Recently in my area there have been a series of vandalisms of churches. For the most part the incidences seem to just be graffitti, but I am sure things could get worse. Also, over the years, there have been a number of shootings, child abduction and molestation cases, church burnings, and various assortment of other violent and non-violent crimes on church properties. Since 9/11, physical security has become a focus for most Americans, and churches are no exception.
Like the majority of our government buildings, churches have their doors wide-open. The difference is of course that churches typically do not have the onsite security to handle the types of tragedies that occur when sinful people decide to do Godless things. For the most part, churches are prepared for Sunday and Wednesdays, but lack the resources to safeguard the properties and persons in the church when the building is wide-open through the week and overnight.
With this recognition also comes a reality that much of our Christian heritage developed in a much safer period in history, wherein stealing and a sundry of petty crimes were primarily committed against the church by undiscerning boys looking for something other than boredom. One must also consider that our faith has developed a culture and attitude towards outsiders and those who may harm us that is best summarized in these three scriptures (NKJV): Read the rest of this post... (879 words, 1 image, estimated 3:31 mins reading time)
This is idea #1 in my series on web ministry. Follow the trail to #2 here.
Much of what is required in web ministry is creating new channels with which to connect with people. I am of the opinion that you must go where the people are. Like the roots of a hardy plant should our projects in web ministry be.
One root I have discovered and predict will grow in popularity and traffic is the Squidoo lens. Squidoo’s own definition:
A lens is one person’s view on a topic that matters to her. It’s an easy-to-build, single web page that can point to blogs, favorite links, RSS feeds, Flickr photos, Google maps, eBay auctions, CafePress designs, Amazon books or music, and thousands of products from hundreds of other trusted merchants. You can pick whatever content you want to put in your lens to bring context to your topic. Then, when someone is looking for recommended information, fast, your lens gets him started and sends him off in the right direction. It’s a place to start, not finish.
This means you can leverage a platform that receives more traffic and has more credibility with the search engines than your own ministry site. It is a way for people to initially find your ministry distinctives (speaker, programs, beliefs, unique attributes) and become more familiar with your organization over time.
As an example, I created http://www.squidoo.com/chuckswindoll/ in order to promote Chuck Swindoll. The page was created on 07/12/2006. As of 09/22/2006, Read the rest of this post... (397 words, 2 images, estimated 1:35 mins reading time)
Another beer post… I recently saw reference to the “German Purity Law” and thought it was some kind of moral code against illicit material or something. As seen below, it is actually a law about beer making. So, German companies, make war or peace in whatever adulterated way is necessary, but don’t you dare mess with the beer!
Gaffel. Especially Koelsch. Gaffel Koelsch – Privatbrauerei Gaffel Becker & Co.
The German Purity Law is the oldest food and drink regulation still existing today and therefore effectively the world’s first consumer protection law. On the 23rd of April 1516 before a committee consisting of gentry and knights in Ingolstadt, the Duke of Bavaria Wilhelm IV proclaimed that only barley, hops and water could be used to brew beer.
Because at that time, beer was often adulterated and experiments were carried out using all kinds of herbs and spices, this law certainly led to an increase in the quality of beer. However the Duke was not primarily thinking about protecting beer drinkers from adulterated beer. His true aim was to create a secure market for Bavarian barley farmers and to ensure that the scarce supply of wheat was only used to make bread. Read the rest of this post... (269 words, estimated 1:05 mins reading time)
As to show I have a since of humor, here is an image of me doctored up by our Director of Communications yesterday after a brief photoshoot for a bio picture for a web ministry panel I am to sit on at NRB in Feb ’07. The sun was in my eyes and I was struggling to get them open at all. He said I looked drunk, which was the apparent inspiration for the picture. Poor choice of beer though… I am a Fat Tire, Dos Equis, Shiner, or Guiness kind of guy myself. Have never even heard of that brand!
15 For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. 16 But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. 17 So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.
So, right, I can’t exactly blame my not following up on my last post as the sin within me, but this text does describe how I am feeling at the moment.
Good intentions. I am full of them. I intend to honor my wife in a big way every day, but do I? No. Every day for the last month, I have intended to connect with old my buddy, but have I? No. (sorry Blake) Just as I intended to make great grades and eat better in college, I intend these days to make more money and do more ministry. But do I? Do I really? Read the rest of this post... (355 words, estimated 1:25 mins reading time)