circa 2015 - 2019
In December 2011, the Lord asked me to conduct a series of lessons at our retreat and He called it the 4D – the 4 Disciplines of COBS:
No one likes the word “Discipline.”
I remember witnessing one day, my eldest daughter, a little girl then, competing with her cousin, Fiona, to see whose mother was fiercer and scarier in disciplining them. Guess what? My daughter won hands down☺.
I was gratified, however, some twenty years later, my daughter thanked me for my strict discipline when she was young as she noticed how messed up and difficult life is for some of her less disciplined peers.
A New Kind of War
When the World Wide Web (WWW) was first introduced in 1980, the Lord told me that this was the new Tower of Babel. The spirit of Babylon was going to rise again through this one new language.
The WWW has enabled nations, corporations and individuals to become wealthy, huge and powerful. Every conceivable product and service can now be sold worldwide, many of them legitimate and good; but the internet is also a vehicle used to peddle all sorts of lies, deception and evil – sex, pornography, extra-marital affairs, recruitment of terrorists, sale of weapons, criminal and illicit activities, just to name a few.
Warfare is no longer just confined to geography and land.
Activists and kingdoms can now rule without taking possession of a physical country.
[Feb 2023: As I was editing this for the post, V says the “WWW” is also the “World Wide War”.]
The Babylonian spirit and the Assyrian spirit rise in power and reach through their mastery over social media. The world has become much more efficient, complex and diverse. Life is more interesting and better in many ways, but in the spiritual realm, a very different kind of warfare is being fought.
A very deadly and scary kind.
War over the Kids
There is a great war within every child that is born into this era. A great battle this generation has to face – a battle over their eyes, for they are the windows to the soul, and their ears.
A GREAT BATTLE THIS GENERATION HAS TO FACE - A BATTLE OVER THEIR EYES, FOR THEY ARE THE WINDOWS TO THE SOUL, AND THEIR EARS
Our children are constantly bombarded with sounds and lights in today’s world – music, information, movies – 24/7. Night has been robbed of its darkness. Sleep does not come easy.
The children’s ability to read, process information and exercise self-discipline is much diminished as their attention spans wane. A great spirit of fear and disenchantment is also building up as they are exposed to information far too much for them to handle at a young age.
I fear for the mental and emotional health of the next generation.
The Lord showed Mr B, one of my mentors who was a pioneer in the world wide web in Singapore, that not only are we not to fear or stay clear of the new internet technology as some of the Church leaders had then urged, but to embrace it, to master it and leverage it for His kingdom.
I asked the Lord – “Why us?”
He showed me that my generation grew up in a special sandwich era of technological change.
We advanced from being entertained by the radio only, to the black and white TV, and finally the colour TV; from music on turntables to cassette tapes, progressing from LDs to DVDs and then CDs. And now from iTunes to Spotify and Apple Music.
I remembered my first visit to Japan in 1985. I was so impressed they had push button telephones (we had to dial each number and wait for it to spring back to dial the next). I was enthralled by the subway and food vending machines!
My sister used to run computers which occupied the entire floor; data entry was done using punch cards.
I bought my first word processor that looked like a TV set (yes before personal computers were invented). It failed to print half the time. I almost lost the thesis I helped write on it for my boyfriend in University and had to cut and paste parts of it (yes, pieces of paper) for his submission.
I also remembered the day our company bought the first mobile phone, a clunky Motorola the size and weight of a timber block, for my boss’ use! He was thrilled with his shiny new gadget but after a week or so, he passed it to the manager :)
If anyone has first-hand experience in embracing technology and managing the stress of rapid change without losing their senses, I guess it has to be us – people in my generation. Perhaps we did not have much choice. As a small country with no natural resources, we had to progress or be left behind. So, we all had to adapt to it and master it by hook or by crook.
The Day I Cried over a Computer
I remembered how hard it was for me to learn how to use a Mac after using PCs all through my working life. My brand-new Mac crashed on me after I had worked on an iMovie project through the night till 4am. I also encountered so many hardware issues with it.
It was the first time I have ever cried over a computer.
I told the Lord, “This is too difficult. I simply do not have the time and energy anymore to learn any more new technology!” I wanted to throw the Mac into the dustbin.
Kelly, a seasoned Mac user who encouraged me to make the switch from the PC to the Mac, commented that it is so unusual for an Apple product to be so unreliable. We know therefore that it is the enemy who doesn’t want me to make the switch.
So, I persevered and today, I am very pleased to have done so.
Joanna the Worship DJ
It is the same spirit that the COBS team members embrace and help one another with. Joanna spent many long hours learning how to edit videos and put them up on the internet for team members.
It takes a lot of pain and sacrifice on her part as she works long hours into the night while caring for her elderly mother – a testimony of perseverance and the dunamis power of God working in this Chinese speaking 60-year-old with no technical experience.
Despite having no musical talent or skills, she also uploads a worship playlist for the COBS team on YouTube every week. Our China members, even though YouTube is blocked there, manage to find a way to use the same worship list as well.
I am also very proud of our ladies, some in their 70s, who have learned how to use their smartphones. Through it, they find access to good spiritual resources and stay in touch with each other and with their family members.
When there is a need to unite in prayer, it is very useful as we can use it to arrange meetings, to transmit messages to one another and to send prayer requests to our team members and friends in different countries and time zones.
However, while all that is good, I am also painfully aware of the dangers and pitfalls of embracing technology in our lives. God showed me how difficult it is for our spirit and soul to stay unhurried and quiet today.
The world has entered into an era of no rest. And it is going to get a lot more difficult for my children to raise their children in future.
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