New Site

Due to Yahoo having issues, I have moved the blog to http://ipreacher.wordpress.com.  If you follow currently, please redirect your follow to that address.

 

Thank you

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Jamberry Nails

This post will be of particular interest to women, but men may want to take notice too, as it provides a great idea for birthday/anniversary gifts.  Jamberry nails are nail wraps that you can order online.  There are a ton of different designs, along with ways you can create some custom nails.  They last for weeks, and will still look beautiful long after your nail polish begins to chip off.

Why do I bring up this commercial all of a sudden?  Well, my wife recently began to sell Jamberry Nails, and I wanted to let all of my readers know about this.  You can visit her website here to buy products, or even check out her launch party event coming up this Monday on Facebook, by clicking here.

You can buy directly from the website, or even host a party via the computer.  Those who order from your party have their sales totaled up.  The more that is sold, the more discounts and money you earn for buying your own nail wraps.  It is a great simple way to beautify your nails, and guys, girls will love you for buying these for them!

Again, click on the links above or below to view her page, or to see the launch party on facebook, and mark down you will go (can go from comfort of your couch while on the computer).

Here are some pictures to show you how they look, modeled by my beautiful wife, and beautiful daughter!

Candace’s Jamberry Nails Page

Candace’s Jamberry Nails Launch Party (8/25/14)

10577081_333661476807053_2837163452496266873_n10614805_794139632334_1904695321_o10612227_794109817084_203307845_o10631579_794139777044_1415296878_o10614673_794139826944_806692415_o

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Toss a Pigskin, Flip a Bird, Scissor-Kick a Fan

I absolutely LOVE football season.  I will watch as much College ball as I can on Saturdays, and NFL games on Sunday, Monday, and Thursday, keeping track of my fantasy football league.  I love the storylines that pop up each season with coaches like Art Briles and his story, those who have overcome past injuries, and of course, anything related to OU.  I have enjoyed watching grown men in the NFL get so excited with a win or successful play that they look like little kids jumping up and down.  Oh, and I also enjoy the bad lip reading of the NFL videos that pop-up everywhere this time of the year.

Screen Shot 2014-08-20 at 9.29.12 AM

However, there are things in Football that I do not like.  To me, it seems that these have become increasingly regular activities in recent past, but it could just be me noticing these things more now that I am older, or Social Media getting these stories in a wider circulation than what would have happened ten years ago.  I am speaking of events like Manziel flipping off Washington in a Pre-Season game.  I am speaking of things like the video of a woman attacking other fans in last season’s Sugar Bowl game.  Why is there a need for behavior like this to exist anywhere, let alone in a sport that is mostly family-friendly, and can be enjoyed by multiple generations of families at the same time?

I’m not even going to try and answer why Manziel does anything that he does.  That would not be fair of me, as I know nothing about him, other than what is ever reported from the media.  I had read reports that the woman involved in the Sugar Bowl incident was intoxicated, but again, I know nothing of this woman.  I do know that there are many negative things that happen each year during/after football games (and other sporting events, just to be fair) that alcohol does play some role in.  That’s one of the reasons I choose not to drink.  I rarely hear any good stories that come about because someone drank alcohol, I only hear the negative.  So, in all of these incidents that taint the game of football, be it making crude gestures, attacking others, or even recruitment violations, I do not know the whole story, and I cannot make any reasons why they were done, nor how they can be stopped.

However, there is one other thing that I see each year that makes me sick.  This other thing is the extreme hate and animosity that comes up between people, simply because they like different teams.  I’m not speaking of the occasional joke about the other team, or ribbing someone else because of which team they root for.  If your friends have this relationship where you can stay good-natured with light-hearted jabs and such, go for it.  After all, I just wore a ‘The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly’ shirt yesterday, with each depicting a different team’s logo under the words (I’ll leave out who was who).  What I am talking about is where your fandom gets to the point that it alienates you from your friends, or your family, or causes you to do some of these other things like attacking other fans, or making crude gestures to other people.  It doesn’t matter who the other person roots for, they don’t deserve to be flipped off.  It doesn’t matter if you and your friends have an understanding that flipping the bird is just a joke and no one has hard feelings against you for displaying it.  You are being seen by others, and some little child may decide to emulate you, if say, you get shown on the jumbotron while doing this.  It doesn’t even matter if you do this when you are alone, because repetition will make it easier for you to do it in a different situation with someone who doesn’t share your sentiments.

