Mr. Ron’s Message, Easter Saturday 2012-04-07

We are here this afternoon to celebrate and remember Ron Vernon. He’s been a friend for many years, family in the best sense of the word. We share grief in his passing even as we share in the joy of having him in our lives together.

In John 11:
Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?” (John 11:25-26 NLT)

It’s no coincidence that this is also Easter weekend. It’s the Saturday between Friday’s death on the cross and Sunday’s triumphant resurrection. Where most gatherings like this would focus on the cycle of life to death, would bring focus to the examples of our own mortality – today we have the unique perspective of seeing death head towards life. The cycle is turned on its head. Jesus lived life here with His disciples, here with us. And in dying and then overcoming death and all its power, He lives with us still. He offers life abundant here and to come.

The reality of our memories and the warmth of Ron’s life with us brings hope in the midst of broken hearts, brings comfort to our hurt. Today, we smile through tears and heavy hearts. We remember Ron, and we feel the life well-lived and well-shared all over again.

Father, Lord God – we thank you today for Ron and for his life shared here with us. We thank you for giving life to all of us, for enhancing that life by giving us time together. Even now, we thank you for Jesus, lovingly giving Himself that we may share in life fully and beautifully with each other. Forgive us where we’ve chosen less that that shared fullness of life. Embrace us as we move forward together from here with memories of our wonderful friend. Heal the broken places and fill the voids as You have shown you can. Comfort and encourage us on toward adventure and our own life lived together. And thank you for Ron Vernon – may we continue to live out the joy and friendship that’s been shared with us. In Jesus’ name – Amen.

THE LORD’S PRAYER, Jeff & Kim

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen (Ephesians 3:20-21 NLT)

Step Four: Share Your Passion

[Catch up here on steps 1, 2 & 3]

The important networking aspect of social media is best centered around those things that are already your favorite thoughts, interests and hobbies. Finding like-minded new friends is a must online. Using search.twitter.com, google and Facebook to find tweets, blogs and fan pages is a snap. That’s probably the easiest part of the whole experiment. But it leads to the hard part: SHARE in that passion.

I’ve found that most of us aren’t as outgoing as we tend to think we are, or that we think we are engaged just enough. “I’d rather just listen” and “I don’t think I have anything to add” are common comebacks. Don’t be shy. Don’t be reserved. Get out there and write/reply/retweet/question the people you’ve found who have the same thoughts/ideas/questions you have.

That’s why it’s so important to hit this SHARE your passion line of thought: you and I are more likely to chat up what we already think it important and fun. We are more likely to engage and get involved. We are more likely to move out of our shell into an area we have high interest in. And the reciprocal is just as true: SHARING your passion with others who are also SHARING their passion helps YOU get involved with THEM talking about things you are BOTH already heavily invested in.

It’s raining this afternoon. You’re downtown. You need to catch a train. You run through the rain to catch a train (perhaps in Spain?). You are dripping with afternoon wet on the platform with someone else who’s also dripping with afternoon wet. You look at each other, and at this time you both start to speak about the weather. This right now is your life, and it’s the other person’s life, and you’re both wet waiting on a Spanish metro. You’ve SHARED something that is already a part of who you both are. You’ve made a connection over something minimal. And we’ve all done it: “How about this weather?” “Hot enough for you?” “Hear there’s going to be rain this weekend” – and it’s not even at the level of a passion and life interest.

SHARE your passion with other people who are already online SHARING their same passion. Learn from each other – especially from the Smart Kids (maybe that’ll be Step Five) who rise to the top of the conversation. Ask questions, leave comments, write your own blog posts on the matter. SHARE with the network why this particular piece of life is so huge to you, and listen as they share their own bent as well.

Step Three: Engage

Previously –
Step One: Get In The Game
Step Two:  Listen Close

You’re working a bit more in your social media online circles. You’re listening, ear to the ground, for discussion of your niche, your passion, your widgets and branding ideas. What next?

This is where the hard work comes into play: engaging in conversation, interaction, sharing with the people who are already on topic around your topic.

  • Find blogs that talk about similar topics and leave comments, ask questions, write posts that link to the posts of others. Use Google to find sites in the same vein you’re pursuing. Show people you are reading their thoughts and the general public will usually be welcoming and open about reading yours as well.
  • Use http://search.twitter.com to find folks tweeting about things you’re talking about. Retweet their thoughts. Leave @ replies. Ask questions. People will notice and will return the favor.
  • If you’re on Facebook, point your blog to your FB space. When you post, let it show up on your Wall so (1) folks can see what you’re passionate about, and (2) they can comment there, click through, and otherwise engage you around these same topics.
  • Use LinkedIN to join friends and friends of friends. Connections there can be beneficial down the road.
  • Use YouTube to post videos, share your thoughts for others to see, to leave comments, to re-share and pass along.
  • Use Google Reader to watch for blogs and to pull in the feeds of the blogs you found in the first step above. When articles come through that impress and encourage you, share those – use links in the tool to share to Twitter, Facebook or Buzz.
  • Talk to people doing these things already. None of these things are my idea, they’re the collected processes and applications of most of the folks I’ve been linking and quoting here on Over Coffee. Being in the mix with people who’ve gone before helps you find the path and find the place where you stand out from the rest. This is a good thing.

There are lots of things pulling on your time, on your mindset, on your resources and priorities. That is why this needs to be a new priority: Engagement. Taking the time to read and search and interact will build a community, or will at least open doors for you to enter already existing groups of likeminded folks.

SOCIALMEDIA ME

I’ve started a new online endeavor that I’m hoping will not be too much overkill for those of you who don’t care, and will be a useful place for help and information for those who do.

RICKCAFFEINATED.COM

I set up the Tumblr.com blog to point to a new domain, and my intention is that this new space on the web will be a repository for all the stuff I’ve been willy-nilly tossing around the past few months. Tumblr is free, the webspace was cheap enough from GoDaddy, and we’re all set to… well, to just try something new.

I’ve had inquiries from a handful of folks into social media/marketing kinds of things. So this new site is an attempt to gather those links, quotes and stories into one space while still posting the updates to Facebook and Twitter. Hopefully add value on anyone’s clickthrough by sharing why I think this or that is important in the first place. Online social interaction can be a scary place full of TMI, but it can also be a rewarding experience personally and a beneficial one publicly and professionally as well.

Anyway, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask, comment, suggest or whatever. I hope the new digs will be good for us, and I’ll take all the help I can get.