Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Ashley Madison doesn't live in Washington, Indiana.

Ashley Madison doesn't live in Washington, Indiana
by: Christopher Wiles

Many of you have just the same amount of knowledge concerning Ashley Madison as my wife and I had last week.  "Ashley who?" is the question we asked when the name of an affair driven website was brought to us.  Sadly, some of you reading this now may be already too acquainted with this horrendous website that has been all over the national news.  My wife and I would be happy to support you in prayer and counsel if you're already struggling with it.  If you don't know anything about the Ashley Madison website, why don't you sit back for a minute and let me fill you in on what I've learned about Ashley Madison and why it makes me very proud of the city of Washington, IN.

 I was introduced to the Ashley Madison idea after ministry friends of mine posted news articles about it on their Facebook news feed.  It turns out that Ashley Madison is a website that specializes in facilitating marriage affairs. My wife heard about it through friends of FB as well.  Business Insider describes the website this way, "One of the best-known cheating sites is Ashley Madison."  When I do a search on Ashley Madison through Google, this is the text of the advertisement that comes up first in my list.  "The Original Extramarital Affairs Site. As Seen On Dr. Phil & Ellen."  It's so widely used that one Yahoo news report shows that only three zip codes in the US don't have Ashley Madison accounts.  How do we know where AM user accounts live?

THE CHEATERS GOT CHEATED ON.  Yes, Ashley Madison was hacked and something to the tune of 32 million users' information has been made available on the web.  The hacked and leaked information is not easy for the average web user like me to view but there are a couple of sites that give you a smidgen of access to this enormous database that contains usernames, emails, and financial data.  The one that worked well for me was,, which allowed me to search email addresses to see if they were registered in the database.  I searched all the email addresses that I regularly send email to, and all came back clear. (Whew, I'm glad I don't have to have any of those one-on-one conversations at church!)  There is also this google map that displays the physical location of Ashley Madison accounts: ASHLEY MADISON GOOGLE MAP.

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR WASHINGTON, IN. After searching the Google Map for the zip code 47501, I was excited to see that Washington, Indiana has no presence on the Ashley Madison Hack database.  Elnora, Otwell, Bruceville, Vincennes, Cannelburg, Shoals, Loogootee, and more have been revealed by the hack to have accounts set up on the Ashley Madison website.  Wahoo!  Congratulations Washington on being Ashley Madison hacked accounts free!  
Click the image to view a larger version.

WHAT THIS DOESN'T MEAN.  It doesn't mean that our city is AM free though.  The Ashley Madison website boasts nearly 40 million user profiles.  If 32 million user profiles have been hacked, then there is still 20% of the accounts that haven't been exposed yet.  It could be that Washington still has Ashley Madison accounts.  It also doesn't mean we don't have cheaters, liars, drunkards, and all sorts of other people who accept, condone, and participate in sin that is very obviously condemned in the Bible.  We're not a perfect community, so there's still a lot of work for us to do!

WHY DOES IT MATTER TO ME?  I support families (including my own) by watching out for them and then educating them to watch out for themselves.  Back in the days of MySpace, I was serving for five years as a youth minister in Franklin, TN.  One set of parents in our church knew that they were struggling to keep up with the fast paced technology that their teenagers were getting into.  After hearing their plea for help, my wife and I agreed to help watch their kiddos on MySpace and alert the parents if anything "bad" was going on.  We also helped educate them on how emerging social media worked.  Many parents worry about their kids' online relationships (especially when sexual predator videos such as this one are released) but are at a loss following the various emerging technology that gives people access to relationships with their children.  My wife and I have spent years being an extra set of "eyes" on the internet for parents and friends as well as a resource for technology education.  

Does it worry you that a preacher and
his wife might see your "booty call"
profile on Tinder?
(The "booty call" app is what one of
our elder's wives calls Tinder!)
No, we don't operate as morality police.  We like to think of ourselves as part of a "Neighborhood Net Watch" (yes, I came up with that based on the old Neighborhood Watch system), a group that watches out for the local community on the internet and reports potentially dangerous situations.  In fact, I've talked with our local police detective about GPS app vulnerability in our area.  I've also had lunch with our police chief about creating a formalized "Neighborhood Net Watch" to help in watching our local network as the GPS based social media apps continue to invade the safety and privacy of our homes.  Yes, I do have Yik Yak, Tinder, and Erodr accounts with accompanying full accountability and knowledge of them by my wife and the Washington Police Chief.  I also make sure people know who I am and what I'm about on those apps.  We do all this in hopes of supporting our community families.  (p.s. Do you know of a GPS based social media app I don't know about yet?  Send it to me in the comments below so that I can make parents more aware of what safety issues are lurking on their family phones.)  (p.p.s. Are you interested in helping monitor our community on GPS based apps through a formalized "Neighborhood Net Watch"?  If you've got a smart phone, a desire to help our community, a clean background check, and good accountability from your spouse, send me a message!)

If you:
  • Are Concerned About Your Marriage - If you previously have had a reason to be concerned about your own marriage, or you are an accountable community leader with decent conflict resolution skills, go do an email search of the Ashley Madison Hack by clicking here: 
  • Are Concerned About Your Community - If you want to see how your community is represented on the Ashley Madison Google Map, then go here: ASHLEY MADISON GOOGLE MAP
  • Found Someone with a profile on Ashley Madison - Then take a few minutes to calm down before you TALK TO THEM.  Yes, I said TALK TO THEM.  "If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over." - Matthew 18:15
    • Don't text them or FB message them.  
    • Don't post it on social media.  
    • Don't talk to anyone else, except for perhaps a close confidant who will pray with you and give you advice before YOU handle this with the person you found.  "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel." - Proverbs 12:15
    • PRAY.  Consider even praying and fasting while seeking scriptural guidance, because you need the wisdom of God in this one.  "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you." - James 1:5
    • Talk to that person face-to-face if at all possible.  If it isn't possible to see them face-to-face, then handle it directly with them via phone (voicemail doesn't count as a good way to handle conflict).  
    • When you do speak with that person, ASK QUESTIONS (Jesus did it a lot to handle conflict), rather than make statements.  Don't try to build traps with your questions, just come right out and say, "John Doe, I really care about you and our relationship as friends/wife/husband, which is why I want to ask you a question.  Will you tell me about your profile on the Ashley Madison website?"  Then wait for their response and ask more questions.  
    • Remember to be gently correct them because you don't want to ruin a relationship by sinful anger yourself.  "Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted." - Galatians 6:1
  •  Want educate others with this little bit of wisdom, tell them:
    • There is no real privacy on the internet.  EVERYTHING YOU DO ON THE INTERNET IS SAVED SOMEWHERE!  This makes sense when you stop to think about what the internet really is.  It is a collection of computers all connected together.  Every time you view a webpage, you are downloading information from another computer to your own, where it is stored for your web browser to translate it into visual images and text you can understand.  
      • Do you really think SnapChat doesn't have record of anything you've sent?  Check out this statement in their terms of service. "The Snapchat Privacy Policy is incorporated into these Terms. By accepting these Terms, you agree to the collection, use, and sharing of your information through the Services in accordance with the Privacy Policy." -
      • Do you really think those "discreet" relationships on Ashley Madison are private?  Why then do they have this disclaimer in the fine print? “We cannot ensure the security or privacy of information you provide through the Internet.” -
      • There is no real privacy on the internet!
  • Want to make the world a better place by being a visible deterrent and reporting presence online, then contact me.  Let's talk about this "Neighborhood Net Watch" idea or maybe an idea you have for something even better.  
  • Want to pray for your community, then have faith and hope in these words. "13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him,anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working." - James 5:13-16

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Living Lesson: The Plight of Performance

Living Lessons: The Plight of Performance
By: Christopher Wiles
    Our Wednesday Night Meals have been a lot of fun over the summer.  We've enjoyed good food, good fellowship, and good encouragement from various church members focused on the fruit of the Spirit.  Different people have tried their hands planning the meals with a lot of success.  Last night was the men's night, which featured Bill Dawson and Scott Schnarr's impressive grilling skills, but those skills led to a problem.
     The men were given the highest compliment possible when the women said, "You guys should be in charge of the menu every week!"  What followed soon after were man rumblings such as, "Uh oh!  Maybe we should NOT have done such a good job!"
     I'll be the first to admit, over the years my wife has grown to be 100 times better at planning meals and cooking than I am.  I found that out two years ago when I committed to planning the meals every single Friday for our family.  The result was that I produced some awesome meals . . . about once every three months.  Many of the others turned into, "What new and unhealthy topping can I add to make these pancakes seem different from last week?"  My cooking skills fit better with the old country song lyrics, "I ain't as good as I once was, but I'm as good once as I ever once."  Yup, I'm good for a meal every now and then, but on a regular basis, my wife is hands down better than me.   
     Which leads to the dilemma at hand, which is a problem many Christians struggle with in many facets of life.  Do we UNDER perform so that we aren't asked to take more responsibility than we can handle.  Seriously, I know people who take this approach.  Don't want to do something to help your husband at his job?  Just intentionally mess it up by "accidentally" wiping his email server and you won't get asked to help again.  Don't want to have to clean the house?  Do such a poor job washing windows that your wife takes the broom (why were you washing windows with a broom?) from your hand and escorts you out of the house in disgust.  Don't want to speak at church?  Just throw in some passing comments about your intention to handle snakes and it's guaranteed you won't be asked to clip on that lapel mic again. 
    To answer our question, let's consult what the Spirit inspired Paul  to say about the effort we put into our daily activities.   "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters." (Colossians 3:23)   Ouch, maybe our intentional ineptitude doesn't quite fit with Paul's ideas.  Could it be that cooking food, cleaning house, and managing emails could be work done for the Lord instead of human masters?  You better believe it.  Wise old Solomon said much the same in Ecclesiastes 9:10, "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom."
    The answer is a resounding NO.  Christians, we do not intentionally "tank" anything.  For every effort, work as to the Lord, knowing that you may not have that chance again this side of the grave.  Do your best in everything you can.  Oh, and when the church ladies say, "Maybe you should plan the meals every  week", you can quote the best excuses of the Bible by saying, "I now have a wife, so I can't come," (Luke 14:20) (and potentially get slapped) or simply and graciously be man enough to say, "Thanks for the compliment, but I just can't."

Upcoming Wednesday Meal:  Our last meal will be a Fish Fry with hush puppies at 6:30pm, with family devotionals/kids classes to follow.  Feel free to bring a side item, drink, or dessert.  We hope you can make it!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Honduras Debriefing: The Baxter Institute

Honduras Debriefing: The Baxter Institute
By: Christopher Wiles
     Filtered Water, gated dormitories, mango trees, and a ping-pong table; what’s not to like for the American missionary?  This year we spent 4 nights in Guajire and 5 nights in a new and different location in an effort to stay closer to the many places that we are involved in ministry.  Baxter Institute is situated in the middle of Tegucigalpa, 1 mile from the airport, 2 miles from the school for the blind, and only a 45 minute drive from the remote mountain region of Guajire.   
     What impressed us more than the amenities and security of our new mission home, was the amount of ministries they participate in to honor God.  As well as providing full service hosting for foreign mission teams like us, the Baxter Institute offers the following:  an onsite clinic that sees over 10,000 patients a year; a four year degree program training missionaries, preachers, teachers, and leaders for the church of Christ in the Spanish speaking world; daily chapel offering God’s Word to anyone on the 13 acre campus; and housing for students and married couples.  

     We felt very safe and secure at the Baxter Institute yet at the same time we experienced the freedom to extend our arms into other areas of ministry and service in Honduras.  The President of Baxter Institute, Dr. Steve Teel, was very personable, helpful, capable, and had a genuine care for the people of Honduras, the mission teams, and the students at Baxter Institute. Yet one of the best thoughts I have concerning Baxter, was that a person could feel connected there.  As you meet other mission teams, nurses, security guards, office administration, teachers, kids, or students at Baxter, you begin to understand that you are a part of something bigger. You're a part of God's redemptive work in this world.  You're a part of His mission.

     You can find out more about Baxter Institute, how to help, watch baptisms, enjoy singing, and find out how to be involved with the mission of Christ to change the world by following these links:

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” – Matthew 28:19-20

You can see all of the 2015 Mission trip photos on this site:

To see a listing of my posts only about Honduras Missions, CLICK HERE