Thursday, August 21, 2008

Vital Signs Ministries' Newest Cyberspace Projects

* The August LifeSharer is online.

The LifeSharer is the monthly letter from Claire and I detailing what's happened and what's about to happen in our work with Vital Signs Ministries. We sometimes present it as an informational article, sometimes more like a devotional. We've even made of it a play, a sermon and an op/ed piece. And frequently, it is what it is this month -- a straightforward and pretty detailed news report. There's a lot to check out in this edition: our new Russian-language website; my decision to serve a longterm preaching assignment in a downtown church; our upcoming trip to Burkina Faso in West Africa for a Haggai Fest; an update on the annual VSM pie social; and more.

* Exposition 101: Sermons, Bible Classes and Other Addresses is now online.

This is another of Vital Signs' new cyberspace outreaches, one that currently features audio files of the expository sermons I've been preaching Sunday mornings down at Faith Bible Church. You can listen to them online or even go the podcast route.

Now to some of you (probably most of you) the following description of how a podcast works is gonna’ sound like Scotty describing to Captain Kirk why the transmorgifier was displaced by the ionic imbalances in the blistymic atmosphere caused by the Gran Grazelle effect in the warp drive engine. But, trust me, there are others reading the description who will receive it with full understanding.

Here’s our young computer guru, Isaac Serafino, with the details --

The "podcast" is like a radio program on the Internet. Each episode is contained in an "MP3 file". The new podcast site provides links to download MP3 files for each episode. You can also listen to the episodes online, using the embedded MP3 player. Finally, you can "subscribe" to the podcast. That means to save the address of the podcast in special software called a "podcatcher". The podcatcher will automatically download new episodes. You can even synchronize your podcatcher to put episodes on your iPod or other portable media player device. For example, iTunes is a common podcatcher. To subscribe with iTunes, drag the "PODCAST" button from the sidebar on the left side of the podcast site. Drop it into the iTunes window, and you have subscribed.

Got that? If not, let me know and I’ll send you Isaac’s e-mail address. He will be Scotty to your Captain Kirk and, I’m sure, the Enterprise will make its way home again.