Amazing Use of 3D Projection Technology

This is just fantastic. The video is titled, “Cleveland Cavaliers PreGame 3D Court Projection.” It features a pregame projection onto the basketball court before the game started basically turning that court into a 94 feet by 50 ft screen for the audience. What a cool experience that must have been to see live for the first time.

The Man in the Mirror

The man in the mirror is my harshest critic. He is usually the first person to stare back into my eyes each day. Early in the morning, I am not always sure what he is thinking. I stare back at him and think about the things I need to achieve today. It is often that he will be the biggest obstacle I will face when I attempt to achieve what is important to me. He tells me that I look tired and defeated.

He isn’t the only one who judges. I look at him in the mirror and criticize his shape. I tell him that his body is failing him. I look into his eyes and tell him that he looks tired. When he wants to go to the gym, I talk him out of it. When we go out to eat, it’s me who over feeds him. When he wants to work hard, I tell him to take a nap. When my kids want to play, I make him sit on the couch.

Sometimes he and I do great things together, but it’s easy to forget those things and focus on the negative.

The man in the mirror is me.

It’s me who I have to get over. I am the one who has allowed myself to get in the way of who I want to be and who I know God wants me to be.

Is the Church ready for Worship music like this?

These days there is a lot that goes into the “Worship Experience.” At church, we sing songs to Jesus before listening to a sermon prepared by our Pastor. For me, this order helps prepare my heart to hear from the Word. I have attended worship experiences that were led by a single person and acoustic guitar. On the flip side, I have been to live concerts by worship bands that included elaborate light shows and smoke machines.

I love music. I love it to the point that it is not sustainable for me to purchase as much music as I wish to consume. Thankfully there are services like Rdio and Spotify which allow me to stream as much music as I want for a flat fee, and it’s legal. Christian music has always fallen behind in relation to where culture takes popular music. There are always a few Christian artists that seem to be close to the bleeding edge but it is definitely hit or miss. This is why I have never been satisfied by Christian music alone. This may have more to do with my sinful nature than anything else, but secular bands seem to push the envelope where Christian bands tend to move forward when and if they have to.

Over the last few years I have watched a few churches make changes to their worship experience that seem more aligned with the concert experience I am familiar with when I go watch a band perform at a concert venue. Hillsong United is one of those bands who I have seen perform live. Singing those songs to Jesus while experiencing a lot of stage theatrics really made me question what I was connecting to. Here is a new project from Hillsong United which is comprised of Worship song remixes that are very inline with music today.

For me, the light shows, high definition screens and other technology used to make for an awesome display is a distraction. I love technology so I want to look at everything and figure out how it was done. I like seeing various forms of technology working together to make something look really cool. I am not sure I could get past that and Worship through it. To me it just makes me feel more like I am part of the world since I experienced such theatrics in the world before the church. I also like music that I can understand easily. If I always have to read from a screen to know what words are being sung, how can I worship distraction free?

I don’t believe that there is anything wrong with music like this. Music will always evolve and change. We no longer stand in church and sing hymns a cappella anymore either. The fact that the music is getting more electronic does not bother me either. I kind of like it. I like the music hitting me in the chest. The louder the better, especially to the point where I can’t hear my own voice. I look at the sound systems our church has and think about how sad it is that those giant speakers have to play music so softly. It’s the equivalent of a 90 year old who drives a Corvette. Miles are put on them, but they are gentile miles.

The questions I have been asking myself are as follows:

  • Will music more focused on the actual music itself connect me more with God or less?
  • Is it the words that are sung or just getting lost in the music itself that will draw me near to Him?
  • If I am looking to Heaven or closing my eyes, what is the point of the lights and smoke machines?
  • Will a weekly Worship experience like this make it impossible for me to Worship a capella or with a single acoustic guitar?
  • Are people Worshipping God or the style of music?
  • What does God say about the way we experience Worship?
  • Should there be a discernible difference between Worship and secular music?

As you can tell, I am pretty torn. I sure love experiencing a band perform whose words I know while the music is played so loud it’s almost damaging to my anatomy, but is that a good Worship environment?

Luckily for me, I am surrounded by many people who I trust and respect in our church who lead worship. I know that they do not add to the Worship experience unless they know that Jesus can be found in it. I always used to complain about how Christian artists were so behind the times when it came to music and now I am here saying that I am not sure I am ready for those who are to lead worship in church. I guess I am torn. Maybe it’s my sin that makes me fear I will get lost in the music instead of Jesus. If I sound a little confused, it’s probably because I am. I am still processing my thoughts and wondering how God will reveal his works in this. I am not sure if I have more questions, or am just experiencing emotions that are confusing at this point.

I guess the real question is: Am I ready for a Worship experience like this?

What do you think about this? Do you think more flashy worship experiences will bring people closer to God or just be a distraction? Feel free to express your thoughts in the comment box below.

How to immediately be reminded of how great it is to be a parent

Sometimes as parents we have days or in the case of today, just an evening, that makes you feel like you are going crazy.

I have three kids, all of which are 3.5 years and younger. My oldest is going through a stage where fear now seems real so he contemplates everything. I recognize this is just where his brain is developmentally. My middle child will be 2 on Thursday and besides piggybacking off of my oldest sons neediness, has decided he can’t go a moment without my wife’s or my attention. Then there is my 3 month old daughter, who is extremely chill and patient, except for when she needs to feed or sleep. When the evenings hit, which is when I am home, all three of their craziness levels seem to be at peak.

Let me just stop for a second to mention that I am well aware that my wife has situations like this unfold sometimes multiple times per day while I am at my office writing code and listening to music. I am no where near as resilient as my wife.

So, as my wife and I crawl into bed this evening she opens her laptop and we start looking through old photos and video clips of our oldest when he was the age of our youngest. Nothing reverses the stress and anxiety faster than watching our big boy smile and laugh at 3 months old.

Sometimes I feel bad for holding a camera or a phone up to capture what seems like every single thing my kids do but having these moments to reminisce on like we did this evening quickly reminded us of how much we love our kids. The short spurts of craziness may temporarily overwhelm us but we have countless reminders saved on our computers and phones to remind us of how lucky we are to be parenting three fantastic little children.

So I have three tips for you:

1. Take a lot of short video clips of your kids. With smartphones, this is easy. I love using Google GLASS to capture little 10 second video clips of my kids.

2. Back up these moments to your computer. Sync them using iTunes, iCloud, Dropbox or whatever you can get. Just make sure they are backed up. I would die a little inside if I didn’t have these precious moments available to play whenever I wanted.

3. Take time to watch them often. We have all of our photos play as a screensaver slideshow on our AppleTV. Whenever we have the tv on and a show ends or is paused, within 2 minutes the photos start scrolling by. Sometimes my wife and I just sit there and watch photos instead of watching another tv show. A couple of times we have sat there for an hour looking at them and laughing about those moments. It helps keep the memories fresh and our hearts full.

Here is a short video clip of one of my boys at 3 months. Just melts my heart even if just an hour earlier he was melting my soul.

Pardon my writing. I thumbed this out on my Nexus 5.

Find me on Facebook

Try Not Having Kids

After reading my post yesterday, my wife came across this video and share it with me.

My favorite part is at the end when a couple gets a dog to try and fill that need in their life to be responsible for something. You would be surprised how many times in conversation people have tried to compare having a dog to having children.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think there is anything wrong with deciding not to have children. It’s a responsible decision to know that you don’t want children.