Thursday, September 27, 2007
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Monday, September 24, 2007
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
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
Thursday, September 20, 2007
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
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
Friday, September 14, 2007
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
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
I will try this post again as I noticed critical html errors in the other one and have remove it.
`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.
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?"
"Is God good?"
"Sure! God's good."
"Is God all-powerful? Can God do anything?"
"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?"
"Evil's everywhere, isn't it? And God did make everything, correct?"
"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?"
"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
Monday, September 10, 2007
Friday, September 7, 2007
Thursday, September 6, 2007
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
A World Gone Wrong1 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: