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Friday, November 14, 2008

Don't Miss God's Messages to You Today

Tell me what your preferred method of communication is, and I bet I can guess how old you are.

If you rely on telephones and voice mail, you are probably reading this through bifocals.

If you prefer email and instant messages, I’d guess you’re growing a wrinkle at this very moment because you are most likely in your 30s.

If you mainly use social networks such as Facebook and text messaging, you’re probably under 25. In fact, the youth ministry for which I work texts deadline reminders to kids and has a Facebook group designed to keep everyone on the same page, no pun intended. Students routinely tell us, “Don’t email me; Facebook or text me.”

Some of my “40-something” friends have begun texting their own children, even when they are in the house together! You may be scratching your head at that, but if you really want to get your teen’s attention, text him or her occasionally. If you want to send her a compliment without getting the bogus but ever-popular “eye-roll of annoyance” in return, text her.

While the effort might seem extraneous, think of texting as leaving a note in the lunch box, which I’ll bet you’ve done. You can text your child a private family joke, ask if he’s OK or send an encouraging message (“praying for you”), or even a favorite scripture.

Of course, texting can’t replace face-to-face communication, but you can make an appointment for a deeper discussion later. In the meantime, you’ve touched base with each other. And since texting is a private communication, it can be confidentially pragmatic when you get a heads-up message that goes something like this: “Alexis is going to ask me to spend the night. Please say no.”

Any activity or gizmo that takes up so much time in our lives is bound to have spiritual implications. Group Magazine offers great questions to ask your teen about communication: “Does technology simplify or complicate your life? Do you like always being reachable? Why or not? How open are your communication lines with God?”

When I read that last question, something in my spirit quickened. I wondered how open my communication lines are with God.

For instance, I’ve noticed that whether my daughter and her friends are engaged in a birthday party or movie or ball game, when they receive a message, they discreetly check it right away. They seem to be always accessible through texting. Am I just as accessible to God, or does he wait in the sidelines of my busyness for me to get back with him when it’s convenient for me?

I want to be completely open and available to God. Whatever I’m busy with at work or home, if he arrests my attention for one moment, I want to stop in my tracks and check in through prayer. After all, God is not limited to influencing us only through Bible reading or sermons or long periods of prayer. He also gives us timely warnings, nudges us to help others and inspires much-needed ideas for newspaper columns and Internet devotionals!

May we be as attentive to his voice as we are to our cell phones. May we be as quick to respond to God as Samuel was:
“The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ Then Samuel said, ‘Speak, for your servant is listening’” (1 Samuel 3:10).

Everyone loves a note in the lunch box--don’t miss God’s messages to you throughout your day!

Things to think about:

1. When was the last time God got your attention in the middle of an impossibly busy moment?

2. Is your prayer life a balance of your speaking and listening, or is your speaking weighted more heavily than listening?

3. Today, jot down all of the times you sense that God is re-directing your attention. Ask him if he has a message for you in those moments.

4. If you have teens, take time to discuss the communication questions in this article.

For further reflection:

John 10:12: “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”

Isaiah 55:3: “Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David.”

Isaiah 30:21: “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’”

Please visit Linda Crow at her personal blog:

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Blogger Denise said...

Such an awesome devotion dear.

November 14, 2008 at 12:36 AM  
Blogger lmerie said...

Great verses and thoughts to start this Friday with.

Thank you, will be listening for His voice!

November 14, 2008 at 6:53 AM  
Blogger Deven said...

Wow. Lots to think about this morning...

November 14, 2008 at 7:55 AM  
Blogger LauraLee Shaw said...

Okay, you got me! You guessed my age by my preferred communication methods. This is an excellent analogy, and one I will be going over with my kids later this morning. I find, if I am open, humble and listening, that He is quick to call my attention to situations I would have missed otherwise. And I miss it a LOT unfortunately.

Love this:
After all, God is not limited to influencing us only through Bible reading or sermons or long periods of prayer. He also gives us timely warnings, nudges us to help others and inspires much-needed ideas for newspaper columns and Internet devotionals!


November 14, 2008 at 7:58 AM  
Blogger Sandy said...

Great devotion. I love this blog. I just found it and put your button on my blog.

Sandy Cooper

November 14, 2008 at 8:19 AM  
Blogger Christa said...

This is something to think about, yes! Great devotion and oh so true. I have all those accounts to help me keep in touch with my kids (adults now)

God bles

November 14, 2008 at 9:00 AM  
Blogger Laurie Ann said...

So much food for thought. I'll never look at texting the same way again! I love your perspectives and questions here. Great devotion!

November 14, 2008 at 9:22 AM  
Blogger Woman on a Mission said...

Very thought provoking.

November 14, 2008 at 9:45 AM  
Blogger Melanie @ This Ain't New York said...

Great post. I hope I am listening!

November 14, 2008 at 9:53 AM  
Blogger karin said...

Can't figure out how old I am because I've gone with the times, lol. Excellent devotional thoughts. Every time I open the Bible I see that God has been 'texting' me again! I'm really looking to HIM for wisdom in what to text or comment to the grandchildren.

November 14, 2008 at 10:14 AM  
Blogger Michele Williams said...

Great devotion! So true... My mother's generation prefers phone calls and old fashion letter writing.... Letter writing? who does that any more! lol... Thanks again for making me think about my relationship with the Lord. Bless you dear.

November 14, 2008 at 10:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great devotion! I use for SMS, Facebook and Myspace communication with my teen.

November 14, 2008 at 10:56 AM  
Blogger Esthermay said...

OH! So true and so sad that we sacrifice precious time with GOD for 21st Century Gizmo's. How many of us do our Bible Study OnLine, for goodness sakes?!

In ministry - my husband and I see this first hand and up-close. Even well-meaning, spirituall grounded church members (even us old people over 40 --) have slowly turned thier backs on Bible Study and Prayer time. Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting is replaced with "Social Hour." Sunday Night Service is replace with "Movie Night." The PrayChain is now done via e-mail and texting. What would Martin Luther and Charles Wesley think. How about GOD! It is no wonder people are SEARCHING!!! God is no-where to be found -- even in church!
What would happen if a new church opened that disallowed Gizmo's. Would anyone attend? Makes ya' think.
Wonderful devotion, Linda!

November 14, 2008 at 11:26 AM  
Blogger Joanne Sher said...

Excellent thoughts/devotional! Those little "God moments" can sometimes be more impactful - if you pay attention to them - than those long "quiet times" with Him. Thanks for reminding me to listen for them!

November 14, 2008 at 1:32 PM  
Blogger Renna said...

What a very thought provoking perspective!

I'm an over 50 who actually prefers e-mails and texting to telephone calls, though. ;-)

November 14, 2008 at 6:45 PM  
Blogger Darnelle said...

All of my kids are techno geeks who insist on using whatever is the latest form of communication (on their own dollar I might add :) I kept up through email, and instant msg., and texting, but I'm drawing the line at Twitter. Takes too much time. They'll just have to be embarrassed when their old-fashioned Mother sends a plain old text. HA HA!

Kidding aside, you always write a relevant word. I think, more than ever, God desires, even craves, the attention of his people. I think we'd be shocked to know exactly HOW MUCH He really wants to say to us. I so want to slow down and pay attention. I don't want to miss a message from the most important message giver of all!

November 14, 2008 at 8:00 PM  
Blogger Buffy said...

Thank you for this timely reminder. I think God talks to us a lot more often than we realise, and probably in ways we wouldn't dream of.

November 15, 2008 at 10:42 AM  
Blogger Angie said...

Yup! I quite agree...although I am nearing 47---I can facebook--but I sometimes forget to check it weekly...and I can text...but I have to use both hands...e-mail is getting overwhelming! IT IS FULL! YIKES!
I loved this post!

November 17, 2008 at 10:33 AM  

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