It has been a little tough to write new blog posts lately. I haven't really had the time to sit down, collect my thoughts and write something I felt would be worth reading. But we're going to do this a little more off the cuff tonight.
First off, I'm terribly excited because it looks like the Dodgers are going to the playoffs. And their team is just good enough to make the World Series this year. Granted, they are not the best team, but they can definitely beat anyone on any given night, and everything seems to be coming together at the right time. Also, if the Tampa Bay Rays make the playoffs, I might try to go to one of their playoff games. I've never been to an October baseball game so I'd really like to go. Los Angeles isn't really an option, so I'll go to Tampa Bay, where Kellie and I saw a game on our honeymoon.
Matt and I went to a conference in Dallas last month called Echo. It was slightly different than I expected, but it was really good. I think that Matt and I were both getting things out of the conference, but I think we really were challenged and encouraged by the last session. We went to different ones - the one I went to was called Church 2.0 . It was based off of a book that will be coming out soon of the same name, and was a discussion of how the Church can use Web 2.0 technologies to benefit the Body of Christ. It was extremely informative, and encouraged me not to discount some avenues simply because they exist in a virtual world. I jokingly told others after that session that I wanted to be the "online pastor" for Westwood.
Some interesting thoughts from that session:
1. Online, user-generated content is basically a contract. A blog or podcast should be updated regularly if you want people to read or listen to it. The idea that it was rude to not blog on a regular basis was rather paradigm-shifting for me; I never would have thought of a blog as a social contract.
2. With Web 2.0's move toward web-based applications, most of what is used in the user-created web atmosphere is done with free applications. So creating content in Web 2.0 is not costly in money, just in time.
3. The term "Online Missionary" was used. Initially I thought of this as someone using the web to reach people in other countries. However, it was defined further as Christians reaching others on the web, regardless of their physical location. This really put words around a feeling that I have had for some time - the idea of living missionally online. This is why I like the idea of an "Online Pastor" - that someone could actually lead others to Jesus through how they act online. Your Facebook page could have an affect on someone else's life! I'm all for transparency and honesty, but we should also be purposeful in what we do in our social communities online, so that even on our MySpace page God is glorified.
Just some thoughts for now. Good night, and go Dodgers!