Posts

Lenten Inspiration

Lent is a season filled with imagery. The cross, the upper room, palms, thorns, etc. All of them are helpful in deepening our connection to our suffering Savior as we walk with him on our own Lenten journeys. Those images are certainly something that we can use to enhance our personal or ministry related messaging on websites, blogs and social networks too. Perhaps you need an image that introduces a lenten sermon series or Bible class. Maybe for a weekly or even daily Facebook post/devotion/inspirational thought.

I’ve been getting into Instagram a lot more lately and have found it to be a great inspiration for Lenten imagery, as well as an outlet for my own creativity. For example, just go to the Instagram website in your browser or open the app up on your phone or tablet and search for hashtags. I searched for #lent2017 and found over 10,000 examples of lenten themed photos and in many cases Bible references. Lots of ideas there. Check every few days for new ones added.

If you’d like to create your own, there are also easy ways to do that. I’ve been using a wonderful little app from Adobe called Spark Post. It allows you to pick your own image or search for others, add text, and then easily post to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. It’s free and easy to use. I’ve found it to be just perfect for these little Lenten images/messages. I am jumping into my photo archives, finding an appropriate image and then applying a relevant lenten Bible passage. It’s been fun and hopefully inspiring to those who see the images.

See my screencast below where I cover searching Instagram and a quick walkthrough of Adobe Spark Post.

Application/audience

Pictures are a powerful medium, and with the proper inspiration and tools, you can take advantage of them in your online endeavours. I’d suggest considering using seasonal images in almost any digital postings you make:

  1. Sermon or Bible Study series promotion
  2. Short devotional thoughts on social media sites
  3. As a lead image in a long form blog post, similar to this one
  4. Just sharing on image sharing sites like Instagram or Pinterest where people can “like” or even better, share with their friends
  5. Change your profile picture to a seasonal image that sends a spiritual message

Related resources

Besides Adobe Spark, there are any number of image creation tools that allow you to upload your own image or find an existing one, then overlay text in creative ways. Two that come to mind are Canva and PicMonkey. Another place to find inspiration are through sites like Outreach, where you can purchase entire campaigns or program…or just search through their resources that might spark other ideas for your ministry.

See All Ministry Resources

Free Bible Images

Teachers of all flavors recognize the importance of having just the right image to support the lesson they are preparing. And the fact that cameras are a rather recent invention in relation to the full historic timeline limits the ability to do a quick Internet search and find the perfect photo for every lesson. This is especially true when it comes to images from Bible times, and it makes FreeBibleImages.org a highly recommended ministry resource.

Application/audience

The site name is self-explanatory. It exists to share all types of images of the Bible for my favorite price … FREE!! The image sets have a variety of copyrights associated with them, from public domain to creative commons by attribution and non-commercial to copyright retained and only accessible for education purposes, so read carefully and take steps to comply. It’s well worth the effort as most are provided in two aspect ratios – 4:3 and 16:9 – and in Powerpoint, Keynote, PDF and JPG formats. Something to fit all those flavors of teachers mentioned earlier!

I prepared a quick overview video to orient you to the site offerings. I’d welcome comments on how you use Free Bible Images in your ministry setting!

See All Ministry Resources

408 – Your Mission: Find That Photo!

WELSTech has reached summer’s end and the the end of the Imagine That series. This week’s final series discussion covers best practices for organizing and storing your images. Listen for picks and community feedback plus a quick survey on project management in your church and school.

The discussion:

Imagine ThatDon’t Lose Your Photos – This episode marks the last installment of the Imagine That summer series as Martin and Sallie share their personal practices for image storage and organization as well as lots of tools to help you get the important job done.

Picks of the week:

Community feedback:

Coming up on WELSTech:

Episode 409 – A new season of WELSTech gets underway, and Martin and Sallie introduce the new WELSTech book selection, “Project Management For Churches and Schools” by … Martin and Sallie! Help shape the book contents by completing the WELSTech Project Management survey, and tune in for what promises to be an interesting season of writing and reading!  Join us Tuesday, September 8 at 4 pm Central. welstechlive.wels.net

Get involved:

407 – Nothing Boring About Your Photos

This week on WELSTech we tackle the topic of graphic design with a variety of online and mobile tools for creating professional imagery, infographics and slide shows to communicate a message. Martin tries to Sway viewers to a new way of presenting, and we hear from a WELSTech Hall-of-Fame member with a free eBook to share.

The discussion:

imagineThat145x125Graphic Design – Martin and Sallie help you take your images to the next level with a variety of easy and often-times free image editing tools in this 4th installment of the Imagine That summer series.

Picks of the week:

Community feedback:

Coming up on WELSTech:

Episode 408 – Next week we wrap up the summer Imagine That series with a discussion of image storage and organization. Join us Tuesday, September 1 at 4 pm Central. welstechlive.wels.net

Get involved:

404 – Stock Options

WELSTech kicks off a new series focusing on the effective use of imagery for communication in public and personal ministry settings. This week Martin and Sallie share a lengthy collection of stock image web sites.

The discussion:

WTphotographer1 145x125Stock Up – Martin and Sallie kick off a 5-week summer series, Imagine That, with a discussion of stock image resources. Get started with a ‘short’ discussion on stock photography.

Christian Imagery

Free Stock Images

Fee-based Stock Images

Mobile Stock Images

Clip Art

Picks of the week:

Community feedback:

Coming up on WELSTech:

Episode 405 – Grab your camera and join Martin and Sallie for a discussion of photography in part 2 of our summer Imagine That series. Join us Tuesday, August 11 at 4 pm Central – welstechlive.wels.net

Get involved:

234 – Smile

This week on the WELSTech Podcast we countdown the 7 best photo organizing and editing tools.

The discussion:

Take my picture! – The 7 Best series is back and this month Martin and Sallie share their top picks for working with photos.

Photo Organizing and Editing Tools

  1. Aviary –Phoenix image editor and Raven vector editor
  2. Picasa
  3. Instagram
  4. Irfanview
  5. Flickr
  6. GIMP – Tutorials
  7. PicMonkey

Kudos to the WELSTech community for lots more great recommendations:

Coming up in June … 7 Best Bookmarking Tools and Tips

News in tech:

(24:44) Google Drive is live

Picks of the week:

Of interest:

Community feedback:

Coming up on WELSTech:

(44:25) Episode 235 – Martin and Sallie conclude their discussion of the online e-book How to Transform Your Small Business With Social Media, looking at Chapter 5 to the end. (Release date – 05/09/12)

The featured artist:

(45:38) We close the podcast with the music of Cross to Glory – One Name from their CD titled “Life’s Song

Get involved:

180 – April Showers: Office Worker Resources

This week the WELSTech Podcast “April Shower” rains down all types of resources to make the church and school office run smoothly.

Our apologies for the audio quality during the last 10 minutes of today’s podcast.  We experienced technical difficulties with the recording.

Office Worker Resources

The discussion:

Raining resources for office workers – For this week’s “April Shower”, Martin and Sallie cover a long list of tools to assist the “nerve center” of the congregation and school, the office.

Ministry resources:

(35:55) Walther’s Law and Gospel is now available for Kindle

News in tech:

Contest winners:

(39:36) Concluding the Glo Bible giveaways on our personal blogs (martinspriggs.com and salliedraper.com), Martin and Sallie use random.org to pick winners.  Listen to find out if you are one of the newest Glo Bible owners.

Picks of the week:

Of interest:

(47:41) FinalWeb Training in New Ulm, MN and Milwaukee, WI

  • FinalWeb for Teachers in New Ulm on June 27 and Milwaukee on August 1 – bit.ly/fw4teachers
  • FinalWeb for Dummies in New Ulm June 28-30 and Milwaukee August 2-4 – bit.ly/fw4dummies

Community feedback:

Coming up on WELSTech:

(50:41) Episode 181 – The “April Showers” conclusion may turn into an April storm as Gail Potratz joins the discussion and we share a [gigantic] compilation list of teacher resources.  (Release date – 04/27/11)

The featured artist:

(51:30) We close the podcast with the music of  Branches Band (www.branchesband.com |Facebook) – Hosanna, Loud Hosanna from their “Sing, My Tongue” CD

 

Get involved:

178 – April Showers: Webmaster Resources

This week on the WELSTech Podcast the “April Showers” series kick-off focuses on all aspects of web site creation.

WELSTech Webmaster Shower

The discussion:

Raining Resources for your Web Site – Across the 3.5 years of WELSTech archives you will find discussion of a plethora of webmaster tools.  Today Martin and Sallie share all you need to set up and maintain your church or school web site in one (long) list!  Enjoy the rain!!

Ministry resources:

Picks of the week:

Of interest:

(48:22) FinalWeb Training in New Ulm, MN and Milwaukee, WI

  • FinalWeb for Teachers in New Ulm on June 27 and Milwaukee on August 1 – bit.ly/fw4teachers
  • FinalWeb for Dummies in New Ulm June 28-30 and Milwaukee August 2-4 – bit.ly/fw4dummies

Community feedback:

Coming up on WELSTech:

(55:30) Episode 179 – Get ready for an “April Shower” of Bible teaching resources.  (Release date – 04/13/11)

The featured artist:

(56:50) We close the podcast with the music of Dawn Michelle Williams (www.dawnmichellewilliams.comTwitterFacebookMy Space) – Beautiful Savior from her CD titled ”Inspirations”

Get involved: