AJ Henderson AJ's Blog

October 25, 2015

Terra Nova Men’s Retreat 2015 Photos

Filed under: Church,Personal,Photos — AJ @ 12:49 am

So it took a little bit longer than I expected, but the I finished going through the photos from this year’s men’s retreat.  The retreat was September 17-19th at YMCA Camp Gorham.  The retreat was a great time and I came home with around 1200 photos to go through.  Slightly different from previous years, I actually decided to put up two galleries, one with the 5 star, top rated photos and one with the 4 star images that weren’t quite my favorites, but were still better than average.  As with the previous Men’s Retreats, all images are released under a Creative Commons license.  If you want higher quality versions of any of the images, let me know.

2015 Terra Nova Men’s Retreat 5 Star Gallery

2015 Terra Nova Men’s Retreat 4 Star Gallery

Terra Nova Men's Retreat 2015

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October 13, 2012

Terra Nova 2012 Men’s Retreat Photos

Filed under: Church,Cool Stuff,Personal,Photos — Tags: , , — AJ @ 8:21 pm

I’ve gotten through touch up on the first batch of photos from the Men’s Retreat and am in the process of posting them to the site. Right now, it just has the photos that I flagged as 5/5 stars.  The gallery is a Flash gallery export from Lightroom, so it might not be possible to save the images directly from it, but if you see one you’d like a personal copy of, drop me an e-mail and I’ll be happy to provide you with a high quality version of whatever photos you want.  I’ll also probably be posting some of the photos directly to Terra Nova’s Facebook page in the near future after Phil gets me access to do so.  Hopefully I’ll have time to go through the three and four star photos some time in the next week or two, but it’ll take some time with nearly 350 photos to go through in those two categories.

Terra Nova 2012 Men’s Retreat Gallery (5 Star)

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October 12, 2010

Success: Integrating with Facebook, Twitter, The City and Android

So after three or four days of work, it looks like I finally have a working system.  I can now post from my Galaxy S to my blog and have that send notifications to Facebook, Twitter and The City.  For those curious in the details, I’m running the latest WordPress, PHP and MySQL for the site with the Janrain Engage, Twitter Tools (slightly modified to get #tc hashing working from Android client posts) and Wordbooker for plugins.

Janrain Engage and Gigya were in pretty close running, but I liked the integrated Share ability of the Janrain plugin.  Gigya would be better for a larger site as it is definitely a slicker back end, but it lacked the front end simplicity that I was looking for for this project.  Both systems provide integrated authentication from a number of different social networks and web sites like Facebook, Google, Yahoo, MySpace, AIM, Flicker, etc.  They also both offer the ability for users to share your posts under their own accounts directly from the site, however Gigya required an additional step to setup.  Both are free for non-commercial purposes at low usage levels (sub 1000 unique visitors a month).

Twitter Tools directly integrates with Twitter’s API and handles Twitter posting when new blog posts come in.  I had to modify it a little because the hash tags plugin was not adding hash tags when posting from the Android client (and presumably any other WordPress API using client).  I have submitted the bug so hopefully the hack won’t be necessary soon.  Currently I just have it hardcoded to always add #tc to posts to push to The City using The City’s Twitter integration.  (For those who are not familiar, The City is a private social networking platform for churches run by Zondervan.)

Wordbooker hooks in to Facebook Connect and handles both pushing status and wall updates for posts as well as pulling back comments from the wall post on an hourly basis.  Note that if you try it out, I have comment approval required still so it might not show up even after an hour since I might not be watching my phone for comment notifications.

So yeah, with that project done and out of the way, now I get to move straight in to updating my World of Warcraft mod since they just released the 4.0.1 client today… wish they could have waited another month or so, but oh well, life goes on.  At least I have another great developer helping on that project and I get paid (I’ll be it about $1.50 a week (go profit sharing) and guaranteed Beta invites for WoW expansions.) for something I’d do anyway.

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Foiled by Twitter Updates

Filed under: Church,Cool Stuff,Personal — AJ @ 4:19 pm

So apparently the reason The City wasn’t getting status updates is that Twitter decided to update their system and broke the link that The City used.  After tweeting their lead developer, they seem to have gotten it working again so it is time for another test…  Here’s hoping for the best…

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October 11, 2010

Hopefully The City works now

Filed under: Church,Cool Stuff,Personal — AJ @ 10:08 pm

The last attempt didn’t work.  Sorry for the blog spam.

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Twitter Too

Filed under: Church,Cool Stuff,Personal — AJ @ 10:03 pm

Hopefully twitter and the city are now linked as well…

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October 5, 2010

Bible Apps for Android and Reading Projects

Filed under: Church,Personal — Tags: , , , — AJ @ 10:02 pm

So I managed to find two great apps for Bible reading and study on Android.  When I was looking I ended up deciding on one that is easily the best for online (Internet connected) study and another that is a clear winner for offline study.

YouVersion by LifeChurch.TV is easily the best online Bible study program I have ever seen.  A wide selection of translations and reading plans, an online user driven commentary and discussion, synced reading between multiple devices and the web and the slickest, smoothest running Android app I’ve seen all combine to make this a very wonderful reading Bible.  The main disadvantages are the slight additional power usage of requiring a cellular connection, the connectivity requirement itself, and the unavailability of good research quality resources that integrate with the program.  This is now my general reading Bible of choice.

CadreBible, while not quite as neatly refined as YouVersion, is a very solid offline study/research Bible with a good selection of free and fairly priced translations and other resources (like concordances, commentaries and the like).  The selection is not as good as Windows Mobile’s e-Sword yet, but the app is very actively developed by a team in Australia.  I did have some issues getting my paid content downloaded, but an e-mail to the company was returned within minutes and as it turned out they are working on replacing the part of the system that was causing me trouble.  This is now my research Bible of choice.

I’d gotten in to looking in more detail because we have been starting a length study of Romans at Terra Nova and when I was giving the book a read through in preparation, I started noticing just how much of an improvement Today’s New International Version is over the original NIV translation.  The higher quality of the translation led me to notice several things I had not noticed in previous readings and caused me to decide to make another full read through of the Bible with TNIV.  I’ve always found that Bible apps with reading plan guides help this kind of a project to go smoother, so that is what kicked off really looking in to it.  Maybe when I get done with this read through I’ll finally get around to trying to make it through the Koran so I can be better prepared to discuss the differences between what the Bible says about Christianity and what Muslims believe Christianity is about from their teaching.  (For those not familiar, Islam holds that Jesus was a teacher and a prophet, but never claimed to be God.  This can lead to some great discussions with Muslims, but I don’t really know as much as I should for those discussions with more scholarly Muslims.)

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