Tag Archives: Facebook

Times Change…..But do they?

28276382_10155314382716966_3287178305439075791_nThanks to our “friend” (and I use that term very loosely), Mr. Zuckerberg, we get quite often reminded of things that happened it in the past.   Some of it is hilarious – I was going to throw some examples in – but I don’t think my kids would like that.

Some of them are just, “Oh I remember when we did that!”   Some of them are not so fun – “Wow, it’s been 5 years since I broke my finger?’  (I think it’s actually closer to 9 years.)  Or “man, did you see how much hair I had 11 years ago?”

And then there are the thoughtful pieces.   If we’ve been hanging out on here for a while, you know what I’m talking about – the pieces that are designed to make you think.   There are people out there who get a lot of attention – way more than I do.   Jen Hatmaker  Bob Goff, John Pavlowvitz, Benjamin Watson, Brandon at Hony, Nicholas Kristoff, just to mention a few.   They write and people pay attention. 

Recently, due to Facebook’s “memories” I came across some writing that I did about this time of year in 2014.  6 years ago – has anything changed?  So I read through what I wrote and oh my…….

There’s a lot of changes and looking back on it, I think there’s a lot more we can learn from what has transpired since then.   I’ve spent a number of hours this morning reading through what I wrote then and there’s a lot more big and small issues that need to be given a closer look to hopefully better understand what’s going on since then and now.

I’m working on rewriting, updating and refocusing those pieces based on what changes have happened since then.

I hope you’ll join me for the walk through these times.   I think we will all understand what is happening right now.   So, join me.

Hope to hear from you on it as well.




Tom V

Who Gets The Last Word? Not Mark Zuckerberg

“Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce…. Keep your guard up. You’re not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It’s the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith. The suffering won’t last forever……..
He gets the last word; yes, he does.”
1 Peter 5:8-11 MSG

You’re not the only ones.




The Only Ones

That is so hard to remember. And so hard to live out. We’ve got our problems and we feel bad for ourselves and we think we’re the only ones.

And social media plays a big part of that. A big part of the blame for us feeling like we are the only ones is because of Mark Zuckerberg. Oh he didn’t invent it. People were trying to keep up with their neighbor’s perfect lives long before Mom and Dad Zuckerberg even thought about having Mark and way before Mark created this thing called Facebook.

He made it worse.

And so do we. What?

Yeah, that’s right. When we only post the pictures and stories of when our kids performed in a concert or when we went on a cruise or when something goes well, we perpetuate the myth.

Actually two myths. The myth that my life is grand and my kids are grand and everything is going very well.

And the myth that if your life is not going very well, then you must be all alone – because everyone else is doing well.

Actually, there’s a third one that Peter references in the Bible verse above – and that’s the myth that if you believe in Jesus, if you are a Christian, then everything will go easy and life will be grand.

I’m here to tell you, that’s not true.

Just like Peter said, you are not the only one plunged into hard times. I personally believe that the church would be a whole lot healthier if more of us admitted that all is not well, that there are struggles and that life isn’t easy.

As you read more and travel this journey with me, you’ll see that’s not the way I operate. I’m not going to tell you that:
• All of my kids are valedictorians (though one was)
• That I’m hoping to qualify for the Boston Marathon this year (Hah!)
• That……..

Nope, not going to tell you that things are wonderfully marvelous when they aren’t. Instead, I’m going to tell you:
• That quite often kids who have to go through the trauma of adoption are left with scars.
• That I had a medical procedure done in January as part of ongoing treatment of a blood vessel issue I have (Google AVM if you want to know more) and as part of that procedure, 1) My left inner ear was damaged causing all kinds of hearing and balance issues and 2) My left vocal cord is now paralyzed – causing, well, you guessed it, vocal issues.

I’m sure I’ll tell you more as time goes on – but for now I want to end with one additional thought – and it’s pretty much the foundation of what Peter said above and the life of Christ.

“The suffering won’t last forever. And He gets the last word.”

Think about that. The last word doesn’t show up on Facebook or by the number of likes something gets.

The last word comes from God.

He’s got this.

He’s got us.

And all God’s people said, “Amen!”


While We Were Eating Turkey

A friend of mine on Facebook posted this about her day on Thanksgiving.   Please take the time to read……

I want to share this somewhere:

I worked a 16 on Thursday. I left my driveway at 520am and pulled out of the parking lot at work at 1230am the following day. It was a long one. (TWSS…. haha). Anywho, I have always liked working holidays in healthcare. There is a sacred holiness to the days. Special things always happen. And every now and then, a miracle happens.
*sigh* At 1015am, a “medical emergency” was called. Med.E’s are called a few times a day in the jail…. no big deal. Our census rolls close to 3,000 people on a daily basis and stuff happens: falls, seizures, traumas on the basketball court, fights, diabetic hypoglycemeic episodes, intractable vomiting, psychotic breaks or hyperventilation with alkalosis…. and, sometimes cardiac arrest.
For whatever reason, on Thanskgiving, two ER nurses, two veteran hospital nurses, a seasoned and technically experienced LPN and the jail medical director were all scheduled and present at work… and when the code was called, all those people responded. Nobody ever knows what a medical emergency holds in store, but on Thanksgiving, all those people showed up, willing to do ‘whatever’.
Well, “whatever” was what we encountered: 46yo black male face down in a puddle of blood on the gym floor… unresponsive, pulseless, not breathing, and dead.

