Sabbatical, Day 41: Learning To Twitter, Learning To Read, And A Horrible Shock
Having set up a Twitter account yesterday, I have started to customise it today. I have found various friends by letting Twitter examine the addresses in my Gmail address book. A particular pleasure was to find one who resolutely refuses to join Facebook. And I have reached the dizzy heights of – wait patiently – two followers!
However, I recall vaguely various articles about useful Twitter tools. What I can’t find are the web articles and blog posts I saw. That shouldn’t surprise me: I read them when I wasn’t interested in using Twitter! So – those of you who read this and who tweet, which services do you recommend? The one I remember is Tweetdeck, but what do you use? Please tell me in the comments section below.
Back in the ‘normal’ world of ministry, Friday is usually my day off. Last autumn, I volunteered to help our children’s school for twenty minutes every Friday morning. The head teacher had introduced a feature to give a more consistent emphasis on literacy. She called it ‘Reading Revelry’. Three mornings a week after registration, the children in every class are split into ability-based small groups and read a short book together. This required a considerable number of parent volunteers.
Hence, this morning I had my weekly twenty minutes. Although I was allocated the group with the best ability in the class I serve, today they were too distracted by Comic Relief. One girl was more concerned with keeping her red nose in place than keeping her nose in the book. “Reading is boring,” she said. Let’s hope she changes her mind!
Finally, something completely different. And heartbreaking. Late last night I had a shock. It’s about a minister friend of mine. He’d always been Mr Angry as long as I’d known him, but he had a great wife and wonderful kids. So much so that I thought, if ever I have children, I want them to be like his.
A year or two ago, I was shocked to learn that his wife had left him. Worse, I then heard he had been suspended from the ministry. Tracking him on Facebook and other places, I knew he had taken up with another girl. There were things he said about that relationship that I couldn’t square with Christian faith, but my faith had always been rather more conservative than his.
Then he disappeared off the Internet radar. Facebook profile gone, other traces vanished, too. Last night I googled his name. I discovered he had pleaded guilty to Internet child porn offences. As someone who writes, I’m supposed to be able to find words to describe and express thoughts and feelings. I can’t. All I can say is, please pray for him, and everyone who will have felt betrayed by him: family, friends, churches, victims. May God have mercy on us all.