Internet

Freshly Pressed: My Favorite Comments

Last week, I found myself struggling with writer’s block. Yesterday, I was Freshly Pressed on WordPress. That kind of took care of it. If you’re not familiar with WordPress, basically, Freshly Pressed is their sort of… front page.

Alternate blog title: Freshly Pressed: How Keva Got His Groove Back

Just last week, I was telling my wife about some of my goals. Freshly Pressed was numero uno. So that’s cool. Now, I can move on to goal numero dos: hand model. Well no…

What a huge honor. The Freshly Pressed came at just the right time, too. My writer’s block has since been smashed, chopped, and blended… and digested.

Confessions of a Former Worship Leader was featured. I wrote the post straight from the heart, so it was nice to get such a wide array of feedback and responses. “Confessions…” seems to have struck a chord, no pun intended.

The internet is a strange place, and it gets a lot of flack these days (Facebook rants, mean-spirited debates and criticisms, message boards), but I’m continually impressed by the genuineness and civility of WordPress bloggers. It’s quite a special place.

Comments are still coming in (slightly overwhelming)! In truth, everyone’s comment has touched my heart. Some responses have been encouraging, some have disagreed; all have contributed towards my healing in some way. The best part is the overall, much-needed conversation of corporate worship has begun. It’s been an honor to have lead this discussion.

Here’s a few comments (from yesterday) that have, so far, stood out to me. A lot of these are just excerpts. I might add one or two more as I continue to read.

Comments, Comments, Comments,

Melissaraptor

During the few Christian services I’ve attended in my life, I’ve felt so confused and taken aback by the focus on modern music. The services were not what I imagined at all and frankly I felt more uncomfortable in those which relied heavily on the performance. Thank you for sharing the thoughts of someone behind the scenes, so to speak. It’s comforting to know that someone so involved with religion shares or at least reflects some similar input on a few of the topics I’ve been so confused by. Thank you so much.

Constance V. Walden

When people get up on a stage or stand up before the congregation and sing, with or without music, it it becomes a concert or entertainment. It becomes about them, really. Yes, they may be singing about the Lord, but, it’s really about them. When the church comes together to worship, they should sing together as one to the Lord on the same level. No one up front, no one on stage, and not drowned out by musical instruments. It’s OUR voices together in praise to the Lord. Thanks for sharing.

measureofagift

My heart broke last week when a dear friend told me she chose a church for the “worship experience” she told me it was “very spiritual” and that what she loved was that she could go there, feel blessed, talk to no one, and then return home, untethered to anyone in the congregation, or anything she needed to carry around with her all week. She could “just leave it there til next week.” We’ve turned worship into a gratifying experience, so much so that in “trying to serve God” in worship, we end up hurting those who come to our churches.

sandydog44

Hello, I quit the church for many reasons ….and the hypnotizing of the congregation by emotional music and all that goes into producing a good concert to move your feelings….it was called being moved by the Holy Spirit, but exactly the same feelings are produced at a “secular” concert. People are fooling themselves.

Carpenter’s Quill

Worship is: Dance, art, a prayer, thanking God by using our talents, helping people around us, or even singing in the shower. I agree that ‘worship’ isn’t just one singular act of service/praise. I also like your response about being ‘hurt by the church’. Too many people forget that the church is full of humans. We are individuals incapable of perfection. I’m glad it didn’t squash your faith, and that you’re uncovering hidden feelings. I think the mega church culture (as a whole) needs to get back to authentic ‘worship’

Kris

I appreciate your honesty with where you are at and think it was wise for you to pull back as you did. It seems to me, our spiritual life and our interactions with others and service ebbs and flows, inevitably produces flaws, retracts in disgust and renews itself in purity through the Spirit. It is not just this way in worship of course, but in any aspect we participate in communally. Anytime our faith goes public in service we drag along our personal spiritual fights and encounter those of others and sometimes we just need to pull back and regroup.

kevindeisher

I sang and led worship at my church for several years and like you suffered burn out. I left the church in search of something better and more genuine for me to believe in. I can so relate to your post and agree with it all. I am attending a micro church now where the worship music is by most standards poor, but it is genuine and heartfelt and I enjoy it more than the concerts of the past.

Thanks again, WordPress! What an honor to have been considered and chosen.

Internet Fasting: My Googless Week

Google is a lot like toilet paper: everyone uses it but no one admits it. Recently, I took a week off the internet empire. Here were the rules:

 One week, no Google. Also, no Bing, Yahoo or other search engines. I did leave gmail accounts open for work and personal purposes. Maybe next time… Also worth noting, this was not a spiritual fast. One could claim, however, that I was searching… for myself… (GET IT?)

Dependency 
Without Google image search, this was the best I could do.

googless.

I’m a big fan of the internet. Besides blogging, I really enjoy social media, online shopping, and of course, the ability to watch TV whenever and wherever I want. These benefits may seem juvenile, but in all sincerity they’ve reshaped millions of lives.

The average user spends most of their time on mediums that weren’t available just ten years ago. And knowledge, well, that has come a long way. Remember not knowing the answer to a question? Awkward.

Like a sovereign empire, Google rules the world wide web with an iron fist. The simple “search” has changed more than we ever imagined it could.

I am not here to attack the internet but—rather simply—contribute to the conversation of our internet dependency.

Here’s What I Noticed

It turns out, I’m not an expert on every topic ever. Once I removed my ability to acquire instant knowledge of everything through Google search, I was starkly reminded of the work required for real expertise.

I’m capable of finding the answer on my own. Earlier this week I wrote a blog about the book of Esther. Without Google, I dedicated ten minutes to rereading and searching my own sources for context questions. I am capable!

still googless.

still googless.

I’m not a photographer. Every good blog needs a good picture. Without “Google image search” or any other picture service, I was reminded of real photography talent (unfortunately, I don’t have it). Also, I need to be better about photo cred.

Human dependency isn’t all that bad. This last week a customer asked about baritone ukuleles. Staring at a blank Google search, I almost caved in and faked some knowledge. Instead, I took a deep breathe and declared, “Ya know, I just… have no idea whatsoever.” Believe it or not, she actually understood. What I did do was direct her to a co-worker with expertise on the subject. Though not available at the time, she happily came back later.

It’ll be okay. With or without Google, it’s not the end of the world. I don’t want to rid myself entirely, but instead, set boundaries.

Fin

I hope something jumped out at you regarding my bullet points. Expecting a challenging week full of great stories to tell, I was instead left with a simpler message of patience and humility.

Would you be wiling to try it? Take a week off and let me know how it goes!

I’d also be interested hearing other takes on “internet dependency.” Have you had any experiences or viewpoints you’d care to share?