Walking the line between nerd and cool.


Lenten Worship Backgrounds

I’ve moved! Click here to go to this post on my new blog!

Here’s a small preview of the graphics that are in this post, all available for download from my other site.

Lent (Wednesday Services)

Maundy Thursday

Good Friday



The Digital Tutor

I don’t have much to say about this web site except:


If you’re in need of some tutoring (or maybe your child), I just found a great site for helping out: Khan Academy. Here’s a preview video of what to expect there:

I watched a couple of them for a few minutes each and they seem like a great resource for getting help on math and science based courses, plus a smattering of other topics.

Christmas Gift Card Flier

After getting feedback about the Gift Card Ministry (formerly Scrip), we decided it would be beneficial to highlight this ministry for Christmas. Here’s what it looks like:

Christmas Scrip Flier Front Christmas Scrip Flier Back

Some thoughts on the design:

  • I went simple on the design, using the motif of a Christmas tree. The explanatory text continues the image of the tree, making it appear like a larger tree.
  • The catch phrase “serve others in Jesus’ Name” is accented in red. This is consistent with the next flier we’ll release in February/March.
  • I intentionally focused on gifts people might give, not every card available. It seemed breaking them out by price group was the way to go for listing those options.
  • The order form looks very different from the front page, but matches our regular order form. My hope is that when people see the “usual” form, it will be familiar once they get this flier.
  • You’ll notice an extra line at the bottom of the order form for gift card wrappers. We’re giving away wrappers with every card valued at $10 or more. We’d lose money on cards that are $5 or less. There are currently only about 5 cards that we sell that are below that threshold.

Look for the finished product in a church mailbox near you this weekend. In case others would like to use our work, grab the originals in Illustrator (Front) and Publisher (Back).

Scrip Improvements, Take 2

Thanks for all the feedback on the Scrip program over the past couple days! Here’s a summary of what I heard, both online and off, from this group of readers and research in other programs:

  • Increased visibility of point-of-sale. It’s hard to find it and when you do, it’s really crowded. A sign would be helpful. Also signs to help navigate from the information center to the ministry support center.
  • Increased awareness. People forget it exists, don’t know it exists, or just plain don’t know what it is. Fliers, skits, video commercials and more are options to help here. We also want ways to easily share the information with friends/family that might be interested in partnering with us. Quick access to what’s in stock and what needs to be ordered is helpful as well.
  • Incentives. Gift card wrappers at Christmas (and possibly other times), key-chain Sharpie marker with purchases over X dollars, one entry into a drawing for a $25 gift card of your choice for every X dollars.

Today’s questions then:

  1. Check out these gift card wrappers. Most are 16 cents per wrapper when ordering 1000. At best, we can order two designs. Do we go with one more generic “A gift for you” type card, a Christmas themed one, or one of both?
  2. Here’s a flier about the Gift Card Ministry. It answers three basic questions about the program: Why, What and How. It’s intentionally emphasizing the “why” we do it and frames profits in terms of how many trips it paid for. It also draws the “why” into the “what” and the “how” using the recurring phrase “serve others in Jesus’ Name.” We do it to help students serve in Jesus’ Name and when you purchase gift cards, you serve in Jesus’ Name through us. The back side is not done yet. Any wording that’s confusing? If you can, show it to someone who’s never heard of Scrip and see what they think about it.
  3. Which incentives would get you buying cards?  Most are self-explanatory. The marker idea was so that people could have it with them to track the balance. Also, what should X be for pens and drawing entries? Markers cost around $1.20, so we’d lose money on sales of $25/50. We’d make money at $100 on all cards except Wegmans/Tims/Target where we essentially break even.

Billboard Top Hits: Blame It by Jamie Foxx

Continuing our series, we’re doing Blame It by Jamie Foxx.  Sort of.

The song actually crosses the line for what I’m comfortable playing at Sunday School, so we’re going to look at the key topics Jamie Foxx brings up through a different song: Maybe it’s Maybelline by Relient K.  Here’s the song, courtesy of Grooveshark:

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We’ll primarily be looking at this idea of “blaming” others or things for the sins that we commit.  We’ll look at those things we “blame” for not drawing closer to God.  You know, the “I’d read my Bible more, but …” type statements.

We’ll also touch on the dangers of Alcohol, the primary “blame” in Jamie Foxx’s song, and what the Scriptures say about drinking.

Here’s the study sheet and lyrics for this weekend.

Billboard Top Hits: Dead and Gone by T. I.

We’re doing a series in High School Sunday School called Billboard Top Hits.  Youth are able to vote one week for one of six songs, all at the top of a different Billboard Music Chart.  In addition to looking at themes brought out by the music, we’re trying to teach our youth to be discerning when they listen to music or consume other forms of media.

The first week we did it, we looked at You Found Me by The Fray.  We used this excellent Bible Study from St. Thomas the Apostle Life Teen.  It’s amazing how much the story parallels Job’s experience with life.

This past week we looked at Dead and Gone by T. I.  Lots of great stuff to examine in that song also, even though the lyrics have lots of ****’s in them.  You can hear the song on Grooveshark if you’d like, then follow along with the study we did.

Up next: Know Your Enemy by Green Day.

Town Hall For Hope

Town Hall For Hope

I’ve enjoyed Dave Ramsey ever since we saw him at the Catalyst conference.  After taking the Good Sense budgeting course with Susan Whited, I’ve taken a much more proactive approach to finances, and Dave has been a great companion for that.

If you’re like the typical person, this economy may be freaking you out.  First Trinity is going to be hosting a live streaming event with Dave Ramsey in partnership with churches all across the country.  Here’s what they say about it:

Tired of hearing the fear, doom and gloom that’s filling the airwaves? Join Dave Ramsey for a nationwide town hall meeting and discover what’s happening with the economy, how we got here, and where we’re going.

I’d encourage you to come be a part of the event.  If you’d like to promote it, here are a couple of resources for you:

If you’d like to get either print pieces to hang in a local business, we’d be happy to print one up for you.  Just let me know which you want and when you’d like to come get it and we’ll have it ready for you.

Here’s the promotional video for the event: