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Twittering My Week Away

texting abe uses technology by Jaaako via flickrUntil last week, I had successfully resisted Twitter like I had succesfully resisted golf— convinced that both were horrible wastes of time that had deviously enslaved millions of victims.

What, you say, is Twitter?  Launched in October 2006, Twitter is a “microblog”— a way of communicating publically about yourself over the internet in short sentences, spur of the moment.  You can post short updates about yourself (have to be 140 characters or less) by either website, web-enabled phone, or by text messaging direct to twitter.  There are over two million people on Twitter; many people send out these short postings (called “tweets”) throughout the day, informing the world of what they had for lunch, if they’re stuck in traffic, the latest project they are working on, how their meeting went, and on and on it goes.

So you can see why I steered way clear of such a horrible waste of time.  But one week ago today, I thought, Hmmm….. I’ll try it out, what could it hurt?  Well, so I’ve done 46 “tweets” in the past 7 days, I am following 26 people (most of whom I already had contact with as writers strung from Canada to Australia) and 13 people are currently following me.  I’ve tweeted both from computers and from my iPhone, on serious topics and not so serious ones.  I’ve also had twitter forward my tweets directly over to my Facebook page where they show up as Facebook updates.

It’s actually been an interesting & intruiging week of twittering.  I try to be cautious about what projects are worth my time investment, but I’ve decided Twitter is a winner for me.  It is a unique way of sharing life together, of building community, even in a limited way, with people that you never could in any other way.  Tweets tend to be informal, spontaneous, less guarded, more open and honest, less “image conscious” than some other ways of communicating.  It’s also a good way for me to communicate something that is on my mind worth sharing but not long enough to write up a whole article about.  Bottom line: I’ve enjoyed twittering my week away.

So what did I “tweet” about?  Here are some of my posts over the last week:

(First one) Can’t believe I broke down & actually signed up for Twitter. I am now fully a slave to the machine…

checking out http://culture11.com/ —-new online magazine/web 2.0 social community might have some possibilities

Just searched for people tweeting in Kingsport— 20 active in the whole town– do I live in a tech mecca or what?

Just installed http://tinyurl.com/5lf7n7 woo hoo! almost as fun as an iphone!

Pathetic geekness example: last night I dreamed I was telling someone how cool ubiquity is and then installed it on his computer.

Panera asiago roast beef sandwich for lunch– mighty tasty!

Lying in my hammock beneath a maple, gently rocking, listening 2 crickets & 2 Michael Card, watching my son–this is nourishment 4 my soul

As I face life’s challenges, its good 2 know that I will b more than I am now;I will continue 2 grow in strength & wisdom as I walk with God

Telling someone that they have cancer is such a hard thing. For both of us.

Intruiging how the constraint of 140 characters limits my usual verbosity & causes me to think carefully how to creatively express myself…

interesting article on Governor Palin”s infant son with Down’s from Al Mohler: http://tinyurl.com/5zwun2

twittering is a little like doctoring, in that there is real value in sharing in the lives of others, even if it is in episodic snippets…

From a blog I like— “We have an unspoken integrity agreement with every other person on the planet that says, “I will not hurt you.” ”

sooo tired… exhausting day, exhausting week… but in the midst of the exhaustion a gentle joy, for I really do love to care for people

how about some Red Skelton to start off your weekend… http://tinyurl.com/5n9r77

Subtle, pervasive, disturbing– how often we connect with another person thinking “What can they give me?” Another sad effect of the Fall.

My son Andrew ran in his 2nd cross country meet this morning– I couldn’t be more proud of the man he is becoming.

When I go into Walmart now I think everything there is going 2 b pushed into trash piles by a spunky robot in a 1000 years.Thank you Pixar!

So many Christians see just a ticket for heaven later & a moral code for now. Life, transformation, growth, beauty– not even on their radar

Sitting in a swing watching my son Andrew cut the back yard with my john Deere stx38 lawn tractor for the 1st time. Doesn’t get any better!

Why do I read the Bible this morning? Duty? Inspiration? Routine? Analysis? Or realizing my need, & desperate for the life of God?

2Co 5:17 I am a new creation sounds great, but it presupposes v14-15 I have died with Christ, no longer living for myself but only for Him.

Threw away broken exercycle, computer, trimmer, & disposal today–all <8yrs old, all easier 2 replace than repair in this society… I wonder how much this easier 2 replace than repair ethos bleeds over 2 our friendships, our marriages, our churches in this use it then trash it society.

Trying out twitpic, here’s a worthwhile investment that the family has enjoyed, the koi pond I built last year. http://twitpic.com/9xcd

spent most of day doing yardwork, now I’m sitting back watching UT/UCLA football (INTERCEPTION TENNESSEE!!!!), & working on a blog post

I am reminded how natural it is to treasure happiness in my heart above all else- & no matter how innocuous it is always the path to death

Fighting poison ivy on right side of face. I wonder if this is what the first stage of a Borg implant feels like?

First soccer practice of the season with my son Michael. http://twitpic.com/a15c

Reading thru Ecclesiastes. Many want 2 peg Solomon as either in perfect sync with God or else totally reprobate… Maybe instead he was just somewhere in the middle, both saint & sinner. Just like me.

gal 5:23 “against” the fruit of the spirit there is no law. Greek “against” compares higher to lower; Paul says the Spirit is a higher way

This just in: How did Luke figure out what Darth Vader got him for his birthday? He was able to feel his “presents”!

