Posts Tagged: Facebook

The Ellen G. White Quote Quota

As a preacher I have a quota on Ellen G. White quotes for my sermons. The quota is basically this: “NEVER have more Ellen White quotes than Bible texts, NEVER!” 

Many years ago my wife and I were traveling, when we arrived at our destination for the evening I had a message on my phone,

“Pastor, Pastor you have to listen to the sermon that was preached today at church. We had guests, they walked out. It was horrible. Just listen!”

Well the next day my wife and I would be driving again and so I decided to download the sermon and listen to it as we drove.  The content wasn’t horrible, the premise wasn’t to far off the mark (though out there a ‘bit), but I quickly realized what the issue was. About ten minutes into the sermon I started to count: 3 scriptures, 20 Ellen G. White quotes, and the three scriptures were from the first 10 minutes–they were easy to remember there were only 3 of them in the entire sermon! (I have to give the speaker credit he introduced her by all her titles: Mrs. White, Sister White, The prophet, The prophetess, The pen of inspiration, Our inspired writer, My favorite author, etc.)

Needless to say I wasn’t pleased!

This gentleman definitely wasn’t following the rule; never have Mrs. White out quote the Word of God!

So why do I bring this up?

Not because I am trying to discourage preachers from using Ellen White, in fact I think it is ridiculous for an Adventist preacher to not quote her, yet to quote from every other Spiritual writer there is, Lucado, Warren, Swindoll, Hybels, etc.. Her writings are powerful and she is often the first quote I want to use to illuminate what is being said. So we as preachers should quote her.

I don’t bring it up because I hear the pastors that do quote her, quoting her too much. I think most Adventist pastors are respectful of the “EGW Quote Quota.”

I bring this issue up, because I am afraid that for many of us, myself included (and not just pastors but many Seventh-day Adventist Christians) we have forgotten this rule when it comes to our Facebook & Twitter accounts!

I am finding more and more Ellen White quotes amongst my peers on Facebook & Twitter and not enough Bible. It seems her quotes are outpacing the Bible 3 to 1 (of course that is not an official ratio), but you get the point! I hope? 

There are times when I’ve been doing seminars or speaking in front of an exclusively Adventist crowd and on these occasions I will use tons of Ellen White quotes, but when I am in a public forum speaking where I know there are many pre-Adventists present I will always make sure there is more Bible than “my favorite author.”

Why?

Because I want to do what Ellen White told us to do & what she tried to do for all of us, “Point people back to the Bible.”

Well Facebook, Twitter, & other Social Media outlets for most of us are public forums. They are for many of us, places where we have a signficant amount of contact w/ a captive audience. an audience which often times may not believe as we do, in those moments where do we want to FIRST point these individuals–hear me I am not saying to do away with Ellen White quotes or that they are unable to be edifying to the unbeliever–but where do we want to FIRST point our readers? To the Word of God! That which is, “a lamp unto their feet & a light unto their path.” (Psalm 119:105)

So let us all strive to remember The Ellen G. White Quote Quota, not just in our public speaking, but in all our public discourse, “NEVER quote Ellen White more than you quote the Bible, NEVER!”

 

 

 

The Twitter Blessings!

  Twitter is a blessing to my life!

Why Twitter? 

Well let me share with you some reasons:

Substantive conversation and thought takes place. I know this may be hard to believe, but when a person really takes the time to think about it, a lot can be said in 140 characters.

Daily on Twitter I get links that add some value to my world. Whether it is a blog post, an article from a website, a video clip that blesses my heart; I find the Twitter users I follow process through and think about the content they are sharing with their social network. They post things because they want others to be enriched, not just simply entertained by the nonsense they find humorous.

I also find the conversations, as brief as they may be to be extremely uplifting and beneficial to my ministry, my life, and my journey as a believer.

