Dave Weiss

posted on January 17, 2011 under  Artist Daily Digital Disciple USA - Pennsylvania

Location: Reading, PA
Facebook: www.facebook.com/amokarts
Twitter: @amokarts
Website: www.amokarts.com

Who are you?
Husband, father of two, pastor, artist, graphic designer, founder of AMOKArts.com a ministry dedicated to using art to minister to people and ministering to artists.

What makes you a Digital Disciple?
I use the web to spread the Gospel, encourage believers and reach out to non-believers. My ministry’s founding verse is 1 Peter 4:10 Each one should use WHATEVER gifts he has received to serve others. My talents and the technology to transmit them are my gifts. I use them to serve Jesus and others.

What website or technology has impacted you most?
Probably WordPress blogs or YouTube. These give me the avenues to connect the things the Lord gives me with the rest of the world. Another thing would be my Mac and iMovie with which I create the majority of my content.

How has your faith grown or been tested through technology?
Tested every time things get lost when unlike Jesus I didn’t save. Grown in that when I first got involved in art and writing, you had to find a publisher willing to invest huge piles of money in your ideas if you wanted a platform. Now with a few clicks, I can tell the world.

Matthew Snider

posted on January 16, 2011 under  Daily Digital Disciple Designer USA - Maryland

Location: Baltimore, MD
Facebook: www.facebook.com/matthewfsnider
Twitter: @snidermatthew
Website: www.matthewsnider.me

Who are you?
My name is Matthew Snider and I am self-proclaimed geek. An ex-iPhone and current Mac addict, WordPress hacker and an up and coming CSS artist. At heart I am a follower of Christ and proud of who I am.

Father of two awesome girls (one more on the way) and a husband to an amazing wife. My life revolves around life and it changes daily; minute by minute.

What makes you a Digital Disciple?
I am a tech geek at heart. If something is reachable I reach for it. I love technology and all it has to offer. My second job is doing what I love, coding, hacking, designing websites for people I care about. It rocks.

Technology as a whole is a very slippery slope though. While I love it, I also need to be weary about it.

With every change to texting, social media and more, we become more distracted from our real lives.

It’s something I strive for daily not to succumb to.

What website or technology has impacted you most?

How has your faith grown or been tested through technology?
Recently in my life many things have been changing in my heart, social media being one of them.

Since day one, the original launch date of the iPhone, I had to have one. Since I had seen it online I needed one, or so I thought. Since day one I was proud to have an iPhone and everything that came with it. The questions, the ease of texting, the email everywhere I went, the jailbreaking processes and hacking it to pieces.

God had begun a change in my heart without me knowing it. Slowly but surely I had been battling contentment issues, issues with being in the moment with my children and I wanted to do something about it. Outside with the kids, I would have my iPhone ready to fill a “boring” spot in the day. Check my email because I could, text because I could, see who was winning the games because I could, but I was outside with the kids…

I honestly was outside with the kids, but my brain was nowhere near them. It was elsewhere, hiding amongst technology that I would soon rid myself of.

The iPhone is a great phone, smartphone, instrument, social media helper etc. But it is not for me. I do not want to be in the know that bad. I don’t want people reaching me that easily. I don’t want to be distracted from life due to it.

I am now sporting a flip phone!

I am now at peace throughout the day, no distractions by something in my pocket. For the most part I don’t even carry my phone with me while at home any longer.

This is personal decision, one that I would not force anyone else into. I would gladly push you all towards this decision if it had become an idol in your life, something that you could not part with. We have to be aware of these things in our lives, I just wish I was aware sooner. I have lost some great moments in my kids lives due to being somewhere else.

Kevin Gilbert

posted on January 15, 2011 under  Daily Digital Disciple Information Technology USA - Georgia

Location: Loganville, GA
Facebook: www.facebook.com/wkevingilbert
Twitter: @wkeving
Website: www.studiod.tv

Who are you?
I’m the son of Walter and Jannie Gilbert; the husband of Stephanie McCormick Gilbert; father to Neal and Eli; friend to anyone who needs one; the other half of the business partnership StudioD.tv. I was born in New Orleans while my father was in seminary and I call Georgia home, spending most of my life here. I graduated with a Music Business degree from Belmont University in Nashville, TN. I lived and worked there for about nine years before coming back home to the Atlanta suburbs. I worked and toured as a sound tech/audio engineer/mixmaster for several well-known Christian music artists and for Opryland Productions. I’m a Mac, an iPhone and a WordPress fanboy and I love movies, music and sports.