Working on my next blog post… Guess what it’s about?  My first week on Twitter!

 

So, if you’re curious enough, you can check out my latest tweets by pointing your web browser to :

http://twitter.com/wiseasgandalf

As I said before, they’re also showing up as updates on my facebook page, and on the sidebar at the bottom of my website www.lightalongthejourney.com.  Or you can sign up for your own account on www.twitter.com and join the fun!

BibleApps.com Rocks!

Ok, I can’t remember the last time I said a bible website was “fun” or “fiendishly addictive” (sorry you didn’t make that cut, centurion!)

But this new website that I discovered today has already wasted too way too much of my time, and it is a featured site for the ultracool new google friendconnect engine.

BibleApps is a simple concept: throw out a random Bible phrase, and give you three choices of which book of the Bible it comes from.  Score points, and go from a noob to a deacon to a pastor to ?Ned Flanders? to a scholar to a Bible Magnate (apparently emergent bloggers have a lot of spare time on their hands!).   Very, very cool, very very addictive.

Grace Quotes

Grace Quotes is a referenced database of a broad variety of Christian writers & theologians organized by topic— the largest & best put together I’ve seen. Take a look at it here.

(Big thanks to the uber-blogger Tim Challies for this one.)

YouVersion.com

There are a multitude of bible helps on the internet, so why do we need another one? Well, the premise of YouVersion is Web 2.0: the ability to share a variety of media (text, links, pics, videos) linked to various Bible verses. This is somewhat similar to the now inactive project xpound.org which I liked a lot but never got off the ground. I think YouVersion has a much better chance of catching on, since it is developed and supported by Lifechurch.tv. Right now it is still a very rough beta version, many planned features are not implemented and some features which really should be implemented (text editing after posting, html and css formating of entries) aren’t currently supported. Worth checking out, and I hope it will continue to develop and be a useful tool for many.

Web Watch: The Automated Topical Bible

This is something new:  a topical Bible that is generated by a computer algorithm!  By using several programming tools from Yahoo! and the ESV Bible, this website allows you to type a word, like “marriage” or “salvation”, and pop! it generates relevant Bible verses.  Since it is dynamically generated by computer, you generally get fairly pertinent results, although sometimes the verse choices are ?interesting?  Both fun and useful and VERY WEB 2.0!!  thanks to the ever-interesting ESV Bible Blog for the heads-up on this site.

Web Watch: wefeelfine.org

wefeelfine.orgFeelings… nothing more than feelings…

Sorry, couldn’t resist that intro to the most unique website I have seen in months: www.wefeelfine.org

This site is a fascinating example of an original idea with brilliant implementation that makes a unique contribution to the internet.  The idea?  Design software that automatically scans thousands of blogs every day, and populate a database that records the emotions expressed in the blogs, and then convert the data into easily accessible graphics.

Simple. Elegant. Funny.  Thought-provoking.  Moving.  wefeelfine is all that and more.  It is a unique window into humanity that is worth your while to peer into.

It is all too easy to get swallowed up into our own egos, problems, and little universe, and not seriously think about billions of other people, laughing, crying, searching, struggling, as they live out their lives.  As followers of Christ, we have a mandate to serve and minister to people, and the first step is just to realize there are people out there, whose souls need caring for.  Spend some time on the site and take an emotion like “sad” and read down the statements of people around the world.  Take an emotion like “happy” and see how often it is based on things that are transitory and superficial.  Spend some time thinking that there are people all around us that are living lives that we need to enter, with wisdom and love and humility, to show them Christ.

 

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PodBible

iPod BibleYou’ve got everything else on your iPod, why not the Bible?  Now you can with this free download of the ESV New Testament.  There are separate versions optimized for both the 2nd generation iPod nano and the video iPod. (well, yes, we’re an iPod family with a 1st gen iPod, two 1st gen shuffles, a 2nd gen shuffle, two 2nd gen nanos, and a latest gen video iPod, sinfully lusting for an iPhone but not going to pay $500 for it, but you really didn’t need to know that, did you?)

Web Watch: Operation World Online

Operation World Online is an online resource for prayer for the nations and people groups of the world.  It is a colloboration between WEC International, a frontier missions planter, and Global Mapping International, which maintains highly detailed demographic data throughout the world for the benefit of missions.  It’s genesis began with Patrick Johnstone’s landmark book Operation World, and has now expanded to this online presence, CD-ROM, and other support media.

So, what is it?  Operation World divides all the nations and people groups of the world into 365 daily segments, helping you to make missions a daily focus of prayer.  Just go to the Pray Today webpage, and there will be detailed information about a nation to pray for, including the area’s religions, missionaries, demographics, and specific requests and answers to prayer.  So, what are waiting for?  Can you not spare a moment to go to this page and pray for the people of the world?  If you are a follower of Christ, you surely can do nothing less.

iPod Verse of the Day

This just in from the ESV Bible Blog:

Get a cool image of a daily Bible verse sent straight to you via RSS feed and then save it to your iPod.  How?  Through the generous efforts of this guy.  How?  Read this!!  I think this is a great example of how one simple idea can end up impacting a lot of lives for the Kingdom through the web.