Monday, December 31, 2007

Christmas pictures

The Christmas gathering at Bert's is always the favorite time of year with the kids. Bert does a wonderful job at preparing and presenting a very good time for all. I thank you Bert for all your hard work and you generosity and thoughtfulness. You are a blessing to us.






Here is Bert and Brandie talking about the Christmas jacket that she got for Christmas and Brandie liked it so much she put it on immediately.


This picture from the concert we had at church was taken backstage and the hospitality volunteers did a wonderful job at making us feel like movie stars, it was pretty cool, the food was excellent.


Here is my favorite picture of Bert and Brandie. Brandie thinks the world of her and I have to say that I believe that the feelings are definitely mutual there. It is such a privilegeto have such a wonderful sister-in-law and great friend for myself, my kids and my family.


be strong and courageous

It seems to be a theme that is pelting me lately from all directions as if God is trying to get it through my thick skull that although times are tough, money is tight, and answers are few, I am to be strong, and courageous and trust that He is in control of everything whether or not I understand any of it.
Be strong
Be courageous
or as Pastor Chris reminded us yesterday...Fear not.
Transitions, uncertainty's, troubles of various kinds, these things are always going to plague us this side of eternity until He returns and makes all things right again. In the meantime, Trust that He loves us enough to lead and guide and we are to listen as best we can, and fear not for He is with us even unto the ends of the earth.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas eve concert and candle light service



Last night was our Christmas eve concert and candle light service. The Band was totally amazing and the crowds were spectacular. God was doing some tugging on the hearts of many and the enemy was doing a lot to try and stop it. Sunday during dress rehearsal the lighting board locked up and crashed and we lost all of the memory settings that were stored and Dave had to start reprogramming the board all over again. we were pretty bummed but Dave did an excellent job at getting the board reprogrammed in time for the services on Monday. We had an incredible staff of volunteers and every one of them had this wonderful attitude to them that just made me feel honored and privileged to be given the pleasure to work with them and be a part of something that was truly greater than ourselves and could not have been pulled off if God was not helping us and equipping us with the talent and attitude necessary to keep everything pulling together in a common goal of leading the audience into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ, Which after four spectacular services, appeared to do just that. Here is a picture from one of the practices.


This was taken with my cell phone and I will upload some pictures below taken from my digital camera.











This is the light board that crashed, It really is a good light board, but the operating system has some bugs that needs to be worked out.



This is backstage after the first show. Our hospitality volunteer Pam out did herself on making us feel like we were in Hollywood. She had tables with fresh flowers set up and candles burning and lots and lots of food for us to eat.




The whole day was a huge win and I thank God that He gave me the opportunity to be a part of it.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Christmas Lights done to music



I have blogged about Christmas lights syncronized to music before, but this one has always been my favorite. The guy who developed the program to syncronize this has got to be a very inteligent person to get the computers to sync up this well. anyway, When I first got this video that was sent around via e-mail, I had not heard of the Trans-siberian orchestra before, but after I saw the video and heard the very cool mix that the TSO did, I just had to get their music, which I hear is now available at wally world, but I got mine at their webiste.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christmas eve concerts


Christmas eve is a wonderful time of the year as we celebrate the Birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. TSO has a really cool song called Christmas eve in sarajevo which is totally cool.

We did this song last year in our Christmas eve Concert, maybe not quite as good as TSO, but we rocked the house off just the same. I am looking forward to this years Christmas eve presentation and I have seen some numbers that show a great deal of people are as well. This year the Orchard has done a free ticketing system to help estimate the attendance per show so that we can better prepare in advance for the numbers that are coming. The three O'clock and five O'clock services are all filled and the seven O'clock service is just about filled. Thats a lot of people (I saw a number that have 1100 in it and that is just for starters.) So they have a 1:00 one added.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Christmas Greeting

Here is a Christmas greeting I did on my macbook. This is my first attempt at a video so hopefully it looks o.k.

Monday, December 10, 2007

sermon slides, keynote and ProPresenter

Tried something new this weekend that seem to work out great. One of my pet peeves with keynote was the lack of user friendliness when you need to use it in conjunction with several other programs in order to make a professional looking show. The screens flash when you go into a show, tab out of a running show or escape when done with a show; How annoying. Now We have been finding that when we produce keynote in the wide screen formats and have to shrink them to a slightly smaller size so that the show displays correctly on our not quite standard wide screen screens, that the formatting of the slides and the others stuff in them seem to not translate into the dimension that look the best on the screens something ends up either looking a bit squashed or in worst case scenarios, stretched. So they have been creating the show, and then exporting the entire show in the 720 letterbox dimensions as .jpgs, and then remaking the show using the .jpgs and then when the show using the inspector function gets re-sized into the 680 dimension, the images keep their intended shape and Poof! a good looking show, but still needing to be run in Keynote... or is it? That popped into my noodle Saturday while I was running the show. The slides are all converted into .jpgs already, why not just dump them into a special image playlist in ProPresenter? we have to use it for the pre sermon bumper, and the mid sermon interview movie that we have to jump out of keynote for anyway, this way the slides can be put into the order of appearance and keynote is not needed during presentation at all. So I set up a play list and dropped the .jpg images into it and put the movies where they belong and ....Yes it worked just great, and not just great, but easier for the operator to navigate because he can see more than just the next slide. If the speaker needs to jump ahead because of time restraints or if he decides to reiterated on a point that was used already, the slides are there for the clicking and the movies also were ready for the clicking and all went well and smooth. Now we can't use any fancy pants transition this way, but technically, we weren't using any anyway. The cheesy stuff we don't use because it just doesn't add to the message but actually can be a distraction to it. So we now have a great way of doing the slides and the flash from dropping out of key note is gone because we don't use it, and all looks a whole lot better than it did and the operators are happy because it is now easier to run a presentation. Cool.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

slooooowwww dddoowwwnnn.......

It is First Wednesday,

The day of the month we gather at the Orchard to just S_L_O_W_____D_O_W_N!!!!!!!

Slow down and remember, reflect and respond to what God is doing and wants to be doing in our lives. It is a time to worship the one who Was Who is and Who is to come. To pull back from the hecticness of the season and to remember the reason for the season. Gods Love for us and His desire to bring us back to him. To free us from the bondage of sin and to change us into His likeness again.

I have to admit that the hecticness is wearing me down and I am weary from the stress, The reason flees from me and I loose sight of my goals of becoming more like Christ and start becoming more of the opposite. To resist becoming Scroogy; Grinchy; or just plain grumpy has failed and it is now time to take a step back and like Charlie Brown, Yell out "Doesn't anyone know what Christmas is all about!?!" and wait for Linus to say: " I know what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown... Lights please - " ...Luke chapter 2 (msg):

8-12There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God's angel stood among them and God's glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, "Don't be afraid. I'm here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David's town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you're to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger."

13-14At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God's praises:

Glory to God in the heavenly heights,
Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.

15-18As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the sheepherders talked it over. "Let's get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us." They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing was believing. They told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child.

This is what Christmas is all about.

