Addicted to Social Media..

Good evening everyone! I hope you are doing well!

Last night was the Golden Globes here in the USA. The Best Motion Picture Drama went to The Social Network.

Really???

How addicted to Facebook is society, that the best film of the year is this movie? I totally have to disagree with the Hollywood Foreign Press on this one.

Wow..

I am just curious, does anyone know of an award show for Christian movies? If so, I would be interested in finding out what it is, and who votes for the movies.

The point of this post is not to talk about movies. I guess what I am trying to get across is that our society is more focused on technology, and social media, and “connecting”, to actually CONNECT with people. I know we talk through Facebook and text, etc.., but how deep into someone’s life can you get without the occasional meeting in person?

Now this is solely my opinion, but I think the definition of connecting has been re-written, and it needs to go back to the way it used to be; where people communicate on that deeper level.

Let me know what you think…

Until next time readers, God Bless!

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One Year.. A Reflection of Time

Good evening readers! I hope everyone is doing well tonight. Does everyone realize what day it is today?

Today is the one year anniversary of this blog. That’s right. I made it, and it has flown by!

Tonight I wanted to reflect on the last year. I hope I don’t bore you.

Just a few statistics for you:

1) In the last year, I have posted 114 blog entries, tagged 955 words, and created 68 categories.

2) This blog has had a total of 129 comments, and has blocked 1317 spam comments.

3) I have 9 active subscribers that get an email each time I post.

4) My Facebook fan page has 90 fans.

5) My Twitter account has 249 followers, and I am listed 103 times.

And… You know what??

I give all the glory to God! I started this blog to use it as my quiet time. I wanted to document what I was learning from God. Then it became a ministry to reach out to others with, while expressing my opinion on different topics, books, movies, etc.

I want to personally thank all of you that read my blog each time I post. I really means a lot. I want to thank my wife for letting me write.

I want to leave you with the motivation behind this blog. It can be found on the ” About This Blog” page as well.

I am a Christian living in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma,USA. This blog is a log of my adventures with God starting 12/13/09. The title of this blog is based off of the scripture Romans 8:15 :

This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?”–The Message.

So with that said.. I look forward to the next year of blogging. I hope that you take the journey with me.

Until next time readers, God Bless!

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The Bible… In Blog Format

Evening readers. I hope everyone is enjoying their evening/week so far. While my wife is away enjoying time with some friends this evening, I thought I would write about something I thought about this morning in the shower.

Lately I have kinda been having some writer’s block, but kind of not. I don’t know. I have ideas about things to write about during dreams, or on my commute, and then get home and think they are stupid. At that point I decide not to publish them, and then I end up forgetting about them.

So.. Here is my idea from today. It may be stupid, but work with me here.

What if the authors of the Bible were to have computers and the internet back when the Bible was originally written? Would they write it in the form of a book, or a blog? Would the letters in the Bible be in email format? How would have technology played into it if it were around back then?

Going with the mentioning of writer’s block, do you think that the authors had it? I know that it is said, and strongly believed by some, that every word in the Bible was put into the thoughts of the authors. Do you believe that? I sort of believe that. I kind of find it hard to believe though that someone was actually dictating every word that Jesus said.

Anyway..

Those are my thoughts for the day. Feel free and add to them. Tell me what you think.

Until next time, God Bless!

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The Measure of a Man

Today I wanted to discuss what it means to be a man in this world. The obvious answer has to deal with anatomy, but that isn’t what I am talking about.

What makes a man, a man? Is he supposed to be measured by his financial success, social life, spiritual life, athletic ability; what?

In my opinion a man is in today’s society is measured mostly on his financial success. Money is definitely one of the biggest things out there that we are judged by. I have heard a lot of people say that you aren’t successful unless you are rich. I have dealt with this issue in my head a lot in my past, and have come to realize that this isn’t necessarily true. There are several ways that we can be successful , and not be rich.

Another way I think that a man is measured in society is by his appearance. Now ladies I know this is something that you deal with as well, so I am not trying to exclude you from the issue. I am just saying that society judges our appearance as well. If a man is overweight, he is considered lazy. If he doesn’t dress well, he is considered a slob. I could go on and on.

I want to also mention that man is measured on his intelligence as well. Even though it isn’t the most popular thing to be considered, being a geek, dork, dweeb, nerd, or whatever actually has its’ perks. Intelligence kind of falls into that success category. A college education is huge! It is even getting to where an associates degree is being compared to a high school diploma. The higher the education you have, the more successful you will be.

The last thing I wanted to touch on today was a man’s spiritual life. In today’s society, that really isn’t measured that much. Why not? In my opinion, a man’s spiritual life develops and maintains his character as a person. I am not saying that we should be judging of others that don’t have a spiritual life, or even a weak one; what I am saying is that this part of a man should be at least considered.

What are your thoughts? How is someone measured to you? What characteristics of a person are most important to you?

Until next time readers, God Bless!

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Feature Friday– Did You Know “Twitter” Is In The Bible?

Good Morning readers! Today is Feature Friday! We are featuring Scott Williams and his blog Big Is The New Small. He is the Campus Pastor for the Northwest Oklahoma City Campus of LifeChurch.tv. The following is an interesting post from Feb. 23, 2010.

Every once and awhile you will run across a nugget of information that makes you go “hmm!”  That’s what happened to me not long ago when my friend @mbstockdale shared this passage of scripture with me. Insomniac, I twitter away, mournful as a sparrow in the gutter.” Psalm 102:7 Message Version If you don’t believe me look to the left at the screen shot of my YouVersion Bible App on my iPhone.

That’s what you call taking “Twitter” to a whole nutha’ level and confirms my 5 Reasons To Twitter During Church.

Did you know the word “Twitter” was in the Bible?    Feel free to share any random useful/non-useful information that you may have come across.

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I hope you like today’s Feature Friday. Go check out more at Scott’s Blog. You will find very interesting blog posts there.

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Tech. Tuesday– Churches and Technology

Good morning everyone. Today is Tech. Tuesday! Today I wanted to share with you an article I found relating to technology and today’s church. I live in Oklahoma City, and each week, a new issue of a free newspaper comes out called The Gazette. They write articles on different things, and I thought this was interesting. Enjoy!

Metro churches turn to technology to spread the good word

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

By Malena Lott

According to the New Testament, Jesus’ jour­neys were mostly relegated to modern-day Israel and the West Bank. His message and ministry, primarily by word of mouth. His mode of travel, primarily by foot. Yet despite his limited geographic reach, his message went viral, bringing in crowds from near and far to hear him speak.

Today, “going viral” has a new meaning: utilizing technology, and specifically social media, to spread messages, where just a decade before, we relied on print communication outside of the pulpit. With one click of the mouse, a message can be sent around the world. It begs the question: If Jesus were alive today, would he Twitter? Have a Facebook profile? Flickr account? Post proof of his miracles on YouTube?

Like no other time in history, it is possible to be “everywhere at once,” even if you’re not an omniscient being. In the fast-evolving world of technology, does “church” as a physical place of worship matter as much as its mission? How is spreading the word of the Gospel changing?

“If Jesus were alive, I don’t think he’d have to use social media,” said Tony Steward, online community pastor at LifeChurch.tv. “His followers all have mobile phones. They’d be spreading his message for him. He loved to be around people, from prostitutes to tax col­lectors. He’d still go where the people go.”

Striking a balance

Jeff Wilson, the pastor of innovation and communication at Henderson Hills Baptist Church in Edmond, thinks Jesus would encourage his fol­lowers to use every option available to spread the good news, as he com­manded in Matthew 28:19-20: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptiz­ing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you.”

Wilson manages the Twitter account @HendersonHills, which currently has nearly 200 followers, but doesn’t follow anyone back. That means he uses the microblogging service to push con­tent instead of building relationships. Some pastors are more active, like Scott Williams (@ScottWilliams), a campus pastor at LifeChurch.tv on Northwest Expressway, who has 31,783 followers and follows 23,170 and counting. For example, on Dec. 1, Williams posted, “Just finished talkin w/ a guy having some marriage problems. I digg provid­ing tools & steps: God, Communication, Comittment, Date Nights…”

Even older churches are beginning to use high-tech tools, including Bethany First Church of the Nazarene, which recently celebrated its 100th birthday. Its communications pastor, Bob Miller, said the challenge is to strike a balance.

“We have many in our fellowship who are not tech-savvy and don’t have Internet access. There are many who think e-mail is old-fashioned and only communicate on Twitter and Facebook. The goal is to communicate in a way so that each person has an opportunity to know, act or respond, which requires mul­tiple avenues of communication,” he said.

The role of managing the church communications continues to grow, including adding volunteers and even an IT staff to keep up. Area churches use services such as YouTube and iTunes for podcasts, Flickr for sharing photos, and Twitter and Facebook for promot­ing its events and building community. If you’d like to hear more from the pas­tor than his pulpit message on Sunday, well, there’s a blog for that, too. For one, Henderson Hills pastor Dennis Newkirk’s blog, “From Dennis,” gets a link from the home page of the church’s Web site at http://www.hhbc.com.

