...With one notable exception. Rebekah and I had a delightful twenty minute conversation with our son, Andrew, courtesy of SKYPE. SKYPE, for those who don't know, is a computer program that allows us to talk via live video with anyone, anywhere in the world, who has the same program running at their end.
I still can't wrap my mind around the technology; but I can wrap my heart around the impact it has. There's Andrew, perched in his 36th floor apartment in a downtown high-rise in the middle of Bahrain's biggest city in the middle of the dessert - carrying his laptop computer around his home and showing us all the rooms and the spectacular views. And here we are, 8,000 miles away, siting in our kitchen, sipping coffee, sharing a moment with our son.
At the same time, I'm building a relationship with 20 participants in my first ever on-line workshop; people from literally all over the USA. This is a powerful technology, still developing faster than most of us can keep up, opening a world of connections.
Early this morning I opened an email I'd like to share, written by the commanding officer of a Naval base in the Pacific Northwest:
- I first would like to thank you for putting together three great books. Our Bible study group used your book “In my heart I carry a star” last year at advent and we have all tried to move toward the goal having that Christmas feeling all year long. We found the emphasis on connecting the Christmas celebration to that of the triumph of God at Easter. This week we are finishing up your most recent book on the unmaking of a part time Christian. We have all found your unique writing style and the stories of family and friends as a particularly rewarding in its natural connection to our own walk in faith and love of family and friends.... ...Thank you for your work. There are at least twenty people on the pilgrims path that have moved closer to Christ because of your books.God Bless....
The idea that we can encourage one another and strengthen faith and support people thousands of miles away in their journey as followers of Jesus - that is exciting and motivational and it makes me want to work all the harder to honor God in this ministry - wherever and however it takes me.
And so, Paul wrote to his friends in the Philippian Church, "If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others...."
Amen - DEREK