Jan
14

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Papua New Guinean is a beautiful place in the South Pacific filled with wonderful people and a vibrant culture.  In fact it's so beautiful many New Zealanders go to Papua for their vacation (or holiday).

Within the Papau island tribes there exists a language spoken on the largest of the Trobriand Islands Kiriwina called Kivila.  Like most cultures they measure the vitality of their tribes based on certain attributes.  One of the attributes is the number of "mokitas" that exist in a tribe (fewer the better).  The definition of a mokita is "a truth everyone knows, but no one will speak", i.e. a taboo.

For example if you know your family has a gay relative but no one talks about it, that's a mokita.  Or if your friend's wife is cheating with her "spiritual healer" (John Redcorn) and no one talks about it, that's a mokita.

In America today Christianity has become a mokita in many tribes around the country.  It is a truth nobody speaks.  It's not just schools & colleges, but with friends, at work, during dinner, grabbing drinks or watching TV.  Above all else the worse thing that can happen to Christianity is for it to lose its voice.  If we don't talk about Christianity nobody knows it exists.

Remember the phrase "don't talk about religion or politics"?  In today's society it has been shortened to "don't talk about religion." 

Everyone talks politics these days, it's the new fad, it's the new place to devote your time, energy and brain power.  Whatever the latest crises, there's an abundance of voices dedicated to talking about politics anywhere, anytime.  But how many people talk about their walk with God as readily?  Not enough.

Until we decide to change things Christianity will continue to be regarded as the gay relative of the American voice, the black sheep named Mokita.
Jan
12

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Wahoo! After months of hard work we've officially launched What Up to the public in beta mode.  Check out What Up to get the scoop on what Christians and churches are talking about all over America. 

Zetify is becoming more official with our first ever press release.  You can download it as a PDF or read it below.

 

Zetify.com Launches What Up:
The Christian Conversation in Real-Time

The newest Web app from Zetify displays real-time posts from Christians and churches in one stream of consciousness.


Austin, TX, Jan 12, 2009 – Zetify is happy to announce the launch of its newest Web app What Up (http://www.zetify.com/whatup), the first real-time Christian Web app of its kind. What Up brings together conversations from major websites, blogs and more than 11,000 churches into one stream of updates. In less than five minutes anyone can get a feel for the pulse of Christianity in America.

The What Up app combines posts from the top social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, as well as posts from popular Christian bloggers, announcements from churches, and prayer requests, in a continuous, easy-to-read text view. Further, the What Up stream may be displayed in a map view to give visitors a visual understanding of where real-time Christian updates are occurring in America.

Anyone can contribute to What Up by adding their own post and help increase the number of voices contributing to the Christian conversation. In less than thirty seconds, a church can post its Twitter account, a small group can post its Facebook page, or an individual can post a prayer request.

What Up has a powerful processing engine behind the scenes, constantly searching and selecting a wide range of data to organize into meaningful information. Several times a day it generates statistics on the top words used, Bible books referenced, and most vocal cities.

While tested and ready for public launch, What Up remains in beta mode, with Zetify expecting to add new features making What Up easier to use, more portable, and more integrated into the Christian lifestyle. Check out the Zetify blog (http://www.zetify.com/thelife) to stay current with the latest news and announcements.


About Zetify

Zetify is an independent Christian ministry focused on building spiritual communities by augmenting Christianity with parties, apps and love.  Zetify's aim is to make Christianity more accessible by organizing the vast amounts of Christian information online and energizing local young adult communities. Learn more about Zetify at http://www.zetify.com/love/vision.
Jan
06

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The process of building the Zetify ministry into a mainstream entity is challenging and educational.  It's difficult to realize what you don't know until you stumble across new knowledge.  Based on my experiences and conversations I've deduced the following 80/20 rule that defines people's knowledge of Christianity:


80% of Christians are only aware of
20% of what happens in Christianity


There is so much history in Christianity that goes untaught and so many conversations going on today the whole corpus of Christianity becomes overwhelming, especially for new Christians.  For example how many people have ever heard of the 12th night (I didn't until I saw it in the What Up stream yesterday)?

Fact is unless you're a hardcore Christian or work in a church you don't have a clue what's going on in Christianity in America.  It's exceedingly difficult to hunt down resources online and there are very few touch points for the average person to interact with Christianity.

