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CP blogger Barry Bowen is the author of this blog.

Posted 5/5/14 at 5:38 PM | SHOW Times

Getting Ready for Internet Evangelism Day

June 1, 2014 is Internet Evangelism Day so I added text to this graphic to let people know. The photo comes from the public domain website Pixabay. So please share it.

Are you ready for Internet Evangelism Day?

Internet Evangelism Day is about sharing the good news of the Gospel that Jesus offers salvation to anyone that will place their faith in Him and repent of their sins.

This is an informal free event. No registration required either. Just share the Gospel online. Here are some ideas of how you can tell people about Jesus.

  1. Write a blog post telling your testimony about how you became a follower of Jesus Christ.
  2. Ask a thought provoking question on Facebook or Twitter: "If you have any questions about God, please let me know and I will try to answer them."
  3. Share an I am Second YouTube video of someone telling how they became a believer in Jesus.

One final thing, don't forget to pray. Pray for your Facebook friends and Christians sharing their faith online. FULL POST

Posted 4/28/14 at 11:57 PM | SHOW Times

Twitter Update Brings New Features and Larger Profile Pix

Recently Twitter redesigned its website to allow large header images at the top of the page (up to 1500 pixels wide). Another interesting new feature is pinned tweets. You may select a tweet to share at the top of the page.

Some Christian ministries have already started to implement these new features. Gospel Media Outreach has a large header and pinned tweet. Compassion International and Desiring God have upgraded to large headers.

Photo Advice: The large header is most impressive when viewed on large computer screens. If you have a camera capable of taking a panoramic photo, then try capturing such an image of your church or ministry in action. To see what is possible with panoramic photography, check out the photos of photographer See-ming Lee.

There are public domain panoramic photos collections available online but some require a link back to the photo site. Flickr also has a large collection of Creative Commons attribution licensed panoramic photos. FULL POST

Posted 4/23/14 at 2:53 PM | SHOW Times

The Day I Was Robbed

Photo: Flickr/raneko - Creative Commons
My Apple iBook similar to the one in this picture was stolen.

Here's my story for Tell a Story Day (April 27, 2014).

I can still remember the tragic evening as if it were yesterday. It was Friday, June 1, 2001.

As I drove into the driveway of my apartment, I knew something was wrong. A foreboding feeling overwhelmed me. So I jumped out of the car and ran to the door, unlocked it and then discovered that I had been robbed.

My notebook computer was gone and the back door was left open by some unknown crook. Other items were also taken: my high school graduation ring, a VCR, and spare change.

How was it possible for me to know something was wrong before entering my apartment? No one informed me of the theft and I wasn't an eye witness.

Is it possible that God was responsible for my feeling that something was wrong? Is there a spiritual dimension to life? FULL POST

Posted 4/15/14 at 9:18 PM | SHOW Times

Reminder: Tell a Story Day is April 27th

Be a storyteller.

On April 27th we can share on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, or our own blogs the amazing story of how God forgave us of our sins and offered us an eternal relationship.

April 27th is Tell a Story Day. If you share your testimony online, please let us know about it with the hashtag #tellastory.

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Posted 4/11/14 at 4:51 PM | SHOW Times

How to Use Google Calendar to Share Church and Ministry Events

Google Calendar
Photo: Gopal Venkatesan - Creative Commons

Imagine your church members or volunteers opening up iCal or visiting Google Calendar to check their schedule, and then seeing your events.

This isn't a dream.

iCal and Google Calendar allow people to publish shareable calendars.

If you are a pastor, you would probably prefer to maintain a private calendar for counseling and appointments to keep private. A secondary calendar would list special church events. If your church has events happening everyday, then only list the most important ones so that calendar subscribers are not overwhelmed with events on their calendar.

In Google Calendar you will:

  1. Create a calendar and give it a name.
  2. Add your events.
  3. On the Google Calendar settings page, copy the link to the iCal icon. This ics file can be imported into other calendars. Share this link on your website.
  4. Your church members will import this link into iCal and Google Calendar.

