Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

22Dec

Why I refuse to say ‘Merry Christmas’

Christmas, Merry Christmas, Toni Page Birdsong, Savior, Messiah, Christian Post,

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. ~Isaiah 9:6

by Toni Birdsong
Hey, don’t be hating.  It’s personal. I’ve decided not to say “Merry Christmas” this year. Why? Simply put: It just doesn’t get the job done.

Think about it. “Merry Christmas” doesn’t even come close to covering the holiness and love contained in God Almighty’s most compassionate act toward mankind. It fails to encompass the outrageous grace of God sending His son to earth to teach self-righteous, grab-happy men and women like you and I how to live and love . . . on heaven’s terms.

Merry Christmas. Such ordinary words fail to carry the extraordinary story of the life and sacrifice that lay ahead for the baby king born in a manger that night. Nor do they begin to unlock, bust open, and shake loose the chains that bind our souls—only that baby could do that.


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20Dec

Will you pray for unity among believers online?

When we join our hands together, the world will see the cross. (Thanks to reader Kimberly McCarthy --@Kmac4him -- for sharing this photo after she read this post.)

My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.
~ John 17:20-21

by Toni Birdsong
Mother Teresa said if we have no peace it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.

She understood that changing the world—really changing the world—isn’t a solo sport. And so it goes with sharing your faith online.

Getting people to follow you, post on your blog, or give you a few dozen “likes” a day isn’t going to bring the world to repentance; nor will upping your Klout score fling wide the gates of heaven. But what if believers worked together online? What if we were firing on all cylinders instead of just a few?

What if our collective Love made people stop in their digital tracks. And stare. At Him.


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6Dec

Former atheist starts powerful web evangelism ministry


by Gordon Marcy
Guest Blogger

When God builds a website, expect the unusual. EveryStudent.com is a ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ and has become a highly successful web evangelism ministry.

It was started by Marilyn Adamson, a former atheist, stay-at-home Mom and technology outsider.

A perfect candidate for the assignment.

I met Marilyn at the Global Christian Internet Alliance Conference held recently at the Mount Hermon Christian Conference Center, located near Santa Cruz, California.

Our conversation took place on a porch overlooking a panorama of stunning redwoods.


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30Nov

7 ways to be certain you don’t miss the point

Luke 7:37-39

By Tami Heim

Jesus commands His followers to love God and love people. Every connection He makes serves to emphasize this point. By invitation, He forgives, redeems, and introduces His Kingdom in real-time.

When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table.

~ Luke 7:36, NIV

Jesus loves and leverages the power of story. With them, He resets cultural boundaries, rocks the status quo, and accentuates a love beyond the law that few comprehend. Stories with unprecedented compassion and forgiveness relocate hearts to foreign and uncomfortable places. His holy agenda permeates what He says and all He does.


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28Nov

the gift of being called “a friend”

I call you, friend.

No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. – John 15:15, NKJV

By Tami Heim

Jesus called His followers friends long before it was culturally cool for you to call your online followers the same.  If you look to and learn from the Author and Finisher of your faith you’ll experience the breadth and depth of what it means to be called a friend. There is no better day than this one to fall in love again with the Giver of so great a gift.


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24Nov

Settle your soil this holiday season. Can your roots bear fruit?

parables of Jesus, Thanksgiving, Christmas stress, holiday stress, Christians online, scripture, holy spirit, sticky Jesus

" . . . Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.” Mark 4:8


By Toni Birdsong

So many people came to hear Jesus speak that day that he had to hop in a boat and paddle out on the water to address the crowd. They didn’t come to eat or socialize. In Mark 4 they, like so many people today, came looking for some way—some message—that might ease the incessant pang in their souls that everyday life had failed to ease.


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22Nov

10 godly ways to handle an online conflict

conflict online, christians online, blocking online, defriend

Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Cor. 12:10

 

by Toni Birdsong
How do you adapt to a culture of substandard communication, express your intent in 140 characters, qualify, clarify, employ diplomacy, dodge bullets, and honor Christ every day in the online space? You don’t. Not with a 100% success rate that is.

Living out your faith on a digital stage is not for sissies. If you think about it, millions of people posting personal ideologies, opinions, beliefs and values to abbreviated channels such as Twitter, Facebook, blogs, is kind of like an invitation to miscommunicate on a global scale.

You will make mistakes. You will step on landmines. You will have to put yourself back together again. But, you will survive.

10 ways to handle an online conflict:


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16Nov

whom shall I send? who will go for us?

I'm ready - send me!

Here I am, Send me! – Isaiah 6:8, NIV

By Tami Heim

Right now one faithful voice, filled with Holy Spirit inspiration, has the potential to reach millions around the world.  The cyber mission field has emerged and God’s calling digital disciples to make a dent in the darkness found there. He’s asking you to power on!

We live in a time when people often talk about being ‘on mission’ in their work and life. This reference implies focus, determination, and purpose. You immediately picture people deliberately moving through life, striving to achieve a long list of specific goals they believe will deliver satisfaction and happiness.

Sadly, for many whatever is accomplished never quite obtains the satisfaction and happiness expected. The ‘more to life’ remains missing.


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1Nov

6 big ideas for how to live and be online

Releasing your gifts online is a holy act of worship.

By Tami Heim

Click on your favorite social media site and it’s easy to dismiss your digital impression as just a blip on the screen. Be warned, however, there’s danger in that kind of thinking. Go too far and the next thing you know, fear and insecurity show up. When you discount your influence online, you deny God’s ability to work through you. Remember, you’re a precious original. He’s made you one of a kind. You’re gifted to do good work and that includes online.

Your consistency, whole-hearted commitment, and dedication to being completely what God created you to be illuminates the way for others. It also builds up and strengthens the whole body of Christ.

And that’s why there’s more

God designed you to compliment and complete others. Deliberately commissioned, you’re here as a member of  His body to accomplish His plan for this generation. When you decide to live out your faith online, fully live it out; God’s progress is radically accelerated.

In chapter 12 of Paul’s letter to the Romans, you find the practical action plan for how to live and be. All of it’s applicable to you, online. Offer back to God the best of what He has put in you and your lives individually and collectively become a living sacrifice and a holy act of worship. It’s a beautiful thing and the consequences are eternal.

Paul instructs us how to live and be


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17Oct

10 lessons for living out faith on Google + and beyond

May I be pleasing in Your sight.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. ~ Psalm 19:14, NIV

By Tami Heim

One evening while trying to get my mind around how Google + fit into my social media routine, I found myself in pause mode. An intense conversation between a small group of men caught my attention.

Dialog bounced back and forth like a Michigan hockey puck. Each person took his shot at vehemently recanting all the things he hated about Facebook.  For me, hate is a strong word, but I found myself stuck there, nonetheless, listening.


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