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Ode to my iPad

iPad-Decal-love_picnikIt’s been about a year since I got my iPad and I have to say that I LOVE IT!!! When I first heard of the iPad it sounded like a really cool toy, something that I would use here or there but not necessarily a power tool for me. After a year with my “toy”, I confess that I was wrong. It’s actually turned into one of the primary tools that I use for biblical studies, general reading, e-mail management, news and entertainment. Here are just a few of the ways that I use my iPad in life and ministry:

  • Current Events – Since I got my iPad I’ve actually started keeping up with the news through a couple of great apps. I use Editions to collect a daily magazine that I browse through. What’s cool about Editions is that it customizes the magazine for my personal tastes, so it only brings me stories that it thinks I will be interested in. I use The Early Edition to collect Newspaper stories from various newspapers that I like to follow. I use the Fox News app as well as the Bing app to stay up to the minute on what’s going on in the world.  I also just started using the Time app, which is a companion to Time Magazine, that gives you even more in depth coverage of the stories that the magazine covers.
  • Reading Books – I never thought that I would be a big e-book fan, but I have completely fallen in love with them. I definitely have not given up on the traditional book and in a lot ways I do think that "real books" are better than e-books, but for light reading e-books are outstanding! I usually have between 4 and 5 e-books that I’m reading at a time (mainly in kindle format). I also use the iPad to read most all of my magazines.
  • Bible Study – I still do most of my Bible Study with "real books" on my desk, in my study but I also find myself doing quite a bit of study using the Logos app that gives me access to thousands of my titles wherever I’m at. I’ve been a logos user for many years but ever since I got my iPad, I’ve become much more of a power user. Nothing beats the convenience of going home after work, playing with the kids, getting everyone to bed and then pulling out my iPad and making my way through a technical commentary. What’s even better is that all of the highlighting and note taking that I do on my iPad syncs wirelessly to my desktop, so all of my notes are there right when I need them.
  • Presentations – I’ve been a PowerPoint user for years, but when Keynote came out for the iPad I had to give it a try and I have to confess that I love it!!! I’m working on a way to use the iPad’s Keynote for a Sunday morning service, but one thing that I already use it for is counseling. I’ve put together a couple of presentations that I use frequently in counseling situations (like Peacemaking and laws of communication), which have turned out beautifully. I will usually face the iPad towards the couple I’m counseling with and use my phone to control the slides as we work our way through the material.
  • Task ManagementI use Awesome Note to do all of my task management, integrating with Evernote on my iPad. This way I have my task list with me, wherever I go.

When the iPad first came out, the question everyone asked was what was it’s purpose. It seemed like a solution to a problem that didn’t exist. Having used it for a year, it’s definitely found a good purpose in my digital life and I’m sure over time I’ll find even more uses for it.

June 04 2012 | Digital Pastor | 1 Comment »

Which iPad Should I Get?

question-markIn addition to being the pastor of a wonderful church, I’ve also turned into the resident tech guru. So, whether it’s buying a new laptop or trying to figure out how to get onto the church’s wifi, I’m kind of the default person to ask. One of the most common questions that I get in the tech-arena is which iPad is the best one to get. So, in an effort to cut down on my work load I’ve decided to simply write a blog post that I can direct people to when they’re thinking about taking the leap.

I should begin by saying that the question is a very difficult one because the answer is different for everyone but here are a few principles that might help guide you to the right decision.

  1. Always get the latest version. It’s temping to save some money by getting last year’s version but I promise that you will regret it. As software progresses the older versions end up slowing down and you end up getting frustrated. It’s always best to get the latest version so that you can get the maximum amount of enjoyment out of it before you have to upgrade. On a side note, remember that technology today is very disposable. You will end up having to replace your home PC every 3 – 5 years, your phone every 2 years and your tablet every 2 – 3 years (although the jury is still out on that one). We can bemoan this situation and the loss of quality products that would last a lifetime, but this is just the way that the industry works. Also, don’t forget that every time you upgrade you get something that is so much massively better than what you had (because of the pace that technology is advancing today), it really does make the investment worth it.
  2. If you have an iPhone or other smart phone, I would get the wifi only model of the iPad. Maybe it’s just me, but I just can’t imagine myself paying for a data package on my phone and another one on my iPad. That just seems ridiculous! Although, if the cellular companies do end up going to a system where you can share your data package with different devices that might change the equation enough to make it worth getting the 3G option.
  3. On the other hand, if you don’t have a smartphone with a data package I would get the 3G enabled (or 4G now?) version, because it will make it such a useful tool when you’re out on vacation away from your home network and any other stable internet connection.
  4. I recommend getting the 16GB version, because it seems to be more than enough space for most people. What takes up most of the space on your device is movies and apps. So if you’re the kind of person who likes to have tons of movies and music on your device or if you like to have lots and lots of apps (most of which you probably don’t use) than you might want to get a bigger hard drive, but otherwise 16GB seems to be more than enough.
  5. As far as getting a case goes. I recommend getting one of the smart covers from Apple and then a plastic clam shell for the back of iPad to protect it against drops, accidents, etc. I would also recommend getting some sort of a sleeve for transportation.

