Wednesday, August 29, 2007

College Girl

In 1995 we made the decision to begin Shae's formal education at home. We heard - and have heard many times since then - of all the dangers, drawbacks, and challenges of homeschooling. There are - even now - many misconceptions and myths about what it means to homeschool.

Our decision was not on behalf of anyone else - it only concerned Shae, and what we felt was best for her and our family. It was scary, especially for Trudi, because of the great responsibility.

At the time, we only committed to doing one year at home. We felt we could try it, and if it didn't work out, we could always try the public school system. Each year since 1995, we have renewed our one-year contract. For each additional child, we have asked, "Is this the best thing?" And each time we have felt it was the right thing.

It has been challenging. We have made mistakes. We hope we've done a good job. But Shae has been great. She is a wonderful young lady and has been a terrific example for her brother and sisters.

Last year, Shae experienced something other than homeschool for the first time when she dual-enrolled at Edison Community College, taking one class each semester in Punta Gorda. However, the bulk of her time was still at home, working on her high school studies.

Officially, she is still a high school senior. But last Friday she began classes at Edison in Fort Myers, taking 15 hours of college courses.

Bittersweet is a cliche. It's also an apt description.

3 more to go.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Blogs on Fire

Procrastination gets me every time.

Back in December I purchased the MacHeist - a collection of software offered through MacZot that was only $49 for 10 applications. However, I didn't download or install any of them. I was waiting for the new iMac to come out since I thought I would be buying one for the house and I would install these applications on it.

Of course, the iMac wasn't upgraded in January like I thought it would, and when they finally were upgraded a few weeks ago, I didn't have the money to buy one.

So this week I've been downloaded and installing these ten apps for my Powerbook and I wish I done it sooner. My favorite app has been NewsFire. It's a great app for reading blogs and I could have mentioned it to my workshop class.

I guess I'm mentioning it now.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Ministry on My iPod - Links and Notes

It was great fun to present the workshop at the ACMC. If you have any questions, let me know. You are also welcomed to post comments here on the blog.

Contact info:

If you look on the right side of the main page of this blog, you will see my podcasts, as well as some of the podcasts I like. You will also find some other blogs that I read.

Good email

Social networking;;;;
and I also mentioned YouTube and Flickr

Blogs I mentioned
Political - Instapundit
Mainstream Media - USA Today
Technology - Engadget
Christian - Evotional by Mark Batterson; God-Life-Stuff by Mark Lunsford

The Scrooge Blog

Blogging sources
Wordpress - and the WordPress software for your own site

Hosting providers - free bandwidth

Podcast Aggregators (the software that lets you subscribe to a podcast)

It's listed among the podcasts I like, but I would highly recommend Podcast411, both the website and the podcast. It is a great resource for you to begin or improve your podcast. I would also recommend a book by the Podcast411 creator, Rob Walch and co-author Mur Lafferty, entitled Tricks of the Podcasting Masters.

As I said at the beginning of the workshop, I'm a user, not an expert. I'd love to hear from you and what you are developing in the blogging/podcasting world for your ministry.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Workshop Notes and Links

Thanks to everyone that came to the "Ministry on My iPod" workshop on Friday or Saturday. I hope you learned some things to help in your ministries. I know I learned a few things in the process of presenting the workshop.

I am currently working on the links and notes from the session. I am also working on a video using the presentation slides that I will post here when it is ready. Thanks for your patience.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Headed to Lakeland

I'll be in Lakeland this weekend for the All Church Ministries Convention, hosted by Lakeland Victory and generated by the Pen. Florida Assemblies of God.

I am teaching workshops on blogging/podcasting (yes, some in the class are looking at this right now) and Bible Quiz.

The blogging/podcasting workshop will be in the Media Center at 1:40pm Friday and 11:45am Saturday. The Bible Quiz workshop and Teen Bible Quiz coaches meeting will be in Room FLC 110 on Saturday.

