Twitter For the Masses

In predictions for 2009 I said that I thought Twitter would catch on and finally become popular with "the kids".  What I mean is that non-geeks will begin seeing it for the incredible tool that it is.  Later when listening to the Buzz Out Loud prediction show, I heard Tom Merritt make the same prediction. I know a lot of my regular readers read my twitters (they are supposed to be called tweets, but that is just so stupid that I refuse to) because I can see when you click on the links from my feed in the sidebar.  So my goal today is to get you to try out Twitter, and explain what it is exactly.  Next week I will post about different ways of using it, cool apps and stats, and some ways not to use it.

Twitter is microblogging, for lack of a better term.  You get 140 characters to say whatever you want.  Here's how it works.  You sign up, choose people to follow, then participate.  Your page will automatically show you all the updates of the people you follow.  Likewise, everyone who follows you will see all your updates.

You can update it from the web or by text message.  You can also post pics to twitter using  It allows people to see into the lives of those you follow.  And in turn your followers can see what you are up to.  You can use it for prayer requests, to send out information or to keep up with old friends.  I follow people I know from college and from seminary.  And if you sign up, let me know and I'll follow you as well.

You can keep track of your twitter feed on the website, but  the best way to use twitter on your computer is Twhirl works with Mac & PC and is a very handy tool.  (You will also need to install adobe air)

Here's a list of a few cool people to follow to get you started.  (I don't follow the last few)

me - Ed Stetzer - Mark Hall (from Casting Crowns) - Tom Rainer (Pres. of Lifeway) - Alvin Reid - Darth Vader - Natalie Grant - MC Hammer (Can't touch this) - Shaquille O'Neil - Greg Grunberg (Weiss from Alias) -

You can always just sign up and try it out. Let me know how you feel about it in the comments.

Blogging & My Ego

The question of the day is; What the heck is wrong with me? I have been blogging now for about 8 months, and I pretty much know what my readership is.  I get roughly the same amount of hits every day.  (Except Saturday & Sunday, nobody visits then.  I do good to get 10 hits on those days.)

So here's why I wonder what is wrong with me.  I check my stats like 3 times a day.  Why do I do that?  Am I just the world's biggest narcissist, or is it normal?  I remember when I wrote my first post I quoted Scott Adams and said that starting a blog is tantamount to saying that what the world needs is more of me.  So maybe all bloggers are narcissists.

I definitely don't judge myself by the amount of friends I have on Facebook, (65 btw) or Myspace.  In general I don't care about being popular, but I sure do look at my blog stats.

I have some friends who are bloggers, maybe they can weigh in and tell me if they do the same thing.  In fact, do me a favor and give them some hits today.  Help out their numbers by clicking the links below just in case they are all as concerned about their stats as I am.

  • Adam Reed
  • John McLamb
  • Scott & Briana Underhill
  • Chuck Poe
  • Tim Schindler
  • It's Pretty Amazing What You Can Do With Just a Few People and Technology

    I wrote a post for Monday but I can't quite bring myself to post it.  I'm sure you'll see it later.  In the meantime, read somebody else's blog and enjoy this video.  It's pretty amazing what you can do with some time and technology [youtube=]

    What happens when I link to a popular blog

    Actually these are trackbacks, plus they were very popular topics.

    The first is Bart Barber and the topic of the [then upcoming] Southern Baptist presidential election

    The other is Jarrod Morris (on the same day he was linked by and the topic of christians and drinking.  Something everyone has an opinion about.

    And the places where it bottoms out are Sundays.  Apparently no one reads blogs on Sundays.


    A Few More Thoughts on the SBC President

    In my previous post I asked people to lobby me for their candidate for SBC president. As I have thought about this I realize that many of my readers need a bit of a lesson in Southern Baptist polity.

    I think the first thing to establish is that the president of the Southern Baptist Convention is largely a figurehead position. What I mean by that is that the SBC itself is not so much a denomination as a collection of independent churches. No president of the convention or Associational Director Of Missions has any actual power over any church. Our statement of faith the BFM 2000 is just that; a statement of faith. We join ourselves together because we hold common beliefs not because of any hierarchy. Our associational DOM has no authority over the 96 churches of the NSRBA. The convention president is the same. He has no real power.

    So what does the president do and why even bother going to the convention at all? The president is moderator of the convention, he appoints the committee on committees, and he serves largely as a spokesman for all Southern Baptists to the media.

    Let’s look at each of these duties and deal with them separately with the 6 candidates in mind.

    First, the SBC president serves as moderator over the convention. This is a 2-day per year job. (In execution, though surely there is a lot of prep work that must be done.) Based on my knowledge of the candidates any of them would be fine in this position. There is a parliamentarian on hand to keep whoever it is straight on the details. It may well be that some of the candidates are a bit more in love with the sound of their own voice than others ;) but the sheer amount of business that must be carried out in two days makes it necessary that the president keep things moving. The position of moderator concludes with the convention sermon, they all have different skills in this regard, but hopefully any of them would be well-prepared and ready to bring God’s word to the convention.

