but it is starting to change EVERYTHING.

how will it affect your…

(youtube link)

i saw this today. and i consider myself pretty "connected" to the social media scene. but there's still a lot i haven't been a part of, or simply don't "get".

and then i started thinking how i've kinda been neglecting my social media "skillz" because of how busy we are with MPD* and family. and then i started to wonder, "can we really afford to let our social media presence take a back burner if it's turning out to be such an important aspect of the culture we live in?"

what are people saying about YOU?

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*MPD = Ministry Partner Development – that’s the name given to the process of us raising a team of supporters so we can report to Little Rock as fully funded staff missionaries with FamilyLife
AuthorAbraham Lara
as we enter a new month and new phase of ministry life, abe and I have decided to add a new format & hopefully more regularity to this blog. we look forward to sharing parenting & marriage insights with you as well as quick & easy recipes & podcasts on various topics. don't miss out on a single edition - we're gonna have a lot of fun!
AuthorAbraham Lara

i've been asked several times over the last year about "what's twitter?" and "why should I use twitter?" while i'll be the first to admit that you don't really "get" twitter until you actually start using it, and you get equal value from twitter as you put into it.

so i've compiled a list of links to resources giving the various ways people are using twitter, as well as a post i wrote a while ago when i first started using the service. since then it has EXPLODED into mainstream use.

without further ado:

here's a couple links to help you learn more about twitter and whether it's for you or not:

video links:

YouTube - Twitter in Plain English

ABC News - "Tweet" like a bird

ABC News - Twitter Buzz

Evan Williams on listening to Twitter users | Video on TED.com

blog links:

Twitter is as Bad (Or as Good) as YOU Make It

Making a Difference: Should Pastors Use Social Media? | Maurilio Amorim's Blog

CHURCHSMO » Blog Archive » Using Twitter for Ministry, Church and Missions

Twitter-dee, Twitter-dum | Michael Hyatt

12 Reasons to Start Twittering | Michael Hyatt

The Beginner’s Guide to Twitter | Michael Hyatt

for the love of twitter | theacousticlife.com

probably more info than you ever wanted to know about Twitter, but this should give you a good idea about what it is, and how people use it.


- abe


AuthorAbraham Lara

first of all i apologize for not being able to get this up and running on the church website, but hopefully this doesn’t throw your plans off too much. anyways here’s the info that i had planned to post on the church website.

for all the trouble i was having, and possibly the problem you've had trying to find this info, not only am i posting it a half hour earlier, but i'm also extending the deadline for turning in the video to 7:30am on Sunday morning. :) (see aren't i a nice guy).

have a great movie making experience!!

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the following elements must be shown/represented in your movie in some way. they don’t necessarily have to be prominent, but they should be easily recognized by someone who’s looking for them.

in other words, for someone who doesn’t know about the required elements they shouldn’t think, “why in the world did they put that in their movie? that makes no sense. it seems out of place.”

but at the same time someone who is watching the movie should easily spot it and think it’s a natural part of the scene. some of these elements may be in the foreground or background of your video.

so without further adieu here are the 5 elements:

• the number: 633

• a pineapple

• a cowboy hat

• the phrases below must be spoken:

“are you talking to me?” AND “i sure wish i had a …”

• a shot of sunrise or a sunset

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below you’ll find the rest of the details about the contest already given in the handout, or downloadable from the homepage before. they are here as a reference and reminder of what else is expected. there is one MAJOR adjustment to the details. you can now also give me the video in a Quicktime format on disc, flash drive usb stick, or simply upload the video to YouTube and send me the link.

if you have any other questions about the contest or what is meant by any of the required elements or details feel free to contact Pastor Abraham via any of the methods listed below:

email: abelara@gmail.com

twitter: @abelara

facebook: Abraham Lara

phone: 509-303-0032

address: 503 Concord Ave. Grandview, WA 98930

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details //

When: March 27th-29th

required elements released at 7pm on Friday, March 27th. final edited video due to Pastor Abraham by 7am on Sunday, March 29th. (note video must be exported already in a format playable on Quicktime OR upload video to YouTube and send me the link in time. - see pastor abe if you need help with this).

