The Internet has revolutionized many aspects of my life from the way I work to the way I communicate with friends and family to the way I play. It’s improved the way I learn about the world to the way I shop. It’s even changed the way I spend time with God and find spiritual nourishment. For the most part I think that’s a good thing. I’m better informed and better connected than ever before. That’s something to be thankful for.
So, as we approach the Thanksgiving holiday and focus on Giving Thanks, I thought I’d write about 5 websites I’m thankful for. See if any of these make your list.
I search Google at least 20 times a day for tons of different things:
- How to spell a word correctly.
- The exact phrasing of a quote I want to use in an article.
- Statistics or a historical reference I want to use in an article.
- A map to the restaurant I’m meeting a friend at for lunch.
- Help an error message I’m getting in some software.
- News on a topic I’m interested in.
Google gives me information on almost anything I want to know. That helps me solve problems and make better informed decisions.
Facebook is on the verge of becoming the relational hub of my life. I wouldn’t say its significant part of my closest relationships, but it’s allowed me to become better connected with friends from church and even get reconnected with some long lost friends from high school and college.
3) Bible Gateway
I’ve got a confession to make – I rarely open my Bible at home. (Gasp!) That’s because I do almost all my scripture reading online. Most mornings before anyone else in my house is awake, I go to BibleGateway.com and read a Bible passage. I can check out different translations and cross-references. Then I journal my reflections and prayers in a Word document. That’s what my morning time with God looks like.
4) My Church’s website
I check my church’s website a couple times a week. Usually it’s get more info on an upcoming activity. . If it wasn’t for that site I would probably show up at the wrong date or time for things. Sometimes I use the discussion questions posted in the sermon notes/blog for my personal devotions.
If you’re not familiar with Webkinz, it’s an interactive children’s site. You buy a stuffed animal, then you login to the Webkinz site with it, and there’s a whole interactive world where you do stuff with the virtual version of your pet – feed it, play games with it, decorate a room for it, and more. So, what’s a 37 year old man doing on Webkinz you ask? Interacting and having a shared experience with my 7 year old daughter and my 5-year-old son.
Honorable mention goes to the dozens of blogs, forums, and online magazines I go to on a regular basis to learn about web technology, search marketing, leadership, spiritual development like WebProWorld.com, SearchEngineWatch.com, Barna.org, MondayMorningInsight.com, LeadershipJournal.net, and many others. And of course, I spend about 10 hours a day here on OurChurch.Com.
How about you? What are the top 5 websites you’re thankful for?