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True Hokie

December 22, 2011 — Leave a comment

Our family spent the day in Blacksburg and Christiansburg finishing up our Christmas shopping and visiting Jennifer’s sister Sara and her family. I took the picture above while walking across the campus with our kids. Virginia Tech is really a special place for me. I spent four great years there, and I fell in love with the campus and the people.

Growing up I was a fan of the Hokies, so when I decided in 10th grade that I wanted to be an engineer, everything just started falling into place. Duke was the only other school that I applied to, but My heart wasn’t in it. I applied early and chose to attend Tech and I became a true Hokie. This great engineering school is just an hour away from my hometown where I now live. 

It was at Tech where I really started growing in my faith. I got involved with the local Baptist Student Union and was surrounded by some great friends who helped teach and encourage me. Many of my friends eventually found their way into full time ministry, so when we visit the campus it’s a constant reminder of what God has done in my life. God has always put the right people into my life at the right time. I would have never have guessed that I would end up as a pastor, but God was working out the plan every step of the way.

We still are able to visit the campus often, but it’s been over 16 years since I graduated. I’m troubled by the violence that has rocked the Hokie Nation and I still can’t understand why it has happened in Blacksburg of all places. This small, beautiful mountain town has a slower pace of life, one that is peaceful and quiet. But the people of Tech have pulled together. I love the mountains of Virginia and I’m so thankful that God has me here.

And finally, all I can say is Go Hokies!!! Let’s beat Michigan in the Sugar Bowl!

Blogging from my iPad

December 13, 2011 — 1 Comment

I just picked up a blogging app called Blogsy for my iPad. I’ve been a little slow on blogging lately because I’ve been too busy and I just had to pull back from a few things. I’m in my last week of classes this semester for seminary, so I will be back to my normal crazy self for a few weeks. I’m still finding apps on my iPad and this one is a great find. I’m using my iPad more and more each week for ministry, reading, and relaxation.

Blogsy is a great app that lets you pull in pictures, videos, and format everything just the way you want. It can pull in pictures from your iPad, Picasa (which works great at pulling in pictures from my android phone automatically uploaded with Google+), Flickr, and the web. It can also grab videos from youtube. Everything in this post was done with Blogsy, so I think I’ll be using it when I’m on the go.

It works with WordPress.org or WordPress.com blogs, blogger, and with Posterous.

I love the Mountains

December 13, 2011 — Leave a comment

 
I took this picture from the car a couple of weeks ago. I’m thankful to live in a place where we can see God’s beauty everywhere.  

How can anyone deny the existence of God with a sunset like this?

 
 


On January 9th, the new Church Online platform will be launching from LifeChurch.tv. This will be another free offering from the tech guys at LifeChurch. It allows your church to provide online church services, including video, chatting, and prayer and response times. If you are interested in doing ministry online, then you’ll want to check this out. For more details about how this will work, you can check out the LifeChurch Blog.

As for our church, I’m still a little hesitant to jump into online services. We provide the audio and video of our sermons through our website and through our podcast, but I’m not sure if we would have enough interest to justify the time required to kick off a full online ministry.

A Night of Worship

December 7, 2011 — Leave a comment


Tonight at Cornerstone, we will be having a special Night of Worship. On the First Wednesday of every month, we have a special service. A few months ago, we switched our format around and started doing things a little differently. When we started First Wednesdays, we had a meal before, then went into our service with music, updates, teaching, ministry group meetings, and a time of communion. We always felt rushed because we were doing too many things, so we decided to simplify.

Now, each month we have a different focus. We have one month focused on leadership and discipleship, followed by a fellowship meal with church updates and vision sharing the next month, and then we have a night of worship.  By switching the focus of the meeting each month, we are able to do a better job communicating and a better job celebrating what God is doing at Cornerstone.

Tonight is our first Night of Worship celebration. We’ll be starting at 7pm, and we plan on arriving early and staying late to enjoy our time together.  We’re asking everyone to bring some snack food if you are able, and we’ll provide coffee and drinks. We also plan on recording the worship for use on an upcoming Cornerstone Live Worship CD.

We hope you can join us tonight at our church in downtown Galax for this special service. We have so many talented musicians at Cornerstone, and we are truly blessed to be able to worship each and every week with passion and excellence.

Invite your friends and join us!


Here’s a quick way to build up your library of sermon illustration videos. Check out the Christmas special from WorshipHouse Media. They are offering twelve free videos, so you’ll have to check their site to find out which days they are available. WorshipHouse Media is one of the more popular online stores for videos, so be sure to see what they are offering.

Skype and Mission Work

November 28, 2011 — Leave a comment

This week is a new experience for me. While I’m at home with our two boys, ages 7 and 11, my wife and 13 year old daughter are on a mission trip in Nicaragua. This is such a great opportunity for both of them. I’ve been two times over the past two years, but I wanted them to experience it first hand. I’m busy doing my Mr. Mom impersonation doing laundry, cooking and cleaning, and being a homeschool teacher for our boys, and my girls are over 1500 miles away serving in remote Nicaraguan villages. But even though they are far away, I get to experience a little of what is going on each day and even hear their voices through technology.

They are posting pictures on Facebook, sharing updates through the Because We Care Ministries website, and calling home using Skype. We gathered around our computer and just chatted tonight about everything they are experiencing. And the amazing thing is that it’s completely free when you call skype to skype.  We both have skype installed on our phones, I have it on my laptop, and I even have it on my iPad. They are in a small town in Nicaragua with a slow internet connection, and yet we can just talk back and forth like a normal phone call.

We live in amazing times, and the world is getting much smaller. We simply cannot overlook the Great Commission. We have no excuses. 

 

I stumbled on this web service and I think it has a lot of promise for churches and youth ministries. The next time you are working on a video intro for a sermon series or a quick youtube video, check out Flixpress.com.  This would also work for short photo galleries or digital signage. You can upload your text and images, and they will incorporate them into cool 3D animations. The cost is under $5, and you get really good looking results.  Check out the video below and then go to their website and look through the samples. They also have several free templates for you to try out.

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