What makes you a Digital Disciple?
Being a PK (Preacher’s Kid) I’ve grown up in and around the church. I believe there is no better or more important message than that of Jesus. God created a technogeek with a passion for leveraging technology to the fullest to tell the story of a God that loves us wrecklessly, furiously and without condition. The media changes, the tools change, but the message remains: God loves you and gave everything so that you might fellowship with Him.

What website or technology has impacted you most?
I am an Apple Fanboy, but I genuinely believe that the iPhone changed the game forever. It truly is a pocket-computer that enables so much of where we’re headed as a society. WordPress is the other technology that is making a lasting impact on me as well. No other software democratizes the web like WordPress. Anyone with access to the Internet can share their message in a powerful way for little to no cost. Truly amazing.

How has your faith grown or been tested through technology?
I think the biggest test is one that’s ongoing. Finding balance between technology and the rest of my life is always a struggle. It is a constant battle to remind myself that technology provides the tools to accomplish great things, but as with any other tool used for work, they are best when used from a place of rest and meditation on God.

Vin Thomas

posted on January 14, 2011 under  Daily Digital Disciple Designer USA - Oregon

Location: Portland, OR
Facebook: www.facebook.com/vinthomas
Twitter: @vinthomas
Website: www.vintom.com / www.wearefixel.com

Who are you?
My name is Vin Thomas. I am a husband of a wonderful woman, and father of two incredible girls. I am a business owner and designer (specializing in web). I specialize in creating custom WordPress websites for churches, small businesses, and ministry organizations.

What makes you a Digital Disciple?
10 years ago I had a plan to go to seminary and become a worship pastor. I have always loved the arts and wanted to pursue ways to integrate that with my love for God.

After 5 years in seminary, and about 20 credits shy of my Masters of Divinity the school I was attending shut down. I decided to take a small break and just work for a while. Knowing almost nothing about the field, I started working at an athletic club doing graphic and web design.

Over the course of the next few years I developed a love and passion for web design that eventually gave birth to www.vintom.com. I built a successful freelance career working primarily with churches and ministry organizations.

This past year I co-founded a new collaborative effort between a few other amazing Christian designers: www.wearefixel.com. Having just launched, we’ve already seen some great doors open.

It’s been great to see my love for God and my unexpected love for web design merge into a new career path. Even though my plans have changed, I couldn’t be more excited for the future God has in store for me.

“The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps…” – Proverbs 16:9

What website or technology has impacted you most?
HTML, CSS, jQuery, WordPress, PhotoShop

How do you express your faith through technology?
I have been challenged to not only create great designs, but to create great designs that will help communicate the gospel in a clear and powerful way.

Greg Davis

Location: Wilmington, DE
Facebook: www.facebook.com/gregdavispsu
Twitter: @gregdavispsu
Website: www.gregdavispsu.com

Who are you?
First, I am a husband (just celebrated 20 year anniversary) and a father of two wonderful middle school kids.  We are an active and adventurous family and I am very blessed to have them.

My wife and I met at Penn State University and I was actually born the very year and month that Joe Paterno took over as head coach of the football team!  Guess it was destiny that I would go there!

At church, I hold a volunteer staff position as the Technology and Innovation Director, while my paying and supporting job is in the Information Services group at VWR International.  For the past 13 years I have worked on various SAP projects first at DuPont and now VWR.

I have also recently started a new business venture, 38solutions, which helps individuals and small businesses with their web-related technology solutions.

What makes you a Digital Disciple?
I am passionate about helping the local church stay connected with culture and to reclaim technology to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I seek to help the church stay connected and build relationships but I also am passionate about helping individuals better understand technology and to engage with each other and the local church.

What website or technology has impacted you most?
That is a hard one to pin-down because it seems like it always changes. I believe that the biggest challenge has been to try to stay even somewhat on top of continuous evolution of technology and to be able to digest it in a way that can make sense out of it for everyday people.

Fortunately, technology has become much simpler to use and more of it is within the reach of more people, but at the same time it has gotten a lot nosier and in many cases intimidating keeping many of the less tech-savvy away.

How has your faith grown or been tested through technology?
Keeping people and relationships first and the technology that impacts them second has always been a challenge for me. It is very easy to get excited and lost in the latest gadget or newest change coming out and forget about the everyday relationships that you are a part of.  Keeping priorities straight and not to get trapped by some of the snares and darker sides of technology is always a modern day test of faith for me.

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