Monday, December 29, 2008

Rise Up - Better than an old school Kung Fu movie...

Recent Reviews:

"Follow the road of devastation left by an exiled Jewish Shogun warrior seeking to avenge the death of his local deli owner/sensei in this non stop action packed thrill ride!"

Friday, December 19, 2008

"Florida Woman Says Former Church Plans to Make Her Sins Public"

I saw this article yesterday and was curious to see what you all thought about the situation. Essentially, this woman was a member of a church in Florida and was actively in an immoral relationship. She was confronted by one person, then a group of ladies, and now the Elders have sent her a letter calling her to repent or have her sin taken before the church (all in accordance with Mt. 18:15-17). Before I write about my opinions, what do you all think?

You can read the article for yourself here.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Top of the Morning to You!

I am currently sitting at a Starbucks on Post Oak Blvd and 610 awaiting a 7:30 meeting at a nearby office building. The meeting was organized by my good friend and former board member, Jody Johnston. He asked me if he could arrange this breakfast so that he could invite some colleagues to come and learn more about Transform Ministries and give them the opportunity to support the ministry. I agreed to come and share with the group what God has been doing and how we have seen and experienced the Gospel transform lives through the ministry over the years. More than gaining financial supporters, my prayer is to make some new friends that will faithfully pray for us. If the Lord compels them to give, I wouldn't deny them that joy, however. ;-)

In other news, I have been greatly enjoying my time off from school. Don't get me wrong, I love learning and I love the fellowship I have with my fellow students and the professors, but I needed a break. In hindsight I am glad that I took 12 hours. While my grades may not have been as high as they would have been with 6 hours, I ended up doing pretty well. Plus, Steph and I are both at a place where I need to be done with this (6 year) season of our lives. This revelation (of my impending graduation) often illicits the following question, "What are you going to do next?"

My first response to this question is, "Geez, let a brother catch his breath!" Then I start asking internal questions like, "Do these people think that I haven't been doing anything 'grown-up' over the past 6 years?" This question isn't meant to reflect any sense of discouragement, but more curiosity. Perhaps my being in grad school causes people to think that I can't really do anything serious until after I receive my masters. Or, some people, because of their faith background, are used to 'pastors' not being able to 'pastor' until they get the credentials. Regardless, I understand that most of the time the question, "What's next?" is a natural question, which I don't mind answering.

This, however, begs the question, "What is next?" As of right now, nothing really new, but more time to invest into what I am currently doing; traveling & preaching, running Transform Ministries, Community Pastoring at Christ Church, building websites, helping out at Faith Mission, and leading a discipleship class at Brenham Christian Academy. For now there isn't any desire to look for a 'real job', i.e. a higher paying ministry position at a large church. Instead, I'd rather take the energy currently being budgeted towards my education and poor it into ministry endeavors. The rest is still yet to be revealed (further education, future ministry opps, etc.).

Well, I need to head out to the meeting. Thanks for taking the time to read.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Done At Last!

Well, for the semester anyway. By God's grace I now only have one iTerm (week long intensive course) and the spring semester and then I will have completed my Master of Divinity (Lord Willing)! I've enjoyed my time at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary's J. Dalton Havard School of Theology in Houston, TX. While my degree is technically 'No Concentration', all of my electives (with the exception of one or two) have been Bible. So, I guess my specialization is Bible, which is good, no?

Now that the semester is over, I hope to be blogging again far more frequently. There has been a lot going on that I would like to share, so stay tuned.

For those of you who don't know, I now build websites in partnership with Gutensite. My latest site is for Calvary Baptist of Brenham. Check it out and let me know what you think! Let me know if you would like for me to build you a site!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

This Guy Saved Me a TON of MONEY!

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to my new insurance agent, Alex Leiva. He is with Liberty Mutual and he was just able to save me a TON of money. Seriously, like close to $700/year on my home owners and auto insurance. Not only that, but he was able to provide me BETTER coverage! Do you believe this?

I had the pleasure of ministering to Alex when he was a teenager and he married one of our first students (Tonya was in the 8th grade group during my first summer internship). He is a great guy, UH Alumni (GO COOGS!), and a hard-working guy. Give him a call or send him an e-mail and see if he can help you out as well. You won't regret it!