I should finish this post up by mentioning how much I love my iPad. I use it constantly throughout the day for reading, counseling presentations, e-mail and a host of other things. If you’re looking to get a full powered tablet, I think the iPad is the only choice. On the other hand, if you’re just looking for a simple device that will let you read books, play some games, and do some light web browsing than I would definitely take a look at the Kindle Fire for just $200. It’s not the same experience as an iPad, but for a light user it’s perfect and more than $300 less.

 

May 28 2012 | Digital Pastor | 1 Comment »

Digital Pastor: The “Sumo”

One of the headaches of technology is how to organize all of the wires, plugs, USB Cables, etc. that our devices need w/o making it look like a cluttered mess and without losing them behind the desk, nightstand, etc.

SO_top_01

The best answer for this admittedly first world problem is the “Sumo.” I got my sumo for Christmas and I love it so much, that I’ve ordered two more (one for my wife’s nightstand and one for my desk).

It’s basically a large paper weight for your cables that keeps them organized and prevents them from falling behind your desk or nightstand.

The sumo costs $12 from amazon and you can get more information about it from blueLounge’s website (including a video demonstration).

January 05 2012 | Digital Pastor | Comments Off on Digital Pastor: The “Sumo”

Cultivating a Stamina for Waiting

Great article here on patience in relationships.

Hurry is no friend to love.

Instant video streaming, on-demand programming, twenty-four hour grocery, credit-cards, texting, and next-day delivery are wonderful. They reward my desires instantly. Immediacy befriends me. Entitlement invites me to come over. We party at once and without delay. So, when I crave a food, want a mood from a show, or need aspirin from Walgreens at 3:00am, I feel quite grateful for this split-second, on the spot way of life.

But ask me how long I can handle no response after I’ve texted or emailed somebody before I begin to doubt whether they like me, or think I’ve done something wrong to offend them or ascribe negative judgments about their character, and you can begin to see through me into an area of weakness. I am unskilled at waiting;  unpracticed in managing the emotions that waiting requires. I am an amateur at patience. Which according to the Apostle Paul means that I am in this area of my life an amateur at love, unschooled and unseasoned. Naively, I try to apply the instant, immediate, entitlement way of life to my relationships, my marriage, my work-place, my dreams, and my problems. Perhaps this is why young married’s these days are struggling to make it through their first three years and why the average stay of a pastor or a congregant in a church isn’t much better.

I’ve been trained that when I do not get what I want, exactly how I ordered and immediately, I can raise my voice, complain, ask to see a manager, threaten to take my business elsewhere, threaten to speak poorly about the experience to other consumers. But try these tools when attempting to build a long life of friendship or love with another human being or in community as a congregation of Jesus-followers and this “on-my-demand” kind of approach doesn’t cut it. I can push a button, mouse-click a computer screen, or slide my plastic card for instant reward with little effort. But building a career of integrity in a company will require most of us to work hard, daily, with integrity, and over the long haul. This humbles those of us who are rookies at sticking around. Jesus provides the grace here that we rookies need.

Rarely then can words like “instant” and “love” go together and we can give thanks to God for this. By connecting love to patience Jesus recovers for us the idea that sexually, people are not meant for our on-demand use, educationally, people need time to learn; mentally, people need time to recover from what has nearly broken them; that work has more than our own immediate wants in mind, that pastors and church members have a purpose larger than themselves, a reason to tarry with each other that impatience cannot comprehend.

It also means that God in Jesus has never been impatient with you. His judgments and His mercies  have both been patiently given to you. Jesus intends to save us from our haste and to recover our view of God. He does so and slowly but steadily in Him our stamina grows.

HT: Vitamin Z

August 24 2011 | Blog | Comments Off on Cultivating a Stamina for Waiting

The Scrollwheel

If you’ve ever watched someone use a computer who wasn’t quite up to speed you’ll really enjoy this.

