I’ve shared before about Dogwood & Holly. They are a great acoustic folk band comprised of students from Liberty University. Two of the students are from Cornerstone and they have been involved with our praise team since the beginning. The band has even led worship for us twice (watch here and here)  They currently have a kickstarter campaign to raise money for their new CD.  I encourage you to contribute and help them out. They are incredibly talented and their music is very comparable to Mumford & Sons, Punch Brothers, The Avett Brothers, or Fleet Foxes. Here’s how they describe the new album

Moth & Rust: An ecclesiastical exegesis of life, meaning, and things of consequence.

1. Musical Complexity. The songs on this record are a bit more intricate both lyrically and instrumentally. Go ahead and tack the word “progressive” in front of “folk.” Also picture us with a piano, a string section, and a Jew harp. Yes, a Jew harp. Look it up.
2. Variety. You’ll hear some straight up mountaintop bluegrass, a taste of hardcore doom folk, and some summertime chilled-out tunes. Multiple writers in a band make for musical variety. The unifying element of the album is:
3. Philosophy. The philosophy of love, evil, death, existentialism, God, humanity… all that good mental floss thematically ties this particular collection of songs together.
4. Us. Owen, Richie, Luke and Audrey. Our personalities, beliefs, experiences, and voices come through this album, just like our last one. One thing you can expect to remain the same is our authenticity. One thing you can expect to be different is our maturity as writers, musicians, and as a band. Expect a cleaner, tighter, more professional sound, without the loss of the organic rawness that characterizes the folk genre.

I’ve included a recent youtube video of them playing at a recent convocation at Liberty.  Be sure to check out their kickstarter campaign and help support the band.

If you want to see more, check out these youtube videos as well. You can pickup their first album Bonaparte on iTunes or Amazon MP3.

Chromecast for Ministry

September 2, 2013 — 2 Comments


At a price of $35, you can’t go wrong with the Google Chromecast. This little device plugs into a HDMI input on your TV or projector and allows you to stream content from your mobile device or computer. A while back, I blogged about the AppleTV and how it can be used for ministry. The Chromecast is very similar and much cheaper than the $99 AppleTV.

This device is great for streaming youtube or Netflix or even small group videos from your computer to your TV. When you install a Google Chrome extension, you can share whatever you are viewing on your web browser directly on the TV. Google also has Chromecast apps for Android and iOS.

I haven’t picked one up yet, but I’m waiting for them to come back in stock at Amazon. Again, this would be handy to just keep in your computer bag and use when needed. I can really see this being useful for youth or children’s ministry. If you have a mac or iPhone, I still think the AppleTV is a better device, but again the price for the Chromecast is hard to beat. Here’s more info from Google.

Chromecast is a small and affordable ($35) device that you simply plug in to your high-definition (HD) TV and it allows you to use your phone, tablet or laptop to “cast” online content to your TV screen. It works with Netflix, YouTube, Google Play Movies & TV, and Google Play Music, with more apps like Pandora coming soon. With Chromecast, we wanted to create an easy solution that works for everyone, for every TV in the house.

Get started in 3 easy steps: plug Chromecast into any HDTV, connect it to WiFi, then send videos and more from your smartphone, tablet or laptop to your TV with the press of a button


This is a powerful video. Check this out for your Wednesday enjoyment.
(from Moving Works)

One man’s life changed the course of history for billions of people across the globe. He is both revered and reviled, famed and feared and you know who he is without a single mention of his name.

Noun: An action or event marking a significant change or stage in development.

This has been a summer of milestones for both me and my family. As an engineer, I became very familiar with Gantt Charts and milestones. Managing projects, budgets, resources, and timelines was a common task, but we were always able to celebrate significant milestones along the way. So in that same spirit, I want to take a break from my normal blogging to celebrate a blogging milestone.

Two weeks ago I celebrated my 40th birthday, and this week on my blog I hit both 1000 posts and 1000 comments. I didn’t plan it that way, but it’s pretty cool that I hit the 1000 post/comment milestone at the same time. I started blogging in July of 2006, so if you look through the archives, you will find seven years of my thoughts about faith, life, and technology. My posts aren’t as frequent as they used to be, but I am still here after more than a half a million page views on FaithEngineer.com. I appreciate the online community that has grown from this site, and I look forward to many more posts and comments.

Thanks for stopping by the blog and letting me share my thoughts! Keep on sharing your thoughts and please feel free to leave comments on any of my posts! 




