I do more and more reading on the Internet. I like to start the day with the news, just scanning the headlines and reading the interesting stories - usatoday.com; ajc.com, nytimes.com, news.bbc.co.uk, and foxnews.com.
The BBC site is by far the most informative on international news. (In fact, sometimes has unique insight into American news stories.) The USA Today and NY Times sites are the best on national news. In the AJC you can read that Bobby Cox just set the record for most times a manager has been ejected from a ball game - good to know. I check on the Fox news site too, just to see if "conservative" media has some unique insight, usually not.
There is also a place that has great coverage of news that relates to Christianity: christianheadlines.com. The home page lists the main topics: headlines, court news, intelligent design, opinion (good piece today by Janice Crouse, who was my speech professor at Asbury College), politics, religious persecution and more. There are several stories under each caption. Scroll down to the bottom for "Today's Creation Moment," a 60-second audio clip that is usually very interesting.
What if instead or reading news you want to do some research on a Biblical passage? There are two sites at the top of the list. The first is biblegateway.com. Just follow the instructions on the home page and soon you will have available 21 English translations of the Bible. This is also where you can look up passages by a key word, which can be very useful if you can remember the passage but not the reference.
The other great Bible research site is textweek.com. The home page lists the lectionary scriptures for the week. The "lectionary" is the Bible preaching plan used by most liturgical churches - Catholics, Episcopalians, etc. Don't let this discourage you.
From the top of the home page click on the "scripture index" and you will be able to research the passage you seek. This site is full of links to commentaries, articles, sermons, children's sermons, hymn suggestions, drama possibilities, art work and more. It is a great place to do research.
I think the Internet is comparable to nuclear power. A nuclear power plant can generate electricity to give power to several states, or the radioactive materials can be turned into the most destructive weapons in history. The Internet also has great potential for good or evil. Hopefully someday the government will find a way to regulate the Internet so that the evil can be contained. But even now, the Internet is a wonderful way to keep informed about the world and do research. Here is another site worth checking out: prairiehome.publicradio.org. From the home page scroll down until you find the "joke of the day." Read; then click on "more jokes." You will find loads of stuff that will make you popular at work. (By the way, all of these sites are free, although some of the links may not be, to read the newspapers you will be asked to register your name and e-mail address.)
John Donaldson is the pastor at Newborn & Mansfield UMC. Send e-mail to