I help people in ministry and life with technology and insight while keeping it real.
If at all possible, I want to be helpful to you.
If you’ve got ideas on how I can be helpful, let’s connect.
Amazon has done it again, dropping a new service into their lineup that offers an incredible value.
The new service lets you read an unlimited amount of books on any kindle device or kindle app (phones, tablets, computers) for $10 per month.You can try it for 30 days without paying a thing.
I signed up right away. They sent me an email ahead of time because my book Live New is available on kindle unlimited. At first I found that it was a little confusing because I wasn’t sure what was available in kindle unlimited.
I figured out the easiest way was to get the drop down on the left of the search bar to say Kindle Unlimited. This took some poking around, but if you click here, it should load the search bar up and look like this:
Now you can search to your hearts content, and everything should show up with a “kindle unlimited” logo above the book. Just click on it, and it will let you click “Read for Free” on the upper right.
When you sync your kindle or kindle app, it will allow you to download all of those books for free.
I just got all of these:
Click here to get Kindle Unlimited free for 30 days.
I’m not sure if it’s worth it after the 30 days expire. I’ll have to explore the titles more. I’m thinking that if I read more than a book a month on it, then it’s worth it.
I guess I could just go to the library. But who has time for that?
You might notice a lull in posts on misterlib.com over the next couple of weeks. I am taking a few weeks to get out on the road and relax with my family. We are driving about 4500 miles in just under 3 weeks and seeing 12 states in the northwest-ish part of the country.
Most of our accommodations are staying with our great friends and family. But one of the things that makes this trip possible (besides 50mpg in the Prius) is a great app called Hotel Tonight that works on iPhone and Android.
This app is a great way to hack your travel. Gone are the days of reservations weeks or months ahead of time. Gone are the days of bidding on hotels just to end up in a rat infested mold hole.
Hotel Tonight allows hotels to clear out unreserved rooms on the last day for way less than their normal rates. Every morning at 9am, rooms become available like this:
The countdown was at 13 minutes and 22 seconds. You can have the app notify you when they become available. Then, jump on it and get your discounted room.
It’s been a real money saver and it allows us to be spontaneous in changing dates or cities for stops on the roadtrip without worrying about cancellation policies.
If you get the app and use the code KLIBBY1, you’ll get $25 toward your first booking and it will hook us up with $25 toward a future hotel as well.
Happy travels! And I can’t wait to share some great new content when I get back to California in mid-July.
I came across this deal today and wanted to share it. I personally use Fantastical on my iPhone and am excited to get to use it on my Mac as well. If you’ve got a Mac, I recommend getting on this deal right away.
You can Pay What You Want and get 3 of the 10 apps. If you beat the average (about $10 as of writing this post), then you get all 10. The longer you wait, the more it goes up. Click the image or click here to get it!
Plus, 10% of your purchase goes to one of three charities!
The venerable Andy Stanley posted a quote from John Meador, a poster in Euless, Texas. This quote has got me wondering. It’s one of those quotes, though, that makes me wonder in my stomach instead of my head. I can feel everything churning.
So, proceed with caution:
"What's it going to take for the concept of your unreached neighbor to become intolerable to you." Pastor John Meador #SBC14
— AndyStanley (@AndyStanley) June 11, 2014
I don’t even want to elaborate.
Maybe you could answer it.
What’s it going to take?
It’s that time of year (well, every 4 years) where the world shuts down to see who is the best at soccer. After the brilliant showing against Nigeria in Jacksonville, I’m more excited than ever about the team that we are sending. Here’s my fav tweet of the week:
— U.S. Soccer (@ussoccer) June 5, 2014
What I love about the way that the world is moving is that the stories matter. We’re not content with sending 23 men to Brazil to kick balls. We want to know who these guys are. We want to know why we should root for these guys.
And they’ve given us that. Check out the trailer.
Each video gives us a snapshot of the life of the player. It’s awesome and makes me feel like I know these guys.
Which makes me think about the people I go to church with that I don’t really know.
I wonder what simply sharing stories might do for our faith communities? How much can you really know someone without knowing their story?
I know what you’ve been wondering. You woke up this morning wondering: “What do soccer, ministry events, google, and smart phones have in common?”
Well, maybe not, but bear with me here. They are going to come together and help us leverage technology in ministry in a great way.
I want to talk about how we get info about ministry events to our audience.
People used to hold on to newsletters and bulletins that had event calendars on them. Somewhere around Y2K, most organizations began to look at posting those event calendars on the internet. As technology has evolved though, a better way has emerged.
