Happy Birthday, Jon Swanson!

Posted by Connie Reece on July 10, 2020 at 12:13 am

Every now and then when you connect the dots something extra special transpires. For me, it was connecting with Jon Swanson, and it happened one day when Chris Brogan posted a link to a video on Jon’s blog, Levite Chronicles.

I started reading the blog, exchanged a few comments with Jon, then e-mails, and then I became Twitter friends with the Rev. Dr. Jon Swanson. He doesn’t use either of those titles, by the way — although he’s earned them — and that’s typical Swanson style. Devoid of pretension, Jon is an Everyday Hero, a community builder (online and off) who happens to be a father, husband, pastor, blogger, vlogger and all-around digital media dude.

Consider this short exchange from Twitter, an asynchronous digital conversation that connected 5 people from 5 cities — Jon is from Ft. Wayne, IN; I’m in Austin, TX; David Armano lives in the Chicago area; Drew is from Des Moines; and Chris Cree is way down south in Savannah.

conniereece: at the keyboards ready to rock & roll. Thinking I’m getting way too old for contemporary church music :-)

armano: @conniereece does the pastor know you are twittering from church? ;-) 09:10 AM July 08, 2020

jnswanson @conniereece twittering from the church building? who would dare?….oh wait. never mind. (from my office at church)

conniereece @armano - my pastor doesn’t know I’m twittering from church but @jnswanson does & I’m pretty sure he told God on me :)

ChrisCree is laughing uncontrollably @conniereece!

DrewMcLellan @ConnieReece — God just called me and He wants to have a little word with you. You are in TROUBLE!

conniereece @DrewMcLellan - would not be the first time I’ve been in trouble with the almighty! that’s what’s forgiveness is for. :-)

Communications online can be light-hearted, like the above, or serious, like this post of Jon’s, which is one of my favorites. (Worth a read even if you usually avoid anything that smacks of “religion.” For the record, I do too; authentic faith, however, is a different matter. Jon, as they say, is the real deal.)

All this is a preface to say that when Chris Brogan and Becky McCray e-mailed to enlist my help in commemorating Jon’s birthday — well, you can see how I couldn’t resist joining the celebration.

And I invite you to join the fun as well. Leave a comment below; this page will become an archive, like a birthday scrapbook. If you’re on Twitter, DM a personal greeting to twitter.com/jnswanson. If you post a video or audio greeting on your blog (hint: really good idea), please link to it in the comments below so we’ll have a permanent record of it.

Happy Birthday, Jon. Hope you like chocolate!



birthday cake

Category: Public Relations

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Comment by Chris Brogan

Made July 10, 2020 at 12:17 am

Super happy birthday to Jon! I hope he has an amazing day today. And I love chocolate cake, so if he doesn’t, may I have Jon’s piece? : )

Comment by Laura Athavale Fitton

Made July 10, 2020 at 12:21 am

Hmmm, chooooocolate. Jon, if you don’t mind sharing your cake with strangers, aka friends of friends, send at least a couple pieces to the northeast? Happy Birthday!

Comment by Justin Kownacki

Made July 10, 2020 at 12:33 am

Happy birthday, Jon. To have as profound an impact as you’ve had one Chris Brogan — who’s become a mentor and community hub for so many passionate people — you must be a pretty amazing live wire yourself. Whatever’s working for you, keep it up!

Comment by Cathryn Hrudicka, Chief Imagination Officer

Made July 10, 2020 at 12:33 am

Dr. Rev. Jon Swanson,

Happy Birthday!!! Thank you for adding me as a friend on Twitter, too. That chocolate cake of yours looks and virtually tastes delicious. I’m sure you deserve every tasty morsel of it. I look forward to getting to know you better, and if we’re lucky, we’ll have a TweetUp in Texas or the San Francisco Bay Area one of these days.

Cheers and enjoy yourself-

Cathryn Hrudicka/Creative Sage(tm)

Comment by Susan Reynolds

Made July 10, 2020 at 1:05 am

What a great tribute to an inspirational man. Happy birthday Jon. And can I get that cake shipped to DC?

Comment by Rob

Made July 10, 2020 at 6:36 am

Happy Birthday my friend. Have a wonderful day. God bless.

Comment by Chris Cree

Made July 10, 2020 at 6:42 am

I’m feeling like I’m late to the party! Happy Birthday Jon! (Is that a chocolate cake?! Mmmmm… Yummy! Perfect with my coffee this morning.)

Comment by C.C. Chapman

Made July 10, 2020 at 9:20 am

A very happy birthday! Mayor Brogan speaks so highly of you that i hope it’s a great birthday!

Comment by Ann

Made July 10, 2020 at 9:36 am

Yummmm..did someone say cake? Happy Birthday Jon! It seems that you have a champion in your corner in Mr. Brogan. I am happy to be part of the cheering crowd celebrating your special day.

Comment by Kait Swanson

Made July 10, 2020 at 12:57 pm

Happy Birthday from a new Twitter friend! Glad to share this “frozen dinner” last name with a guy who writes things like “He held parties for lost sheep…” :) Hope you have a great day!

Comment by Brenda Thompson

Made July 10, 2020 at 2:26 pm

Have an insanely great birthday!

Comment by Chris Brogan...

Made July 10, 2020 at 4:30 pm

Wow, what a swell bunch of people came by for the cake. : ) I hope there’s some left. After my day, I want seconds. : )

Comment by Erica

Made July 10, 2020 at 4:41 pm

Happy Birthday Jon!

Comment by Jon Swanson

Made July 10, 2020 at 4:42 pm

I’m sitting with 400 people, a handful of whom know it’s my birthday. And that is fine. But I have had a tremendous number of birthday greetings from Chris and Connie and friends. What a delightful party this has been, all the better because no one had to buy cake! (although it has been purchased with time and affection).

thank you all.

Comment by Locobone

Made July 10, 2020 at 4:52 pm


On this day I’m reminded of an old Russian proverb my great Grandfather once told me (or maybe it was the homeless guy in front of me at the Sbarro off the Garden State Parkway in Paramus, NJ…my memory is a little fuzzy).


May all your gifts be large.

May your birthday pinata be stuffed with the finest candies (smarties, lemonheads, etc.)

May your candles all be blowoutable.

May all your noise makers make noise.

May all your cakes be chocolaty.

Happy Birthday!

Comment by Goldie Katsu

Made July 10, 2020 at 6:06 pm

Happy Birthday Jon!

Comment by Becky McCray

Made July 10, 2020 at 7:30 pm

Hey, do you smell cake? Oh! It’s a party for Jon Swanson! Sweet! Pass a slice of that cake!

Happy birthday to a terrific thinker, writer, encourager, cheerleader, and the original entrepreneurial chicken. It takes a superstar to motivate such a torrent of love and affection.

Comment by Ontario Emperor

Made December 2, 2020 at 4:15 pm

Got here from a @shawnz tweet today (linked).

Frankly, I believe that tweeting in church is a good evangelistic tool. I can picture the Apostle Paul tweeting in Athens.

I also liked the serious article about lost sheep.

Comment by Steph Cakes

Made June 21, 2020 at 10:44 am

Happy Birthday Jon! I love chocolate cake and going to make me one right now. We will toast to you when we eat it!

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