Normally, I don't share both on FB what I write down when it's time to blog on VMFA, but today, I wanted to do so in part because I believe the lesson is worth sharing in both places. The reality of the world we live in evolves and changes every day as we all seek to improve. Some of you know, I have lost 115 pounds so its important we talk about health, physical health and believe it or not...it relates to social media too.
Many different elements come into our lives both physically, emotionally and spiritually. So, I want to take some time to talk to you about overall physical health and well being. I have been doing some research and found some pretty astounding facts about living well, eating healthy and being in good physical condition. Much of what I focus on this site is about spiritual or even emotional trauma, but I want to talk about your physical condition.
At some point, not today I will share with you what I did personally to lose the weight but this is not my focus today, my focus is start at a place that seemingly doesn't make much sense, but I hope you will understand when I am done why I am suggesting there can be a positive power in staying connected through social media.
On Facebook I have talked about how damaging smoking can be to your health, how addictive behaviors, over eating and other bad habits can hurt you. Vitamin supplements for me are not just an "add on" to my life, but a real necessity, so in order to live well, include physical exercise and believe in good rest each night, I want to talk about your overall well being and look at health for a moment. Social media can also, if improperly used negatively impact your life. If you spend time "trolling" for women, "trolling" for me, chatting with people you shouldn't be connecting with, then this is destructive and horrible. I have done this in the past and its a one way ticket to nowhere.
Some people thing great health relies on good water, better vegetables, organic food, etc. These are all important, but they are not the key to long life, but rather it is love, connectivity, support and relationships. DID YOU GET WHAT WAS JUST SAID? Is it any wonder in the Bible it talks about "faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is love" so do you think this is an accident? Nope, not at all, it is VERITAS. Its that little phone in your pocket which is changing the world, in some ways for the better.
Can we use social media to be painful, addictive, hurt others, hurt ourselves, absolutely. There are many dangers of pornography, dangers of wrong relationships and more, but there are also redeeming, supportive, loving kinds of ways you can recognize being "connected" can be healthy. The bottom line is you have to do what you believe is right, what is best for your emotional and personal health. At the end of the day, I do believe LOVE and the support of being connective in a "community" is vital. This is why our family started a LIFEGROUP to connect to others!
So here is what I found out that I shared on FB, just for your eyes to see. (I included a deeper thought here.)
There was a huge impactful study of a small town in Pennsylvania in the 1960's baffled doctors, scientists and researchers. They were living longer, more healthy and were defying the odds of healthcare. They found out that the town was founded by a group of Italian immigrants that came through Ellis Island and all settled in this town. By creating an environment of love, support and helping one another, they were healthier, happier and were defying odds.
God in His wisdom believed so much in community, there is even a Trinity in the very make up of our Creator I have chosen to believe in. In fact, in Christianity its called a God head, three entities in one. This is not polytheistic but monotheistic with all being integrated into one. It's the most fascinating of all explanations. In the Word of God, it was His LOVE, which was the beginning of community and this "trinity" symbolizes something very important for us all to learn. This was just one more example of loving one other, helping each other and more.
In the small town in Pennsylvania, when a child needed a bigger room in the village, the whole village showed up. When a road was needed, the whole town showed up to build the road. Each member of this wonderful Italian community would see a need, and help join in to fill the need. The group began to operate and work together as a community and there was more joy, more enthusiasm, more happiness.
This week, I saw a post on FB and it was from Steven Jobs and it said, "If you want to know who your real friends are, start a business and see who is supporting you.". Wow, what a telling sign to see if others are interested? I used to love getting my phone call from Johnny Shipman asking me, "How are things going Kevin, not just personally, but professionally too?" What a champion and love in my life. I am so thankful for great men of God who call to check on me and I need to do a better job to call and check on them.
Social media can become one of the most powerful positive weapons if you choose to make it work for you, verses against you. This little object you carry around, the very phone in your pocket and the computer we type with today connects us more than ever to others. Obesity is going down, people ARE getting healthier because of "connectivity". This was an astounding fact to me. So my question to you is, how are you dealing with this?
For many years, I resisted going into this internet culture was scary and thanks to Lisa Johnson I joined Facebook, began to use the web to network, began to become aware of the needs of so many. I found out when past friends were having a difficult time, when prayer was being needed and more. From this wonderful discovery and the ministry of Dr. Heng Lim I began a non profit, Veritas Mission Film Association. In this small cottage ministry, we are praying for people in a way we have never prayed.
This week, Jack Thompson was in the hospital with fluid on his lungs, we prayed and he was released. A dear friend is struggling with lung cancer from smoking twenty five years ago and we are praying. Another friend called and asked us to pray for her cancer and her eyesight is improving. We are not in a race to see how many people can be impacted by healing, but that is not the point. The point is... WE BELIEVE IT CAN HAPPEN.
Sometimes, its hard to believe in something when you haven't experienced it yourself. However, when you get to that point in life and you need a miracle and something DOES happen, you change. There is no accident in using social media because being connected to others is a positive thing. Anybody that says, "I just don't want to do this kind of thing", I feel sorry for them. They in reality are saying, "I don't want to be connected". Its easy to feel that way isn't it?
Over the past eight years I have been in and around social media, I have been so arrested and inspired by people from my past. There are many I wish I could write about that have deeply touched my life, you know who you are. THANK YOU, thank you for reaching out to an old friend who was blind, but now I see.
Here is what is strange. I have endeared friends from every walk of life. People who others might consider unloveable, not pretty enough, not wealthy enough, not "something" enough and guess what, I don't care. Through social media I have been able to change the way everyone is viewed, look from a different perspective and realize the value God has given every single person.
God has blessed by through the encouragement of others. Old business partners have reached out, new businesses are being birthed because of the love of others, doors of new business relationships are coming to fruition and I am connected to the most wonderful encouragers in the world.
When I first started on social media, I did not use the instrument wisely. in fact, I was in depression, using it as an escape, trying to fill a void in my life and wrongly understanding how it could be used for good. If you are in this place, just stop and consider the alternative. Use social media for accountability, use the instrument for positive. Don't try to be a prophet by being "accusatory", negative and destructive. Instead, take the instrument and be a blessing to the "least of these", make something wonderful out of what might be considered "scary".
Don't do this for recognition or approval, but for the right "heart reason". I have learned how to be loved from my new family. They have been completely unconditional in their love to me. Having the best kind of relationships with those close have meant the world to me. Remember to go to them today, in truth and let them know how much they are loved by you. Help them, get into their lives and see how joyful your life will be. Yes, you will live longer, but you will even live with more joy, be healed and believe in miracles now more than ever.
I love you,
Kevin McAfee is a film maker who writes for the purpose of inspiring others to make a difference in the world through faith in God using the visual language of film. His blog is shared in hopes of impacting culture, but his heart is in media missions and the church.