertical known euros back on were the real source of life is what you said earlier that there's also people around us who love God and love others. The great Commandment a member and say in a sermon that I did years ago about digital deadly sins we call it that.
It wasn't like let's talk about porn. It was like this. It was like digital is awesome.
It's a wonderful gift think all the amazing things we have.
But if we let it.
If it gets in our land title and it becomes almost sinful that a member saying what's in front of you is more important than what's in your hand right and I know that I've missed moments Amir. One time CJ told us was having a birthday party that I missed half of it Was Gonna Work in Their Emails and Text. I Kept Looking down Instead of Letting Our or of a Member. I Miss the Party Just Sort of Miss the Party a Number Think after His Own Thoughts.
I Think Were Missing Life Yes and the First Maybe 10 Chapters Really Focus on Looking up Ashley and You Have the Book in Front of You.
Would You Open up the Scripture at the Very Very Beginning Is Such a Beautiful Tie-In Here.
This Went Okay. I Love This Because It Says This Book Is Dedicated to Those of Us Who Want to Want God. Most Grab Our Phones More, and Then You Have Colossians 31 and Two from the Message That Says Pursue the Things over Which Christ Presides. Don't Shuffle along Eyes to the Ground, Absorbed with the Things Right in Front of You Look up and Be Alert to What Is Going on around Christ.
That's Where the Action Is See Things from His Perspective. That's Where the Action Us and I Love It so Much and There's a Chapter in the Book, and One Day I Got a Come Back and Talk to You Guys Because I Want to Write a Whole Book Called Grocery Stories and Live in the Groceries Your Life That I Think of the Good Samaritan and Tripping over the the Wounded Man on the Side of the Road Because Our Noses Are in Our Phones Would We Even See the Needs around Us. So the First Time I Fasted from Social Media. I Made a Very Specific Intention to Keep My Phone in My Purse or in My Pocket, and If I Needed to Write out My My List on an Actual Piece of Paper Rather Than on a Note on, You Know. Note Page on My Phone and I Would Do That but My Phone Away When I Was Grocery Shopping. I Started Having Gospel Interactions in the Store. I Remember There Was One. It Was a Woman Is Actually outside of the Store I Was Unloading My Things in the Car and There Was a Woman Who Was Bent over Her Her Steering Wheel and Her Shoulders Were Shaking As an Older Woman.
She Was Crying and I Knocked on the Window and Asked If I Could Come in and Pray for Her Pre-COBIT.
Of Course, and She Let Me and She Said That Her Husband Had Died within the Year and Going to the Grocery Store Is One of Her Biggest Triggers Because She's Cooking for One Person and That That Should the Heart Ache a Bit and Then I Was Able to Just Show Love Another Woman Was Aggressive with Me at the Grocery Store. One of My Children. He Had Bonked or Something Just Looked with Compassion.
I Wasn't Multitasking I Was Available and I Was Checking out with Flowers and after I Checked out She Was Walking out the Door and I Gave My Son after Her and Just Give Her This Flowers and He Did That and She Came Packaged in Tears Hugged Me. She Just Needed Some Tenderness, but I Wasn't Multitasking I Was on Task. You Know, My Eyes Were You Saw Has Been Lifted. Another Time I Invited Someone to Church with Us at Christmas Time Because It Became Even after My Fast. I'm Not Going to Be on My Phone When I'm at the Grocery Store Is Another Guy. He Was in a Wheelchair. He Couldn't Reach the Taco Seasoning and I Thought It Was Just an Exchange of Availability Smile Is Another Time of Someone behind the Counter Helping Cut Meat for Me and I Had Had a Really Hard Day and I Had Been Crying and He Didn't Really Look at Me Said How Was Your Day and I Said It Was Hard, but It's Okay Hard Days. God's Given Us Another Opportunity of Trust in Morning and He Started Crying Help Most People. I Cry with at the Grocery Store Now and He Said Do You Think That's What the Hard Days Are for That We Would Trust God More. I Said I Do I Do. And These Are Just the Top of My I Love It Because I'm Looking at the Thoughts Where the Action Is That We Live, You Know, We Live in a Culture Look Looking down Is Is Commonplace to Me When You're Saying That I Was Literally Thinking Picture 21-year-old College Kid Man Who Just Got on His Knees and Surrenders His Life to Jesus in That Prayer Literally Says about Me into This Woman Who I Know Is on Fire. I Need to Grow. I Don't Know Anybody Else That Could Help Me Grow the Next Day He's Welcome by the Tennis Court Where She's Playing Tennis, but He Doesn't See Her Because He Is Looking down at His Phone and He Misses It. I Think Were Missing out A Lot I Say in the Book. This We Mismatch When We Share Much Yeah Because Were Very There Was a Time after the First Communitywide Where I Invited Others.
