Archives For Technology

My Newest iPod Toy

June 12, 2007 — Leave a comment

Jenni was wanting a way to hook her iPod up to our Honda minivan so I came up with the cheap and easy fix. We could have bought one of the adapters that plugs into the cd changer port on the back of the factory radio, but it’s a serious pain to pull out the radio and wire it up. I found this neat cassette adapter from Belkin and it is actually pretty cool. Check out the review of the tunedeck at ilounge. It’s a iPod Nano dock that plays through the tape deck in your car. I bought 2 for under $75 from Newegg, one for each of our cars. And Jennifer even approves of how it looks!

Around the World

May 30, 2007 — Leave a comment

I was just checking my blog stats on Google Analytics and found that my blog has been viewed literally around the world this year. I started this thing as a way to keep in touch with my family and friends and with the youth at church. I haven’t really publicized it much, and it still doesn’t have many subscribers, but it amazes me how many people stumble upon the site. So far this year I have had 1845 pageviews on the blog. Google has really changed how people use and find information on the web. I have listed all the different countries below from where people have viewed the site.

  • United States (Of Course), Canada, Chile, Venezuela, and Mexico
  • United Kingdom, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, France, Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Czech Republic, Poland, Italy, Spain, and Portugal
  • India, Nepal, Japan, Hong Kong, Turkey, Kuwait, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand
  • Ivory Coast, Nigeria, and South Africa

The encouraging thing to me is that we are seeing how God can use the internet and technology to reach people all around the world. I’m excited about coming up with new and innovative ways to use technology to help make disciples of Jesus Christ!

After a ton of research I finally pulled the trigger on buying a new camcorder to replace my old 8mm Sony. I settled on the new Sony DCR-SR300 and I have been impressed. This is a standard definition camcorder with a 40Gig hard drive built in. I have always hated mini-dv because of having to play the tape back to get the files off the camcorder. With this one, all I have to do is drag and drop the mpeg2 files off the camcorder onto my computer. And since the files are already in DVD mpeg2 format, you save serious time encoding DVD’s.

But the best feature is that the camcorder is also advertised as a 6 megapixel camera as well. The sensor is really only a native 3 megapixel CMOS sensor, but it still takes really good pictures for a camcorder. It’s got a powerful flash and with the 40gig hard drive, you can take tons of pictures. At Disney I took my Fuji camera and the camcorder. The first day, I took both to the park and switched back and forth. The camcorder worked so good that we left the camera at the hotel the rest of the week. It is really convenient to take both pictures and video with the same small unit. You can also take a few pictures while you are videoing. The video quality looks good, especially in daylight. It’s a lot better in low light than my old camcorder, but it could be a little better. Overall, I plan on using this thing all the time.

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
Seacoast Resources 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 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.

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