My iDol 6 Plus

by Rev Sng Chong Hui

There was a time when there was no iPhone.

The phone was a fixed item connected by a cord located in the home or office where we used it only to make phone calls.

It was truly peaceful and quiet when we are far away from the ringing of the phone. No worries about missed calls as there was an answering machine. No worries about the phone running out of battery either. No worries about accidentally dropping the handset, which was very hardy.

iphone 6 plusToday our phone has become a mobile mini-computer, which we could surf the Internet anywhere and make use of the countless Apps.

Today my iPhone has replaced my camera, my calendar, my mp3-player and my remote control.

Today the smartphone is more than a gadget. It is a stylish accessory that makes a statement about the personality of the owner.

Today we cannot imagine our world, our life and our work without a smartphone.

Today we fear nothing more than losing our mobile phone. There is even a term for that. It’s called “nomophobia” or the fear of being without your mobile phone or losing your signal.

Today the cell phone has become a crucial and indispensable part of our daily life. Everyone – from the young to the old – has a personal cell phone of their own.

Today we may need to ask – “Has my iPhone become my idol?”

An idol is anything whereby you ascribe supreme worth.

Worship comes from the Anglo-Saxon word meaning “worth-ship.” You actually worship an object that you attach high worth and great value.

It’s just why a person can worship wealth, pleasure or success because those are the things he attributed with high worth and great value.

Anything that you value highly, attach unceasing devotion and bow in admiration at its altar is an idol.

That being the case, I think my iPhone may have indeed become my iDol 6 Plus.

These are my six plus reasons:

Such devotion …

“Don’t leave home without it” is now the slogan for our iPhone instead of American Express.

Many like me would take the trouble to turn back and make a long detour to retrieve our phone we left behind.

Others would rummage the garbage bins for their lost phones. And many more would stick their hands into soiled toilet bowls for their dropped device.

Such attachment … 

Like many I sleep with my iPhone next to my bed.

A recent survey conducted online amongst 7,112 mobile phone users (in the United States, Britain, Brazil, China, Spain, Mexico and India) reveals that 60% sleep with their smartphones. Some even admitted they sleep holding the device in their hands.

About 57% of those survey said they took their smartphones into the toilet and used them while showering.

And in the event of a fire, 54% said they would rescue their hand phone before saving their house cat.

Such reliance …

We heavily rely on our iPhone for mobile Internet, Apps, built-in cameras and mp3-players.

It is little wonder 47% says their smartphone is something they “couldn’t live without.”

Such fixation …

It was found that an average person checks his or her smartphone at least 110 times each day for messages, alerts, or calls even when it isn’t ringing or vibrating.

There is now a rise in the phone zombies. You see them everywhere on our streets, shopping malls and MRT corridors, heads bowed as if in prayer making the occasional grunting noise.

They are so fixated on their cell phones that they are oblivious to the world around them. As a result accidents happen.

A 16-year-old girl In Colorado was so absorbed with her mobile device that she didn’t notice an on-coming train while walking along a railway track.

A Taiwanese tourist in Melbourne fell off a pier while checking Facebook updates on her mobile phone and almost drowned. She was plucked from the water still clutching tightly onto her phone.

Such addictive craving …

When we on family vacation abroad, the moment we checked in, the kids ask if there is free Wi-Fi available. They will take the trouble to go to the hotel lobby to get the password just so they could use their hand phones.

Couldn’t their mobile phones take a vacation for a few days?

Such dependence …

We have become so utterly dependent on mobile phone for information and productivity.

The mobile phone has become our all-knowing (God-like) device. You can get (or Google) anything you want to know from it.

It offers you everything — the latest news, latest outrages, new videos, new music, new pictures, and new updates from all your Facebook friends.

It is so alluring because it is so powerful (another God-like characteristic) and can do so many things.

It certainly increases our productivity because it invites us to multitask everything. That results in us thinking and working in multiple directions at the same time.

