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R-AGE goes cold turkey!

Over the weekend, I preached a sermon titled, “Shut Up and Get Out!”. In it, I challenged R-AGE to embark on a social media cold turkey experiment like I did. The purpose of this was to eliminate audio and visual noise and distractions from their lives, so that they can enjoy the benefits of the discipline of silence and solitude, with the ultimate objective of hearing from God.

I gave instructions on this absolute abstinence from all social media platforms including the obvious Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, WordPress, Blogspot, YouTube, as well as Instagram and FourSquare. They had to disable email notifications from all these platforms too so that they won’t know what’s going on when they’re not logged in.

I told them to tag or text me when they began so that I could cheer them on. The deadline that I gave was to accomplish this before 31 Dec 2011 and to journal their experience, as well as what they heard from God during those 72 hours. I was initially skeptical on the take-up rate, so I was pleased by surprising response.

Immediately after I closed in prayer, I received an SMS from a youth who declared her fast immediately. Later in the evening, I received an SMS from a youth leader who told me that his two younger brothers and himself have commenced too and instead of a 72-hour fast, they will abstain from social media until the end of the year.

On Facebook, an entire youth cell group decided to fast together – I reckon it must have been their leaders’ initiative. I know a couple of other cells have also decided to go cold turkey together. I’ve also received a few other messages from a few more youths who decided to rise up to the challenge… One dialogue that really tickled me (screenshot pictured below) was a conversation between two 14-year-old boys.

Above and beyond this experiment being an exercise of healthy conformism or making a cool statement, it is my sincere prayer that my young people will understand the power of solitude and how silence may help them to listen out for the still, small voice that Elijah heard in 1 Kings 19 amidst the chaos that surrounded him.

May this radical little experiment result in a greater spiritual depth in my youth group! I sincerely hope that in this period of voluntary extended silence, we will learn that:
  • God is always in control of situations where we think we must intervene in;
  • God can manage situations where we thought our input was necessary.
  • God can sharpen our observation and listening skills when we refrain from speaking.
  • God can bring freshness and depth to our words when we finally say something.

Oh, do remember to let me know if you plan to embark on a social media cold turkey experiment yourself after reading this… I’d love to cheer you on! I can almost guarantee success IF you stick to the abstinence absolutely!

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top ten things you must know about this blog.

I think it’s high-time to do some housekeeping so why not write it in my favourite top ten format? Whether you’re a new or regular reader, this post should help you to get the most out of my humble little blog/website. I will always try to improve it!

1. Firstly, time to celebrate! I welcomed my 10,000th visitor yesterday! Wooh! I have some plans for this blog and I do hope to execute it in the coming year. Having substantial readership is extremely encouraging. Thank you for your continuous support!

2. Bible-giveaway! I’m desperately trying to give away a swanky, brand-new, handsome denim-covered NKJV bible in my 100th entry anniversary competition. A slight change of rules (exhibiting signs of desperation) – you can leave comments in any entry.

3. Subscribe to msk! Receive my posts immediately and in the convenience of your mailbox. This is faster than checking bloglines, facebook or twitter. Simply submit your email at the top right of the navigation bar. Easy as 1-2-3.

4. Navigate with ease! Rummage through the archives by Recency (last 7 posts), Diversity (15 different categories), Museum (by month, since it inaugurated in October 2009) or Fragments (most commonly used tags). Sorted for your expedience.

5. What’s hot here? The three links of By Popular Demand changes everyday; the amazing WordPress captures the highest clicked links on my blog and reflects it there. See what the others are clicking on when they visit this blog.

6. Add me, okay? Every new post is automatically and simultaneously published on facebook and twitter. So if you don’t want to subscribe (why not!?), you can still keep yourself updated by adding me on facebook and twitter through the sidebar.

7. Stand-alone pages! See the five pages at the top of this blog? I’m currently working on four more and will update the existing ones in time. Nothing much to shout about at the moment, but it’s a work-in-progress.

8. Bygones be bygones! Though I’m not proud of it, my old blogs are still a part of my history. But don’t expect to find as many good reads in an angsty livejournal, a random blogspot and a shorn theshanghaitan. Enjoy the walk down memory lane.

9. 111 and 172! Not bus services but entries and comments respectively – I delight in every single one and it’d be great to hear from you because I write to be read; I’d love to have you bounce off my insights and share what’s on your mind – like you’re re-blogging.

10. Lastly, I write daily! Or at least I try to. I doubt I’d ever run out of ideas. (Pssst, I have 60+ draft posts!) If there’s something on your mind you’d like me to write about, and if I can, I will attempt to. Write in to me and I’ll (try to) write one for you.

Once again, THANK YOU for frequenting this blog. I’ve enjoyed writing as much as you’ve enjoyed reading. Here’s to the next 10,000 visitors…! I can barely wait. (:

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