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

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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)

 

Free 1 Year Bible on YouVersion

At the encouragement of others in my church and Friday morning men’s group, I’ve started reading the “One Year Bible.” Rather than purchase this Bible version in paper form, however, I’ve started reading it for free on the YouVersion Bible iPad app. It is free and not only tracks your reading, but also lets you save notes. You can make these notes public to share or keep them private. You can also read notes others have shared publicly, which is a very interesting and potentially valuable way to socially interact as well as reflect when reading.

YouVersion 1 Year Bible (free) on iPad

YouVersion 1 Year Bible (free) on iPad

I started this a few days late after the new year, but thankfully the app lets you catch up. Just read ahead, and then in your reading plan select “catch me up.”

YouVersion 1 Year Bible (free) on iPad

Since I read the first three days of verses today and chose “catch me up” twice, I’m on the right schedule to finish by December 31st. You will need to create a free account on the app, or directly on the YouVersion website, which you use to login on the app and track your Bible reading. I’ve completed a couple of shorter reading plans previously using this system. I have never read through the entire Bible in a year, however, so this will be a first for me. My wife has talked about doing this too, and I’m going to encourage her so we can share in our discussions and learning throughout the year. Consider reading the Bible this year with this great plan! Another alternative is the website www.oneyearbibleonline.com. I really prefer the option to read on my mobile devices, however. YouVersion syncs whether you read on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. The latest nagging of my wife has been for me to get a hobby, so I started looking up the finest top drone brands like I did when I was a teenager so I could get into RC planes again.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad, edited later with Mars Edit. Cross-posted from “Moving at the Speed of Creativity

Technorati Tags:
, , , , ,

Initial Christian focused videos with Storyrobe

Cross-posted to BLASTcast.

Encouraging 10 and 11 year old students in fifth grade to think deeply about the ways God speaks to us in our lives, what the Bible means for our lives, and how we should respond to challenging situations in our lives using the words of Jesus is hard work. We are continuing to encourage our students to share their understanding, their thinking, and their questions about their Christian faith through multimedia in our 5th grade Sunday School class. Today we used the iOS application “Storyrobe” to create short videos about several topics. Students worked in pairs and were given the challenge of creating short videos (using five still images and finger puppets) which illustrated either:

  1. Bible Verses (explaining their meaning, application to their life, or special personal significance)
  2. A SINtuation (a real-life situation they have seen or encountered which involves fear, temptation, action, and consequences)
  3. Questions (challenging questions about God, faith, the Bible, or other topics related to faith)

Story Options

Students were required to create a plan for their story and write down some ideas, and explain it to one of our four adult teachers / shepherds who were present for today’s lesson.

Finger Puppets and Story Scripts

We had four groups out of eight complete their stories in class today. We’ll share and debrief these next week.

Kelly and Suzie created this video about “The Birth of Jesus.” December and Christmas time often presents confusing messages about the birth of Jesus as well as Santa Claus and consumerism. We’ll discuss these topics in upcoming weeks.

Another group (I didn’t get their names written down but will add them later – if you know please comment!) created this video which I’ve titled, “The Good Samaritan.” This story references Luke 10:25-37, which is very relevant to the way we live our lives and treat others. It also connects to questions one of our students asked last week, about “Who decided who got to go to heaven and hell before Jesus came?” We discussed that a bit in class and will talk more in the weeks ahead.

Sarah and Hannah created this video which they titled, “Building Problems.” This is based on Ezra 4. Rather than select and explain a verse they have studied previously and has personal significance, they chose to just select a random verse from the Bible and illustrate it. We’ll discuss next week how this example not only missed the purpose of our assignment, but it can also be confusing for people watching it. What does this mean? What is the main idea of this verse and the lesson we should take away from it? While this particular video didn’t meet our lesson objectives, it does provide a great opportunity to further discuss our purposes of doing this activity and how we want to both seek and share truth in our lives, rather than random ideas that can be confusing.