The other bad thing about extreme fandom is when it overpowers your spiritual life.  I’ve known many people who decide to stay home from worship because of the Cowboys game. I’ve known others who put any sport above their spiritual life, and the short response to this is that there should be nothing in your life with a higher priority than God.

So, please remember this football season, enjoy the game, enjoy the rivalries, but do not let this game (remember it IS just a game) degrade you, or cause you to lose the Christian values that we should all be holding so dear to our heart.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Facebook Messenger…Are They Watching You?

messengerAh, Facebook’s Messenger app.  Depending on who you speak with, it is either just another one of the many messaging apps that exist, or the scourge of the internet that makes the NSA’s privacy violations appear mild in comparison.  The last few weeks, it seems like I cannot get away from stories on this app.  So, I guess I will now add to the mountains and mountains of blog opinions, with my own article on this.

First of all, there is no shortage of conspiracy theories in regards to Facebook.  Doing a search for ‘Facebook’ on snopes.com yielded MANY results.  Here are just a couple more of the most recent ones.

Facebook bans ‘Unstoppable’ movie links.  This was one that was clarified by Facebook to be a mistake due to an error in their anti-spam software.

Facebook will make you pay unless…  This was one that goes back years, and every once in a while creeps back up.  It states that unless you post something to your page, causing your icon to turn blue, and you will stay free.  There simply was no truth to this one, whatsoever.

What I have found interesting, both with these 2 conspiracy theories, the one about messenger, and so many others, is that I read about them ON FACEBOOK.  It almost makes me laugh, that these posts about the ‘evils’ (my word, not writers of other blogs) of Facebook, usually get posted, shared, and liked ON Facebook itself.

So, we have looked at 2 past conspiracy theories on Facebook, and have seen how one was completely false, and the other was partially true, but blown out of proportion.  Let us now focus on the Messenger app.

I have seen the FOX 29 news station video that has gone viral talking about Facebook violating your privacy.  In it, on a couple of occasions, they refer to the ‘new Messenger app’.  We will stop right there.  This is not a new app at all.  It has been around since 2011, and I can’t even remember how long ago I installed it on my iPhone.

It is an app that they say it so bad, that it has only a 1-star rating on the iPhone AppStore.  That is true, but only for the current version, which has received 32,400 ratings.  If you look at All Versions of reviews, it actually averages a 3.5 star rating, with 198,008 reviews, as seen in the image below.  So why the sudden change?  Did the privacy concerns just come in to play?  No.  The majority have given the current version a 1-star rating because they were ‘forced’ to download it.

IMG_1111

 

One of the more laughable reviews is one I am showing here, simply labeled, ‘Thanks Obama’.  How Obama had any say in this, I am not sure, but maybe Zuckerberg is now in the cabinet, I don’t know, I’m not a politician.

IMG_1110

Let us talk about being ‘forced’ to download the app.  Yes, if you haven’t already found out, you will eventually be unable to send a Facebook Message from the Facebook iOS or Android app.  If you want to send a message, you can login to your account via Safari, use the iPad Facebook app, your computer, or download the Messenger app.  I guess in a way you are ‘forced’, but only if you don’t want to use Safari on an iPhone or Android.  I know that my language here is nitpicky, but to me, forcing would be if it automatically downloaded it for you.

Finally, there is the laundry list of permissions that the app requires you to use.  This initial fear likely came from an Android user.  That is not a slam to Android users, merely knowing how Android requires their developers to ask for permissions.  They want their users to know upfront, every single thing an app needs access for.  So, if an app, like Messenger, needs access to your photos (for sending already taken photos), your camera (for taking a photo in the app and sending it), your microphone (for sending audio messages), and your contact list (for seeing if any numbers in your contact list matches numbers that users are optionally able to enter into their profile so you can know if they have Messenger), Android will ask for all of those permissions immediately, upon download of the app.  The iPhone app requires the same permissions, but Apple doesn’t want those permissions popping up all at first launch, so they require a developer to only ask for permission when the user has activated that feature.  So, if you never use Messenger to send a photo, it will NEVER ask for your permission to access your photos.  So, to the reviewer concerned about Facebook watching him dance naked at 3AM, you are safe.  They are asking for permission for legitimate reasons, not so they can secretly turn on a camera or microphone and spy on you.

