Why Twitter?

Social networking is really becoming a part my life
and ministry: finding old friends, keeping up with new ones, keeping connected
with church members and learning about new things and technology.  Right
now the two I rely on are Facebook and Twitter.  Almost everyone I talk to
understands Facebook however it is not quite the same for Twitter. 

Twitter is a micro-blog tool that allows for you to
post current information that is immediately posted to those who follow
you.  For me the Twitter posts also show up as status updates at Facebook
and they are also posted on my blog. 

 The biggest question I get about Twitter is
“why?”  Here is a short list:

Staying
connected with people is important, Twitter helps.

    • I get to follow some interesting people:
    • I follow some great leaders who lead me to some
      great information
    • I follow my leader…I want to know where he is
      headed
    • I follow some funny people, whose twitters make
      me laugh
    • I follow some people in other parts of the
      country who do the same job as me. 
  • Twitter helps others
    stay involved in my day
    • It has helped when I needed prayer
    • Gives people a glimpse into my life (I’m not
      just the person on the stage each Sunday)
    • Helps the people I minister with to know me
      better
  • I follow creative
    people who help get my creativity flowing
  • I follow some techno ‘nerds’ who are always
    showing new ways to use technology

Here are a couple of resources Twitter helps:

The Beginners Guide to Twitter,a blog post by Michael Hyatt titled: 

Ten
Easy Steps for Twitter Beginners
, a TwiTip blog edited by Darren Rowse.

Why
Twitter Matters
, a Business Week article.

In the future…

  •  I hope to have more worship ministry people connected through
    Twitter.
  •  I see the possibility of different ministries within the
    church having Twitter accounts so that information can be communicated
    quickly.

If you want to follow me go to www.twitter.com; sign up for an account and then search for me
@michaelhsmith.  You follow me and I will follow you.

Not my choice, but my president

I admit that Barack Obama was
not my choice and not the one I cast my vote for in the 2008 presidential
election.  Since that November day many
things have crossed my mind about what an Obama led United States of America may look
like.  Today as I witnessed some of the
events of the day I have been convicted concerning my sentiments and thoughts
and convicted that my role is to pray. 
Just recently one of my twitter friends and religious leaders of this
country, @maxlucado, put out a call, for all who would, to dedicate today as a
day of prayer for our new president. 
Over 200,000 people signed this commitment…I was not one…I should have
been one. As the events played out on the television today I could not help but
stop and begin to pray for our new president. I cannot begin to understand the
enormous responsibility that this job brings.

 

I was reminded of the words of
the Apostle Paul that are recorded in the book of Romans chapter 13: ' Everyone must submit to the governing authorities…' I do submit because Barack Obama is
our new president. I will support him with my prayers.

 

My prayer for the new president
is:

O God, creator of everything and
one who has everything in control, thank you for allowing this great country of
America
to survive and prosper.  God, let Your
presence be real to our new president and may he call on you often for guidance
and wisdom.  Surround him with people who
follow You and listen to You.  I pray
that You would not only guide President Obama as he carries out his duties as
president but that you also guide him as he strives to be a husband and father
and that in some miraculous way allow him to have quality family time with his
wife and children.

 

Thank You that we live in a
country where a transfer of power is accomplished in peace.  Thank you that this is a great country and
let us never forget.

 

There is a story of one event
just before the inauguration of Abraham Lincoln; he was sitting in his hotel
room going over his speech with his wife. 
As that time came to a close he dropped to his knees and begins to pray,
overwhelmed at the task before him.  I
hope and pray that that scene is carried out often by our new president. 

 

Barack Obama is the President of
the United States of America,
my president…I promise to pray for him.

Making “Christ the King”

Each Saturday in The Tennessean there is an article written
by a local pastor sharing some random point of his interpretation of theology. I
usually just glance through this commentary however a few Saturdays ago I got
past the first paragraph because the subject was very thought provoking.  The guest writer was communication the fact
that the next day would be recognized as ‘Christ the King’ Sunday in many
churches.  He went on to state that some
churches who recognize the liturgical calendar had changed the name so that
Christ was not recognized as King, they try to replace the ‘king’ part with
another name. 

