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Technology has come into all of our lives, regardless of what we do. Almost every trade has been effected by advancements in the tech arena. My father-in-law is a plumber and even his industry has a crazy new machine that dig trenches and lays pipe all by itself - and when it bends over you can see it’s… well, no not really. I’ve recently held my nose and jumped head first into every technical tool there is in this web 2.0 world. I signed up on Facebook and Twitter. I downloaded FLOCK and started to track RSS feeds for my favorite blog, incorporating THOSE feeds into my own blog. I “digg” I “blog” I “tweet” I “poke” I “nudge” I “@” - man, can you imagine if Marty McFly would have transported to this era? I think he would have been, dare I say… chicken.

So, I’m in head first and going strong, but now hitting (what I’ve termed) “the tech hump”. You see, when I first got involved with all of these “applications” they ruled my life. Checking FB about twenty times a day, checking Twitter way too much, and losing myself in the vast array of blogs. But now, I’m getting to the point where it’s all starting to help. No really, it is. I’m keeping up with more people then every before, spending less energy doing it AND it’s helping my witness and walk with Christ. That may seem like a big claim, but hear me out.

[FACEBOOK EVANGELISM]
Facebook has been an amazing tool to start conversations with people I haven’t seen in a long time. Because of what I do and my claims of Christ being my savior, it starts a dialog. “What’s this ‘Veracity’ thing you’re a part of?” “Tell me more about what you’re doing with the Church.” It’s been an open and safe forum for many of my older friends to talk with me about my faith. It’s like dating on EHarmony. You get to see what someone’s about just by looking at their profile. You can process that information and then ask an intelligent question based on that information. It’s an amazing process and I believe that’s why EHarmony has been so successful. Don’t believe me? Just ask my wife. We were matched by the famous 29 levels of compatibility and we’re celebrating “two years” tomorrow and have never been happier.

[PRAYING WITH THE IPHONE]
My cousin and good friend recently took off for Israel with Surfing the Nations on a mission trip. He asked me if I would pray for him daily. Of course I said yes. A few days before he left, I was thinking “what’s a good way to remind me to pray for him everyday?” I remembered that back in college one of my friends went on a mission trip to Jamaica and he made bracelets for ten people to wear who would pray for him. They were to remind each person to pray every time they saw the bracelet on their hand. Pretty smart I thought. But Steve (my cousin) didn’t make me a bracelet and I am not good with crafts. I looked down and saw my iphone. I took a few minutes and programmed the calendar to beep everyday at 4pm and say “pray for Steve”. He’s been gone now for twenty days and I’ve prayed and thought about him everyday. Because of Mobile Me (the handy application from Apple) I get the reminder on my phone, laptop, and desktop computer because of the push feature. Tech is great in this case. It helps me get reminders of the most important events in my life.

[PARTING WORDS]
I was a skeptic. I didn’t get on Facebook for years. I never had a Myspace page and never even wanted to know what twitter was. So when I jumped in, I had the tendency to over do it like a kid in a candy store… or better yet, I was the kid who never did anything wrong and then went to college and woke up the morning after his first block party in the lawn with one shoe in a tree and another hanging from his ear. Tech has the ability to wreck you - giving you heart burn, indigestion, anxiety, cramps, discomfort and no “real” friends. So, be it’s master, not it’s servant. Use it to your advantage and serve God with it. Remember you can sign up for these services and never use them and the world will continue. Go in with the mentality that every “tweet” or “Charlie is…” is a bonus. Just feed the beast two/three times a day, when it makes sense and call it good.

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Comment by Clyde Taber on December 18, 2008 at 7:22pm
Charlie,

Good word...especially the title. Keeps it in perspective. The guy who wrote a book on this topic is Shane Hipps (don't know him). Hidden Power of Electronic Culture. I think it is a both / and book on the topic of technology and the kingdom. I haven't read it, but I do own it (along with many other titles I intend to read).
I find it helpful to pick one platform and use it (I'm on Facebook only in that sector) well. In the social networking, 2.0 world, I think a personal litmus test is how much time to we spend with our face in front of other faces (including that of God) instead of screens.
Comment by Travis mendel on December 17, 2008 at 7:41pm
cool stuff.. yeah i feel left out with twitter.. haven't joined that one yet!. Hmm.. I wonder if your cousin knows my friend troy krill who is also with surfing for the nations?

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