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Aaron Tabor
"Jesus Daily"

Christian Doctor Behind Facebook's Most Popular Religious Page Divides His Life Between 'Jesus and Drugs'

 By Nicola Menzie, Christian Post

  The Texas doctor and son of an Independent Baptist preacher who created one of Facebook's most-active fan pages dedicated to promoting Christian messages and encouraging the faithful worldwide has described his life as falling into two compartments: Jesus and drugs.
Aaron Tabor, 44, emphasized to CP when he noted that he divides his life between Jesus and drugs that he wasn't referencing the Jesus Movement and the experimental drug craze that marked the 1960s.

  "The Jesus part is working through the digital media to spread the Gospel, and the drug part is through my nutrition, skin care, and drug development work," explained Tabor, who lives outside of Dallas.

  He went on to describe a motivational marker that he keeps in his office.
  "I have a sign above my desk that says 'cure the world, save the world.' So a lot of my approach to spreading the Gospel is to try to minister to people physically and emotionally, as Christ did. As humans, we can't really separate...if we're in physical or emotional pain, we can't separate that from our spiritual nature long enough to consider a personal relationship with Jesus," said Tabor.

  "Christ would often go and heal people or feed them and take care of their immediate physical need and that would prepare them to accept Him as savior spiritually. So my hope is that, through the development of the drugs and skin care and the better health, taking better care of our temples, that opens up doors for me to spread the Gospel that way. 'Cure the world, save the world," he added, "thus, Jesus and drugs."

  If Tabor isn't focused on drugs — he's a gene therapy researcher "trying to develop gene-based drugs that help people with wound healing" — he's nurturing and growing the Jesus Daily Facebook page, home to more than 27 million followers, and counting.

  Jesus Daily attracts tens of thousands of new followers every month from around the world, and they have consistently made the Facebook page, for years now, the most popular Church/Religious Organization page on the social network. Jesus Daily was supplemented with a website over the summer, and features much of the same usual fare that can be found on the Facebook page — cute cat and kiddy videos, inspiring stories, motivational memos, brief Bible passages, and illustrated invitations to follow Jesus, to let Jesus into your heart, or to make Jesus your king.

  But his dedication to the brand is about encouraging Christians, said Tabor. He insisted that his main motivation with the viral content that is the bread and butter of the Jesus Daily trademark is to spread the Good News of Salvation in Jesus Christ.

  According to a self-described good friend of Tabor's who also helps provide brief Bible lessons for the Jesus Daily community, the unmarried doctor and middle child is the real deal.

  "I know Aaron's heart for the Lord and I respect him greatly," Marilyn Adamson told CP. Adamson is director of the seeker-friendly Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) website, Every Student.

  "I think Aaron, his motivation in building that page was to encourage believers in their faith and also to engage with people that have questions about Jesus. He's a very...Aaron's very, very smart and he's been very diligent and faithful to post things on the page. He's built it to the number of millions that are there because he's worked really hard at it," she added.

  "He's also a doctor, an author, I don't know how the guy does so much," Adamson said, punctuating the remark with laughter. "He's an amazing person in his productivity and in his heart for the Lord. It's just impressive how humble he is and how focused he is on wanting people to know Jesus."

  Tabor, who has kept the Jesus Daily page successful for the past five years, appears well attuned to the latest Facebook, social media, and digital trends.

  During his interview with CP, the doctor revealed his plans to soon launch an online church — a website where anyone from around the world with the tech capabilities can log on and watch sermons from some of the "best teachers and preachers" in Christianity. As Tabor explained it, his goal was to help believers or seekers who live in restrictive societies or who have difficult schedules access Christian teachings on their own time. He also noted that there would be training.

  "(We) Just hope to be able to encourage people and keep them discipled and eventually start training people to be home pastors and teachers as well [as provide access] in many areas of the world where it's dangerous to openly operate a church or too expensive to build one," Tabor explained.

  "So we don't plan to have a specific church building, but we do want to bring in the best teachers and preachers in the world to encourage people in their faith and encourage them to go out and do more of what Christ told us to do, and to love like Jesus," he added.