I need to slow down more than just about anyone and just RELAX!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The toy watch list

Go to the list and find out about these before you buy them and harm your child.

the gift of a cup of water

We have started something at the Orchard that is bigger than we are (IT's God sized) . We are going to take some of the money that we would have used for a gift purchase, and collect it together for a two purpose event. !/2 will go to life water to help provide clean water to areas across the world that do not have even the simplest of necessities that we take for granted here, like clean water. the other 1/2 will go to the needy locally. so this is a glocal event and it sounds to be totally cool. Scott has posted a video that he did to help [romote it and its on you tube now so I can embed it for you to watch as well so it is here:

Monday, December 3, 2007

Count-down timer in ProPresenter

The Count Down timer function works decent in ProPresenter, it is located down on the lower left portion of the layout in the same section as the nursery alerts. in fact it is now a tab within that module of the programs interface. we use a 5 minute timer before services and you can format any background to go with it. I think a self made background with "we will begin in..." floating all over the screen would look pretty cool and you should be able to make one in key note with graphics and other cool things. Export it as a QuickTime movie and use that as the background for your timer.  remember to keep the area in dead center open when you make the background because that is where the timer defaults to.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

His Kids Radio

Here is something that sounds great for kids, I have been hearing about "His Kids Radio" from WMBI for about a year now. I was thinking on getting the kids one of these last year, but at $49.00 I just may get one this year for the family. If you are out of the coverage area there is a WIFI version of His kids radio that connects through WIFI on the internet wirelessly from your own high speed internet connection for $179.00.

Monday, November 26, 2007

global warming...a farsk?

I am listening to the radio and am finding out that the whole global warming thing is put together through faulty science that threw together a scare tactic called forcing and that this forcing with the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is called global warming. These bogus calculations that were added to their calculation programs are turning back inflated data to support their cause and thus add to the global warming bureaucracy and that these scare tactics are put in place so that we will continue to fund their research. They show you the polar ice caps melting but don't tell you about the antarctic ice caps expanding. These are natural occurrences and I would almost bet that in a few more years we will see the antarctic icecaps melting while the polar icecaps are expanding and the global warming experts will be pointing out the melting of those whi! le intentionally not reporting the expanding of the icecaps on the other end of the globe. so anyway check out moody's website at www.wmbi.fm and hopefully they will have links posted soon about some of this.

Christmas Lights done to music

Here is another example of high tech christmas lights. I have seen the wizards of winter lights show from Ohio and it got me to really liking the Trans-siberian Orchestra; So anyway I googled you tube for their Christmas in Serejavo song and found an entry where a high tech person has used this song for their background for their Christmas lights show. So I am embeding that here for your enjoyment. Check out the Orchard as well, we have a Christmas candlelight service coming up on Christmas eve at 3,5,and 7 pm. Always crowded and always stellar!

here is the video that I found on youtube...


Friday, November 23, 2007

a alternative to gift cards

They were discussing on the radio today a way of giving money without using gift cards, because gift cards can expire, reduce in value or just plain be to a store that you may not want to, or if your a big man like me, cannot shop at. So they are suggesting that you fold money into cute shapes as seen at many website's but here is just one of them.
Mu opinion is that cash is just too hard to keep from wasting, so instead of being cutesy, which would not impress me in the least, give generic type gift cards that can be used anywhere, like an American express gift card or visa gift card etc.
This way they can use it anywhere and so on.

Monday, November 19, 2007

sad news...

I am sad to tell you that Mr. Whipple will no longer be telling you "Please don't squeeze the Charmin". The actor who played Mr. Whipple has died at the age of 91. You can read the story here.

Friday, November 16, 2007

background elements for ProPresenter movies

I have been reading up on the backgrounds and hoe we can use them in the shows to make a better impact with the songs. One thing that I just read and thought was pretty cool was the palindrome setting. Palindrome will play the clip forward tot he end then play it backwards to the beginning and so on where looping will play the clip from beginning to end and back to the beginning again. Some of the clips we use have distinctive start and stop points which make it choppy when it is looping may actually look better playing it in palindrome mode. So I am going to try and set some up that way and see how they look.
 
Another thing I noticed it that you can set up background cues within the song on the presentation layout screen. I was wondering about this as it becomes distracting to jump to the backgrounds page to change backgrounds and then of you don't click in the layout pane then if you hit the right arrow on the keyboard, you change backgrounds again. (very nerve wracking), but if the background cues works as I am reading it, then as you are presenting the song, when you get to a background cue then the background elements automatically changes totthat element and you can just keep on trucking on. every slide after that cue that does not have a cue preset will lay the text over what is currently playing till you get to the next cue which changes the background again. I have pasted the test from ProPresenters help webpage below for your reading and interpretation...
 

Creating Background Cues

 

In addition to choosing backgrounds on the fly, you may wish to create a Background Cue, which triggers a particular Background when a slide is chosen. While holding down the Command (Apple) key, drag a background from the Backgrounds Bin onto a Foreground slide. This creates a "Background Cue", adding a "BG" icon and thumbnail image to the slide as a visual indicator.

NOTE: Be aware that you are not "Setting a Background" for this slide, but rather "Triggering" a background to play when this slide is selected. All text slides that do not have background cues will display over the currently playing background. You should not assign the same background to multiple slides in a row as this serves no purpose and will restart the background at the beginning of every slide you choose.

You can remove a background cue by control- or right-clicking the foreground slide and selecting "Clear Background".

Thursday, November 15, 2007

new version of Pro-Presenter

I have seen the new and latest version of ProPresenter and it is looking good for the most part, They have made some good changes like allowing you to set up DVD clips into the DVD library and run those from within ProPresenter. I am looking forward to getting the chance to experiment with this new feature and see just how well this is going to work. I ran a DVD the other day using iDVD and using the settings of having full screen go directly into display 2, the remote is on the desktop, this works good if you pre set the movie to go, but if you are in need to jump from clip 1 to clip 2 and etc, this new version of ProPresenter seems to be fully capable of doing this for us. I did notice a small glitch in which I hope they are working on correcting. The glitch is that the text for the slides that are in being viewed by the operator no longer are synchronized with how it will look on the display for the audien! ce and may even over lap the edges of the thumbnails. It made me nervous when I first opened the new version and saw that my song that was laid out looked awful but when I put the slide up on the display it was just fine. I wonder if it was just an oversight and I think that it will be an easy fix for them and it should be fixed in a few days. Otherwise the program should be fine and it will be cool to see just how well the new DVD features work. Back in the days when we used a P.C. (shudder here), we used easy worship which also had a DVD section to it and we had used it and it was fair. I hope that the ProPresenter programmers have made it easier to navigate the clips and set them up. We shall see in a few days.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

embedding videos with you tube

I found out that you can embed video's from you tube into your blog without having to deal with the suggested video's popping up at the end of the video. That was always a concern because you just rally don't know what is going to pop up as a related video and whether or not it is something that is nasty and ir-relevant to what your video was in the first place. I ran into this when I blogged about the Christian vs Christ-follower videos that I embedded from you tube in an earlier post. When the video was done the related videos did have some more related videos that were ok, but then there were some gross video parodies also and that just seemed a bit inappropriate for what I like to blog about. So this past time to you tube I noticed a customize link just above the embed script and when you go into customize you can turn off the related video section and then you get a new embed script that will play just the video. It sounds like it will work. i still need to watch the poorly recorded T.S.O. video that I blogged, (It looks like someone recorded it from within the concert, but that's ok, it gets the point across on just how good the music of the trans-siberian orchestra really is!) so watch the video, let me know if the related section really is gone or not and I will do the same. If it turns out that it doesn't work, I'll append this with a statement of findings, but from the sounds of it, this should work so that just what you want blogged for the video is what gets viewed as well.

more TSO from YOu tube

Tso and Christmas music what a great combination!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Hymns for a childs heart

Today on family-life today they talked about Hymns, with by Joni Eareckson Tada and Bobbie Wolgemuth.
This sounds like a great deal for those who know the hymns and even those who don't. It should make a good Christmas present for Mom so I just may have to get it for her.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Ephesians 5:22-33 MSG.

22-24Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands.

It must be that many churches stop here when they preach this but without even a mention to the rest of the story. If we read the rest of what Paul was trying to tell us then how should we treat our wives?
I would say much differently then we do now. read on...

25-28Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church-a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ's love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They're really doing themselves a favor-since they're already "one" in marriage.

So, we are to love and go all out for our wives in the same way that Christ did for the church, but what did Christ do for the Church? He laid his life down for the church so that "She" could be saved from an eternity separated from God His Love for humanity (the church) and his obedience to the father (God as a whole) drove him to finish what he was sent here to do in the first place. to concur sin and death and provide us a way to God where there was no way before.

How many of us treat our wives with this kind of value? I haven't, and I know that many of those who keep their wives under their thumbs would try to claim an exemption to this, but it is written, it is written in plain English and we will be responsible to God for the ways that we have treated our wives and many of us will be ashamed of ourselves when our true motives are revealed. Motives we may not have even realized were there, for if we only knew how good life can be by following Christ's example, we would have done it long ago, but the world has us fooled into this control mentality that we are blinded by it. read on...

29-33No one abuses his own body, does he? No, he feeds and pampers it. That's how Christ treats us, the church, since we are part of his body. And this is why a man leaves father and mother and cherishes his wife. No longer two, they become "one flesh." This is a huge mystery, and I don't pretend to understand it all. What is clearest to me is the way Christ treats the church. And this provides a good picture of how each husband is to treat his wife, loving himself in loving her, and how each wife is to honor her husband.

Caring for His wife like he cares for his own body...what a concept.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Sunday, October 28, 2007

isight funnies

I had my sister-in-law over last night and the family and I had fun playing with the isight camera in photo booth. Check this out...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

new discovery with the new version of keynote

I found a new thing that will prove to be quite useful in the new version of keynote. It used to really bum me that we couldn't switch to another application while a keynote show was playing, but not any longer. With the new version of keynote, while the show is running, you can command tab and keynote will release the screen to whatever running application had it last. This is quite an advantage as we no longer have that lag time of escaping out of a keynote show to put up a nursery alert in ProPresenter, we can just command tab with gives the screens back to the ProPresenter program we were using, and while using the series transition as a background, a even slighter blink happens than when you have to escape out of the keynote show, now you can put up a nursery alert, run a movie in IDVD or QuickTime, and then Command tab back through your applications to the running keynote show and you are back to where you were and r! eady for the next slide. This will prove quite handy as we were having a bit of an issue with keynote running the high definition video's last week, and this opened up the opportunity to run the video's using just about anything we want. Very cool, and Thank you Apple!.

Monday, October 22, 2007

smiling addiction video

Here is the a video that was in the sermon. Think about it after watching it.
What is your happy pill so to speak, Money?, Work?, Status? life lived alone is so miserable.


Saturday at the Orchard (IT ROCKED THE HOUSE!)

Saturday was way cool, we had just short of 400 people come out for the debut of the new Saturday service and it was awesome!
The Band was great as always (we have been blessed with a tremendous group of extraordinarily talented musicians!)
The audio visual was quite a challenge, but we got it going and it was very good, Sunday was better because we learned from our minor mistakes, and even was able to polish the edges on the video transitions and made a very good presentation even better.
with 3 screens, 2 Macs, and now 2 KVM video switching consoles, we had to learn some new ways to transition from Pro-presenter to Keynote with out having the very noticeable screen flash/sync that we got Saturday, so what we decided was to start from a black screen, set the KVM's the screens now will sync up un-noticeable and then they are ready for the next video segment, which Pro-presenter wasn't handling very well, It uses quick time, so when we would drop a 400mb movie into the video folder, the program would lock up, drag down the mac to a crawl, and we even crashed once Saturday. so Keynote already works very well with video's and the videos we were playing were very integral to the sermon which was on keynote already, so we added the pre-sermon to the front of the keynote presentation and put the mid-sermon video in the proper place inside of the keynote presentation set the video not to play when selected but to wait for the mouse click (or next arrow on the keyboard) so when the band was finished with the last song, and the pre-service video was up next, we would fade the screens to black, switch the KVM's so all three screens would be run by the Mac being used for the Keynote presentation, Hit play on keynote fade down the lights and press the right arrow on the keyboard and Ta-da, there goes the video on all three screens with out anyone seeing the screens sync, or suspect that we have changed programs that were running. after the video, we had the transition slide as the next slide in the presentation, but we needed to switch the video's back to being operated separately by the two Macs (sides on one center on the other) so while the screens were still black and the lights were coming up we switched the KVM's back to were they needed to be and the screens synced up without notice. Now we need to keep ProPresenter running on the sides for the nursery alerts function and so we have the sermon transition slide that we use between topic points on the keynote presentation saved as a .JPG and put on the MAC used for the sides as a ProPresenter background, so with a coordinated effort we both changed to the transition slide at the same time and the transition slide went up at the same time; and we repeated this exercise when the mid sermon video clip was ready to play, which was powerful and thought provoking as well as a little disturbing. if I can find it on you tube I will post the video.
Scott's message was Top Notch, The John 10:10 was right on and some thing we tend to forget; That Jesus came to give us life, but not just life but a full life and we can get this full life by following His example of thinking of others and remembering that life is not just about me. Scott's main sermon point...A full life is focused on WE not ME. That is what it's all about. So stay tuned and I will post a link to the pictures if Scott, Chris or Mike blog's any of them and if I find the video that was used in the middle of the sermon, I will embed it as well.

Friday, October 19, 2007

ordinary people

God loves to use ordinary people to do extraordinary things, things that most would not think to be possible by the standards that the world has. God gets glory by the obedience of the ordinary. Nothing seems to be special with these servants of the most high, but they have something that the others do not, they have a BIG GOD helping them who loves us and all people, and has many promises for us in the scriptures. He tells us that He will be with always, even to the ends of the earth, That we can do all things through Christ Jesus and that nothing is impossible with God. We are promised that when two or three are gathered in His name that He is with us.
We got to BE the church again the other night as we prayed for a member of the team who was going to be going in for some tests.
We hold up the promises that all things do work together for good, even if we don't understand them.
Tomorrow, we start the new Saturday service, at 5:00 p.m. we have got to have the most talented team of "ordinary but used by God in big ways" group of volunteers that I have ever seen, and I am honored to have the privilege to work with them. This is what makes the Orchard unique. Every one is focused on the mission, the mission of leading people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ, and it is this focus of God and His Son Jesus, that gives us the ability to work together is such a great way and I am humbled.
God, You be glorified tomorrow, Sunday, and every day. Give us the strength and ability we need to accomplish this task that has been set before us and work through us in a tremendous way to touch the lives of everyone that we are serving. In your sons name, A-men
 

Thursday, October 18, 2007

a very funny clip

Here is a movie that is going around via e-mail,laugh hard, laugh often!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

pictures of the new screens

Scott has posted pictures of the new screens, very cool! check it out here...

