Friended by God

I won’t endorse or advocate for the show because there is no way of telling what “God” is going to say or encourage, but CBS is coming out with a new show called, “Friended by God.”

Although I’m uncertain about the content of the show, I love the title and the premise which is about a man who does not believe in God but ends up being helped by the advice of some mysterious friend (called God) through social media posts. That alone gives the show so much potential for true spiritual good.

Fact is, God has friended us, both theist and atheist alike, through Jesus (Romans 5:8. Matthew 11:9, John 15:13-14), but the question remains, “Have we friended God?”

Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.” (James 2:22-24)

#friend-of-god, #social-media, #tv

Ex-Facebook prez: We want to ‘consume as much of your time as possible’

He explained that when Facebook was being developed the objective was: “How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?” It was this mindset that led to the creation of features such as the “like” button that would give users “a little dopamine hit” to encourage them to upload more content.

“It’s a social-validation feedback loop … exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with, because you’re exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology.”

via Ex-Facebook president Sean Parker: site made to exploit human ‘vulnerability’

Social media like Facebook causes many saints to sin, not least among their transgressions being the waste of time. So many opportunities for study, for evangelism, for edification are lost! So many souls go careening into hell for lack of teaching, because saints are clicking on social media!

Yes, Facebook is but the latest in a long line of time-wasters. But it is one of the most potent, a powerful addiction.

Facebook is not a free service. It is costly. And for some, it may well cost their eternal salvation.

“making the best use of the time, because the days are evil” Eph 5.16 ESV.


10-27-2016 “False Witness” Voting

One of the reasons God hates “A false witness who speaks lies” (Proverbs 6:19 NKJV), is because, “A false witness shall perish, But the man who hears him will speak endlessly” (Proverbs 21:28 NKJV).  Once the “lies” are proved wrong, the social media and Propaganda Press will continue to pass them along as if they were facts or truth! Under Moses, God’s judicial rule was “the judges shall make careful inquiry, and indeed, if the witness is a false witness, who has testified falsely against his brother, then you shall do to him as he thought to have done to his brother; so you shall put away the evil from among you” (Deuteronomy 19:18-19 NKJV).  A “false witness” should receive the punishment he or she wanted to happen to their victim! It’s an ignorant vote, often wrong, when it is based upon “false witness.”

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#false-witness, #lies, #propaganda-press, #social-media, #vote

You are the product


On the big free social-media sites, be aware that you are the product being sold. Your information is worth big money. So it’s become a common saying that if you’re not paying for it, you’re not the customer; you’re the product being sold./1

Twitter may soon exchange hands. Because it’s a big money maker? Because of the users’ data.

Suitors are said to be interested as much in the data that Twitter generates as its place as a media company. —via Twitter may soon get formal bid, suitors said to include Salesforce and Google

Privacy is a big issue today, for a reason. Christians should also be concerned with it. Thinking that we have nothing to hide does not mean that government, industry, and commercial enterprises cannot use data to a person’s harm. You might be refused medical treatment, for example, based on what is found out about your history and lifestyle.

I don’t have easy answers, other than abandoning modern society and living off the grid. But do be aware and be careful of what you share online.

What suggestions do you have for protecting privacy and avoiding exposure of one’s data?

1/ For a different view, see D. Powazek (excuse a couple bad words).

#privacy, #social-media, #twitter


8-14-2015 Truly Neglected Orphans

Christians can now pray David’s prayer: the wicked “have also surrounded me with words of hatred, And fought against me without a cause. In return for my love they are my accusers, But I give myself to prayer. Thus they have rewarded me evil for good, And hatred for my love” (Psalm 109:3-5 NKJV). Judgment upon the wicked may thus be: “Let his children be fatherless, And his wife a widow. Let his children continually be vagabonds, and beg; Let them seek their bread also from their desolate places (Psalm 109:9-10 NKJV). While fathers fiddle with their iphones and ipads, with email, LinkedIn, YouTube or Fantasy Sports, their children are “fatherless.” While mothers use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, or Pinterest, their children are “vagabonds, and beg” for love and attention. Children of the wicked, need parenting!