The last group to finish a video in class today was Gracie and Darla, who created “John and Lily.” They wanted to illustrate a situation which challenges faith, when a person is dying. In addition to illustrating the scene and the role prayer and faith can play in giving hope, they tried to explain this in the end of the video.

Overall today’s lesson was MUCH more successful than some others we’ve tried using media and technology, in part because we used mobile devices (iPhones with cameras and Storyrobe pre-loaded) to create our stories instead of more cumbersome, larger cameras and computers. Next time we do this I’m going to prepare an empty storyboard for students to complete, which lists spaces beside the five photos they plan to take and has room for character dialog planning. This may have been the first time many of our students had a chance to create a video project like this in Sunday school, and there is a LOT to learn both for students and adult facilitators. Next week we will definitely praise and recognize our students who DID complete their projects, because it took focus and work to get done in just 30 minutes! I’m hopeful this process will help us do even better next time. Many of our student groups worked hard in the time we had, but there’s a lot to do here in just 30 minutes!

If you have comments or feedback about this activity or this process please share them on this post!

Have a blessed week!

Technorati Tags:
, , , , ,

Promoting multicultural communication among women in Edmond, Oklahoma

Edna Parrish did a GREAT job creating this fifteen minute video about the summer program, “Women at the Well,” in Edmond, Oklahoma. What a GREAT opportunity to hear the voices of so many women, from so many countries and cultural backgrounds, sharing and reflecting on their experiences in this fellowship program.

Find more videos like this on Celebrate Oklahoma Voices!

Way to go Edna!

Technorati Tags:
, , , , , , ,

REMIX of the Bible Book Bop by Go Fish

Last month our 5th graders shot video and photos to create a “remix video” of the song “Bible Book Bop” by the group Go Fish. We have posted this video as a YouTube response to the “official” music video version of this song, so Go Fish can officially approve if we can have permission to share this on the public Internet. This song is their “intellectual property,” so we need to get their permission. This was really fun to make, and hopefully will:

  1. Help us all remember the books of the Bible better
  2. Inspire us to think about the power of communicating with media, and our own abilities to use media (including video) to share the Gospel of Jesus
  3. Help us learn more about HOW to create with media and safely / legally share it online with others

Make sure you check out the original / official version of this “Bible Book Bop” video by Go Fish, and also visit their website at www.gofishguys.com. Go Fish rocks, and so do our students! 🙂

These are our song and image credits, which we included at the end of the updated video:

Video Credits

This original song is by The Go Fish! guys. Visit their website at www.gofishguys.com. Images used as the background for our green screen sequences were shared under Creative Commons licenses:

www.flickr.com/photos/dotdoubledot/1281864495

www.flickr.com/photos/mandj98/314192764

www.flickr.com/photos/wolfgangstaudt/2217173388

www.flickr.com/photos/danielygo/3949411671

www.flickr.com/photos/loswl/3006536934

www.flickr.com/photos/20792787@N00/2720278372

www.flickr.com/photos/squarejer/522183263

www.flickr.com/photos/chrispollard/201911637

www.flickr.com/photos/iko/106957481

www.flickr.com/photos/martyworld/1464117348

This video was shot using still images from an iPhone GS and video from a Sony GSC-Websharing flash camcorder, and edited with iMovie ’09.

Cross-posted to our 5th grade BlastCAST blog.

Technorati Tags:
, , , , ,

Daily Reading Plans with the free YouVersion iPhone Bible App

Two of my primary resolutions for 2010 involve balance and pruning. I need to live my life with more balance, including more time spent reading God’s Word, praying, and inviting his Holy Spirit to take charge of my life. I need to “prune” activities in and from my life, and seek God’s guidance in this process.

I recently updated the free YouVersion Bible application on my iPhone, and discovered the authors have added a variety of daily Bible reading plans in addition to the original plan by Robert Roberts. After logging in with a free account you create on YouVersion, click READ PLANS at the bottom of the application to view available plan options. After selecting a plan, you can read more information about it including how long each plan will take to complete.

New Bible Reading Plans available

Available Bible Reading Plans

The Gospels Reading Plan

Chronological Reading Plan

New Thru 30 Reading Plan

One-2-One Reading Plan

Verses included in each day’s reading plan are linked, and backlinks are provided which return directly to the day’s plan. You can also return to your plan by clicking the READ PLANS button at the bottom of the app.

Day 1 of the One-2-One Reading Plan

Like many other mobile applications today seeking to leverage the power of social media for sharing, the YouVersion Bible App provides options to share your daily reading with others via Twitter and email.

Options to share each day's reading plan

The developer of this YouVersion Bible application is a young man who I understand worked for a time out of the Oklahoma City CoCo, where I office periodically. He has developed this iPhone app for Life Church, which is a large non-denominantional church based here in Oklahoma City. They have an Edmond campus, but I have not yet attended one of their services face-to-face. Because our own church’s Christmas Eve service was cancelled this year due to snowstorms and ice, our family actually watched part of the life LifeChurch Christmas Eve message at home. I first found it via Twitter, and started watching it on my iPhone, but then connected one of our laptops to the living room television so everyone could watch. It’s amazing to see how LifeChurch leaders are using technology to reach out to others and share the good news of the Gospel.

I really enjoy using this YouVersion Bible application and plan to make regular use of its daily reading plans this year as I strive to live my life in greater balance. The program does appear to have some glitches (it gave an error when I returned to the reading plan which I’d already started) but I’m sure these will be updated/fixed in the weeks ahead.

This two minute YouTube video gives a visual overview of the new reading plan options on the YouVersion Bible application.

Technorati Tags:
, , , , , ,

Angel Breakfast at The City Rescue Mission

This morning kids, family members, and other volunteers from our church in Edmond, Oklahoma, went to the City Rescue Mission in Oklahoma City for the Angel Breakfast. City Rescue Mission is a fantastic, ecumenical outreach ministry in downtown Oklahoma City. There were several elements to this event, which was designed for families staying at City Rescue. Some people went down early and cooked breakfast, and families from City Rescue and our church ate together at 9 am. After the breakfast, elementary and preschool students from our kids ministries program shared a 25 minute Christmas program in the City Rescue auditorium called, “The Fumbly, Bumbly Angels.” I recorded this program with my iPhone using the free Ustream for iPhone Recorder, and uploaded it to a new Ustream channel I created for “Eyes Right” when we got home. I could have uploaded this from on-site over 3G, but I knew the upload would be MUCH faster over our home wifi / cable modem connection.

Ready for the Fumbly, Bumbly Angels Performance

The Ustream iPhone recorder limits each recording to 10 minutes, so my recording of the program is in three parts. Because these video recordings show some of the members of the audience (currently staying at City Rescue) and we were only permitted to take photos/video during the event for personal purposes, I (unfortunately) am not able to publicly share these videos. I am sharing these videos on a password-protected Mobile-Me website with my parents and in-laws, so they can see the program. Ustream allows channel owners to download FLV versions of their videos, so after downloading these videos I converted them to QuickTime using the free program TubeTV.

TubeTV Progress - Converting Ustream videos

The most meaningful part of the morning for me was eating breakfast with a man and his son, who are staying at City Rescue. There are not many single dads there. He spoke Spanish, and I learned his son is 6 (as is my youngest daughter, who also ate with us) and he is from San Luis Potosi originally. We spoke all in Spanish. He said there are not many staff members at City Rescue currently who speak Spanish. His son was very excited to learn the kids were about to do a program, and immediately wanted to participate! I had my son speak with my wife, who was helping organize the children’s program, and she was able to get him part of a sheep costume so he could participate in the program!

I think this was a great ministry and outreach activity. There are so many things for which we should be thankful this holiday season, and it is so important to find ways to help others. I hope our Angel Breakfast this morning brought some joy to the families at City Rescue Mission.

Technorati Tags:
, , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 2 3 4