    Second, the SBC president nominates the committee on committees. Once upon a time, this was probably the most significant part of the job. Now that the convention as a whole is solidly conservative, and full of inerrentists, most likely all of the candidates would appoint all conservatives to this position. (An aside: I am thankful to God for those who figured out the significance of this and led to the conservative resurgence.)

    Third, the convention president largely serves as spokesman and ambassador to the media for the entire denomination. It would be impossible to be a spokesman for the entire group of millions of Southern Baptists. As I stated earlier, we are a very independent group, and only joined because we choose to cooperate. This part of the job is significant because the media does not understand the nature of our convention. So we need an apt spokesperson. I have heard Frank Page say repeatedly that he was approached by all the major presidential candidates and asked for an endorsement. There are many other people who to some degree speak on behalf of Southern Baptists. That is essentially Richard Land’s job description, and to a large degree Al Mohler does the same thing. But there will never be a true replacement for the SBC president. This is the part of the job where the candidates truly begin to separate themselves. This is also one of the reasons that the megachurch pastors have a leg up on the field in most cases.

    At this point, for me, the election is down to Frank Cox, Johnny Hunt, and Avery Willis, in no particular order. You basically have one more day to lobby me for your candidate, or disagree with my analysis in the comments. Feel free to do so.

    Also as a bonus, here are links to the candidates interviews with Baptist Press

    Frank Cox

    Johnny Hunt

    Avery Willis

    Les Puryear

    Bill Wagner

    Wiley Drake

    Am I the Key Vote?

    One of the major concerns we hear about in Southern Baptist life is the lack of “young leaders.”

    You often read that people under age 40 feel somehow alienated by the processes of the SBC. I am under 35, and seminary educated, but I don’t feel either jaded or disenfranchised with the processes of the SBC.

    I have no idea what all the commentators mean by “leader” but I’m pretty sure I don’t qualify on that front. I’m the youth minister at a small church, and I have no ambition to ever preach the convention sermon, but I do want to see the Southern Baptist Convention be the best it can be. I obviously am a blogger, (hopefully the stigma from that label is gone now) and I read a handful of SBC blogs. Some I agree with, some I don’t. I would very much like to one day earn my PhD and my readers already know I want to be a certified apologetics instructor. It would be great to have a bunch of readers on my blog, but this blog is too often about fishing to ever catch on in a big way. So, surely I am not a “leader.” All I want is to bring glory to God in whatever position He puts me. And if that means being a youth minister to 10 kids, then hopefully I can help them to grow closer to Christ and have an impact on their world.

    Despite not being a “young leader” I believe I am the very person that many people are concerned about. As an under 35, seminary educated, Southern Baptist, I am interested in what happens, and deeply concerned with the baptism decline. I hope this doesn’t sound arrogant, really I just believe I fit the mold. I’m sure there are many like me.

    I will be attending the Southern Baptist Convention in Indianapolis, and I can honestly say that I do not know who I will be voting for for president. There are 6 candidates. (<update>I am only seriously considering 3 </update>of them.) I am genuinely undecided. This is your opportunity to lobby for my vote. Use the comments to convince me that your choice for SBC president is the one who will best lead the convention.

    Here are some things you may want to know about me before you begin your defense. Some of this is a repeat.

    • I am a blogger
    • I read many of the SBC blogs
    • I am not a 5-point Calvinist
    • I am not afraid of the 5-pointers (i.e. I don’t believe they are going to destroy the convention)
    • I admire all of the candidates for president
    • I admire some of them more than others ;-)
    • I can see nothing but evil coming from consuming alcohol
    • I really like the BFM 2000
    • I do not think megachurch pastors as presidents are bad for the convention
    • I do not think you have a to be a megachurch pastor to be a great convention president
    • I believe the cooperative program is the best funding device ever conceived for evangelizing the world
    • I believe that almost every state convention keeps too much CP funds (I’m talking to you BSCNC)
    • I believe that money sent directly to the SBC should count as CP giving (see the above item)
    • Did I mention that I believe consuming alcohol is pretty much indefensible
    • I am very disturbed by the baptism decline
    • I believe that the baptism turnaround will happen on the church level not the convention level
    • I am concerned about regenerate church membership. We should be honest about the size of our churches and convention

    Let the lobbying begin

    My Life So Far

    Today is my 33rd birthday. Birthdays have a way of making me take stock of my life, and even though I'm not freaking out today, I still like to look back. (BTW I really freaked out over turning 29.) I figure that, even with wishful thinking, at least a third of my life has passed. So, just for fun, I’ll break down my life so far into thirds and share some highlights.

    Age birth – 11: I really accomplished a lot, relatively speaking. Mostly, like other kids, it’s learning stuff. Here’s a partial list that is in no particular order.