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#judgment, #parenting, #social-media, #wicked

If you're on GNUsocial come be a part…

If you’re on GNUsocial, come be a part of the Bible group.

If you’re not, take this as your invitation to register and join the group.

#bible, #gnusocial, #social-media


(#174) The Proverbs of Solomon 25:17-Twitter This

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 25:17: “Seldom set foot in your neighbor’s house, Lest he become weary of you and hate you.”

If there ever was a cautionary warning about “social media,” this is it! It is possible to “wear out our welcome.” Facebook fans, beware. Not everyone wants to read about what your husband will have for supper, or how many messy diapers your baby has had, or how many trips you make to the store, or where you plan to grill food for company, or everything your children accomplish. The most tiresome invitation used to include, “and we have slides of our family,” but now it seems to be “friend me on Facebook!” There are many who “unfriend” those who seem to “think” with Facebook, Twitter, or on other social media. Enough is enough.

Social media seems to have cultivated a climate that was condemned by the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul: “And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not. Therefore I desire that the younger widows marry, bear children, manage the house, give no opportunity to the adversary to speak reproachfully. For some have already turned aside after Satan” (1 Timothy 5:13-15). The responsibilities of home and family should be enough to keep one busy, and avoid being “gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not.” With our constant, instant communication devices, people have forgotten the self-limiting barriers that should protect our privacy. It seems that “Generation N” (Narcissists) thinks everyone should be interested in everything going on in their lives without ever asking for that information!

The communication today is wonderful when used properly, but remember “too much familiarity breeds contempt.” Try talking to God, He does not get tired: “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #christian-living, #facebook, #family, #instagram, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #social-media, #twitter, #wisdom

Tweets and twisters

The recent bad weather, read, twisters, got me back on Twitter. So I’ve been tweeting more. I wanted to offer via this post a chance for our tweeters to add their handles in the comments area.

It’s always good to tweet among friends.

Mine is @jrmatheny.

#social-media, #twitter

David Kinnaman author of You Lost Me a…

David Kinnaman, author of You Lost Me, a book on young adults drift away from church and president of Barna Group, a Christian research firm, says, “Jesus is getting lost in the data stream” among our youngest adults. Instead of followers of Jesus, they are followers of 5000 unseen unmet friends on Facebook and Twitter. He estimates 70% of young adults lack religious or spiritual influence. They are so focused on the here and now that they never pause for a here-after. For them the Almighty is off the radar and an eternity somewhere is shoved aside by mortgages, tailgating and texting. But just as this developing phenomena concerns us all, let us remember that those trained in the way of the Lord, will return to it when they are old. This is Just-A-Minute

#just-a-minute, #social-media

Six-second sermon

I was a bit dismayed to learn that the recent generation’s attention span seemed to be equivalent to the time between commercials. It seems the current generation is down to about six seconds, with the rising popularity of social media sites like VINE, where you are allowed six seconds of video broadcast — and then on to something else — I guess I’d better hurry.

Here is a short, but profound lesson in Psalm 106:13-15:

“They quickly forgot His works;

They did not wait for His counsel,

But they craved intensely in the wilderness,

And tempted God in the desert.

So He gave them their request,

But sent a wasting disease among them”

How does that work? They got what they craved (water), but spiritual health did not come with it. We have to wait for His counsel. Got it in 6?

Oran Burt, Somers Ave. church bulletin “The Observer,” North Little Rock AR

#attention-span, #hearing, #social-media

Social Media and Fellowship

What role does social media have in Biblical fellowship? More specifically, what does it do to the lines between sound and unsound brethren? In the past, I have received Facebook friendship requests from false teachers who have dozens of sound brethren as “friends.”

Should we be Facebook friends with false teachers? Do we need to examine the Scriptures on fellowship through the prism of social media? I look forward to the discussion.

#facebook, #false-teachers, #fellowship, #scripture, #social-media, #truth

Leaving Facebook

Another friend is leaving Facebook. I’m there still, not because of what it offers, but because I have something to share. Otherwise, I’d be gone as well.

