Archives For Toni Birdsong & Tami Heim

Helping Handby Toni Birdsong

From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. ~Luke 12:48

As social media becomes more integrated into our everyday life, so too, the moral and social responsibility rises in step. Did you know there are three powerful tools on Facebook that can actually save a life? Hats off to Facebook developers who have wisely integrated the Anti-Bullying Initiative, the Suicide Referral System, and just recently, the Organ Donation Status.

By taking a few minutes to connect with each of these Facebook features and logging on with an “awakened heart,” as we’ve so often discussed on this blog and in our book, @stickyJesus: how to live out your faith online, your online time can impact that reaches beyond the everyday chatter.

While the Anti-Bullying Initiative and the Suicide Referral System can be powerful, practical ways to help Facebook “friends” in danger online, the Organ Donation Status could very well be a cultural game changer in the world of organ transplants. It’s estimated that more than 114,000 people in the U.S, nearly 10,000…

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Online ConflictHow do you adapt to a culture of substandard communication, express your intent in 140 characters, qualify, clarify, employ diplomacy, dodge bullets, and honor Christ every day in the online space? You don’t. Not with a 100% success rate that is.

Living out your faith on a digital stage is not for sissies. If you think about it, millions of people posting personal ideologies, opinions, beliefs and values to abbreviated channels such as Twitter, Facebook, blogs, is kind of like an invitation to miscommunicate on a global scale.

You will make mistakes. You will step on landmines. You will have to put yourself back together again. But, you will survive.

10 ways to handle an online conflict:

  1. Evaluate objectively. Go back over the dialogue that lead up to the conflict and determine if you are responsible. Get another (objective) person’s opinion.
  2. Cool off before clicking. Rather than firing off a response, chill out and log off. Depending on the level of emotion, this may require a few hours or even a few days as a “cooling off” period. Read Romans 12:2.
  3. Ask forgiveness if needed. If you realize that you mispoke, relayed incorrect information, or responded inappropriately—you need to…

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5 Reasons Believers Should Be BloggingYou may not own a home or even your own car. But if you’ve got a blog today, you’re sitting on a very valuable piece of property. With the trust in traditional media decliningand trust in social media channels on the rise, bloggers today have undisputed influence. This moment in time is especially true for Christians who are brand advocates for history’s most powerful message—the gospel.

Think about it. Some blogs get more visits each day than churches get on Sunday, giving some bloggers more influence than some pastors. While that’s certainly not the intended goal, it is the reality.

Brian Bailey, author of The Blogging Church, says the case for Christian bloggers comes down to one point: “Blogging is simply a new way of telling stories. In the same way that we seek out new modes of worshipping, preaching and reaching out, we must find new methods of sharing stories. The message doesn’t change when the methodology changes. If the methodology fails to change, however, we begin to distance ourselves from the people we are called to reach, and we risk becoming irrelevant.”

So what’s your…

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DigitalHe said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” – Mark 16:15, NIV

The command has been given. There’s much work to do and it’s time for you, beloved digital disciple to GO.  Don’t keep this lost and dying world waiting another moment longer.

The journey starts HERE:

Pray – Pray – Pray – Submit your heart, time, and online conversation to the Lord. Allow Him to power you up before you power on each day.

Focus on the agenda – Stay on mission. Know why you are there and Who you serve.

Listen carefully – There’s a lot of chatter, but among it are real people in real need of the Truth that can save them.

Understand there’s a person behind every post –Hurt people hurt. It’s no different online. Don’t judge or discriminate. Ask your Father to see the person behind the post through His eyes.

Seek common ground – Look for areas of common interest and use them as an open door to building a new relationship.

Engage directly – Speak directly to individuals online. Use a person’s name when you personally connect.

Cultivate trust – Show up with regular frequency. Be consistent reaching out and…

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fearlessA question I get a lot on the topic of evangelism (the “e” word) is this: Do you ever get scared when you share your faith?

It’s a great question to which I answer: not as much as I used to.

My personal evangelism story begins with going to Ft. Lauderdale during Spring Break with InterVarsity to share the gospel with other college kids fixed on partying (pretty extreme, right? And yes, s-c-a-r-y). Since then, I’ve shared my faith with countless neighbors, co-workers, and strangers that God has put in my path. I’ve shared with large and small groups. I’ve seen God move in both subtle and dramatic ways. Sometimes I’d give myself a 7 in ability. Other times, I’d be exaggerating to give myself a 2. Each time I was faithful.

