Our Spring Worship Set.

Here are the songs we are doing this spring. What songs are you doing?

Rise and Sing – Ambersky Records

This Love – Ambersky Records

All Day – Hillsong United

Forever Reign – Hillsong

Promises – Shout Praises Kids

Our God – Chris Tomlin

Jesus Is Alive Right Now – Church on the Move

I Belong To Jesus – Yancy

Jumping in the House of God – World Wide Message Tribe

Blogging: A Beginners Guide: What?

My first post in this series covered Why we blog. This post I want to talk about What you need to know once you have decided to start blogging.

1. Ask yourself What is my goal?

– If your goal is to earn money, or to have control over the look of your blog.  You need to self host with WordPress or Joomla. Both of these add permanence and both have lots of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Why should you care about SEO? SEO will allow others to find your content easier.

– If your goals for blogging are more along the lines of personal discipline or you are not sure you want to stick with blogging than a web hosted solution is best for you. WordPress.com and Blogger are two great options. They are web based and easy to set up and don’t cost you any money.

2. What do I wish I knew when I started?

– No matter what you do Web hosted (free) or Self hosted (paid) you need to buy a url that describes your blog. I chose Samluce.com because I want to blog no matter what I do in ministry. I enjoy it. My friend Kenny has a great blog his is Childrensministryonline.com very kids specific. No matter what you do take my word for it buy your own url.

– I wished I would have decided what my ultimate goal of blogging would be and changed my blog address and platform three times and it made the growth of my blog slow at the start.

– I wish I would have know how facebook and twitter are the best ways to promote your blog to the people who are most likely to benefit from what you write.

– I wish someone would have told me blogging is about what you can give to the community you are trying to reach not about trying to get people to come to your site. When someone leaves a comment or asks a question respond. Get outside your own blog and leave comments on other peoples blogs.

– Write down blog ideas especially in the beginning. One of the hardest things about blogging is finding your voice (what are you an expert about), finding your rhythm how often should you blog, speaking to your audience sometimes will make you rethink if what you are going to post is helpful.

Give Away Tuesday: The Almighty Bible

I recently reviewed The Almighty Bible and was really impressed with not only the bible they produced but the vision they have and all the other stuff they are doing. If you want to win a copy of Genesis from the kind folks over at The Almighty Bible Tweet the following:

@samluce is giving away a free copy of Genesis from @almightybible http://thealmightybible.com/ over at http://samluce.com/?p=4620 #kidmin

If you don’t have twitter leave a comment on my blog. On friday I will pick 3 lucky winners using Random.org.

The Almighty Bible Review.

If you work with kids or are a parent of kids one of the things that should keep you up at night is “How can I get my kids to love the bible.” The more media rich our environment around us become the more passé reading becomes. More than being aware of that fact it should bother us. To think that one of the first books printed and the book behind the print revolution was the Bible.

Technology is moving forward and we need to move along with it. I received a free copy of Genesis and Exodus from the folks at The Almighty Bible. Before I get into a review of them let me start by saying I went to their website before I read the books and was very impressed because they “get” the whole technology thing. If the bible is going to reach the next Generation and live beyond us we have to innovate never changing the message but always the method of delivery. The people over at the Almighty Bible get that loud and clear. They created this bible with the app in mind it’s media rich and compelling. I love picture bibles and graphic novel translations of the bible because I believe they serve as a powerful connecting bible that helps kids transition from a kids bible to a more traditional bible.

Check out this quote from their site:

“The Almighty Bible presents a compelling narrative for a younger generation. The visuals are intriguing and enhance the written story. I look forward to the next ones, especially on my iPad.”

– Ralph Winter, producer of the X-Men, Fantastic Four and Star Trek series

I recently bought my son The Action Bible he loves it. He has told me on more than one occasion “Dad, I love my bible”. My kids also love The Almighty Bible, even though the text in The Almighty Bible is at a much higher level than my 3 and 5 year old can understand they were drawn in by the rich graphics and asked questions about words and concepts they didn’t understand. They really were pulled into the seamlessness of the story it was telling. I think that the Almighty Bible does a great job engaging kids in God’s word. To maintain the graphic novel feel they summarize quite a bit and leave out quite a bit so I am sure some people won’t like that, I didn’t mind because I realize that The Almighty Bible is a part of a larger journey my kids are on. I love that there is an interactive version for the iphone and iPad. You can tell that lots and time and energy has gone into this product and I pray the end result is more kids loving their bibles.

I loved the Almighty Bible as a parent and a pastor to kids and families, I will encourage every parent I know to add the The Almighty Bible to the list of bibles they buy for their kids.

Happy Valentines Day.

When I was growing up I didn’t like valentines day that much. Valentines day can be as much a reminder of love lost as it can be of love gained. I do have to say that the last 14 valentines days have been amazing. Did I give or recieve 20 tons of cocholate?

Just how many chocolate-covered hearts do we shove down our pie-holes each Valentine’s Day? According to Nielsen, Americans will purchase around 58 million pounds of chocolateduring the days leading up to the 14th (a small fraction of the reported 3 billion pounds per year), and we shell out somewhere around $345 million to satisfy our Valentine’s sweet tooth. (From news.holidayhash.com)

or give hundreds of roses? nope.

According to TheRomantic.com, 110 million Valentine’s roses are sold and delivered in a three-day period surrounding February 14th, the vast majority of which are red. Of those 110 million, 73% are purchased by men and only 27% are purchased by women (From news.holidayhash.com)

All that stuff is great but if you don’t do the simple things all year round all the candy and roses on valentines day will only draw attention to the lack of attention you are giving your spouse. So guys give you wife flowers and candy but more than just today make a decision to do the little things all year round.

More than Roses and chocolate give your wife

1. Time (Men just shut up and listen, we try to hard to make everything better)
2. Complements – Early and often men, early and often
3. Pray together – Guilty here – I don’t do this enough.
4. Thank God for your spouse. – I do this often, but you can never do it enough.
5. Change yourself – Because you can’t change your spouse.

Well now that I’ve convicted myself. I am going to shut my computer off and go tell my wife I love her. Happy Valentines Day.