1) Twice lately friends have encouraged me to read  The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman. I bought the book last summer, brought it with me when we moved in October, put it on the shelf, and finally started reading it this week. Friedman demonstrates in a thousand stunning ways that the world of the past is gone forever. The hi-tech revolution has changed everything because now the whole world is interconnected. He says we are living in the dawning age of Globalization 3.0, when individuals themselves can interconnect with people around the world in ways that were not possible twenty years ago and were not dreamed of fifty years ago. If you have any doubt that India and China will be major players in the 21st-century, read this book. I'm finding new insights on every page.

2) One subset of the "flattening" of the world is the rise of the weblog. Derek Taylor sent along a link a recent State of the Blogosphere report. Here are some hard numbers:

Technorati currently tracks 27.2 million blogs.
The blogosphere doubles every 5.5 months.
The blogosphere is over 60 times larger than it was 3 years ago.
Over 75,000 new blogs are started every day.

This confirms what I've believed for some time. Blogging is hip, and bloggers are the coolest people on the planet.

3) I'm always happy when I discover a pastor who blogs. H. B. Charles, Jr. is the senior pastor of Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church, a dynamic, growing congregation in Los Angeles. While surfing the church website, I discovered that Pastor Charles has his own weblog. As I read his entries, I discovered a lot about him personally. He shares his sermon outlines, discusses how his physical health impacts his preaching (a topic preachers don't talk about much), and gives updates on church life. But the one thing that shines through mostly clearly is that Pastor Charles loves to preach the Word. Most of his entries revolve around his preparation for his messages. Here is a weblog put to very good use. People who read it get to know the pastor in a personal way, even if he is Los Angeles and the reader is in northeast Mississippi. It's a long way from Tupelo to Los Angeles, but a weblog flattens the world, which is the point Thomas Friedman was making in his book.

You can reach the author at  ray@keepbelieving.com. Click here to sign up for the free weekly email sermon.