Whether we like it or not, technology has already invaded the world. The internet was born during the 1980’s, and it changed the life in this world forever.
Christianity is always counter-culture for one reason, “it creates culture”.
Throughout the history, the first Christians was the first who initiated outreach communities in the world, like Red Cross, Salvation Army and the people behind great transformation of a nation, like Martin Luther and of course the America who was once founded by its leaders and established its laws based on biblical principles and Jesus’s teachings.
Today, as Christians we are facing another obstacle. “The Internet and Social Media”. The Internet nowadays has been used not only to connect people to a broader range of knowledge but also the spread of hatred and lies.
Many younger people have been bullied, manipulated for sexual advances and has been addicted to internet pornography. Some millennials also are searching answers on the internet and rooting their identity on social media. I have a few friends also validating their existence based on how influential they are in the social media and how many likes they garnered every day.
Now the challenge is, with so many pages and information on the internet, how can a Christian can stand out for Jesus? Can a Christian programmer or software engineer can have their own platform to share Jesus every day except being physically present with the person?
Hack and Make Disciples
I never thought there was a place for a “tech guy” in a church except working behind the monitors.
As a techie guy, I never thought that we can also bring Jesus to the lost and make disciples in the digital space.
At the back of my mind, how in the world Christians can make disciples using internet and technology? Oh boy, I was wrong!
It was my first time to participate in a hackathon challenge. I had no friends there except for Jen who signed up as well but we do have different fortes. I aim to join a team who codes for an app, who loves to make strategies or can be a speaker to pitch the product at the end of the event, which in turn I became one!
During the event, the coordinators asked us to choose at least one challenge. There were so many challenges:
And much more! As usual, friends teamed up together. I chose #thegospelstorychallenge as it has been my passion to share Jesus in different creative ways.
I never thought those who came in without friends will also join the challenge I chose, Jen a friend of mine from Victory Fort, also chose it and what an amazing team we formed.
For two days, even we lack sleep, we were able to produce an output. Hooray! I was nervous because that was my first time to pitch a product or project, thankfully my toastmaster’s experience paved the way!
Since it’s already late night, to make this short, “WEWON!”
Yes, we are one of the two teams who chose to participate globally in the near future. What a picture of grace and mercy of God for our team.
Our project is called “Go+Share”, ’ which was coined from the bible verse in Matthew 28:19.
Our objective is to create a platform wherein we can reach out to the young millennials who we know are struggling with depression, anxiety, lack of purpose and significance.We also have plans of creating viral videos that can encourage a person and develop a mobile app where we can be connected to these individuals online by emailing them and setting up webinars or online meetings for a one on one discipleship (121) for those individuals who want to learn more about Jesus.
We realized that social media can be helpful to reach them since most of them are active on it. We made graphical images of their reality and several spoken poetry videos with a hope that we can connect to them without pushing the gospel or forcing them to change. Let alone Jesus change them.
I would like to thank Pangalan.com who offered to sponsor our domain for 1 year (www.goshare.com.ph). Your generosity will reach the multitudes of souls waiting for someone who can encourage and motivate them and share Jesus with them online.
The enemy has been using the internet to kill, steal and destroy lives. Why not use the same tool to spread the gospel and spread the love to those who needs it?
As I end this blog, I encourage you to take part also in this advocacy of “bringing back the millennials back to God”. With your help, we can save many lives.
Do you hate the current government? What about your life? What about the political issues around?
I’ve noticed that social media has been a great tool for us to express ourselves, our ideas, and our emotions but today, it makes more people divisive than ever before.
With the political issues going on, people started spreading hate rather than love and appreciation. I’ve also seen some “opinionated friends”, debating in Facebook, some says they are Christians but there’s a lot of hatred on what they are ranting about, rather being the salt and the light, they are toxic to someone’s life.
While there is freedom of expression, I respect that each of us has the right to voice our opinions, but would it more beneficial for us if we just keep it to ourselves and instead try to support each other?
Sadly, there’s so much hatred going on. As a Filipino, I’ve seen that we have become more divided than we have ever been in the history. Now if you are the one complaining about your job, your life and about the government, I want you to think what’s going on to the other part of the world. What if you were not born in the Philippines and God made you a Syrian or an Iraqi?
What if you eventually die tomorrow and you still have that hatred in your heart?
I suggest, that we must be grateful instead of where we are right now and what we are experiencing right now. We should learn to accept the things that we cannot change since the government was instituted by God and He alone directs the course of the nations.
Before we air our opinions, consider this checklist:
Is my opinion helpful?
Is my opinion good for the country?
Who will benefit from my opinion?
If you have the opportunity to help the government, what would you do?
Will my opinion will bless my country or it will just promote hatred and division?
Sadly, there are people who just love to complain but when they asked this questions, they answered none.
Check yourself, Am I being a toxic to other people because of my own opinions? Would you rather save a relationship by keeping your opinion to yourself or you want to make enemies out of it?
With a lot of issues that needs to be settled, I rather trust God during this time and take the time to pray for my country, for the President and for the people. Didn’t God was the one who commanded us to submit to the governing authorities?
I choose to be grateful. I choose not to curse my country but rather bless it with the words from my mouth. How about you?.
Last June 30, the new President of the Republic of the Philippines; Rodrigo Roa Duterte took an oath at the Malacanang Palace. I have witnessed his very short and clear inaugural speech that moved millions of Filipinos to hope again on the government. Salute to this man as he knows what really leadership is, a man of his words, and a man of action.
Did you know that there were no crimes have been recorded during that day? I think that’s one of the chilling effects of this new administration. When citizens have the fear and respect for the government and decided to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem, everything will be easy.
Today, I would like to share with you some of the things I’ve learned from our President’s speech and will try also to include what I have learned also from Toastmasters regarding effective communication.
