Archives For Technology

Open Source Church

April 8, 2007 — 1 Comment

The current trend in software development is open source. Basically, the programmers share the source code for the software programs to allow anybody with an interest to make it better. Linux is based on open source, as well as a number of new shareware type programs. Here is my desire. I want to see churches move toward open source creative resources. Creating graphics, motion backgrounds, intro movies, and web designs takes a tremendous amount of time. It requires time and resources that almost all smaller churches cannot afford. Just the software programs needed to create the content are beyond the budget of most churches.

If churches could band together and share these resources for free or for a low cost, it would be great! We’re all on the same team here, so let’s be effective. I agree with Rick Warren who has said that “God has not called us to be original, He has called us to be effective.”

My current message series is titled He Came, He Died, He Conquered. I stole (borrowed) the title from Mark Batterson. I like taking outlines and ideas from other pastors and then making them my own. At Unleash, Perry Noble talked about the importance of making something better when you build upon it. My hope and desire is that these resources become a springboard for God to reveal a new and exciting truth that connects to our culture and our world, right here in Galax. As ministers, we must stay in God’s Word so that we can teach not based on someone else’s opinion, but based on God’s truth. I hope more churches move toward sharing their resources.

Here are some sites that are offering great creative content right now
CreativePastors
Seacoast Resources
LifeChurch.tv Open Resources

For the youth out there that give me a hard time, I know I am a serious nerd. But did you know that it’s cool to be a geek now, and it even makes me attractive, just ask Jenni. Check out the top ten list here.

(ht to Tony Steward)

Today has been good. No, that really doesn’t describe it, today has been awesome. There are some days when God just shows up and lets you know that He is in control. Today was one of those days.

We had a guest speaker scheduled for church today that was going to talk about our church’s upcoming mission trip to Nicaragua. We have been looking forward to hearing Dr Donald Gillette from Because We Care Ministires. But late last night, right before going to bed I got a phone call. Dr. Gillette was stuck in the airport in Atlanta because of a canceled flight. That meant we needed a message and that meant I was the one who probably needed to preach on short notice. That is where this blog played an important role.

I have always wanted to keep a Spiritual journal. I have tried it several times. My main problem is that I hate writing. I enjoy getting my thoughts out of my head, I just don’t like using a pen and paper. Most of the time I can’t read my writing, and I seriously don’t like to do it. So that has caused me to struggle and stop trying on several occasions. I then tried journaling electronically on my pocket pc. That worked alright for a while, but it does get old using a stylus to write. I have tried typing on my computer, but I found it hard to keep it going consistently. Until I started blogging. Blogging has taken on the role of a Spiritual Journal for me. It lets me post about books I’m reading, struggles I’m having, and things that I am learning. So when I needed to preach on something, my mind immediately turned to what I have been blogging about lately.

I was able to look at some of my posts about Missional living and form that into a sermon. Hopefully it was coherent, but it felt good to preach on something that I am passionate about. As a church, and as believers, we must get out of the mindset that Christianity is all about Sunday morning. Sunday morning is a great time to come together and worship and celebrate and be equipped. But there are 6 other days when we are living in the world, when we are coming into contact with people from all walks of life. That is when we have the greatest opportunity to share Christ and let people see the hope that we have within us.

So this morning went great, and tonight we had a great youth meeting. I love how are teens are starting to open up and share and really learn and grow. God is good. It feels like one of those times when we just have to hold on, because I know God is taking us on an incredible ride.

Check out my message here

The God Challenge

March 8, 2007 — Leave a comment

Maybe you have heard of the blasphemy challenge. I won’t give them the honor of linking to their site, but they are challenging people to post youtube videos of themselves denying the Holy Spirit. It is a misguided and sad challenge that has become very popular. It has already been featured on numerous web and tv stories. Watching some of the videos really bothered me. It bothered me that so many of the people were teens. These are people that have been burned by church and by Christians, and have completely turned their backs on God. But it also bothered me that the devil was getting all the publicity for this story.

It also bothered some guys I know here in my hometown. So they did something about it. They created a website and a “God Challenge” to allow people to post videos of what God has done in their lives. This is a brand new site, so help me spread the word about it. It’s another way to redeem technology that has been used by the world and let God use it for His Glory. Check it out.


We can’t stand by and watch any longer. The challenge has been made…our God is real…the time is now. Testify. Visit GodChallenge.com for more information.

This site has videos of real people who have struggled with real problems and have a real account of an experience with God. There are no judgments about your life. No cheap impressions of Christianity. Just normal people offering you a glimpse of their struggles and triumph through Jesus Christ.

I have been toying around with the template structure for blogger for the last several weeks. After changing to a 3 column layout, I decided to work on a custom header in Photoshop. Thanks to a post over at ChurchCommunicationsPro, I learned how to incorporate a custom header and background to the site. And using a template from Blogcrowds based on the standard minima black, I ended up with a completely new and unique look to the site. I will probably mess around with it some more, just because I enjoy learning something new. But hopefully, the look will be more consistant for a while. If you’re reading this from an email subscription or a feedreader, check out the new look at the site.

Rescued by iTunes

March 6, 2007 — Leave a comment

I am hooked. We really don’t watch too many tv shows, but all the talk about 24 finally convinced me to sit down and watch the season opener this year, and I haven’t missed since. Jack is one cool dude. I love the way the show keeps you on the edge of your seat. At the end of last week’s show, my heart was flying. Man, the tension of unresolved storylines keep you coming back. What if we incorporated more tension and edge of your seat anticipation into our sermons. I think we may underestimate the power of suspense.

But I digress, here’s the problem. I missed Monday’s show! I forget to set the dvr, which by the way is the greatest invention since sliced bread, and by the time I got home the show was over. So … iTunes to the rescue.

I am downloading the entire episode from last night on iTunes. Only $1.99 and I’m caught back up. Pretty slick. Now if I just had an AppleTV to watch it on.

Solidworks posted a highlights video from the conference in New Orleans. They claim it is the world’s largest 3D CAD (Computer Aided Design) Event. You can tell the last day had a Star Trek theme with an appearance by Leonard Nimoy. A little corny, but overall it was fun. I especially enjoyed the emphasis on design and technology.

The site today has been pretty crazy. I have incorporated a new 3-column template on the site. I wanted to organize the site content better, so hopefully this will give me some new options. I based the new template off of the rounders-3 at blogcrowds. Next up is a custom header.

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