Sunday, February 24, 2008
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Thursday, August 02, 2007
after a little time, we have finally updated our home site to now include all our content, including this blog. Heretofor, the ThinkJump Journal (this blog) and other such content by Kim can be found at :
All activities formerly on this blog will now move there (the blog section of the site is called the "ThinkJump Journal").
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Friday, July 20, 2007
SOUND & MEDIA/TECHNOLOGY FORUMS
- http://www.churchmedia.net/ (both free and paid forums available)
- http://osministry.com/forum/ (techie idea exchange)
- http://www.howaudio.com/ (professional training)
VIDEO & GRAPHIC TECH INFORMATION/TRAINING
- http://www.churchvideoideas.com/ (great for churches and video)
- http://www.lynda.com/ (professional training)
I especially like the writings by Quentin Schultze and would encourage you to read any of this writings and articles on technology and the church. Such as follows:
VIDEO AND IMAGE CONTENT SITES
Many of you asked about image sites. I will be frank. I feel that a lot of Christian image/photo places are filled with predictable, or even cheesy images. Still there are some good collections that do have quality image and video collections. But regardless of that, every site will have its strong and weak images. And it will vary greatly on the type and artistic bent of your church.Here are some of the higher quality sites I use occasionally-
- http://www.corbis.com/ (not Christian focused, but excellent quality image database)
- http://www.istockphoto.com/ (again, not Christian-centric site, but contains good selection of useful images)
Nooma is the creation of Rob Bell at Mars Hills Church in Michigan. Each Nooma (there are now 17) are bite-sized 10-12 minute multimedia sermonettes. They could be used for small group discussion, on a Sunday morning, whatever.
UNIQUE TECHNOLOGY PRODUCTS/RESOURCES FOR CHURCHES
What I will list here are some products that I have recommended and/or use personally. Again, I am listing the URLs of the products to my company for simplicity sake. You could use this just as a reference for the product information and look around if you want to price shop. My hope is that you will find this list helpful and some of it may pertain to your local church.
- PlusDeck2c - (hardware) A computer device that actually plugs into your computer (Windows/PC) and lets you convert all those old sermon tapes and music library tapes to MP3 files (or CDs) directly on your computer. It's a great technology device for churches wondering how they are going to get their history of teaching and sermon tapes on to the web or mp3 disc or such. You can see an online review of it at http://churchvideoideas.com/2007/01/09/plusdeck2c-cassette-deck-for-converting-cassettes-to-mp3/ or you can look at it directly on our site at http://www.worshipmusic.com/plusdeck2c.html (be sure to watch the demo video online- page down to half way down the page to view it).
- Transposer - (software download) Transposer 2.0 allows you to raise or lower the pitch of any MP3 song without changing the tempo. You can also change the tempo of an MP3 song without changing the pitch. The quality of the recording remains the same, within reasonable limits (pitch changes of 3 semitones higher or lower, and tempo changes of less than 25%). The good thing is, you can try out the software for free to see if it works for you before you ever buy it. http://www.worshipmusic.com/gen-trans-pc.html
- Sweetly Broken Video - (digital download) modern worship song with an example of a wonderfully Cross-centered theme, but with humanized video images. http://www.worshipmusic.com/sweetly-broken.html . Go down to the sub-section for video of this song in the right-middle of the page and choose the video format best suited for your church (there are online samples for each).
- Mediashout - (software) In my opinion, the best video display program for Windows computers. http://www.worshipmusic.com/9847100000.html
- ProPresenter - (software) In my opinion, the best video display program for Mac computers. http://www.renewedvision.com/pp.php
- EasyWorship - (software) the video display software that is the easiest to learn and get up and running in your local church quickly. But has some important high-end limitations. Good for churches who want basic video support, but aren't wanting to tax it with extensive live video, compressed video files and running direct from DVD (all things EasyWorship does not do, or does poorly) http://www.easyworship.com/home.php
- God Songs - (book) a great book and resource for songwriters. I know its not exactly technology specific, but its an amazing resource for your worship and music people http://www.worshipmusic.com/1933150033.html
- Finale Music software - (software) the best music software for notation, in my opinion. http://www.worshipmusic.com/software-coda-music.html
- Praise.net - (website) a free online resource with discussion forum for worship leaders and worshipers.