For the "Ministry on My iPod" class, here's an example of using a YouTube video in your blog. (It's an old video we posted several months ago.)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

FIFTY (and 17)


The big five-oh. Halfway to 100.

I remember when we were kids, from time to time we'd look ahead and say, "When I'm ___, you'll be ____." Or, "when it's 2000, I'll be ___, and you'll be ____."

It was hard to imagine having a sibling this old. Or being this old myself. (Of course, I'm not there yet, but obviously it's not that far away now.)

So, Happy 50th Birthday to my sister, Cherie! (That's us, 41 years ago in Mansfield, Ohio.)

But that's not all.

Because it's also Shae's birthday - named Shaelyn Cherie to honor her much older aunt. Seventeen is a pretty big number, too, especially when it's my daughter.

Shae has been a constant delight. Monday was a sad day for us, as the other three kids began their homeschool year without their older sister for the very first time. (Even though she is officially a high school senior, she is taking all her classes at Edison Community College this year.) Instead of the usual Math, Bible, Latin and all the rest in the schoolroom, Shae went off to work at Jorgensen Contracting.

Happy 17th Birthday, Shae! (In the picture: cousin Jason, toe-picking Shae, cousin Ben, cousin Jenni.)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Season 2 Begins

Finally got the 2nd Season of the Bible Quiz Podcast off the ground. I made some cosmetic changes to the show and I'm trying to focus more on Assemblies of God quizzing for the new season.

This is an example of a very niche podcast, and something I will be bringing up in my Blogging/Podcasting workshop at the Pen. Florida All Church Ministries Convention this weekend. My workshop is called "Ministry on My iPod" and the emphasis is on trying to get churches into the 21st century.

Fortunately, I have a list of good podcasts and blogs to point people to - without having them look at my pitiful offerings.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

It Wasn't About the Honey

It was a good day.

I snuck a picture from the platform with my iPhone, hiding down near my legs to take the shot. That would explain the strange perspective which makes Billy's (Cole) legs look huge. (That's Mark (Nicholson) leading the choir.) Billy preached.

Tonight it was my turn. I told the story of Saul and Jonathan in 1st Samuel 14, the stupid decisions Saul made, and the good decisions Jonathan made - in spite of Saul. The title was "Bit o' Honey", but it wasn't really about the honey. It was about the battle - but Saul's stupid decision changed the focus to the honey.

I'm not sure if I made it clear that Jonathan's good decision - to attack the Philistines - actually looked like a stupid idea to begin with. But he submitted it to God, getting God's confirmation before he acted. Unlike Saul.

It's early, but the kids are in bed. School starts tomorrow!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Jazz and Honey

I've been preparing for tomorrow night - Pastor is out of town, and I'm speaking.

In my preparation, I finally got around to reading Blue Like Jazz, by Donald Miller. We heard him speak at the Willow Arts Conference in June, and I've wanted to read his book ever since.

Great book. I can't agree with him on everything, but part of what I got from the book was that we let those less-important things get in the way of true relationship.

So, while I may have different views on politics, social issues, and the importance of certain standards, he was very thought-provoking and made me reassess the priorities I give to certain things.

One of my favorite parts was his story of the confession booth he helped create on a college campus. I won't spoil the story by telling it here, but I thought it was a great idea, and I hope others do it, too.

Even though I enjoyed the book, I don't think I'm specifically using anything from it for tomorrow night. I think I'm only borrowing his attitude.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Buca di Drama

The kids slept in this morning while I went to the business session of the General Council. A new superintendent was elected for the A/G - George Wood. Alton Garrison was elected as the new Assistant Superintendent and John Palmer was chosen to replace Bro. Wood as the General Secretary.

Just after noon we got word that the kids had been chosen in the callbacks for their small drama group. Out of 124 entries, they were one of only 17 callbacks.

We spent a couple of hours practicing and getting ready for their big performance. And it, I think we were all a little disappointed.

