Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Even a fool is thought wise if he.....

keeps silent...


It's a rare thing these days.  Gone are the days of sitting on the front porch, sipping iced-tea and listening to... nothing.  Maybe there was radio, the Bible, some books and a sermon on Sunday.  The newspaper let you know what was going on in the world and what other people thought about it.  The dinner table let you know what was going on around you, and what the people around you thought about it.

And that's what mattered.

I'm not going to go into a nostalgic treatise of  how good the good 'ol days were.  We have opportunities now, that we didn't have then, to connect with and touch people's lives for the better.  We have new tools for spreading the Good News in word and deed.

But at what cost?

How much noise is too much noise?

John Dyer at Christianity Today writes on this issue much more intelligently than I ever could.

Here is an excerpt:

"What few of us realize is that when we press those "Publish," "Post," "Comment," and "Send" buttons, we are making the shift away from merely "believing" truth and stepping into the arena of publishing that belief. In doing so we are effectively assuming a position of leadership and teaching that prior to 2004 was not available to us.
James warned us, "Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly" (James 3:1, NIV1984). James goes on to graphically portray the incredible power that our tongues have both to praise and to curse especially in the context of teaching. He then says, "Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life." (James 3:13). Solomon echoes similar wisdom, "Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent" (Prov. 17:28).
Yet Facebook and Twitter do not encourage this kind of self-restraint. In fact, they encourage an opposing value system. Social media relentlessly asks us to publish our personal opinions on anything and everything that happens. There is no time for reflection in prayer, no place for discussion with other flesh and blood image bearers, and no incentive to remain silent.
You must declare your position, and you must declare it now.
We convince ourselves that by answering the questions social media asks us we are standing for truth alongside the great leaders of the church, but slowly and subtly as we respond to the prompts of our phones rather than our Bibles we begin to worship the false gods of immediacy, distraction, and celebrity in the Temple of Lord Zuckerberg. If you don't think the value system of technology affects you, ask yourself, If it was 2003 and some author wrote some book questioning some doctrine would I have felt compelled to publish my thoughts?
The result is that a million heresy charges isn't cool any more. You know what's cool? A billion heresy charges."

For those of you that know me (and my heart), you know that, personally, I have been struggling with the place of social media in my life and the life of my family.  Personally, I have been guilty of using it as a soapbox, and one that I am not qualified to stand on.  This is something I have known long before reading John Dyers compelling article. 
This blog was originally intended to help us stay connected to the people we love and left on the East Coast.
It has carried our story, my gratitude list and some creative writing... all worthy of the accounting.
At times it has carried dross and chaff as well.
Going forward, As Far as the East is From the West will continue to be a vehicle of sharing my gratitude to the One Most High and maybe some stories from the story He has written for us, the Liechty Family.
I will save my other musings, questions and deeper ponderings for those that can challenge and sharpen me face-to-face... heart-to-heart.
The Truth is too important for me to try to sell it in the bits and pieces that I think I've got figured out.



  1. I hesitate to comment after something so heartfelt...this is an excellent article and poses many things...I know some I really respect in the blogging world take sabbaths to keep their motivation and times of reflection constant...

    I think, too, with the whole commenting on blogs--I've made great friends, but it is hard to write (what I feel called to do and blogging has given me the get-go and keep going) and comment, yet, I *fear* I will lose the relationships if I don't reciprocate...that's my being honest.

    You are a bright, fresh spot and a sweet, unassuming soul that I have found...I will love to continue to read your lists:) blessings friend!

  2. silence.

    and again, James:

    My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

    i am praising Him for the hearing ears of you my friend, praising Him for your doing of His Word.

    ~ ~ ~

    i, too, will relish your sharing as "going forward, As Far as the East is From the West will continue to be a vehicle of sharing my gratitude to the One Most High and maybe some stories from the story He has written for us, the Liechty Family."

    You are of the tribe of The Most Amazing and there is Glory in this place. i love you.


  3. Abby, I hear what you are saying about the commenting thing. I check in on a few blogs throughout the week (yours is one of them!), and I am always tempted down a rabbit trail to read others, but I know I just don't have time to honor someone else's thoughts rightly when I am feeling rushed. So I have a few, a very few, that I read. Sometimes I read and don't comment, but I do try to comment most of the time for the reason you said.... I feel like I need to reciprocate AND I want them to know I heard them.
    You have such a gift Abby. I am thankful that your blog has given you a way to exercise that in a stage of life that is very demanding (mothering littles, missions, etc.). I look forward to continuing to read your future creations! :)
    I enjoy writing too. My blog gave me a way to experiment with it a bit. Mostly, I really did blog about our family and I did some creative writing and of course the Gratitude Lists. I also played around with "opinion pieces". When someone needs humbling... a verbal smashdown if-you-will, I'm your girl. I'm really good at putting people in their place and I get worked up very easily about what I perceive to be injustice. There is a time when it is right to defend another, to fight a good fight. My blog is not the place for that.
    This is an area the Lord has had to temper me in over many years. I'm still learning!

    Thank you so much for reading this post of mine. Because I have had this conviction for awhile now, not much will change as far as the blog goes. I have put my stake in the ground, and it feels right. Maybe now, I will even feel more freedom to write about our story.
    Abby, I have enjoyed reading your story that you have been posting on your blog in increments. What a story that is! How great for you give life to it for others through words!

    I'm thankful for you friend!

    this that you quoted from James.... you must know how it sums it up so perfectly for me, as you know me so well.
    I am forever thankful for you. With blogging, you have always done it right.... you have never asked your big questions or tried to answer anyone else's big questions on your blog.... it has only served as another mouth for you from which to praise Him.

    Thank you for setting that example... though I don't think you intended to.... it's just who you are.


  4. oh, your great love; you are your Father's daughter.

    Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes (Love believes the best, ISV), always perseveres. Love never fails.

    Thank you for living Love :)


  5. WOW! Sweet sister, Kara, I'm humbled and challenged and speechless. Thank you for bringing this great reminder of purposeful and relevant practice! While I don't have time right now to share all that is in my heart, know that you've impacted my life today and therefore, forever! Love you! Continue to be bold!
    PS - your post is what living from the inside out is all about! You are quite the inspiration!
    L&P - kim