Archive for February, 2010

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-02-28

Posted on 28. Feb, 2010 by .

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App of the week: FireFTP

Posted on 28. Feb, 2010 by .

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fireFTP_iconIf you don’t manage a self-hosted website, you can probably ignore this App of the Week.

If you do, let me introduce you to my App of the Week, FireFTP. Most people I talk to use Filezilla as their FTP manager. It’s free and it’s good. I have a copy as well, but I’ve only used it once or twice in the past year, ever since I started using FireFTP.

FireFTP seems to do it all. At least, it does everything I need when it comes to managing files on multiple websites I run. What I like about FireFTP is that it’s not a separate application like Filezilla. It’s a Firefox plugin. I go up to the toolbar and select FireFTP and it opens a full featured FTP client within a tab on my browser. It’s great and I’ve had not complaints in the last year.

The only thing I’ll caution you about is as any Firefox plugin. At times Firefox will release a new update and not all plugins are up to date. This has been the case with FireFTP on more than one occasion. During these times I might use Filezilla or wait to update Firefox until I feel most my plugins are updated.

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Brand confusion

Posted on 28. Feb, 2010 by .

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2010_winter_olympics_logosvgpnI was looking for an image for a blog post about the Olympics and I came across the logo to the left. I was kind of surprised. I have watched more of this winter Olympics than just about any other. Even while in Nashville last week, I watched what I could. However, I’ve never seen this logo yet it appears to be the official Olympic logo. I remember the controversy a few years ago about the design of the London Olympic logo, how no one liked it even though millions had been spent on it. I imagine that Canada spent a fortune on this logo, yet I can’t say I’ve ever seen it.

I did go back and look at the logos of past Olympics and most were recognizable (Okay, I didn’t recognize Torino, but I honestly don’t remember Torino at all. Where was I and why didn’t I watch any of it?). I even vividly remember Barcelona’s logo and that was almost 20 years ago.

There’s a lesson here. I’ve been at churches that have experienced brand confusion. The church had a new logo, yet various people in the church hadn’t gotten the memo and were still sending out notes on the old letterhead. Even right now at the ministry I’m at, there is some definite brand confusion for the Children’s Ministry. There’s never been a official logo (although a clip art graphic found it’s way on a few documents) and since I’ve been here, I haven’t been committed to anything until we officially re-brand.

How clear is your brand? Do your volunteers recognize it? Do your parents? How about your kids? I think we’ve all found ourselves in the middle of brand confusion. If that’s the case, what is your exit plan?

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Switching teams

Posted on 28. Feb, 2010 by .

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800px-olympic_flagsvgWatching the winter Olympics these last two weeks, I’ve noticed something that I’ve found really strange… even a little disturbing. I’m not sure I even know how I feel about it, perhaps you can help me process.

So, a handful of athletes at this Olympics from a variety of countries have switched national teams in order to compete. There are some athletes not quite good enough to make their national team, so they’ve been granted dual-citizenship with another country so they can compete for their team. It seems to be a win-win, the athlete gets to compete at the Olympic level and the other country gets a stronger athlete than what they have available.

This happens in other places too. Athletes switch teams at times for a better opportunity. People switch companies to get out of certain situations or take a promotion. Even in ministry, we sometimes resign at one church to work at another due to a variety of reasons. This happens all the time and I don’t have any problem with it. That’s life.

However, why does switching teams at the Olympic level grate on my nerves a little? I know the athletes aren’t giving up citizenship, just becoming dual citizens. However, national citizenship seems like such a bigger deal to me, not something someone just does so they can get into the Olympics (I don’t have much perspective on this though, perhaps if I was just barely outside of Olympic level competition, I’d consider dual citizenship as well). On the other side, it doesn’t seem exactly fair that another country would offer citizenships just to help their standings in Olympic competitions. They don’t represent that  country. I remember hearing of one girl who switched teams. When asked about it, she happily said she had not ever visited, but looks forward too.… Read the rest

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My new sign guy wants to be your new sign guy

Posted on 26. Feb, 2010 by .

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Screen shot 2010-02-25 at 10.05.16 PMOkay, Matt McKee is my “sign guy,” but only when I see a bad sign for him to blog about. When I need a sign, I call Cory Richmond. Last week when I was in Nashville hanging out with Jim Wideman and for about 90 minutes a few of us hung out with Cory to see what he had to offer. First off, Cory is Jim Wideman’s son-in-law. Secondly, Cory is Yancy’s husband. But more importantly, Cory’s a print media guru… he really knows his stuff! For the 90 minutes we had with Cory, he spent time looking at graphics, logos and t-shirt designs our churches were working on. He also showed us some of the designs he’s done for current clients, which includes Bro. Jim’s church and stuff for Yancy.

Need a logo? Need T-shirts? Need banners? Stands for your banners? Need advice on signage? Need see-through window coverings? Cory’s your guy. He can actually do more than you think you know. I was amazed at all the options he offers.

Here’s the special deal though. Corey offers a print club that’s a really good deal. I like his work and the service he offers, but his print club makes using Cory a no-brainer.

Club Level One
Pay $50 a month and get:

  • Banners at $3 per square foot (You can’t get banners that cheap, I promise you that)

Club Level Two
Pay $100 a month and get:

  • Banners at $3 per square foot
  • Two 2.5′ x 6′ banners a month
  • Free shipping

Club Level Three
Pay $200 a month and get:

  • Banners at $3 per square foot
  • Two 2.5′ x 6′ banners a month
  • Two 2.5′ x 6′ banner stands (not every month, just once)
  • One 4′ x 8′ banner a month
  • Free shipping

Each level is fantastic depending on what you need.… Read the rest

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Save me from this kingdom of comfort where I am king

Posted on 26. Feb, 2010 by .