Who: Anyone

your team can be your family, your friends, your lifegroup or even total strangers. they can be babies, kids, teens, adults or even pets. (at least one member of the team must be a part of Grandview Assembly of God)

Where: The World is your Stage

you only have 36 hours so you can’t go far, but be creative. you may use small portions of video clips from other sources, but most of the footage must be original to you and your team.

How: Mac or PC or ???

it doesn’t matter what type of camera or video editing tools you use. videos will be judged on 1) originality & creativity, 2) understandable story line, 3) editing, and 4) whether they meet the requirements below.

What: the Nitty Gritty

• video must convey one of the purposes of the church (Honor God in Everything, Reach Out to those w/o Christ , Mentor & Inspire Each Other, Equip Believers for Service, Connect & Live Life Together)

• minimum of 2 min, maximum of 7 min (including opening & ending credits)

• one team member from GVAG

• turned in by 7 AM on 3/29/09

• playable on Quicktime OR upload video to YouTube and send me the link in time.

• include all required elements in a believable way

• based on your favorite TV Show (if that TV Show made an episode based on a purpose of the church, what would it look like?)

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some video editing tips:



almost every american has childhood memories of what Christmas was like growing up. for me those memories include trips to california, singing around the piano, lots of family, and the nintendo.

that's right. "the nintendo".

that was the most memorable gift my sisters and i ever got for Christmas. i don't know what your "nintendo" was, maybe a bike, a cabbage patch doll, a He-Man Master of the Universe action figure, an ipod, or maybe a puppy. whatever it was, it was what lit up your eyes. that thing that you made promises to your parents, Santa, or God in order to get. you saw it a catalog or online or maybe your friend had one. or then there's those incessant saturday morning commercials in between the cartoons.

for me and my sister's it was the original Nintendo Entertainment System (also known as NES).
nes controler.png

i had to look up that it came out in north america in 1985, but i don't think we got it until the next year when the price had come down. so for a 10 year old boy it was the perfect gift. at the time it was the sum of all my hopes and dreams for a Christmas gift.

i think my sisters even promised my mom that it could be the gift for all three of us, not only for Christmas but also for our birthdays. and then we woke up Christmas morning and tore into it and we were jumping up and down and just SOOOO excited.

i've been thinking a lot about Christmas and gifts and about that "nintendo" feeling. i may be wrong, but i don't think i'll ever have that same reaction to a Christmas gift ever again.

i think that's why it's so hard to go Christmas shopping for adults, whether they're your same age or those older than you. because deep down inside we want the reaction to the gift we give to others to be that of a 10yr old boy and his sister's getting their first game console.

deb asked me again what i would like for Christmas. i made a list of some items that would be nice to receive. but to be perfectly honest, none of those items are going to come close to the "nintendo" standard.

and the reason is that all of those items are things that if i really, really wanted them as much as i wanted that first NES, then i would just budget for it and go buy it for myself. in fact i think, that had i had the patience to wait, the iPhone 3G that we recently bought would have come really close to that nintendo standard. it was something that i had wanted for a long time, i had researched all the features/options, and imagined myself using one.

but i didn't wait because now days, if i want something and can afford it, i'll just buy it. i don't have to wait/hope for someone else to get it for me for Christmas or my birthday.

so what would give me that nintendo feeling now? i've concluded that it would be things that i couldn't afford - a new car or new house (completely paid for), a cruise for deb and i, our remaining debt to be forgiven or paid off.

so … if you got me something for Christmas, this is the heads up to let you know that most likely i'm not going to be jumping around and going crazy like Tom Cruise on Oprah.

yes, i'll be thankful and appreciative, but i think i've finally gotten to the point where it truly is "better to give than to receive". not because i'm looking for, or expecting, the recipient to be as excited as i was when we were given that nintendo. afterall, if that's the motivation for my giving then i'm not really giving, i'm really exchanging or buying an emotion or reaction for the gift. i'd be hoping to receive the emotion i'm looking for.

but instead, i'll be giving because it does something in me. it makes me less focused on the material things of this world. it makes me more like God "who gave his one and only Son".

