Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Journey into the Unfamiliar

This fall my church is focusing in on discipleship. As leaders we're asking questions like "What does a disciple look like?" and "Is there a process by which we can lead people to become disciples? If so, how do we walk people through it?"

One thing we're discovering through is that discipleship pushes people into unfamiliar territory. Some people see it as a positive challenge, understanding that this will (hopefully) bring them closer to the Lord who loves them. Others are less eager to take on the challenge.

And that's to be expected. Jesus' call to follow him is not a simple action like following someone on Twitter. Look at John 6:53-68. When Jesus told the people to eat his flesh and drink his blood, "many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him." When Jesus asked the 12 disciples if they wanted to leave too, Peter replied, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life."  

Being a follower of Jesus is, by definition, a journey into the unfamiliar, but it's where we're supposed to be, because it is the journey that leads to life.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Do Numbers Really Matter in Ministry?

Photo by Flickr user Pshab. Used under
Creative Commons licence .
I am excited to be part of a team who admins several thriving Facebook pages such as The Bible page, and the Jesus Christ page. The team also manages several other pages which you should definitely check out. 

Recently, our team was discussing the importance of the number of "Likes" each page receives. Some team members liked tracking the numbers and setting goals; others weren't too keen on the idea. 

Personally, I like seeing the numbers. Are they the indicator of good things happening and souls being transformed? No.

But they are an indicator that something awesome is happening. Read through the book of Acts and note how many times Luke talks about people being added to the community of faith. In Acts 2:41 he even cites a specific number! 

The growth of the church in Acts was an indicator that God was doing something amazing with this little bunch of fishermen. Did the numbers tell the whole story? Of course not, otherwise Acts would be about 5 sentences long! 

These conversations are good for our team to stay grounded and focused on the higher prize: not lots of likes, but a single like from the One who matters most.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Google Mystery Logo 2 - Grey... With a Twist

Yesterday, Google's logo was a cryptic bouncing ball thingy. Today the home only has a grey (or some might say a "chrome") logo. Kind of a ho-hum logo after yesterday's boisterous display.

But when you start typing something in the search field...

it turns to color!

Here it is completed.

Like a double-rainbow all the way across the sky, it's got me asking, "What does this mean?"

Google may have some answers for us tomorrow though. We'll have to wait and see. It's clear this isn't just a birthday celebration, as I, along with the rest of the internet, previously thought.  

Some are speculating that Google's going to announce a new algorithm for indexing websites that uses the data collected through Google Analytics to help users find the most relevant sites for their search. If this is the case, then Yahoo and Bing might want to start emptying their desks. 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What's the Meaning Behind Google's Bouncing Balls Logo

As I've mentioned before, I love Google. Today's logo has me stumped though. Here's what it looks like when you load the page.
Then when you wait a second, the balls fall into place.
Plus, it's interactive! Run your mouse through them and the balls are repelled from the mouse!

I've been trying to figure out what it's all about, but I can't find anything. In the course of searching, I did, however, discover this interesting fact: 6 Nobel laureates were born on September 6th and another Nobel laureate died on September 6th. Weird huh?

If someone figures out what the logo is referring to, please let me know because I'm baffled.

Update: A friend on twitter pointed out that September 7th is Google's birthday. I'd bet if this is a form of digital confetti.

Update 2: Others speculate that it could be Google showing off Chrome's HTML5 skills. Loading the page in IE8 shows a blank area where the logo should be. Could this be the more likely explanation?
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