Tag Archives: social media


I’m excited about the new look on this page. Apparently I’ve had this going for four years or so. (Thanks, WordPress, for making me feel old.) But I kept with the same theme for the better part of that timeframe.

I played around with my original theme’s sidebar widgets to see if I could display book covers with the pages giving a preview of those books’ contents. No dice.

So eventually I chose a new theme, moved things around, supplied some new links, and clicked “Save & Publish.”


I know, I know. Good job, Dave. You did the basic things necessary, things that probably every blogger has to figure out sooner or later. Would you like a high-five or a cookie for all your hard work? TOO BAD.

One thing I’d like to point out is that I’ve added a link to my WattPad profile on the right hand sidebar. In addition to similar previews of my self-published novels, it also has a collection of some short stories posted on this blog as well as the ongoing adventures of Grant & Teagan from my BlogBattles entries. Those are compiled in:

The Ginger of Galway on WattPad

On top of that, I have an almost-finished WattPad novel that’s only available on that site:

Echoes on WattPad

Hooray for linking social media together!

America, It's Malignant

This is a little old (early March), but it popped up in my Facebook feed and triggered some thinking. 

I don’t get Trump’s candidacy, in much the same way I don’t get how some people still support Clinton. It amazes me what we’re willing to overlook when we decide someone is the best choice–or the least horrible choice.

In this Vocativ article, they look at Twitter data to see how people are treating Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly throughout all the debacle between her and Trump over the last few months. Since the start, Kelly has been treated to a fairly constant stream of vitriol, much of it from people I’d bet thought the world of her prior to her brazen and irrational questioning of a Presidential candidate about behavior that could affect his performance in the election. 

It’s more proof, as if we need any, of the downside of social media. Just because everyone has a voice, it doesn’t mean we should listen. 

I want to point the finger at Trump and say, “Look at yet another example of what this man produces.” I don’t see him as Presidential.

But the article is challenging, because it points out how Trump might not even use a particular sexist term… yet data show usage of that slur spiking on Twitter in the wake of Trump’s comments. His mistreatment of Kelly got the ball rolling. Now he can sit back and his supporters “take care of that,” rushing to his defense by attacking his victim online, like a noisy protestor at a campaign rally.

Trump is merely the symptom, the bump on otherwise smooth skin that reveals there’s a tumor spreading beneath the surface. The real problem is that there’s too many of us happily encouraging and engaging in the same kind behavior under cover of the Internet’s relative anonymity.


A Chorus of Consensus

Every once in a while in my social media feeds, something pops up that falls far outside the nice, safe walls I’ve built to keep out all of those people.

You know the sort.

The ones that post all those obviously mistaken political views.

The Facebook evangelists filling your feed with combative sermons, whether they be Christian or atheist.

Unfriending or blocking are easy solutions. And cowardly ones.

Yesterday, I saw a group on social media posting about a “dress up in drag” event on a Pacific military base. The poster and the comments all spoke of how disgusting this event was, and how WW2 vets who fought to secure that particular land must be furious that such a thing is taking place.

I thought back to the lifestyles of my military counterparts when I was stationed there. About some of what is accepted as “the way it is” outside the gate on Friday or Saturday nights. And I thought, “Why are we so focused on this one topic when–if we’re honest–there are a slew of reasons to be concerned?”

Of course, I know, it’s because some sins are ewwy and super gross. And others, well, boys will be boys.

So I posted this comment:


Within minutes, after a snarky comment about sex scandals going on in the Air Force, the group blocked my ability to respond and kicked me from the page.

I didn’t even disagree with them; I just called their exclusive focus into question. And that was apparently too much.

This got me thinking. If we’re going to discuss religion or politics, why silence a dissenting voice? What purpose does it serve to insulate and isolate ourselves into safe little bubbles of like thought?
Why not engage those who disagree? If a particular case or point of view is so good, then make it, and let it be compelling on its own.

When all I hear are voices of agreement, I lose sight of the bigger picture. I become blinded to problems and flaws that are easily glossed over in the chorus of consensus. Vision and creativity are stifled; there’s no need to think outside the box because everything is just fine inside it.

That’s why it’s so crucial to be willing to listen to another point of view, even if–especially if–the message isn’t what I want to hear.

This shortsightedness can happen in business, in the workplace, or in any social group. But most often, I’ve seen it take place among the religious and the political. We can be so invested in the truth and the rightness of our cause that we sometimes become willing to overlook the flaws in our logic, the missing facts in oversensationalized stories, and the nuances of navigating a stormy sea of religious and political debates.

It’s human nature to find refuge and security by surrounding ourselves with those who see things the same way. That’s the basis for societies.
But we have to be open enough to consider the views of an outsider, or to allow a second thought about whether we’re entirely correct in our viewpoint.

