sneak peek chapter 1: welcome to the Land of Shiny Things

Today’s post is an except from the first chapter of  @stickyJesus: How to Live Out Your Faith Online by Tami Heim and Toni Birdsong.

Look around. Welcome to the Land of Shiny Things. Your citizenship was not overtly solicited but gradually you made your way here. You are an unwitting but active, dues-paying resident.

The Land of Shiny Things is a finely manicured mental, spiritual, and physical subdivision of our universal domain. It is the cookie-cutter context that wraps itself around your mind daily, and for lack of an intuitive escape route, you fall into it way to easily.

It  begins to define itself when you hit the snooze on the digital alarm in the morning. You point the remote at the television and an impersonal, albeit strangely comforting hum paints a layer over the room . . . and over your thoughts.

The morning sun rises in supernatural splendor but fails to compete with the shiny box that has reeled in your gaze. Our need to know far outweighs our need for much else. Amid the stream of shiny coursing through our mind we hope to catch a glimpse, or deduct a rational prediction, based on our library of shiny apps, reliable resources and mobile reports of what the unopened day ahead might hold.

The shiny coffee pot is programmed to perk. You punch the shiny toaster and poke the shiny blender. You pet your shiny dog that now has a chip surgically implanted so he can’t get lost in the Land of Shiny Things.

You kiss your shiny kids good-bye as they get on a bus where all the kids blindly slide into their seats careful not to interrupt an intense texting tango, the next game level or a hot song download. Rather than swap stories or baseball cards, they peer into their shiny gameboys, PSPs, cell phones and ipods.

Meanwhile, you get in your shiny car, complete with shiny GPS that gives you a  .2% margin of error that you will make it to your destination within .6% of the estimated time without wasting a moment on a wrong turn or inefficient route. Stop! Go back! You almost left you’re your shiny cell phone, which would render you unreachable and unconnected – the equivalent of being among society’s electronically handicapped.

At the office you ache to skip the pleasantries. Cordial people move soooo slowly, you think to yourself. Chit chat and office banter exists to delay the euphoric cliff dive into the shiny stream of emails and other online destinations corralled on the other side of your shiny laptop screen.

Ahhhh. Finally one with the atmosphere’s Wi-Fi, you are officially powered up and folded into a world fueled by cell batteries, electricity, power cords and chargers. You are persuaded of your unique presence as you join the other 6 billion people on the planet who inhabit the Internet daily.

You need to know and be known and there’s little room for God in this shiny equation….Or is there?

May is Internet Evangelism Month and to give it added focus, Christian Web Trends blog begins a Group Blog Project today. The Project involves a 15 day chapter-by-chaper review of @stickyJesus: How to Live Out Your Faith Online. You’re a click away from the discussion of chapter 1. Come join the conversation!

How do you keep a Christ-centered perspective in this land of shiny things?

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His dominion is an eternal dominion; His kingdom endures from generation to generation. – Daniel 4:34 #ieway #LiveSticky

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  • http://LiveIntentionally.org Paul Steinbrueck

    Love the video. It really brings to life the concept of “the land of shiny things…” so cool, easy to get off track, distracted… yet, so much opportunity, so many new possibilities…

  • Anonymous

    Paul, when you said new possibilities, Lamentations 3:23 popped straight into my mind: “Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” Praying that His new things always come before our love of the world’s new things. You are right, though, it is SO easy to get distracted, Paul.

    Having a community of like-minds (accountability) helps us all stay on track, or at least have a watering hole to be refreshed so we can keep our perspective tight! :)

  • Tami Heim

    Paul and Toni – amen and amen. I am daily grateful for the community God is forming online and our part in His plan!

  • Tami Heim

    Paul and Toni – amen and amen. I am daily grateful for the community God is forming online and our part in His plan!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=671101964 Jennifer Adams Klein

    I know technology itself isn’t bad but I wonder how the enemy is using it. I feel like people these days are scared of face to face interaction a little, preferring the annonymity of the computer screen to the potentially awkward situation of looking into another persons eyes and talking…real life has no “delete this post” option. I think “I’m not going to give in and be a coward like that. I want the joy of a real life friend. Technology is ruining us! my conscience screams. BUT I love reading that people are searching Google for God and for meaning…thats the best argument I’ve heard so far for Christians being online. So let’s be there to tell them God’s great good truth!

    I’m a conservative person by nature–the old way is better–I get dragged kicking and screaming to the newest shiny thing. Give me the old days! But, here and now people are hiding in their rooms on their laptops crying out for the truth. If Jesus left His comfort in heaven and the “99 sheep” to find the lost one, shouldn’t I be ready to go too? Thanks for provoking this wannabe pioneer girl to remember what moves our Lord. :)

  • Tami Heim

    I relate to what your saying more than you know – so much tech shine can be overwhelming and clearly blinding to some. But what keeps me going to the call to go and serve where the need for Christ exists. His love is compelling us wannabe pioneer girls – so let’s link hearts and jump in! It’s time to be ALL IN!

  • Anonymous

    Very cool. We are so easily distracted (squirrel!) – I feel like the golden retriever in UP so often. Never fully focusing on one task because there is always so much else going on.

    Please feel free to stop by: Trailing After God

  • Tami Heim

    It’s hard when you have information constantly streaming into your life from so many different places. I know that ‘squirrel’ temptation all too well. If I don’t start my day seeking God first…well, I am a mess. Starting with my focus on first things first is the only way I know how to stay submitted and attentive to the plans bigger than my own.

    Love your blog…see you on the trail…thanks for stopping by this rest area, Mel.

  • http://www.wimpsforchrist.com M. Smith

    Loved the video.  I never realized how many people were on facebook.  It seems obvious by the type of things people post that they are looking for someone….something.  i’m excited to be a part of the movement to help them find something of worth online.  you are an inspiration!