“Real Face Time”

Posted on Sep 22 2016 by Gary Mason

It’s conference time. What I like to call “real face time.”

To me conference has become just that, three days of face to face with those we normally see just once or twice a year.

How apropos this gathering of ministers merges with the changing colours of autumn. When I can expect a greater continued change in me by being present with many of those whom I’ve come to consider the dearest of friends. The CFCM family.

Proverbs 27:17, “as iron sharpens iron so one man sharpens another,” has certainly proven itself throughout the years of attending National Conference.

KJV translates it this way, “as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” (emphasis mine)

Yes, getting before one another’s face.

A well-used word in the way society now avails a means to communicate.

In particular, Face-Time and Facebook.

Personally, as a grandfather, I love Face-Time. Having conversations with my three grandchildren at almost any-time – whether it’s during a meal, bedtime, or outside playing. Fortunately my kids only live 25 minutes away so I also get the real face-time on a regular basis.

Facebook is a different story. I use it, and do like it – sometimes.

Electronic connectedness has allowed for not just the good – but also the bad and the ugly.

We’ve lost the flesh and blood attachment, being in one another’s presence, in each other’s face – if you will.

I know of too many people who now consider their “home” church in front of some sort of screen. Live streaming into their home – a one stop, “Bless the Lord and forget not all His benefits – You come to me.”

Relationships are the core of our existence – beginning with our Triune God. And just as the serpent questioned this relationship as recorded in Genesis, we can see how his work is still the same today.

We’re prone to hide.

I was watching The Tonight Show recently, and there were two guests well known to many. One was a singer in his 70’s,  another a comedic actress in her 80′s. It was obvious to the viewer that both had work done to their face.

I’m not sure if they’d looked better without the work having been done, my guess is yes, though they must have thought it brought better results.

Wanting to be younger, hiding the aging process.

We hide.

As believers the Word clearly tells us that the further along we go, the better looking we become.

Inside and out.

When we stay present.

In the face of God.

His Word.

In the face of others.

Each other.

 

It isn’t always easy.

 

Two lyrics from the same artist come to mind, Dan Hasletine of the Jars of Clay,

 

“Blessed are the shallow

Depth they’ll never find

Seemed to be some comfort

In rooms I try to hide”

From the song Frail

 

“Bury my head for the shame,

You pick me up, you say I look like You

Though it makes no sense to me,

You make me believe that I could trust someone.”

From the song Sing

 

The wounded, hide.

The scared, hide.

The tired, hide.

 

While writing this out, I hear the words from Isaiah,

 

“For the Lord GOD will help Me;

Therefore I will not be disgraced;

Therefore I have set My face like a flint, and I know that I will not be ashamed.”

Isaiah 50:7

 

Another, from the Psalms,

 

“When You said, “Seek My face,”

My heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.””

Psalm 27:8

 

Now back to Proverbs 27: 17, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens the countenance of another.”

 

I’ve been blessed to attend National Conference regularly for the past almost 10 years and I can identify a sharpening from each individual year.

I’m looking forward to conference this year.

To looking better, and sharper.

 

 

 

Rick Mills

Life Abundant Niagara

Niagara on the Lake

Ontario