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 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!

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 or blogs, blogger, and with Posterous.

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