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Kingdom Comfortable from Gateway Church on Vimeo.

Save me from this kingdom of comfort where I am king and take me to the kingdom of life where the King is king. It’s the final and most powerful line of this poem from local Austin slam poet, James Wilson. It’s a profound message our culture needs to hear. It’s a profound message we all need to really get.… Read the rest

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Accountability from a skinny man works

Posted on 26. Feb, 2010 by .

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scalesOkay, so I almost forgot to post this. Before I left for my road trip I asked Sam Luce to hold me accountable. I’m in the middle of my biggest loser competition with my staff and being on the road where I’m eating out for almost every meal would be tough. It’s during these occasions that I tend to over-indulge. So I asked Sam Luce to hold me to my commitment. In the end, my goal was to weigh less than I did when I began.

So, Sam was a gracious accountability partner. Maybe it was a dumb thing for me to ask him to do it, but he didn’t make a big deal out of it. Every now and again, he’d give me the evil eye when I was reaching for an extra cookie after dinner. There were a few meals that did not fare well for my plan, but I just tried to eat as much as Sam ate. I figured that if I ate what a skinny man eats, I’d probably lose some weight.

So, I’ve got some bad news and some good news. I came home late Monday night and my biggest loser weigh in was the following day. For my official weigh in I was one pound heavier than the week before. I was actually quite pleased as I expected worse. I had a bit of a cold all week and just didn’t feel up to running on the treadmill once. The good news, by Tuesday I weighed in a pound lower than the previous day and on Wednesday morning, I was another pound lower. I’m on track to have lost 4 pounds this week, taking me to a record low for this competition.

I know there are probably very few people who care, but since I brought it up before I left, I figured I’d be true to my word and share how I did.… Read the rest

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Graphics: Stock XChange

Posted on 25. Feb, 2010 by .

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178959_9596When designing stuff for ministry, I rarely do anything from scratch. To be honest, I know very few designers that do anything from scratch. They usually start with something. Either it’s a background, a texture or sometimes a pre-designed element. Sometimes you can find something great in a basic Google image search. You can almost always find great stuff at iStock, but you’ll have to pay for it. If you’re looking for better graphics than you’ll typically find on Google image search, but free unlike you’ll find on iStock, check out Stock XChange. From what I gather, it’s a massive collection of user contributed images and graphics. Sign up for a free membership and look for what you need. It’s been a great resource that I’ve used for years. Click here to visit the Stock XChange.Read the rest

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Dinner with the Lads

Posted on 25. Feb, 2010 by .

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Screen shot 2010-02-25 at 8.34.57 AMLast Wednesday, after our coffee with Kennedy and Kummer, Sam and I rushed down to Franklin, TN for a dinner appointment with the Lads Band. On multiple occasions I’ve attempted to book the Lads for an event at my church. Both times either the even changed or they weren’t available. However, I got to know Steve King from the band through our back and forth emails. Since I knew I would be in Nashville for my infuse retreat, I tried to see if we could connect for dinner or something.

photo(16)We had such an incredible time. I first fell in love with this band when I heard their song “creator” back in 2002 or 2003. Their music video of that song made it to the annual WOW DVD (Do they still make those?) and it was such a fun and funky song. I know that Fellowship Church made that song one of their staples in kids and wore it out. Now the Lads have targeted older elementary kids, and they’re so passionate about it.

Here’s what I loved about the Lads. They’re not just a performance band. They totally on mission to impact kids at the most critical age. They put on a great show, but they want their ministry and impact to last beyond the show. They’ve put together some great devotional material, cool comic books and DVDs that kids can use beyond the show for a lasting impact. When they’re not touring, they’re hard at work developing new tools to impact kids.

For about two hours, we talked about life in the United States (they’re from New Zealand), ministry we’re all involved in and about how we can better reach 3rd-5th graders. These guys are so passionate about their mission. They’re the real deal for sure! I’m just so glad I got some time with them like I did.… Read the rest

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Pray for significant outreach happening now

Posted on 25. Feb, 2010 by .

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Screen shot 2010-02-25 at 8.08.38 AMOver the years you have probably seen my posts about my friends who serve the people in Burkina Faso, West Africa. Their names are Joel and Heidi Hayslip and Burknia Faso is one of the poorest countries in all of Africa. However, the door is wide open for ministry, and the Hayslips are doing some very strategic work. Burkina Faso is a predominantly Muslim state, but the government is very open to ministry team coming in. As a result, Joel and Heidi are equipping churches by raising up and training children’s pastors to reach the children of the remote villages. Reaching adult Muslims is a nearly impossible task, yet the children are so open to Jesus and as a result, thousands of children, their parents and often tribal leaders are coming to faith because of the work being doing with the children.

Screen shot 2010-02-25 at 8.09.07 AMSo, Joel and Heidi have been in Burkina Faso for about 7 years, but just recently they’ve connected with Operation Christmas Child (Samaritans Purse). You may have participated with them, they distribute the shoe boxes to children in need. Well, in Burkina Faso the focus has primarily been on distribution of tens of thousands of these boxes. Joel and Heidi have been instrumental the last two years in working with Operation Christmas Child by setting up actual outreach programs around the distributions and training the volunteers in ways to minister to the kids and families during the distributions. It’s very exciting.

So, as you’re reading this, outreaches have already begun. In the next 8 days, 21 volunteers (African local who Joel and Heidi trained) will do 63 outreaches that will impact over 20,000 kids. They’ve been working very hard to be ready for this and the potential is absolutely amazing. This week, please be in prayer for Joel and Heidi, the teams working so hard and the kids who will get shoe boxes.… Read the rest

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