Aug 312013
 

Too often I’m finding podcasts that only have an iTunes feed, and neglecting the significant numbers of people using Android and non-iOS devices and/or don’t have iTunes installed on the desktop (and don’t want to).

podcastsHey podcasters, please post both the iTunes feed and the RSS feed for all your listeners; maximize your listening audience size and increase it by 24.9%!

Yet all is not lost! Underneath every iTunes podcast feed link is embedded a simple RSS feed! There are 3 ways to get at that:

itunes.so-nik.com : iTunes Podcast URL Extractor

feedflipper.net Feed FlipperFree iTunes Podcast to RSS Converter

And, here’s a bookmarklet you can copy-and-paste into your browser’s bookmarks toolbar, courtesy of djm – Bookmarklet: Convert iTunes Store Podcast URL into actual feed URL ::

By the numbers. Around the world, smartphone sales are heavily skewed to Android over iOS–sales in Q4 2012 were 70.1% Android vs. 21% iOS; on the flip side, mobile browser usage statistics: 60.1% iOS vs. 24.9% Android (NetMarketShare March 2013).

cf. how to convert itunes podcast link to rss feed; FeedFlipper was also suggested in this MetaFilter thread Need help subscribing to podcast in Android

p.p.s. If you want to do it the long way, here’s instructions from Dave Taylor: How do I figure out my iTunes Podcast URL?

[update] via Michael Sitarzewski’s How to get the original RSS feed for a podcast in iTunes – Download itunesFeedExtractor PHP Script: itunesFeedExtractor

Aug 272013
 

There are sermons and then there are transformational sermons. Not every sermon is that memorable, just as every meal isn’t all at memorable, but that doesn’t mean you skip a meal.

This summer I heard 3 sermons that stood out as cream of the crop, and what made then outstanding was their transformational essence. People are emotional first, rational second, and these sermons connected both heart and head, spiritual, emotional, and psychological, and that wholistic nature made these particularly universal and obviously relevant to everyone.

1st, “Jesus is More and Before” by Judah Smith (Pastor at The City Church) delivered at Saddleback Church during the Follow Me series .Judah preached this on the Saturday night, and decided to switch it up and preached a different sermon on Sunday. Unfortunately, the church website only has the audio and video from the Sunday morning sermon and not the superior Saturday night one. (if anyone has a way to access the media archive and get it posted online, please do, because we’ve asked repeatedly to no avail.) Rachelle loved the Saturday night one so much that she transcribed it verbatim. This sermon exemplified the far superior importance of Jesus Christ, using two very simple yet profound words to capture that. Judah is a seventh-generation preacher and this sermon showed the fine skills from an inherited heritage. Transcript at slideshare.net/djchuang/judah-smith-follow-me-more-and-before

2nd, “The Unloved Wife/Woman” by Dr. David Anderson at Bridgeway Community Church. Taking a slow simmer to unpack the chiastic structure of this passage from Proverb 30:23, the crescendo of the sermon unloaded the power and volatility of a women’s heart, and how that affects pretty much every human relationship. After all, everyone of us has a mother. Yes, this sermon struck a nerve for women and men alike. Oh how a wounded soul can unconsciously reverberate as an earthquake. And there is a path to healing and wholeness too. The pastor rightly opened up a space afterward for processing the sermon with an extended prayer time. Video at bcctv.org/library/player/services/2012-2013/unknown-characters-of-wisdom/the-unloved-wife-woman-proverbs-30-23- + audio at logalbo.podbean.com/2013/08/11/08112013-sunday-sermon/

3rd, “Getting Through Life’s Losses” by Rick Warren at Saddleback Church. This sermon gently gets at the root of why people get stuck in life, due to the failure of grieving over a loss or losses in life. One’s failure to do that is unhealthy, and the longer it’s unattended, the longer it festers and comes out in destructive ways. If not destructive towards others in relationships, destructive to oneself internally, manifesting in physical ailment and/or instability. Every human being will experience losses in life, and grief is the necessary step everyone must go through, to live life in a healthy manner. A most life-giving sermon. Video at saddleback.com/mc/m/53359/ + audio at saddleback.com/mc/m/53359/audio/ + Life Losses Checklist

Aug 212013
 

This is a list of websites with free resources for churches, a good demonstration that churches can be generous to share with other churches. I think it was Jesus who said: “Freely you have received; freely give.” First a list of websites dedicated to giving away free resources, and then a list of churches that produce high-quality content they use in-house and then share these resources out of their overflow and abundance:free-church-graphics

