Archives for category: tech

Even though I’m a bit of a tech-nerd-wannabe, for most of my life I’ve been a pen and notebook kind of guy (which is amusing because my handwriting is terrible — should’ve been a doctor!!).

An aside: In case you’re wondering, I use Picadilly notebooks, a stack of which I bought when they were on clearance at the local Borders (but kind of wish I could join the Moleskine club) and I write with Pentel Energel pens, a grip of which I bought on clearance at Staples (but I really wish I could join the Uni-ball Signo DX club!).


Full-time vocational church ministry can be quite a juggling act — a little of this, a whole lot of that. In order to stay within striking range of effectiveness, I find that I need to be as organized as possible. That way, I can be more fully present with people, and not have projects/deadlines looming over my head as a distraction.

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The Rend Collective Experiment plays worship music with a jangly, fun, indie vibe (all good things in my book).

In the video below, they play Chris Tomlin’s popular worship anthem How Great is our God as a full band with nothing but their iPhones.  Engaging and, strangely, breathes some fresh air into this well-worn song (must be the nerd in me!).

On the way to gather with our church this morning, I heard a great story on the radio about WE CARE Solar (Women’s Emergency Communication And Reliable Electricity). Their motto is, “Saving mothers’ lives with solar-powered light and communication.”

WE CARE was founded by Dr. Laura Stachel, an obstetrician, and her husband Hal Aronson, a solar power engineer.  Maternal mortality accounts for half a million deaths worldwide each year, of which 99% occurs in underdeveloped countries.  Proper medical/surgical care is greatly impeded by a lack of reliable electricity to power lighting, equipment and communications.

Dr. Stachel and her husband developed a “solar suitcase” that can provide much-needed electrical power to fulfill their mission, which is to promote “safe motherhood and reduce maternal mortality in developing regions by providing health workers with reliable lighting, mobile communication, and blood bank refrigeration using solar electricity.”

The “solar suitcase” powers two overhead LED lighting, charges walkie-talkies and cell phones, and includes LED headlamps that come with their own rechargeable batteries. The first deployment of these systems occurred in June 2009. Now these systems have been introduced in nine countries. Most recently, we were asked to send solar suitcases to Haiti, where they are being used by medical relief teams and maternity clinics.

A donation to WE CARE could make a fantastic Mother’s Day gift this year!

My friend Dave Ingland, who I met at the first Idea Camp back in February in Irvine, California, just wrote a great piece about The Idea Camp.  Since the next Idea Camp is coming up soon — August 28-29, 2009 in Washington, DC — I’d like to share a few of my thoughts as well.

Here’s a quick summary of the ethos behind the Idea Camp (you can read more here):

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My postmodern side should be more comfortable with this paradox, but I still struggle with the ways in which the blogosphere (and the rest of the internets) can be such a beneficial and frustrating place, all at the same time. 

Finding My Tribe

For someone like me who works in vocational church ministry, the blogosphere can be a very life-giving place. Church work can be isolating and discouraging.  Over the last couple of years, connecting with like-minded friends and colleagues from around the country has carried me through tough times.

Friends from The Idea Camp tribe (#ideacampers are the best!) regularly encourage, inspire and challenge me. The ethos of collaboration and innovation, especially from within the IC tribe, have been reason enough for me to remain active in the Twitterverse.

Static Prevails

But, then, there’s the flipside…

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