James was dead.

I could bore you with a very descriptive scene from a medical drama…. but that isn’t the point. We did every thing right…. we used the ambubag with O2 to push air into dead lugs, we circulated oxygenated blood with chest compressions, and we applied the pads and the AED decided to shock this guys heart. Someone also called EMS.

By the time EMS arrived, James was breathing on his own with a pulse and a blood pressure in the 100’s.

James is not dead anymore.

Yesterday, James was sitting up in bed — schackled, mind you — but sitting up in bed and laughing and talking and telling jokes.

It doesn’t matter if I am where I am supposed to be for the rest of my life and it doesn’t matter if I’m living out my passion or if I’m just some high paid a** wiper and pill pusher in a rough and nasty and dirty repository of all the evil in the world, surrounded by degenerates and faced daily with the eyes of killers…
None of that matters. All I know is that on Thanksgiving Day, I showed up at work where I was supposed to be with the expectation of a miracle… and a miracle happened.

I’ll tell you this to share some hope:
Even if you aren’t where you think you want to be, you are where you are supposed to be.
For now.
Wake up everyday ready to be part of somebody’s miracle.
Your impact on the world is much bigger than you know.

Tom here – read that last part again……

”Even if you aren’t where you think you want to be, you are where you are supposed to be.
For now.
Wake up everyday ready to be part of somebody’s miracle.
Your impact on the world is much bigger than you know.”

Because of Facebook

When Matthew wrote Matthew 25:31-46, I bet he didn’t think he was writing about Facebook, did he?

You know the verse – where Jesus said, basically, I was needy and you didn’t help meet my needs, so you’re not part of the kingdom of heaven.    Those who were called to account said,  “Lord, when did we see you hungry?   When did we see you thirsty?   When did we see you…….”

And Jesus says, “Whatever you did not do for the least of these, you did not do for me.”

Bam, there enters the Facebook effect.  

100 years ago, 20 Christians could have been executed for their faith on the other side of the globe and we wouldn’t have noticed.

Today, we can watch it on video.

20 years ago, a little child in Haiti could die from malnutrition and we wouldn’t even know about it.  

Today, we can know her name, her story and the struggle that took place to save her.

20 years ago, we wouldn’t know about the teenagers in California who committed suicide due to bullying and depression.  

Today we can hear stories and see video from their parents and their siblings.

20 years ago, we wouldn’t have known about the teenagers in the foster care system in Los Angeles who needed families.

Now we can see and hear about them from friends.

The world is a lot smaller place because of Facebook (and all of the other social media).  

And because we can know about what’s happening over there, we have to know.

And we have to care.    It used to be that we could focus on the people on our street, the people in our church, the people we work with.

Now God’s saying, “Because of Mark Zuckerberg, that’s no longer good enough.”   

Because of Facebook, our neighbors are a lot more widespread.

Because of Facebook, we can no longer be quiet when terrorists strike.

Because of Facebook, we can no longer be quiet when racism rears its ugly head.

Because of Facebook, we can no longer ignore the starving children in the Middle East who were forced from their homes by ISIS.

Because of Facebook, we can no longer ignore the injustices that are being committed against children all over the world – and all over our country.

Because of Facebook, God’s call to care for the widows and the orphans in their distress is a lot louder and a lot more urgent.

Because of Facebook, we can’t say,  “Who?  I don’t see anyone who needs help?”

Because of Facebook, the world is smaller.

The need appears larger.

And the call from God is growing.

Will you answer?



That name brings up so many emotions.

To some it’s the epitome of a time waster.

To some it’s a place to play games (Words with Friends?  Candy Crush Saga? Don’t invite me to play those).

To others it’s a place where evil people lurk to try to “snatch” children from good places.

To others it’s a place  where everyone puts on their Sunday best and tries to make it sound like they are part of the perfect family and take the  perfect vacation and have the perfect family reunions.

To others it’s a place where we are constantly reminded that we don’t do a very good job of keeping up with the Joneses.

To others it’s like high school all over again.

To others it’s like that show on CNN where they used to get political talking heads to argue for an hour, on cue.   Political rants run rampant.

To some degree and for some people, all of those are true.    So, did Mark Zuckerberg make billions off something that has mostly negative connotations?   Something that is a drain on society and hard on our mental health?

No, I don’t believe so.  

I believe that a lot of good can come from Facebook.    I’m going to explore the ways that Facebook is changing the world, how it has changed my world and how you can use it to be a positive change for the world.

Tall Order?

What and see,


P.S. – Just to be ironic, I’m going to tweet about this blog post as well…….