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When it comes to backing up data, I want to make sure I have a plan. So when I got my new Macbook Air, I decided to add a new backup device at home. After evaluating several options, I decided to go with a Western Digital My Book Live 2 terabyte network drive. The great thing about a network drive is accessibility. I can access files on it from any computer in the house. Western Digital also has Android and iOS apps to allow you to download files or view pictures on your mobile devices.

The only negative about this unit is that it only has a single drive. The dual drive systems offer better protection against hard drive failure, but come at a much greater cost. Now if I can just figure out how to organize all my digital photos from the last ten years. That’s my next big challenge to tackle.

It hooks up with an ethernet cable to your router, and it works great with both macs and pcs. I have my time machine backup on it for my new macbook. I added a network switch with my home entertainment system and placed it there so that it is easy to access. Here are a couple of videos that show how it works and what it can do. You can pick one up on Amazon. Here’s a link to it on my Amazon estore.

I love our college kids from Cornerstone!


It’s amazing how quickly we can travel around our world. Saturday morning I was in the comforts of my own home, and Saturday night I was in a hotel in Managua, Nicaragua. I’ve spent the last few days working with Because We Care Ministries training pastors in Choluteca, Honduras and Somotillo, Nicaragua. The men above are my hereos. They serve as pastors in small villages around northern Nicaragua. They live a tough life, and nothing about their life is easy. One of the pastors in Honduras had to walk over three hours in order to take a two hour bus ride so that he could be at our 9am pastor training. That’s commitment. The excitement these men have for learning God’s Word is contagious.

I don’t have to tell you how easy we have it in the United States. The poverty and struggle that I see here is humbling. And yet the problems they face in their churches are very similar to the problems we see in the North American church. We are challenging them to serve their communities and to lead with a Holy boldness. Will you join me in praying for these men as they are studying and learning this week.

 

 

I had the honor of speaking at a fund-raising dinner for the Boy Scouts this week. I received my Eagle Scout award back in 1991, and Scouting was a big part of my teenage years. I loved the hiking and camping, and was even able to go backpacking in New Mexico at Philmont two times. In thinking through what I learned from scouting, I remembered one experience from my freshman engineering class.

I had good grades and was blessed to have a major university scholarship to Virginia Tech. I was in a special scholarship section of my freshman engineering class with a bunch of people that were smarter than me. The professor went through a series of questions about our backgrounds. He asked how many straight A students, how many perfect scores on SAT, how many valedictorians, and finally how many Eagle Scouts were in the class. Over half the class raised their hands and shared that they were Eagle Scouts and I realized that scouting had prepared me to be a leader. That one incident gave me the confidence that I belonged.

This week at the dinner, I shared some of the leadership lessons I learned from scouting. These have helped shape me into the leader that I am, so I wanted to share these lessons with you. I learned …

  • The importance of discipline – There are constant goals you are working towards, and it takes discipline  to meet the requirements. You can’t quit until you reach your goal.
  • The importance of working together – When you are backpacking, you have to work together and learn to get along with the people you are with. You learn a lot about conflict resolution and teamwork.
  • The importance of responsibility – When teaching younger scouts or leading the group, you learn the importance of taking responsibility.
  • The importance of being prepared – You never know what to expect, so you learn to always be prepared.
  • The importance of ingenuity – Scouting teaches you how to be a problem solver. It’s a skill that defined my career as an engineer, and it definitely helps me in ministry as well.
  • The importance of worship – You can’t help but worship when you see God’s beautiful creation. Hiking through pristine mountains teaches you to slow down and simply worship God.
  • The importance of service – You learn how to serve others. The Scout Oath teaches you to “help other people at all times”

Scouting is so much more than hiking and camping, because it is a place where young leaders are developed.

Here’s a great use of the internet. Most churches spend a lot of time trying to organize meals for people who are sick or in need. But it’s always confusing knowing who is bringing what, and when they are bringing it. Recently we used Take Them a Meal to help organize meals for a family at our church for over a week.

Simply create an online signup form on the site, then send it out for people to view and signup. It’s easy to use and it works great. It’s crowd-sourcing on a whole new level. There is also a companion site for organizing potluck dinners – check it out at perfectpotluck.com.

For those times in life when filling their table will warm their hearts.
Simplifying meal coordination so friends, family, neighbors and co-workers can show they care.
Create a customized online sign up sheet to include phone numbers, driving directions, food allergies and more that makes it easy for friends and family to take meals to those in need.

I shared a video in church last week that a lot of people have been asking me about. The video has received over 20 million views over the past few months on Youtube. It’s titled, Why I hate religion, but love Jesus. The focus of the video by Jefferson Bethke is to highlight the difference between false religion and a relationship with Jesus. The video seems to have hit a nerve, with many critiquing it and criticizing it, but I think the video serves as a wakeup call to the church. We do have to be careful in defining what we mean by religion, but I think Bethke defines it accurately in the video. He says that religion is man searching for God, while Christianity is God searching for man.

Are we inviting people into a relationship with Jesus Christ, or are we inviting them into our system of rules and tradition and religion? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Replacing my Macbook Pro

March 15, 2012 — 2 Comments

My Apple Macbook Pro is almost 5 years old and is starting to show some early signs of motherboard problems, so I decided to make the plunge and replace it. This time, I decided to go with a refurbished 13″ Macbook Air. It’s cheaper, lighter, faster, and just plain awesome. I went with the i7 model with 4Gigs of RAM and the 256Gig Solid State Drive. There are a lot of rumors about new larger Macbook airs that will be released soon, but it’s hard to beat the deal I got on this refurbished one. I’m really looking forward to having a computer this fast and lightweight. I’ll post a longer review after I get it and start using it.

Live Bible for Teens

I’ve seen a lot of teen Bibles over the years, but the Live Bible by Group Publishing has to be one of my favorites. My two oldest children are now in youth group and are spending a lot of time reading their Bibles. We bought them each a copy of this Bible, and they both love it. I grabbed their Bibles and took a quick picture with my cell phone. Not only do they look cool for a teen, but they truly have helped my children get in God’s Word.

My thirteen year old daughter just finished reading through the entire Bible, and my eleven year old son has finished the New Testament and is working through the Old Testament. The graphic design is contemporary, the content is applicable, and the translation is the easy to read NLT. If you are looking for a good Bible for your teen, then click here for more information from the Publisher.  You can click here to purchase from my amazon estore.

I’m recommending this because I’ve seen how it has helped my own children. I love seeing teenagers develop a hunger to read and learn from God’s Word.

From the Publisher,

Most youth Bibles are just teen versions of adult Bibles. Live takes an all-new, teen-centered approach. It includes a wealth of experiences and activities that help teens discover surprising things about God, see God involved in their lives, and express their faith creatively. Teens will see how God works in the lives of other teens and be encouraged to express their faith, too.

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