Month: July 2008

The elementary attrition

I’m curious as to how this is for others out there. Since coming to Gateway, one of my priorities has been to help transition 5th graders into the middle school. We promote on August 24th. Over the summer we’ve had 4 5th grade preview services where our 5th graders were taken to the middle school program for a sneak peak. This has been very successful as both the kids and parents of the kids have given us great feedback. However, over the past three preview services, we’ve seen 15-20 5th graders each week on the average… and I’m probably being a little optimistic with the numbers. Yeah, I said 15-20! There’s nothing wrong with having 15-20 5th graders on any given weekend (for three services). Many churches don’t even have that many. However, I have about 80 five year olds each Sunday. Yes, 80. What we have here is called elementary attrition. It is where we slowly lose kids as they get older. If I were to guess, this happens at most churches because ministry becomes less and less relevant as the kids get older. We’re using Veggie Tales and puppets to reach our older elementary age kids. Typically, our middle school ministries hit the mark in reaching these kids in a relevant way, but they often have to start from scratch because many of the 5th graders stopped...

Read More

Where should I go on vacation!

When Sara and I got married we went on a 5 day honeymoon to Cancun, Mexico. We relaxed, we explored, we had adventures. However, that was nine year ago and we haven’t had a vacation like that since. We do go on vacation or trips every year, but most of the time it is visiting family. Don’t get me wrong, we LOVE our family and visiting with them is top priority. However, we NEED a serious vacation. Just the two of us. Away. So we can relax, explore and have adventures. Two springs ago I switched my credit card over to a rewards card and then that summer I spent a ridiculous amount of money for church expenses. I personally financed (well, kind of… I was reimbursed every penny) a VBS for over 1000 kids and bought plane tickets for over 40 people to fly from DFW to Los Angeles. The result? Lots and lots of points on my credit card. Last fall Sara and I began talking about going on a vacation the following Spring with all the points we had accumulated. Since I was let go just a few months later and securing a job was higher priority than vacation planning, our trip was set aside. Then just a few weeks ago we started talking seriously again about where we wanted to go. We figured it would...

Read More

Windows Apps to OS X Apps

Okay, before I spend hours and hours looking, maybe you could help me specifically. I have these applications that I use on a regular basis. I need to know if there is something similar (or better) on the Mac. Most of what I suggest here are free. VSO image resizer – I right-click on an image on my desktop and it opens VSO and with one click it will create a copy of the image in any size I specify. Very handy for adding images to the blog. I use it all the time! Hoversnap – It runs in my task tray. I hit print screen and it creates a jpeg of my desktop. I hit alt-print screen and it creates a jpeg of my active window. I hit control-print screen and it creates a marque drawing tool that I can highlight any space on my desktop and it makes that into a jpeg. Again, it’s handy for blogging and I use it all the time. Windows Live Writer – I use it to blog and I love it. It’s better than using a web application. What is good for the Mac? DVDFab Decrypter – I use this to rip a DVD to my computer. I then use handbrake (which was originally Mac) to export video tracks to MOV, MP4 or whatever other file I need. I know handbrake...

Read More

Okay people… I need your help… BIG TIME!

I’m starting to hyperventilate. No seriously. Here is the computer I was issued when I got to Gateway a little over two months ago: It’s a Dell Inspiron 1525.It’s been a good machine. I can’t say the Vista installed on it has been a good move. But, it’s what I’m familiar with and I’ve been happy (mostly). However… in three days I am giving this machine to my Early Childhood director. She is going on maternity leave and she needs a laptop to use when she does start getting back to work but not coming into the office. So in just a few days I have to get all my files off. Simple enough, huh? Why panicked? Because I’m switching to this… Yeah, it’s a MacBook Pro. I know, everyone says I’ll like it. But making this transition is tough. I’ve actually had it in my possession for over a week and I’ve used it about 5 times. Why? Because I still have my Dell. I have all the tools and programs installed that I’m familiar with. It’s like learning a new language. It’s easier to stay with what is familiar. So, here is how you can help me. For me it is less about the OS and more about the applications. I’m looking for the applications I use right now that are available on the Mac. Would you...

Read More

Sharing the Amazon love

Hey, is holding a $7.00 sale on 1 year magazine subscription for some of it’s best sellers. I just picked up a 1 year subscription to Wired… my favorite magazine. If you’re a geekboy like me, you don’t want to let this deal get away. They have many other magazines at a variety of special prices. Just thought I’d let you know. Here is the link! You know you want it… Technorati Tags:...