Before I close out, I want to offer some of my perspective.  I work on the side developing iPhone and iPad apps for churches, preachers, conferences, and more.  Occasionally, I have to change the way I do things, or remove certain features.  For example, I am no longer writing apps that can run on anything lower than iOS 7.  Now the conspiracy theorist might come out and say that Apple is forcing developers to do this, which will force users of older iPhones to buy new iPhones, thusly increasing their profit margins.  That is not the case, and there are still many apps that can run all the way back on iOS 5 or lower.  I am simply doing this because there are some changes to code that make it much more easier to code for 7 and above, and not have to include several different lines of code just to make the same thing happen on iOS 6 or below.  Another example is that I am waiting for the Fritch Church of Christ update to come out.  One of the biggest changes is that I am removing the Bible that is embedded in it.  Again, this is not some nefarious reason, simply that removing the Bible allows for more room for other features I am adding.  That, along with knowing there are several other better Bible apps that can show more than just KJV, is enough to make me feel confident removing it.  I am saying all this, because we do not know exactly the reasons Facebook is removing Messenger from its native app, and requiring download of an additional app.  It is possible that Messenger being embedded is what is causing many of the crashes of the app.  It could be they want to expand both Messenger and Facebook’s capabilities, but they need separate apps to do this.  It could be that having them on different apps will improve Push Notification accuracy, making the end user’s experience better.  It could also be that this will help them make more money.  Some will look upon this as Facebook being a greedy evil corporation, but as a publicly traded stock, they have to think of investors, and the bottom dollar.  Just look at Apple.  With each new announcement of a new product or update to iPhone, the stocks fall.  It doesn’t matter that they will outsell every previous model, the stocks always fall, because investors want to be blown away.  Facebook has theses issues now, and in our society, like it or not, the dollar is the bottom line for most corporations.  All I am saying is we do not know every reason why Facebook is doing this, and not knowing should not lead to paranoia or spread of incorrect information.  I see post after post of people’s food, children, vacation photos, and detailed status updates within the Facebook app that most people have seemingly no problem with.  If you’re trusting that company with that information and photos, shouldn’t there be a little bit of trust that what they are doing now may one day turn out to be an outstanding move?  Plus, you can always revoke the permissions given for the app, so you don’t have to ever worry about those privacy concerns.

I hope this article has been informative, and I hope you have some of your fears put to rest by the information in this.  If you have any questions or other concerns on the app, feel free to post in the Comments and we can carry on a healthy discussion via that, or email.  Thank you, and y’all have a great week!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Slamming Others

I do not like ads made by Samsung.  This is not because I have almost all Apple electronics.  I am not a fan of their ads because of the nature they depict anyone who isn’t a Samsung user.  Off the top of my head, I remember two commercials that specifically irritate me.  One was the one where a Samsung user walks by a line of people waiting for the newest iPhone, camping out even, when they have no clue what the new iPhone will even do.  The other is the more recent one that depicts all iPhone users as ‘wall-huggers’ because of inferior battery life.

It annoys me that a company feels they need to slam people in order to lift their own product up.  No doubt some of you will point back to the years of the “I’m A Mac” campaign that Apple had.  Yes, that is another campaign in which slamming went on, but the ads nearly always stuck to slamming the OS Vista (which who WASN’T slamming it back then) and not the people who bought it.  There is a big difference IMO, to making fun of the shortcomings of an OS or device, and making fun of the shortcomings of an OS or device by mocking those who enjoy said device.  I compare those commercials directly with the ones Apple shows for iPhone or iPad, on the things their devices can do, or what people have done with their devices, and it speaks volumes to me, that they can promote a product by talking about what it does, and not mocking the people that use another product.

I’ve been thinking about these commercials a lot, as both companies are expected to launch new products soon (Note 4, and iPhone 6/6L/Air???).  As I think about the different approaches to the commercials, I think back to some of the different approaches we have taken in evangelizing people.  How many times do we evangelize, or even try and get someone to visit worship with us at our home congregation, and tell them the positives of having a spiritual life, and how many times do we do this by telling them the other churches are wrong?

Some people LOVE the Samsung commercials.  Some have been converted because someone bluntly told them they were living in sin, and scripture DOES say there is only 1 path.  However, please use caution that in many cases, insulting a church one grew up in, or telling a person they are straight up wrong, from the very beginning initial invite to a service, may end up doing more harm than good.  I just ask that we please remember that people who go to a different church, or none at all, have feelings and mocking or telling them straightaway they are going to hell, may not do any good at all.  Let’s show an attitude of love to the world.  This is how men will know we are Jesus’ disciples, that we have love for one another, not that we will yell louder than anyone else.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Why Are You Talking To Me?

It is a far too common occurrence in our brotherhood.  An elder walks up to a minister and tells him that he needs to “do X” or stop “doing Y” because a member is miffed angry offended that you did or didn’t do something.  Or maybe you are the one that gets caught in the middle.  Someone walks up to you and asks you to approach brother Hugh or sister Sue that they need to change something that they are doing.

say-what

This is something that I have had the unfortunate privilege of experiencing both scenarios.  It has been some years since it occurred, but it used to be a regular thing.  I would ask who it was that had the issue so I could personally talk to that person, but would never get an answer, so my only option was to start/stop doing that action.  I want to start off saying that I COMPLETELY understand that there are some subjects and topics that are extremely awkward/painful/embarrassing to bring up to your minister, or fellow Christian.  Some things may need to be handled by an elder, due to it being something you don’t fully understand yourself, and don’t want to make things worse by being ill-informed of what it is that you have some issue with.  What I am focusing on in this post are those times that you should really talk to the person directly.

The first and only time that anyone ever approached me about someone else’s actions, that person was standing 10-feet away.  After this person told me I should speak to the one who offended him, about how he had offended someone, I started to defend what the member had initially said.  Finally, in mid-sentence, I blurted out, “Why are you talking to me?”  He looked a little dumbfounded and I followed up with, “You know enough of scripture to be able to carry on a biblical conversation, and you should know well enough of Matthew 18…’If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.’  There is no reason to get me involved.”  That man walked away, and I have no idea if he ever spoke to the man who offended him in private or not.

My personal opinion (and I have done absolutely no research on this, so it is that…just an opinion) is that we have in so many instances in our society a non-confrontational method of dealing with problems.  It begins in school.  If a student does something to you, go get the teacher.  We have anonymous hotlines for school bullying.  There are people in your job fields that you can reach out to anonymously to report things going on that shouldn’t be going on.  Those things are GREAT.  I admire those programs, but we should always realize something: God’s church is neither a school nor a business.  God’s church is the Bride of Christ, sanctified from the world, and should not be treated in the same way that we treat Elementary school bully hotline, or the IA section of your workplace.

To me, the emotion I get from these scenarios taking place is that a brother or sister cares enough about their fellow sibling in Christ to notice if they are doing something they think is potentially sinful, but NOT enough to speak with them about it.  Yes, maybe an elder or minister has more Biblical knowledge than you, but you have experienced what it is that you think is wrong.  Getting someone else involved immediately can quickly turn into a he said she said, or you could risk an elder or minister forgetting (I know that rarely happens) to go talk to that person.  Also, it takes away part of the community between believers, as well as the opportunity for the ‘offender’ to explain to the one offended why they did what they did, giving possible growth to both parties involved.

Again, I have experienced this before, and thankfully, I have not experienced it in years.  The difference in how it makes one feel is truly amazing.  So, please, if you ever find yourself tempted to find a middle-man to send a message, stop.  Remember Jesus’ words in Matthew 18, and talk to them in private.  And, if you find yourself being turned into the middle-man, encourage the person to find their brother or sister and speak with them in private.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

I Love Church Camp

I read an article today that truly upset me.  In this article, it discusses church camps, youth rallies, and mission trips, and that how we handle those things could be what drives our youth away from the church.  In the article, it quotes a few kids from their social media sites after attending one of these events:

“Just got home from camp. So spiritually uplifting!”

“Went to the youth rally at such-and-such church today. Such an encouraging time!”

“Mission trip to Mexico was amazing!”

After this, the author makes some (which IMHO are some very brazen and incorrect) assumptions about the people that post that:

I’m not saying anything is inherently wrong with these events or activities. What I am saying, though, is we’re giving the youth a very warped sense of spirituality if that’s what they associate with the Christian life. They think a spiritual boost is a shot in the arm event where they go away and participate in a lot of fun activities and do some teen-specific, Bible-related stuff while they are there.As they become adults those events aren’t offered to them anymore, and they feel disconnected with the church and struggle to develop their spiritual lives within the context of daily life and church involvement

We do our best to engage and even entertain them to sell them on the church and then assume they’ll make the jump from that to normal, adult Christianity. That’s what we call a bait and switch, and that’s one of the reasons why we don’t have 25-year-olds in many of our churches every Sunday.

