Facebook & Twitter: My Life Course Corrections (2 of 2)

ArmstrongFamily 220Yesterday I wrote about my personal journey in using the social media. In particular I wrote about Facebook and Twitter. I am not an expert on these media resources by any stretch. I do know how they have impacted my personal life. As a result of reflecting upon these social media resources I shared in that previous blog post how I will make changes beginning this week.

I will continue to blog. I will post my own material on this (my) blog site. I will also publish material from guest bloggers who hold various viewpoints and who are in my network of friends and Christian leaders. These will not be mere links to public sites and news feeds but articles and opinions that I post on my blog site with my knowledge and oversight. Generally, I will post only once a day. My sense of frequency feels like I will post 3-5 times a week. Most posts will be 300-500 words, some longer. It depends on the content and time I have to write. I will link all

Facebook & Twitter: My Life Course Corrections (1 of 2)

UnknownLike so many of you who are reading this blog post I have been on-again and off-again with Facebook and the social media. Recently I embraced them and began to devote more time to interact with friends and acquaintances via this means. As of today I am taking a “leave of absence” to rest from this medium. I want to rethink what I do with these resources over the next few weeks. One thing I am sure of, I do not need to be a “presence” in this world of social media. I do not criticize those who use this medium for its many good purposes but I have had to take personal inventory over the past few months. Here are my thoughts.

I find several reasons for using Facebook and Twitter that have encouraged and benefited me (and I hope some of you):

  1. I have come to know some readers (who I have not personally met yet) who pray for me and sincerely care for me as a person. Some of these friends I feel as if I know quite

The World Is Flat – What It Means for Mission

imagesThomas Friedman, in his best-selling book The World is Flat, provides an incredibly compelling overview of how advances in modern technology, communication and marketing have flattened our world. He explains that the world is rapidly shrinking and shows how geographical, language and cultural barriers have become increasingly blurred by the day. Never before have we had the resources, technology and accessibility that is now available to  us to effectively and instantaneously communicate and connect with people all over the world.

Just yesterday I had lunch with a friend who related a story to me that is now quite common. He was at a Christmas gathering with his “god-daughter” and asked her if she could function in the world without her “smart phone” in her hands? She looked at him incredulously and said, “No, I do not know how I would function without my cell phone/device!” I asked my friend, a few years older than me, if he could imagine functioning in his world without his automobile? He immediately saw my point. Of course you can live

Is Rick Warren a Liar?

A few days ago someone posted on my Facebook page information warning people of my evil for sharing in the sins of Roman Catholics. There was only one thing I could do, besides pray for them. I de-friended them immediately! If there was ever a social-network term that was misused it is the word “friend" given how some use Facebook to address their “friends.”

Check out how many Christians, including some pastors among them, respond to Rick Warren. The comments on this site are enough to warrant an R label for many of these people.

I never cease to be amazed at how Christians treat one another. A nephew, who attends Saddleback Church where Rick Warren is the pastor, recently sought to encourage me with regard to the lies and attacks that are routinely used against me on the Internet. He knows these hurt even though I seek to ignore them as much as possible. Perhaps the darkest and cruelest of all blows is to be called a liar. On the whole I’ve made progress about how to respond to such criticism over the course of time,

By |April 9th, 2011|Categories: Love, Web/Tech|

A Merry Digital Christmas

This is pretty clever. I sometimes have to smile at the creativity of people who make You Tube clips like this one. Enjoy and do, everyone who visits this blog now and then, have a Merry Christmas this day.

By |December 25th, 2010|Categories: Christ/Christology, Web/Tech|

Cyber Church on Facebook

I guess I was not surprised by this but a recent article in the Reformed Church in America bulletin insert called “Today” told about a church in Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey, that has begun a mid-week service for worship on Facebook. Yes, I am serious. You can check it out at www.facebook.com and then search for First Reformed Cyber Church and you will find it. I spent some time there to get a feel for what the church is really doing online.

Pastor Dianna Smith says “Worship at First Reformed Cyber Church is a very Reformed liturgical process.” She says this is just a new format that is being used to connect with younger people. Smith posts Scripture passages, music and videos, as well as litanies, all ahead of time. When the service begins she then guides those who take part from link to link. She will direct participants to read the Scripture text on their own and then, when they are finished, to respond with an “Amen” or by clicking “Like.” By this she knows when to proceed. Sermons are abbreviated and thus usually a

By |December 4th, 2010|Categories: The Church, Web/Tech|

The Social Network

image The critics insist, rightly so I think, that one of the true blockbuster films of 2010 is “The Social Network.” The film, directed by David Fincher, opened in October in the U.S. to strong reviews and fairly large box-office success. It traces the beginning and development of Facebook into the cultural phenomenon that it is today.

Facebook began at Harvard in a university dorm room where student Mark Zuckerberg, and a few friends, imagined and created a new means of communication between students. The rest is the story as they shared their network and began to market it beyond the university environment in which it was created. Mark Zuckerberg is played by the brilliant young actor, Jesse Eisenberg. Eisenberg apparently gets very close to the real person in his portrayal of Zuckerberg. Mark Zuckerberg is ambiguous, if not simply unlikable in the extreme. He destroys everyone who might be called his friend and consistently finds ways to ruin every human relationship he had or might have. Ironically, the

By |November 17th, 2010|Categories: Film, Web/Tech|

Cell Phones and the Brave New World of Hyper-Information

iphone_home Make no mistake about this, the world is moving from an Industrial Age to an Information Age. The ramifications of this are still to be seen over the course of the decades ahead of us. Many think this is the worst thing that has ever happened. Education will be unduly ruined they tell us. (It will surely be changed and how people learn will be radically altered I believe.) “The sky is falling” is pretty close to their approach. Others think this will be a new golden age. Everything from cell phones to social networking will bring us all much closer to each other and to real community. I am of neither opinion. Just as in other great shifts in culture and life these will bring about much good. There will be some new possibilities for improving life and we can already see a few taking shape around us each day. But there will also be some distinct problems that will further erode the human condition socially.


By |October 23rd, 2010|Categories: Web/Tech|

Slander: One of the Most Devastating Sins in the Church

While Christians currently debate a host of ethical issues that are very important to the life and well-being of the church I fear that too few of us are willing to actually address a sin that destroys the work of the Spirit as fast, if not faster, than almost any other sin. I refer to the sin of slander.

Slander-vs-Libel Slander, as I wrote two days ago, is false and malicious talk about others. Gossip may selectively use information, even truth, to just chatter and talk too much. This is bad enough, as we saw yesterday. But slander is much worse. It plunges straight ahead knowing full-well that the facts have been carelessly used or altered to suit the opinions and views of those committing the sin. Slander is listed in Mark 7:21-23 as one of those sins that comes from deep inside the human heart. It comes out of the “heart” and is “vile.” There are thirteen things listed

Every Idle Word

office_gossip-web1 I confess that the words of our Lord in Matthew 12:36-37 have long sent chills down my spine. Most of you have read them: “And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak. The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you” (NLT).

I think it is imperative that we get the sense of this text right. The traditional translation of the word “idle” should be challenged. The impression is that all random remarks will be judged and (this is what sends chills down our spine) if we are guilty there is no hope for us. If this were correct  then no one would be justified on the last day. A truer explanation is that the phrase here means “every deedless word.” Matthew 7:22-23 has already told us that we will give an account for all our deeds. Thus it seems to me Jesus is saying that