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Facebook Holdout

Isaiah 43:1 (New International Version)
1 But now, this is what the LORD says—
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

It was almost a month ago when I received an email saying, "I've added you as a friend on Facebook..."

It came from Brenda, who had accidentally invited everyone in her address book to become her cyber-buddies.

At that point I didn't really even know what Facebook was, but since then I've learned a lot about this social networking phenomenon that's captured the interest and time of a huge percentage of the population--mainly those in their teens and twenties but also a surprising number of seniors, including my dear mother in law who is nearing her eighty first birthday and who is connected with a host of grandchildren. I must say that I was amazed to see her face on Facebook--using the photo she'd had taken for the church directory!

It was only a few months ago that Paul's mum surprised us all by talking about wanting a computer. Of course she needed a desk too, and a chair--and a printer followed in short order. Coached by a fleet of grandchildren for technical support, she was launched into cyber-space and was soon using Google Earth to visit England and the places she grew up. I started sending her my daily blog posts by email and was honoured to discover that she checks her computer late at night for them.

Brenda, who has always needed a good night's sleep, has been waking up tired of late. I suspect that it has something to do with the addictive nature of Facebook and the fact that late at night she's still up connecting with a host of friends. She told me this morning that long past 11 o'clock she could see that her Nana was on-line and when Brenda sent out a message to her cousins claiming that she was her favourite grandchild, Nana "poked" her--a way of nudging someone in Facebook terminology.

I haven't joined Facebook because I'm already email addicted and I'm introverted enough that I don't want the world to know when I'm on-line--but it has brought people and groups together in an impressive way.

Our church has a Facebook group and I've learned more about people in the congregation there than any other way to this point. Because people tend to be transparent and share very personal information--it's caused me to pray for some young people we are connected with.

I thought about Facebook this morning when I read Isaiah 49:16, See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me. Facebook pages have "walls" on which friends can leave messages for you.

How wonderful to read in Isaiah 43:1, I have summoned you by name; you are mine. He has asked us to be his friend and we will never be deleted from his list.

I know that he is always "on-line" and I am on his mind and heart. I may be a Facebook holdout, but I'm glad I'm in his book.

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