This past Sunday I asked our morning Bible study class: “When it comes to the changing things of life (a) which encourage us? (b) which make us uncomfortable? (c) which are distressing? Though class members noted quite a number of things for each of these three categories, I had begun each with the same word: “technology.” For me “technology” rests in all three areas. I love what the computer and internet connections around the world have opened the door for me to do. However, getting accustomed to using such technology is not always comfortable to me because upgrades change the way I have done things for so long and I then fear messing things up. Technology also has added a great deal of stress to my life at times when I have begun to depend on it so much and then it stops functioning properly. Therein — associated with computer technology — is “The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly!” I guess you could say I almost have a love/hate relationship with technology.

Over the past several months, with issues over the “teEn-MAIL” website and then my computer hard drive crashing (resulting in the loss of addresses for some of the over 1400 subscribers) and being replaced only to then have the motherboard go out several months later, I was getting frustrated enough to wonder if it was time to stop trying to keep “teEn-MAIL” going out. After all, it has been a part of my ministry since 1998 and Facebook has provided another means for some to read, so maybe it was time. I want to thank those who e-mailed to let me know it was being missed and have encouraged me to continue. God Willing, it shall.

Thinking of all the changes that take place in this world, I am so thankful for what is CONSTANT and UNCHANGING of which we can anchor our life and our hope. Sunday’s class discussion was focusing on the words of the Hebrew writer where we read. . .


Amidst all the changes in this life — “The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly!” — that is the BEST REMINDER we can have for focusing and keeping life grounded in what matters most. To know in a changing world we have an UNCHANGING SAVIOR, our hope can remain in the blessed eternity yet to come.


– Carl Hanson

(“teEn-MAIL” is sent out daily by Carl Hanson, preacher for the Port Townsend Church of Christ located at 230 A Street, Port Townsend, WA 98368 USA. Come visit us if in the area.

#focus, #frustrations, #jesus, #technology-in-ministry

Tech Review

Am I a techie? No way. But I deal with technology (at least what some would consider tech) quite a bit with my “day job” and even when it comes to preaching. When it comes to tech, if it’s useful I think it should be used.

My latest tech experience with the new Window’s Tablet called “Surface” has been less than enjoyable. My wife and in-laws got it for me as a surprise because I expressed some interest in it while seeing the TV commercials. The price (which is way more affordable than Apple products) and the connectivity with Window products/programs such as Word (which is what I have done all my sermon outlines on) made the Surface an attractive piece of tech to me personally. After all, being able to type up my sermon outlines outside of my office, being able save paper by using a digital copy of my outline and at the same time being able to have a Bible app on the same device made everything seem like a win-win! Unfortunately it really hasn’t been.

For anyone who is used to using Apple products such as the iPhone or iPad, figuring out the layout and functionality of the Surface is not a very user-friendly task. The Surface uses a very odd and an almost seemingly unorthodox mixture of apps, tablet and PC functionality that makes the device feel like it’s full of oil and water – if you get what I’m saying. Instead of a couple “clicks” to get where you need to be, often times, especially when you’re dealing with the Word program and PDFs, it takes a few clicks and a couple of turns in multiple directions to get where you need to be. To those who aren’t familiar with an Apple product this may sound like nothing, but let me put it like this – my two-year old (literally 2 years old) had the functionality of an iPhone (which is practically the same as an iPad tablet) down in no time…this isn’t going to happen with the Surface. One top of that, I have found that the apps (particularly the ones dealing with the Bible) in the Window’s store are woefully lacking compared to the ones that are found in Apple’s iStore. And for those of you who like being able to connect to the Internet via ways other than Wi-Fi the Surface is not for you.

The only positive thing(s) that I can say about the Surface is that it is cheaper, and that I do like being able to automatically have every outline that I have ever written at my finger tips due to the heavy dependence upon Microsoft Word without having to go through the whole download rigmarole that would be necessary on other devices. Once you convert the outline to a PDF you’re ready to go; although the text size on the screen may be an issue with some.

Overall, on a scale of 1 to 5, when it comes Microsoft’s Surface and my experience – I give it a 1 1/2.

P.S. – this review in no way reflects upon the thoughtfulness and love of my family; I’m blessed beyond measure in that area 🙂

  • See comments for another positive that can be said about the Surface tablet

#preaching-tool, #product-review, #review, #technology, #technology-in-ministry

Nudge: What Do You Know About The “Tech”nical Gospel?

I have some tech questions:

Does anyone know of any good, free Bible related apps?

Also, do you know of any apps (and things like podcasts) that are put out by the brotherhood?

If you have found one (or several) to be particularly useful in your studies, share what you know.

#nudge, #technology, #technology-in-ministry

MinistryGeek Powwow

This from Dale Jenkins:

The MinistryGeek Podcast announces it’s first MinistryGeek Powwow. Michael Hite, an instructor at Bear Valley, is the MinistryGeek. His co-hosts are Caleb O’Hara of Rippen, CA and Dale Jenkins in middle Tennessee. The MinistryGeek Powwow is a two-day Technology in Ministry conference. The first will be held in Spring Hill, TN at the Spring Meadows Church of Christ. It is a spinoff of the rapidly growing MinistryGeek Podcast. Both are designed to help make technology more useful for churches and those in ministry. The hosts strive for quality material in an understandable format.

The conference will focus on presentation systems (PowerPoint, Keynote, Prezi), using social networking to create community and contacts, and tips and tools to make your ministry more effective. The initial offering is for 50 slots. There will be a free iPad given away as well as other items. The cost is $50 per guest. Groups of 5 get a 6th participate free and groups of 3-4 get a 10% discount. To register go to or contact Dale at

#ministry, #technology-in-ministry