Update on God is Near

front coverUPDATE: Book details, review summaries, ordering information and more here. 

A few weeks ago I announced a forthcoming book. There is not an official release date but right now it looks more like June 1st than July 1st. Clicking the thumbnail at left will open a full size image of the front cover.

143 Facebook users like The Master’s Table Facebook page. There is now a God is Near Facebook page as well, for those so interested. You can view the front and back cover, read the Wholesaler’s Summary and get more frequent updates. Twitter users can follow @Godisnearbook for announcements and teasers.

Social Media Christmas

Happy Monday was long enough already and I didn’t want to just stick this in at the bottom. Here is an imaginative take on what the incarnation might have looked like on the pages of social media (i.e. Facebook). Props to the brilliant folks at Igniter Media.

Happy Monday

Has it ever occurred to you that nothing occurs to God?  -God’s Page

Joe Biden and Paul Ryan debated on Thursday night, Obama and Romney will be back at on Tuesday.  My wife wishes the election would already be over, and we don’t even live in one of those battleground states.  The entire election may come down to Ohio, and the t.v. ads and mail box stuffing is at full tilt.  Sorry Ohio.

Felix Baumgartner finally jumped from the edge of space over the weekend.  Did he set a new speed record, breaking the sound barrier in the process?  No.

American Airlines says the recent seat incidents aboard its planes may be due to spilled snacks and drinks corroding the hardware.  Snacks and drinks have been served on passenger planes since the 1920’s, Delta has over 5,000 flights per day, and only American has this problem?

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The Internet – Email, Blogging, Social Media – for Church

Chances are that if you were in the “blogging is a waste of time” camp you wouldn’t be reading this one right now.  While I may be preaching to the choir, what I plan to do is share my reasoning on how the Internet is a tool that can be used by churches to support their ministry, build community and share the Gospel.

I have personal friends in real life that have deleted their Facebook accounts because they are a waste of time.  “There’s nothing but junk on there” was the reasoning.  I know Christians that lament having wifi and DSL in their home because it distracts them from studying scripture.  Unplugging your internet is much worse than evangelicals who tossed out their t.v. sets in the 80’s.  Television only works one way; the Internet is a two way street. Continue reading

As Long as it’s Black

That’s what folks used to say about the Ford Model T: it came in any color you wanted, as long as you wanted black.  Consumer sovereignty has come a long way since the 1920’s.  Not only can today’s car buyer select exterior and interior colors and features, but each make and model car comes in several different styles.  40 years ago you had two choices when buying a phone, desk or wall mount.  Maybe there were a very few colors to pick from.  Today dozens of companies produce hundreds of designs.  The epic failure of products like Ford’s Edsel, Beta players and New Coke are classic economic 101 lessons demonstrating that the consumer is indeed sovereign and gone are the days that companies can force a product onto the marketplace or tell us what we want.

Unless you’re Facebook.

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Coffee with Jesus: Re-Posting

Click the image to see full size

I love Jesus.  I am not ashamed of the Gospel.  But I’m not guilted into copying & pasting nor reposting every lame statues update, jpeg image and gif file that tells me I have to.  “If you love Jesus you will repost, if you love Satan you will keep scrolling.”  Bull crap!  Today it’s Facebook, but we went through the same thing for about a decade with e-mail.  There is something that compels people to dream up new ways to get people to re-forward.  It doesn’t have to be religious; Facebook is not donating 3 cents each time you retweet that sick image of the little girl with cancer (if that’s even what the picture is of).

The e-mail petitions used to kill me.  Let’s say you get a petition in your inbox for a cause you really believe in.  If you add your name and forward to 10 people, as soon as those people sign and forward you’ve just created 10 different permutations of the petition list.  There is no way to consolidate that raw data back into one list.  Even if the 1000th person forwards it to whomever, what they will end up receiving is hundreds, possibly thousands of different lists.  Many of the names will be duplicates, especially of the early signatures, but each petition will be unique.  If you sign and forward, a day or two later you will start getting the petition again, and no two will be alike even if your is signature is #25 on each one.

I am not ashamed Jesus, so not forwarding your email or reposting your status will not cause him to be ashamed of me before his father.  You can read my Facebook profile or any one of 400 blog posts to know how I feel about Jesus.  I teach Bible at a Christian school, and preach frequently in our chapel and at a small church nearby.  I lead a youth group, play and sing praise & worship music, have driven a church van and some years ago played on a men’s church softball team.  When I “keep scrolling” it’s not because I love Satan.  Just for the record.

The Master’s Table on Facebook

The Master’s Table has been on Facebook for a while, but a “Like Box” now appears at the top of the right hand side bar.  If you’re on Facebook, click the Like button to get updates on new posts.

Each blog post also has share buttons for Facebook and Twitter, and there are other options such as Print and Email in a pull down menu.

New Features Available

I’m usually not among the first people to embrace a new trend.  My wife told me about Facebook two years before I signed up.  I wish I had bailed on MySpace sooner.  I also like for my blog to feel familiar; I’m annoyed when I visit a site of any kind regularly and it looks different every single time.  Find a theme/design that works for you and leave it alone.

That being said, I realize others embrace new trends and technologies more quickly than I do.  I added a Tweet feature a few weeks ago at the bottom of each blog post, and a few of my recent posts have been re-tweeted.  A few.  So, for the convience of my readers and fans (and to possibly attract new ones) several sharing features have been added.  At the bottom of each post, buttons appear for twitter and Facebook.  There are additional features under the “share” tab for e-mail, print, reddit, digg and StumbleUpon.  The number of mobile web devices and those socially networked is ever increasing.  The way to reach a mobile broadband world with the Gospel is to use the tools and media they are using.

Welcome to WordPress MBC

We live in what is called the Information Age.  Just one generation ago, Americans found out about what happened in the world around them by tuning in to a 30 minute televised news broadcast at 6:30 each evening.  Walter Cronkite, who only recently passed away, was the very first news anchor.  Today, with broadband mobile devices and public access to high speed Internet, we are never more than a few seconds removed from breaking news that happens anywhere on the globe.  There are of course those people that Tweet each individual item they put into their shopping cart, resulting in what the kids call TMI (too much information).

The point is that any data can be accessed instantaneously, and to overlook the potential to share the Gospel would be foolish.  I wish to welcome Manchester Baptist Church in Manchester, KY to WordPress. Continue reading