Some more of my favorite links tweeted by my twitter pals:
“What Difference Do It Make” is the followup to the New York Times Bestseller “Same Kind of Different As Me”. The sequel expands on the story of the first, delving deeper into the backgrounds of Ron and Denver, how the first book came to be written, and the lasting effects of the message from the first book.
Ron’s stories dig into the tenuous relationship with his father and dealing with the loss of his wife, Deborah, to cancer. Denver’s stories cover more of the darkness of his past, including a stint in prison, but also show how his relationship with Ron and Deborah and the success of the first book have affected his life. Sandwiched between these chapters are smaller pieces focusing on those who read “Same Kind of Different as Me” and have adopted its message to use their lives to help combat the problem of homelessness.
The message of “What Difference Do It Make” is one of restoration through relationships – how showing love, respect and friendship to others, can bring about hope and healing. The individual stories encourage compassion for the homeless, lonely and hurting, calling on those who can and who have to help those in less fortunate circumstances.
Reading this book leaves you with a strong sense of the ability of individuals to make an impact in the lives of others, especially for the homeless. One of my favorite statements of this message comes from Denver:
“If all the Christians – I mean all of ‘em – got outta the pews on Sundays and into the streets, we’d shut the city down.
We’d shut down hunger.
We’d shut down loneliness.
We’d shut down the notion that there is any such of a thing as a person that don’t deserve a kind word and a second chance.”
There are not any deep theological statements to be found in this story, but it is full of simple examples of people living out the sacrificial love that followers of Christ should exhibit. The book is well written and the arrangement makes for an easy read. The authors do a great job of engaging the reader and keeping you turning the pages. The stories are emotionally touching, and sometimes humorous. This is definitely a book that I would pick up and read again.
If you have not read “Same Kind of Different As Me, you can read “What Difference Do It Make” without feeling lost, as this book brings in pieces of the original story where necessary.
My overall rating – Four out of Five.
Here are my favorite links tweeted by my twitter friends today:
Here is today’s collection of my favorite links tweeted by the folks I follow on twitter:
I have a very particular view on what Twitter should be. I mean, it is a social network, so the main use of said network should be to connect socially. Unfortunately, I see a lot of behavior in the twitterverse that, to me, is anti-social. There are no ‘rules’ when it comes to Twitter, but if you want ME to listen, you may want to take notice.
I’d like to address some of these twitter habits that I see are in bad form. These are prime examples of ways to make me totally ignore you and/or possibly un-follow you on Twitter.
1. Every tweet is a link. Don’t get me wrong, I like when someone tweets an interesting link. I’ve even adopted a twitter client on my iPhone to help me manage those links better, and I have been posting the best ones on my blog lately. But, seriously, you’ve tweeted at least 50 times today, and every tweet is a link. You can get away with this if you’re Mashable, Digg, or another news delivery service, and I would expect that following them. But if you are an individual using twitter personally, this does not lend well to social interaction.
2. Every tweet is a quote from a famous person, you post several of these per day, and most of them are widely known. I enjoy a good quote as much as the next guy, but I’m very well read. I’ve seen, heard and read most of those many times before. And I find it a bit disingenuous to be on a ‘social network’ spouting cliches. A few of these quotes are okay, but keep it to a limit, dig a little deeper for something a little less well-known, and join the real conversation once and awhile.
3. Every tweet is a re-tweet of a ‘celebrity’ on twitter. Re-tweeting is fine, especially if a tweet is especially informative or funny. But some of you and your re-tweeting is looking a lot like celebrity brown-nosing. Re-tweeting their tweets are not going to make them notice you and/or bring meaning to your existence by them acknowledging you.
4. You tweet the same thing, everyday, several times a day. I’ll give you a pass if your life is boring and repetitive, it’s not you I’m talking to. I am talking to the people who appear to be trying to show up in certain twitter searches, and the repeating tweets are their ploy to show up near the top.
5. All of your tweets run long and you don’t bother to shorten them or continue them. Most of these I see are notification auto posts from forums or blogs, but there are still those who haven’t caught on to the 140 character limit. If you are going to have your new blog posts announced on twitter, at least do a twitter friendly excerpt. If your tweets are too long, there are clients that will split them for you, or you can sign up at a service that will link your followers to the rest of your update.
6. You regularly send out a volley of back-to-back-to-back updates. The excessive link sharers are the worst about this, but there are others who do this too. And when I say back-to-back, I mean within a second, which tells me that they really aren’t doing these updates themselves, they are using some other automated tool to make those updates. If you have important information to get out on Twitter, don’t dump a bunch of back-to-back tweets pointing to the same link/idea with a different spin. At least put some space between them. Your followers will see that lump of updates, and roll right by them.
7. Your tweets are full of unintelligible characters. I like to be able to read your tweets, not try to decipher them, like some sort of hieroglyphics.
Now a lot of these behaviors will come from people who are trying to shamelessly self-promote. To some degree, a little of that is allowed, as long as the personal interaction and conversation is there. Your network on twitter is full of ‘friends’. Don’t treat them like consumers.
What twitter habits do you find annoying?
I’ve noticed something recently. There is somewhat of a phenomenon on Twitter among some of the people I follow, in which they post an update which almost immediately causes several of their followers to stop following them. This even happened to my friend* Jon on his Facebook (you can read about that here).
It seems that many people cannot disagree with someone, without then disassociating themselves from those with whom they disagree. I see this occurring more among people who claim to be Christians, which makes this even more alarming.
Have our interactions on the internet turned us into the kids on the playground who get mad and say “I’m not your friend anymore!”, in some immature attempt at comeuppance?
I think the roots of this attitude extend much farther past the online world. I’ve seen too many people leaving churches, churches firing pastors, or churches splitting in much the same way. But it never seems to be an issue of outright heresy or theological inaccuracy, it is usually a difference of opinion.
I’m not saying that we should compromise our convictions. But, each one of us is responsible for our own life, and it is not our job to project our convictions on others. And even if ‘our’ way is the right way, showing disrespect to the ones with whom we don’t see eye-to-eye us destroys our ability to influence them positively. We can’t convict people of their wrongs, but our lives can reflect an example for them to follow.
Where does this leave us? The things keeping us at odds with one another are affecting our ability to positively impact the world around us. We’ve got to get over ourselves, love one another through our disagreements, and focus on what we can agree on: we have a message the world needs to hear. It will be a lot easier to get that message out, if we can do it together.
[*Friend in the facebook sense. I don't know Jon personally, but would totally be his friend in real life too.]