Saturday, September 8, 2012

What would the Apostle Paul Do……… If he had Social Media ?


I have a confession to make; I have never been on Face book!!!  When twitter first launched, there was a “free” moment where you could visit without an account. I did stumble upon the Stumble-upon site, but its super overwhelming and almost like that rabbit hole Alice fell into. I was invited to a new site or new to me Pin interest (I think that’s how it’s spelled). So I blog and I may be a “dinosaur”, cause I haven’t “floated” my blog out to those sites. I have a “circle”, but I don’t think that the people in my circle, know that they are “in it” Either way, I have found that with all of this new social media, I still miss talking to my friends face to face, or even on the phone, because as we all know, the proper use of the phone is fast becoming obsolete.
So what does the Apostle Paul have to do with Social Media, well for one thing the Bible and the book of Mormon are now digitized, so you can get an app and download it on your favorite phone, tablet, I-pad or whatever. Every day, on my drive to work, I listen (on the radio) to teachings on the New Testament. Did you know that a majority of the chapters of what is called the “Epistles of Paul” were originally inspired letters to the “Church”? Most of Paul’s tenure as Apostle was spent in jail, or running from the law, hiding out. He did have some major opportunities to set up “stakes” as it were, ordain bishops and quorums, etc. He kept tabs through extensive and deeply personal letters. How fast was the mail in those days? Paul usually had a scribe or an assistant take dictation and then he would send it off with that scribe.
So, I am going to write some letters, and hopefully keep the post office in business. I want to write a letter to my friends, because I know deep down inside, everyone loves to get “snail mail”. I don’t think an “app” can replace a good old fashioned 2-4 pager; read will sitting in your comfy spot. I must confess that “mail” is on a short list of my favorite times of the day, the other being quitting time at work, and the weekend. 
I found this really quaint article on Oprah.com How Social Media Sustains Your Friendship”.Go Analog
I recently made a shocking discovery about two of my friends. These are women I thought I knew well. Women who are friends, not despite my geekiness, but because of it. They carry phones, update their Face book pages daily and check their e-mail every hour. And yet, both of them still regularly exchange actual pen-on-paper letters with a number of their friends. Even if you're not prepared to do something as retro and extreme as picking up a ballpoint—I personally resort to paper only in the case of birthday cards, thank-you and condolence notes—you can still stay in touch with your less-wired friends. Take excerpts from your family blog and turn them into a paper newsletter you send out with your holiday greeting cards. Burn your favorite videos onto a DVD and pop it in the mail. Buy a Wi-Fi-enabled digital picture frame for your parents and keep it automatically updated with photos of the grand kids that you load onto Flickr or Face book. By Alexandra Samuel
I had an opportunity to hear a teaching on the book of Philemon.  Have you read this book lately? Neither had I; it is a 1 page letter written by the Apostle Paul to a man named Philemon. The magnitude of this letter is great. Philemon seems to be a good friend of Paul’s and supporter, and he is a slave owner.
Philemon  1Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother,To Philemon our beloved friend and fellow laborer
10 I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten while in my chains,
11 who once was unprofitable to you, but now is profitable to you and to me
The unique thing about Philemon is that it is not a "book" but a letter. I think that Philemon is probably the shortest "book" in the Bible, but it is a really personal letter that has layers of meaning.
In Philemon 1, the Apostle Paul writes a letter, an appeal concerning a man named Onesimus, whose name means profitable.
So Onesimus is a run-away slave (in Rome), who has sought and found refuge with Paul, who is in prison at this time. While in hiding, Onesimus has been converted to the gospel, possibly baptized, and received the Holy Spirit. Now begins the delicate task of making restitution, he has to go back to his master Philemon. Paul writes a loving report, and asks that Philemon receive him back, not as a slave, but as a brother in Christ. He is also encouraging Onesimus to be obedient and return with a broken heart and contrite spirit, asking forgiveness of his master, in that his Master will accept him as a brother and free him.    
12 I am sending him back; you therefore receive him, that is, my own heart,13 whom I wished to keep with me, that on your behalf he might minister to me in my chains for the gospel.
 14 But without your consent I wanted to do nothing, that your good deed might not be by compulsion, as it were, but voluntary.
What a sweet and tender letter, again Onesimus is a type, who represents us. Once we we were "slaves" to the world, lost in sin. The Savior pleads for us in
3 Nephi 9:20 And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost......
 I think that if Paul the apostle had "social media", maybe he would go check out the latest Mormon Message and "email" it to Philemon, and then maybe they would have a conversation on "Skype"



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