February 18 2011 | Blog | Comments Off on The Scrollwheel

Oops!!!

I’ve been feeling kind of under the weather lately and just noticed that I completely missed writing a post yesterday, yikes!!!  I think it’s been over a year since I did that.  In any case, I’ve got something all lined up for tomorrow and to make amends, here’s a great video clip I just found on how to make your facebook account a little more secure.

February 01 2011 | Blog | Comments Off on Oops!!!

“Really”

I don’t think that Microsoft is going to have the solution to this problem, but man did they make a great ad about it 🙂

December 17 2010 | Blog | 1 Comment »

IT Support vs. Pastoral Ministry

This is very tongue in cheek, but having done some IT Support in the past and being a Senior Pastor right now I think this post from Pyromaniacs is hilarious!

26 ways in which doing IT Support is better than being a pastor

For the most part:

  1. People come to you for help — instead of assuming that, if you really knew your job, you pphonewould intuitively know they needed help, and come to them without being asked.
  2. Everyone immediately tells you, to the best of his ability, what his or her actual issue is.
  3. Everyone who asks you a question really wants to hear the answer.
  4. Everyone who asks you for help really wants to he helped.
  5. Everyone who calls you really does want his/her computer to work the very best it can.
  6. You and your callers agree that computer bugs and problems are bad, and should be done away with.
  7. When you identify viruses, spyware, unwanted popups, and crashes as "bad," and target them for elimination, the folks you help don’t accuse you of being harsh and judgmental.
  8. Nobody who calls you is actually in love with the computer problems and misbehaviors they’re experiencing.
  9. When you identify a computer malady you want to eradicate, nobody can wave a book or point to a Big Name who argues that it is actually the latest, greatest "thing" in computers, and should be earnestly sought after, cherished, cultivated, and spread abroad.
  10. Nobody who calls you for help thinks that he’s hearing a little voice in his heart telling him that what you’re saying is just so much smelly cheese.
  11. Everyone to whom you give sensible counsel will hear, heed, remember, and follow that counsel — they won’t insist on "feeling an inner peace" before doing it.
  12. Everyone thinks you do crucial, important, and respectable work; nobody assumes that it is because you can’t get a "real job."
  13. Everyone assumes you’re well-trained, know what you’re doing, and know at least some things they do not already know.
  14. While you are expected to be knowledgeable and competent at what you do, you are not expected to be perfect.
  15. Most times, you know immediately when you’ve helped someone; you don’t have to wait six months, six years, or six decades, to see whether your fix has “taken” or not.
  16. On the worst day, if you do even a half-decent job, you can go home knowing for certain that you’ve really helped 5, 10, 15, 20 or more people.
  17. If you don’t know the answer, it’s probably on Google. Somewhere.
  18. When you discover a new, better, more effective way to accomplish the goals you share with the folks you help, they’re happy — not angry at you because it’s different from "the way we’ve always done it."
  19. The people you help don’t care how you’re dressed.
  20. The people you help don’t care how many committees your wife does or doesn’t head up.
  21. The people you help don’t hold your children to standards their children couldn’t even spell.
  22. The people you help don’t periodically form secret committees and whisper-campaigns to get you ousted.
  23. The people you help don’t all assume they know how to do your job better than you do, while actually knowing next to nothing about it.
  24. Everyone is fairly clear on what your job actually is: fix their computer so they can get back to work, or work better.
  25. The people you help evaluate you by whether you do or do not do your actual and well-defined job effectively — not by how you "make" them "feel."
  26. The people you help aren’t judging you as inferior to a beloved support technician who died ten (or a hundred) years ago.

AFTERWORD: Hope this proves to be encouraging (and chuckalicious) reading for you who are gifted as pastor-teachers, as well as thought-provoking for beneficiaries of their ministry.

October 06 2010 | Blog | Comments Off on IT Support vs. Pastoral Ministry

The Stats on Internet Pornography

Here are interesting and tragic stats on internet pornography.  I found the one about Utah’s online porn subscription rate to be especially interesting.
The Stats on Internet Pornography
Via: Online MBA

HT: Gizmodo

July 14 2010 | Blog | 1 Comment »

Microsoft’s Secret Plan…

As a huge supporter of Microsoft, I found this to be absolutely hilarious!!!

June 11 2010 | Blog | Comments Off on Microsoft’s Secret Plan…

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