Phone: (281) 364-1090 ext. 59239

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Never Ending Spin Class

I've never actually taken a spin class, but my life feels like one right now. You know, you're sitting on a bike pedaling like crazy, not really going anywhere, but being encouraged to go longer and faster. Life has been insanely busy lately, that's why the only blogs I've posted are Bible verses and goofy pictures instead of any personal reflections, etc. In the midst of this craziness, God has been very gracious to us. I don't say this out of obligation to post a cliche, but to humbly acknowledge His faithfulness in the midst of all this.

Here's what I've been up to lately in a concise list:
1. Seminary: 12 hours (Grad in May '09, Lord Willing!)
2. Christ Church: Elder, Community Pastor, Leading College Group (which is going great!)
3. Discipling a few guys...
4. Faith Mission: helping out with their computers, website, videos, etc.
5. Building Websites: Just finished one for Calvary Baptist of Brenham
6. Spending time with my family (we all had a stomach bug over the past week and a half... ugh)
7. Consulting work for Gutensite
8. Transform Ministries: This is my primary 'job' / calling and I have been blessed to travel quite a bit this fall and share the great news of Jesus Christ.
9. Writing curriculum for 'Rise Up' Conference launching in '09.
10. Did I mention I was taking 12 hours in seminary this semester...?

Well, I am looking forward to some time with my friends and family over the holiday. Don't worry, we are conscientiously submitting ourselves to this pace for a short season to enable me to finish my masters. We are praying that the church will continue to grow and Transform will continue to expand so that I can continue to narrow the focus of my time. In the midst of all this, I pray that God is glorified, and my family and I would continue to find our satisfaction in His glory. I'll blog more soon...

Friday, November 14, 2008

"Daddy! Color wit me!"

Interpret and Critique at will... How do you differentiate the banister at the bottom when coloring? I'm a novice... Yes. I did color this picture...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

More Scripture to Think About

“For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.””
(Matthew 11:18-19 ESV)

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Scriptures on my Heart

“Brothers,if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.” (Galatians 6:1-3 ESV)

“The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.”
(Proverbs 20:5 ESV)

““Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye?You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

“Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.”
(Matthew 7:1-6 ESV)

“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.” (Galatians 5:1-6 ESV)

“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.”
(Galatians 5:13-15 ESV)

Friday, October 24, 2008

New CDs are Here!

Hey everyone! I am excited to announce that the newest version of testimony CDs 'Tragedy to Truth' have arrived! I'd love to send you each one (or many)! If you are interested in receiving a copy of it please click here and request one!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Returning From the Land of Goatees and High-Fives

This past week I went with my good friends John Barnard and Justin Hyde to the Youth Ministry Conclave in Arlington, TX. I had a great time with the guys and we had the chance to reconnect with several friends as well as meet several great folks.

Here are some pictures from the event. They are a bit blurry because I had to use my Blackberry camera and I was shaky from too much coffee, or something (Thanks Dave Hassell Band for the great coffee!).

Above: Our new sign designed by Gutensite and printed by my good friend James Lane.

Above: Here is our booth (#422) with our professional arm wrestling table on one side, and our info table on the other. This was the most blurry of the pictures.

Above: Pastor Justin is getting his spin on.

Overall, it was a great time with these guys. We didn't get near as much traffic from conference attendees as we had hoped, but are praying that some new opportunities will arise for our ministry partners.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Note: For those of you who don't know, I am half Jewish (full Jewish according to Paul in Romans 2). This was the Yammukah I wore to my grandfather's funeral in 1994. Apparently we descend from the Tribe of Levi. Somewhat fitting, I suppose. I am 30, so I had better get to it!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

New Version of Testimony CD - Coming Soon!

We will get 1,000 copies of this newly recorded testimony CD this week! Featuring music from my good friends Blake Quimby, Tim Barosh, and Stephen Miller!

By God's grace we have handed out over 17,000 free copies of my previous 2 versions of the testimony CD. Let me know if you'd like a copy!

I also want to give a special thanks to my good friend Hank Hamberg of Magellan Sound Studio for mixing and mastering Blake and Tim's tunes and mastering my testimony... You Rock W.C. (Hank) Hamberg!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Christ Church on iTunes

You can now subscribe to Christ Church's weekly podcast on iTunes.