For instance here is a poem that Ty Gibson Co-Director of Light Bearers wrote just last night about the city of Los Angeles (hope you don’t mind Ty):

Oh city that I love, city long my home; Streets all red with pain, blood-soaked as Rome.                    

City of angels, and demons too, Oh Los Angeles, my heart bleeds for you.                                           

City of lights, and darkness too, Your Savior’s Light will soon break through.                                       

And on that day, when you hear His call, your angel tears will cease to fall.

It was just a quick little thing he put together after there were some comments about Los Angeles by some of our twitter friends. It was quick, but it was a blessing to many of us, particularly those of us that have spent significant time in or around Los Angeles.

Because Twitter is primarily done from a phone, quick petitions for prayer are often responded to and followed up on in quick time. If I tweet I need prayer, without hesitation I receive tons of responses some even in the forms of prayers. 

Different folk are brought together over specific interests and community is formed. A lot of young pastors are runners and there is definitely a bond being formed between folk that have never met over the subject of running and health. It would have never happened without Twitter.

Pastors share and collaborate on ideas. There doesn’t seem to be competition in the twittersphere, but rather a collective desire to help one another out!

Pastor Dwight Nelson recently tweeted out that he was “sold” on 9 night evangelistic bursts for the local pastor to be able to pastor and still do evangelism.

Immediately David Asscherick affirmed the thought and then a bunch of guys started to ask for more details. Dwight and David both shared their models in just a few tweets, and now there will probably be dozens of young guys or even older guys out there giving these things a shot.

I have also found that Twitter has been a great place where one can be encouraged. Some of us younger guys in the ministry post thoughts, questions, stories of what we are doing. Then to have a Dwight Nelson, John Bradshaw, Shawn Boonstra, Ty Gibson, etc. chime in with their suggestions, their affirmations, their prayers is uplifting to younger folk who maybe have never had any other association with these men they have looked up to ’till they became Twitter friends.

My Twitter world is a world of celebration. We rejoice with one another over what God is doing in each other’s lives and ministries.

I don’t know what your Twittersphere is like, but mine has been a tremendous blesssing, and I thank all those that have played a part in that blessing.

May we all keep tweeting to the glory of God!

What Will I Do Without Facebook?

I have decided to delete my Facebook account.  Why? Because it is a time vacuum!  I have friends that have Facebook and they check it once a week and that is it, if I was one of those people, that would be great.  Unfortunately I don’t seem to be one of those people, so I am more the kind that checks it once an hour. What brought me to this point.  I am preaching on prayer this Sabbath and I was thinking about the things that I do more than pray…I used to watch more TV than pray…I used to watch more movies than pray…I used to watch more sports than pray…I used to play more golf than pray…all those things have basically been eliminated in my life.  But as I was writing my sermon today…I realized that whenever I took a “mental break” or a “stretch break” I was simultaneously checking Facebook.  Checking Facebook has almost become a default function in my life.  I don’t want anything to be a default programmed function in my life other than Prayer, Studying the Bible, Loving my wife, loving my kids, and doing good to others.

So when I realized all this, the nagging sense that I should take a fast from Facebook kicked into high gear. Then sudden intense resistance!  I began to rationalize all the reasons I should stay on Facebook.  I began trying to convince myself that I could just check it once a day. I wondered, “What will I do without Facebook?” Forgetting I had lived about 30 years without Facebook. But as the resistance grew so too did the determination to leave Facebook behind. I’ve learned that if I am trying to cling to things that are not of the spiritual nature or rationalize existence of those things in my life, then that is a sure sign it is time to say goodbye. So I say goodbye to Facebook today…in just an hour or so to be exact. 

Why am I canceling it completely.  Because I know myself…Nuff said!  🙂 

I may be back someday, of course I took a 40 day fast from MySpace about 4 years ago and never went back to that, so maybe this will be permanent.  Not all my time on Facebook has been a waste, but a lot of it has, so hopefully the time that was wasted will now be utilized for the Kingdom of God!

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