In the old way, we would take a paper version and make it digital. Then we would post it up on a website for people to check, kind of like a digital bulletin board in our Church foyer that people can access anywhere.
In ministry, I’m always thinking about reducing any unnecessary difficulties with technology. Why are we still telling people to go and check a calendar (in the foyer or on the web) when we could just push these events to their devices?
In the new way, we create the events on a web calendar that our audience is subscribed to and the events are pushed to devices as they are created.
To help illustrate this, I’m going to share a calendar that I’ve created based on one of my favorite things in life, rooting for the USA in the World Cup. You can subscribe to the USA World Cup calendar here.
The reason this example is helpful is because (assuming that the USA makes it out of their group) there will be more games added to the calendar as time goes on. That means that when you subscribe to the calendar, three dates will be added because those games are already scheduled. When the next USA game gets scheduled, I will grab my iPhone, add an event, and it will push out to everyone that is subscribed.
Step by step instructions for creating these calendars.
(assuming you have a google account)
- Go to www.google.com/calendar and sign in.
- On the left, there is a panel that says My Calendars. To the right of that, there is a down arrow. Click the arrow, and then click on Create New Calendar.
- Fill out the name of the calendar, a description of the types of events that will be posted to it, and a location (which makes sense for ministries, but not so much for a soccer calendar).
- Select your correct time zone.
- Check the box next to Make this calendar public.
- Click the Create Calendar button. This should put you back on the home screen, and your calendar should appear on the left in the list below My Calendars.
- Click the down arrow to the right of your new calendar name.
- Click on Calendar Settings.
- Find Calendar Address on the left.
- There are buttons that say XML and ICAL. When you click on these, they will show you a link that you can copy and paste. These links will allow others to subscribe to your calendar from their devices. The ICAL one is for Apple devices and the XML one is for Android devices.
You can send these links to people in emails or text messages or put them next to your events calendar on your website.
All you have left to do is add events to the calendar and share it with people.
Now that it is set up, every event you add will appear on the device of any subscribers, with notifications if they so desire.
As people in ministry, we should offer events on calendar subscriptions because website calendars are an unnecessary step for those that want to be in the know on every event. We can get the word out about events quickly by creating web calendars that feed directly to our audience.
If you run into any problems, please post questions in the comments section.
Yesterday was Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference in San Francisco. I usually look forward to the keynote. This year was more dramatic though because I’ve been working on the Youth Ministry Tracker app. This tweet from Carlos Whitaker (author of Moment Maker) was spot on. But it was just the tip of the iceberg.
The best thing Apple did for me today? Allowing me to disconnect myself from RIDICULOUSLY CHATTY GROUP TEXTS. #WWDC14
— Carlos Whittaker (@loswhit) June 2, 2014
The first question I have with announcements like those that were made yesterday are “What’s new on the Mac?” and “What’s new on iOS for my iPhone and my iPad?” This isn’t always the case, but this year, the answer was simply YES. Things are merging in a way that hasn’t happened in the past.
And it isn’t just cosmetic or bringing features from one device to another device. Apple has thought a lot about how we use our devices and created better ways to interact with them, not just moving features around.
iOS 8 and OSX Yosemite will both launch this fall for free. When they hit, these are my favorite changes that I am most excited about:
- You can now silence or choose to leave group texts. (thanks Carlos!)
- You can see and respond to text messages in the Messages app on your Mac from people without Apple devices.
- In messages on your phone, you can record a short audio message and send it. No more checking to see if Siri got it right while driving.
- Hand off pays attention to what you are doing on each device so that when you switch, it asks if you want to start where you left off on the other device.
- Family Sharing allows you to easily and legally share an Apple ID for purchases in the app store and the iTunes store.
- As long as your phone is near, you can pick up a call on your Mac or iPad.
- iCloud drive promises to get info from cloud apps easier. (skeptical but hopeful on this one)
- Spotlight is as powerful as it should be. It even finds apps in the app store if you don’t have it on your device. It’s like Alfred + Quicksilver, but built in.
- Double tapping the home button brings up pictures of all your favorite and recent contacts. (Being a pastor, I am constantly connecting with people. This might be drastically more important than I realize.)
There are about a hundred other things that I am insanely excited about, but they are on the developer side. It’s stuff that you won’t necessarily notice, but over the next year, these changes are going to really improve the apps you use everyday.
What about you? Which change are you most excited about?
I am the student ministries pastor at OroNaz, the author of Live New, and the operational director of The Axiom. I live in California with my beautiful wife and two children, Bella and Jace. Learn more about me. >>