Mission Service Corps

Last night, I sent out the following e-mail to several people with the North American Mission Board:

My name is Matthew Maxson, and I have a vision I would like to share with you. However, before I delve deeply into the main point of this email, I would like to take a few minutes of your time and tell you more about myself. I was born in 1977 and was saved as a young boy in 1984 in Beeville, Texas. My dad was in the military: we have lived many places. In 1986, my dad got out of the service and we moved to Missouri. In 1993, we moved to Williamstown, West Virginia. I attended Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia where I met my wife. We were married in January 1999, and I graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science in May 2000. I went to work for Columbia Gas Transmission in June. Later that year, NiSource purchased the Columbia Energy Group. In October 2002, NiSource restructured the IT department and transferred us to Columbus. In my nearly five years at Columbia/NiSource, I have been involved in several different arenas and projects. My activities at NiSource have made me more aware of the technology available in the market, the different applications of these technologies, the use of computer consultants, and the cost and quality of these services. Currently, NiSource is evaluating outsourcing IT along with other corporate functions such as Human Resources, Finance, Accounting, Supply Chain, etc.. This has caused my wife and me to evaluate God's "next steps" for our life.

The Church should use any and all tools available to them in order to reach the lost and fulfill the Great Commission. I see The Church missing out on a great opportunity to use technology as a method of spreading the Gospel. Why? I do not think it is because they don't care about reaching those people.I think it is because of ignorance, fear of technology, and cost. Most people are either ignorant of the technology available or are too intimidated to try anything beyond their comfort zone of e-mail and web browsing. In a traditional company, when the employees do not have the knowledge or time to implement a solution, consultants are brought in. I have seen NiSource pay $200 per hour for consultants and think nothing of it. NiSource is among the Fortune 500 and can afford that kind of payout; however, in the average congregation, it is utterly impossible to pay $200 per day or even per week to a consultant for help with a piece of technology.

In 2001, I started Christian Computer Solutions to help churches with this problem. My goal was to provide technical consulting to congregations at a price much lower than secular consultants. At that time, my vision was to provide a way for a congregation to get help with technology at a reasonable price. However, as time went on, God matured my vision. I kept wishing that there was something more I could do to help The Church use technology to reach the lost. After we moved to Columbus, this feeling only intensified. I met with my pastor, Dr. Kent Spann, to discuss my feelings and to get more information about God's call on people's lives. At the meeting, I shared my vision with Dr. Spann and he offered several suggestions. One of which was writing a letter to the Executive Director of the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio. I wrote and mailed a letter, but having received no response to date, I have decided to share my vision with others-thus, this letter. Since then, I have shared this vision with Dr. Rich Halcombe (the MetroColumbus Baptist Association Director of Missions). He is excited about my vision, but the local association does not currently have the funds to implement it. This lack of funding has lead me to discover the Mission Service Corps. I found your contact information searching on the NAMB website.

My vision is this: Imagine a congregation (or missionary or other Southern Baptist group) that needs help with some piece of technology. It does not really matter what, it could be anything from how to bold text in Microsoft Word, to setting up an office network, to needing an application to track membership and giving to setting up a web page where sermons and other helps could be made available to anyone, anywhere. This is a service provided to them by the giving of others-either through the financial support of other Christians and the fees paid by those organizations who are able to pay. This opportunity will help them use technology as one "fishing lure" in a tackle-box of lures used to fish for men and fulfill the Great Commission. I hope this excites you as much as it does me!

I believe that God gives everyone in The Church different abilities and gifts. My knowledge of and ability to understand technology combined with my desire to help allow me to meet a need within The Church. God is calling me to utilize my technical abilities and desire to help to provide services to our churches. I would be most willing to meet with you, or your representative, to discuss these possibilities and how Mission Service Corps can help me fulfill my vision. Thank you for your time, this opportunity, and consideration of my proposal. You can reach me via telephone at 614.789.9333 (h) or 614.439.4620 (c), or via e-mail at matt@techs4jesus.com.

Well, guess what?! One of the gentlemen I sent it to called me last night about ten minutes after I sent the e-mail! We had a good conversation. He gave me some additional contacts at the NAMB. I still don't know much more than I did a few days ago; however, I am making progress. Please be in prayer with Cyndi and I that we are seeking God's will and doing what He wants. It doesn't really matter what we are doing…the biggest joy and satisfaction will come from being in the center of His will.

Movie Ratings

Have you ever wanted a source for better movie ratings than those given by the MPAA? Well, Common Sense Media does just that. I don't know if they are a Christian organization or not, but they seem intent on providing movie information that isn't available any place else.

Shroud of Turnin

WorldNetDaily today has an article describing how a forger could have easily forged the Shroud of Turin. Here is a link to the WorldNetDaily article. The article describes the basics of the process: 

began his experiment by painting faces on glass. The painted panes of glass were then set on top of linen and left in the sun for various lengths of time.

Mr. Wilson, on his website has more to say and has pictures of his experiences.

Why do I point this out? I’m a Christian, don’t I believe the shroud is real? Why would I want to cast doubt on something like that? Well, first off, I am a Christian. I believe that Jesus was the “God Man” (100% God yet also 100% man). He was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life while on earth. I believe he was crucified, buried, then rose again on the third day. Why did he die? To pay a sin debt that I could not pay. For scripture references and more information about what I believe, please read the Baptist Faith and Message. Do I think the shroud is real? Just as I don’t believe most of the other relics the Catholic Church has are real, I don’t think the shroud is real either. But, in the end, it just doesn’t matter to me. If the shroud is real, my faith is the same. If the shroud is false, my faith is the same. My faith does not depend on seeing or not seeing things. It is built upon what the Bible, the Word of God, says.