 

I agree with the writer ‘King’ is an appropriate title for
Jesus Christ.  It notes authority, it
shows that the leader serves the needs of His people and it also shows that the
servants do all they can to honor the ‘King.’ 

 

Personally I believe the word ‘King’ also shows for us as
believers that Jesus Christ is much more than a Savior, but someone who we can
turn to in all situations, everyday. 
When I call Him ‘King’ it shows that I am surrendering to His authority,
His will. When I call Him ‘King’ I also recognize that I have chosen to be His
follower, not just someone He has saved.

 

I have always served in churches that do not celebrate the
liturgical year, other than advent, Christmas, Palm Sunday and Easter, however,
Christ the King Sunday seems like a great idea, but I want it to be something
that I celebrate everyday.

Heart Health: body, soul and spirit

My home page is set to Fox News and tonight and the headline
at the top of the page was: Fat Nation: Latest federal figures show that
Americans aren't just overweight — more and more are becoming obese.

 

65%
of U.S.
adults are classified as overweight. Part of this is because we have evolved
into a sedentary society…we move very little. The Fox News article states the
statistics this way: 34 percent of Americans are obese,
… 32.7 percent are overweight…under 6 percent are "extremely" obese.

 

My full-time job is that of a minister, but my full-time
passion is to be a follower of Christ, trying to do what he wants in every
aspect of my life. For me every aspect means being intentional on how I take
care of my physical body also.

 

In the business I am in, we are always talking about heart
health…getting our spiritual heart right with God…because that’s what this job
is all about.  That is the most important thing.  There is nothing
more important than being in a right relationship with God: admitting we
are sinners; believing Jesus Christ died for our sins; confessing
our sins to God and living a life that puts Jesus Christ in a place of Lordship
for every aspect of our lives. And not just believing Christ but following Him
in every aspect of our lives.

 

Do we take care of the spiritual but forget the
physical.  This temple we live in is
amazing gift.   It amazes me that we take for granted; often neglect this
amazing gift…our body…that God has given us. 
Our bodies are a part of that “every aspect.”

 

Have
you noticed in the Bible there are no guidelines for exercise …could it be that
the contemporaries of Biblical times were active people?  They walked
everywhere they went. They worked with their hands.  Our bodies were made
to move. Research shows that intentional moving, as little as 10-20 minutes
will make a tremendous difference in how we feel.
Moving burns calories; moving
makes our heart stronger; moving makes our bones stronger.

 

I have been on a journey of intentional movement now for
almost nine years. It has made a positive impact on how I live.  I encourage you to get moving. I
Thessalonians 5: 23
says: Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely. And may your spirit, soul, and body be kept sound and blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

So…does living as a follower of
Christ mean that we are to get moving?

A Personal Story: God has a plan

The Christmas holidays are
suppose to be a time for family and celebration of God’s gift to us.  It is not suppose to be a time when you face
tragedy and the death of a loved one. 
This year that is exactly what our family faced.  On the day after Christmas my sister’s 23
year old son passed away due to complications from the flu.  Many of you already know this and have been
very supportive, speaking to us words of encouragement, comfort and letting us
know you are supporting us in prayer.  My
sister, her family and my parents still need that kind of support.

 

Many of you have asked what
exactly happened…we really don’t know…and may never know. 

 

In the few days after the
tragedy some of the  local newspapers ran
a few articles and one of the TV stations in Charlotte North Carolina (WCNC-TV Channel – 36) did a
story on the my nephew and the facts of a vibrant, full of life 23 year old
dying from the flu.  The link to an
article and news spot is here.

 

Thank you again for your
prayers. 

 

One last thought, very soon
after the receiving the tragic news my 14 year old son comforted his
grandmother with these words:  “Mimi, we
don’t understand it now, but God does and He has plan.” Amen.