Category Archives: News

Introducing our Third Daughter

[Update] We named her Abby Katherine Reynolds on Sunday… a mere 50 hours after her birth. We thought that was good! Thanks to all who participated in the naming of this baby!

Third daughter born healthy at 8:06 EST this morning. Breathing great and is pleasant.

Here are the stats

APGARES: 9/9
Weight: 7 lbs. 14.5 ounces
Height: 20.5 Inches
Hair: Auburn
General description: Copy of first two, but bigger

Ashley is doing great and is in good spirits in recovery. Big challenge is mashing up (putting together) a name she loves.

Check out these pics

Ironic Hurricane Advertising

Sometimes I see things that make me giggle. Most of the time these things have irony in them. Case in point is this web scenario I saw this morning when looking at the hurricane forecast for West Palm Beach. I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt and trust you can find what is wrong with this picture in light of the fact Hurricane Fay is headed our way and may cause flooding.

 

 

West Palm Beach Hurricane Advertising
West Palm Beach Hurricane Advertising

A New Job and Neighborhood

Word is starting to get out a bit that I have resigned my position with Stonebriar Community Church this week and accepted a position with the 30th largest church in the US. We wanted to let all of you know this as early in the process as possible, but also had some details to work out before I could make things official. I have been away from consistent blogging for awhile so that I could get this life decision made.

Where is this?

Christ Fellowship in West Palm Beach, Florida offered me a CIO type role that was just too awesome to not consider. After a rapid, yet extensive interview process, Ashley and I came to the same conclusion as Christ Fellowship that God had created an amazing fit between what they need in a technology leader and what God has made me to do. I will initially manage a department of 6-8 folks doing everything from programming to helpdesk to data warehousing. The team is pretty junior, but very talented none the less. Really a good group to be able to mentor.

What will you be doing, exactly?

For some of the more technology challenged readers, I will try to boil this down for you. I will manage a team of people who keep the email working, the files storing, the computers healthy, the data safe, the website updated, the member contact information reportable, the videos playing, the telephones working, etc.

In addition to these regular Church IT duties, I will be helping the church navigate the technology waters to a place of understanding how technology can be leveraged to improve the way they do the Christian life together. Whether this is through a better website that connects people with each other, systems that help improve the discipleship of church members, or an intranet for better communication within the staff, the goal of the position will be to partner with the other executives to champion technology projects that are sponsored internally. I am a change agent for technology within a church who already loves change and technology. What could be more fun?

Are You Moving?

Well yes we are. Believe it or not, God’s call on our life in this case was so strong it is making us give up our Texas residence. Leaving our friends, family, and this great State of Texas (Long live the Republic) were about the only downsides of this ministry move. We are seriously grieving moving to the beach. Some of our friends are just laughing in our pitiful faces and saying, “There are a lot worse places to serve the Lord. It could be Africa or a Peanut Farm!” Thank you Jesus it isn’t both! And they are right, West Palm Beach is about the most affluent place you can be a church worker. Living in constant good weather and around nice things shouldn’t be such a pain. We just love what we have here. We are comfortable. We are fully supported.
Some scripture came to mind in this that haunted us a bit:

Mathew 16: 24Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? 27For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.

Mark 1: 16As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 17“Come, follow me,” Jesus said. 18 At once they left their nets and followed him. 19When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. 20Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.

When is this happening?

My last day of work at Stonebriar is August 10th and my first day of work with Christ Fellowship is August 13th. I will work remotely for three weeks. We will move over Labor Day weekend, with my first day on site being September 3rd. “There is a lot left to do” is an understatement of understatements.

With this having happened this week, I have heaps more to say about this, but it will have to wait cause I am out of time for today. We’ll write more soon.

YAPHP – Yet Another Paris Hilton Post

I can’t believe I am stooping this low, but I NEED to say something about Paris Hilton. Everyone else is. So, here is YAPHP (Yet Another Paris Hilton Post).

I don’t know her personally (who would have guessed) or as intimately as others (I hear there are a lot who do) and in fact can say I have no idea what this trial is about. I don’t know a single fact about the trial and why people are supposing she will be convicted (if she hasn’t been already) of whatever she has done. I have less interest in this than I did in the tragic death of that other porn star a few months ago. None the less, Paris Hilton is causing people to write some really creative things. I had to share this encouragement for white people to riot with included allusion to the Rodney King incident. I hope it doesn’t come to pass, but this funny article is worth a read if you like cynical humor:

In a few hours little Paris Hilton will go back to court wherein it will be decided whether she must return to prison for the remainder of her sentence. If she gets to go home because it’s just too scary for her then we should all calmly stop what we are doing and make our way to Beverly Hills and in fine Los Angeles tradition riot openly in the streets.

Once there please do your best to gather tools that can make fire. Considering the location and terrain this likely means bashing in car windows so as to retrieve lighters. If none can be found then use the lighter installed in the automobile itself, they can be found in all make of cars from Ferrari to Aston Martin. Once fire has been discovered start looking for things that are compatible with fire.

This includes: car interiors, piles of clothes, driftwood, toy poodle fur (attached or not is up to you), designer clothes … [Read More of the Original Entry]

One Bold Take on the Virginia Tech Shootings

We don’t yet know the stories of heroism or bravery which happened today at Virginia Tech during the shootings. We may never know. In that classroom full of kids, there may not have been any brave souls who ventured to take on the lone shooter without a weapon of their own. There may *have* been. We simply don’t know.