Sunday, October 14, 2007

new screen debut...

the new screen's had their debut today and they looked great! there is some tweaking still that needs to be done like getting the resolution that leaves the computer set correctly to what I think that it is called "a letterbox format", otherwise in terms I understand, we need to get the image leaving the computer set to go out in the wide screen setting and then have the projectors take that image that is being sent and not pervert it in anyway and leave it in the resolution that is being sent. Today, the projectors were having to modify the image to make it wide screen, so to compensate, we had to set up the slides as wide screen, then have the program distort them back into a square squishing the side in and making it look just awful on the computer, but as they were re-stretched on the screens, they looked normal again. That is a lot of work for compensating for something that will be fixed once we get the sending resolutions and the expected resolutions to match. no one really noticed as we had the compensations set and so every thing looked good. I am sure that either Scott or Mike will be posting pictures, and being I have none to post, I will just say for you to watch their blogs for the pictures to come. I saw several being taken so I expect to be linking them within the next day or so.
The big saturday service is next Saturday at 5 p.m. (October 20th 2007) so be sure to come out for our Saturday debut as well. The new series "Suburban mythes" will be satrting and It sounds like it is going to be a great series. God has a lot of things planned for the Orchard, and the city of Aurora as well. When lives are changed, and God is glorified, It is just so cool!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

new ProPresenter positives

The new ProPresenter supports the higher resolutions that we are seeing in the newer Macs and presentation projection systems. The older versions were limited by 800 x 600, which was a good CRT resolution and common era projectors, but in todays High def society we are in, the need presented itself for the program to support the high definition movies and backgrounds and Renewed Vision came through for us in the latest version (3.0) which now has their pro video player built into it. as we get ready to go wide screen, I will also be checking the setup of the program to "tweak" the display settings for the secondary monitors to a higher definition, and I also will need to check the macs video settings for the secondary display to see how it handles wide screen monitors and get the settings ready, if they aren't already.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Another thing found with the new version of propresenter

Another quirk has been discovered, but a good one if used right. There used to be no fast way to get from song 1 to song 2 with out clicking the song in the play list and after it loaded, playing catchup with the verses. This is no longer the case but you have to remember the key board shortcut that used to do one things no longer does. We used to be able to arrow down to get to a slide just below the one playing if that happens to be the slide you need, like when a song goes from verse to bridge then back to chorus and the bridge just happens to be sitting under where the verse ends you could hit the down arrow and the selected slide would be the one just below where you were. This no longer works, as now when you hit the down arrow, the next song in the play list loads ( and a lot faster then they used to) into the active screen and is ready for use, which if your operator wasn't expecting this, will be very confusing to ! him or her. I can see why they implemented this change, as we have had to combine songs together into the same song because there was no quick way to jump from the one to the other, now if your music leader decides to jump from song one to song two and back to song one again, just hit the up or down arrows to toggle between songs and select the verse or chorus and voalla, no sweat.

Note 10/04/2007...Just noticed last night that the arrow key no longer wraps from the last slide to the first, it jumps you into the first slide of the next song in the play list. so exercise caution when you are near the last of the slides. A good habit would be to have at least one blank slide at the end of each song as a good place to end the song with out the next one loading, and a place to go in case your arrow key takes a 2 slide jump (nervous finger syndrome).

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Wizards in winter



Here is the video that I was telling you about. It is of a guys house in ohio, done in a very good syncronicity fashion.

And here is what they look like doint their song on a television show...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

TSO

Trans-Siberian Orchestra is coming to Chicago! I saw that they have a 3 p.m. concert at the all-state arena on 12/2/2007.
I have liked them ever since I first heard wizards in winter played synchronized with a giant Christmas light display at some computer guru's house in Ohio, (which drew such a crowd they shut him down), But I love the song and so far has bought everything they have recorded and I listen to it year round. You can also check them out by going to their website.
 

Monday, September 24, 2007

HDTv for the geeks

So why should we go out and buy a new HDTv system with giant flat screen Television for over $5,000+ dollars when we can spend a minimal amount of bread for one of these:

This will work on your PC which already had a nice flat screen to it. and if they make one for your mac (like in Apple-TV?) Then life would be really good indeed. Can you just imagine watching High Definition television of your 24" or larger Imac?
I am sure that Apple has got to have something comparable to this, or maybe this company has one that runs on a Mac? The reason is clear, Macs have better multimeadia drivers. Clearer picture and audio both, and the processors aren't bogged down with all the zoombie fighting programs neccessary to keep your system from imploding.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

video backgrounds

We use video backgrounds from highway video and they have a great selection of videos that you can preview from their website and purchase. Today, I got an e-mail from Christianity today and they had a link on their e-mail to a partner site that also has the highway video collection on sale at 40% off. Along with the highway video backgrounds though, they also have power point templates (how quaint), and other links that i will probably browse through at a later time.
I still like the stuff you can get (for free) at free stock footage but i have yet to find out how any of their high resolution videos are. They are greater in length I could see by looking at the description, but there is no preview for the better files. Many many years ago when I first started in this, I got some of my ideas from a website right here in Illinois called using power point in church and this was put together by a minister who must have been way above his time, because this was ground breaking by the standards back then. I just revisited his site again and I see He has updated it and it is looking decent. He also has some links on his site that may be useful. If you have a volunteer who is exceptionally creative (and has a mac because creativity is easier on a mac, but not always especially with vista coming out), they can design background elements in keynote or in imovie and save them and quick-time movies and you can use them as well. So anyway enjoy yourself while working, it is fun to be creative and it is also great to see that you are making a difference in many peoples lives by using your creativity for the Lord.

Friday, September 21, 2007

carbon, the c language for Mac

So, I think that learning programing in the modern computer environment, will take more than just a knowledge of c for windows, so I got to researching in the apple websites and found THIS. Carbon. Carbon from the brief 27 seconds that I read about it seems to be the C language for MAC OSX. So I will start downloading and comparing from there. They have a learning path similar to Microsoft's MSDN site which is used to help the weekend programer as well as the advanced programer. So being I am learning from scratch, I shall learn from scratch in both environments if at all possible. The fundamentals between programing in COBOL and just about any other language are similar and most of them are the same. You do need to learn the verbiage differences like the if else statement, and the elseif statements, and whether or not the evaluat! e statement is supported. so anyway, I shall keep on - keeping on. and will also post anything that I may find interesting in this as well.

.net soon to run on a mac

I don't know how breaking this news is but it sounds like a pretty cool idea anyway. I searched the MSDN  Website mainly because I want to learn how to program in today's modern computer environment, but my laptop is a mac (A good thing) and The visual basic c-sharp programs that are using the .net framework, won't install on a mac running osx. well it sounds like that is about to change.
I found this blog entry that says that the Microsoft guru's are working on a .net framework that will also run on Mac osx (it couldn't be because the new windows vista closely resembles osx anyway?!?) So I will find this reading to be very interesting. I, in one way can't wait, yet in another I have to wonder if this opens the door for viruses and other nasties to be written to run on the mac causing us a need to now start running misc other programs to keep them out, things that currently bog our windows systems down like anti-virus, firewall with advanced intrusion protection, anti-spyware (usually you need 3 versions running at the same time) and other programs to keep your computer from being turned into a spam generating, virus reproducing zombie, that crashes often; I guess only time will tell.
 

Thursday, September 20, 2007

choosing the right background elements for your songs

OK, here is something that I needed to learn early on and that is, Cutesy nature video backgrounds no longer fit in with today's post modern culture. Now that may have been a mouthful but remember, who are we trying to reach anyway? If you are trying to stay at status quo, then the Cutesy stuff will do just fine. Grandma loves the nature things anyway, they would go good with "how great thou art", and 'bringing in the sheaves", but by the time the speaker got up to deliver the word, most of your audience would be asleep, or at the very least, disconnected. Now the old timers would have had their emotional experience, but was that really worship?
I read Pastor Chris' blog with a similar question. But leaving theological issues on the side, (mainly because I am the least qualified of anyone to discus theology with), I will stick with what I know, have learned or am learning, some backgrounds do a good job of capturing the attention of the audience even if subtly, but many don't, and several are just distracting at best. So back to the idea of present; A good background element is usually a movie, or animation file that has been created, exported, or saved using QuickTime pro so that it doesn't have the loop chop that most mpegs's seem to be plagued with and also, so you can edit the clip and remove distinctive start and stop points so you get as clean of a loop as possible.

