Narrated Sermon Sketchnote: Chapter 22 of “The Story”

Today our church started a 10 week study for everyone, at all levels, based on the book “The Story: The Bible as One Continuing Story of God and His People” by Max Lucado (@MaxLucado) and Randy Frazee (@RandyFrazee). Adult Sunday School classes are studying “The Story,” as are our youth and children in Kids Ministries. Our pastors are preaching on the same chapter each week which is being studied in Sunday School. We are using this study to bring more unity to our congregation as our pastor nominating committee continues its search for a new senior pastor, which we hope will bear fruit later this year.

The Kindle eBook version of “The Story” is just $1.99, so that’s the one Shelly and I ordered to read on our iPads. As I’m trying to do with more frequency, I used the app ProCreate on my iPad and an Adonit Jot Pro stylus to create a sermon sketchnote today during the service. I’m continuing to add my sketchnotes to this Flickr album. I also exported the sketchnote from ProCreate as a video, imported it into iMovie for iPad, and slowed it down to 50% speed before adding some audio narration. The final video is 83 seconds long.

I added this video to a new YouTube playlist of my narrated sermon sketchnotes. This is the eighth one I’ve created and published to Youtube. For more information about using media to share your journey of discipleship with Jesus, see the project website for “Digital Witness 4 Jesus Christ” (www.dw4jc.com).

 

Promotional Videos for the 2016 Mo-Ranch Men’s Conference

This weekend, following a wonderful 3 day vacation together on the nearby Guadalupe River in the Texas Hill Country, my family joined me at Mo-Ranch for the annual Men’s Conference Planning Retreat. This is the third year I’ve served on the Men’s Council. Normally we meet over a weekend in September, but because of a conflict we met in October this year. The weather was spectacular! It’s been a dream of mine for many years to bring my family to Mo-Ranch. Last Thanksgiving, we had reservations to spend the holiday at Mo-Ranch with our family and my wife’s parents, but illness prevented us from going. It was awesome to have them with me and for them to be able to experience the joy which is Mo-Ranch!

During our planning day yesterday and following this morning’s church service, I recorded several video interviews with other members of our men’s council to create two videos. The first one is 4.5 minutes long, and is a promotional video for the men’s conference which takes place the first weekend in May each year.

The second is 3 minutes long, and is a promotional video encouraging other men to join our Mo-Ranch Men’s Council.

I have wanted to create “quick edit videos” like these the past two years at Mo-Ranch, but hadn’t had the courage to take the initiative and volunteer to do so. This year I did, and I think they turned out well. Hopefully they will be used to help more men become aware of the wonderful annual Mo-Ranch Men’s Conference, as well as the opportunity to serve on the council.

I shot these with my iPhone 6S and edited them with iMovie on my iPhone this afternoon, during a leg of our return car trip when my wife drove. I really like this quick-edit video format, which includes multiple people sharing related thoughts in different short clips.

Energized to Tell God’s Story Through Creative Expression

Yesterday on Saturday, August 22, 2015, Shelly and I participated in a wonderful morning workshop at Frontline Church in Oklahoma City. Our friend Kori Hall was one of the organizers of this unique event, called “Story: The Six Days In Between.” The description of the event on the Frontline blog was:

A conversation and workshop
For artists and creatives
Telling the story
Of gospel collision
With human lives

I’m not sure exactly how many people attended, but I’d guess around 75. The morning started off with musician and worship leader, Charlie Hall, explaining the background and vision for the Story Workshop.

I hadn’t pre-planned doing this, but I realized shortly after the workshop started it might be good to broadcast and archive some of the event via Periscope. Last week I learned about and registered with Katch, which is a free cloud service that archives Periscope video broadcasts so they remain online and archived longer than 24 hours. I didn’t Periscope Charlie’s initial comments, so I’ll attempt to paraphrase.

Basically, some of the leaders within Frontline Church have been planning this Story Workshop as a way to encourage networking and collaboration among artistic creatives within their community as well as the larger Oklahoma City metro area. We all have different gifts from God, and I liked what Charlie had to say about how the things we make with our gifts do NOT define who we are… yet that is a tendency we all have as human beings. Charlie encouraged us to lay our gifts at the feet of Christ, and seek to find ways to collaborate together to creatively share SNAPSHOTS of life as followers of Christ to a world in need of the hope which God offers. I love Frontline’s core mission: “To love God, to love others, and to push back darkness.” The Story Workshop is a way to invite and empower a diverse group of creative individuals to intentionally focus on telling God’s story in our community through a variety of voices and mediums.

