Category Archives: internet

Lent Day 1!


As a heads up, I probably won’t blog every single day for 46 days.  Let’s just go ahead and set that expectation up front.  If I tried that, I’d probably go crazy.

Charlie Sheen

Oh, come on.  Not that crazy!

However, I wanted to make note of a couple of things about my first day without social media.

1) Only one person sent me a txt to ask if I was going crazy or not.  Honestly, I’m hurt.  I really don’t know if this is a good or bad thing.  Oh well.  Thanks for the txt to check up on me, Tom.

2) “Your focus needs more focus,” a line from the newer “Karate Kid” movie (I like the original better).  In an effort to have more focus, I have a new office area in my bedroom.  So today, armed with my new whiteboard of knowledge and wisdom, calendar, new notepad, laptop (minus social media) and a few other goodies, I set out for the day.  Well, not to be proud but, I conquered today like Arthur conquered the sword in the stone.  Like buttah!  =)  Don’t tell my boss.  I don’t want to get his expectations up.

3) By the time I deleted bookmark folders, apps on my phone and even my new Facebook browser (Rockmelt), I realized how much time I spend on social media.  Day one wasn’t even over and I was already disgusted with myself.  I enjoy social media, but need to be more disciplined with it.  I posted about that awhile back as well.

4) When you replace your social media time with time with God, you will be surprised how much of the book of Deuteronomy you can read.

5) This is obviously a spiritual journey for me.  You might not do Lent, might not care about it and it might just not be your thing.  But today was great for me.  Simply replacing time on Facebook with time being focused on God and realigning myself with Him, was amazing.  I was very aware of God’s presence in my life today.  Sometimes, I get so wrapped up with the things I think are important, that I drown out what’s most important.  I hope all 46 days are like this.

1 down, 45 to go.  This is going to be one cool journey.

Top 5!


I wanted to “interrupt” this blog to share with you my “Top 5” Super Bowl commercials from this year.  Why would I do such a thing?  Well, because when I registered my blog at WordPress, I didn’t give you the password.  This means, I get to interrupt my blog any time I want for fun stuff like this.  Plus, I couldn’t choose just one this year.  I liked a lot of them.  So, without further adieu, I present to you my “Top 5” favorite, Super Bowl commercials from Super Bowl 45.

#5 – NFL Best Fans Ever!

#4 – Doritos – House Sitting!

#3 – Snickers – Logging!

#2 – Volkswagen – The Force!

#1 – Chrysler – Imported from Detroit!

 

There you have it.  My top 5, favorite Super Bowl commercials from this year.

Let me know what you think.

Which ones were your favorites?

Social Media Fast


Facebook.  Twitter.  Foursquare.  Yammer.  Tumblr.  LinkedIn.  XING.  Meetup.  MySpace.  And that’s just a start.  Social media is huge in our world.  In fact, it has changed hSocial Media Mapow we communicate, meet people, share photos and even do business.

Over the last couple of weeks, I have taken a break from all of it.  I logged off of Facebook.  I gave up tweeting.  I didn’t even yam on yammer.  In fact, I’m pretty sure no one even knew where I was because I cut Foursquare out of my life.  No blogs were written.  I deleted the apps off of my phone.  I literally went on a social media fast.  I had a very specific goal in mind.  There was something missing in my life.  All of the social media stuff had just become noise for me.  Time was being wasted.  And to top it off, I wasn’t hearing from the most important “social connection” in my life.  So I want to tell you a little about what I learned during my social media fast.

I would give you an accurate time frame, but honestly, I’m not sure what that time frame is.  What I can honestly say is, that this has been going on way too long.  So in the following examples, just insert “way too long” as a time frame.

For (time frame), I could tell you what the latest YouTube fad video was.  But I couldn’t tell you what God was up to.

For (time frame), I could tell you what was going on in many parts of the world.  But I couldn’t tell you how God was working in my world.

For (time frame), I could point you to blogs, websites and resources all over the net.  But I couldn’t point you what God was saying.

My goal was to get my priorities back in the right place.  I replaced all of my social media time, with time with God.  Instead of updating my status, I spent some time hearing from God.  And something amazing happened.  I began hearing from God in fresh ways.  Everything began to change for me.  Things were much clearer.  I began to have a very clear sense of the things I had to do as a campus pastor.  It was one of the best things I have ever done, spiritually speaking.

I’m convinced that we can fast from more than just food.  Fasting is a spiritual practice where we give something up in order to hear from and get closer to God’s will for our life.  For me, it was fasting from social media that is just what I needed.  My last update on social media was September 15th.  My fast began on the 13th.  I updated on the 15th to simply say that God was already showing up in a big way.  And what a great three weeks it has been.

So what did I learn?

  1. I don’t need social media to survive.
  2. I need God to survive.
  3. Social media is fun, but it’s not life.
  4. Time is precious and how I spend it needs to be watched, closely.
  5. God speaks to us when we are as intentional about listening to Him as we are about spending time on Facebook.

Many of you may be wondering; will I be back to social media?  The answer to that question is, “Yes.”  I will be back to social media.  But I will be back with a much clearer perspective on how and when to use it.  I will have a plan in place to make sure it doesn’t take over my life.  So for those of you who follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr or Foursquare, you don’t have to fear.  I’ll be back soon.

So, that brings us to you.

Do you think we need a social media fast?

Have you ever taken one?

What did you learn?

Are you going to take one now?

Who’s Building The House?


One of the things I have been praying about recently is that God would show me what He wants to do with His church.  In my specific case, His campus.  My prayer has been simple; “God, who do you want us to be?  What do You want us to accomplish?  What can we do to bring You glory?”Traditional Church Building

As I was doing some reading and studying to try and prepare myself for what God might say, I found my way to 2 Samuel 7.  This was a big deal to me because for so long, I have been making the same mistake as David.  Prior to verse 5, David makes an assumption that he will be the one to build God a big, beautiful house.  He assumes that his plan is right and that God will bless it.  In fact, he was so confident, he told the prophet of God, Nathan, about his plan.  David has decided that because he lives in such a beautiful palace, there’s no reason why God should dwell in a tent.  He wants to build God’s house.

So often I have prayed that way.  Have you?  I have prayed, “God, bless what I’m doing.  We’re doing ‘this’ ministry, bless it.  Make it work for You.  I’ve read the demographics.  I’ve done the research.  I’ve prepped the team.  Please bless our efforts, so that You get the glory.”

We make the same mistake that David made.  He wanted God to bless his plans with the ulterior motive of bringing God glory.  He justified making his own plans by assuming God wanted his plan.  The church as a whole is in the middle of something similar.  Should we be attractional (let’s do a bunch of big events)?  Should we be missional (let’s have church in a coffee house)?  Can attractional and missional be blended?  Maybe we should be more traditional?  Maybe we should start house churches?  The internet and technology are there.  Let’s launch an internet church.  Or should we do video church?  So many questions, so little time.  So many “houses” to build.

Starbucks SpiritualityI believe those questions must be answered.  I believe those questions are legit and shouldn’t be ignored.

Here’s where I believe we get hung up.  2 Samuel 7:5 says, “Go and tell my servant David, `This is what the Lord has declared: Are you the one to build a house for me to live in?'”  In other words, we often think we are the ones with the master plan.  We read the books, go to the conferences and even wear the right clothes.  We begin to believe that we have the plan.  We will build God’s house.  We will make His name great.  He will bless our efforts.

That’s when we must hear the voice of God saying to us, “Are you really the one to build a house for me?”  God says, I have this planned out.  I know what I want my house to look like.  And I even know who I want to build the thing.  Our mistake is not that we work hard for God, our mistake is that we look to the wrong source for the plan.

How much different would church be if every single follower of Christ and church leader, went to God to find out what God wanted?

What if we asked God His opinion before we start to build?

How much greater would the effectiveness of the church be if “we” weren’t building God’s house, but we were allowing God to do the building?

How much stronger would the church be if church leaders and pastors were humbling themselves under the hand of God?  Fasting and praying for His lead?  Waiting on God to make the first move?  How much stronger would we be?

The question I want to ask you is this, “Who’s building the house?”

Are you building and hoping God blesses your plans?

Or are you allowing God to lead the way and working where He blesses.

Thoughts?

Book Sale!


Hey everyone.  In an effort to downsize my library before my move to Virginia, I have posted a couple of items on eBay.  I thought I’d post the links here to spread the word about what I’m selling.  So I hope you will check out the following links to see if you might be interested in them.  I have some books available as well that aren’t sets or commentaries.  So if you are interested in other resources, contact me and I’ll see if I have what you are looking for.

Matthew Henry Commentary Set (Old and New Testament)

The Pulpit Commentary (New Testament only)

Clarke’s Commentary (Old and New Testament)

Barne’s Commentary (Old and New Testament)

Bible Study Textbook (Old and New Testament)

Thanks for checking them out.  Feel free to bid, a lot :), and help me get these sets sold.  Thanks.

Glo Bible


Let’s all be honest with ourselves and confess that we are now living in a technological world.  Almost everything is done through either a computer or electronic advice.  There is probably little argument that atop the list of modern day gadgets sits the iPhone.  Download an app (application) for nearly anything you can possibly imagine.  Use your iPhone (or other smart phones) to look up recipes for dinner, download music lessons, stay connected to friends and family through facebook or twitter applications.  Grab the app that shows you step-by-step how to make your own espresso at home.  And there are thousands more; everything from home design to catching your favorite teams score.

Now, step into a “typical” church.  Sit down in “your” pew (no cafe or Starbucks here).  Listen as someone tells you to pick up a book from the shelf in front of you called a him, hem or hymn book.  You’re not sure which it is but you do as you’re told.  Turn to page number 264.  Turn a page?  You have to be kidding me.  Is there an app for this thing?  Now listen as the man in the front begins to preach a sermon.  He says some things that you aren’t too sure about.  You would really like to ask some questions, but judging from the looks and demeanor of those around you, it is either really a bad time to interrupt with your question or that just isn’t accepted here.  When the service is over, one in which there was no Starbucks or app for the hymns you just sang, you head to the church library looking for something that might be helpful in your search for answers.  Blow the dust off of an old commentary set or get lost in a book that is full of symbols.  It’s all Greek to you though.  Again, there’s no app for this.  There’s no current, modern or up-to-date way to get the information you want.

Better yet, there doesn’t seem to be a way to get the info your soul craves.

What your soul needs.

So you give up looking there.

Perhaps, you give up searching entirely.

What if there was an easier way?  What if there was a way to get the Bible out into the hands of millions of spiritually hungry people in a way they can understand?  In a way that is modern, quick and yes, even cool.  Can the Bible be cool?  Is that possible?  Or is that some form of heresy that must be rejected?

There is a great new resource available to people who are interested in searching the Bible in a whole new way.  It is called Glo Bible.  It is an entirely new way to explore the Bible and find the answers you are looking for.  I included a short video that briefly introduces this great new product.  If you like what you see, head over to their website and buy it for yourself.  I promise, you won’t be disappointed.  Maybe, just maybe, the church has found a way to get the Bible into the hands of people in a 21st Century way.

The Church and Sex!


It’s a topic that the church rarely discusses.  When sex is discussed it is usually in context of how evil and dirty it is.  Most often is associated with a guilt trip or manipulative message designed to scare us away from something that God built into us and created us for.  Within the covenant of marriage that is established by God, there is nothing more beautiful than a healthy physical relationship with your spouse.

There are many who have taken sex and turned it into a show for the world to see.  Many have seen a porn magazine or adult film while others frequent adult bookstores.  There is one problem for our culture with sex being done this way.  The problem is that it’s not anonymous enough for us.  We want to stick to our fetishes and our fantasies with a little more privacy.  And as the blog below shows, the internet has allowed us to do that.

Here’s the scary part.  Most people want to make a huge divide between the church and the sex industry.  Yet, how different are they really?  Especially when it comes to anonymity.  Ready to stretch yourself and your view of the church?  You should really read this blog and on twitter follow @JesusNeedsNewPR.  So what are you waiting for?  Go and read the blog.

http://jesusneedsnewpr.blogspot.com/2009/09/anonymous-life-sex-wednesday.html

Social Networking!


The year was 1492.  Christopher Columbus was preparing to set sail to open new trade routes and share Jesus with the new world.  On August 3rd, 1492, headed westward landing at the Bahama island of Guanahani on October 12th.  For those of you keeping track, it took him more than two months to make the trip.Facebook

In other words, our world is much smaller than it used to be.  The internet has brought the entire world right into our living rooms and computer screens.  In a split second I can be
connected to someone across the ocean and talk world economics with them if I wanted to.  Online social networking sites have done nothing to slow that down.  If anything, social networking has only served to speed our world up and shrink it down some more.

I share my thoughts on a blog.

Post pictures on flickr or photobucket.

I friends on facebook.

And in 140 characters, I can tell you exactly what I’m doing, right now, on twitter.

It seems that social networking has capitalized on an idea that the church has also been trying to capitalize on; connection.  Social media allows us to connect with people all over the world and right in our back yard.  We can talk, chat or have a video conversation with them instantly.  We get updates on their family pictures.  We read about their lives.  We make more connections with more people today than at any other time in history (no statistics, just my opinion from observation).

Our church has a facebook and twitter page that we use to keep people who follow or befriend us up-to-date on what we’re doing.  But I wonder if the church is doing all it can toTwitter
capitalize on this social phenomenon.  How is the church really using social networking sites to make an impact in the world for Jesus Christ?  How is your church or ministry using social networking to advance the Gospel of Jesus?  What are some creative ways the church can use these sites more effectively to reach the culture?  I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts and hopefully some of your ideas.

For bonus points- push further than current social networking sites have.  Tell me what you see in the future for social networking.  Is there an end in sight?  Will the fad come to an end and the church will find itself back at square one?  Can the church push the envelope further and possibly lead the way in some form of social networking?

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