OK,now start up propresenter... **quick side note... If you recently upgraded to the greatest and latest version of propresenter, the new version has created a new directory for it to sit in and you will need to create a new alias for the program so that you are launching the right version. If you have propresenter in your dock, remove the link by dragging it to the trash, and open your applications folder, find the new one (use the list so the dates are shown) find the correct application and drag its icon onto the dock, it will create a quick launch there and you are ready to go with the new version.
OK back to the thoughts at hand, You really need to have background elements that compliment the songs and also keep a good rhythm with it. If the tempo of the background is too slow or fast, it becomes a distraction, rather than a compliment to the song. So experiment with several before choosing. The background elements section where the library is stored has a playlist function where you can set up a playlist distinctively for your service and I recommend using it. Then find a group of background element video's that you are considering using for the song and while holding the apple key down, drag the background element into the playlist and a shortcut to the element appears in the list. This helps keep things organized so that there are no unnecessary distractions during the presentation of the show. Make sure you have a background element playing by clicking on it and then click through the song while either the band is playing it or a music file with the song is playing so you can evaluate the background element and see if several considerations are met.
1. can you still read the lyrics of the song over the top of the background element? white words work best, but a white or light background would make it very difficult to ready the lyrics during the song.
2. does the tempo of the background come close to that of the song? this may seem unimportant, but in practice, you will find that it does help your audience stay in rhythm and it compliments the band at the same time.
3. does it loop cleanly? if it is too choppy at the end or beginning then it will no longer compliment the song but will draw attention to itself and become a distraction. If possible, edit the background to clean up the detractors parts and see if the loop can become almost unnoticeable.
4. when at all possible do not use the same background for every song, every week, this would become very boring and monotonous, and your audience would dis-engage.

Another note about the new version of propresenter to keep an eye on is the GUI (graphic user interface) changes that they made.
It has been with the previous versions that the keyboard shortcuts like the arrow keys would affect the foreground elements only, so while you where scrolling through your background elements with the wheel on your mouse, you could right arrow into the next slide and the next slide would go up on the screen, this no longer is the case. whichever section of the layout you are working with has taken the focus of the system you are using. this means that if you are working in the background elements folder and you click the right arrow, the next background in line will become active instead of the next slide changing. and if you are looking through your song playlist, the same applies, and to get back the focus of the system to the foreground elements section, you have to click in the area somewhere, wither by clicking over the next slide with the mouse, or a blank spot in that section so that the panel is active again, then the arrow keys will become functional for that area again. I think that this "improvement" is a royal pain in the kiester but can't do anything about it except deal with it.

So anyway, most of the other improvements that they did to the program seem worth the effort, so It mainly is just getting used to the new responses from the program. and to try and get used to them at a time other than during a presentation.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Keynote shortcuts

I have noticed a shortcut in keynote that has saved me a lot of time when using the copy / paste functions for getting slides setup for use in the sermons. We usually get a transition slide and a use for text slide already created for us by our creative arts team which by the way do an excellent job of designing the slides for maximum effect for the audience. They do not use intense transitions between slide or cheesy effects, we save those for the power point users to play with. But they do give us a slide with the background logo, usually the series title and design element and a slide with a similar design to use as a background element to go behind the text for the scripture slides. So any way, starting with those two slides in keynote and a document done in pages with all of the points and scripture references that the speaker is going to be using in the order of appearance, it is time to get creative and put it together.

Ok. Start by selecting both the title slide and the use for text slide and from the edit menu select duplicate slides. this will give you two more slides just like the ones selected and in the same order. now select the first text slide highlight the sample text and then go to your pages layout and select the text for the first slide and copy it to the clipboard either by using the edit / copy menu or the apple C key-combination. go back to your presentation (you can toggle between the two using the apple-tab key-combination), and from the keynote menu go to edit / paste and match style. you need to resist using the apple V combination for this will paste in the format that you copied it in and not in the way you want it to be which is in the same way it is setup in keynote on the master slide. The paste and match style will paste the text using the same font that is on the master slide in keynote (that the creative arts team has setup for me already) and it will paste ! it using the same font size, and if there were any preset bullet timings involved the program will apply those to your 'set by paragraph' timings as well. This beats the heck out of having to paste things the way power point made you paste things and then you have to customize each slide as you go. Keynote will do a lot of this for you.
Ok. your first slide is done. select your two master slide and duplicate them again and keep repeating these steps until you are done.

With keynote it is easy to use pictures, and movies embedded into the show and as long as your speaker (line out) connection is hooked into your sound system, you are good to go.

One of the best features that keynote has is the ability to create quick time movies from your presentation. so if you want to setup a kiosk, lets say by your coffee bar, then you can put together just about any type of commercial presentation for your "guests" to watch while they are in line to get their morning brew. This is a good opportunity to present upcoming events, accomplishments from past events and general encouragement to those who call your church their home. So to do this create a slide show filled with pictures, movies and whatever you want on your show, add preset timings to each slide, usually around 5 seconds between, and maybe have the next slide start when your movie clips are done. when that is complete go to keynotes menu and select file / export and select the QuickTime icon. using the drop down menus from there select the use preset timings and then loop and click next. Name your file and let her rip. it will take a little while to render, ! but once you are done you can set up your newly created QuickTime movie to play in propresenter, or though the QuickTime player itself.
There is so many cool things that can be done using today's technology it is just amazing and new stuff keeps popping up all the time and by keeping your environments engaging is a major challenge to all of us. Hopefully I have been able to help with some of my ideas. And as I learn more cool stuff, I am going to try and blog them so that all of us together can make a huge difference in this world for Christ. because it is for his glory that we do anything to begin with.

Monday, September 17, 2007

using muliple computers for your presentation



A good way to use multiple computers for presenting your shows to your audience with out spending a fortune on professional video switchers is by using a KVM switcher. This one that I have shown here is similar to what we use at the Orchard. What we do is to take the video out VGA cable from the computers and attached them to the VGA or DVI inputs behind the switch
and Hook the switch's video out to the Projectors used in showing the presentation to the crowd.
This method makes it easy to have multiple shows running at the same time but on different computers to prevent resource sharing conflicts. So what we have going is that we have a DVD player with a RGB (red green blue) video out signal going into a converter that convers the signal into a VGA (which is what our KVM uses but I would think that the newer DVI ones would be better), and that signal goes into port two, the main computer goes into port 1 and if you have a guest who runs his own presentation, that can goe in one of the other two open ports. Then when needed just use the push button switcher to sent the video signal from the appropriate device to the projectors. Our Videographer starts his videos with a black screen, this way I can switch between the computer and the DVD player without the audience noticing the transition. This keeps their focus on the service instead of the presentation ofthe service and keeps the momentum going. I hope that some of you find this usefull as it is the presentation as well as the speaker that keeps the audience engaged in the service.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Creating song slides in Propresenter

Putting a song into slides has never been easier. When you are using propresenter it is as easy as finding the song either from a pre-formatted CCLI layout (if it is available) or by googling it and doing a select copy to clipboard action. either way you can use a text editor to double check your layout and make corrections before implementing the 'create presentation from clipboard' function.