I found this service on the Logos Blog and I am very impressed. BibleScreen.com is a simple idea that is helpful to churches. If you would like good content to show on your screens at church during special events or during the week, this may be of interest to you. BibleScreen.com is animated Bible verse screen-saver that you can access in multiple ways. You can show verses direct from their website, from a Roku channel (for the Roku Media Streaming Device), or through zip files of the animations. My only wish is that I could show it through an AppleTV for digital signage.

I could see this being used during the week or for pre-service or post-service graphics for churches. The best way to understand it is to see it in action at BibleScreen.com.

Here are a few of the animated verses as examples


2013-08-10 18.45.51


Our city just finished up the 78th Annual Old Fiddler’s Convention. It is the largest and oldest fiddler’s convention in the world. Thousands of people camp in our local city park for the week-long festival of bluegrass and old-time music, and thousands more come to listen and enjoy the mountain music. This all occurs about two blocks from our church, and I was honored to open up the convention in prayer on Saturday night. I love sharing Christ in our community and I am already thinking about how we can start a Bible study during the day in the park next year, so if you have any ideas let me know. It’s a crazy week for our city, but it’s an incredible opportunity for sharing the love of Christ.

We listen to bluegrass all the time since my son loves playing guitar, mandolin, and banjo. Here is a video of my son competing on Monday night in the youth mandolin competition.

One of the other youth competitors from Monday night was on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno Thursday Night. Here’s a video of his performance

Use the discount code faithengineer for 25% off! Click here to purchase


As a former youth pastor, I remember years ago trying to lead worship with my Spin360 accompaniment tracks and an acoustic guitar (I’m showing my age here!). Since we didn’t have a full band, I would play the CD and just play along with the music. So when I found about Worship Pad Loops from Shalon Palmer, I was interested in trying them out.

Worship Pad Loops are pre-recorded keyboard tracks that you can play along with. There are versions for each different song key. They provide a full sound that you can incorporate into your band if you don’t have a keyboard, or just play along with on your guitar. They also work great as transitions between songs during worship. They can even be used as background tracks for videos.

I tried these out one day with one of our musicians who was recording several songs and the loops sounded great. We decided not to use them for the project he was working on, but I do think we will use these in the future. They can be used with songs of any tempo, and since they are based on the root of the key you are playing in, you can play them throughout the entire song. You can include these on a computer or an iPod since each loop is a 20 minute mp3 song. As with most products, the best way to understand this is to watch a video of it being used.

These work great for most songs, but remember if there is a key change or if the bridge gets a little crazy, they may sound out of place. I am interested in using them during times of reflection and prayer during special services at our church. The sound is just right to provide some ambiance without being distracting. The set is $29.99 for all 12 mp3 files for each key. And if you use the code faithengineer, you will receive 25% off.

From their website:

The Worship Pad Loops plays a mixture of professional studio recorded ambient pad sounds and guitar swells that remain in harmony or on the root of the key you are in.

One of the favorite uses of the Pad Loops is for songwriting. For 2 big reasons. One is that playing the loop in the key you’re writing in gives you a constant reference that you can sing along with, without having to be playing an instrument. Two is that these pad loops are so spectacularly awesome at creating ambience, that you’ll be in meditation mode creating a musical masterpiece in seconds.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of these loops to try out and review. I provide honest reviews and only recommend products that I believe in and use. See my full disclosure policy here.


Earlier this week, we had our community wide Bible School for kids. Each year, we bring together numerous churches to work together and host a great week of ministry to children in our community. We meet in our community park and have lots of fun, but our main goal is to build relationships and share Christ with the kids. Each night we had over 200 children and almost 100 volunteers helped throughout the week. Our youth from Cornerstone did a great job serving, teaching, and helping each night. Our theme for the week was extreme sports, and we taught through five words that explained the Gospel: God, Sin, Substitute, Believe, and Life. It’s been a long week, but we saw many lives changed through the power of the Gospel!

Tim Byrne, a professional skateboarder from Portland, Oregon helped us kick off our opening night. He did an amazing job skating and sharing his faith. I also was able to spend some time with him and he is the real deal. I love his heart for youth ministry.

I want to give a huge shout-out to all our awesome volunteers. We had people helping with music, teaching, registration, sports, snacks, cotton candy and sno-cones, security, and cleanup. Thanks to everyone for all your hard work. The picture above are all volunteers who stayed to cleanup and tear-down everything after we finished.


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