In addition to today, two local events here and here have made me re-think personal safety and my ideas of preparedness for an attack. Please don’t get me wrong, this post is not some boast that looks down my nose at the victims of these tragedies. I can not say with any surety what I would do in these same situations. I would like to think I can put myself in a position to at-least cause harm to the other party, if not be able to come out unscathed. But again, who knows what we would do were we to face a violent attack by someone intent on ending our life, freedom, or dignity.

One thing I can say today is that I am glad I bought that gun I mentioned over this past weekend. I am glad because without an equivalent method of force to what an attacker will bring, I don’t seem to stand a chance… even at my 260 lb. weight and 6’4″ frame. I am just a bigger, slower target than the next guy. I am glad also that I got mine now, before another gun-prohibition is introduced by the democrat-controlled congress who themselves seem to be determined to reduce or remove my Constitutional, 2nd Amendment right “to keep and bear Arms“. I am glad I live in a country where most of the population are reasonable people that understand the vehicle or device utilized in a massacre like todays isn’t the object which kills people, but the depraved and desperate individuals using those things to do ungodly things are at fault.

What if just one of those 30 college students had a gun with them at the time of the shooting today? Would anything have been different? If any two students had carried a pistol concealed to class, and they knew how to use them, surely things would have been a lot different. Unless those two students are both in the first 8-14 persons killed (unlikely), at-least one of them should be able to get a shot off that wounds the coward enough to have other students jump on him and get the gun away from him. Or, maybe it gives the other students the bravery they need to hurl books at the satanist. Or maybe another student picks up the pistol another student falls dead to the ground holding in order to do their part to end the brutality. Again, we don’t know the circumstances of today, but more guns in the hands of the good-guys couldn’t have hurt on this sad Monday.

I am not afraid to say that if I knew I had a good chance of dieing by doing nothing, I would much rather have a gun that gives me a chance of living by doing something… even if it means a few of my best-attempted shots are errant and kill other individuals who in this kind of attack are likely to become victims anyway. That is a hard, gross problem to consider. But my perspective is the more sane, humane, trained, and willing people who have guns on their persons, the fewer lives that will be lost in all kinds of violent crimes. In all states that allow it, concealed handguns deter/lower violent crime. In the events of today, all we could have hoped for with students who concealed carry would have been a quicker end to something destined to be a tragedy regardless.

God help us all. We need it.

Texans are “a well-armed people”!

First of all, I am not a gun nut. Yes, I love hunting more than any of my other recreational activities. Still, I only have three guns, all with the function of hunting. I have been shopping for a pistol, but more because I love shooting than because I feel threatened in my home. Even so, I have a loaded shot-gun just waiting for anyone daring enough to bust down my door. That said, Texas’ new gun law rocks, as does this Washington Post Article:

Sympathy for violent offenders and criminals in general runs low in Texas, underscored by its busy death row. The state leads the United States in executions with 388 since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976 by the U.S. Supreme Court.

A conservative political outlook and widespread fondness for hunting also means Texans are a well-armed people capable of defending themselves with deadly force.

God Bless Texas! With the new law, I suppose it is time to considering shelling out the cash for the HK USP45 Tactical pistol and keeping it safely available in my home. Here is a little video for ya!

USP Tactical Video from hkpro.com

How to design News & Events pages for Churches?

We are in the middle of a new web project where I work as Web Ministry Coordinator. We are completely overhauling our site design and information architecture with the help of Chris Merritt and Nathan Smith. Of the many things we are trying to do, including creating a staff blog on the church site, rolling a News & Events page is top on our list.

Church news and events are usually a big focus for church web sites, but this focus is spread out throughout the site. At most church sites, you might get a calendar page with detail of upcoming events. We really want to create something which can compete with the major news outlets, but deals with hyper-local content specific to our church, it’s people, and the local community of 30,000 folks.

We want to include local news, church news, announcements, upcoming events, calendar events for the week, blog entry teasers, birth announcements, death announcements (which we will either name “Grieving the Loss” or “In Memoriam”), prayer requests, and service opportunities. The idea is to create a page that people might save as their home page in their browser, or at least use as a reference point within our site for everything new happening at and around the church.

The challenges when you start trying to design for this page are huge. Somehow it has to fit within the regular church site design (which should accommodate sparse content also), but still work for a news page where the user may scroll three pages. I am still not completely satisfied with the result we plan to launch in April, but this December blog post by Luke Stevens about online news design has been really helpful for me to get my brain around the concept and the design challenges. It is also neat to see how various news sites from around the world approach the problems (eye candy included at the link above).

YouTube – Day of the Longtail

Day of the Longtail – This video gives a bit of an overview of the struggles the media and entertainment giants are having with the community of bloggers. The “Longtail” itself as a term has been around awhile and the statistical phenom probably since the beginning of time.

Wikipedia Has this:

The phrase The Long Tail, as a proper noun, was first coined by Chris Anderson. The concept drew in part from an influential essay by Clay Shirky, “Power Laws, Weblogs and Inequality” that noted that a relative handful of weblogs have many links going into them but “the long tail” of millions of weblogs may have only a handful of links going into them. Beginning in a series of speeches in early 2004 and culminating with the publication of a Wired magazine article in October 2004, Anderson described the effects of the long tail on current and future business models. Anderson later extended it into the book The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More (2006).

Anderson argued that products that are in low demand or have low sales volume can collectively make up a market share that rivals or exceeds the relatively few current bestsellers and blockbusters, if the store or distribution channel is large enough. Examples of such mega-stores include the online retailer Amazon.com and the online video rental service Netflix. The Long Tail is a potential market and, as the examples illustrate, successfully tapping in to that long tail market is often enabled by the distribution and sales channel opportunities the Internet creates.