Convenience and connectivity cost too much

Convenience comes at a price. It may seem paradoxical, but usually that price is measured in the loss of health. Convenience purports to save time, but we don’t seem to be better off in that area, do we? Often, too, we pay dearly in monetary cost.

Take as an example fast food and eating out in general. Americans are dying at the drive-thru of McDonald’s and Taco Bell. We supposedly eat at such places because our time is limited. Our time is limited because we’re working two jobs, or two or more people in the household are employed to pay for the meals that we don’t have time to fix.

We’re also connected to so many gadgets. Supposedly, connectivity translates into convenience. But does it really? The texting thumbs usually churn out little besides foolishness.

Christians are as bad as pagans on this score. We howl about homosexuality, but emit nary a whimper about the Golden Arches. Quality of life is not measured in possessing buzzing electronics and wolfing down nuked burgers, Lk 12.15. You cannot serve God and convenience.

Reminds one of Jeroboam setting up the golden calves in Dan and Bethel. “It is too much trouble for you to go up to Jerusalem. Look, Israel, here are your gods who brought you up from the land of Egypt” 1Kgs 12.28 NET. Do the convenient thing, was his argument. You know how well that worked out. Convenience and connectivity are our modern idols set up from one end of the land to the other.

¶ Sometimes pagans get it before God’s people do. The whole simplicity movement seems to recognize that convenience and connectivity come at too great a price. We might learn something there. Remember that Jesus said that “the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their contemporaries than the people of light” Lk 16.8. Here’s where we might take a page from them.

¶ A couple of new stories are up on Brotherhood News, one about locations for baptism, the other on a church sign accused of stirring controversy. BNC is a harder site to maintain by volunteers, since people aren’t so good about submitting stories. That means we have to run after them and keep our antennas up.

We have a few folks like Glenda Williams and Jamie Suiter who are helpful in that regard. May God multiply their tribe.

¶ The photo below, taken by our daughter-in-law Valerie Matheny, of The Missus and me with our granddaughter Tessa, has gotten a bit of attention. We were staying with them this past Sunday morning. They live just behind the church building in Mt Juliet TN, so we walked to the meeting. Turns out I wasn’t the only one who liked the photo. It’s been liked by no small number and even shared by others.

To church with the granddaughter

To church with the granddaughter

¶ Yesterday, our paths here in the US crossed with another missionary couple in Brazil, Nick and Amy Fowler. We had lunch together and enjoyed a rare moment. As far as we live from each other, some 3,000 km, we don’t often see each other. The Fowlers are in the fifth year on the field, overseen by the Mt Juliet TN congregation.

In Brazil there are ever fewer full-time missionaries. The national church is growing, but the country is so large, every hand is needed. Know of anyone interested?

¶ Needing new study material for your Bible class or small group? We got you covered. From Job to Mark to Acts, from salvation to making right choices to evangelism. Give Barbara a call for special rates on quantities. I think we offer something like that.

We need to set up again our online store on Forthright Press. After our web move, the old one got left behind. But you’re still just an email or phone call away from an order.

¶ Looking out the back window of our son’s house a few days ago, I saw robins, blue jays, cardinals, and squirrels in and around the oak trees. Not hard to figure out where you are with that kind of sight. And when you see genuine love among brethren and a devotion to practice and preach the truth of the gospel, it’s not hard to determine where you are either. I’ll soon leave these latitudes, but I pray I may never abandon the blessed church of Jesus Christ.