August 17, 2009

Why Twitter Is Better Than Facebook Turn on any news show-- even a sports news show-- and you'll hear fully-grown, well-groomed anchors talking awkwardly about "tweets". A little of a year ago, when I first started "tweeting", nobody-- including me-- really understood the point of telling everyone what you were doing at any given moment of the day. Now, all of a sudden, it's how freedom-loving Iranians are telling the world of their plight and how diva NFL receivers sound off about their contracts. Twitter is just mainstream enough that professional athletes are "tweeting" on the sidelines or during halftime; yet it's not mainstream enough for owners and coaches to really understand it-- hence the reason many teams have banned their players from "tweeting". I don't claim to be a Twitter expert or power-user. Neither am I ignorant about it's dangers to our already narcissistic culture. I am not sold out to this little tool. I know it's a fad and a year from now we might be atwitter with something else. Still, as I've considered how Twitter is different than Facebook, and the power hidden in this simple social media device, I thought I'd take a stab at the reasons I think Twitter is better than Facebook: 1. Twitter Is Concise 140 characters is all you get. So, an update is short. In fact, it's not really best for soul-baring, like the "OMG, I'm so depressed because my boyfriend just broke up with me" kind of nonsense you read in your Facebook newsfeeds. It's not even best for ranting about world issues or vague political jabs. Because of the character limit, Twitter ends up being very specific, particular information. Or links to it. The character limit applies not just to updates but also to direct messages to another Twitter user. Imagine if Instant Messaging didn't...
Rethinking The Way We Worship (Reflections on Deuteronomy 12) It is probably not surprising to you that God has an opinion about the way we worship. As is the case with so many other things, God is not only interested in our doing of a particular thing but in how we are doing it. Obedience is not just about right action or right result; it's also about right "way". Jesus was obedient, even to death on the cross. The central temptation of Jesus was to get Him to do God's work in the Devil's way. Much has been written about the three temptations Jesus faced in this regard, from Dostoevsky to Eugene Peterson. When this principle is applied to worship, however, the discussion usually becomes about physical actions: God wants us to lift our hands, dance, clap, etc, we say. And that may be true. The one who made us just might know something about what helps engage our whole being in worship. But I read something in Deuteronomy today that made think of a few other "ways" our worship must be: "Do not worship the Lord your God in the way these pagan peoples worship their gods." Deut. 12:4 (NLT) The Book of Deuteronomy puts a great emphasis on avoiding idolatry. Even Deuteronomy 12 opens with an injunction to destroy pagan shrines and every trace of idolatry, echoing a theme that has surfaced several times in the preceding chapters. But God doesn't stop there. It wasn't enough to not worship idols; they were not to worship Yahweh in the way pagans worshipped idols. So, what were the ways pagans worshipped their gods? Are those ways still prevalent in how people in our culture worship success or fame or wealth? In what ways was the worship of Yahweh to be different from pagan worship? Based on Deuteronomy 12, here...

Glenn Packiam

Lead Pastor, new life DOWNTOWN, New Life Church, Colorado Springs, CO. Author and songwriter.

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