My Other Site

January 25, 2012 — Leave a comment

Over the years I have noticed that many churches and smaller organizations want to embrace and use technology, but they simply don’t know where to start. One of my passions is helping those people by sharing what I have learned along the way. I have been meeting with local churches for several years now, helping them with audio/video questions and with developing a web strategy. I have been designing and hosting websites for people who need help, and it is just a small way I can help.

As a pastor, I do have limited time to work on side projects. But this is a way I can be more Kingdom focused, by helping other churches understand and implement new technology. I have a second website dedicated to sharing more about my design and consulting work, so if you want to find out more, please visit FEDesign.net for more information. I offer competitive pricing and support for WordPress Hosting, and I also offer a custom CMS platform that is incredibly easy to use and update for churches. Visit the website for a view of my portfolio.

January 22 is Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. Every life has worth, so let me challenge you to be a voice for those that don’t have a voice.

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed.
Proverbs 31:8 NLT

My New Android

January 18, 2012 — 1 Comment

Motorola ElectrifyI’ve been watching the new android phones and waiting for the next round of great phones. I was fine with my old HTC Desire(similar to the Google Nexus One) and I wasn’t in any hurry to change things up. Unfortunately, the USB port on my Desire died yesterday so I decided to go ahead and make the plunge. I checked with Verizon, but their data plans are just too expensive compared to what I have on US Cellular, so I ended up with a new Motorola Electrify.

I’m impressed so far, and I’m not easily impressed. This thing is a beast. It’s a dual-core processor, 4.3″ screen, with 16Gig of Internal memory. It has both a front facing and a rear facing camera with HD Video. It even has a hdmi connection so you can hook it up directly to a tv or projector and a SIM card slot for use out of the country. I spent a good part of the evening setting up all my apps and transferring everything over from my old phone. I don’t even think I need to root this phone since it has everything built in.

Technology can be both good and bad, and new phones are no exception. It’s hard not being over-connected and distracted, but there are several great apps that really help me in my ministry. I’m using all the Google apps, and here are some of my other favorites

  • Evernote (for Note Taking)
  • ADWLauncher EX (for the User Interface)
  • Logos Bible Software (for Bible Study)
  • YouVersion Bible (for Bible Reading)
  • Wunderlist (for my To-do List)
  • Amazon Kindle (for all my reading)
  • Dropbox (for sharing files)
  • WordPress (for updating my blog)

I did a quick search on YouTube and found the following review of the phone. Motorola phones get great reception and this phone has a much better battery life than before. It’s not 4G, but it will probably be a while before US Cellular gets 4G in our area.

App Review: Notability

January 12, 2012 — 2 Comments

I’ve been at a workshop the last few days, so I’ve been experimenting with my iPad to find the best way to take notes. I’ve tried three main apps, Evernote, Penultimate, and Notability. For text, Evernote works fine, but it’s unable to take advantage of the touchscreen of the iPad for drawing or handwriting. Penultimate is a nice program with good integration with other services, but when using a stylus, it’s hard to fit everything on screen. Notability combines the best features of all three programs, so it’s my favorite by far. Here’s why.

Notability gives you the power to combine drawings, audio, typed text, and pictures all in one document.  But the killer feature it offers is the ability to write or draw in a zoomed in window, similar to the old palm pilots or pocket pc’s. This lets you use a stylus to take detailed notes.

It also let’s you import pictures or PDF files. Yo can take notes directly on PDF files, which works great for handouts. You can also record the audio of the lecture or talk while you take notes, so this app really has a lot of power. I also use my keyboard with it to type up notes. Notability has good text tools built in, so you can format and markup your text.

When you are done, you can sync your notes to Dropbox, or email them as rtf or PDF files. I email the PDF file to my Evernote account so I can keep all my notes in one place. This is really a great example of a full featured iPad ap, and it’s only $0.99 in the app store. Watch the video below to get a better understanding of how it works.

 

Here is a video of two of our students from Cornerstone leading a little bluegrass/worshipgrass at the Liberty University Coffeehouse. I love it!! Here’s a link to the facebook page for their band Dogwood & Holly.

Growing in Faith

January 2, 2012 — Leave a comment


Many times I feel like the father in Mark 9:24 who says, ““I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” A lack of faith is usually directly related to a high need for control. For me, I like having a plan, and I struggle when the plan doesn’t work out as I have anticipated.  But God continually amazes me as He stretches my faith in every area of my life. And I’m learning that God’s plan is always better than my own.

On Christmas day at Cornerstone, we took up a love offering for our local Free Medical Clinic. As a church, we wanted to match the gift, so we encouraged everyone for several weeks that we would be collecting this on Christmas day. Honestly, I didn’t expect it to be very much. There were lots of reasons why I was anxious about the gift. We didn’t know how many people would come to church on Christmas morning, our love offerings have historically been low, and our area has been hit hard by job loss over the past few years. What happened next simply amazed me.

After we counted everything that was collected and mailed in, we ended up with a $10,000 gift, far beyond my wildest expectations. On top of that, as a church, we found a way to match the gift from our Missions Fund so that the Free Clinic received a total amount of $20,000! They have been struggling financially, so this was a huge gift for them. I am beyond excited about the generosity of our church, and I am happy that we are able to help support such a great local ministry.

The embarrassing part is that I really had no expectations that we would receive an offering this large, or even that we could match it. But God worked everything out perfectly. And here’s the really amazing part, our regular offering at church on Christmas was the highest one day offering in our history. My faith is being stretched and I am learning to trust God completely. I stand amazed!

It’s that time of year when everyone starts thinking about goals and plans for the new year. I want to challenge you to make Bible reading a priority in your life. Regular, systematic Bible reading is the best way to jump start your spiritual growth. When you read the Bible, you are allowing the God of the universe to speak directly into your life.

Many of you have gotten new mobile devices this Christmas. From iPads to smartphones to android tablets, YouVersion has you covered. It’s a great Bible app for your mobile device that allows you to have access to the Bible from anywhere. I use it on my phone and on my iPad to read the Bible. YouVersion also has a great assortment of Bible reading plans and devotions to guide you.

I just started a chronological reading plan to help me as I read through the Bible this year. Why don’t you join me and start reading today! Don’t want til January 1st. Start now and start unpacking the incredible truth of God’s Word. If you want to download the app for your mobile device visit www.mycornerstone.org/bible to find out how.

One of the big new features that YouVersion has added this year is the ability to email your Bible reading to you each day. On your computer, login to the youversion site and view your reading plan. On the settings tab, choose email delivery and you’re all set. Here are a few suggested reading plans and devotions for you to consider this year (there are over 200 in all!)

If you don’t like reading on your computer or mobile device, we have some Bible reading plans that you can download and print out on our church website. Click here to see the plans we have available.

When we open up the Bible, we’re inviting the creator of the universe to speak directly to us. It’s our connection to His truth—the story of His love for us since the beginning of time. And it’s meant to be woven throughout our lives, giving us new wisdom with each season we experience.

For us to know and understand God’s Will for our lives, we must invest time in reading and learning His Word. It is His divine love letter that reveals to us how we can be reconciled to God.

 

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!

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