1. Download iTunes for free.
2. Click on the iTunes Store from the application.
3. Search "Christ Church Brenham."
4. Click subscribe.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Behind the Times

I've always been a bit behind the curve in regards to what is hip or cool. With the exception of when my mom and dad took me to buy Z-Cavaricci's in the 6th grade, I haven't been that trendy. Occasionally, I realize that I like something, but I'm way behind the ball on getting the 'cool thing.'

Apparently it has happened again with the Castro-Style Dictator caps. I'd probably look pretty dumb in one, but I think once again I am going to be a late adopter. So, if you feel like getting me a random gift you can go here and ship it to my home address. :-)

Until that time, I will be content with my Black T's, Jeans and running shoes. I am blessed that on occasion my wife helps me get dressed, and that is cool.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Chronicles of Ike - Part 2

My heart breaks for the many who lost so much to Hurricane Ike. By God's grace, we did not receive much damage at all. Our power didn't even flicker... Here are some photos of our 'damage'.

A few downed branches and leaves were all that we had 'wrong' with our property. I have a section of fence that was held together literally with string, and it was fine.

One interesting site was at HEB on Sunday, September 14th here in Brenham in the Bread Isle:
Zero bread, one package of rolls, and some tortillas...

We are praying for all of you who have been affected by Ike, especially those who won't read this post for several weeks or months even. Please let us know how we can help.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Chronicles of Ike - Part 1

Where to begin... My wife has already covered her efforts to help us get ready, so she and I will each be providing coverage of Ike from Brenham, TX.

Let's begin:

Yesterday afternoon my good friend and fellow pastor/elder at Christ Church, Justin, and I were driving back from a HaMoreh board of directors meeting in Houston. Fortunately, while we were heading back around 2 pm we chose to get on the HOV on 290. However, when we got off the HOV we were in some pretty tight traffic (the picture below was 290 at 359). It was moving though, which we were grateful for.

Last night, my good friend Peter M. (25, SWCM seeking SCF) and I were taking down some trees in our back yard. We had to head over and pick up my wallet that I left in Justin's truck (see above). We were driving over 290 last night here in Brenham at about 6:45 pm and here is what we saw:
Earlier this afternoon Pete and I were heading over to Justin's place to get my bolt cutters back so that Pete could take a fence down at his house. On our way back from Justin's we saw this:

This was outside of Chappell Hill on a back road. I guess Chappell Hill doesn't have a 311 service? And yes, that is a ride-a-mower on a real live street...

More news to come from Brenham, TX

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Preaching Quotes

I am currently reading through Biblical Preaching by Haddon Robinson for Intro to Expository Preaching and thought I'd share a few compelling quotes:

"Regrettably, many preachers fail as Christians before they fail as preachers because they do not think biblically.  A significant number of ministers, many of whom profess high regard for the Scriptures, prepare their sermons without consulting the Bible at all.  While the sacred text serves as an appetizer to get a sermon underway or as a garnish to decorate the message, the main course consists of the preacher's own thought or someone else's thought warmed up for the occasion (26)."

"In dependence upon the Holy Spirit, the preacher aims to confront, convict, convert, and comfort men and women through te  proclamation of biblical concepts.  People shape their lives and settle their eternal destinies in response to ideas (39)."

I've always known that God has called me to a weighty task, but the more I learn, the more humbled I am.  I covet your prayers.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

A Genesis 3 Parallel

"Don't eat from that tree, you will surely die."

"Braelyn, don't touch the iron, it will burn you..."

They ate, and she touched...

They died, and she was burned...

She's okay, but she learned something today. So did I...

Friday, September 05, 2008

You know you have a good preaching prof when...

Yes. This is actually our BlackBoard page for our class. And, Yes. That is the preacher from the Simpsons.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

I Win!

You Should Buy: Stephen Miller's 'Rise Up' EP

My good friend, Stephen Miller, has released his latest Worship Experience EP, "Rise Up". I've been very encouraged by these Christ-centered lyrics and excellent musicianship. Give it a listen and I'm sure you will enjoy it.

