Social Network Numbers in 2014

What are the social network numbers in 2014? Just how many people are using Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, and more?

The social network numbers are staggering. There are 7.2 billion people on planet Earth – the top 21 social networks have a combined 5.7 billion user profiles. More than a third of the world population now has access to the internet.

Some people still argue that Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and the other top networks are huge time wasters. Maybe so. But the numbers tell a story. To dismiss social networking as irrelevant feels similar to the great Yogi Berra quote: “No one goes to that restaurant anymore because it’s too crowded.”

Whether you join a network because it’s the newest craze, to connect with old and new friends, to entertain, to be entertained, to market and sell, to buy – or some combination that includes other reasons, here is what is happening in the universe of social networks in 2014.

social network usage in 2014

Created by Jeremy Waite, head of social strategy at Adobe. For more analysis click here.

A Prayer for When You Feel Overwhelmed

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

—1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV

God of Strength,

I am not handling all that I am facing very well at the moment. I feel there is too much to be done and too little of me to do it. I am falling behind. I feel like an excessive burden is always on my shoulders. There is so much to be done that I’m not accomplishing much of anything.

First of all, I pray that you help me look at my life realistically and remove some unimportant tasks. Help me to simplify appropriately. Second, I pray that you would give me a spirit that is willing to accept challenges and work hard to meet them. If my work ethic is not where it should be, I ask for more determination and resolve.

If I am in trouble because I procrastinate help me to get busy now. I pray also that you will bring people into my life that will help me shoulder the load. Strengthen me in every area of my life so that the tasks before me don’t feel so heavy and simply aren’t as hard.

But most of all I pray that you would be my helper. I pray that in every task I would be aware of your presence. Help me understand that you will not allow more to come into my life than I can handle.

I pray this in the strong name of Jesus – Amen


To be grateful is to recognize the love of God in everything He has given us—and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him.

— Thomas Merton

a prayer for a job promotion is from God's Help For Your Every Need, written by Mark Gilroy, published by Howard Books.From God’s Help by Mark Gilroy Published by Howard Books (Simon and Schuster), 2012

Convictions and Civility – How to Have Strong Beliefs and Get Along With Others

Convictions and Civility combine to create Communication.

How do you engage in disagreement?

Convictions and civility.

I wish I could take credit for what I called the 5 Cs of Engagement with my kids as they grew up. I wanted them to hold firmly to their beliefs (convictions) but do so in such a way that they could communicate effectively and get along well with others (civility).

I picked up the concept – and have probably butchered it to some degree – from Martin Marty’s hard-to-find little book, By Way of Response, published in 1981.

In today’s political landscape I am reminded that the 5 Cs of Engagement aren’t just a lesson to try to impart to my kids, but a reminder of what I need to season my interaction with in a world where many people don’t believe the same way I do.

Here’s how simple it is. But be warned, putting it into practice is much harder.

Convictions without civility lead to conflict.

Civility without convictions leads to personal compromise.

Convictions and civility lead to communication.

Does that guarantee true dialog, mutual respect and understanding, and a fair hearing for all? Probably not in today’s climate of political, cultural, and religious debate where straw men are erected and slain; ad hominem attacks (attacking the person, not debating the idea) are flung capriciously; false dichotomies, half-truths, ad ignorantiam (taking advantage of people’s ignorance of a topic), and a host of other logical fallacies are the rule, not the exception. Maybe worse, is the move to preemptively silence opinions and arguments before they are even spoken with a priori claims that the uttering of the thought is illegal or immoral – usually by setting up a false dichotomy or straw man.

But ultimately, we are only responsible for our own conduct in handling debate and disagreement.

In the words of the Apostle Paul: “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12:18, NIV).


Every Breath You Take Reviews and Stars

Every Breath You Take reviews and ratings and reader comments continue to roll in. I’ve updated a quick highlight of what people like about the book and Detective Kristen Conner. Just in case you miss it, there are now 60 5-star ratings – and yes, there are four 1-star ratings, so a few people really don’t like it. I hope you enjoy!

Just a reminder, Cold As Ice hits the market on October 28, 2014!

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Reflections of a Serial Killer

Kristen Conner has moved on to other cases, but the serial killer she put away in Cuts Like a Knife is still thinking about her … the Shark lives.

The Cutter Shark is a serial killer that haunts Detective Kristen Conner in the M.K. Gilroy novels.

The Serial Killer

In the first Detective Kristen Conner suspense thriller, Cuts Like a Knife, Kristen comes face-to-face with a serial killer that the Chicago press dubbed, The Cutter Shark. The Shark is now a resident of the Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Chicago where he remains silent no matter how many hours a day FBI agents interrogate him.

He is on the 27th floor, which houses the most dangerous criminals. His cell has a slit window that is 5 inches wide and 7 feet high. Conner has moved on to other murder cases in Every Breath You Take and Cold As Ice, but the Cutter Shark’s thoughts remain on Kristen.

For those that have read Cuts Like a Knife and Every Breath You Take, the following feature with the Cutter Shark will be a treat. For those who haven’t yet read the novels, you might want to skip this as it contains a big spoiler: the identity of the serial killer. Wondering who he is has been a big part of the reading pleasure for many mystery-suspense fans!