- WorshipMusic.com - (website) my online company that is specifically meant for equipping churches in worship, music, technology and tools that encourage and bless worship. http://www.worshipmusic.com/
- WorshipTeam.com - (website) a new online web service for weekly worship planning. (this is what I have been working on for the last 4 years :) ) This is a legal, authorized online service that brings a complete suite of tools into a single solution environment to meet the needs of local church worship leaders, ministries and their team members. This complete tool set includes scheduling, personnel, document mgt, communication, songs, and order of service/list development all within a unique "workspace" that integrates this for your team. This service is in BETA test mode right now, and any one can check it out for free. http://www.worshipteam.com/
Saturday, November 18, 2006
The two week intensive (in which myself and the other 17 worship leaders participated in) was the inaugural run of the ICEWS Certificate In Worship Leadership & Spiritual Formation (you can check out more on their programs here).
How do I go about explaining the impact or learning that went on? Wow. That is tough. But one thing I learned most importantly, didn't have to do with the content of the course. Rather, it was the form of the learning environment. We learned as community. Sure there were great professors and staff, and we had lots of excellent instruction. This was no junior effort. Scholars like Dr. Peter Davids, Dr. Peter Fitch, and Dr. Greg Finley provided us with some remarkable information and examination of historic, current and future Christianity spirituality and community. We learned a lot. And were challenged deeply. Dan Wilt examined the historic and recent return to a more holistic following of Christ through our living as image-bearers of Christ on earth and the details of creational theology. We also had plenty of practical application, as day by day we connected through liturgy and personal and group devotion to our Creator. We walked through the historic practices (with instructor Lorna Jones) of Ignatian prayer, the daily hours and other learnings from our fore-fathers in the faith.
But what really struck me about this extended time was that the 18 of us students, became conduits of instruction, right along with our teachers, as the Holy Spirit taught us all through lecture, Q&A and round-table discussions. There was very little lecture actually. The weight of the new knowledge acquisition was placed on our reading/viewing of the 5 books, 2 multi-media, and about a dozen handout articles that were part of the intensive course. With that as the backdrop, the instructors would come into our sessions, present a 30 minute examination of their major points, and then the learning would explode. After the initial presentation of summary thoughts by the instructor, the students would be queried for an hour or more on what they thought, or insights they had, on the topic at hand. This would sound untenable, if you were not there. But this group of learners had committed themselves to being together for 2 weeks. And it was that commitment that bore open our souls to one another. And out came the wisdom of God, as it was being expressed in each of our unique communities. Instead of each of us having our own separate "grasp" of God's heart on a topic, we all shared. And soon we all were growing and learning from one another.
I have been a part of a number of "round table" meetings and instructional contexts. But none worked as powerfully as this. The reason? I believe it was commitment. All of us knew we were going to be spending a lengthy time together and we needed to be committed to each other, even living with one another, for the two weeks. It's quite a unique thing. I believe the commitment meant that we placed value in each other's words. That we held one another as essential. That without each person giving voice to God's wisdom in their life, that we were somehow not the complete expression of Christ's Body in that place, at that time.
Now, I am interested to investigate more this type of learning community. A symbiosis of community, commitment and valuing the voices of one another. It was remarkable how brilliant my brothers and sisters became in the light of loving them by valuing them enough to listen with a receptive heart. Perhaps they were always that brilliant. Perhaps I haven't been living, listening and valuing the voice of others as I should.
Wow. Now that is learning.
Teach me more Lord. Teach me more, brothers and sisters.
Friday, May 12, 2006
Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour.
When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, "Will you give me a drink?" (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) ...
...The woman said, "I know that Messiah" (called Christ) "is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us."
Then Jesus declared, "I who speak to you am he." Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, "What do you want?" or "Why are you talking with her?"
Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, "Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?" They came out of the town and made their way toward him.
Meanwhile his disciples urged him, "Rabbi, eat something."
But he said to them, "I have food to eat that you know nothing about."
Then his disciples said to each other, "Could someone have brought him food?"
"My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.
John 4:4-8, 25-34
Going through life, each of us develop little formula's and recipe's for nourishing ourselves. Often times we are able to survive and satiate the hunger in us by filling up with what seems obvious. Yet, the more we pile on the food of temporal life, the less nourishing it seems. We hunger, but we continue to eat fluff because it's what is being served. But that is not how it was meant to be. Jesus was tired and (one can assume), like his disciples, hungry and thirsty from the long journey. But it is clear that his recipe for sustenance included one main ingredient- obedience. And not just obedience to a mindless cause, but focus on the healthful food of heaven.
Jesus said it succinctly, "My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work". Are you hungry? Are you empty for real meaning? Are you in need of something, but don't know what it is? Are you finding what you do to be void of satisfaction, even in success? David, the psalmist, found the food of life, as he says in Psalm 34:8, "Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him."
Nothing is as deeply fulfilling as knowing you are acting on the advice of God, according to both His nature found in His word and the Holy Spirit's inspirational direction at the moment. One of those such moments came to me a few years ago. It was in the quiet place of my own home. During a time of contemplation, I felt inclined to pray and fast for the life of Christ to grow more evident in my family. As I took that journey, one day it seemed important to me that the real purpose of this particular fast was so that I could concentrate on the needs of my family. To serve them instead of myself. Seems obvious, but quite different when you are fasting for many days so that you can prepare and serve your family. One of those days, I remember making some burgers for them and God speaking in the kindest of voice- "Kim, how does this taste?" I hadn't eaten for a very long time, but my family was enjoying a meal. I realized what He meant. It was at that point that I knew part of selfish life cannot be simply mentally confronted, it must be done away with through action. Part of the power of the Christian disciplines is that you act in line with your theology to "exercise" your thoughts through obedience. You must push through the feeling of struggle in doing the discipline, and that gives a very real, very touchable understanding to the battle we are in. You begin to see that you really do play a part of this earthly conflict between the two kingdoms of light and darkness. And while we wouldn't account for anything on our own, He chooses to make us unbelievable valuable, and in fact places us in the midst of the important crucible of decision and action. If we decide and act along with Him, we confer our agreement to the kingdom of goodness and push the territory of the heavens further across this planet, as His glory covers earth.
In that journey, obedience is both thought and action. It will feel, it will hurt and it will bless. Taste and see that He is good. He really is! Kind of a fun encouragement to me was the quirky discovery while I was doing just a bit of cooking. My mom used to make burgers when I was a kid. I remembered she made a hearty combination of meatloaf type ingredients. When used in burgers, it made a plump and juicy burger. Attempting to recreate that from memory, I looked for some spices to add. In this process, I found out that spices normally meant for use on grilled chicken work quite a nice zesty flavor into juicy burgers. So, here is a fun little burger recipe that you are welcome to try, ala the accidental discovery of yours truly. It isn't the food of life, but it is tasty for the body!
Hope you like it:
makes 10 large burger patties
- 3lbs of ground beef (lean)
- 1 tube of saltine crackers (crushed into semi-fine grind)
- 4 eggs
- 1/8 onion (super finely ground/cut) - chopped dry onions are ok
- garlic salt/powder (to taste)
- McCormick Chicken Seasoning (4 teaspoons) -- you can substitute your own mix of salt, pepper, and paprika if you do not like the MSG that is added by the seasoning pre-made mix.
- black pepper (1 teaspoon)
- salt (2 teaspoons)- optional
- Mix crushed saltine grind with all spices
- Combine eggs, meat and dry mixture. Hand knead until completely mixed throughout.
- Form into patties
- Cook as desired. Medium/well burgers can be made at 18 minutes at 200F on a grill. Then let sit 5 minutes on low heat to melt real cheddar slices and settle juices in meat.