David Ogilvy once said; “People who think well, write well”.
Effective writing and communication is not a natural gift or talent, it is a skill that anyone can learn and can be mastered throughout the process.
Here are some of the rules I’ve learned so far the way he delivered his speech:
1. Read a lot of books. Read books on good writing and communication. Read your favorite book three times.
Readers are leaders and so leaders are readers. Most of the greatest man we’ve known that brought change to the world, are known to be good readers and writers. They can communicate effectively whether to a live audience or readers because they read good books.
In toastmasters, I have to read good books daily so that I can share more stories to my audience and gain some insights and lessons from them. I also listen to podcasts or TED Talks during my free time.
I think Duterte is also a reader because most of the people known him, usually called him a master tactician. He knows the cry of the people, he knows the problem and true enough he used that weapon to aid his campaign that even ordinary people joined him voluntarily. He didn’t pay this them to campaign for him, rather, the people voluntarily spend some of their cash for his campaign.
2. Write the way you talk or should talk and say it naturally
When you talk or write, make it natural. How? Make it very personal because people will easily notice it if you don’t speak naturally and you just memorized it, you will only be a laughingstock for your critics once you forget your script.
But how can I speak naturally if I don’t memorize it?
There are many methods or outlines you can use to aid your talk or your writing. Here are two of the mental outlines I’ve used whenever I’m preparing my speeches:
PREP (Point — Reason — Example — Point)
This can be done by stating your point, the reason for it, provide some examples to support it, and go back to your point again to emphasize it.
SMG (Story — Message — Gain)
This can be done by sharing a story or an anecdote, then your message and then the benefit the audience can gain from your speech.
There are so many mental outlines you can use. But I usually use those two and start or end with a quote related to the subject matter. Just talk about what you know, your experiences, people will love it if they can relate to you. Don’t be someone else, be yourself!
3. Never use jargon words.
As a reader and listener, I often withdraw from a book or speech if I don’t understand it from my level of understanding. Using ordinary words would help you a lot to communicate.
4. Check your quotations, improve the original or give emphasis to the words.
I don’t think a writer would commit a sin if he or she tries to improve a quotation from an author. Why not try it?. There are times I’m improving some quotations from other known authors and give emphasis on it. You better give it a shot.
5. Never publish it or use it on the day you write it, read aloud in the next morning and then edit it or throw it away if you don’t like how it is.
One of the mistakes I did was the time I published first copies of my book. I didn’t check further for typos and grammar lapses, that resulted from me to revised the whole book and check it with another editor or proofreader. To avoid this, never settle for good. Don’t compromise quality for the sake of urgency.
Bottomline is, if you want to communicate clearly and effectively, make it short, and direct to the point.
This post was inspired by an article from https://www.brainpickings.org/2012/02/07/david-ogilvy-on-writing/
Here’s my random reflection regarding the post-election. Election is over, we have a new president and I observed not all people are ready to move on from the havoc of this election. I also noticed that some of my friends unfriended me on Facebook, worst some close friends blocked me.
Our country will now enter to the season of uncertain outcomes. A new administration under Duterte’s presidency, who earlier claimed to cease criminality, drugs and corruption. The so called Iron-man or “the punisher”, was recently confessed that he became a Christian already and have a deep abiding faith in God alone.
Who would have thought that this tough guy, would surrender his life to God amidst of accusations against him. Accusations that he will just bring this country to hell and do not vote him just like the Roman Church priests repeatedly said during the campaign period.
What saddened me most is that even all the presidential candidates conceded, followers remain in the area of mudslinging. Some people instead of being supporter they became fanatic. As Duterte’s statement“let’s begin healing now” , have you moved on already from this election? If not so, I encourage you to do so and let’s join and unite together as we are already in the period of transition.
Life is a big transition. There would always be transitions in life. From being singe to getting married, from being a student to becoming a professional worker. In every transition, God reveals what is in our hearts.
How do you respond lately when you receive the news that your candidate is losing? That a new leader will be appointed and you hate him? Transition is difficult. But nothing is impossible with faith. We must see what God is doing in our lives every transition.
As a nation, I want this to share to you how we can help to make our nation move forward.
1. Pray for our country.
By praying for our country, And declaring blessings to it, we are making a move in nation building. Prayers are powerful. Don’t curse the government, don’t curse the people, there is power in our words that sometimes we are not aware of.
“Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” — 2 Chronicles 7:14 NLT
2. Love and be reconciled.
Now is the best time to restore broken relationships because of election. Stop being fanatic of your candidate and start to be reconciled with everyone. Jesus wants us to love one another.
3. Submit and support the new government.
You are submitting to the authorities when you follow the law. But that’s only submitting.
Submitting and Supporting should co-exist, by supporting the new government, you become an advocate of change. You are ready for change. Don’t be apathetic and pessimistic, that will not help.
“Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended.” — Romans 13:2–3 NIV
4. Make disciples.
One of my vision for the country is more and more follower of Christ will be involve in the government. Christians should take part of building the nation. If there are God’s people in every department of government, they will be the light on it, God will use them to bring His light to the government.
That’s one of the reason why I am glad that Brother Eddie Villanueva had the opportunity to share the gospel to Duterte when he was still campaigning. The result? Duterte is now a follower of Christ, that’s the first time in my life I saw an emerging leader to become a Christian. God moves in mysterious ways.
We should not stop making disciples as we are commissioned to do it.
When we support the new government, we become an advocate. Let’s take our part on this! Don’t be pessimistic, rest assure that whoever will be elected, it was God’s chosen one. Kings and rulers may change but God is still seated on His throne forever. Be confident that God is always there.
“He controls the course of world events; he removes kings and sets up other kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the scholars.” — Daniel 2:21
Change is already happening and it will begin from us!.