  Tabor, who has Facebook pages for his businesses as well as a personal account, shared with CP a few details about his life not shared in previous interviews. He also gave a special message for the 27 million followers linked into the Jesus Daily Facebook, most of whom live in the United States and the Philippines.

  In the transcript below, Dr. Tabor answers questions about his faith and family and shares observations about what he thinks makes Jesus Daily so successful. The transcript has been edited for clarity.

Q: How do you describe your faith? It's difficult to tell from the Jesus Daily Facebook page, not that it matters, which particular tradition you're coming from.

  Tabor: That's an interesting question. My dad is an ordained Independent Baptist preacher and with such a global site as Jesus Daily with the various denominations, instead of getting caught up in minor theological differences, I really try to get everyone to focus on a personal relationship with Jesus because that's where we find our common ground. When Jesus says in John 14:6 that he's the way to heaven, that's something we can all agree on, right?

  I think that formula's been the success of the page in general because, when the page was started, there were a lot of pages about the Bible but there was little to nothing about having this great personal relationship with Jesus. I think that's refreshing to a lot of people. A lot of feedback we get involves that.

Q: What do you think makes Jesus Daily
so popular?

  Tabor: Well, you know, we look at the comments and just having a good feel of it for five and a half years-plus working with it now, people like that they can have a personal relationship with God and the mind-blowing fact that God came in flesh to express His love for us and that Christ is here when He said come unto Me ye who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28).
  Fans can be reminded on a daily basis of that. Hey, if you have health problems, if you have financial problems, if you have relationship problems, if you need guidance for your life and career, that Christ promised to be there for us to help us. That's a big reason the page is popular — we're simply reminding people that that's what Christ said and that we can ask Him for the guidance and for that comfort and receive it.

Q: You mentioned that you live in Texas. Were you born and raised there?

  Tabor: No, I was born and raised outside of Huntsville, Alabama, in a very small town called Owens Cross Roads. We were blessed to be dirt-poor while my dad went through seminary, so that's given me a really good perspective. From gardening, right? (Laughs) — In second grade having to pick green beans before I could go to school that morning, so that (built up) a really great work ethic. I was blessed with extremely wonderful parents who are still alive and in good health. My dad's an ordained Independent Baptist minister.

  After that, my parents were lobbyists in the state of Alabama against the teaching of Evolution, at least calling for a balanced presentation of Creation. We moved from there when I was 16 to North Carolina just for a better Christian school system.
  From there, I went to Wake Forest undergrad and then was blessed to get into the John Hopkins University School of Medicine, which gave me a really excellent background in medical research. [Of course] they're focused on excellence in clinical research and innovation.
  A lot of those techniques I learned in the medical research field, I simply applied to the Jesus Daily page, in terms of, for example, testing different times of day of posting Christ facing this way versus that way, etcetera and on and on. I treated the page as I would a medical clinical trial. I think what we learned from that has really been priceless in terms of keeping our engagement high in order to continue to spread the Gospel.

Q: Are you married or single? How old are you? Do you have children, siblings…?

  Tabor: I'm unmarried, 44, and just waiting for God to send the right one. I'm the pathological middle child (Laughs). I'm a good psychopath, I'd say. My older brother's married with children and my younger brother is married with one child, too. So, I've got plenty of nieces and nephews to have fun with in the meantime. I divide my life into two bins: Jesus and drugs. The Jesus part is working through the digital media to spread the Gospel and the drug part is through my nutrition, skin care and drug development work.

Q: I know you grew up in a religious household. Do you have your
own personal salvation story?

  Tabor: I was blessed to be raised in a Christian household. My mother lead me to the Lord, then I was able to be baptized at a later date by my father. So I had a very clear understanding at a very early age of our sin nature and our need for a (savior). ... We were such rambunctious kids that I learned very early on that I was not going to be able work my way to heaven and that simply was not possible and contradicted Ephesians 2:8 and 9, you know, that salvation is not from good works. I was very blessed to have Christian parents who nurtured us.

Q: You seem to pull from the Scriptures
quite readily and with ease. Have you ever trained for ministry at all?

  Tabor: A lot of people ask me if I'm a pastor. No, I'm not. My dad is an ordained Baptist pastor. But who knows? Maybe I'll go to seminary one day. Right now, I'm so busy with drug development and with the Jesus Daily page itself… Growing up as a pastor's son, we've been — my mother and dad and (in particular) brothers were making sure we were studying and reading our Bible and doing a lot of Scripture memorization. So it's been very easy to have a very solid foundation for my faith and my own continued spiritual growth. That's where that comes from, just from having great parents who kept us in the Word.

Q: It seems that most of the followers of the Jesus Daily Facebook are based in the
United States. Then the second-highest region is the Philippines.

  Tabor: It's really interesting with the Philippines and also with India… the Philippines is just really on fire for God. About half the country is on Facebook, and about one out of every six people in the Philippines on Facebook is a fan of Jesus Daily. There's no one in the Philippines that doesn't have a friend that is a member of Jesus Daily. Through the liking, commenting, and sharing we're pushing the Gospel out to essentially all of the Facebook-connected world of the Philippines.

  India will be Facebook's number one country. Facebook will have the most number of people...hundreds of millions of people have rejected the ban. We plan to be there sharing that Jesus is the true God. India has about 33 million gods, so being polytheists, they're very open and welcome to accepting Christ as God. Then, through discipleship, our intent is to educate them that Christ claimed to be the only true way to heaven. Both the Philippines and Indians are wonderful people, wonderful cultures. It's just really refreshing to work with them in their countries even though it's digital and I'm not physically there.

  It's been a real blessing to learn so much about cultures everywhere, on every continent. It's amazing to see someone in the Philippines requesting prayer for cancer, and then see someone from Nigeria replying to say, "Hey, I'm praying for you." It gives you a sense of how the Body of Christ can be connected globally in a way that's never before been possible. We get direct feedback from people say in a small town near Cape Town in South Africa: "Hey, I thought I was the only Christian in my city. But when I joined Jesus Daily, I found out that 20 of my friends are already members."

  So it's helping people in the U.S. and abroad recognize they're Christians. The workplace, for example, people will sit side-by-side in a cubicle for 20 years and they'll [never] know that each other are Christians. They get connected on Jesus Daily...Facebook has this wonderful feature, they'll show you what other friends are connected on that page. I believe it's opening up dialogues among local Christians and hopefully strengthening their faith and their ability to go out and spread the Gospel together or go to church with each other, (and) to have Bible studies with each other as well.
  I think connecting that body of believers and not making it where it's a bad thing to invite someone to attend church at your workplace for risk of offending them when you know that they're all ready a member of the Jesus Daily page. I think some of those barriers are removed.

Q: Do you have a personal message at all to the millions who follow the page?

  Tabor: I would really encourage people to be bold for Christ. So often...when I first started the page, it was almost embarrassing to share it in front of my intellectual colleagues. But over time, the more I have stood up for Christ and the more I have spread the Gospel, I have had the most amazing amount of blessings the past five and a half years, and connections come to me more than I could have ever imagined or planned.
  Yet, at the same time, as is promised in the Scriptures, also the most struggles come. Because when you're living for Christ, we're not promised a life of health and wealth, right? We're promised that we will be attacked. But through that, you can view through those trials and tribulations, that it's God's direct calling on your life to bring you closer to Him. And when you combine those blessings with the tribulations that bring you closer to Jesus, it's a wonderful life.

~ from christianpost.com ~

 

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AARON TABOR, MD
"Jesus Daily: 365 Interactive Devotions"


Retail Price: $16.00
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Based on major themes found on the most active Facebook page in history, this 365-day devotional goes beyond fan frenzy to create a deeper experience and cultural movement that celebrates your redemption in Christ. Each day you'll be challenged to respond to an inspirational reflection by using a variety of social media tools. 400 pages,
hardcover from Faithwords.

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