My most enjoyable find in 2010? Facebook!

Judy Fowler Kilgore's picture

And you’re saying, “Come on, Judy. This is the religion section. What does a silly site like Facebook have to do with religion?”

Ha! Little do you know. My pastor and many church members are my “friends” on Facebook and you would be surprised what a powerful tool that can be!

Just the other night, my mom called to tell me that my brother-in-law, Bobby Polk, had been rushed to Piedmont-Fayette Hospital with a collapsed lung. I also talked to my sister, Kay, (who was exhausted ... and scared ... and at her wits’ end) who told me they were taking him to “big” Piedmont for surgery; that there was a tear in his lung that had to be repaired. It happened suddenly and came out of nowhere.

“Let me put this on Facebook,” I told her, “and contact my pastor. We’ll get him on a prayer list.”

A private Facebook message to the Rev. Nathaniel Long, pastor of my church, Senoia UMC, asking how I could get Bobby on our prayer list got me an immediate answer: “You just did,” he said, and asked if there was anything he could do to help. I quickly wrote my thanks and told him would be in touch.

The next step was to put the news about Bobby on my Facebook “status,” on my Profile page, requesting prayers and “good thoughts” (not all of my friends are believers) which started coming in from friends and relatives as far away as Oregon and Texas.

Bobby underwent laparoscopic surgery that night and came through with flying colors. I sent an update to my Profile page and to Nathaniel. He made the announcement the next morning in church and offered to drive downtown if necessary.

Do you know how calming that is to one’s fears ... to know that prayers are flying heavenward and your loved one in need is the object of God’s attention? Wow! And the initial request was taken care of in a few seconds — thanks to Facebook.

Nothing to do with religion? Are you kidding?

The other great thing that’s come out of Facebook is family connections. Let’s face it. The more distant your cousins get, the less you know about them. When my first cousins and I were growing up, we were more like brothers and sisters than cousins. But when they married and had kids, with today’s mobility, after we got the kids graduated and married, we seldom saw or heard from them.

Well, I’m here to tell you that Facebook has changed all that for me. I not only keep in contact with my first cousins’ children, but see pictures of their children, their travels, their homes ... it’s amazing. One recently moved to San Francisco and we made the entire trip with her. She posted pictures all along the route.

Even more distant cousins have become a part of my facebook friend list from the connections I made when i was doing genealogy. I have cousins all over the place!

Another Facebook advantage is the ability to post pictures almost immediately after they are taken, thanks to digital cameras and Facebook’s program.

When my family left Christmas night after preparing dinner for me and bringing it to my house (my Christmas present), I had the photos up on Facebook almost immediately — including an adorable picture of my great-grandson climbing the stairs and his first real Christmas at “Mimi’s.”

Other photos I’ve posted include my sister’s garden, my garden (such as it is ... I’m a rank beginner), last year’s snow, high school friends’ get together, family history photos, and more. You can have as many albums as you want on Facebook.

And there are games ... all kinds of games. When I can’t go to sleep, I play “Bejeweled Blitz” on Facebook, a competitive, jewel-busting game which pits you against your friends for high scores. For those of you who like it (I don’t), there’s Farmville where you and your friends help each other to raise crops and farm animals.

And, best of all, it’s absolutely free. To describe Facebook, I would say it’s like sitting down in a room with all your friends and relatives, seeing what they are doing (those who have chosen to share their thoughts and activities), telling them what you’re doing (if you like), responding to their posts and messages, and leaving when you please. You can also “chat” in real time (sort of like an instant message) which I do with my grandchildren often.

Now that is mind-boggling. Who would have ever thought that one day we would sit down and talk to our friends, neighbors and grandchildren on a typewriter?

It’s not difficult once you get the hang of it. If you haven’t tried it, I recommend it highly.

Even for us old folks!

Judy Kilgore is the religion editor for The Citizen. She can be reached at JodieK444@aol.com.