Don’t Judge a Tweeter by a Single Tweet


One Tweet should never stand alone in determining the value of a Tweeter. With the rapid fire that most people Twitter 140 characters, the quick thoughts extended are not always a fair representation of the mind, heart and character of the person Tweeting.

There are times I have Tweeted something I wish later I hadn’t.  I have mistyped or misspelled a tweet numerous times.  My auto-correct has finished words for me that were inappropriate.  I have had trouble communicating what I wanted to say in such a small space.  It amazes me how quickly people react to a Tweet gone bad.

If you are going to follow me (or anyone) on Twitter.  Here’s a quick reminder:

Don’t judge a Tweeter by a single Tweet.

We all make mistakes…

Have you made Tweeting errors?  Got any funny examples?

7 Reasons You Need Social Media as a Christian Leader

So maybe “need” is too strong of a word. Perhaps you can do everything I will suggest as reasons to be involved with social media without social media (Although I would question how well you can these days) but I don’t think anyone could argue social media is not a large part of our culture today. Because it is such an influence, today’s successful leaders, including those in the church, must figure out how to make it work for them and make their ministries even more successful.

For me that currently means Twitter, Facebook and blogging. Not everyone has to do all three, but I have found them to each have unique benefits in my ministry.  (I have written about how I use these tools HERE and HERE.)

Here are 7 reasons you should be using social media:

Networking with people who are making a difference. I get to interact with and learn from church leaders who have already walked where I am walking. Most of these connections would never be possible apart from social media.

Go where people are. The number one way my church contacts me is through Facebook. The people I’m trying to reach and minister to spend more time on Facebook than they do in the church on Sunday.

You’ll meet great friends. I have met some of my closest friends in ministry these days through social media. No, we don’t keep the friendship to an exclusive online friendship, but the friendships did begin online.

Keep updated on breaking news. Although I have limited time to keep up with all the latest fads, by following the right people and blogs through Twitter, I know quickly what is taking place around the world in the fields of politics, technology, and ministry.

Wise use of time. People think the opposite is true, but the reality is that social media makes me more effective. I have a heart to influence people for good. As pastor of a large church I’m expected to minister to large groups of people. Social media allows me to make a difference more efficiently.  You are reading this, aren’t you?  (BTW, if my social media activity is influencing you, I’d love to hear about it.)

Breaks down barriers between people. It seems harder to get to know people today. They are more guarded and less trusting. When I Tweet (which updates my Facebook) People get a glimpse into the real me and I become more personal to the people in my church and online community. In turn, people are more likely to allow me into the deepest parts of their life when they see me as authentic and approachable.

Stay current with culture. Like it or not, culture determines much of how we are able to reach people. People are doing social media. To continue to allow culture to work for Kingdom grown rather than against it we must remain current with social media.

That’s some of my reasoning. Why and how do you use social media?

Clarksville Now Interviews Pastor Ron Edmondson

We have a new local online magazine in our community called Clarksville Now. Recently they asked me to participate in a series of interviews they are doing with people in the community.  I realized I hadn’t even shared my answers with my family, so I did this weekend.

Since you often don’t get to know the online person behind a blog, I thought I’d share with you also.

Here’s where we’re giving you a chance to find out more about different people in our community. We recently interviewed Pastor Ron Edmondson of Grace Community Church.

How long have you been in Clarksville, What brought you to Clarksville?
I’m an original Clarksvillian and my family has been here for as long as I can trace. We are the Edmondson Ferry Road Edmondson’s.

Tell us about your family. Are you married? How many kids? Any siblings?
I’m married to my best friend Cheryl and together we have two boys, Jeremy 21 and Nate 18. Jeremy just graduated from Austin Peay and is a third generation AP grad. Nate is a freshman at Moody Bible College in Chicago. I have one older brother and one younger sister.

What do you like most about Clarksville?

To read the rest of this interview, click HERE.

So did you learn anything you didn’t know?

David Letterman Top 10 Signs You’re Obsessed With Facebook


I don’t see David Letterman’s Late Night much anymore, but I still think he’s hilarious. Are you a Letterman fan?

I heard this on a local radio show (WJZM) this morning and thought it was funny enough to share. You can watch it at CBS.com

Here are Letterman’s Top 10 Signs You’re Obsessed with Facebook:

10. You created a profile for your kitty.

9. If someone rejects your friend requests, you show up at this house and tearfully demand why

8. You’ve been diagnosed with something called “Facebook _____” (My PG rated blog made me delete a word here.)

7. If you don’t update your page for 10 minutes, friends assume you died

6. Named your daughter Gracebook

5. Only photos on your Facebook page are of you uploading photos to your Facebook page

4. No number 4 — writer on Facebook — do you see the irony?

3. When wife sneezes, you change your status update to “Gesundheit”

2. If compuer freezes, you start swearing like Mel Gibson

1. You spent last Saturday night “poking” yourself

Do any of these fit for you? Thankfully I’m good…except maybe number 7…or number 9…

Ha!

Do Taste Buds Change as You Get Older?

Do taste buds change as you get older?

I know I could probably Google this question and get an answer, but I figure my readers will have an answer for me.  Is it just me, or do our tastes change over the years?

Just in the last couple years I’ve learned to love some things I once said I would never eat/drink.

