Archive for February, 2011

Free offline translations from YouVersion

Posted on 28. Feb, 2011 by .

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A few days ago I got an email from YouVersion telling me that you can download many translations of the Bible for offline access… for free. It’s in celebration of the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible. I logged in the other night and downloaded 5-6 versions of the Bible for all my devices. Fantastic! Since my iPhone always has internet access, accessing the online versions hasn’t been a problem. However, with these offline versions now available, I can read my preferred versions on my iPad when I don’t have internet or even on my iPhone when flying or something like that.

From what I understand, this special ends tomorrow (Tuesday, March 1st at noon). So, be sure and download the offline versions today! Click here for more info.… Read the rest

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App of the Week: Splice & movimup

Posted on 27. Feb, 2011 by .

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I thought I’d share two of the coolest new apps I came across this week. I was thinking to myself not too long ago about how much I hate that Titus is growing up so quickly. The funny way he said helicopter and propeller are gone. I should have gotten that on video. Or those other times I needed a quick video to get out to volunteers about something really simple… sometimes it’s not worth the hassle of getting the camera out, bringing it into iMovie and all that stuff. I can’t tell you how many videos I have sitting on my computer that need to be edited and put away for safe keeping. Sheesh, who has the time?

With my iPhone4, I take a lot more video with my phone. Actually, it’s my preferred video device unless water is involved. So, I started looking for some apps to make all of this a little easier. So, I found two that work GREAT together. The video above is the first I’ve made using these apps.

First of all is Splice. It has higher user ratings than iMovie for the iPhone and I must say, it’s pretty rad. It does titles, transitions, multiple voice and audio tracks, image pans, sound effects and more. So as far as simple is concerned, Splice has it covered. It’s one of those things where if I’m on vacation, I can film and take pictures during the day and create a quick little video in 20 minutes or so that night.

The only thing I wish you could do is change volume levels at various points in an track. From what I can tell, the volume of audio in the background is what it will be for the entire track.

Movimup is short for Mobile Vimeo Uploader.… Read the rest

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tag

Posted on 23. Feb, 2011 by .

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I found something pretty cool last week and I’m pretty excited about it. I’m not sure whether it will have significant impact, but I’m going to experiment with it. What am I talking about? It’s called tag by Microsoft. Essentially, it’s Microsoft’s version of the QR code that you see on postage from the post office now days. It’s just a little cooler looking than the pixelated blob of black.

So, what is it? How does it work? Easy. On your smartphone, go to http://gettag.mobi. From there you can download the app for your phone (iPhone users, you can get it right here). With the app, just scan the tag… line it within the guides on your display and it immediately takes the action you set up for that tag. You can set it up to go to a webpage or download contact information to your phone. You can set it up to call or text someone. I’m not sure how much it will catch on, but the possibilities could be profound.

I decided to do my own little experiment. The camp postcard we are handing out this week has a tag on it. I anticipate that most people won’t have any idea what it is. However, there is a web address on it… like the one below, so I’m betting that some people will be curious and look it up, download the app and try it. For this weekend, I’ll have it setup to take them to a unique page on our camp website where they can watch some videos from last year or something. I haven’t decided yet. That’s the beauty of the tag… I can always log in to the microsoft tag page and re-task what each tag does. Tag keeps basic analytics of each tag, so I can know how many people scan the tag each day.… Read the rest

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Camp Promo Card

Posted on 22. Feb, 2011 by .

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We’re currently about 5 months away from summer camp. Woo hoo! Our registration goes live this week, so we designed a promo postcard pointing people to the website (which isn’t quite done yet) so they could get all the info and register their kids. Last summer was the first real summer we’ve taken kids to camp and we’re hoping to increase camp attendance by nearly 60-75%.

So, below is the front and back of the postcard we designed. We ordered 1000 5.5 x 8.5 high gloss, two sided cards. So, what do you think?

We tried to create an energetic and fun card that was simple and too the point. Because we didn’t have a graphic artist available to complete this task, we used resources available to us… like the art provided by Chase the Light curriculum resource.

I’d love your feedback.

no images were found… Read the rest

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Perspectives and false impressions

Posted on 21. Feb, 2011 by .

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The human mind is a peculiar thing. It’s amazing how based on past experiences, current realities or different perspectives, we often jump to conclusions about people or things… usually to our loss. This is why first impressions are so dang important. If you don’t put your best foot forward, that person is going to jump to a conclusion about you or your ministry that may be totally false. It’s human nature.

Here are some of my experiences.

One of the best books I’ve ever read on the subject of kidmin was The Fabulous Reinvention of Sunday School. A co-worker handed it to me one day and after reading the back cover, I handed it back and said “no thank you.” I didn’t have anything against Willow Creek, but for the past year I had been trying to transition an elementary ministry away from a Willow inspired theatrical model that wasn’t being executed well. I saw the book through the pain of my current elementary reality. My co-worker forced the issue and I ended up staying all night reading the book.

Another book was similar. Lead the Way God Made You came out several years ago. When I read the back cover and skimmed the content, I got the initial impression that the book was about theatrical productions. I put the book back on the shelf. I don’t do theatrical productions. Six month ago the author contacted me about doing a book review. I did it for the free book. The book ended up impacting me tremendously and inspired an staff reorganization. The book wasn’t about theatrical productions.

When I got to Gateway almost three years ago, I was very excited to be back at a church that used Fellowship One. I had been at a church that used it before and for some ridiculous reason, they switched to another system.… Read the rest

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App of the Week: BackBlaze

Posted on 20. Feb, 2011 by .

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Okay, it’s not a app in the sense of iPhone Apps, but does loosely fit the definition. Backblaze is a computer backup solution. I’m brand new at using it, so I can’t tell you a lot from personal experience, but what I’ve seen so far, I really like.