Many people yap about Christianity crumbling in America but it ain't so.  People want to participate in Christianity but the cost of entry is exceedingly high.  Figuring out how to navigate the waters and get involved is more difficult than church folk realize.  As Roy H. Williams put it "you can't read the label from inside the bottle."

The Christian leaders are correct, Christianity is going to change, it's going to become easier.  The convoluted tangle of Christianity is going to crumble, it's going to tear down walls and transform into the next big thing.
Jan
04

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For the past two months we've been working hard on our newest app What Up. We're giving our blog readers, Twitter followers and Facebook fans a sneak peak before next week's official launch.

You can check out the What Up app at http://www.zetify.com/whatup.

What Up is the first real time Christian Web app allowing people to view what Christians are posting online.  We compile content from all over the Interweb into one easy to read stream of posts.  You can sort the stream by date, search by keyword and narrow by location. 

As a bonus you can add your twitter, facebook, blog, event or prayer request to the stream without having to create an account.

Let us know what you think about What Up by sending us feedback.
Dec
31

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2010 is gonna be a good year for Christianity, I can just feel it.  There's a ground swell of spirituality under our toes ready to burst forth and you don't want to be asleep when it goes.  Prepare yourself for a thriller decade.
Dec
29

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During last night's NFL game one of the Bears d-backs (Tillman) got hurt on a pass play down the middle.  While they were attending to him ESPN showed a shot of one of the Bears players and I noticed a little Jesus on the field.  That's Psalms 91 on the big dude's nose patch alright.

The player's name is Tommie Harris and his number is 91 so I'm not sure if Psalm 91 is his favorite verse or it happens to coincide with his number.  According to his Twitter account he's a man of God first and a monster of midway second.

Naturally it's a bit questionable when he slugs an opposing player and then 50 days later ends up on national TV with a bible verse on the nose bridge.  On the other hand a lot of transformation can happen in two months.

Here's some NIV Psalms 91 for ya

 1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
       will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

 2 I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress,
       my God, in whom I trust."

 3 Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare
       and from the deadly pestilence.

 4 He will cover you with his feathers,
       and under his wings you will find refuge;
       his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

 5 You will not fear the terror of night,
       nor the arrow that flies by day,

 6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
       nor the plague that destroys at midday.

 7 A thousand may fall at your side,
       ten thousand at your right hand,
       but it will not come near you.

 8 You will only observe with your eyes
       and see the punishment of the wicked.

 9 If you make the Most High your dwelling—
       even the LORD, who is my refuge-

 10 then no harm will befall you,
       no disaster will come near your tent.

 11 For he will command his angels concerning you
       to guard you in all your ways;

 12 they will lift you up in their hands,
       so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.

 13 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra;
       you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

 14 "Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him;
       I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.

 15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
       I will be with him in trouble,
       I will deliver him and honor him.

 16 With long life will I satisfy him
       and show him my salvation."

Dec
15

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Fourteen days ago I started my annual Advent diet aimed at balancing out the caloric intake of November & December.  I prefer to diet before the New Year because I don't have to whine about having to "work it off" in January as I'm stuffing my face.  Plus I get to tie it to Advent and make it spiritually meaningful.

Dieting is spiritually meaningful during the Christmas season because it involves self control and suffering.  Saying no to goodies at work and at parties makes you feel very alone in the world.  You have to do your job and act as if nothing is wrong all the while your stomach is crying out in pain.  Nobody knows the troubles you go through, except God.  You pray to Him for perseverance and strength and help to stay true to the diet and not give up.  Your prays are no longer rituals, they are legit communing with God experiences.

Keep in mind my particular diet is not for mere mortals.  It involves no sugars, salts, starches, or fats for two weeks along with 45 minutes/8 miles of cardio, 20 minutes of abs and 20-40 minutes of weights.  I lost 10 pounds in the first 12 days of the diet, so it works if you can make it.

Starving gives you a different appreciation for the world and the stories in the Bible.  The average American doesn't feel physical pain anymore, most of our complaining is all mental.  To feel physical pain is to be in touch with your humanity, it lets you know you are still alive.