Now, I did leave out some of the writer’s comments in that section, but nowhere in it does he offer evidence that those who attend church camp, youth rallies, and mission trips while proceeding to write about them on their social media are the same ones that leave the church by the age of 25.  The writer wraps up this article after offering some pointers to the reader with this quote:

Don’t take this article as saying that camps, mission trips, or youth rallies are bad. It’s how we sell them and how we follow up that are failing the youth. If they leave such events thinking that’s what it feels like to be spiritually strong, they will only be let down throughout the year and, as they outgrow such events, throughout their lives. Spirituality is about our personal connection with God and the work He does through us to spread that to others. People buy in to authenticity, and that’s what the church needs. We can’t be something we’re not. Let’s just be the genuine article, as advertised in the Scriptures.

After reading this article, I really became upset.  Why?  It wasn’t because I grew up going to youth rallies, church camps, or mission trips.  I went to church camp a few times, and some area wides, but it wasn’t a completely regular thing throughout my life.  I became angry because I just went to church camp for the first time in 5 years, with a truly great group of kids, where we worshipped daily with other really great groups of kids.  Most of those kids wrote posts very similar to the ones that were mentioned in this article, and if one takes the article at face-value, those are the kids who won’t last.  I.  Do.  Not.  Buy.  That.  One.  Bit.  These are the ones who care enough to skip a sports camp, or take a week or two off from a summer job just to spend even more money to sleep in a crowded room with smelly kids they don’t know, all for the purpose of worshipping God.

As for the ‘shot in the arm’ comments, there were times where Jesus needed to get away and have some time with just he and the Father in prayer.  Some times you need a little ‘booster’, because we’re all human, and we sometimes need to be reminded of what we’re really here for.  And after all, what better way is there to be reminded of that than to spend a week studying and worshipping, or a full day worshipping and studying, or a week doing good for others in the mission field?

To my kids, and all those that were at church camp with us this year, I do not believe you are the ones that end up LEAVING the church.  More often than not, I believe you are the ones who will end up LEADING in the church.

IMG_9425

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

iPrayed 4 U (Now on iOS)

iPrayed 4 U is now available for iOS and you can get it for free by clicking here!

Prayer is a vital part of our spiritual life.  It is something so important, that the disciples even asked Jesus HOW they should pray.  Many places have announcements before or after services, in which one section will be about those on the prayer list.  Sometimes, our prayer lists don’t make it home with us.  A child may use it to stick their gum to, or it may get drawn on, or simply forgotten in the pew.  It also lacks the ability to be broadcast worldwide.  This is one of the things that ‘iPrayed 4 U’ hopes to change.

IMG_0261 copyPrayer Requests

The first thing you will see when launching iPrayed is a page dedicated to prayer requests.  All requests come from people across the world using the app.  Each request is granted 7 days of visibility, with those soon to expire at the top to increase their visibility.

IMG_0256From this view, you can notice a few things.  The title of the request along with the location and person who made the request is visible.  Each request can be made anonymously, so anonymous posts will only show the Title of the request.  If someone has pledged to pray for that request, you will see hand icons.  As the number of people praying increases, the color of the icon will change, and clicking on it will even show the range of people praying.

IMG_0262Clicking Ask will bring up the screen shown above, where you can make your own request. Each request will allow you the opportunity to share the request, or make a pledge to pray and schedule a time within the next 7 days to pray for them.  Making this pledge will send a push notification to that person that someone is praying for them.  After all, I believe one of the powerful things about prayer is when the person knows people are praying for them.

Prayer Gifts

Some times, you just want to send a prayer to someone.  With the Prayer Gifts section, you have the option of 3 types of prayers: Thanksgiving, Hope, and Grief.  Each one contains a prayer from scripture.  You can email, text, or even post as an activity to Facebook.  If you have the Facebook app installed on your iPhone, you will even be able to tag friends using it.

IMG_0257Pray Fast & Study

One of the apps I use the most is the ‘Nike+ Running’ app.  I like it because it lets me set days to run, reminds me of those runs, and keeps track of my total miles ran.  So, why don’t we do that with our spiritual fitness as well?

IMG_0258Simply tap the area, pick a date and time, and the app will remind you when that time comes.  If you don’t see the reminder, the next time you launch the app after the time has passed, it will remind you that you set up a time, asking if you honored that commitment.  From here, you can enter in your activity for minutes prayed, minutes studied, or days fasted.  Then, you can view the Stats page and see how you are doing.

IMG_0260Please note that this section is not about bragging to anyone how much you pray, study, or fast, and the numbers you see in this image are fictional.  I believe how much you pray or study or fast should be between you and God, and it is for that reason that you will not see a sharing option on this page.

Conclusion

iPrayed 4 U will be coming out soon, and is currently waiting for review by Apple.  We hope that it fits a great need of praying for, and having your requests prayed for by people across the world.  May it be as encouraging and uplifting to you as possible.  If you wish for more details, you can view a video guide on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGP_vSBaEDU.  Music was provided by Lifeline, entitled ‘Arise’ off their album Omnipotent, available on iTunes here.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

iOS 8 And Yosemite!

Screen Shot 2014-06-02 at 4.01.01 PM

I’m downloading iOS 8 Beta 1 right now.  I’m pretty pumped about it.  It isn’t the huge design overhaul that we saw in iOS 7 last year (Sir Jony Ive didn’t even speak today), but there’s enough in it to get me excited.  Oh, and for those of you reading this for hardware announcements, there were none.  Seriously, everything that follows will be all software related.

Some of the features in iOS 8 require me to dwell on the new OS X dubbed Yosemite.  For those who prefer numbers, this is the 10th iteration of OS X over the years.  Both iOS 8 and Yosemite will be available at a TBD time in the Fall.  Both will be free.  Not much was said for qualifying factors of Yosemite, but any iPhone from the 4S and up can get iOS 8, any iPad from the 2 up, and the iPod Touch 5th Generation is compatible.

Widgets

Ok, so this isn’t MY favorite part about iOS 8, but I want to get it out of the way first.  Many people have been BEGGING for widgets for years now on their iPhone and iPad.  Android has it on their phones, but it never appealed to me.  With iOS 8, developers are now allowed to make widgets that can be placed in the Notification Center.  That’s right, no home screen widgets, but it is a step towards what people have been asking for.

widgets

Keyboard

So, much has also been said about 3rd party keyboards with iPhones, and how Android has had it for years.  iOS 8 will now get that feature, along with predictive typing.  Begin typing, and it will suggest words for you at the top of the keyboard.  In the sample, they showed one person type “The meeting was “.  The keyboard suggested “moved, rescheduled, and canceled”.  They showed same sentence typed on another user’s phone, and the word choices changed to “epic, awesome” and there was another word there but I can’t remember.  Thus, showing that it uses context and the user’s language style to suggest words.  If someone sends you a question if you want to go to dinner or a movie, it will even automatically suggest “Dinner, Movie, or Not Sure”, as shown in the picture below.  Pretty neat if you ask me.

predicts_screen_mail_what

predicts_screen_messages_who

Continuity

Ok, so the thing I am pumped about the most is something I can’t really use until Yosemite comes out.  They are introducing continuity, a way to keep your devices closely connected and communicating.  When on the same wi-fi network, (sorry mom and dad, and others without home internet), your MacBook, iPad, and iPhone will ‘keep in touch’ with each other.  If you’re working on a Pages document on your phone, a little icon will show on the dock of your MacBook.  Clicking it will open Pages, and allow you to resume work on your computer.  This works with Mail, Keynote, Numbers, across iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch 5th Gen, and MacBooks running Yosemite.  Typing a long email on phone?  Just click the button on your MacBook and resume typing in the same spot on your computer.  And, while we’re on the subject of Mail…Yosemite lets you draw on pictures before you send it.  For me, this eliminates the pain of opening in Photoshop and sending pics to myself.

The most exciting thing for me with Continuity has everything to do with your phone.  If you are on Yosemite and an iOS 8 iPhone is nearby, you can send SMS messages via the MacBook’s Messages app to ANYBODY!  No more of just using computer to send to iPhone users.  It uses the phone as a relay of sorts so that you can type messages on your computer and send to even those flip-phones of yesteryear!  As far as that goes, you can make and receive calls from your computer!  Caller ID pops up, and answering lets you use your computer’s speakers and microphone!

calls_hero

messages_hero

This is about as close as a game changer as you can get for an all software announcement…at least for me, anyways.

