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Facebook is a social networking phenomenon. I recently read an article where over 200 million users are now using this amazing connection created by Mark Zuckerburg. When I signed up a few months ago, I didn’t realize how much time you can waste (spend) on Facebook. It’s kind of addictive, and you have to be extremely careful that it doesn’t replace the eye-to-eye contact and relational connects that are right in front of you. Twitter is the latest fad, with an 1,800 percent growth in just one year. People are “twittering” about all sorts of stuff, and the whole world can look in.

Of course, people have e-mailed, texted and used other forms of technically-savvy means for some time. I’m old enough (I hate to admit it) to remember the party line phone system. A group of households shared one phone line, and you couldn’t use your home phone if someone else was on the line. Of course, if you could listen in without being detected while the line was in use, you might hear some pretty interesting conversations! Now you can talk to someone (via Skype) through a computer for no charge. You can have two-way conversations in which the computer screen relays the visual image of the person you’re communicating with. There are satellite phones for extremely remote situations. Even when I was in Cambodia recently, I noticed there were cell phones everywhere. I had better coverage there than at my home in Southern California!

By the time you get this e-mail, I’m scheduled to be on a plane to North Carolina. My mom’s been in the hospital (twice) recently. She’s recovering nicely, but I need a hug! Letters, phone calls, e-mails and even the ability to connect via massive websites will never fully fill the void of face-to-face touch! I’m not ready to give up the Facebook interactions—but I’m also not ready to give up the on the benefits and the value of family. At the end of my days, I want somebody to be able to say, “He was a good husband, a good dad, a good son and a good brother.”

Several years ago, the theme of our convention was OHANA (family). This Foursquare family is my family, too. I was brought home from the hospital at birth to a Foursquare parsonage. When I’m not around the family for a while, I can tell it. I send this e-mail to you today because Facebooking isn’t the ultimate answer for me. I hope to see you at Connections ’09 in Anaheim. Here’s to hoping lots of hugs get exchanged there! I need ’em!

“Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” -1 John 3:18 (NIV)

served as the president of The Foursquare Church from 2009-2020.