Digital Magazine Awesomeness

I know that not everyone likes the thought of reading books or magazines in a digital format.  Even if you don’t, you have to admit that this looks pretty cool.

I personally have converted to doing about 90% of my off-computer reading on my Kindle iPhone app and YouVersion Bible.

What do you think?  Will this kind of interaction win over any of you who have been sitting on the fence when it comes to digital reading?

Worshipping Together, Despite the Snow

Less than a year ago, Faith Promise took a new step of faith and started an Internet Campus. This weekend, because of ice and snow, we were forced to cancel our services on our Pellissippi Campus, and all of our weekend services happened exclusively online.

Here’s how it all played out: On Thursday, the weather report predicted massive amounts of ice and snow for the area, and since Pastor Chris already had the message ready to go, we set up cameras in the Worship Center, and he preached to four cameras and an empty room.

After he was done, our video guy, Matt James, edited the video to include the weekend announcements as well as several songs from a recent Wednesday night worship service. All of this was done before the weather got bad – just in case the weather forecast was right.

When the ice made our hill-top campus inaccessible, and we canceled all Pellissippi Campus services, Brad Roberts helped me rewire the iCampus for six worship services.

The services online went very well, and Pastor Chris got to experience the iCampus for the first time. It was really great to see he and his wife take an active role in the chat room over the weekend.

Online numbers are difficult to judge since each video connection likely represents multiple people – especially when people are snowed in at home. From what I can tell, I’d guess that at least one third of our congregation (and possibly over half) connected online over the weekend.

Crazy stuff! Who would have ever guessed that a whole congregation would be worshiping together online?

Guest Blogger

There are quite a few blogs that I follow on a daily basis. Keeping up with friends and family as well as trying to stay sharp in the area of technology and communications. One of my favorites is a blog called ChurchCrunch. Because of that, I’m pumped to be a guest blogger there today.

Maybe not the most exciting article unless you’re into video, but it’s cool to get to contribute there today.

2010 Goals

I’m planning for 2010 to be the most disciplined year of my life so far. Rather than planning for big ministry or family breakthroughs, I’m going to commit to daily and weekly disciplines that I believe will pave the way for those other things to happen too. This isn’t a new thing for me, but this year I’m branching out to include some new areas.

To aid me in this process, I’ve documented each of my 11 goals (for accountability). For the first time, I’m also going to journal my food intake and try to lose 10 lbs with the aid of an awesome free website called DailyBurn.

You can see a few of my resolutions below as well as the main screen from DailyBurn running on my iPhone.

What about you? Have you set any goals for 2010? If so, I’d love to hear about it.

YouVersion Update

youversion

If you attend Faith Promise Church, you can hardly help but get into the spirit of personal evaluation during this time of year.  Both Josh and Pastor Chris start focusing their attention on personal growth and establishing their plans for the coming year (excellent post by Josh here).

I thought I’d jump on the bandwagon to let you know about a cool update to YouVersion (a free Bible website that is mobile enabled and supported with mobile apps) that now allows you to select from a variety of reading plans.  This is a very cool update, and if you’re a person who struggles with reading the Bible, I’d highly encourage you to take a look at their reading plans and find a good fit.  There’s nothing that will help you grow spiritually like the systematic reading and application of God’s Word.

Are We Living in a Sci-Fi Movie?

Every once in a while, when I’m relaxing in my chair – reading the Bible or some other book on my iPhone, or looking at a map to find the location of something on my phone – I feel like pinching myself to see if I’m dreaming.  Technology continues to make so many advances that it really blows my mind.

And then today, I came across this video.  It runs on PCs with a multi-touch screen.  Not sure how useful it would really be, but it sure looks great!

Online Small Group

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I’m in the middle of trying to kick off an online small group using webcams for people to connect with each other. I think it will be a great way to build community and discipleship into the lives of people who are already connecting to our Internet Campus each weekend, and several churches seem to be using this technology very effectively.

Just in case someone else trying to do the same thing stumbles across this post, I’ve put together some guidelines and recommendations into a document. I’m sure that it will be a work in progress, but you can download it in a couple of different formats below:

Online Small Group Guidelines (pdf) (Word Doc)

Mr. Wizard’s Microscope

microscope for all occasions

I don’t know if Mr. Wizard was into  microscopes, but I’m sure he would love this little hand-held device that I bought for my daughter’s birthday last weekend.

It’s called the Bionic Eye, and it’s made by Eye Clops.  It plugs into your TV, and it has zoom levels of 100x, 200x, and 400x.  The best part: it only costs about $30.

Below you can watch a video of me testing out the microscope.

Even if my daughter doesn’t end up playing with it much, I’m going to get hours of fun from this thing.

If you happen to know of anything that’s especially cool to look at under a microscope, please tell me about it.