Sunday, 29 January 2012

Presi.com - creating non-linear presentations

I've been using PowerPoint and Keynote for many years and while I still think Keynote is the best I now have a rival for both of them.


If you want to create a presentation that tells a story or allows users to explore it from different angels presi.com could be for you.


Check out the video below.


video





Friday, 27 January 2012

Bible study on Purity - is it just about sex?

Bible study on Purity - is it just about sex?
Ephesians 4:17-5:

Ephesians 4:17-24 (NIV)
So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. [18] They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. [19] Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more. [20] You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. [21] Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. [22] You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; [23] to be made new in the attitude of your minds; [24] and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

As Gentiles life was ...

Futile
Separated from God
Lost of all sensitivity
Not ashamed of ways of behaving
Indulging in all forms of impurity
Continual lust for more

The Gentiles were on a downward path which could be described as ...

Ephesians 4:18 (NIV)
They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.

- obstinacy 
- darkness
- separation from life of God - death
- recklessness 

As Christians we are told to ...

Put off your old self
Made new in the attitudes of your mind
Created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness

- Christ is the substance of Christian teaching
- Christ is the teacher
- Christ is the context

What is the role of the mind in how we live, think and act?

Pagans can't see what is wrong, too much of a good time. Happy in a sinful state of mind.

Christians - need a whole new mind set, we need to make new the attitudes of mind.

Ephesians 4:25-26,28-32 (NIV)
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. [26] "In your anger do not sin" : Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, [28] He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need. [29] Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. [30] And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. [31] Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. [32] Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Ephesians 5:1-4 (NIV)
Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children [2] and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. [3] But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. [4] Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.

Six examples of sins we should put off.

Ephesians 4:25 (NIV)
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.

- Put off falsehood.
- Speak truthfully.

Ephesians 4:26-27 (NIV)
"In your anger do not sin" : Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, [27] and do not give the devil a foothold.

- Do not sin in Anger.
- Don't let the sun go down while you are still angry.

Ephesians 4:28 (NIV)
He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.

- Don't steal
- Do something useful and give back to those in need

Ephesians 4:29-30 (NIV)
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. [30] And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

- Watch what you say
- Only say what is helpful for building others up

Ephesians 4:31-32 (NIV)
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. [32] Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

- Get rid of bitterness and malice
- Be kind and compassionate to one another

Ephesians 5:3-4 (NIV)
But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. [4] Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.

- No sexual immorality
- Watch what you say

They all separate us from God and God hates it. If we put off these things we will please God.

Why does Paul introduce the Holy Spirit in v30?

Ephesians 4:30 (NIV)
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

The Holy Spirit is God promise and will teach us about Jesus. Although God still loves us when we mess up we do upset and grieve Him.

Who do we keep our eyes on? 
Who are we are trying to put first in our lives?

If we are trying to put a smile on God's face and not grieve his heart rather than pleasing others we will be on the right path.

This whole passage promotes unity in the church and in our relationships.

What areas of sin do I need to it off?
How does who you are in Christ affect the way you want to live?
Holiness is not a mystical condition in isolation from other people - how can others make us more pure?

Saturday, 21 January 2012

megaupload.com shutdown


There are many good cloud based storage systems for large files and personally I did have an account at megaupload.com (I won't bother linking it here!) 


Hearing on the news yesterday that they have been shutdown and 4 employees arrested in New Zealand (at the request of the Americans) makes me wonder what will happen to my files!



Federal prosecutors have accused the owners of Megaupload with violating piracy laws, possibly exceeding 500 million dollars in pirated content. Once the 13th most popular website in the world, operating as a free file hosting service for any kind of content, Megaupload.com is potentially gone forever.
Megaupload.com staff claims they were always on top of complaints about material that might have been pirated, but for now the service and the content stored within are gone. Currently, there are no answers available as to whether or not the legitimate content stored there will be released.
As a very legitimate user of megaupload.com I have never downloaded (or uploaded) any copyright material and didn't plan too!  I do hope that my personal homemade video archive is still there!
I am sure that there is a big problem with illegal file sharing but the same approach could be applied to other services such as dropbox.com and even YouTube.
Where will this end?

Thursday, 19 January 2012

iBooks2

I haven't seen yet the presentation on the changes to iBooks but as a teacher I am very excited about the possibility of rich multimedia textbooks being accessed on an iPad.




Since getting home from work I've updated iBooks app from the App Store to iBooks 2





I'm a little disappointed that there aren't any textbooks available to sample in the UK but I guess that will be happen at some point.



Friday, 13 January 2012

Are the plans to change child benefits fair?

I don't usually blog on political matters but this has upset me!


I like the child benefit we received for the boys, it helps to pay for school uniform and shoes!  We never spend it on ourselves or even toys for the boys.


Is it fair that in 2013 as a higher tax payer we will have this cut?


The handy graphic above from the BBC News Website really shows how unfair this is.


As a Dad going out to work I support myself, my wife, and my two children.  My wife's pay does not cover much more than the childcare costs.


Is it fair that a couple who are earning a combined income nearly twice the threshold still get the benefit when a couple with considerably less don't?


I still have not heard a convincing agreement for the sudden drop off as your cross the higher tax threshold.  There is almost a case for not having career progression to avoid this.


Is it fair - no.


Am I cross - yes.


Will David Cameron or George Osborne back down - probably not.



Thursday, 12 January 2012

iPad 3 or Educational textbooks?

Apple have scheduled a media event on January 19th which initially people thought might be the launch of the iPad 3.  Alas this won't be the case!




The current crop of rumours hint that this will be announcement in the area of textbooks and ebooks.  


This could be a game changer - it would be really good to be able to access common textbooks and published materials from the iBook store.


Watch this space.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Feeling depressed?