This is especially true of the church. While I’m not advocating picking theological positions by polling data, I’m saying we need to be aware of what is taking place outside the safe world of all things labelled ‘Christian.’

Hiding behind walls to keep out the opposition doesn’t make us right. It makes us childish. Kids holding our hands tightly over our ears, yelling, “I can’t hear you! La la la la la!”

If we only listen to those who agree with us, we’re on a path to ignorance and irrelevance, stagnant water in a swamp instead of living water flowing out to the world.

A Digital Ministry Profile

This morning, at church, I felt vindication.

It’s not a top-of-the-list expected sensation when you walk into a place of worship. But for today, vindication fit.

The pastors preached on wineskins, using Jesus’ words to the Pharisees as a reference.

But no one puts a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and a worse tear results. Nor do people put new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wineskins burst, and the wine pours out and the wineskins are ruined; but they put new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.” (Matthew 9:16, 17 NASB)

The point for the congregation today is that holding onto our old ways of doing things may keep us from experiencing growth in our relationship with God. And relationships are one area where our pastor sees a new wineskin is needed.

In today’s culture, so many of us spend our time connected to the Internet, hands almost surgically attached to our cellphones or mobile devices. I personally was shocked at how quickly my iPad got its dark tentacles wrapped around my habits.

Here I am typing this onto my iPad while riding a bike at the gym, using my cellphone hotspot to upload. No, I am not addicted to these devices.

Speaking of modern culture, our pastor declared, “A lot of people have more relationships via the Internet and social media than they have in face-to-face relations.” By unscientific appearances, because I’m too lazy to find data for what seems obvious, this is the case. Everywhere I go, I see people on cell phones, texting, Facebooking, tweeting, Vining, snapchatting, vlogging, and whatever new thing I’m not even aware of yet.

At least I do when I take my eyes off my iPhone.

Ok, so why the vindication?

Because my pastor’s words spoke directly to a form of ministry my wife has labored in for probably over a decade. And his words lent credence and validity to her form of ministry where others rolled eyes, scoffed, patronizingly agreed, or outright walked away.

My wife ministers the light and love of Christ to people online.

A stay-at-home mom by choice and homeschooling teacher by choice of four children ranging from three years old to teenagers, my wife doesn’t get a lot of time to spend volunteering for the church or doing whatever small group activities come up. When she gets time, she usually takes advantage of the chance to rest, because she earns those breaks.

So when the church wants to go door-to-door, or when they’re asking for nursery volunteers, or they want all the women to come out to a midweek Bible study, or to cook up dinners for the family with the new baby, more often than not, my wife isn’t serving there.

And she gets the looks for it! “Well, if you’re dropping your kid off in the nursery, then we need you to volunteer.” I get that. That makes nursery sustainable. So how about if my excited, willing teenage daughter volunteers in my wife’s place? “Not good enough.”

“Well, it’s so neat that you talk to people on your computer, but you know, we really need someone to come do street evangelism.” Because pouncing on people is a proven tactic, right.

My wife may not step foot out the door, but she clicks across the world and types words of love and hope into the hearts of people she’s never met in person. She may not have a foot on the ground, but she has a virtual hand on the shoulder of a grieving woman, of a new divorcee, of a worried parent whose child is in trouble with drugs. She may not be knocking on doors, but God knocks on hearts through the connection my wife makes with friends and strangers.

Years ago, when I’d log into a chatroom on Yahoo or geocities to debate theology, my wife would talk with people one-on-one to find out what they were going through and share her similar experiences.

Later, when I hopped on forums to post rants about politics and religion in our culture, my wife would trade private messages with people who had been emotionally or physically abused, whether by family, by acquaintances, by strangers, or even by their church. She gave hurting people an avenue to open up, to trust again, to connect with someone who had walked in their shoes and survived to tell the tale.

On Facebook, my wife almost always has a chat open with a friend or two, most of the time just staying connected and sharing life across the country or around the world. That constant reliable bond makes it possible to speak into someone’s life when they are in need of a friend. And sometimes it comes back to bless my wife when she needs encouragement.

Even on World of Warcraft and Farmville, she has made connections to strangers that developed into friends.

All the while, she’s ignored or brushed away the silent criticism and derisive looks from people who should have been excited and supportive.

Sure, if you get her going on politics or draw her into an argument, ministry gets lost in the chaos and flame wars. But that’s true of everyone, regardless of how persuasive we all might believe our memes and rants on Facebook to be.

So to those who laughed at my wife and her “so-called ministry,” I’d like to rise above and be the better man. But she’s the better half.

That means I get to laugh back, feel vindicated, and point out that she’s so ahead of the curve, no wonder they couldn’t see her from way back there.