The best benefit I can tell you about in previewing the song, is that it is easier to edit raw data then formatted and laid out into individual slides data.

Ok lets get started then, Find the song that you want to put into your data base and select the whole song from the title on down to the very last period and use the "

+ C" combination to copy the data and open up your text editor and paste it there. Now if you are certain the layout is already good, you can skip this part and from the propresenter menu do the edit drop down and select create presentation from clipboard function and at every carriage return a new slide will be created till you reach the end of the data on the clipboard. If one of your lines is too long the words are going to be cramped in the slide and you will need to duplicate the slide and edit both so that you have 2 slides instead on one cramped slide. This is the reason behind using the text editor to view and change the layout before you create the presentation.



From you text editor run the song through an mp3 player unless you already are familiar with the song (which is why I always attend the band practice and set up the shows then) While the song is playing listen for the breaks and see if the breaks align up with the end of the lines that you are reading if the rest in the song doesn't line up with the layout in the text editor, select the break point with your mouse so your curser is blinking at the rest and hit the enter key. This creates the carriage return mark that propresenter looks at when dividing the song into slides. when all of the carriage returns line up, then you can do a "Apple A" to select all and then copy it to the clipboard and then from propresenter select the edit drop-down from the menu and select create presentation from clipboard. The first sentence on the document becomes the title for the song and also the first slide. If the title is different, double click the title to open its edit properties up and type the new one in. Drag the newly created song out of the data base and into the playlist and look over the slides again you can now edit some more to make the presentation user friendly.



To make your song presentation easier to use bu your operator, I color code the verses in Blue and the choruses in red, but you can use your own color schemes so while holding down the apple key, select every slide in verse 1 and right click (ctrl click for single button mice) and select color and a drop down of colors appear and select you color. all the slides information panels now will turn that color. go to the first slide and select it and right click and using the drop down select the label and click on the appropriate title for the group either verse chorus, etc. if it is not in the list create a title by using the other. once you have your slides formatted it is now time to view the background elements for your slides to find one appropriate for the song. We use .mov's and have animations created and saved as a QuickTime file play as our background elements and we use the ones that play at as close to the same tempo as the song.



So far this is the basics for a good presentation. Make sure that your dual monitors on you Mac are not set to Mirror, use the 800 x 600 settings as that is the recommended setting for propresenter and lets see how it looks. If you need some good animations to play for the background elements you can go to Free stock footage .com browse through their large collection of animations and etc, download the low res ones for free and if you like them they sell high resolutions for about $25.00 each. but as far as 800 x 600 resolutions are concerned, they look good using the low res ones.



Once you start building up you data base with songs that you use on a regular basis, just search for them using the search function just below the data bases index and as you type letters out for the title, songs that don't meet the search disappear from the index making it easier for you to find the song you want. Then if it is not their, go out and get it and go through the create presentation steps that I have laid out above. Enjoy using the program, It is one of the best if not the best for displaying songs and just about anything else that can be done in a .mov format.



Speaking of movies, you can clear your text, hook up a sound link into your audio out port and play anything through your propresenter that is a .mov ( the .mpg's work too but quick time file are superior to mpegs.) so from the + at the bottom of the backgrounds section, browse for your QuickTime file and make sure you have it saved locally from the network onto your desktop or somewhere easy to find. Network connection are slow usually and if the network goes down during the service, you lose your file if you haven't downloaded it to the desktop. Create a backgrounds play list and apple drag (hold the apple key down and drag using the mouse) the backgrounds into your playlist. They show up in the list and can be moved or even deleted without affecting your master library because these icons are merely shortcuts to the actual files. I usually line up my backgrounds in the order I need them so that I can just go from left to right down the list until the service has finished.



You can use your keynote program to create movies as well. We use a pre-service slide show before and after service to keep our members informed on up coming events and to remind them of the different services offered and to shut their electronic devices while the service is in progress. one the keynote slides are laid out, set them up with preset times and them use the file drop down and select export, click on the QuickTime icon, loop option to create a looping movie. This i now place as the first background in my propresenter backgrounds playlist that I have created. I also have taken the logo for the church and the announcement slides and also have put those in the backgrounds playlist and then I organize them by the order that they are needed which usually is determined by the pastor in charge of the service layout and had a program sheet with the layout for the service mapped on it.



Click on your pre-service .mov and you are up and running. when the first song is getting ready to be played by the band select the clear all from the propresenter menu above the slides layout section and select the first song in your playlist. It doesn't show up on the screen until you select a slide from the layout.so I usually start a background movie first then the first song slide as the singer hits the first word in the song. and so on till you are done. If you like using multiple backgrounds in your songs you can scroll to the next background by using the apple key and the arrow facing the direction you want to go to get to the next background. and that background will start playing. This is a great benefit to keeping your songs looking great.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

C# video series

Here is a link to another video series for the new to programming in the windows environment hobbyist like myself.
It seems to be recommended to learn both visual basic and C# so I have just made it through the first video series in visual basic and am getting started at program development in that area, I also will start to learn C# at the same.

cool new changes at the Orchard

There are some new cool changes that are going to be happening at the orchard in the next couple of weeks. We are going from our standard low definition 800 x 600 resolution square screens to a wide screen high definition setup. I hope that they are running RGB's (RED GREEN BLUE) back from the video projection system into the sound booth. We already use RGB for the DVD broadcasting but we currently have a converter box hooked into it that converts the signal into a VGA signal which is accessed by a KVM (Keyboard Video Mouse) and that runs into a video amplifier and sent up to the projectors in as high def as we can considering. The new system should be a lot better for this old system is comprised out of an idea I had to take us up to the next level in appearance as we were using a composite video signal to get the computer / DVD player signals up to the projectors which was definitely a low resolution but even that was better than what we had previous to! that. When I first started in production, we had a windows 95 laptop running power point hooked into the VGA video amplifier and the DVD player/VCR/Dish converter were hooked (serially) into a composite amplifier and to switch from one to the other we had to go to the front of the sanctuary during service at the time the switch was needed while the audience was watching and switch the projector modes from computer to video and then when the video was over go back up and switch them back. It was tough getting anyone to want to do that for you. so I got a computer setup that was a lot better than the laptop and with a dual video out card in it was able to go all composite and thus alleviate the need to switch back and forth from the front and just use the composite switch to do it from in the back. that was cool, but I didn't realize at the time that VGA was a much better signal than composite so I put my head together with some other technosavey people at the chur! ch and we put together the KVM switch using RGB from the DVD into a VG A converter and we also now have a IMAC with very excellent looking video out that goes into the KVM and we switch back and forth using a 4 port switch. That made a huge difference in the quality of the presentations that we were projecting onto the screens.  Now it is time to push up the Bar another notch and Scott is getting a system for the church that will have two wide screens to replace what we have currently and a 12' x 24' large screen that will cover the entire back stage. How cool is that! We also will have better lighting, better spots and a better light board to run it all. I hope that they get an electrician to segregate the audio equipments power sources from the lightings power source, maybe we can finally eliminate the ground loop hum we are getting in the amps from the lighting. Anyway, I will find out in a couple of weeks. God is getting ready to do some really cool things at the orchard and I am proud to be a part of it. I pray that God gives me the n! eeded ability to learn all of the new equipment so that I can also pass that knowledge down to those that will need training later as we keep growing and leading.
 