We had a really good talk at church on Sunday night about the Christian response to depression and how we can help others.  This is a the first of a couple of posts on the theme.


Depression is very common - roughly 1 in 5 will suffer in their life. 1 in 20 will have a big issue that will need major treatment. Women are more likely to be treated than men.  Men generally share their feelings less easily among close people and may not be able to share how they feel. Young men having the worse suicide rates. 


I found this graph of UK data from the Samaritans from 2009.




Defining what is depression can be quite hard because there is a spectrum ranging from feeling low right now to feelings that don't go away for months. 


Feelings include those of despair and lack of hope. 


It is really important to know that it is real and is not a sign of weakness and is not just for those feeble people who can't cope with life. 


This can make it extra difficult for Christians - why can't my faith be strong enough to overcome it?


Features of depression can include feelings of:-



  • Darkness 
  • Withdrawal 
  • Scary 
  • Isolation 
  • Hopelessness 
  • Irrational 
  • No energy / passion 

There are many more both emotional and physical. 


There are many causes which can cause :-



  • Bereavement 
  • Issues arising from childhood 
  • Trauma 
  • A simple illness that changes life 
  • Stressful life events 
  • Redundancy 
  • Retirement 
  • Work 
We are all affected differently and for some people it can be brushed off easily and for others not so.


If you have stumbled across this post after looking for information because you feel desperate please follow this link to the Samaritans.



Saturday, 7 January 2012

Can I have a P please Bob?

I can't believe the number of times I sniggered at "Can I have a P please Bob" during my childhood watching Blockbusters on TV with my family at teatime.  So it is with sadness I read about the death of Bob Holness yesterday at the age of 83.  Read the full story here from BBC News.





Blockbusters ran on ITV from 1983 - 1993 and as I watched this as a teen I always wanted to be as clever as the contestants on the show.  


Even now, nearly twenty years after the series ended I use interactive PowerPoint Blockbusters games in my teaching for revision.


Does anyone still remember the Gold Run?




Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Why God Loves little boys

This morning Philip and CJ had their first day back at school after Christmas and Philip wanted lots of extra hugs from Daddy. 




I found this card from the 1960s on a blog the other day and although the last two lines are a little dated these are great sentiments.





It's an awesome responsibility being a Dad bringing up two great boys and I'm so reassured knowing that I am doing it with my Heavenly Father.

Pray for us Dads!





Book Review: Best in Plass by Adrian Plass

Following-on from my last post about "Seriously Funny" I thought I would share a couple of thoughts about the most recent Adrian Plass book I bought.



The book is a varied collection of Adrian's writing covering many years and books. The book can be bought on Amazon here.

As a huge fan of Adrian I have read almost all of his books and really enjoyed re-reading the best bits.  A great book which I think is well worth the read.

My favourite poem is called worry and I'm just going to include a small section of it here.  I have taken much comfort from this when I've not been able to sleep.


Worry


No burglars came again last night,

Just as they failed to come the night before
And for as many nights as I remember,
No burglars yet again.
Although I listened, as I always do for them.
Once more they did not oil and ease the rusty bolt that holds the garden gate
Behind the shed beside the house,
Nor did I hear them moving in the yard at some heart-sobbing wrenching hour.
.....
They did not come.
They were not here again last night
And what if they should never come?
A waste of nights - I might have slept
But if I had, I feel quite sure
They would have come, those burglars
Yes, they would have come.




Tuesday, 3 January 2012

The Seriously Funny Tour 2011

At the end of November we were really privileged to see Jeff Lucas and Adrian Plass at Birmingham Christian Centre as part of the Seriously Funny Tour (2011).




For those who don't know ...

Adrian Plass is a really successful author of Christian books and has produced 37 books in the last twenty five years! The best known is probably "The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass".



Jeff Lucas (who I have heard speak many times at Spring Harvest) is an international author, broadcasters and speaker who holds a pastoral teaching position at Timberline Church in Colorado (USA).  Jeff really loves laughter and while you sometimes almost wet yourself (sorry) listening to him, Jeff communicates such a clear message about the real and living faith he has in God.



The evening was split into two halves which both started with some amazing singing from singer-songwriter Nicki Rogers.  The style of presentation was really easy to watch and it was almost like two old friends chatting over a pint of beer.  Adrain read excerpts from his writing which were both very entertaining and powerful.  During the second half audience members were invited to ask questions via text message and this prompted some really great conversation and thoughts.  

During the interval both Jeff and Adrian were signing books and I was able to ask Adrian to sign my favourite book "An Alien at St Wilfred's".



If you didn't get a chance to attend the tour there is an excellent book by both Jeff and Adrian simply called "Seriously Funny" and can be found here on Amazon.com 

It was a great night and to be able to see one of my heroes (Adrian) and a preacher who I love listening to (Jeff) was really great.

At the end of the evening Adrian said some really encouraging words about how God wants us to go home, have a good night sleep and simply start again tomorrow.  Really encouraging stuff.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Arise Sir Jonathan



Being a huge fan of Apple I was really pleased to hear that Jonathan Ive has been awarded a knighthood in the Queen's UK New Year Honours List.


BBC News Story on this.


To celebrate this great honour here are some of the amazing designs that have come from Jonathan.




IPad 3

Now we are in 2012 I predict that we are less than three months away from the iPad 3.  With the introduction of the iPhone 4S in the autumn of 2011 I predict that there will be some exciting new features coming.




My predictions


  • More solid state storage
  • HD / Retina display
  • Siri (this would make it really awesome as a tablet)
  • The same size screen - keeping it a 9 inch
  • A new type of dock connector just used for charging (WIFI sync as standard)
  • Some type of 3D feature?????? (Such as Nintendo 3DS)
  • A thicker battery giving a longer battery life
  • A bezel free screen