One Minute How To

Last night I was privileged to record a “how-to” for the podcast One Minute How To.

The host, George, gives people a chance to try to explain how to do something in one minute or less. In exchange you get to promote your blog, podcast, or anything else you would like to talk about. The episodes are about 3 minutes long and are released 3 times a week.

I did a how to on building an iTunes smart playlist. I actually did 2 in one show. I talked about how to make a playlist that only gives you podcasts which you have not yet heard. Then another one on all of your music (that are not certain genres) which have never been heard on either the iPod or iTunes.

George said I did it in 1 minute 2 seconds. He allows a little overage.

Fortunately for him, he has several shows already recorded and is set until sometime in April. Unfortunately for me, the promotion I was hoping to get out of this “how to” will not go into affect until April. Of course I promoted Missionary Talks. Have you heard about that yet?

Missionary Talks: Long Promo

I put together a longer promotional audio file for Missionary Talks last night. It can be used for podcasts that simply want a longer promo. But primarily I put it together for another podcaster who has a show specifically highlighting other shows. He plays these longer promotional files as a service. Ok, he calls it an Endless Ego Cavalcade, so maybe it is not such a service to the podcasters as much as it is a chance for other podcasters to get a big head and play their promo.

However you want to see it, the promo is available at Missionary Talks and can be used however you will.

Review: None Dare Call it Education

None Dare Call it EducationNone Dare Call It Education is a book that I was recently required to read for a Master’s class that I was taking. The book was written by John Stormer. I was familiar with Dr. Stormer from my high school days. I remember our church had a pile of his previous book None Dare Call it Treason. But, I never read Treason and though I was familiar with the book on education during my college days, I never got around to reading it.

I wrote in my paper as a summary:

In None Dare Call it Education John Stormer outlines dangerous trends in the educationlal system and the significance of them. Throughout the book he shows how certain philosophies are played out in the classroom as well as current names of these philosophies. He leaves the reader with not just a bunch of philosophical facts, but tells how, specifically, the individual can fight these trends in their own community.

He spends quite a bit of time giving examples of how worldly educational philosophy is eroding traditional family values. Though he paints a pretty grim picture of what can happen in the public school system today, it is important to remember that each child is an individual. If you lose your child to a wicked worldly system, you only had one chance to get it right.

I would encourage any parent who is interested in their child’s education and making sure their child is not only educated well, but also with traditional values, to take time to read this book.

Dr. Stormer does not leave the reader with no hope. There is a whole section at the back of the book dedicated to ideas and resources which can help you turn the system around in your area. It really is an encouraging book in that he does a good job in equipping the parent who sees hope and wants to make a difference.

New podcast and day trip

Today we returned to Cuzama where the beautiful cenotes are located. These are the ones that have the stunning blue water. I took my mask and snorkel with me for the first time. It was incredible! This week we have had the coldest weather in my 3 winter history here. But the water was nice. It was not near as cold as was expected. And still wonderfully clear.

I did a bit of recording for my new podcast today! I took the recorder with me on the trip and while we were chatting on the way back home I grabbed about an hour of audio. While we were talking I was trying to think of good stuff to use. I think I may have ended up with 20 seconds of usable audio. I will have to listen to it all again later and pull out what might be good material.

The podcast will just be a complement to this blog. It will even be titled the same. I am going to try some experimenting with this show. I will have no real firm format and the frequency may vary considerably. I am ready to do it, I just have not put together any kind of intro/outro to start with. Recording and putting together the first several shows will be pretty easy. After that I can see where I go with it. I would expect the first episode to be released within the next week.

I am still eagerly awaiting my new microphones from Giant Squid Audio Lab. I got an omni-directional and a cardioid mic from them. Tomorrow marks three weeks from when they were mailed out. That is the earliest I can realistically expect them. And it could take as many as 6 weeks. After that, I give up waiting for them and assume that some postal worker is putting together his own podcast with my new microphones. I will cry a little and then move on knowing that they were not the first casualties to the postal system, nor will they probably be the last.

Praise team

Ever been to a church with a Praise or Worship team? I am not going to argue the goodness or badness of it, I just want to give some thoughts on the subject. Though, in doing some quick reading, I did come across an idea that I like which carries great validity.

But first, why did this come up?

I was at a church tonight that has a praise team. I have been there a few times before. In general I do not like their style of music, but the pastor is a friend and he is having special meetings this week. So I went. I saw something though that I often see with these praise teams. A couple of the singers were singing and swaying and screwing up their faces like they were “working up” the emotion to praise the Lord.

Do they sing like that when they are not in front of the congregation? I have seen it some times. I have spent many hours on the platform of churches during song services and I have to say I have seen some people working up a sweat with their facial expressions…but rarely. In a church of 400 there might be one, or three. But on many praise/worship teams there are usually a couple or a few who look like they are putting on the best performance their high school acting classes could teach them.

Why? Why do you have to sing differently when everyone is looking at you than when no one is looking at you? Who are you singing for? To praise God or to be seen of men? I admit that you should at least look like you are excited to be alive and be used by God, but should you go over board on that?

Now back to my reading and a response to the issue.

There are two legitimate arguments that I can think of right off that would warrant having more than one song leader. One is that there is biblical precedence for having congregational music led by more than one voice. You see in the Old Testament, on a couple of occasions, where the congregation of Israel was lead by selected priests in music. Not just one person leading, but a group of people leading the worship in song.

The second argument for having a team of song leaders is so that you can more easily harmonize the music. If you have one song leader, then you hear one voice. How many of you know the melody line of every song in the hymnbook, but do not know any of the other parts of harmony? It happens. Especially when you have just one leader.

That brings us to the potential need to have a team of song leaders. You are lead in worship by a group which can provide the harmony to the congregation thus enabling them to sing a more pleasant praise or worship to the Lord. It used to be called a choir and worked for many many years without the showboating or other issues that seem to be introduced into the church by a small group praise/worship team.

Was the choir such a wicked thing that we had to throw it out?