I wonder if we have already taken those words of Jesus in John 15:5 “Apart from Me you can do nothing” and imposed them on our iPhone.

Now I am not suggesting we throw away our iPhones. Rather I am asking us to reflect on the way the iPhone has affected our lives.

Has it changed the way you talk? You no longer desire to speak to people in a real place with real bodies and a real voice but in text messages, WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter.

Has it affected your feelings of people? When the person(s) did not pick up your call, do you imagine he or she is ignoring you or dislike you or even hate you?

In the past we would never entertain such feelings. We just simply dial and call again.

In the past you can remember many phone numbers but today, eh … what’s my office’s number??

In the past we talk with each other while we wait for the food to come in the restaurant. But nowadays whenever we have to wait, we whip out our smartphones.

iPhone idolHas your iPhone become your iDol?

You decide. I have given six plus indications.

In case you are wondering, I am not discarding my iPhone. But I am highly aware of the snare of it becoming an idol. And I am heeding the warning of the Bible.

“They served their idols, which became a snare to them” (Psalm 106:36).

“Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen” (I John 5:21)

He Knows Everything About You – TWC Daily Devotional – Wednesday 12 August 2015

God knows everything about you and me. The joy and the sorrow you’ve experienced, every life situation you’ve been through, every right and wrong step you’ve taken, every injustice you endured, every victory you basked in, everything about you, everything about the people around you, every insult hurled against you, every good thing said about you, the Lord knows you – the wonderful things about you and the not so wonderful things too, and the best part of it is that He still loves you because you have turned to Him and have given your heart to Him. The Lord says, “14 Because he loves me, I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. 15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honour him. 16 With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.” (Ps.91:14-16) That’s the amazing love of God – boundless, unending, unconditional, relentless, unwavering and new every morning! So does it matter that you and I have to go through tough situations from time to time, does it matter that people will sometimes misunderstand us, does it matter that sometimes we make foolish mistakes? Without the Almighty God, it does matter, it will hurt us but with God, there is forgiveness, healing, restoration and renewal. With God working in, through and for us, we stand tall, full of hope, full of peace and joy – unashamed, unshakeable and undeterred from the path God has led us on. The Maker of heaven and earth says, “no one decides your destiny but Me!” That’s right no one! So as you walk with the King of kings today, know that you have royal blood in you!  Don’t be a pauper in the Kingdom, for you are a prince or a princess and you reign with Him! Have a fantastic day! Barnabas Chong

Today’s Bible Text: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” (‭Jer.1:5)‬

Click here for past TWC Daily Devotional posts

Recommended Video: He Knows My Name (Maranatha Singers) …..

Day 12

by Rev Joel Yong

Exodus 36:6 ESV
So Moses gave command, and word was proclaimed throughout the camp, Let no man or woman do anything more for the contribution for the sanctuary. So the people were restrained from bringing,

The people gave and gave all they had so that the items for worship in the Tabernacle could be built. But the craftsmen found that even though they had enough materials, the people still kept coming!

A few possible scenarios could’ve developed:

  1. The craftsmen could’ve been greedy and pocketed the excess materials.
  2. The people could’ve constantly demanded an accounting of all that was given and ceased when it reached its mark, because they monitored the numbers.

But neither happened.

The craftsmen had integrity and honesty. The thought of stealing from God wasn’t an idea they entertained.

The people weren’t distrusting and/or micromanagers and nitpickers. They were generous and trusted God to oversee the workers.

And as a result, God’s Tabernacle was constructed with integrity, honesty, generosity and trust.

There seemed to be this awareness of God’s sovereignty in this whole project, in the givers and the workers.

These are lessons for our modern faith communities to learn from.
Often we behave as if God is sleeping and needs us to micro manage our pastors or the church workers, lest something goes awry ‘under our watch’. Or sometimes the workers take advantage, and behave in an unscrupulous manner, thinking God doesn’t notice.

The unity, in spirit that the Exodus community displayed during the building this Tabernacle is worthy of studying and following this day.