After the Sugar Faster Than Go Dark. You Shut down Social Media and Just Present the Kids and in God's Word. Let's Feast on the Real Life People, Not the Online People and She Wrote Back and She Said Wendy I Saw My Kids Face As More and They Saw My Face. My Face Was up and What's More, She Said, Is the More Enjoyable.
I Really Believe That and I Wrote Back and I Said, Sarah.
I Guarantee It.
They Were More Enjoyable Because Our Children Have Learned That They Want Our Attention, and so They Learn Negative Ways to Get Our Attention.
But When They Have Your Intentions.
They Don't Have To Get Your Attention There Behalf That I Bet Your Children's Behavioral Issues Were Less of a Problem Because They Were Fighting for Your Attention and so One of the Times I Remember during One of the Early Fast. I Was Sitting at the Kitchen Table.
Ironically, I Was Making a Grocery List.
I Think Because I Couldn't Even IPhone and My Kids Were in the Pool outside and They Started Yelling Come Here and I Looked up and I Saw outside the Window That There Was This Massive Butterfly Migration. I Had Never Seen Anything like It. I Don't Mean Lots of Butterflies. I Mean, You Can't See through the Butterfly Warming around My Children and I Got to Run out There and Thought I Phones in My Room Because That's Where I Would Leave It When I Was with My Family and so I Intended to Go Get the Phone Back Is a Member.
Note I'm Not Going to Put a Facebook Life.
I'm Going to Live This Moment with My Children and I Ran out There and They're All Climbing Out Of the Pool, but in the Cold, Wet Arms around the Middle and and Just Clapping Hands and Been so Excited and We Start Counting 12345 We Got to Multiple Hundreds Together.
I Would Not Have Counted to Multiple Hundreds of Butterflies.
If I Was Also Trying to Do Video Bed and I'm Sure Many Other People in San Diego California Had a Videotaped I Could Probably Do a Search on YouTube Right Now I Outlined It in the Relive It There.
The High Live Debt. I Lived It, and I Remember at One Point My Oldest to Us.
He Was Probably about 13 at the Time He Yelled Job God and I Remembered We Locked Eyes and Shared This Moment Because When He Was Itty-Bitty. That's What I Told My Kids Praise Less Is Telling Someone a Really Great Job and That Basketball Game.
I Gave Him Praise Right. Why Don't We Give Praise to God When We See Him Do Something Phenomenal in Our Relationships Are in a Sense That We Get to God. So All These Years Later He Help Gauge Shotgun and I Was Fully Present. I Was Not Recording It. I Wasn't Wondering How Many People Were Liking It. I Was Just There. Say Yes to the Eyes up Living with You, I Would Say to Your Listener or If There's Any Thing You Do Today Is a Result of Listening to This Broadcast Drives Are Really Your You're Going to See Everything You Just Said Wendy Piercy Life Life Happening Are You Missing up Looking down His 21-year-old College Could Who Are Both Outscored and Didn't See the Girl That Is Just What He Was Eating Was Me That I Didn't Have a Phone Then That I Saw and and Here We Are… Think of Theirs and Not Three Kids. There's No Church Started Were Not Family Life Host. We May Not Ever Date If I Missed That Moment There She Is.
There's the Answer My Prayer and so Much of Us Miss Right in Front of You Life. And We Know and We Miss Hearing God or so of Same or Different Things We Miss Hearing God's Voice. Don't Know Who Said It First Heard Wherever You Are, Be All There. That's Part of What When You Speakers Been Encouraging Us to Do Today As She Challenges Us to Consider a Fast from Social Media Fast from Anything That Is Removing Us from the Real Life That's Happening All around Us. Our Relationships with Our Spouse with Our Kids with Our Friends and Our Relationship with God Is and Wilson Mentioned the PM Wendy Has Mapped out for Us All Way to Engage in a 40 Day Social Media Fast. She's Subtitled Her Book Exchanger Online Distractions for Real-Life Devotion.
That's a Great Challenge. We Would Love to Send You a Copy of Wendy's Book.
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