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I will write a novel in 30 days

Front Page Leadership

Have you ever heard of NaNoWriMo? I hadn’t heard of it until last year during the middle of November and by then it was too late for me to get into it, but the basic idea is to write a 50,000 word novel in the span of 30 days.

Now, if you are like I was, you probably are initially thinking that such an effort would be simultaneously grueling and pointless.

However, as a public communicator, I have become fascinated in recent years at how powerful fiction is, and I want to learn it for myself.

So, I have been thinking for a while now that I should try to write some fiction, and now this opportunity comes along for me to pull on my naturally competitive bent to accomplish something I’ve wanted to do for a long time…

So, I’m going to give it a shot.

I’ll have to average 1,667 words per day for the next 30 days, and I have no idea if I will be able to make it all the way through. I rarely finish big projects that I start.

I’m going to need some encouragement, so if you want to read what I write, let me know and hold me accountable!

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Postcard ideas for Choose Well

Front Page Leadership

I’m working on some postcard ideas for my October series… Your comments are welcome!

CHOOSE WELL – Series Concept

  • Title: Choose Well
  • Subtitle: { four questions to guarantee good choices }
  • Felt need: Whether it’s during the time of an election or not, people feel a sense of anxiety when it comes to making decisions. The larger the decisions, the more anxiety is felt. Everyone needs a framework for decision-making that gives confidence in the eventual choice that’s made.
  • Topic Structure:
    • What is God’s Will (and how can I know it)? — The Most Important Question of All
    • What do wise people say (and who should I ask)? — Who can I trust for advice?
    • What does my heart say (and can I trust it)? — When can I do what I want?
    • Am I choosing on my own (and is that okay)? — When should I go out on a limb?
  • Postcard:

Give me some feedback!

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Barack Obama and John McCain Get Real

Front Page Leadership Stuff I Find

Rick Warren hosted a “civil forum” where he took roughly 50 minutes with each candidate asking questions from all over the political map. Two very insightful questions were:

  1. What is your greatest moral failure, and what is the greatest moral failure of the USA?
  2. What current Supreme Court justice(s) would you not have appointed?

Watch it for yourself and then watch the commentary afterwards by the CNN reporters and see a new kind of political debate take shape prompted by the creativity and courage of Rick Warren and Saddleback Church.

PS. If the video below doesn’t work, try visiting the link below it.

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What I believe about Jesus

Front Page My Beliefs


His Nature

I believe in the preexistence of God the Son, coeternal with, coequal with, and of the same nature as the Father so that he is fully God (Jn 1:1, 8:58, 10:30; Co 2:9).

I believe that the Son in willful, humble obedience to the Father’s will for redemption took upon himself a fully human nature in addition to his own divine nature so that he is fully human as well (Jn 1:14; Php 2:5-11).

I believe that now even as the Trinity is one nature with three persons, God the Son continues to exist as one person with two natures. Neither the humanity nor the divinity overshadows the other such that Jesus is fully God and fully human (Heb 4:15-5:10).

Continue reading

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Michael Phelps Eats 12,000 Calories a Day!

Front Page


Phelps lends a new spin to the phrase “Breakfast of Champions” by starting off his day by eating three fried-egg sandwiches loaded with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, fried onions and mayonnaise.

He follows that up with two cups of coffee, a five-egg omelet, a bowl of grits, three slices of French toast topped with powdered sugar and three chocolate-chip pancakes.

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Professional Sunday Morning Video Presentations

Church Planting Front Page Geekery Lafayette Lafayette Community Church Leadership

In our new church effort in Lafayette, I set as a goal from very early on that we would attempt to do everything we could with excellence, and though we have had some hiccups with our children’s programming and with our music, we have been consistently high quality with our printed materials and with our video presentations thanks to some really great software.

On the printed front, we have been using Apple’s Pages for basic word processing and simple page design and Serif PagePlus 11 which is exponentially greater than anything else in its price range ($50 for features that easily surpass Microsoft Publisher and even rival PageMaker or Quark). However, that’s for another blog entry. On to what we do for video now and what our next steps are.

Video Presentation Hardware

  • 15″ MacBook Pro 2.16 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo / 1GB RAM
  • Draper Traveller portable projection screen with High Contrast Gray screen material.
  • DLP Projector (I don’t remember the specs right now).



ProPresenter is the best program we have found to display lyrics on the screen. It’s very easy to learn with only a few quirks that take getting used to. Together with the Mac, it is unbeatable in terms of visual quality of the text even with full motion high resolution video images in the background. On top of that, the programmers are very responsive to requests for improvements, and the software was designed from the ground up to meet the needs of touring worship bands like Chris Tomlin and David Crowder.

Keynote is the hands down winner in presentation software that understands the line between attention-getting and cheesy. Transitions, fades, and slide builds are unmatched in PowerPoint because Keynote does what it does with subtlety. It’s also much easier to work with once you learn a couple of its quirks.

Our current setup has us running ProPresenter and Keynote simultaneously on the MacBook Pro. ProPresenter takes over the projector screen and turns it black while waiting for us to begin. Navigation is done on the laptop screen, but lyrics and backgrounds are sent to the secondary display.

Just before my message, we hit F1 in ProPresenter to black out the projection screen, switch to Keynote without closing ProPresenter (the projection screen stays black during and after the switch), and hit “Play” on my sermon Keynote file. Keynote takes over the projection screen with my slides and also displays a “Presenter View” on the laptop screen. We turn the laptop to face me, so I can see my current slide and my next slide without ever needing to look over my shoulder.

Next Steps

Now that we are meeting in the Long Center (a larger venue), we want to make some changes to our setup so we stay on the excellent side of things.

  1. Replace our screen with a larger rear projection screen. We’re looking at the Draper Cinefold and Draper Ultimate series of screens for this.
  2. Consider upgrading our projector depending on its performance with the new screen. Most likely, we will just need to buy a new bulb.
  3. Purchase a new Mac to put in the sound booth. It needs to have dual external monitor capability, and the only Macs to have that now are Mac Pro computers or Psystar Open Computer Macintosh clones.
  4. Split the monitor signal from each monitor out to drive four displays (1). The monitor in the sound booth, (2). the projector on stage, (3) One monitor in front row pointing to stage duplicating what’s on the projector screen. (4) One monitor in front row pointing to the stage duplicating what’s on the screen in the sound booth. That way, the stage-facing monitors will show what’s on the screen and also show the “Presenter View” that Keynote can display.
  5. Use VGA cables or a VGA over CAT5e system to get video signal to the stage from the booth.

Final thoughts

If anyone is reading this post thinking that technology will save your bad presentations, think again. Websites like are a great resource to help you rethink the how and the why of your presentations. Technology can make your presentations more effective, but it isn’t guaranteed to do so.

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Miracle Caught on Video

Front Page

Frances Finn broke her leg skiing when she was 13 years old. The accident has led to limbs of different lengths.

However, at a Christian Conference in April 2008 an audience of over 100 people witnessed her shorter leg grow.

And they recorded the video on their mobile phones! The story made it to BBC news where they interviewed Frances personally to hear her take. The video is less dramatic than I was expecting, but it is thought provoking nonetheless. We know God has the power to heal, but we don’t have any clue why he picks the times, places, and people so it’s very easy for us to get skeptical over miracle stories. Here’s one, from western culture, among educated people, that claims a woman’s leg grew an inch and a half by a miraculous act of God and caught on video.

What do you think? Is this an elaborate scam? Did God do a miracle? Is it worth even asking the question?

Here’s the link:

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