#facebook, #social-media

Social buttons added, rearranged on TFR

Google+ has been added to the social media at the bottom of each post, as has Linkedin. Though the latter, together with lesser used sites, were moved to a general button, where they appear when moused over.

Please use these to share those posts you find of special interest or particularly helpful. The social media are a major driver of traffic to the site.

Some of our favorites are still not present, but we may have to wait a while for those. Meanwhile, we work with what we have.

Also, it should be noted, there are buttons to share a post by email or to print it out on real-life, dead-tree paper.

#housekeeping, #social-media

Social media bring transparency and accessibility

Transparency and accessibility are two of the great positives of social media. And both can have their downsides. But I just participated in a thread with the owner of a major political website. Paul Ryan an Sarah Palin have yet to show up, though. Should this not spell the end of the autopen, that mechanical, impersonal, secretive tool of government?

• July’s issue of Bulletin Digest came in the mail a few days ago. In a time when information is overwhelming, the editors cull the best from the brotherhood for the brotherhood. Why not get your copy?

• A penguin was discovered on the beach just down from our city. (We’re about an hour and a half away from the ocean.) I knew it was cold, but this is ridiculous! He was lost. Young one. His GPS must have been out of whack.

• Last Sunday, for the first time in weeks, I failed to post my English devotional, translated from the Portuguese original. I did get the latter done, however. It’s been well received, with a good number of comments, thanks to a few faithful. And don’t miss my journey entry from yesterday, titled “Is Facebook in the Bible?” Hint: I found it in Proverbs.

• Speaking of Proverbs, Jon Warnes says many of the future verses to memorize (which Richard H. is posting here and elsewhere) will come from Proverbs. God knows we need wisdom in our day. If you haven’t been memorizing or have fallen away from the faith (of memorization), start with number 51, which is fast arriving, and do the remaining 50 with us.

#bible-devotionals, #bible-memorization, #bulletin-digest, #religious-publications, #social-media

Today, the Day for Love

Christian loveNo, it’s not another international day nobody knows about, nor another Valentine’s Day, not even in Brazil. (Here, June 12th.) Nor has the wife sent me a promissory note for later. Following our reading schedule, today’s chapter is 1 Cor. 13, the famous love chapter. So most of what I’m writing today, and will be teaching tonight, focuses on love.

Three chapters (12-14) boil down to one phrase. Chapter 13 centers the discussion of gifts. In that chapter, three sections (essentiality, 1-3; activity, 4-7, superiority, 8-13) center on love’s actions (13:4-7). In that section, we have positive, negative, and positive actions, so the negative is the focus. Of the nine negatives, the middle one is, “it is not self-serving.” That’s what the Corinthians were doing with the gifts, serving and exalting themselves, when the gifts were give to serve and edify others. Pretty neat the way he organizes it, no?

Chapter 13 isn’t about marriage, although it probably gets read more at weddings than anywhere. It’s about church, about brotherly love. And, boy, oh, boy, do we need that today, when each one is going his own way, and we don’t have time for each other. It’s not that we fight. It’s that we hardly interact at all. Early Christians had daily contact. We do good to be in touch weekly.

I love the Internet. I work it, use it, benefit from it, share through it, and enjoy fellowship thanks to it. But as good as the Internet is, it’s no substitute for personal, daily contact with the saints.

Facebook is becoming a huge substitute for live social interaction. That’s just a fact, and we ought to use it for the gospel. At the same time, we as God’s agents of transformation must cultivate living, breathing communion at the local level. The Internet may even contribute, but it cannot substitute, our full fellowship together.

Some of God’s gifts can be used through the Internet, but not all. It cannot visit, feed, listen, touch, nor perform a hundred other actions necessary for full fellowship. For all its advantages, the Internet cannot give the holy kiss, or holy hug, or holy handshake, if that’s all you’re up for.

Today is for me, then, the Day for Love, the day to read, think, and practice the love of 1 Corinthians 13. Truth be known, though, every day in God’s church is the Day for Love. Every. Single. Day.

Love has skin, feet, and hands. Let it have your skin, your feet, and your hands.

#christian-fellowship, #christian-love, #facebook, #social-media