My fear dramatically decreased when I understood 3 Key Things:

  • The need (and want) of those around me for hope and healing is greater than my need to layout the gospel perfectly.
  • While salvation is a big deal, it’s God’s deal. Salvation is the work of the supernatural Holy Spirit.
  • Experiencing God daily and sharing that testimony is evangelism.

Understanding this verse changed…

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wiresGod’s Word is your divine advantage in a wired world.  In Psalm 119, David extols God’s precepts and principles as constant and eternal.  God’s truth lives independent of time, change, and most certainly cyberspace.

His Word anchors you securely no matter how fiercely the digital current tries to toss you like a wave on the sea.

When you are grounded deeply in the truth, it amplifies your influence and miraculously enables you to redirect the worldwide conversation for His glory.

Here are 10 truths from 20 verses found in Psalm 119.  They promise to anchor your soul and keep you steadfast as you make Him known in a digital world.

1. He blesses you when you live out what He teaches.  Whole-heartedly seek Him and look intently into the perfect law that gives you freedom. Do what it says and you’ll be blessed.

Blessed are the undefiled in the way,

Who walk in the law of the Lord!

Blessed are…

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purityFor God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. – James 1:13-14, NIV

Like a modern-day postcard of James’ letter to the 12 tribes, this picture communicates profound wisdom. The message is increasing relevant and desperately needed in this wired world. If you spend a good portion of time on the Internet, how you receive and respond to it may be the difference between living out your faith online and losing it.

Your ears, eyes, and mouth are portals to the soul and every day, you decide how to regulate what goes in and what comes out. How many times have you done an innocent Google search and among the results you find something far different from what you intended? Exactly.

The Real Danger

You need to understand dear one, you’re only a click or two…

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By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. ~2 Peter 1:3

by Toni Birdsong
This letter is to the Church; to pastors, bishops, elders, deacons, youth pastors, and anyone accountable for leading and discipling God’s people.

A recent Barna Group study reveals striking new data on how the digital age is shaping parent-child relationships. For us, the study begs the question: Why isn’t the church taking a stronger lead in teaching proper technology use in families?

We believe the study should compel church leaders everywhere to find the resources to equip their congregations in this area. In addition, this focus needs to take place immediately—not worked into a five-year plan.

Study highlights

  • Surprisingly, parents are just as dependent on technology as are teens and tweens—there’s no gap.
  • Most family members say technology has been a positive influence on their families; 55% of parents are relatively unconcerned about technology in the home.
  • Very few adults or youth take breaks from technology. Just…

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Ivy VineSpiritual transformation is a process where surrender and sanctification bring about passion, purpose, and action. You understand who you are, why you’re here, what’s going on in the world, and how you fit into it. Divinely ordered, this holy sequence is intentionally directed and mapped out for eternity.

Here’s how it unfolds….

You decide.

You commit to follow Jesus and the life-altering work of the Holy Spirit begins. The combination of your resolve and His indwelling sparks a massive recalibration of your desires and destiny.

Life changes.

Strongholds from the past begin to fall away, healing is activated, and you discover a purpose for being, knowing, loving, and serving. You observe the world as God does and you feel deeply the heartbreak for the things that break His heart. You abide in Him and your path becomes clear.

People react.

Some find the change in you disturbing and uncomfortable. You are NOT what you ‘use’ to be and somehow the new you doesn’t quite ‘fit’ anymore. If pressed, there are those that would say your behavior embarrasses them.

Then there’re those that remain silent and sit on the sidelines– not sure, but certainly curious. They give you…

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MobileSharing Christ today is critical to someone, somewhere in your life. And, your mobile phone might just be the key to initiating that life-altering conversation. This week we’re sharing some guerilla evangelism tactics using the shiny tools at your fingertips. Today, it’s all about creative ways to upload God’s voice into the mobile conversation. Here are just a few ways:

1. Fire up your mobile apps: Faith-based app design is exploding with new apps introduced every day. We’ve chosen just a few we’ve tried that will give you an amazing amount of helpful content to email, post, or text to others. You can send scriptures, quotes, and encouragements with a click of these apps: iShare Love DareBible (lifechurch.tv), Bible.Is. (text & audio texts!), Jesus Life Together, and Promise.

2. Brush up on the basics: To ignite your personal evangelism try these apps: Christian ToolboxTwisted ScriptureGod ToolsThe Roman Road, and Jesus Evangelism. These apps help answer tough questions, and go over faith basics so you can easily share.

3. Minister to specifics: The I Am Second app combines the power of visual story as video clips and…

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