Read More

Subscribing to this blog: Email

Yesterday I wrote about RSS. Really, it’s the best way to follow blogs and news sites. However, you may not want to hassle with creating a reader account (really, it is easy). If that is you, then I’ve created an even easier method. You can subscribe to my blog via email. That means you’ll get all blog updates sent to you as an email. Once a day (If I wrote anything new that day) an email will be sent with all posts written in the previous 24 hours. It’s just too easy. So, if you want to subscribe this way, just look for the subscription box where you enter your email address. Caution: About one in ten who sign up this way neglect to confirm their email. Once you enter your email in the subscription box, a verification email will be sent to your inbox. You must open this email an do what is says (respond). Then you will be subscribed to this blog. If you want to subscribe via email, go ahead and enter your email in the subscription box. Otherwise, just click here. Technorati Tags: Email...

Read More

Subscribing to this blog: RSS

If you like this blog and find the information here helpful (which I appreciate), I want to make it easier for you to get the information here (and other blogs as well). I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that half of the regular visitors to this site actually visit this page. I remember when I first started following blogs about 18 months ago. I considered myself both tech and web savvy. I created a folder in my bookmarks and made a bookmark of all the blogs I liked. Then, every day I would visit each of these sites to keep up with the blog posts. Then I found a better way. It’s called RSS. Rather than manually visit any number of blog sites every day, how would you like to have each of these sites visit you… all in one place. No brainer, right? That is what RSS is all about. If this describes you at all, now is the time to jump on the RSS bandwagon. For months I tried to sign my wife up with a Google Reader account. She didn’t seem interested… at least not enough to sign up for one. Then one day she explored it a little bit and eventually signed up. Now she follows more blogs than any sensible person should. I think she literally follows 5 blogs...

Read More

Camera Advice?

Last week I dropped my camera…. in water. Yeah, a double whammy! And let me tell you. I LOVED that camera. I bought it about 18 months ago. I spent months looking into what I wanted and a few months saving up for it. It was a Canon Power Shot SD 630. What an incredible camera it was. I’ll truly miss it. So, now I’m looking into a replacement camera. Initially I thought I would just get another 630. Unfortunately I can’t get a new one for any less than $300. Yikes! However, many new models have come out since then offering more features. So I had a Sony once before and it worked pretty good, but I didn’t like it nearly as much as my Canon. I investigated the Cool Pix as well but in the long run the reviews didn’t stand up to the Canon line. So, here is what I am looking into: Canon Power Shot SD 870 IS Price: $250 Resolution: 8 Megapixles LCD Viewfinder: 3 inch For a full review, click here. Canon Power Shot SD 850 IS Price: $230 Resolution: 8 Megapixles LCD Viewfinder: 2.5 inch For a full review, click here. Canon Power Shot SD 790 IS Price: $260 Resolution: 10 Megapixles LCD Viewfinder: 3 inch For a full review, click here. My thoughts: I know this sounds kind off dumb, but...

Read More

Jelly Telly going the Radiohead way?

A few days I posted (along with the rest of the blogging world) about what Phil Vischer has going on at Jelly Telly. When I posted, I had only watched the first 10 minutes or so of the Phil’s video. A few days later I sat down to watch the rest. It was all good. I’m very anxious to see Jelly Telly in action and hope it is crazy successful. What intrigued me the most; however, is Phil’s strategy to fund Jelly Telly. I love what he’s going to do. Phil decided to go the subscription model. Pay a monthly fee and get access to great programming. Sounds reasonable. There are many other subscription services for kids that are worked well right now. Then Phil dropped the bomb. How much will it cost per month? It’s up to you. You pay what you feel it’s worth! WOW! Several months ago the British band Radiohead tried something just like this. Rather than sell their album the traditional way, they allowed fans to download their album for whatever price they wanted. It was a huge risk. No one had done this before. The results? The profits from the digital downloads far exceeded the combined profits of digital downloads of all their previous studio produced albums. I think I read somewhere that the average price paid was $6 or $7 per album....

Read More


Subsribe to our email list and we will send you AMAZING CONTENT and FREE RESOURCES right to your inbox!

Congratulations, you have successfully joined our list! Go do something good for yourself, you've earned it!