Quick Reply

This is another one of those, “Android and JB already did it” features, but I’ll take it all the same.  Cause, let’s be honest, iPhone has been a huge seller even without these “must-have” features that others have touted for years.  Improvements are improvements, I don’t care if they were inspired by something else.  Anyways, let’s say you get a message or some kind of banner notification on your phone.  Before, you had to go to that app to respond in any way.  Now, you can slide down a little bit, like or comment on something from Facebook, reply to a message, or accept an invite to Calendar.

messagesreply

facebookreply

Family Sharing

I’ve helped my sister and brother-in-law, father and mother, and sister-in-law and brother-in-law all navigate to iPhones.  One thing I have always told them is that they need their own Apple ID for things like iMessage and FaceTime, but should pick ONE of those IDs to use for purchases.  That was because you didn’t want to pay twice for the same app if you wanted it on both phones.  With Family Sharing, you can add up to 6 different Apple IDs, and have access to all of those purchases.  Note that this is only if all IDs use the same Credit Card.  That may seem like a downer, but for families, there isn’t a need for each ID to have their own number, when they likely all draw from the same bank.  As part of this, you get additional security for the children that use this.  You can set it up so that if your son/daughter buys a game, it will alert you FIRST and ask for YOUR permission to let them download it.

Conclusion

There are TONS more features I could discuss, and maybe I’ll post another article later detailing those, but it seems like OS X and iOS are slowly moving closer and closer to each other.  And I’m ok with that.  Even if you don’t have a MacBook or iPad to use the Continuity features, there is much you’ll love.  Remember, I didn’t even touch upon the time-lapse features, photo editing, and much more.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Devastated But Hope Abides

IMG_5964 copyJust over 2 weeks ago, our town of Fritch, TX experienced a horrible fire.  On Mother’s Day, a fire began to rapidly spread.  The smoke plume was visible on radar, and crews from all over the area began to come to help.  The most heavily affected area had an unusual terrain, making it difficult for trucks to get to some areas.  Whole areas of town were evacuated, and many more were prepared to leave as well.

Shortly after 8PM, the winds shifted, turning our 50 mph winds from the SW to 50 mph winds from the N.  Almost instantly, the storm started backtracking a little, and going straight south.  When that happened, our home inside of town instantly smelled like smoke.  We had stuff ready to go, and went ahead to leave for Amarillo to stay with family.

Following the fire on Facebook was not easy.  No one really knew the exact location of the fire, leaving those who had homes, family, or friends still in the area very nervous.  That night, I’m sure few from Fritch slept very well.  We didn’t know what would greet us when we went home, but we knew it wouldn’t be good.

The fire is finally out, but it will be a long time of recovery.  Over 2,500 acres were burned, 225 houses destroyed, and many other buildings and unoccupied structures were destroyed as well.  It took days before homeowners were allowed back in the evacuated areas to survey damage and sift through everything, looking for any items of value.  Many found nothing, and even objects in “fireproof” safes were destroyed when the safe melted.

What I have noticed for the positive, though, is the massive outpouring of support from the community, and the entire Panhandle region.  Items were donated to the church of Christ from Panhandle, Perryton, Plains, Denver City, Canadian, Sunray, Pampa, Memphis, and so many more places.  I went to Sam’s Club in Amarillo, (who had donated pallets of supplies to the church), and while there, many saw the church van and held hands over their hearts signifying they felt the pain, but were with us.  Probably close to 200 have called the church asking what they could do, and many of our members have come to sort clothes, toys, toiletries, food, bedding, and stayed at the building to help distribute to those who would come by.

As a minister, I can’t help but think of the parable of the sheep and the goats, or of Jesus telling his trusted servant, “You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things”.  It is truly a tragedy, what happened here in Fritch.  However, it would have been more of a tragedy, if we all passed by on the other side, and didn’t have the help and support from all of our family, friends, and neighbors, that we did have.  God’s glory can be shown, even in the harshest of times.  It is because of this support, and God’s hand, that we continuously hear of those who remain positive about what has happened.  I don’t know how I would have reacted if we lost our home, but I pray it would be half as positive as many of those in our community.  God has and I pray will continue to bless Fritch.

I just want to say thank you to any of my readers who may have helped out in some way, or just prayed.  We still need the prayers and support as we slowly all recover from this.  Thank you.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment