CONNECTION, noun [Latin See Connect.] The act of joining or state of being joined; a state of being knit or fastened together; union by junction, by an intervening substance or medium, by dependence or relation, or by order in a series; a word of very general import. There is a connection of links in a chain; a connection between all parts of the human body; a connection between virtue and happiness, and between this life and the future; a connection between parent and child, master and servant, husband and wife; between motives and actions, and between actions and their consequences. In short, the word is applicable to almost every thing that has a dependence on or relation to another thing.

Webster’s Dictionary, 1828

Digital Publishing, the Church, and Reformation: Part 1

Over 3.5 billion people now have internet access. I’ve heard speculation that the over the next 10 years, its likely that there will be approximately 4 billion (confirm) new users coming online for the first time.

Many of these new users are skipping right over accessing the internet via desktop or laptop, and going straight to mobile devices. And while the $4 smart phone in India may not pan out, it illustrates the way technology is getting more affordable and expanding into unreached markets.

Google and Elon Musk are in a creative collaboration to bring high speed internet to the entire planet. Google has experimented with using low level hot air balloons to bring internet to rural areas of India.

Inexpensive mobile devices mixed with billions of new users and the growth of books in e-formats? The reach of e-books seems limitless.

In the U.S. we’ve experienced an interesting combination of slow (over 20+ years) and fast growth of internet and digital technology infiltrating nearly every aspect of our lives. It isn’t just the tech geeks eagerly adopting the latest and greatest. We use tech to read books, order groceries, hail a cab, check the weather, pay for coffee… and these are just “entry level” uses.

While the term “Information Superhighway” is a bit dated now and seems quaint, information is still one of the most valuable commodities of modern tech expansion. Beyond Google and Wikipedia being our go-to for info, access to research, news, and books can be found with a few easy searches.

Amazon has been key in the normalization of digital books and e-readers, despite the protests of avid readers pledging their undying love for physical books. Barnes and Noble and its Nook, Kobo, iBooks and others are helping expand the inexpensive distribution e-books worldwide.

Taking a step back — inexpensive mobile devices mixed with billions of new users and the growth of books in e-formats? The reach of e-books seems limitless. This is fascinating to me as a book lover who does marketing for her author husband. The opportunities and markets are growing and vast parts of the world’s population will so be new consumers.

Even more exciting, though? The huge opportunity for the Church.

The written word has been instrumental in the growth and preservation of God’s Word through the ages.

The Reformation would not have happened were it not for the catalyst of Johannes Gutenberg and the movable type printing press.

The Hebrew scribes painstakingly copied the Torah and Hebrew Bible. Centuries before Christ, it was customary for almost all Hebrew young men to be taught to read in order that they could read the holy books.

The bounds of orthodoxy were reinforced by the Councils of Nicea, Constantinople and Chalcedon, and much of the discussion surrounding the theological questions in question are preserved in written form.

The Reformation would not have happened were it not for the catalyst of Johannes Gutenberg and the movable type printing press. First the Bible became more readily available in Latin, and then in the vernacular. Martin Luther and other reformers wrote pamphlets which were widely read and spread quickly throughout Europe.

Just a few year ago, I wouldn’t have considered the e-book the world-changing equivalent of the printing press — but I’m beginning to wonder?

 

Could digital publishing combined with mobile devices spark a worldwide reformation?

 

 

 

(This is Part 1 of a series related to digital publishing, the Church, missions, and Reformation.)

“Perfectionism is a mean, frozen form of idealism, while messes are the artist’s true friend. What people somehow (inadvertently, I’m sure) forgot to mention when we were children was that we need to make messes in order to find out who we are and why we are here. . .”

–Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

A Theme for Twenty-Seventeen

What is your word for 2017?

I think it is great to have a theme or organizing principle for different seasons in life. It helps me prioritize my energies and serves as a catalyst for growth.

Yet I admit… I’ve been resistant to choosing a “word of the year” for ages — simply because it’s a popular thing to do. Even when it may be helpful, I bristle at adopting something that might seem trendy. Prideful much?

Over the past few months, however, the same theme keeps coming to the surface. In my journalling, my prayer time, my discussions with my husband. . .

So when I listened to Gretchen Rubin’s What’s Your One Word Theme for the New Year?, the word came to mind again and I really knew I had to dedicate 2017 to this idea.

Connected.

A whole-orbed connectedness.

Connected to God.
Connected to myself, body and soul.
Connected to my husband.
Connected to my teens and young adults.
Connected to all my kids.
Connected to my community.

Connected. I feel the Lord has set in front of me the need to really be connected in this season in life — especially connecting to Him and to my teens.

Connected is my theme for 2017.

 

 

**I balk at trendy things, but love Gretchen Rubin? Yes, I have my inconsistencies.

This day,
In sadness borne,
We must confess:
The Spirit of the Age
Has crushed
The infant in the cradle.

And yet:
O glorious yet,
One day, in gladness shown,
We must profess:
The infant from the manger
Has crushed
The Spirit of the Age.

Tristan Gylberd (1954-)

(used with permission)

Solstice 2016

 

Solstice Banner

 

 

“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
on them has light shone. …

For the yoke of his burden, and the staff for his shoulder,
the rod of his oppressor, you have broken…

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God,
Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace.

(from Isaiah 9 ESV)

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

(from John 8 ESV)

Remembering David

david-fetzer

Today we remember David Fetzer. He was a creative soul — director, actor, musician. He was one of my brother’s closest friends, and very dear to my parents as well. Four years ago, he died from an unintentional prescription drug overdose. He had been getting help. It wasn’t suicide — all signs pointed to him trying to get free from addiction.

David Fetzer was a creative soul — director, actor, musician.

Similarly, about eight years ago, our neighbor’s son died from an unintentional prescription drug overdose. Again, he was at the point of getting help.

Please take some time to read this article by David’s mother about how dependence on prescription drugs can happen slowly, and how hard it is to break free.

Shifting Sands. . . and Teens

Life has shifted.

My oldest has been away at college for three years. The next three teens graduate high school in the next three years. One right after another.

I had four kids in five years when I was in my 20s.

It was exciting, it was fun, it was exhausting.

Well-meaning people would be sympathetic to the work and energy required, and would offer advice and encouragement. “remember, they are little for such a short time!” I embraced that. The days are long and the years are short, was my mantra when I was knee-deep in laundry and nursing and noise.

What those well-meaning people didn’t remember to say was that they are only teens for a short time, too. One day they would all be starting high school, then I would blink, and they would be gone.

We did treasure the early years. We have happy memories of making play dough and building pyramids and the Sphinx. We did treasure the middle years. We built our family traditions. Even now the kids know to expect socks and underwear in their Christmas stickies, along with some candy and an orange — a tradition started during our leanest years when I tried to make the gifts under the tree look more abundant with necessities.

Your memories are likely much like mine, full of funny family stories and laughter. You were intentional, investing your time and yourself into your children. Even when you remember the struggles, I bet overall you feel like it has been a joy.

Life is good now, too. Yet, I feel a shift in our family dynamics — and something isn’t quite how I want it.

I don’t have the energy I once had, and the intense emotional and intellectual needs of teens is hard. I’ve felt myself become more distracted — distracted both by the logistics of life and the technology right at hand.

I love my teens dearly, and we’ve been a close family. Yet, I get surprised by what I don’t know about them. I’m sad that we aren’t as attached as we once were. I know that they are growing and maturing and that is good — and at the same time, I feel like we can get to a place of being more connected.

This has been on my mind a lot lately. It’s been in my conversations with Hubby and even with the teens. I don’t want us to just drift through these last years at home and drift apart. We need connection.