Listen and Purchase:

Independent Bands

Sunday, August 24, 2008

I Intentionally Deleted My Last VLOG™

After talking with Steph and thinking more about my VLOG™ asking about fundraising, I decided to remove the video, PayPal button, and polls. I appreciate those of you who offered feedback and voted. Upon further thought I realized that it would be best to keep this blog as a personal place to share, etc. There will be more VLOGs™ to come. Peace.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I've Been Tagged

I'm taking a brief break from Vlogging™ as my dear wife has tagged me in one of those blog-tagging games... Since she was the one who tagged me, I will participate:

The tagging rules:
1. Post the rules on your blog
2. Write 6 random things about yourself
3. Tag 6 people at the end of your post
4. If you're tagged, DO IT and pass on the tag

1. I'm a closet computer nerd. When I was in Middle School I used to be a part of two different international 'clubs' that helped 'transport' certain software from one place to another via 2400 BPS and then 14.4kbs using 'free' long distance services... Needless to say my curiosity and greed had the best of me for a while.

2. In the 8th grade I was the Vice President of the Student Council at Holub Middle School. I gave a speech at the end of my 7th grade year to several hundred students (my first large crowd for public speaking) and won the election by a landslide.

3. I was extremely shy as a child and one time I had an opportunity to kiss a Dallas Cowboy's cheerleader (when I was 4) at the Killeen Mall (Killeen, TX) on camera (local TV news) and instead I hid behind my mother. I was scared of the cameras, honest!!!

4. I am missing a permanent tooth on the top right of my mouth (incisor, I think), so when I had braces they moved all my teeth forward and bonded the front ones to make them pretty.

5. I've struggled with anxiety most of my life and still do not like to be in large crowds. It's weird, I can preach to thousands on a stage (still nervous), but I hate being in crowds. Perhaps that's why I have never fully enjoyed a concert.

6. I was the 'Cowardly Lion' in the Wizard of Oz my senior year of High School. I graduated as an honor Thespian, but most of you all know that part. AND when I was 14-15 years old I wanted to be a dancer for a gangster rap concert/music video.

Well, that's my six. Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts... Or make fun of me, or whatever.

I tag:
1. Blake Q. - I can't wait...
2. Justin H. - Giving some good-sportsman-like love...
3. Dr. Brandi H. - Another thing to distract you from studying...
4. James L. - For foiling my Vlog™ discovery...
5. Wayne B. - Because I know you are interesting...
6. Robin B. - Jealous of your 75 degree weather year round...

Braelyn Sings - Out-take

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

100th Blog Post!!!

The winner can comment and let me know the book he or she wants or send me an e-mail!


Here's to 100 more blog posts!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

100th Post Contest!!!

Well, it has snuck up on me, but I'm about to celebrate my 100th post! So, keeping in step with my dear wife, I too am going to have a contest!

Here is a list of books that my winner can choose (1) from:

It is easy to enter the contest, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post and you are entered in. If you happen to own all of these books and you win, or you want something else, I'll work it out with you!

I will announce the winner on Wednesday night, August 13th. Enjoy!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Heads Up:

Have you ever had a great idea for a website, but lacked the know-how or resources to make it happen? Well, our good friends at Crate Media are now offering a new product called Gutensite. This service allows you to create your own customizable website either for free, or for an affordable monthly rate. They have great templates available and excellent resources to help you learn their complex, but simple to use Content Management System (CMS).

Go check it out! OH and I have a present for you! Below is a promo code that will get you one month free if you choose to go PRO!

Click Here to Get Started!

Promo Code: BFF93

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Tired of Toiling

“Do not toil to acquire wealth; be discerning enough to desist.”
(Proverbs 23:4 ESV)

I'm a busy guy. I like to do a lot of things. But lately, it has become more of a 'have to' with many things and less of a 'get to'. I run a ministry (paid), am one of the pastors of a church (jewels in my crown), and started a pressure washing business (paid, most of the time). I enjoy each one very much, but as of the last 6 months or so we have had a heck of a time making ends meet.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all about the struggle and value it's importance in our sanctification. Also, I understand that being the head of my family sometimes requires me to have to say 'no' or a 'not right now,' but I never thought it would become so frequent. I am not opposed to working hard and I don't want to point the finger, blame the economy, or gas prices. However, I am pretty tired and a bit discouraged. My good friend Kempton one time warned me not to grab Hagar to make an Ishmael when God had been promising Isaac (See Genesis 16). So, I don't want to run after or invent one business/job/ministry opportunity or another, especially just for money, however I don't want to miss the 'life raft' and call it waiting on God, when I'm just being complacent.

Please do not read this and feel sorry for me. I believe James 1:2-4. Please just pray for us that God would meet some specific needs and give us some rest.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Sermon Series Branding

Here is a response I gave to the following blog entry on 22 Words:

Sermon series branding: If your church does it, does it help? If they don’t, why not?

It seems like there’s an increasing trend of churches creating complete designs—logos, websites, previews, commercials, hype—around each new sermon series.

Here was my response:

Good question. Perhaps it is a question of why, how, and who. Why are you doing it? How does this fit with the vision/mission that God has given your community? Who are you hoping to appeal to?

As we can see above, many have indicated that they are beyond the flash and the advertisement. Others find it helpful to use multimedia as a means to connect with their people. If your community is in the middle of a highly affluent, tech savvy culture, then that might be an influencing factor.

Where do I stand? Well, on the one-hand I don’t really care. A good friend of mine pastors a church and they have banners, signs, theme videos, etc. However, he spends way more time preparing the message than worrying about the aesthetics. However, there are many folks who buy the whole package from a larger, more ‘influential’ church and then hopes that will be what is necessary to honor God and make disciples. That seems a bit lazy and I would argue that there are deeper issues at hand than whether or not they are ‘branding’ their sermon series.

Lastly, it would be prudent to understand the answers to the questions listed above before passing judgment on whether that practice is appropriate or not. It’s easy for me to forget what it was like being lost, what it was like being a young Christian, and be a lot more critical than I have the right to be. As a young preacher, I have to point myself back to John 13 and ask myself the question, “Does this honor God, teach the people, and convey humility?” I believe that in some contexts we must humble ourselves, even if that means a brochure/theme/web design in order to best serve our people. Even if we’re too mature in our faith to worry about silly things like that…


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Phantom Phone Leg

My summer season has officially ended and I am grateful, once again, for the opportunity to have been asked to preach at 7 student camps/events this summer! What a privilege it is to preach to students about the power of God given through Jesus Christ!

However, once summer ends I feel like the guy who gets off the treadmill but is still running. Each year it plays out differently for me. Some years I'm just 'done', other years I am restless, but there is always some sort of 'readjustment' period to the lack of schedule that had become ingrained in me over the 7 weeks.

This year something odd has happened. I call it 'Phantom Phone Leg'. Here's what I mean... You know how a person who loses a limb at times has a 'phantom limb', which is a sensation where it feels like the limb is still there and has feeling? Well, for me, there have been several moments when I have felt my phone vibrating in my left pocket, but it wasn't in my pocket! I've been trained to feel it vibrate every so often that although it is not in my pocket, I still feel a vibration every so often! Bizarre!

I'm grateful that it hasn't been a worse adjustment. Thanks to Steph, Braelyn and Pastor Justin for your patience with me as I acclimate to normalcy...

New Website for Brenham Pressure Washing!

Check out Brenham Pressure Washing's New Site!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Christ Church Now Has a Building!

We closed on our building this past Tuesday (July 15, 2008)! Go check out 1302 Washington where we will keep you up to date on the renovations and opportunities for you to work with us! There are a lot more pics of the interior of the building here.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

10 FREE Mac Programs I Use...

For those of you who do not know, I am a closet tech geek. I like gadgets and such and I converted from PC to Mac in 2005. During this summer I have been speaking at youth camps and on the road for nearly 6 weeks, so in my free time I have been using Stumble and have come across some great, FREE software for the Mac. Here are some that I have found useful.

Adium - This program helps combine all of your different chat programs into one. So, for those using iChat and you have an AIM and GoogleTalk account, you have to have two windows open. However, not only does Adium combine the many IM services, but it also allows all of the different conversations to be held in one window, which is super helpful. One of the only drawbacks is that it does not currently have video chat capabilities. So, if I want to have a video conference I have to turn on iChat, or I use TokBox or ooVoo.

AppCleaner - One of the things I have always wondered about since switching over to a Mac is how to properly delete programs and all of their support files. Enter in AppCleaner. This program rocks. Simply drag the application file over and then it locates all of the support files all over your hard drive. Once you click the button, it deletes them completely! This is a very helpful utility.

AppMenuBoy - This is a handy little program developed by a programmer at Google. Simply put, instead of overwhelming your Dock with tons of icons to open programs, this little program collects all of your programs in your application folder (and subfolders!) and you simply launch the utility from your Dock, then right click (2 finger click or CTRL-Click) and select the program you want to launch. It sorts them alphabetically so it makes it really easy to find. One drawback is that you have to re-launch the program anytime you add new software, but that's not a big deal.

Burn -This program allows you to burn various types of CDs & DVDs (Data, Music, CD Video, etc.). It's simple to use and really helpful. While Apple does have a nice Burn Folder feature, this little App just has more options and gives you a bit more control.

Caffeine - When I first heard about this program I was like, "big whoop, David Blaine", but after I started using it I noticed a huge difference. Have you ever been watching a video on Hulu or YouTube and having to move your mouse every minute in order to keep your screen from dimming? Or maybe you were updating software or sending a large file and then your computer went to sleep mode? Sure, you could go into your System Preferences and change all of that temporarily, but why waste that time? With Caffeine, you have a little coffee cup icon that loads into your menu bar that you just click whenever you need to disable your screen-savers & power savers, and then you click it again when you are done. It's a small little app, but very helpful.

Cyberduck - If you do any work with FTPs or stuff like it, then this little program is great. I have 2 little sites that I maintain for Lucid Books and Brenham Pressure Washing and I use Cyberduck all the time to make little changes. It's simple to use and very helpful. There are several other options out there if you want to pay, but this is a great freebie.

Handbrake - NOTE: I am not one to advocate the breaking of any copyright laws. With that being said, this is a helpful application that allows you to convert DVDs to MPEG files (it even supports iPODs and AppleTV). This program has helped me be able to listen to lectures for my online classes while driving. I simply take the lecture DVDs, convert them to iPod low-rez and then listen to the lectures while driving to and from camps. It has allowed me to redeem drive time and stay up to date on my lectures for class. This software is also available for PC and Linux.

Fan Control - This little App is a huge lap saver! I have a MacBook Pro and it gets HOT! While Apple seems to feel okay with themselves, because this type of computer is a 'portable computer' and not a 'laptop computer', I still find it on my lap quite often. I was reading David Alison's blog awhile back and he shared his insight about this little software, so I tried it out. What a blessing! I took his advice and bumped it up from 1500 RPM base speed to 3100 RPM. What a difference! Don't get me wrong, it is still warm, but I don't feel like I'm going to need skin graphs anymore!

NetNewsWire - This is my RSS (Blogs, News, MacNews, etc.) program that I use to keep up with all of my reading. This program has significantly reduced the time that was previously required in order to stay 'in the loop' while on the road. Now I can read all the news I am interested in, Blogs, and other articles in one little program that organizes them for me quite nicely. This will allow you to stay abreast on important developments in blogdom and the world around us while maximizing your time to do other stuff.

Nocturne - At the beginning of the summer I was 'suffering for the Lord' with Steph and 'B' down in South Padre Island, TX at a youth camp. We had a great time, but we were all sharing a room. At night, Steph and 'B' were ready for bed, but I needed to catch up on e-mails and such, and that is when I discovered this nifty little program. What it does is invert the colors and essentially makes everything gray-scale. This is helpful because your screen light is cut in half. It's even better than dimming your screen to the lowest possible setting. I definitely find it helpful when I am trying to get work done in a room that is not very permitting of light.

QuickSilver - This is a 'Hot-Key' type App Launching program. If you are a fast typer, then this is so helpful. While there are other programs that you can buy that have been built off this open source version, for those who are just looking to launch programs, then this is a great free option. I changed the settings to have Command-Space be my launch combo instead of the pre-set CTRL-Space (You'll have to change the current hotkey that makes your spotlight pop up with Command-Space). You can do that in your System Preferences. It's worth playing around with for a bit. I have found it helpful.

Well, this is my list for now. Let me know if you try any of these programs and if they are of help. Also let me know if I have missed any that I should try. One great site that has a great collection of free opensource programs for Mac is Open Source Mac.