Things like:

Diet drinks
Blue Cheese dressing
Seafood
Creamed spinach
Thousand Island dressing  (Just discovered I love it on the plane ride from Africa)

Have your tastes for things changed over the years?

What do you like now that you once couldn’t stand?

Great Leaders around the World: Lessons from Sierra Leone


On my many mission experiences in Brazil, often the drug lords were the ones who gave us access into the slums in which we ministered. We were invited to do medical clinics, construction projects, and evangelism. Even though they almost never allowed visitors, since we could have reported their activities to police or warring gangs, they saw value in us helping their people.  We even saw many of the drug lords come to a saving knowledge of salvation.  In spite of the violent nature of this world, I always saw the actions on behalf of the drug lords as “good leadership”, because they were willing to jeopardize their own leadership, for the good of the people they were leading.

We saw that same type leadership in West Africa. Village chiefs, mostly belonging to religions very opposed to Christianity, allowed us to come into the village and spend time with their people. As a result, we saw many life changes occur.

If leadership is about influence, which I believe it is, then I recognize both these examples as good leadership, and it’s leadership many American leaders could learn from as well. The village and slum leaders were leading smart by allowing us to invest in their people, even when it didn’t directly benefit them personally, and may have even jeopardized them in some ways.  In the end, we helped them have happier people to lead. Happier people makes happier communities. Happier communities make a leader’s leadership even more successful…and ultimately…even more secure in their leadership position.

The principle of leadership is simple: Whatever is good for the people one leads is good for the leader. If the organization offers people in it a better life, the quality of the organization improves with more loyal people and a better leader…sometimes even if only in the perception of the people. Great leaders recognize that raising the level of satisfaction among followers helps the organization and the leader.

Have you seen this principle at work in your organization?

The Last Song Movie: Applications

The movie “The Last Song” has a powerful story to tell. Cheryl and I watched it at the theater when it first came out earlier this year, but I watched it again on the plane heading to Africa recently. I encourage you to watch it.

The applications for me are:

  • People make mistakes, even the people we love the most
  • Tragedy brings families together…or further apart…
  • Love is hard, but it’s beautiful
  • Life is short
  • Relationships are worth repairing
  • Forgiveness is a powerful force

Don’t watch it unless you are prepared to shed a tear.

Do any of these applications sound like issues you need to address?

Have you seen this movie? What did you think?

Improving International Relations: Lessons Learned from Sierra Leone


One afternoon, because we were so close to the boarder of another country, our team stood with one foot in the country of Sierra Leone and one foot in the country of Guinea. In one step, we brought two countries together.

We made the short drive to the border of the two countries during our time in Sierra Leone. Our pastor friends simply asked a question of the Sierra Leone border officials. Could five crazy Americans step over the line into another country, just to say we had been there? The border officials considered the request, then casually walked across an international geographical border to the Guinea border officials and presented our request. Request granted. It was a simple as that. We caused no problems, shook hands with border officials in both countries, took our pictures and went on our way.

The thought occurred to me. What if all International relations were that easy? The word relations is…after all…part of the word relationship. What if International relations were as easy as forming healthy relationships with other people in other countries? Could it be that easy?

I realize much more is at stake than just snapping a few pictures and relationships take more than one person willing to make them work, but I love to dream.

Praying some International relations improve today. Who is with me?

Using Your Influence for Good: Lessons from Sierra Leone


Throughout our time in Sierra Leone children swarmed us everywhere we went, especially Daniel and Jesse, the youngest two on the trip. Their energy and enthusiasm with the children was highly contagious. They became almost like celebrities in every village.

At one point Jessie admitted she felt guilty for attracting such a crowd. She didn’t want people to think she was seeking personal attention or fame. Daniel agreed with the sentiment.

That’s when the thought occurred to me. Popularity, wealth and power are not all bad. Being “famous” is not necessarily something to be avoided. It may depend on how and for what purpose it is being used.

What occurred to me is that Daniel and Jessie were attracting crowds of children, entertaining them with games and songs, and then leaving them to go to the next village. What they left behind, however, was their influence. Those children in remote villages in West Africa will never forget the love and attention they were shown by these two young adults. They will be running through the streets of their village singing “Jesus Loves Me” because of the experience they had with Daniel and Jessie. They will do push ups, because Daniel taught them how and they will recite cheers Jessie recited and they will laugh and dance…all because two people used their influence in positive ways.

Don’t shy away from the influence God has given you. If it is being used for His glory, rather than for your own, it can be very positive. If your motive and heart is pure, and the glory is pointed towards God, be thankful for the opportunities he gives you.

How are you allowing God to use the influence He has given you?

10 Things I Take for Granted: As I’m Learning in Sierra Leone

I’m so grateful for the opportunity this week in Sierra Leone. God has blessed us greatly, but there are a few things I know I won’t as easily take for granted.

Here are 10 things (and people) I won’t easily take for granted, thanks to my time in Sierra Leone:

1. Cheryl, Jeremy, Nate & Mary
2 My church and extended family
3. Air conditioning
4. Hot (or even warm) showers
5. Flushable toilets
6. High speed wireless Internet
7. Not having to sleep under a mosquito tent
8. Ice/Refrigeration
9. Paved roads
10. Knowledge of what I’m eating

Realizing even more how blessed we are as Americans!

What are you taking for granted these days?

(There will be more reflective posts and pictures to come. Internet is limited to a few minutes per day at this point.)