 As long as you maintain your calendar, the new events will show up for your calendar subscribers. FULL POST

Posted 4/10/14 at 1:38 PM | SHOW Times

Heartbleed Bug Requires Some Church Websites to Update

Photo: Flickr/John Fischer - Creative Commons
WordPress logos

This week numerous web hosts have been patching a bug that allowed the commonly used Internet security software - OpenSSL - to be bypassed and passwords could be obtained. There are free services that can test your website to check if it is vulnerable to the Heartbleed bug: Filippo and SSL Labs.

This bug is very serious because it also impacts some credit card transactions online. The Verge reported, "If the "Heartbleed" name sounds dramatic, this bug seems to live up to the hype."

Tech experts recommend that you change your passwords after the websites you use are updated. Also, if your website owns an SSL certificate, it should be replaced with a new certificate. If your website doesn't do eCommerce, then you may not even use a certificate on your site. FULL POST

Posted 4/8/14 at 5:36 PM | SHOW Times

Tell a Story Day: a Chance to Share the Gospel

Photo: Flickr/Damian Gadal - Creative Commons

Tell a Story Day is less than three weeks away. This story-telling event is held on April 27th in the United States and on October 27 in England and Scotland, according to Holiday Insights.

There are so many stories that Christians can tell. We can share our testimony, a Biblical story, a historical account of God working in our world, or a work of fiction.

Stories can be told with written words, pictures, sound and video.

Missionaries often use storytelling to share the gospel. In cultures with low literacy missionaries recite Bible stories repetitively until the listener knows the story well enough to repeat the story. The process is called storying. FULL POST

Posted 4/7/14 at 5:12 PM | SHOW Times

Three Rules for Applying the Golden Rule to Social Media

Number three
Photo: Patrick Hoesly - Creative Commons

On Sunday an atheist friend attacked Christianity in a Facebook post. I responded in the heat of the moment rather than remaining silent. Because of the argument that followed, I started thinking about how Christians should debate our critics online.

Miri Rodriguez provides excellent advice by rephrasing the Golden Rule on Twitter: "Tweet others the way you'd like to be tweeted."

Perhaps our critics might be more open to the gospel if they sense we truly care about them by the way we engage them in conversation.

Here are the rules that I've compiled for social media evangelism.

Rule #1: No Insults.

I have seen numerous Christians criticize President Barack Obama using words like Obummer, Obozo and Nobama. Insults add nothing constructive to a debate. Every year Christians also joke about April 1 as a holiday for atheists. FULL POST

Posted 4/1/14 at 11:58 PM | SHOW Times

April 2nd is Reconciliation Today

Do you have a fractured relationship with someone that needs to be mended?

Jesus taught his disciples to reconcile:

"So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift." - Matthew 5:23-24 ESV

Paul the Apostle taught Christians to engage in a "ministry of reconciliation."

"All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation." - 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 ESV

April 2nd is Reconciliation Day.

According to Holiday Insights, "Reconciliation Day is a special day to patch relationships and to make amends. It's intention is to re-establish relationships between family, friends and couples. Life is too short to hold a grudge between those we love." FULL POST

Posted 3/31/14 at 9:32 PM | SHOW Times

Smaller Social Media Sites Offer Mission Opportunity

Photo: Flickr/Gavin Llewellyn - Creative Commons

When we think of social media, Facebook, Google Plus, Pinterest and Twitter come to mind. Christians have a presence on each of these sites. However, there are smaller social media sites where Christians can share their faith.

LinkedIn is primarily used by business people for networking. Christians interested in marketplace ministry should consider this site. Wikipedia describes marketplace ministry as "evangelism or other Christian activities that are targeted towards the secular workplace, as opposed to homes, churches, or specialized venues (e.g., crusades). " LinkedIn allows its users to create groups for discussion about interesting topics.

Classmates and Reunion - If you are interested in outreach to former classmates, then these two websites are a decent starting place. Some people that refuse to use Facebook over privacy concerns will be listed on these websites. FULL POST

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