Having been on a Mac now for well over two years, I’m ashamed to admit that I just started using Time Machine. Wow, why’d I wait so long. Time Machine is great, but unless you’re saving your data offsite (a place different than where you computer is), there is still a point of failure. One of the best options is online backup. Several of these already exist like Mozy, Carbonite and others and honestly, I’ve not really looked into them either. I did look into them in the past and I remember that they looked like expensive solution.  However, BackBlaze is pretty darn cheap. $5 a month or $5o for an entire year of online backup. That’s incredible!

The way it works is that BackBlaze begins transferring files to it’s servers in the background while you’re online. It will take several weeks to initially get all your data online. However, once it’s all backed up, it only makes changes as you make changes to the files on your computer. Then when you computer crashes… which it will… you can simply download your files.

Again, I’m impressed by what I see. I’ve not used it for very long, have not had to use the backup files, nor have I done a lot of research of other services recently. But I thought I’d pass along the info to you as my pick for App of the Week! Click here to check them out.Read the rest

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Guest post at Epic Parent Blog

Posted on 18. Feb, 2011 by .

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I had the distinct pleasure of guest posting on Chris Spradlin’s (Sprad’s) blog, epicparent.tv. Click here to read my post. I linked over to Sprad’s blog several weeks ago when writing about talking to your kids about sex. In addition to information I learned from a service at my church (Gateway), it was Sprad’s series on sex talks that inspired my series. He’s putting some good stuff out there. One of my favorites is his post on creative discipline. It’s an honor to be included on his “guest post Friday,” joining ministry greats like Scott Williams, Craig Groeschel and Gina McClain.

So, I wrote a short post (well, as short as I could muster up) about parents partnering with their Children’s Ministry. Be sure to check it out and leave lots a comments! :) I highly recommend subscribing to Sprad’s blog. You can do so by clicking here.… Read the rest

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The Almighty Bible Club Give Away

Posted on 17. Feb, 2011 by .

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So, yesterday I wrapped up my initial review of The Almighty Bible. I’ve never done a review that took three posts, but I’ve never really reviewed a product that was so comprehensive and versatile. I’ve been told to try to keep most posts at about 400 words and that was going to be too hard with all that this resource offered. To be honest, I’m not done. I still want to read one of the Biblical fiction books and give that a review, so maybe another one will come along in a few days.

However, the folks behind The Almighty Bible have something they want to give away. I’ve noticed that some other blogging friends have been giving away physical Almighty Bible books, but I’m giving away something different. I’m giving away three year-long memberships. Although pricing hasn’t been released yet, a year-long membership is a great gift… something you can use for your own kid or give away to a family in your ministry. I plan to have some families try it out and pilot it at our church.

So, I have three to give away. That means you have a lot of chances to win. Here is what you need to do.

First of all, write a comment below. Tell me your favorite memory of the Bible as a child or young believer. Second of all, send out a tweet linking people back to this post. You can say whatever you want to say, just use the #kidmin and #almightybible so I can track who tweeted. I’ll mix all the comments and tweets into random.org. The memory that sticks out the most to me from your comments, I’ll put in random.org 3 more times. This will run until Tuesday (Feb 22) at 11:59 PM.

Good luck!… Read the rest

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The Almighty Bible App

Posted on 16. Feb, 2011 by .

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I regret that I didn’t get a chance to finish my review of The Almighty Bible last week, but things got a little dicey at the end of the week. So, where was I? I wrote about the content and style of this new Bible here. I also wrote about the club here (which I think is what is most exciting). Lastly though, I didn’t talk about the app. Right now you can go to iTunes and download the app for your iPad. It’s a stunning app. Kids can flip from page to page, reading as they go along, or they can put it in auto mode and listen to the stories narrated to them as they look at the pictures. Many of the pictures are animated, almost giving it a 3D look and feel, so it’s not just simply looking at scanned images of the book. It’s a great experience.

I like this app, but I like what’s coming more than just the app in itself. Again, if you haven’t read my review of the club, read it here. Down the road, the people behind the Almighty Bible hope to launch an iPad version of the club. This way your kids can engage in the Bible… all the the books. They can play the games, collect the game cards, read the additional books and more. All of this from inside one app. Amazing! I really don’t think we’ve seen anything like this on the iPhone or iPad yet, and I’m thrilled. Although my three year old is a little young for The Almighty Bible, I will be recommending it to many!… Read the rest

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Local Networking

Posted on 16. Feb, 2011 by .

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In past posts, you may have seen me write about the power and importance of networking. I really didn’t get this until about four years ago when I began this blog. I was never really good at networking with those in my own community. I felt like there were all kinds of barriers that I’ll get into later. However, starting a blog felt different. I could get my ideas out there and interact with those who were listening (reading) and I could interact with other blogs that I connected with. It didn’t take that long, but within a year, I had the beginnings of a very strong network for encouragement, ideas and friendship. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my 14+ years of ministry is that I’ll never do it alone again.

However, networking over the web is a little different from networking locally. On the web, people put themselves out there and you can watch, learn and listen for a little while before truly engaging. Yes, you can lurk. When networking locally, you don’t always know what you’re going to get. You can call a dude up from the church down the road and invite to coffee and be surprised by a two hour lecture on flannel graph techniques. How do you navigate that relationship? It feels risky, doesn’t it?

Truth is, when it comes to networking, it’s a risk worth taking. Why?

  1. Not everyone is going to have a blog or create relationships online. If you don’t, you’re going to need to connect locally.
  2. As great as it is to connect with like-minded people online, what’s happening locally is where it’s at. You’re in this together. You and the churches down the road are all trying to reach the same community, it only makes reasonable sense that you’d be connected at some level.
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