    • Successfully navigated the birth canalMe like 1 yo
    • Learned to walk
    • Learned to talk (possibly learned this one a little too well)
    • Inherited my brother and promptly, through regular beat-downs, established my dominance
    • Survived a bout with a life-threatening illness.
    • Learned how to use the toilet and clean up after myself (very important skill)
    • Learned to tie my shoes even though in the early 80s we all thought velcro would replace laces
    • Learned to ride a bike (this one took me a while)
    • Learned to read and write
    • Successfully passed Kindergarten through 5th grade (I turned 12 during the 6th grade)
    • Moved 10 times or so through 4 different cities (Franklin KY, Somerset KY, Bristol VA, Hopkinsville KY, Cerulean KY)
    • Became a Christian
    • Participated in a school play
    • Got pretty fat
    • Made it to the dice and bowtie (I can’t remember which is better) levels of Megamania

    Age 12-22: Not so much about learning stuff, as accomplishing stuff or failing to accomplish stuff. This is obviously what I would refer to as my formative years. I am who I am mostly because of these 11 years. Again, here’s a list.

    • Managed to get through 6th-12th grade in one try (I won’t be saying that later on)
    • Survived the divorce of my parents
    • Saved the princess in Super Mario BrothersMy Sr. Picture
    • Saw my Dad become a Christian
    • Inherited a step family (which included 2 more brothers and a sister. Again I had to establish my dominance through regular beat-downs)
    • Actually went on a few dates
    • Played trombone in High School band
    • Totally graduated high school (again, it only took one try)
    • Lost a bunch of weight then got fat again
    • Moved away from home for college at UK
    • Spent a summer in Washington & Oregon as a NAMB summer missionary (This was life changing. If you are in college and want to be used by God, apply at
    • Spent a summer as youth director at the church I grew up in
    • Went to the 1997 final 4 and had great seats (Sadly, Kentucky lost)
    • Served as youth minister at Durbin Memorial Baptist Church
    • Flunked out of UK
    • Moved about 6 more times during this period
    • Worked for Universal Property & Casualty insurance company (I didn't live in Florida. It was operated by Kentucky National.)

    Age 23-33: I realize that I'm just beginning my 33rd year, but I can talk about the previous 10.

    Making that list was kinda fun. Hope you enjoyed it

    Welcome Folks From LaGrange Park

    Newsletters went out yesterday, which means that they arrived today in most cases. I would guess that many of you just found out that your youth minster writes a blog and are probably here to see what it is all about. So this post is a primer on my weblog. Some of my posts:

    Require a lot of thought and organization like: A Time For War part 1 & part 2

    Are hopefully an encouragement to the church like: News That Bothers Me or Saying Yes to Jesus

    Are meant to provoke a response like: Silent?

    Are about fishing or basketball

    Are pure silliness like: this one or this one

    My most commented ever is just me asking for help

    Anyway, thanks for visiting. And if you got here because of the church newsletter, leave a comment and say hello. And feel free to come back or add me to your RSS reader.

    Also, visit this post and vote in the comments

    P.S. We mail out about 285 newsletters, anyone want to guess how many extra hits that translates into. I'd set the over/under at 20 with 5 comments.

    A Couple Of Ideas

    I have been blogging for 6 weeks now. This is post 27. That, of course, means an average of around 4 posts per week. Originally I said that my goal was to post 3 times per week with something fun on Fridays. But it has been more like 2 posts a week with a couple of something funs. I work from a list of what I am planning to post. This list is made up of topics to write on for days when I have nothing to say otherwise, or stuff that I need to think about and formulate for a few days before it is ready to be posted. One of those is coming on Monday. (I think.) That list is currently about 8 items long and I occasionally expand it.

    I'm considering a couple of new features on the blog.

    I am considering a regular feature called, Jeremy Answers Your Questions. Two of my earlier posts are in response to a question.  And I have another question to answer in the works.  I am not a genius and don't want to presume that everyone cares what I have to say about everything.  But this is a blog, and if you are reading it hopefully you care a little.

    I am also considering a guest blogger feature. I have many very talented, bordering on genius readers, and I may occasionally let them write a post if they so desire. That would prevent the slow down that this blog suffered last week. My brother may want to write about how he loves Jeff Gordon, or Brent may write about why he doesn't actually read this blog even though it is written by his very good friend. Caroline may want to write and point out all the grammatical errors in my previous posts. (it will be long) Roland might want to write about the smack-off.   Ryan might want to write about his love of the Helvetica typeface. Adam might write about why he is writing on somebody else’s blog when he has one of his own. (That would be so meta) I hope that pretty much covers all of my regular readers.

    This is where I beg for comments. Tell me what you think of these two ideas. Do you care about my answers to your questions? Would you care about guest bloggers? Would any of you ever write anything?