Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A great online poll & form creator

I just found a great way to create easy to manage and access forms and polls using Google Docs. If you're not familiar with Docs, check it out at http://docs.google.com

If you are familiar with Google Docs, then go to the main page and select New >> Form from the drop down menu and then get started building your form or survey. It's really easy to work with and you can have everything from required date fields (like name, address, etc.) to multiple choice check-boxes and select from list kind of questions.

When you're done, you can email the form to your Gmail contacts, or link to an online version of the form through a website, blog or email. Where does the info go? Into a Google Docs spreadsheet where it can be exported and opened in Excell if you want. There is even an experimental response summary that displays little graphs of your results.

As a youth pastor, I used this Form Creator to make an online poll for my teens and I'm loving it. Try it out and let me know how it compares to other services like Surveymonkey.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Make Firefox use Gmail for mailto links

I love Firefox, it makes me happy.  Every once in a while I come up with an idea of something that would make my browsing life easier and most of the time, some brilliant person has figured out some way to make Firefox do it.

Ever click on an email link only to have your email opened in Window's mail?  If so, this trick is for you.  Let me direct you to this cool lifehacker article:


Once you set everything up, click on a link and then set gmail as your default mailto program.  Just remember to "middle click" these mailto links because they will open in the same window as the link.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

For those Christian leaders who come off as jerks

I've heard a lot of very well meaning Christian leaders in the name of being honest and straight forward virtually explain away the fact that a lot of times, they come across as arrogant jerks.

I agree that we should share the truth in love... the thing is, I think we have a low view of what love is. While I'm a full advocate of "tough love," what I have been reading recently in the scriptures seems to clearly define what love is (and isn't)
1 Corinthians 13:1-13
1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

So when we share the "truth in love" - are we being patient, kind, not rude, not angry, to protect others, etc. I know that for me personally, loving others no matter what is probably the hardest thing about being a follower of Jesus Christ. To love unconditionally in a way that is civil, kind, and considerate of not just my agenda, but God's love and work in the lives of others as well.

So what do you think? How do we speak the truth in love without coming off as jerks?

Friday, August 08, 2008

Extravagant Worship

I sure hope you had a chance to catch a glimpse of the opening ceremony for the Olympic Games in Beijing.  Never have I ever seen artistic expression on a scale so massive as I have seen during the ceremony.  It got me thinking...

Will our worship of God be as extravagant as this opening ceremony?  It was apparent that hundreds of thousands of hours of time and millions of dollars were put in the preparation for this opening ceremony.  I wonder, if a ceremony on a world scale is worth that effort, what does our God deserve? 

I sure hope that though this ceremony, we merely caught a glimpse of what it will be like as the host of heaven and the saints of all time unite in extravagent worship to our Creator, sustainer, and eternal Father.