// today i'm thankful for:
1. Christmas
2. snow
3. iPhone
4. LifeJournal
5. nintendo memories

here's a bonus video to bring happy super mario bros. memories to mind:
AuthorAbraham Lara
2 CommentsPost a comment

for those of you who may not know, the now ubiquitous white earbuds and the iPods attached to them had a birthday this past week. yes, it was Oct. 23rd, 2001 that the iPod as first introduced to the world.

the first video is a promo video made by apple about that first iPod. (iPhone link: Original iPod Introduction)

this next one is the introduction of the original iPhone a year and a half ago and then one person's wait in line at the NYC 5th Ave store.

it's remarkable to me just how far we've come in the last 7 years. now with my iPhone 3G, i have all the innovations of the original iPhone plus the new App Store with thousands of programs from games to social networking to productivity software. it's just so awesome! plus the phone, internet, email, iPod, and so much more. i wonder what cool toys we'll be saving up our money for in 7 years from now?

do you have an iPhone? what are your favorite apps (free or paid)? after some use what's made it to your "home" screen? here's a screenshot of my current home screen:

you'll notice that neither the phone or the email app made it to the dock at the bottom. i simply use the camera and twitterific more often.

do you not have an iPhone? are you sick of people talking about how great they are? or are you wishing you had one too?
AuthorAbraham Lara
i recently got an email from a friend asking about how to increase traffic to his blog, my response to him is what follows:
How do I get my blog more action i.e. visits?

simple answer: let people know you have one and keep them coming back by having content they want to read about.

what that means is include your blog site address in your email signature as seen below. when you write a new blog post, let people who follow you on twitter or facebook know about it. (and so you may also want to get more people to follow you on twitter and/or facebook, including people you don't know but seem to have similar interests.by posting that on twitter or facebook they know as soon after you've written it and it isn't based on when they "happen to get around to checking" your site again. and then also don't be afraid to re-promote your blog post maybe a day or two later. in case people missed your initial tweet or facebook update.
talk about it with people in person; "yeah, i wrote about that in my blog the other day …" or "that'd be a great topic for me to write about on my blog…" or even mention it either in person, or via a slide when speaking in church or otherwise.
personally, i try to keep my blog posts to under 600 words. on occasion it'll be longer, but i try not to make a habit of it. the reason is if i go to other people's blogs and see a huge long blog post i don't take the time to read it unless i really find that person or topic engaging. so i try to keep mine short.

oh and then finally, post often and choose your voice. posting often will get people who like your writing to keep coming back to check for more. (i'm not very good at the posting often part)  and by choosing your voice means to stick to a topic or theme overall for your blog. there aren't very many blogs that are popular where the author is simply giving family updates, or other random topics. and it's for this reason that i know my blog most likely won't ever become hugely popular. i tend to skip around in my writing topics.

it's the blogs that stay on one topic whether it's tech, ministry, running, fatherhood, or (fill in the blank here) that are able to gain a following of people beyond just the people who personally know the author.

oh, one last thing. encourage dialogue between you and the readers by asking a question in your blog which they can answer in the comments, or by simply writing about interesting or controversial subjects.

i hope you like my ideas. let me know if they've helped you out, or if you have more questions.

abraham lara


ps. i think this entire email would be a good post for my blog, so i'm going to post it. :)


so blog readers, do you have any other suggestions?  oh and if you'd like to follow the person who wrote the question you can follow them on twitter (@streubel) or find them on their blog (http://streubel.wordpress.com)

there you go jason, maybe a few more hits. :)
AuthorAbraham Lara