Online Church

While the usage of social media appears to be promoting the church more than the message of Christ, Steward believes that’s a natural step in the progression of adapting tech­nology, including providing “online church,” something he described as a part of LifeChurch.tv’s DNA, making it perhaps the most high-tech church in the metro area. Founded in 1996, LifeChurch.tv began using video teaching in 2001 and offers free wor­ship resources to networked churches around the world; it recently surpassed 1 million downloads of such material.

People can not only watch LifeChurch.tv’s online services from anywhere around the world, but are able to interact with a volunteer team led by an “experience host,” get questions answered and have people pray for them.

Online isn’t just relegated to the computer anymore, either. Steward sees mobile applications as the next “big thing” in technology, and LifeChurch. tv even encourages its members to  follow along with the pastor’s weekly talk on their Web-enabled phones, to access the Bible via YouVersion. com, take notes and even e-mail the talk to others, all during the service.

Henderson Hills will follow in LifeChurch.tv’s digital footsteps, adding live, interactive ministry to the online service experience, and Bethany Nazarene recently added sermons to its Web site at http://www.beth­anynaz.org, although they are neither live nor moderated.

Not a replacement

Does this new technology mean you can skip church altogether and just watch at home in your PJs or while sipping coffee at Starbucks? Not so fast.

“Scripture clearly says being a part of a fellowship is one of the direct commands of Jesus,” Wilson said, who believes watching the online service is a convenience for those traveling or homebound, but not a replacement for church in person.

Steward adds that online church is “not even competition, because most of those watching aren’t a part of a local church to begin with. We see it as another part of our ministry. It allows us to con­nect with more people and more places. One of the growth things is we stop tell­ing them how to connect with us, but instead value and honor them at their point of need.”

The pastors all agreed the Web site is the first stop for spiritual seekers to learn more about the church and even watch a few services before they visit in person. Tracking Web usage provides churches with helpful research to guide its mission, too.

In 30 days’ time, Bethany Nazarene’s site had 7,157 visits with 41,791 page views.

“This is up 5.75 percent over the previous month,” Miller said, noting that the online sermons and study guides were among the most popular pages. He said the church’s Facebook page, with 494 members, represents about 22 per­cent of its Sunday attendance.

LifeChurch.tv has online tracking down to a science, devoting a part of its site specifically to digital missions that explain the initiatives and providing a link to donate. The Web site states: “At LifeChurch.tv, God has led us to leverage every technology tool within our grasp to spread his truth and love across the planet. And he is working through these efforts more powerfully than we even dreamed possible. For just 7¢ a person, we reached 1,008,567 people in July 09.”

One of the things Miller loves see­ing churches do is use technology for instant feedback.

“We recently asked people to text us their prayer requests during a prayer time. And immediately they were read and were prayed for,” he said.

Face-to-face or Facebook?

While you may not be asked for text prayer requests during mass at liturgical churches such as the Catholic Church, Roxy Kostuck, a 32-year-old member of Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Mustang, said her technology require­ments are that the Web site be up-to-date with the latest information and events going on in the church.

“E-mail newsletters would be a nice supplement to the printed church bulletin and would help reduce paper waste, too,” Kostuck said. Although it’s not through her own parish’s Web site, she enjoys looking up Scripture online and sharing biblical quotes with her friends via e-mail and Facebook.

Dr. Jami Lewis, a member of First Unitarian Church in Midtown, said she no longer even notices the bulletins on corkboards at church, and rarely reads the printed newsletter mailed to her home.

“As parents, we rely on e-mail so much to stay informed,” Lewis said. “A lot of us are on Facebook, so we have started a few chats before, but it didn’t really go far. We do have a care and concern group on Facebook where we get updates, but not very often.”

While technology may be seen only as an “aid” in the church’s mission, it has already rapidly changed the way we live and work in just the last few years. The future of Christianity — or any reli­gion, really — likely won’t be driven by church elders or pastors of innovation at all, but by the youngest of the flock who may Google God and come up with a radically new way of experiencing him that we haven’t thought of yet.

Generation Z, those born between the mid-1990s to today, will be the most highly connected generation in history, with a true lifelong use of computers and media technologies, giving the group the label of “Digital Natives.” No doubt they’ll take digital to a higher power.

Got Jesus? There’s an app for that.–Malena Lott

*Taken from here

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So, what are your thoughts? Should today’s church be involved with Twitter, Facebook, and other social media? Should sermons be uploaded to podcasts? Should churches run  a website?

Until next time readers, God Bless!

* In no way am I or this blog getting paid to share this article with you.

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