Sunday, September 21, 2014

Facebook Re-purposing

I've been spending a lot less time on the social networks and made a few discoveries. I thought I'd share them with you.

1) I have way more "friends" in the virtual world than in reality.
2) Some of the people that I see on Facebook, I actually see in person pretty often.
3) Many of my "friends" I don't really follow (and I'm sure many don't follow me).

There are several other observations that I could share, but these are the three that stand out for me.

I like Facebook for a number of reasons.

It helps me --get this-- network! I like it for the ability to have an easy contact for pastors, churches and other organizations that might want to use my services as a preacher/teacher/magician/speaker/etc.

I have really enjoyed connecting with old classmates and staying in touch with relatives that live far away (and all of my relatives live far away).

Some of my friends post some pretty cool things.

Again, there are other good things, but that's not really important.

In the coming days, I'm going to be making some massive cuts to my friends list. I'm not out to hurt anyone's feelings. I'm just re-purposing my use of this particular social network. If I work with you or see you on a fairly regular basis, you might get dropped. We may have to talk about what is going on in our lives rather than the "I saw your Facebook post" beginning and end to a conversation.

It could be that we became FB friends out of a single event or a single commonality and we really have no other interest in one another's lives. It's not that I don't like you, but you're probably going to go.

In the end, my 635 current "friends" will be greatly reduced. Most of them will never notice (which is a good indication of why they were dropped). Some of you might. If you think that I've been too extreme, feel free let me know. If you want to keep in touch via FB, just say so.

I'm not planning on making a grand production out of who I keep and who I delete, I'm just going to go down the list with a simple yea or nay and move on. Kids, youths, workers from camps--we had fun and I wish you well in your lives, but I'm probably gonna drop you. Some of my ATC friends I know, some I'd really like to know, and others are here because we've met once (maybe) and share a common career. Some I'll keep, some I won't and again, the ones I drop will probably never notice.

I hope that nobody gets their feelings hurt by this. It's really more of a self-preservation thing; a way to make sure that I spend less time on my phone reading about people that are far away and more time relating to the people that are actually close to me.

John <><

Sunday, September 14, 2014


A few days ago I was having breakfast with a friend. We were talking about preachers and preaching styles and how they vary according to one's calling and purpose. Pastors preach/teach differently than evangelists or revivalists. And while we all have our different personal styles of delivering a message, our source is (or at least is supposed to be) the same.

We have the teacher, the encourager, the exhorter, the motivator. We remind one another of how we are to live according to the Bible and how we are to love our fellowman. There are many methods and ways used to communicate the message of the Bible.

However, there seems to be a type of messenger that is missing today:

The one that declares the coming danger.

I'm not saying that we should be on street corners with our "world is coming to an end" signs. I'm not typically a gloom and doom type of messenger.
And while there are certainly many that believe we are in the final days or living out the end times, I'm not sure I believe that is the case.

What I do know is that our days are limited. Whether we die of the natural aging process and live out many decades of life, or meet our end through illness or an accident, nobody gets out of this alive. If death is simply the end of life and nobody can avoid it, then a warning about what is already certain seems pointless. But if there is something on the other side that is dependent on how we live in this life, then perhaps a warning is in order.

Is there an afterlife?
Does this afterlife consist of a heaven and a hell?
If so, how does one get into heaven and avoid hell?

It may be that most people are so wrapped up in their current life and so secure in their own goodness that they either haven't considered what happens after death or figure that they're doing okay.

I know plenty of good people that believe that the scales will balance on the side of good and their eternal souls will be okay. I'm not sure of the source of their end times theology, but it doesn't match with the teaching of the Bible. The thing is, most of them would tell you that they believe in the God of the Bible--and because they believe themselves to be good people, surely God won't send them to hell.

I don't know if you're one of those people or not. Maybe you know the things you need to know and yet you postpone living for Jesus or sharing the truth of the Gospel with your kids. Maybe baseball, football, hockey, band, school, and life have become the priorities of life and you'll find time for God and the things of God later. Perhaps, we've come to think of tomorrow as an entitlement and will settle our eternal future on the coming tomorrow.

Today, I am sounding the bell of warning!
The end is near! If you have seen your last sunset, are you ready to meet your eternity? What about your kids or your loved ones?
What do you think it takes to get into heaven?
Where do you find that information and is it reliable?

These are all questions that are worthy of a well considered answer.

If you are a follower of Jesus and believe that heaven is only available through Him, will you share that belief with someone today? Or are you content to let those around you go through life without knowing what you believe about heaven and hell? Would you have your friends go to hell simply because you failed to share what you believe? Because you failed to warn them?

If you are a follower of Jesus (a Christian), would you join me in sounding a warning?
Let's make sure that we are sharing the Gospel of salvation by grace, through faith in Jesus.

If you are not a follower of Jesus and are uncertain of what's next, feel free to call or e-mail me with your questions. My contact info is available in the right column of this blog.

John <><

Monday, September 01, 2014

Another Step Towards Going Green

In an effort to continue to reduce the size of the carbon footprint that I'm making on the Earth, I'm considering a reel lawn mower for my suburban sized yard. I'm past the point of needing a new mower as the gasoline powered unit is limping along and may make it to the end of this mowing season...or not. It's a little embarrassing mowing the lawn as it makes its sputtering sounds while working its way through the task of cutting my grass.

I was considering an electric mower but started thinking that with a relatively flat lawn and small size, why not go completely powerless and provide the power myself?

I'm wondering...
What are some of the ways that you are reducing your carbon footprint?

A little less air conditioning?
Walking or biking for short errands?
A more fuel efficient vehicle?
Eating less red meat?

Here's an interesting one--drinking less bottled water!

That's right! With plastic bottles being a petroleum product, we use millions of barrels of oil to make plastic bottles that are filled with tap water, shipped via gas guzzling trucks to the store and then thrown away after a single use. I'm guilty--but have decided to really cut back on this one.

So, how about it?
What are the ways that you are friendly to our Earth home?
Please share so that all of us can join you.

John <><