I started to Periscope the opening session as filmmaker and videographer Derek Watson (of Lampstand Media in OKC) shared about the power of story and introduced a short video collaboration he created with Kori. I later cross-posted this video to YouTube.

I hope they will post that video online at some point, and if they do I’ll definitely update this post and insert it. It was powerful. Kori is an amazing “spoken word” poet and performer, and the video featured prose she wrote and shared.

After the introductory session, we each selected a different breakout session. The choices were Film, Visual Art, Performance Art, Writing, Photography, and Music. I was going to attend Film, but Shelly asked if I was going to writing… she was planning to stay for film. She’s helped her 3rd and 4th graders at Positive Tomorrows the past two years create and share some wonderful videos on their classroom YouTube channel,  and wanted to get some ideas for elevating their digital storytelling projects. Since I’m continuing to help organize the local “Write Well, Sell Well Conference” for writers in Oklahoma City, it did make sense for me to join the writer’s breakout… and I’m very glad I did.

We had a great turnout of over twenty people for the writing group, and we started (similar to a WordPress OKC Meetup) by having everyone briefly share about themselves and their current writing project(s) or interests.

I have worked on a variety of Christian-related media projects and websites the past 9 years, since we moved to Oklahoma, but this month I got the idea of naming the book project I’ve been wanting to write “Digital Witness for Jesus Christ.” I registered this domain on August 8th (dw4jc.com) and decided the corresponding hashtag (#dw4jc) would be both unique and good since it’s so short. I brainstormed and wrote down about seven book chapter titles, and then set aside this project to work on later.

During Saturday’s Story Workshop, I was struck (again) by how important it is for writers to have both catalysts for writing and accountability partners. I often create because of deadlines: Conferences at which I present or deadlines which are related to upcoming professional development events.

During our writing time in the breakout session, I uploaded and configured WordPress on the dw4jc.com website, but didn’t have time to write much content on it.

Inspired by the Story Workshop, last night I spent about five hours installing CommentPress, creating the chapter pages for the “Digital Witness for Jesus Christ” book project, and writing some content on each of the pages so early visitors could get a partial look into the focus and ideas of the project.

Four years ago when I was teaching one day per week at the University of North Texas and writing the first three chapters of my dissertation, I thought of the “3 Minutes About Jesus” project and registered a corresponding domain. In the succeeding years, I recorded and shared several videos on the site… but it wasn’t something that “took off” or I spent lots of time trying to develop.

When I thought of the dw4jc.com domain earlier this month, I also thought it would be good to use the October 23-24, Write Well, Sell Well Conference as a deadline to get an initial version of the book finished to share in printed form. This may seem like an unrealistic deadline, but it’s similar to timelines I’ve followed previously for other books I’ve self-published. I’m not positive if I’ll make that deadline, but the Story Workshop certainly served as a catalyst for me to take significant steps in this writing project.

Here’s the Katch archived Periscope video of the Story Workshop closing session with Charlie Hall. It’s also cross-posted to YouTube.

Like Kori, I’m looking forward to seeing where this collaboration is going to take us!

Here’s a Storify archive of all the tweets sharing during yesterday’s workshop.

Leveraging YouTube to Tell The Story of Your Church Mission Outreach

YouTube and social media websites like Facebook and Twitter offer incredible opportunities for Christian mission outreach ministries to “tell their story” and share with communities both local and international about the work God is doing through their volunteers. For several years I’ve felt God is calling me to use my knowledge and skills with digital media technologies to further the gospel and support the ends of His church on earth… and tonight I had another long awaited opportunity to answer that call in a small way.

Upendo Kids International is a mission outreach non-profit based in Edmond, Oklahoma, which sends teams each summer to Kenya to show God’s love and kindness through a variety of activities. This evening, I had an opportunity to show the nineteen members of the June 2012 Upendo Kids mission team how to use the iPad application “Explain Everything” to briefly narrate five photos from their trip. All together, mission team members brought home thousands of digital photos. Until this evening, however, I don’t think any of them had recorded their voices alongside selected photos and published them as videos on YouTube. Here are the two narrated slideshows we created at the end of their meeting tonight.

