Facebook,Twittering, and Blogging to the Glory of God (pt.1)

I had the honor of going to a women's conference this weekend and leading a breakout session on how to use online social networking sites to the Glory of God. I learned a lot by preparing for it and I knew I was coming to them as one who struggles to use it properly and lovingly and have a balance in my daily life.  But I thought I'd put my notes on here in a series of posts.  That way I can go back and reread them to remember often.   

* my first class was 8 elderly women who really just wanted to know more information about this www. world that was all around them. So we camped out on Emailing to the Glory of God. (I had assumed everyone wouldn't want to talk about email so I really didn't feel prepared… but it ended great and hopefully there are 8 more people who are committed to NOT resending long forwards of photos of cats hanging in trees, thinking they are going to get blessed that day because they sent it to 20 friends.  :o) No, seriously, it was encouraging to see them want to strive to better love those in their lives. 

Joshua Harris got me thinking how a certain passages of scripture, (with a few added phrases for our new electronic forms of

communication), could be useful to inform our e-mailing, blogging and tweeting. Here are a few suggestions of his with new

words in italics: Note: he is not re-writing scripture here, just imagining how a biblical principle would have an effect on these modern forms

of communication by applying what it says about communication in general.


Psalm 141:3 Set a guard, O Lord, over my keyboard; keep watch over the door of my send button!

Proverbs 12:23 A prudent man conceals knowledge, but the Twitter feed of fools proclaims folly.

James 1:19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to read, slow to reply all, slow to click send.

Proverbs 14:7 Don't follow the status updates of a fool, for there you do not meet words of knowledge.

Proverbs 10:19 When blogging is abundant, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains hiskeyboard is wise.

Proverbs 12:18 There is one whose comments on blogs are like sword thrusts, but the comments of the wise brings healing.

Ephesians 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome words be written by your fingers but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who read it.

Proverbs 18:2 A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinion.

Proverbs 18:21 Words kill, Words give life; they’re either poison or fruit – you choose.

Proverbs 29:20 Do you see a man who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for him.



1 Timothy 4:5 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer."

1 Corinthians 10:23 "Everything is permissible"–but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible"–but not everything is constructive.

* helpful verses to keep in mind as we seek to have a balance in life, striving for disciplined loving and effective lives that display the gospel to those around us. 


10 ways to Use Facebook to ENCOURAGE

others and Point others to Christ



1. Be Real. You’re more likely to impact

someone’s life by applying the truth of God in

your own personal situations vs. posting a

random verse or quote. showing others that you

have struggles brings the Gospel to life.


2. Be Purposeful. When you get on facebook have

a system or a pattern you follow that keeps you

using that time wisely. i.e. have friend lists that

you check and have those as priorities. Have a

time limit as well.


3. Be Rejoicing. Birthdays, Announcements, are

just some of many reasons you can be happy for

those in your life. look at those types of updates

as not just the 411 on others but as an

opportunity to take the time to speak

encouragement into the situation. (and

sometimes those are great times to speak truth

and wisdom into others lives as well, without it

appearing random) Avoid just saying "congrats" or just "happy birthday"

and say something that means more and is more

personal.


4. Be Cautious. Many times those you write to

will get your words within minutes and you can

write back and forth without a lot of time to

think over your words. This can be dangerous,

especially if you’re discussing something that

you might not agree with or that you feel

strongly about. Also tone is hard to convey over

typed words.



5. Be Kind. Even when speaking wisdom or

correction to others. Make it clear… Go

overboard with kindness and gentleness. The

person’s wall you may be writing on may be

able to handle a certain tone or way of

communicating may be fine, but other readers

may not. We have to take responsibility for all

possible aspects of how we’ll be understood.


6. Be productive. And I don’t mean by baking 100

too many “pies” or harvesting 100 too many

acres of “farmland”. Those can be mindless

activities that are relaxing to engage in but there

are so many more ways to make use of your time

on facebook. We as women have to fight against

idleness and some of you may truly have time for

online farming … but if we’re really honest I

don’t know if that is the best use of our time

online.


7. Be Redemptive. Many people won’t embrace a

lot culture has to offer and you’ll hear often that

facebook isn’t for real relationships. I think

instead of joining the critique, even if facebook

isn’t your thing is to remind others that with all

things in our culture it’s the sinfulness of man

that corrupts our world around us, and that

Christ came to redeem us from that sin and to

redeem this world. Thus we can avoid that

“sacred vs. secul
ar” debate. “do all things to the

Glory of God” turns drinking OJ into a very

sacred thing.


8. Be Current. Again, facebook may not be your

thing. But it will be your kids thing, or your

neighbors thing or a friends thing. Sometimes

being missional in our living means stepping up

and learning about something that seems

complicated and takes time in order to impact

the lives of those around us and those far away.



9. Be Close. Facebook is great for connecting with

old friends or classmates, but it’s also a great

public way to dote on those in your own family.

I know my husband comes home every

afternoon and checks FB, it makes his day when

I write on his wall and declare my affections for

him for everyone to see. Kids are no different! it

might seem dorky! But it’s a concrete way of

saying I Love You to teens and kids.


10. Be Amused. Often I have to laugh at what I see

on FB. People will say dumb things, People will

throw sheep at you, People will post unflattering

photos of you, People will tell you way more

than you ever wanted to know. So, in those

moments it’s really important to keep a sense of

humor and also to take things with a grain of salt

and have a big picture mentality.


"Make new friends but keep the old…"

  helpful tips in managing friends and friend requests.

 ·      BE wise.  Facebook can redefine the term friend a little and now we have access to people we'd like to be friends with or have things in common. But we still need to be wise with who we allow into that realm of information. As a photographer, I have friends on facebook that I'm friends with because I learn from their work, but their friends sometimes request me to be their friend and many times I don't accept because I don't know what photos they'll be posting and what their facebook posts may contain. Past flames (boyfriend/girlfriend) can be ones that you may want to use caution with. The enemy has a way of luring us into deceptive and lustful thoughts.  The enemy hates marriage and purity and will work hard but cunningly to attack it. Be Cautious. 

·      Use Lists. Organize your friends into manageable lists that you can check daily, weekly, monthly.  Before family get togethers…. Before Small Groups. Etc… Being a part of a small group at church I'm committed to loving and understanding and praying for this group of people. So, weekly, if not daily I need to be checking up on them, striving to encourage them. I do that mainly by having a list with all their updates in one place that I can access with a click.  Same with family members… facebook doesn't know who to put on your info. feed/home page. So take action and make a few lists and you'll find that you'll be a lot more effective in loving others in your life.   

·      Do you have mutual friends? I can't tell you how many times having mutual friends with a new friend has helped us bond and often instantly adds a much deeper level of understanding and trust. It's amazing the people God brings into your life, even if it's just for a time… He has great purposes. And through facebook I have see some of those purposes and have been blessed through those connections.  

·      Do NOT invite them to play games, answer questions, accept applications. It’s a fast way to lose friends. If you KNOW they like a certain game or WANT to answer questions about you or know what you think about them… then I think that's fine and can be fun. But A LOT of people don't and they don't want to be intended with those posts and invites. 

·      Find out if their on facebook much. To avoid frustrations at lack of response or interest. Especially if you’re a last minute planner/inviter. I've had this happen many times since I have access to online every day many times a day. Some do not. Some can't use it at work and you'll find they are on mostly on the weekends. Some just forget and don't use it hardly at all.  Knowing their level of interaction via facebook or twitter really helps with expectations. 

·      DO they have a blog or twitter mostly? what way do they share more intimately what their life entails.  Do they mostly just use email or twitter. I have friends that I'll email my blog posts to, or know that when I have information that I share on facebook messages that I just need to email that information to them in order to know they received it.  I have friends that they follow when I tweet and would get my tweet in moments but forget to check their facebook messages. So it just helps to know how best to love and communicate with your friends. It may seem like more work but relationships take work… and really, it's just a few minutes. 

…. hope these tips help. Lots more to come. :o)
 

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