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Carpe Diem

I will try this post again as I noticed critical html errors in the other one and have remove it.

Carpe Diem

`Seize the Day'

"Tis only in their dreams that men are truely free,

'twas always thus, and always thus will be."-Keating (Movie Dead poets Society)

We learned from the dead poets society to "Seize the Day" , and so my commentary begins, for if we are to make a difference in this world for God we have to start now. Life is but a breath according to Solomon, and everything done that isn't done for God is in essence "Meaningless, Like chasing the wind". It is FEAR that keeps us from even trying. Fear of failing, fear of being laughed at, fear of being found out that you just may be a fraud, That you aren't living the life expected of you for a person of your position, fear of being tagged a hypocrite because the pharisees of today's society expect perfection from you if you are going to do anything for God. But it is through Imperfect people that God works His best, and that is because we, The imperfect know that we cannot do anything on our own but are totally dependant on God to do what he wants through us. For we are food for worms, we must do something before we die or we will stand before G! od with nothing but the one talent He gave us to invest in this world and we were too afraid to use it so we buried it in the ground to present back to him in the day of judgement in which his response to that will be "depart from me", I would much rather hear Him tell me "Well done, good and faithful servant!". Carpe Diem seize the day. Live for Him while you can.

Sent via e-mail by a friend...


God vs. Science

a science professor begins his school year with a lecture to the students, "Let me explain the problem science has with religion." The atheist professor of philosophy pauses before his class and then asks one of his new students to stand.

"You're a Christian, aren't you, son?"

"Yes sir," the student says.

"So you believe in God?"

"Absolutely."

"Is God good?"

"Sure! God's good."

"Is God all-powerful? Can God do anything?"

"Yes."

"Are you good or evil?"

"The Bible says I'm evil."

The professor grins knowingly. "Aha! The Bible!" He considers for a moment. "Here's one for you. Let's say there's a sick person over here and you can cure him. You can do it. Would you help him? Would you try?"

"Yes sir, I would."

"So you're good...!"

"I wouldn't say that."

"But why not say that? You'd help a sick and maimed person if you could. Most of us would if we could. But God doesn't."

The student does not answer, so the professor continues. "He doesn't, does he? My brother was a Christian who died of cancer, even though he prayed to Jesus to heal him. How is this Jesus good? Hmmm? Can you answer that one?"

The student remains silent.

"No, you can't, can you?" the professor says. He takes a sip of water from a glass on his desk to give the student time to relax.

"Let's start again, young fella. Is God good?"

"Er...yes," the student says.

"Is Satan good?"

The student doesn't hesitate on this one. "No."

"Then where does Satan come from?"

The student falters. "From God"

"That's right. God made Satan, didn't he? Tell me, son. Is there evil in this world?"

"Yes, sir."

"Evil's everywhere, isn't it? And God did make everything, correct?"

"Yes."

"So who created evil?" The professor continued, "If God created everything, then God created evil, since evil exists, and according to the principle that our works define who we are, then God is evil."

Again, the student has no answer. "Is there sickness; Immorality; Hatred; Ugliness? All these terrible things, do they exist in this world?"

The student squirms on his feet. "Yes."

"So who created them?"

The student does not answer again, so the professor repeats his question. "Who created them?" There is still no answer. Suddenly the lecturer breaks away to pace in front of the classroom. The class is mesmerized. "Tell me," he continues on to another student. "Do you believe in Jesus Christ, son?"

The student's voice betrays him and cracks. "Yes, professor, I do."

The old man stops pacing. "Science says you have five senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Have you ever seen Jesus?"

"No sir. I've never seen Him."

"Then tell us if you've ever heard your Jesus?"

"No, sir, I have not."

"Have you ever felt your Jesus, tasted your Jesus or smelt your Jesus? Have you ever had any sensory perception of Jesus Christ, or God for that matter?"

"No, sir, I'm afraid I haven't."

"Yet you still believe in him?"

"Yes."

"According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your God doesn't exist. What do you say to that, son?"

"Nothing," the student replies. "I only have my faith."

"Yes, faith," the professor repeats. "And that is the problem science has with God. There is no evidence, only faith."

The student stands quietly for a moment, before asking a question of His own. "Professor, is there such thing as heat?"

"Yes," the professor replies. "There's heat."

"And is there such a thing as cold?"

"Yes, son, there's cold too."

"No sir, there isn't."

The professor turns to face the student, obviously interested. The room suddenly becomes very quiet. The student begins to explain. "You can have lots of heat, even more heat, super-heat, mega-heat, unlimited heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat, but we don't have anything called 'cold'. We can hit up to 458 degrees below zero, which is no heat, but we can't go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold; otherwise we would be able to go colder than the lowest -458 degrees."

"Every body or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy. Absolute zero (-458 F) is the total absence of heat. You see, sir, cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat we can measure in thermal units because heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it."

Silence across the room. A pen drops somewhere in the classroom, sounding like a hammer.

"What about darkness, professor. Is there such a thing as darkness? "
"Yes," the professor replies without hesitation; What is night if it isn't darkness?"

"You're wrong again, sir. Darkness is not something; it is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light, but if you have no light constantly you have nothing and it is called darkness, isn't it? That's the meaning we use to define the word."

"In reality, darkness isn't. If it were, you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn't you?"

The professor begins to smile at the student in front of him. This will be a good semester. "So what point are you making, young man?"

"Yes, professor. My point is, your philosophical premise is flawed to start with, and so your conclusion must also be flawed."

The professor's face cannot hide his surprise this time. "Flawed? Can you explain how?"

"You are working on the premise of duality," the student explains. "You argue that there is life and then there's death; a good God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can't even explain a thought."

"It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life, just the absence of it."

"Now tell me, professor. Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?"

"If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, young man, yes, of course I do."

"Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?"

The professor begins to shake his head, still smiling, as he realizes where the argument is going, A very good semester, indeed.

"Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you now not a scientist, but a preacher?"

The class is in uproar. The student remains silent until the commotion has subsided.

"To continue the point you were making earlier to the other student, let me give you an example of what I mean."

The student looks around the room. "Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the professor's brain?" The class breaks out into laughter.

"Is there anyone here who has ever heard the professor's brain, felt the professor's brain, touched or smelt the professor's brain? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, with all due respect, sir."

"So if science says you have no brain, how can we trust your lectures, sir?"

Now the room is silent. The professor just stares at the student, his face unreadable.

Finally, after what seems an eternity, the old man answers. "I guess you'll have to take them on faith."

"Now, you accept that there is faith, and, in fact, faith exists with life," the student continues. "Now, sir, is there such a thing as evil?"

Now uncertain, the professor responds, "Of course, there is. We see it everyday. It is in the daily example of man's inhumanity to man. It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world. These manifestations are nothing else but evil."

To this the student replied, "Evil does not exist sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God's love present in his heart. It's like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light."

The professor sat down.

This student's statements are true, can you or can you not make night darker?

Is it possible for it to get colder after absolute zero -458 degree's F.

Can you feel, taste, see, hear, or smell your brain,

If you support this students statements than forward.

God in heaven won't mind if you do or don't

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Podcast mania

I love to listen to the gospel period, whether it is our podcast, or Calvaries podcast, or even Newlifes podcast. I like to listen to them all, but especially ours. There are many exciting things happening at the Orchard. So Check it out and even come and see us. The service times are 9am and 10:45 on Sundays and as of October 20th, 5:00 p.m. Saturdays. We are getting ready to kick some technological tail soon and things are gonna be totally cool here real soon. So check in every now and then and keep informed on all of the exciting things that the Lord is doing thru us.