Reading the Bible while starving is invigorating because you relate a little bit better to the apostles and saints enduring hardships for their faith.  You realize how strong these people were to mentally overcome their physical pain and devote their life to spreading the word.  Dieting is nowhere close to the suffering in the Bible but the link of physical pain is bonding and uplifting.

I'm in no way suggesting to physically hurt yourself to be spiritual, that's plain dumb.  However pushing your body to its limits can be cleansing for the mind, body and soul.

Dec
11

I came across this USA Today article summarizing a recent Pew Survey.  The tone of the article was Christianity doesn't have a solid base, churches are in chaos and people are mashing religions together to create their own.

Let's examine the survey and article in closer detail.

Fact 1) 25% of all Americans are a little crazy
No matter what survey you read it's important to understand 1/4 of those people aren't playing with a full deck.  Case in point, according to the Pew Survey 25% of the American population believe their horoscope is real. 

Fact 2) The Web site Interfaithfamily.com is a joke
The article references the site as a legitimate organization when it's really focused on converting the kids of Christian-Jew marriages to Judaism.  The organization's existence seems rather pointless, what Jew or Christian would marry someone of an opposite religion if they really believed in their own religion?  These couples don't really care about their spirituality, they just like the label.

Fact 3) Having a "Mystical/Spiritual experience" does not mean you're mixing faiths
The survey used that term to be inclusive of all religions to make it seem like Christians are turning into a bunch of Buddhist hippies.  Not the case.  Our hippies don't believe Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha was anything more than a human.  Just because Christian hippies like yoga, rock stacking and all things green doesn't mean they are mixing faiths, they just like being trendy.

Fact 4) People check out different churches because their church sucks

The article tried to say people aren't finding spiritual fulfillment in one religion because they attend different churches every so often.  Wrong.  People who are church hopping didn't find a strong connection with their congregation.  Chances are most of these people are under 40 years old and the church never did anything to reach out to them.  The church was probably too busy helping everyone else they forget to help their own.

The Pew Survey was wily in asking and summarizing if people attend worship services at different religions.  They consider attending a church of a different Christian denomination the same as attending a Muslim mosque.

Fact 5) The Christian God isn't an experience, He's a leap of faith
The USA Today article ends with the quote
"we believe our own experiences are authentic, and no "authority" can say otherwise."
Not sure how they came to this conclusion but it isn't consistent with American Christianity.  While we want to have spiritual experiences and feel connected with other believers it doesn't mean it's all about the fun of being a Christian.  We're smart enough to know when we're making stuff up and we're smart enough to know when we make stuff up it's a load of crap from our imagination, just like Buddhism and Hinduism.





The reason I wanted to breakdown the article and survey is there's a lot of misleading information floating around on the state of Christianity in America.  I want people to realize the truth of this world and how much love us Christians have for everyone.  Not because we're good people but because our God says it's the best way to live.
Dec
10

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Super sweet.

Dec
09

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Over the past ten years it seems math, science and politics have suddenly become trendy for no apparent reason.  I have nothing against math or science but there's some things in life just not meant to be cool.

Here's why it upsets me that they are popular, our knowledge of both subjects is minuscule.  Seriously, we don't know that much about the world around us.  Sure we've documented a few theorems and named a few plants here and there, but the amount we don't know far outweighs what we think we know.  Our list of unaccomplishments is exceedingly long.

As evidence I submit the movie Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.  In the movie the crew travels back in time to save some humpback whales.  They arrive in San Francisco during the year 1986 and start looking for whales to bring to the future.  In one scene they are at Mercy Hospital and the crew's doctor (McCoy) starts ranting and raving on how we practiced such "medieval medicine" in the 20th century.

If you need further evidence I submit the movie Men in Black.  In the beginning of the movie Will Smith has to decide if he wants to become a secret agent and fight aliens.  To convince him Tommy Lee Jones says "...Fifteen hundred years ago everybody knew the Earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, everybody knew the Earth was flat, and fifteen minutes ago, you knew that humans were alone on this planet. Imagine what you'll know tomorrow."

We need to stop patting ourselves on the back for having accomplished so much and realize we don't know much about anything.  We're like the new boss at an office who thinks he knows everything when in fact he's an idiot.  

I think science and math are great fields to study and work in, but they are by no means the truth of our world.