Posts Tagged: Twitter

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!”

 

 

 

March: Val Kilmer, Porn, Apple, & a Tiger

The following are the 10 most viewed posts on this blog for the month of March. Maybe you read them all and want to read again, maybe you missed a few & would like to catch-up, or maybe you’d just like to share one with a friend. And perhaps you want to leave the page now. I’m cool with any of those options 🙂

1. The Porn Pandemic–I woke-up earlier than I normally do one morning and felt impressed to write this blog. Wasn’t really something I planned on writing and the content wasn’t the direction I was thinking of going when I started writing it. But it turned out the way it turned out and several folk have said they appreciated the honesty. In many ways it was written as a Dad with two boys, whom prays for God’s protection over them and God to give me wisdom in how I & my wife can help Him in that endeavor.

2. Bittersweet Moving–Two of our dear church members are moving in late July and the thought of them moving and also the reflections on what I had learned from them compelled me to write this tribute to them & encouragement to pastors & young leaders to be mentored.

3. Val Kilmer & I — This was orginally a post simply for the purpose to encourage encouragement that I wrote in February. It turned into a hit in March on the internet because the web manager of the Official Facebook U.S. fan page of Val Kilmer got a hold of the post and reposted it, due to my uncanny resemblance to said actor. That ended up getting this post a lot of traffic:)

4. Childhood Friday Nights — I love music! I especially love older Christian music & it seems like many others do as well!

5. The Apple Store — I believe churches could learn a lot about “customer” service from secular businesses! This was just another example.

6. 1 For Every 10k — I love church planting, I believe it is the best avenue by which to have mass sustained evangelism! 

7. The Negativity Pandemic — I am sick of negativity!

8. Flee the Tiger — One of my members Kay Rizzo has recently published her first ebook. I was excited for her and wanted to help her get out the word.

9. Zechariah’s Beautiful Picture of the Gospel — I love Zechariah 3:1-5 and I wanted to share a couple thoughts in regards to this passage.

10. The Twitter Blessings! — I meant for this to be a compare & contrast of Facebook & Twitter with my views on why I prefer to Twitter. It turned into just a Twitter lovefest!

And those are the top 10 for the month of March & here just for good measure are the top for the first quarter of 2012:

  1. Val Kilmer & I
  2. The Porn Pandemic
  3. The One Project Analysis
  4. Bittersweet Moving
  5. Thoughts From Pastor Carlton Byrd…
  6. This Is Discipling
  7. Childhood Friday Nights
  8. The Apple Store
  9. 1 For Every 10k
  10. One of Many Goals for 2012

Hope y’all enjoy and would love your feedback!

 

 

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!

Twitter World

There are many others I could mention, but this post would then be endless. So I encourage you to go, set-up an account, and explore for yourself!

Like so many things in technology you can make Twitter whatever you want it to be. It can be used for good or for evil. I encourage you to use it for good and for fun!

My Almost Rant!

So I was going to get on here and rant about how our Adventist publishing houses were dropping the ball by not having ebooks available! But before I spouted I decided to do a quick search and I found this by Pacific Press Publishing & this by Review & Herald Publishing. So my rant is not going to be quite as intense. But I still want to rant a little. I praise the Lord that I see the church entering into the realm of ebooks, but their progression into this realm is far too slow and under marketed! 

As much as I love books in my hand and as much as I didn’t want to embrace the tablet culture I find that almost all of my reading is now done on my Kindle!  The only things I haven’t been able to read primarily on my Kindle, my Adventist literature. For those items I have to drive 45 minutes north to the nearest Adventist Book Center,  which means I’m not reading most of the new Adventist material out there. 

Every single published material of the Seventh-day Adventist church from books to magazines should be available through the kindle store, the Nook store, or whatever is the preferred reader of choice. (Pacific Press seems to be ahead of the rest on this, most of Review & Herald stuff is primarily in google book format which is cumbersome). I believe that if our publishing institutions did this then we would increase readership in many areas and spread the message much more quickly.

Let me give you two recent scenarios to illustrate my point:

Two of the preachers I appreciate most, Dwight Nelson & David Asscherick were discussing on twitter a quote by NT Wright from his book Justification. Because this book is not Adventist I knew that I could immediately go to Amazon Kindle Store and purchase that book. On the same day Pastor Dwight plugged his most recent devotional book, “The Chosen”,

If you wrote a book with a pix of God you wished the world could see, would it be shameless to ask them to read it?

Yes there is a link to amazon to buy the book. But if you went to Amazon as I am writing this you would notice that there is only one copy and it is being sold for $15 not including shipping and handling.  So if I buy it there I have to wait on it and pay almost $20 for it. Or I can drive 45 mins north and buy it at the Adventist Book Center…or maybe which is what probably quite a few folk do, they just don’t buy it.

But say that same book was available through the Kindle store like Justification is. Then if a person read that tweet of Dwight’s (and a lot of folk read those tweets: Dwight has been on twitter for a little over three weeks and he already has well over 300 followers), and being a person that uses twitter so probably also uses other techno stuff, they jump on their iphone kindle or Nook app and they immediately go to the kindle store and Download the book which is sent wirelessly to their kindle, iphone, and ipad all at once and it was for only $9.99 versus $20. Answering me this, which seems more convenient? 
Yes we won’t for a very long time completely get rid of books on paper, and indeed there are many people that don’t use any of the technology I am speaking of, but there are enough people that do use tablet readers that for us to not flood that market with our materials is just a lack of foresight and evangelistic creativity on our parts! 11% of all the United States alone have a tablet computer that is equal to 44 million people. And then think about these facts just in light of Amazon and their Kindle:

As of early 2011, Amazon had over 137 million active customers worldwide. 

110 of 111 New York Times Bestsellers are in the Kindle Store.

Amazon’s Kindle Store pays out 70% to its Direct-to-Kindle authors.

Since April 2011, for every 100 print books sold on Amazon, it’s sold 105 Kindle books.

So far this year, Amazon has sold more than three times as many Kindle books as last year.

These statistics continue to rise. It begs the question – why aren’t Adventists marketing Kindle books like crazy! What’s holding us back from our piece of the Kindle pie?

One more area where I see us getting into the e-market really benefitting our readership, and that is with the Adventist Review, and our other magazine publications. I get the Adventist World just like all other baptized SDA’s, but I would probably subscribe to the Adventist Review if I could do so through Kindle. I mean I can read, Newsweek, Fortune, & Runner’s World on my Kindle why not the Adventist Review. I was once having a conversation with Bill Knott the editor and executive publisher of AR, and he was saying to me that one of his desires is to see readership of the Church’s flagship paper up amongst the younger generations! I would say to my friend, Elder Knott, get it on the Kindle and other such devices and market it and watch the level of subcribership potentially go up!

So that is my rant!  I’m glad to see something is happening, but outside of Pacific Press, much more needs to be taking place! We should not be the tail of things, but the head!

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