Monday, September 10, 2007

The distraction of coffee...

Working in production, I always have a lot to do usually at the same time. So needless to say, some times my coffee mug gets in the way of the things I have got to do. There never seems to be a good place to put it for I am either at the computer, the video switcher or the light board making adjustments starting a clip or transitioning into a new lighting scene. Not nearly as difficult as it sounds until you knock your coffee mug off the counter while the room is pitch dark and you know that the lid came off and you are now standing in a pool of coffee. Drag, Not only because I have lost my go go juice, but that it made a loud thump when it hit the ground. (I think Scott must have jinxed me because He was talking in his message about Having a great environment to bring our unchurched friends to, where we can get them a StarBucks coffee, enjoy a relevant message (with out having to worry about getting them freaked out because the message was leaning more on the "trigonometry of faith for the spiritually sophisticated"), and how many of us spill our coffee and even though it costs a lot to clean the carpets, that's O.K. because it all about our guests more than it is about our comfort. (download the podcast HERE titled Open House:The Foyer, which was just posted)). Anyway, This little setback almost distracted me, but I recovered and got the next scene going without the audience suspecting that I am now standing in a puddle. We were getting ready to do the song "our house in the middle of the street" a song that is secular but relevant to the message and used to break the ice with the guests and get them prepared for the message that Scott was about to deliver. A great thing to remember about the Foyer environment is that you will get people in from just about every stage of their walk with Christ, From those who have not begun the walk yet but are curious, to those who have been walking with Christ for many years. So the Foyer environment is not a good place for a message on the seven steps to speaking in tongues or anything else that would make a "younger" believer feel spiritually inferior. For we are all Loved the same by God no matter where we are on our walk and how it is "community walking together" that pleases God for it is all about Loving God,and Loving others. That is the cake, everything else is just the frosting and we all know that too much frosting all in the same sitting can make you ill. So download Scott's podcast and check it out yourself. It goes into great detail on setting a great environment for your guests.

Friday, September 7, 2007

mactrouble

So my superdrive is bad. I took my mac to the genius bar and they are fixing it. It is covered under warranty so all I can do it wait now.
In the meantime I have my PC at home back up and running, thanks mainly to cannibalizing an older system that I had and grabbing the video card out of it for temporary use until I can get nearly $100 for a new card with built in memory. even then, It will never be as good as the picture quality I get from the macbook. That is something that I love about my mac. It is fast, has dual core Intel processors and 512mb of ram (ungradable if I had the dinero). The picture quality is HD and I am just waiting for the new 42" Imac HD's with built in Apple TV to come out to replace the modern television. Just imagine having a TV with a blue tooth keyboard and mouse and wireless internet capabilities (due to having your airport extreme running at full power). It would be an entertainment system that couldn't be matched. You could watch you TV via high speed internet connection, play video games between you and a friend in NY city, do your taxes and render a home movie all without e! ver having to leave your easy chair. Next thing you know, they will say that leaving your house for anything will be outdated and everything you need can be ordered and delivered right to your door. which is almost where we are at now. one thing that you can't get from a computer though is authentic Christian fellowship and that you can only get by attending a church service at a real building with real people worshiping the Real God.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Using Quick time in presentation view

Last night during the Wednesday night service, we got to try doing video presentation a tad bit differently due to needing to pause the video for a live acting presentation that was to happen between the snippets. So we found that using keynote wasn't going to cut it, because we couldn't pause the video between sections, Pro-presenter had the same problem and we didn't have the time to dissect the video into independent segments either. So we were forced to use QuickTime and found that it wasn't hard to set it up after all.
 
So for those interested in the fine tuning of the program what we did was to go into the QuickTime preferences and access the full screen settings area and select our alternate screen (not the computer screen, but the projection screen a.k.a. monitor 2). so now when we press play and enter full screen mode, the video will be able to be seen from the projection system by the audience. good, but the remote keeps showing up when we paused the movie (space bar starts and stops the movie). Back to the preferences to disable the remote from automatically appearing. ok. now we are ready again and noticed that the video was only filling 2/3 of the screen. That we corrected by using the view settings (same drop down used to access full screen mode), and selecting fill screen option stretches the movie proportionately  and fills the screens viewable area with it.
 
A few things to keep note of when using this method for presenting video clips for your presentations...
1. start the clip and pause it right away so that it is at a point ready to be sent to the projectors at. We have our clips start black so that they are virtually unnoticed when they slide over into the projector area.
 
2. as soon as you select the view full screen option from the views drop down menu the video jumps into the viewable area of the projection screens and will start playing. so if you are not ready for it to go, hit the space bar and you will re-pause the movie or clip.
 
3. every time you need to pause it just hit the space bar and it will start and start your clip or movie. When you reach the end of the movie or clip the quick time player will stop and return the window into the monitor of the computer you are using and will restart the clip, so make sure you are prepared for that and either close the window (if you are done with the clip), or just close the clip and load the next one that you are using.
 
This will keep you presentations looking professional and your audience will experience the presentation with as little distractions as possible without you having to spend a ton of money on professional video switching equipment.
 
 

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

walkable 26 yikes!


I got this link from Chris' blog and according to this site Sugar Grove is about as unwalking friendly as Plainfield, (go figure).

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

stem cells

From the "what in the world are you thinking" desk, we are hearing that the British are considering using Animal eggs to produce Human stem-cells see Article. This I hope doesn't happen as we are then definitely entering the days of Noah. (The sons of God where sleeping with the human women and creating a sub human race of Giants who were written about in the scripture and are also the subject of many legends of old.) as described in Genesis 6:
 

Genesis 6

A World Gone Wrong
 1 Then the people began to multiply on the earth, and daughters were born to them. 2 The sons of God saw the beautiful women[a] and took any they wanted as their wives. 3 Then the Lord said, "My Spirit will not put up with[b] humans for such a long time, for they are only mortal flesh. In the future, their normal lifespan will be no more than 120 years."

 4 In those days, and for some time after, giant Nephilites lived on the earth, for whenever the sons of God had intercourse with women, they gave birth to children who became the heroes and famous warriors of ancient times.

 5 The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. 6 So the Lord was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke his heart. 7 And the Lord said, "I will wipe this human race I have created from the face of the earth. Yes, and I will destroy every living thing-all the people, the large animals, the small animals that scurry along the ground, and even the birds of the sky. I am sorry I ever made them." 8 But Noah found favor with the Lord.

This series of events preceded the great flood. So what we see happening could just be another sign for us to stay ready for the return that Jesus tells us about, His return that only God the Father knows when it will happen, but we do get a glimpse of the season and as Jesus told us in Matthew 24:

36 "However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself.[k] Only the Father knows.

 37 "When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah's day. 38 In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. 39 People didn't realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes.

 40 "Two men will be working together in the field; one will be taken, the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding flour at the mill; one will be taken, the other left.

 42 "So you, too, must keep watch! For you don't know what day your Lord is coming. 43 Understand this: If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would keep watch and not permit his house to be broken into. 44 You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.

 45 "A faithful, sensible servant is one to whom the master can give the responsibility of managing his other household servants and feeding them. 46 If the master returns and finds that the servant has done a good job, there will be a reward. 47 I tell you the truth, the master will put that servant in charge of all he owns. 48 But what if the servant is evil and thinks, 'My master won't be back for a while,' 49 and he begins beating the other servants, partying, and getting drunk? 50 The master will return unannounced and unexpected, 51 and he will cut the servant to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.