IGTV Youth Pastor

So I am trying to figure out this whole IGTV thing. Instagram’s new long form video platform hooked me with of all things a trailer for Aquaman (a movie I am not even all that excited about seeing). The fact that they had recut the trailer so that it fit in vertical instead of horizontal format intrigued me and opened my eyes to a whole different world of vertical video.

So I thought I would try my hand at a regular feature on IGTV which I am calling the IGTV Youth Pastor. I am still working with the tools and things are not quite up for public consumption yet.

If you are interested in checking out IGTV or using it here are some things I have discovered.

  1. There is no good way to search for anything other than usernames. So if you are making content about the Bible or about cooking or whatever and you instagram name doesn’t contain those things people aren’t going to be able to find it.
  2. My “suggested videos” that autoplay when I open up IGTV are trash. Not only that they are trashy and require that I immediately turn to something else so that I don’t offend myself or those around me. I currently don’t know how to fix this.
  3. To try and fight that I have been following more “official” pages in hopes that I can get a slightly less “people booty dancing” greeting every time I open up the service.
  4. Vertical video is a fun challenge to edit. I have been using Videoleap to edit the videos. I am sure I could do more elaborate things in Premiere, but right now I am trying to get everything made on my phone. It has been an interesting challeng.
  5. NO ONE and I mean NO ONE I know has any idea what IGTV is. Every time I tell people I am making videos for it they look at me like I have 2 heads.

All in all it has been a fun experiment. It feels like the early days of YouTube when it was sort of a crap shoot what you would get and there was a place for every weird thing on the internet on the front page.

Maybe I will find a way to use it for ministry one of these days.

What I Can Change

What I Can Change

I have recently gotten into reading Twitter in the morning. It isn’t a good place for me to be, for sure because after I read it I spend my whole shower trying to think of what I can shout into the void to stop the madness. It seems like Twitter has become an old school mob that is almost literally tarring and feathering people and then celebrating when they are run out of town. Into that void there are a few voices on both sides trying to speak calmly and have a real discourse, but most of the people are just trying to shout and shame anyone who has ever made a mistake or who doesn’t agree with you.

So I sit in the shower and try to figure out how I can help.

Today it hit me. I can’t help Twitter world. I can’t help internet outrage or the people who are fueled by it. I can’t stop people from destroying lives because of one video or from yelling instead of listening.

But there is something I can do.

What I can do is share Jesus with people, anytime, every time. What I can do is be the hands and feet of Jesus reaching out to people one life at a time. We have moved into this world of social media and everyone having a platform and I think I have forgotten than real changes don’t happen when you shot into a megaphone, they happen when you are willing to walk across the street to help your neighbor.

My epiphany this morning was to stop worrying about internet things and start worrying about right here beside me things. That is how God is calling me to make a difference.

Alfred, the slide building monkey

Do you need a quick way to make custom announcement slides that have a consistent look? Then check out Alfred, the slide building monkey. It is apparently for Seacoast Church, but the site has no contact information and no terms of use information, so it could be intended just for in-house use. The idea is a simple and brilliant one. You select a background. Choose a title and 3 lines of information and then generate the slide. All the slides have the same font and all of the information is in the same place. Only the pictures are different. It is fast and easy.

Online Study Bible


Sure it is the Hardcore Southern Baptist version, but Holman actually has some neat stuff going with their new Bible online. It is still in “beta” phase so there are some kinks to work out, but I am in love with the quick links to the Hebrew and Greek definitions. Look through the text and almost every word has a small highlight. Hover over that word and a pop-up window appears with the entry from the Bible dictionary. There are also a few commentaries and study notes. It looks almost as slick as youversion.com  but with the added bonus of the deeper study tools. What it doesn’t offer is other versions (just HCSB and KJV) or a mobile component (my ipod couldn’t even load it). 

You can tweak it to your own preferences. I went to the options and turned off the “show cross references pop up” because when you click a verse you can see all that information in the sidebar. But if you prefer to read it in the full mode (accessible by clicking the little arrow on the right) you can use the pop-ups instead. 

Right now my biggest complaint is how poorly the text looks if you try to cut and paste a verse or two into a different program. There are lots of extra line breaks and missing spaces. It sort of hampers this as a lesson prep aid, but I am hoping that is something they will work out between the beta and the launch phase.

I am not getting paid for this endorsement or anything, they just sent me there because it is the newest revision of the HCSB text and I have to use it for my writing assignment. I thought I would pass it along. 

Project 61


If you are a regular reader you know that my sister and brother-in-law sold their house in the suburbs of Nashville to go live in a major city in Africa The community that they are working in is beyond poor. It is situated right beside the city landfill so most of the people survive by scavenging food and other things from the dump.

They along with people in their church, have started Project 61 ministries (the name comes from Isaiah 61). One of the ways that they are making a difference is by getting sponsors to send children to boarding school. Our Vacation Bible School offering this year was enough to send a kid to school and also help with the summer food program. So we we given a boy named Takley as our sponsored child.

Yesterday my sister posted something on her facebook account that just broke my heart. Takley says that he likes summer camp (a sort of pre-school program they are doing), but he is hungry. At the camp he only gets 1 meal a day, but, he says, “In the dump I can eat all day.”

Here is a guy who has no concept of clean and healthy food. He just knows that he is hungry and so he is willing to root through a trash dump to eat. I see so much of myself in this boy. Sure I have never missed a meal, but I have more times than I want to admit gone after the easy rather than the good. I have looked at the need in my heart for love, acceptance, purpose, etc and instead of going to God and getting something good I have turned back to the same old ways that always made the need feel like it was gone for a while. Like Takley I have turned down one good moment, one true thing, one thing to place my trust and faith in, for what I was used to, for a smörgåsbord of stuff that I know is wrong, stuff that will make me sick, but at least for the moment the deep need was gone.

If you would like to learn more stories like this check out Project 61 on Facebook. If you would like to donate to help children like Takley go to http://p61.org and follow the donate link.