Friday, June 19, 2009

The Strange World of the Internet

I am struck lately by our obsession with all things internet. Now, mind you, I am not preaching here. I have fallen victim to overuse at times myself. And I tell myself that if I were not cruisin' the net while watching t.v., I'd just be watching t.v. which I can't stand to do without something else going on. For some it's just an outright addiction. And as I peruse blogs, Facebook, websites, etc., etc., I am feeling just a little creeped out by this whole "putting your life out there for all the world to read." I have a blog and at times, I probably say more than I should or than anyone would really want to know. But there are people who literally put every intimate thought on an internet page that any stranger can read. And people who "chat" with other people who have the same interests, but will never ever meet. Why do we do that?!

My theory is this: part of the reason is that we long for connectivity and we have become so independent and disconnected with people that we are satisfied with internet "friends". Never actually "talk" to them, just watch and maybe message them. It's easy to put a completely different personna out there and hide behind our computers. Another theory: we use it as an escape from what we really need to be doing or from the stresses of every day life. It's an avoidance technique. Neither of these reasons is really that healthy.

I'm NOT saying it's all bad for sure. I have reconnected with childhood friends, stayed in touch with people I would not have in any other format, allowed it to become my "letter writing" for family and close friends. It has helped me to get to know people I already know better and to find out we have things in common that draw us together. But it still strikes me as a little weird. Do I really need to know every detail of what's going on in the world and in the lives of people I don't know? What is it about the human condition that we are so compellingly drawn to all things internet? Are we that bored with our real lives?

Do you have sites you visit or people you chat with that no one knows you have? And why is that? Do you spend hours reading blogs of people you will never meet? What is it you are afraid you are missing out on? Do you not have enough real live relationships in your life? What is it about your past that you can't move on from?

Again, a disclaimer here: I ask this because I have found myself searching to see if I can learn what happened to people from my past. Some of them it would be fun to see again, but I probably never will and many I wouldn't care to. I have looked for people who share my interests - do I not have enough people around me that share my interests? I have sought out information about people whose lives are train wrecks - celebrity or otherwise. And thus, my curiosity about our human curiosity.... something to ponder.

Friday, June 12, 2009


I haven't blogged much lately because I am too busy enjoying my favorite time of the year. We have been having awesome summer weather! I love wearing shorts or skirts and flip flops. No bundling. No goosebumps. No snow. No bad roads. Beautiful loooonnng sunny days! I love summer!!!! I know it's not officially summer yet, but we have had enough temps in the 80's to make it feel like summer is here to stay.

It makes my day to have just a half hour or 45 minutes to sit out on the deck in the mid morning with iced tea and my MP3 for tunes. It totally energizes me. It makes me have a very upbeat positive outlook to meet the challenges of the day. I think, I pray, I rest. It makes me grateful.

I know, I know....I should feel that way every day. But something about summer just makes it easier for me. And I'm hoping for a long, hot one!!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

"Outside the Walls"

I have to admit that I am still a little in awe of the "success" of Timberview's "Outside the Walls" project yesterday. Over 300 people turned out to do service projects in the community in Jesus' name. I haven't heard all the stories yet, but I want to share about my experience.

Our team volunteered at our nearby high school -Mt. Spokane where our kids attended (and graduated she added proudly!). Our hope was to be able to reside, paint, and build a new door for an athletic shed much in need of repair. With the help of donations from our local lumber store, Ziggy's (thank you very much, Dean and Vern), several guys on our team did the carpentry work and then others painted (two coats!) all siding and trim (navy blue and maroon - school colors, of course). We had enough people to also scour the entire property for trash and also a team that did weeding under the bleachers (not the most pleasant job, but done with great enthusiasm!). Three guys also did an entire cleanup up of the baseball dugouts and improved the walkways, as well as hauling off the collected trash and some other no longer needed items. Our whole team was awesome and I think everyone loved the experience. One student from our church youth group came BY HIMSELF (no support from friends or family and he didn't know any of us) and jumped in and worked so hard side by side with the team. Keith and Travis both talked to him and I was told he is a senior at the school and just wanted to get involved with the project and just wanted to give back!!! As Pastor Glenn would say, "HOW COOL IS THAT!?"

One of the most rewarding parts, of course, was when the Mt. Spokane baseball coach arrived with his team for a game. He was amazed and so grateful. He wanted a list of names so he could thank each team member individually. He has gotten parent volunteers at times, but NEVER a church group willing to give up a Sunday. Impressed doesn't describe his reaction.

I think "Outside the Walls" spoke volumes about the heart of Timberview. I think it said WAY more than Pastor Glenn could ever say on a Sunday. It put us out there with folks who might never be exposed to church life any other way. It said we are about putting our faith into action. Can't wait to hear about the ripple effects of this unconventional ministry!