[Update 2012-12-26 15:00:50] The link to WorldNetDaily was wrong.  I updated it.

Josh Hunt

Today, my church–Highland Baptist Church–had our Sunday School Revival today. Our pastor brought in Josh Hunt to speak. He spoke during Sunday School time, then again during church. Tonight, he is having an evening session too.

His plan is fairly simple: You find away to befriend people. You hang out with them. You become their friend them. Then, they are more likely to come to church with you. This isn't just his idea. There are scriptures in the Bible that talk about this same thing.

I Peter 4:9: Use hospitality one to another without grudging.

Romans 12:13: Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.


Saturday’s Thoughts

Last night, we had dinner at Logan’s Roadhouse. They have the best hamburgers! I don’t know what they do to them, but the beef has a great flavor. Since the movie we wanted to see wasn’t playing anymore, we decided to come back to our place and hang out.

Our men’s Bible study met at 8am Saturday. The Saturday group is doing a study on communication called Love Talkalt by Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott. The goal of the study is to help us learn how to communicate with our wife better. This communication will help our marriages grow stronger and allow us to be more effective for God.

Our church–Highland Baptist Church— is prepping to do a 40 Days of Purpose campaign. I’m excited about it! We are going to have small groups meeting around the city. I’m even thinking about doing one at work. I need to talk to my boss, but I think we can meet one day a week at lunchtime for six weeks. I think it will be particularly effective esecially considering the outsourcing (well, potential outsourcing) announcement.

[Update 2011-01-09 22:22:06] Edited the book link to the kindle version

Yes! Friday!

Well, Friday is finally here. Today at work was fairly uneventful. There weren't many people in the office at all. You would have thought the place was deserted. I spent most of the day working on the AssetCenter upgrade we have going on. Not to go into too much detail, but we are trying to "migrate" as little as possible. We will use Connect-It for most of the work.

Have I mentioned that I happen to be a Conservative? Well, I am, and I am proud of it. Because of this, I get terribly aggravated at "traditional" news. If I watch the news, I only watch Fox News. When I read the news online, I typically limit reading to WorldNetDaily.

There is one thing that is bumming out my Friday. My college roommate and his wife were supposed to go out with me and my wife to see Flight of the Phoenix (I thought the original was a very interesting movie.). Monday, it was playing at the local cheap theater. Anyway, I go to look online today, and the movie isn't playing. ARG! I guess I'll have to wait for it to come out on video. Oh well, I was worried they would butcher it anyway–why do you think I was going to the cheap theater.

I'm debating about going to a professional resume writer to have my resume redone. Since the outsourcing announcement, people have had their resumes at work, and I'm beginning to think that I'm selling myself short with mine. If you want to see mine, it's right here (You will need Adobe Acrobat reader to view it. If you don't already have it, you can download it directly from Adobe here. I don't know if it is worth the money or not; however, I have a co-worker who has used one. I really like the way her resume looks. Right now, my big debate is how to go about this job search, and where I think God is leading.

Blog Comments Working!

Comments are now working!

Be forwarned, I will read the comments and delete those that contain profanity, etc… (remember, this is a Christian site). Also, I have not implemented the rel="nofollow" tag. If I start seeing link spam, I'll put it in.

[Update 10 March 2007] I'm migrating posts from my old blog to maxsons.org.  This doesn't apply here. 

What I’m currently Reading

This will be fairly ho-hum because I’m only really reading one book: Constitutional Chaosalt by Judge Andrew Napolitano. For those who don’t know, he is the senior judicial analyst for Fox News. This book is a must read for anyone who cares about limitied government. The entire book details problems we are experiencing in this country because the government doesn’t respect its own laws. The one question I have over and over as I read this book is “How do we recover?”

How do we recover? The judiciary has thrown the Constitution in the trashcan over and over. We need to figure out how to erase these bad precidence setting rulings. I don’t know the solution, unfortunately.

In addition to the Judge’s book, I receive various computer industry publications such as Info World, Software Developer, etc….

[Updated 2011-01-09 22:19:09] The link to the book was pointed at WND’s store, but they changed URLs.  Since I really like the Kindle, I thought I would link to the kindle version.

Blog Comments

Ok, here's the deal right now with comments. I have them working, sort of. That means that everything is set up, but they don't work quite yet. I'm waiting on my hosting provider to set some permissions on a directory for me. Once that is done, comments should be up and running.

As if you can't tell, I'm using the pollxn discussion engine to do comments. The code didn't do everything I wanted, so I modified it. Just like the blosxom code I'm using, I'll post it in the store for download.

[Update 10 March 2007] I'm reposting from my old blog to Maxsons.org.  While I'm working on comments for maxsons.org, this doesn't apply here. 

Grammar Rules

Ok, I admit it. I am not an expert on English. Sometimes, I misue commas. Sometimes, I even spell words wrong. However, it seems like your average person no longer cares about writing correctly. I get e-mails at work with many misspellings, improper punctuation, and–yes–even incorrect word use (your for you’re, there for their, etc…). These people are making basic mistakes that they should have learned about in the 5th and 6th grade. I came across this site today that talks about gramatical rules. If you notice, it is a .uk domain, so the content is not geared for American English; however, I read it and think that most of the rules are the same. They do use some different terminology (full stop for period) and they have several words spelled the “British” way. Enjoy!

[Update 2012-12-26 15:04:18] The “this” site mentioned is now a dead link.  It went to http://www.bim.napier.ac.uk/~hazel/gen_ho/rules_conv.htm