tithe and giving

This past Sunday, there was a special speaker at Vintage City Church who spoke on human trafficking. His heart and passion motivated me to the point where I felt like I had to give something. But, instead of taking up an offering at that moment, he said to wait three weeks before making any decisions. He said he didn’t want us to make an emotional decision, but an informed decision. Think about it. Pray about it. Talk about it. I really appreciated that.

All this has me thinking… Some people think you should give to the storehouse which means your home church. I get that. I really do.
But, what if you feel led to give something or even everything to a certain ministry that doesn’t happen to be your home church? What if you think giving money to save a life through human trafficking is the most important thing you can give to at that moment?

This would definitely eliminate the “look at me because I’m giving” long walk to the offering box. ;)…

Anyways, where should/do you give your money to? Is the answer always the local church?

Social Networks.

With twitter, facebook and google+ being the “major three”, you are now able to differentiate how you use social media. It’s crazy to me that google+ is already up there, but it seems that it is. Social media has really improved over the past few years.

There are so many ways that you can use social media networks. The key is finding out how each network works best for you.

First, we have twitter. It seems to be the put a link in your stream kind of place just because comments from others aren’t put together with the original question. The originator of the question has to make sure that the commenters use a hashtag or you have to search the users name to find all of the different responses. Don’t get me wrong, I really do love twitter because that’s where my audience first grew. It has it’s place with great relationships, all the different sites to measure the job you’re doing with influencing others, follower count, and quick, to the point 140 character tweets. I don’t really see it going anywhere even now that it has more competition. Competition will just make each site have to make things better to stay at the top of their game, which I am definitely looking forward to seeing what they come up with. Now that google + is hitting it big, I’m sure that twitter is really feeling some pressure and making some good things happen over there.

I’m mentioning google+ second here because I already like it more than facebook. Google + already has about 20 million users and it’s gaining even more momentum. The thing that I love about google +, and again it’s a little early to say who the best social site is, is that the answers to your posts are posted directly under the question. Easy enough, right? It becomes a live blog experience. People just seem to consume and respond to posts more frequently and more fluidly. I guess the third time is the charm. Wave and Buzz definitely set the path with the live response integrated into each of them and it seems that with plus, they mastered the other necessary components, like buy in from an audience.

As you already know, facebook isn’t going anywhere because even people who don’t care about social media get on facebook. It’s just the thing to do. It also seems that the main thing that facebook has over others is picture sharing and extras. The other big difference with facebook is that it’s used more for close relationships.

So as of now, twitter is my favorite, followed by google+ and facebook. I guess the order of my favorites could change over the next few months, depending on what google+ does here at the beginning of their social media presence.

Even though twitter is still my favorite, google+ and facebook seem to be the more “social” of the three networks. I mean they definitely have the makings to be more social. Twitter seems to be the site where you read content from those folks that you want to, very quickly and respond to things that spark your interest.

One main negative with social media across each of these sites, is that many people now use social media sites as spots to just shove out links. This tends to take the “social” part out of social media.

Let’s get specific with twitter, google+ and facebook…

What do you like most about each social media site? What do you think could be improved upon in each of these?

reflection, a huge part of the process

“How often do you take the time to think about the past?”

It’s a question that I sometimes didn’t see the importance of in the past and I often put it off to be honest. I felt that the future was the only necessary spot to look in times that I needed a way out of a situation, a stepping stone or a new way to go. The future is definitely a great place to focus as well, but we can’t forget about the past.

Let me say that my number one strength identified by the strengthsfinder test I took is “futuristic”, so this is a tough one for me. (The first time I took the test it had all my characteristics out of whack. That’s because I took the test and answered as the person I thought that I wanted to be, not the person that I truly was. My advice for you if you take the test is that you answer the questions as the person that you currently are.)
My drive comes from what could be and what the future holds for us. I definitely don’t spend enough time reflecting. It is such an important part of the creative, spiritual, relationship and planning processes in life that we would be neglecting if we didn’t at least acknowledge the importance of it.

Reflection is important for 4 reasons:

1. It’s important to know where you came from.
2. It’s easy to see a mistake and then you know not to repeat it in the future.
3. Looking to the past can help you find peace in the current situation that you’re in.
4. You have to know your story and how to communicate it to others.

What have you learned from reflection?