I keep thinking about something I heard in a Kairos sermon. Basically, the gist is that the best gift you can give to a loved one, more than presents, is presence.

More than going to a store and picking up something that may or may not end up being regifted or donated to Goodwill, maybe the best gift you can give is you. Your time. Your attention.

Who in your life needs to see your actual face (and not just your profile picture)? Who needs a reminder that you haven’t forgotten them?

Is it a relative? Is it a friend?

You can send a Facebook post or a text, but the best is to have a face-to-face conversation, one in which you aren’t distracted by your phone or tablet, but where you fully engage the other person and actually listen to what they are saying.

Don’t wait. Don’t put it off. Not to be morbid, but you truly never know when it will be too late to have that conversation.

That’s really all I have. Maybe it’s something I need to do myself. Maybe I can find someone I haven’t seen in a while and try to reconnect.

Oh, and may all your traffic lights be green and all your checkout lines be short. Amen.


Technology Rocks (Or Why I Love My iPad 3)


Recently, I have made strides in my technological awareness and hipsterness. And by recently, I mean the last two years.

First came the Sony Vaio, which narrowly defeated the MacBook Pro as my choice of laptop. And I do mean narrowly. Ultimately, the Vaio was cheaper.

Then came the iPhone 5. I thought about other choices like droids and Windows phones, but for me it wasn’t much of a contest. Most people I know who have smart phones have iPhones and just about all the ones who have iPhones love them. Case closed.

The iPad 3 came into my hands unexpectedly. I wanted to downsize and simplify my life, so I went through and picked out LOTS of DVDs and CDs to trade in at McKays. I received enough credit to get the 64 GB iPad 3 they had on display.

Actually, I had enough total credit to get two iPads. The first one, an iPad 2, I ended up giving to mother dearest, and the second one I am typing this on.

I’ve decided that my next laptop will in no uncertain terms be a Mac. I think me and Windows have irreconcilable differences and it’s best that we part ways.

I do think that as great and wonderful as technology is, it can (and should) never replace face-to-face conversations. I think we are losing the ability to be in community and to have meaningful relationships due to our unhealthy obsession with all things social media and smart phones and tablets.

It’s not uncommon to ignore the person in front of you to chat with someone via text. Social media might not have killed common courtesy and manners, but it has paved the slippery slope toward that end.

You can have up to 5,000 friends on Facebook and almost as many followers on Twitter and Instagram. The result? We take people and relationships for granted and treat friendships casually and cavalierly.

We’ve even bought into the insidious lie that you can be friends with everyone. You can be friendly with everyone, but if you want actual relationships with even the tiniest bit of depth and meaning, you have to choose a handful of lives to invest in.

I’m glad when I needed help God didn’t send a text or a tweet. He didn’t post on my Facebook wall or poke me. He sent His real-life, flesh-and-blood, one-of-a-kind Son. He took on my skin and walked around in my shoes.

Yeah, I need to put down my devices more and be in the moment. To look people in the eye and smile and say hi. In an age where communication has never been more prevalent and available, people are more lonely than ever before.

But I still want my Mac.