2011 was a whirlwind year for me. While serving in our student ministry, I also spent half of the year revamping all of our discipleship courses, and the other half of the year directing our elementary ministry. We built a website to host all of our discipleship course registration and blog content, directed the largest children’s Christmas production our church has ever hosted, and are in the middle of planning a county wide student conference. At the same time I am pursuing an MDiv in Apologetics. I have relied heavily on technology this year but have also found some other non-techie favorites. Here they are in all of their glory:
Adobe Indesign CS5
Having done all of my publications in Microsoft Publisher over the years the switch to InDesign was fabulous! In an effort to keep users from messing up, Publisher limits the ability to manipulate the document however you want. While this is not a problem most of the time, there are moments when it becomes quite bothersome. Publisher often gives me grief when I have images layered one on top of the other. InDesign has been a breath of fresh air. The program offers so much control over the document. The learning curve is steep at first but you catch on. I highly recommend this software if you want to step up the quality of your publications
Color Scheme Designer (colorschemedesigner.com)
Creating a professional looking publication means you don’t need to guess about your color scheme. While most of us can “eye-ball” a good color, this web app takes all of the guess work out. Plus, the app allows you to choose between monochromatic, complementary, analogous, split complementary and every other scheme you can imagine! I found this one late in the year but it has quickly become a go-to app.Samsung PX2370 LED Monitor:
I purchased this monitor at the beginning of the year and I have enjoyed every minute in front of it (well, maybe not every minute). The LED backlighting and 5,000,000:1 contrast ratio makes for a crisp display. Once again, if you want a top notch publication you need to create it on a display you can trust.
When we built our discipleship website for our church members to register an account on we created a screen cast video to walk them through the registration (basically a video that captures everything happening on your computer screen). The software we used cost a pretty penny. Well, just the other week I found Screencast-O-Matic! It has 95% of the features as the expensive program but only costs $12 a year to use. I am amazed at what we are doing with web apps now, and this one is one of the most impressive I have seen yet!
Ethics for a Brave New World:
I took an ethics course this semester and this was one of our main texts. The title plays off of the famous work by Aldous Huxley, Brave New World. It’s a massive work (close to 1000 pages), but boy does it cover a load of pertinent topics. The Feinberg’s set out to give evangelical views on issues ranging from abortion to just war theory. If you want to give yourself a kick in the pants, pick up a copy and begin working your way through it.
Well, it’s Christmas eve when I am writing this and I am wicked tired and ready for Santa to get here! Hope 2012 treat you all well, and I hope all your techie dreams come true.