Documenting your Life

Yesterday our family spent some time watching old videos on our YouTube channel. We easily spent almost an hour watching some milestones from the last few years. We re-lived some special family moments, like Christmas last year, crawling and first steps, blowing bubbles, and other moments we’ll never forget. The kids loved seeing themselves on TV (we have a computer hooked to our TV), and it made me thought of the importance of documenting your life.

I think one of the reasons that social networks like Facebook (and newer ones like Google+ and Path) have become so popular is that we want to document our lives. It’s important to be able to look back and see what’s going on. In fact, we’ve always done it. It’s just changed over the years.

We’ve watched old home movies on old projectors. I’ve looked through shoe boxes of old photos. My father in law has even broken out the slide projector in the past to show us old pictures.

These things may not be interesting to others, but they will be invaluable to us in the future. That’s one of the reasons I’ve posted over 7500 pictures to Flickr, why we have a videoblog, and why I’ve become slightly obsessed with Instagram, and it’s why I’m hoping to document each day in 2012 with a summary photo that I’ll probably only post to Flickr (If I post them at all).

What do you do to document your life? Are you going to do anything in 2012 to do it better?

Oh…I found a pretty cool service called “Pummlevision” that makes a quick summary video of your photos. It’s cool. Here’s one the service made last night of my last 2000 Flickr photos. It took about 5 minutes.

Church Choir at the Mall

We’ve been attending First Baptist Church of Satelite. Tomorrow night they are having a 200 voice choir Christmas concert with an orchestra and everything.

Wednesday they performed at a local mall, so we went to the mall, got pictures with Santa, and checked out the choir. Here’s a quick picture of what it looked like. I used the Photosynth app to take the picture.

Panorama of the mall - Santa and church choir

Contextualization and Guadalupe

December 12 is a huge day in Mexico. It’s the day that millions of pilgrims descend on the Basilica that stands in Tepeyac on the northern part of the City. This Basilica is dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe, the Patron Saint of Latin America.

I’ve written a lot about this day in the past, and you can see all of my posts on the Virgin of Guadalupe here.

Recently (last year), I wrote something else about this topic, but I’ve hesitated to publish it. There aren’t a lot of people who will be interested in a 23 page paper about contextualizing the message of the Virgin of Guadalupe.

However, there might be some missionaries or Mexican church leaders out there who should read it, so I’ve decided to publish it here so that you can download it and read it if you’re interested.

Click here to download:
The Virgin of Guadalupe in the Mexican Context

The Story Behind our Christmas Card

I saw a new app in the App store for the iPad and iPhone, and I wanted to try it out. It’s called Blurb, and it lets you create stories with different media: audio, video, pictures.

So I made this Story behind our Christmas card. I like the app and will probably use it again in the future.

The apps I talk about in the story are: Camera+ and Halftone. And here’s the link for the Blurb app.

Youth Ministry Forum

Saturday we had our first Youth Ministry Forum at the Seminary. It was a first for many things.

I think it was the first time the format was used for a youth ministry event (at least at our Seminary). We tried to make it very interactive and participatory.

We also transmitted live on the Internet (using Ustream), including the members of the chat in the discussion. We had about as many people participating via the internet as we had in the auditorium.

There were people from Juarez, Oaxaca, Monterrey and all over Mexico watching what was happening. I never heard if there was anyone from any other countries watching the forum. But overall, it was a good discussion.

Here are some pictures we took of the event.

Merry Christmas 2011

Here’s our “online Christmas card” for this year. We snapped a pretty good picture today at the mall and then I edited it using the Halftone app to make it like a comic strip.

Anyway, we hope you have a very Merry Christmas this year.

Happy Thanksgiving 2011

We had a great Thanksgiving weekend. On Thursday we had Thanksgiving with some other missionary families here in Mexico City. Our kids absolutely LOVE hanging out with their kids. We had a great day, even though the Dolphins lost (again).

On Saturday, we had our family Thanksgiving. My favorite part of that day was when we sat down as a family and I asked the kids to pray about the things they are thankful for. It’s pretty cool to hear your 3 year old and 6 year old pray and thank God for their family and all the other stuff they have.

Oh…and the turkey was delicious, too.