Don't get me wrong - they did well once again. But it wasn't their best. And the crowd didn't seem to be with them at all. But they already exceeded our goals by getting a callback, so we're pretty happy. It will be interesting to see tomorrow if they made it into the top 10.

After more of the business session, we went to Buca di Beppo with Pastor Goss and his family, where we ate ALOT of Italian food.

On the way back to the hotel, we swung by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, then by a fancy mall so I could look at the new iMac in the Apple store.

Last day in Indy tomorrow.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Prelude to a Decision

Today was a big day.

We started with competition, as Shae, Sam and Adam presented their Drama Ensemble, Small to a partially empty (or partially full) room. They did a great job, but you never know what the judges might be looking for.

The results were back quickly and they were good - a "Superior with Honors" rating. That is quite an accomplishment since - as of this writing - 115 entries have been judged in this category and only 22 have received a "Superior with Honors" rating.

Now we wait, since the category doesn't finish until noon tomorrow, then we will see if they have to do a "callback" performance.

This afternoon I participated in the General Council business session. Even though I've been ordained since 1996, this has been my first opportunity to vote at a General Council. There were several resolutions that were voted upon, but the biggest issue was the election of a new General Superintendent. After the 3rd electoral ballot, the field has been narrowed to three - George Wood, Alton Garrison, and Doug Clay, with Wood the favorite.

Voting on this and other offices will continue tomorrow. I'll be there.

This evening we attended the Youth service. Rich Wilkerson was the speaker and did a good job. And the music of Planet Shakers was good, too.

Now we are relaxing back at the hotel, getting ready for another big day tomorrow.

(Pictured: Mom and Dad before the Council's afternoon business session. Mom's not a registered voter - she was just holding the voting device before leaving to sit elsewhere.)

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Farmers' Fine Arts

A.K.A. The Indiana State Fair.

More on that in a minute. First, some real Fine Arts results.

Ashley Pounders performed her Sign Language Solo today and did an absolutely fantastic job. At least, as far as I know, since I don't know sign language. I honestly had no doubt she would receive a "Superior with Honors" rating. However, I was wrong, and she only received a "Superior" rating.

Along with that, Shae's Book Chapter also received a "Superior" rating. I have no idea why it wasn't a better rating, because it was a great piece of writing. Yes, I'm biased.


But at least there was the fair.

After a day of watching Fine Arts events and walking around the exhibit areas and time practicing, we headed to the opening day of the 151st Indiana State Fair. It's a very large fair. We saw pigs and cows and a donkey competition and horses and mules, we walked through the midway, and rode the tram around the grounds, and rode go-karts around a track.

Then there was the deep fried Pepsi. And deep-fried Oreos and deep-fried Snickers and deep-fried Reese's. Not bad.

There was dancing and corn and the world's largest boar and the world's largest strawberry shortcake and a very scary baby rattler. (If you see Sam, ask him about it.)

I think everyone had a good time. Now a very tired group gets ready for another big day tomorrow.

(Pictures: top-Ashley, Shae, and Sam try the deep-fried sweets, including Pepsi, Oreos, Snickers, and Reese's; middle-Sam and Evan; bottom-Adam had the fast car at the track.)


Sam, Shae, and I - along with friends Adam, Ashley, and Jeff - are in Indianapolis for the National Fine Arts competition and A/G General Council. After a lo-o-o-o-ong drive, a night in Nashville, and more driving, we arrived yesterday at the RCA Dome.

There are alot of people here, and we've already seen a few people we know.

Last night we went to Cracker Barrel, where we tried to let our server, Kate, earn her second star. Then it was on to the youth service in the Dome. Planet Shakers led worship and Reggie Dabbs was the speaker in front of about 10,000 people.

It was very good.

Then we stopped by McDonalds on our way back to the hotel.

Today we are headed to watch some competition, including Shazmynn Barnard this morning. Ashley performs her sign language solo at 1:56pm today, and Adam, Shae, and Sam do their small drama ensemble tomorrow at 9:08am.