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.

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

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.

Separation of Church, State and Twitter

Read the full story here (CNN).  The issue is over Rep John Shimkus (R- IL) posting Bible verses daily on his Twitter account.  Political activist Barry Lynn claims that Shimkus tweeting Bible verses is a violation of separation of church and state.  My argument is that the only people reading the verses are the 3,000 or so followers who subscribe to receive the tweets.  There is no violation here.  Hundreds of comments took the same or similar positions, including those of atheists, agnostics, and those simply identifying themselves as non-Christian.

The establishment clause states that Congress shall make no law establishing a religion.  Sending personal tweets is not a legislative procedure.  Shimkus is also granted the first amendment right to express himself and exercise his religious beliefs freely.  Again, he is not quoting the Bible on the floor of Congress but in tweets read by his followers.  Does anyone care to weigh in, or is this matter too cut and dried to debate?

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