Kids Touched by God in Kenya by Kelly Ewing (2.5 min)

Selfless Faith in Kenya by Carly Murray (3 min, 48 sec)

I challenged each of the mission team members present at the meeting tonight, who are mostly high school students, to create a narrated slideshow like these before school starts for them on August 19th. I told them “the devil would do a happy dance” if they stop talking about their mission trip experiences and the ways they saw God at work in Kenya after school starts in August. I dearly hope each one of them will accept my challenge and create a short narrated slideshow about their experiences in Kenya this summer, and publish it on YouTube. Some of the students and parents reported they were providing their trip sponsors / supporters with CDs including hundreds of photos from their trip. I really think a two or three minute narrated slideshow with five key photos from the mission trip would be worth MUCH more to a person or family who donated to make their trip possible.

People say “pictures are worth a thousand words,” but I agree with Margaret Nan Harkey who created the video for Celebrate Oklahoma Voices, “What’s Your Story? The Importance of Telling the Stories of Your Photos.” Photographs can become MUCH more meaningful and powerful when we put our words with them.


Find more videos like this on Celebrate Oklahoma Voices!

I applaud both Kelly and Carly for their courage in sharing part of their stories and experiences in Kenya this year. To check out more Kenya Mission Trip stories from June 2012 and Upendo Kids International, subscribe to UpendoKids on YouTube.

If you’re interested in leveraging the power of YouTube and digital storytelling to “tell the story” of your non-profit, I encourage you to attend an upcoming “iPad Media Camp” workshop on creating narrated slideshows. I’ll be offering this workshop again in Oklahoma City on August 31, 2012, and again on December 18th. Please check the registration page on iPadMediaCamp.com for other dates and registration links.

Also, be sure to check out the YouTube Nonprofit Program and also read the PDF, “Playbook Guide: YouTube for Good.” The price is right: YouTube video hosting is FREE. To create videos like Kelly and Carly’s, you’ll just need an iPad with the app “Explain Everything” along with photos and your voice!

Be A Digital Witness for Jesus

Today at the 61st annual Men’s Conference at Mo-Ranch near Hunt, Texas, I shared a presentation titled, “Be A Digital Witness for Jesus.” I audio recorded the second session, and added that audio to my presentation slides on SlideRocket. You an hear the entire 60 minute presentation by pressing “play” on the embedded version below, but you’ll have to manually advance the slides because it doesn’t appear that SlideRocket lets me set the synchronization/advance timings.

Please access all referenced resources on this Google Site, including all videos except the profane one I discussed briefly. I don’t have the presentation slide I used for it or the video “Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus” included on SlideRocket, I added those slides after I’d already uploaded my presentation.

If you have any questions or comments, do not hesitate to contact me directly. Please share this idea with your own church members and encourage them (especially your youth) to get involved documenting the stories of faith in your community. We all can be digital witnesses for Jesus.

Follow Jesus

Today was the fourth time this semester I’ve prepared a full lesson for our sixth grade Sunday school class and not been able to teach. I’m quite frustrated and mystified at the fact that I’ve been a co-teacher in our class all semester (since we started at the end of August) and have not been able to teach a single lesson yet. Our schedule is changeable and chaotic and communication has left much to be desired. Through it all, whatever my personal experiences and perceptions, I pray our students are gaining a deeper understanding and living a deeper relationship with Jesus as a result of their experiences in Sunday School.

I used ReelDirector on my iPad to create a short (6 min, 40 sec) narrated slideshow tonight highlighting the main ideas I’d planned to share with our sixth graders today. I originally created this slideshow in Keynote on my iPad, primarily using photos from Flickr I took this Friday and Saturday in New York City. There’s no way (at last that I could find) to convert an iPad Keynote presentation on the iPad (without syncing) to images which can be used in another program. So, I created screenshots of my Keynote slides and then imported them into ReelDirector. I used my iRig microphone to record the voiceover in ReelDirector, and set each photo to display in the video for the maximum (20 seconds) permitted by the program. The last few seconds of my recording got cut off, but at this point I’m just going to go with “my first take!”

Hopefully next week I’ll actually be able to teach our kids. It’s exceptionally frustrating to work hard and prepare lessons for multiple weeks and then not be able to teach.

Narrated slideshow using ReelDirector for iPad

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Be a Digital Witness for Jesus

On September 14th I’m going to share “the chapel message” at Oklahoma Christian School in Edmond for students and teachers. My topic is, “Be a Digital Witness for Jesus.” I started an outline and resource webpage today, and included seven different examples. If you have links to other videos which are good examples of “Christian Digital Storytelling” or Christian testimonies online, please share them as comments here!

Jesus is my Super Hero

In the weeks and months ahead, please consider submitting a video to “3 Minutes About Jesus.”

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Stories of Faith: digital witnesses for Christ

At long last, a new podcast channel for “Stories of Faith: digital witnesses for Christ” is available online at faithstories.speedofcreativity.org. I first wrote about this idea in September of 2008, but the idea of “Christian Digital Storytelling” is something that’s been on my heart since the summer of 2004 when I attended the Digital Media Academy at Stanford. I wrote about this in October of 2004, and still have some resources about “Christian Digital Storytelling” online at www.wesfryer.com/cds. I started the “3 Minutes About Jesus” project (3minutesaboutjesus.org) in the fall of 2010 and hope that project will grow in the months ahead.

Stories of Faith Podcast: digital witnesses for Christ

I’m THRILLED to at last have the seven audio podcast interviews from 2008/2009 online in a “Stories of Faith” podcast channel. One of the big reasons this is “doable” at this point (besides finding the flash drive recently which contained three of the original, finished interviews) is my learning about Podcast Generator last semester teaching at UNT. See my September 2010 post, “Creating a course audio lecturecast (podcast) with Podcast Generator,” for more background. Podcast Generator is open source (free) and the easiest way I’ve found yet to publish a “real” podcast channel which includes a subscribable RSS/web feed on your own site. Sites like iPadio are great too, but there is no guarantee third-party commercial sites like this will be around in a month or five years. If you use an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad, consider using the $2 app Podcaster to manage your podcast channels from your device WITHOUT needing to sync to iTunes. More info about that process is also available.

A simple keyword search on Google today for “stories of faith” (without quotation marks) yields over 48 million results. These include sharingfaith.org, greatfaithstories.com, ChristianFaith.com (a site filled with ads) and Inspiring Stories from Georgia Girl. Our landscape of voices is only going to grow more diverse in the years ahead. I think it’s important we share our Christian witness and testimony with others on the digital, global stage– and we invite others to share their stories too.

I submitted the “Stories of Faith” podcast channel to iTunes this evening so it will be listed there soon. I pray the sharing of these audio interviews and testimonies will bring more people to know Jesus Christ and join a local, loving community of Christian brothers and sisters.

Modified Podcast Logo with My Headphones Photoshopped Onphoto © 2009 Colleen AF Venable | more info (via: Wylio)

 

Solar Under the Sun Ministries

On December 17, 2010, a representative of “Solar Under the Sun” ministry spoke with our men’s group in Edmond, Oklahoma. I obtained permission to record and share the six minute presentation.

This is the description I used for the video on YouTube:

This presentation was shared on December 17, 2010, at the men’s group meeting at First Presbyterian Church in Edmond, Oklahoma. Solar Under the Sun is a ministry outreach program of the Synod of the Sun, bringing solar energy as well as clean water to developing nations through a variety of partnerships. Training programs are available too. Learn more on http://www.solarunderthesun.org/

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Upendo Kids International: Sharing Christ’s Love in Kenya

On December 16, 2010, our family attended a mission dinner to support Upendo Kids International at our church in Edmond, Oklahoma. UKI is an outreach ministry to Kenya led by Eunice and Robert Menja.

Kenya Mission Dinner

This 5 min, 41 second video was a part of a presentation by Eunice Menja, founder of Upendo Kids International (UKI,) during our program that evening. Eunice told about the summer 2010 mission trip to Kenya and the work of UKI in bringing educational materials and the love of Christ to children in Kenya.

Learn more on the UKI website: http://upendokidsinternational.org

Kenya Mission Dinner

Kenya Mission Dinner

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