12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You - Part 2

“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything…”All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. (1 Corinthians 6:12; 10:23)  Reinke’s epigraph is no throwaway coin of wisdom, it comes from the Apostle Paul, and it’s the lens through which Christians ought to examine their smartphone use.

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Rachael CollinsComment
12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You

Here is a book that you and I need badly. (I struggled to read it at times because it made me hyper aware of how much more quickly I could get through it if I wasn’t constantly touching my phone.) All of us know there are significant changes that have taken place for those of us who have our phones in near constant reach - but it’s hard to untangle the good from the bad and the inherent qualities of the technology and the user.

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Closer than a Sister by Christina Fox

She writes “when…we look at what she has and think ‘My life would be better if I had what she has’ we are seeking our contentment outside of Christ”. She goes on to encourage us that “finding our meaning in Christ keeps us focused on the work He has for us rather then what He is doing in the lives of others. Instead of comparing our story to someone else’s, we joyfully live out the one God wrote for us”.

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Part 2 - Made for More by Emily Cobb

‘It turns out we were made for another world, and although we’re not there yet there is so much to be gained in following Jesus right now. No-one can love you more or offer you more satisfaction, meaning and purpose, both now and eternally. Please, give up living for yourself and turn to Jesus. We really were made for more.’

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Made for More by Emily Cobb

What do you long for? This is the question that Emily Cobb asks. I know that I long for my friend’s cancer to be cured. I long for the people I love to turn to Jesus and follow him with their whole hearts. But I also spend far too much time longing for a new pair of shoes, or a holiday, or more sleep and less work. I have to keep reminding myself to be thankful for what I have, rather than longing for what I don’t have.

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Rachael CollinsComment
Inheritance of Tears by Jessalyn Hutto

Knowing what to say to someone who’s had a miscarriage is really hard. I’ve been reminded of this recently after three wonderful women in our church shared with me the grief and horror of their recent miscarriages. Miscarriages, and infertility more generally, are really hard topics to talk about because they’re deeply personal by nature which means that sometimes people aren’t ready to share their struggle. And when someone is hurting or confused, our quick-fix comments can actually be inadvertently careless and insensitive. Or our desire not to offend means we find it easier to not say anything at all, leaving the women (and men) who are grieving feeling isolated or forgotten in their pain. So, what can we say or how can we love and encourage someone who’s experienced a miscarriage? And how can we bring the beautiful truth of the Bible into these conversations and care?

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Rachael CollinsComment
Part 4 Questioning Evangelism by Randy Newman

We follow an amazing Master, have a listen, “If you love those who love you, what reward will you get?” (Matthew 5:46), “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” (Matthew 6:27), “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” (Matthew 7:3), “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (Mark 4:40), “Do you love me?” (John 21:17).

These are just some of the thought-provoking, searching, passionate, deep, probing questions Jesus asks as he walks alongside his disciples. In the course of his ministry the gospels record Jesus asking 307 questions - that’s an awful lot! The people he ministers to ask him 183 questions. And here’s something truly surprising: He answers only three of them. Overwhelmingly, asking questions is a huge part of Jesus’ ministry and Newman thinks we have much to learn from the Master.

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Rachael CollinsComment
Part 3 Questioning Evangelism by Randy Newman

In reading this book I’ve become more and more aware of how much I avoid asking questions and my two reasons why. The first is that I’m more your ‘stand up comedian friend’ and less your ‘therapist friend’. My conversation style is observational - I value honesty and humour and connect mainly by adding things to a conversation and less by drawing things out from others. Secondly, asking questions is so personal and has the potential to be invasive - questions can take you right to the pointy edge of an issue. Newman, however is a master at getting people to this space and using questions to create opportunities for mindset shift. He calls this dialoguing to the point of despair:

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Rachael CollinsComment
Part 2 Questioning Evangelism by Randy Newman

Some people are brilliant at small talk and starting conversations. I was eating at a Lebanese restaurant with my husband and young son when a friendly guy (also with a young son) sitting several tables away caught the eye of my husband and said, “How’s life?” And then they started talking. I had assumed that they must know each other from the park or around the traps. No. They had never met before. This guy just confidently threw a line out there and my husband went with it.

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Rachael CollinsComment
Questioning Evangelism by Randy Newman

How would you respond if a friend said to you, “Religion’s a private matter, we don’t need anyone to evangelise.”? Would you stay silent? Perhaps you’d be tempted to launch straight into rebuttal, ready to fire off your points about freedom of speech one after the other. Or could you respond by simply asking a question? Could you keep the conversation going by asking warmly, “Why do you feel that way? I’d love to hear more about why you think that - Are you religious?...”

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Rachael CollinsComment