Tuesday, May 11, 2010

“Molly Ivins can’t say that, can she?”

I used to read Molly Ivins columns faithfully – I loved it that she called a spade a spade and a Texan a tall-tales-Texan. She died way too young of breast cancer – she was 62 and younger than I. I do not have breast cancer – and I do not have a syndicated column, nor do I possess the wit she used in her writing though I wish I did.

Molly Ivins did have some help – for instance, she hired a fact checker. I wish I had a fact-checker to keep me from making some woefully common errors and an editor (Molly had one of these, too) to chop up my run-on sentences and to be sure I finish all my thoughts before sharing them. Most of all, (I don’t think Molly had one of these) I wish I had a button for “pause – reread – reconsider” before clicking send. That button (or the editor or fact checker) would have made my blunder on Facebook this morning less likely to happen. To help, I could have taken myself off Facebook like my friend Larry did. Several months ago, he sent a broadcast email saying “sayonara” “hasta la vista” and “so long” to this wacky communication tool.

Not me, I keep thinking I will sign off FB, but I am addicted. I really want to see what is going on with all my friends – I don’t have millions, not even thousands or hundreds but I do have 116. FB tells me I ought to have more – a friend of a friend would love to be my friend - even when they don’t know me. I say no to most “friend requests.” Sometimes I should say yes, who knows whom I might meet, but mostly “no” fits my life style.

Twitter is another tool for keeping in touch. On Twitter, many people follow me - I do not know one of them. If I wrote more comprehensively about what I do, I would be concerned about the anonymous people following me. They follow me in spite of the fact that once I signed in to Twitter, I never went back online again. Still every few days, I get an email saying “___ is following you on Twitter.” Must be they have drab lives since following my non-existent life is part of their daily routine.

Then there is “Linked-In” – a professional networking site, good for job hunting. Every few days, a headhunter tells me that a job paying BIG BUCKS awaits me. I don’t answer these come-on emails. If I were job hunting, I would contact my Linked-In buddies.

Linked-In sounds the most like it fits my line of work – preaching. According to some sources, the Bible for instance, no one has ever seen God and if we were to, we would have to die, so Facebook is not a really good tool for my work. A liberal, progressive pastor working with twitter-ing might be mistaken for a very conservative preacher and I don't want that confusion. But, Linked-In. I like that. I think I will use that for the title of Sunday’s sermon: “Linked-In – Emerging Church in Pennsylvania.” Linked-in infers that we have others to communicate with. I like that, since I am always looking for someone to tell about church. If I had a sign out front of church where I could put the sermon title in big black letters, I might use “Linked-In: Networking with God.” I could use “Facebook: Networking with God” but that loses some punch.

Linked-In. I like that.

And, gosh, in case you were “Linked-In” to me this morning when I wrote (on FB) that I am sorry to have a round-trip ticket to Colorado, will you please read the part (30 seconds later) where I said that I would be sad leaving my family and friends when I return here – and I should have added “coming home to my new friends.”

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