  1. http://www.openchurch.com/ free downloadable resources + ideas from the global church
  2. http://www.openresources.org – an entire library of creative materials – absolutely free
  3. http://open.lifechurch.tv - Download ministry resources: Providing church leaders with quality resources to support any ministry (free downloads of videos, graphics, and sermon outlines) – from LifeChurch.tv (Edmond, OK)
  4. http://stufficanuse.com - Free church resources made by and for the local church – from Southeast Christian Church (Louisville, KY)
  5. http://newspring.cc/resources/ – free church resources from NewSpring Church (Anderson, SC)
  6. http://seeds.churchonthemove.com – Series, Artwork, Video, Music, Drama, Motion, Kids, Students – Church on the Move (Tulsa, OK)
  7. http://resources.elevationchurch.org – series graphics, videos, trailers, print pieces – all for free – from Elevation Church (Charlotte, NC)
  8. http://vintagechurchresources.com – Vintage Church Resources is a free global sharing network for pastors and church leaders – from Vintage Church (Harker Heights, TX)
  9. http://creative.newlifechurch.tv/ – NLC Creative has free motion backgrounds and series art – from New Life Church (Arkansas)
  10. http://insidenorthpoint.org – free resources, observations, and lessons learned along the way – North Point Church (Atlanta, GA)
  11. http://www.resourcewell.org – free resources intended to help people live out the life of the church in a smaller venue – a ministry of Northland, A Church Distributed (Orlando, FL)
  12. http://www.ccvresources.com – free graphic resources & more from Christ’s Church of the Valley (Peoria, AZ)
  13. http://www.churchcomm.org – Free Resources and Tools for Church Communications People, curated by Justin Dean (Mars Hill Church Seattle) and friends
  14. http://www.onebigchurch.com – OneBigChurch.com provides a platform for churches and individuals to expand their impact by uploading their existing creative content to be downloaded for free by others.
  15. http://resources.12stone.com/ – Resources for Church Leaders – Download. Edit. Reproduce. Republish. For free!

Do you know other generous churches with free resources to download? Add a comment or contact me to add to this list.

ht: Free Media Resources from Churches (Sundaymag.tv), Free Church Graphics and Resources Toolbox (ChurchRelevance.com), Free Media Resources for your church (ChurchCreatives.com)

Aug 162013
 

Technology prices continue to drop and that means more free cloud storage for your files, especially the big files like movies and music. And for the companies that know how to scale well, the freemium model can work really well for their financial sustainability, where the cloud storage file hosting service has a smaller amount of space for free, and larger amount of space for pay. A handful of services are providing way more file storage space in the cloud than the market-leader Dropbox’s 2GB or big-brand Google Drive’s 15GB. This is a list of cloud storage services with the most free space (immediately after sign-up):https://www.iconfinder.com/icons/175168/cloud_storage_icon#size=128

Of course there are many differences between each of these services, features differ on things like: maximum file size limit, auto-backup, file-sync with your desktop, sync across devices/platforms, file sharing, collaboration, upgrade for “unlimited” space, and so on. You can check each web services to figure out which has all the features that best fit your computing lifestyle. I’ll try keep this up-to-date with the latest numbers on how much free space they’re offering, and any new ones that come along. Other helpful blog posts related to this quest for free cloud storage space:

A comparison of FREE Cloud Storage Services (Samer Kurdi, May 2012)

12 free cloud storage options: There’s Dropbox, Box, iCloud, Google Drive and others, but which is right for you? (Network World, Sept 2012)

Supersize your free cloud storage to 100GB or more (PC World, May 2013) – suggests using JoliCloud to connect multiple cloud services into a personal supercloud

Is Free Online Backup Really Free? (thetop10bestonlinebackup.com)

Five tools to help sync more than one cloud storage service (July 2013) = Otixo, Hojoki, Primadesk, Cloudfuze, GoodSync

21+ Free Cloud Storage Service Providers to Backup Files Online (December 2011)

Seventeen free cloud storage services for personal use (January 2013)

[photo credit: Visual Pharm]

Aug 112013
 

Grateful for each and every opportunity I have to connect with people and to speak at an event. Last Sunday I was invited to speak at a Chinese church in Walnut, California, called Vineyard of Harvest. As with a majority of Chinese churches in the United States and Canada, worship services are provided in English and Chinese. At this church, they have 3 separate worship services for Cantonese, Mandarin, and English. I spoke in English at the Mandarin worship service, and someone bi-lingual stood by me doing live phrase-by-phrase translation. The audio to this message titled “Becoming a Church from Generation to Generation” and the slides (also bi-lingual) are online:

This particular Chinese church worship service was unlike any other Chinese church worship services I’ve ever been to, in a good way, and thus redemptive and renewing for me. The energy in the room was expectant, expressive, joyful, and celebratory. I spotted 3 or 4 expressive people worshiping through the waving of banners, in the corners of the auditorium, as to not be distracting. The auditorium and the rest of the building had bright colors painted on the walls, signage was clear everywhere, people were expressively friendly and kind (whether they knew I was the guest speaker or not was a non-issue). The Senior Pastor gave a warm introduction for me and guided people through the post-sermon response time with tremendous energy and enthusiasm. This church seems so receptive to the message that their church was not just for them, and not just for Chinese people. The church is for all peoples, all nations, and all generations. So great to see an ethnic Asian church that’s growing their heartbeat to be more like God’s heart for all peoples, for healing and wholeness, for the next generations to take ownership for their faith through multiplying churches and church planting, and for prioritizing the Gospel above cultural forms.

pastorkwan