Renovating Our New Church Campus

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Over the past few weeks, we’ve been in the process of renovating our new location for our North Knox Campus. Though I’ve worked to design the space for our last few campus launches, this has been the largest and most in-depth project I’ve taken on.

First, a few photos that were taken before renovation began. As you can see, it really is a great campus – the lobby and worship center were in great shape already, and the kids space was very well laid out. Unfortunately, we had a limited budget, so replacing the carpet and painting all the walls in the worship center was out of the question. Most of my focus would be on the downstairs area.

I digitally mocked up the spaces to pick out hallway flooring, room colors, and hallway colors. Also, I had to redesign our giant mural files to fit the spaces. Once they were ready, I sent off mural and sign files to be fabricated and worked with our awesome general contractor to get flooring replaced and walls painted.

I’m very happy about how everything turned out – just in time for our soft opening this weekend.

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Of course, all of this happened with tons of input from people on our staff. Without feedback from Heather Burson, Mike Baker, Kandice Baker, and Josh Whitehead, I would have been toast.

Thanks to Noah Case and Chris Shumate for helping me hang signs.

Also, Heather was picking up all my slack on other projects and making sure that our billboard, mailer, tshirt, and invite card advertising were all ready to go.

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A Special Birthday Video for My Wife

My wife was having dinner with a friend, and while the kids and I ate supper without her, I had an idea for a birthday video for my wife. The only problem: her birthday was the next day.

I explained the premise to my children, and once we cleaned the table, my two oldest kids began illustrating the characters, and I sat down to formulate a script. 15 minutes later, the script was finished. Ten minutes after that, the illustrations were complete. Next, we recorded the vocals on my iPhone (mostly in the utility room – lots of sound dampening clothes hanging up to block the noise of the twins). Everything was going exceptionally well – my six year old’s monster drawing was a perfect fit, my nine year old daughter nailed the script after just one read through, and the twins were contentedly coloring.

After just a few minutes, we had all the major pieces we need to pull the video together.

We took a break to play before putting the twins in bed, and afterwards I started “cutting out” each of the illustrations in Photoshop. Another break to tuck in the big kids, then I took a minute to do vocal sound effects. I wasn’t sure how the sound effects would work, but I think they add a lot of fun to the piece. I have exactly zero experience with layering sounds, but the audio came together nicely.

After that, hours of animating video in After Effects. By 5:45 am, I was ready to render the video and pick up some milk for breakfast.

I love how the project turned out – almost exactly like what I had in my mind.

But the best part was Keri and the kids’ laughter when they saw the the video later that morning.

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Paper Skull Mask

Skull-head selfie.

Since I’ve been pretty useless with the kids the past two years at Halloween, dressed up like Boba Fett, my wife asked me to do something different this year. I figured I wouldn’t dress up at all until I saw this amazing paper skull mask template on one of my favorite blogs. Like the instructions say, it took about 3 hours to complete, and it’s wonderful.

I didn’t intend this to be a creepy mask, but in the dark, it’s a little terrifying. I think that I’ll probably end up making paper fox masks for Keri and I instead.

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Dollhouse Project

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For my daughter’s 9th birthday, we bought her a Real Good Toys dollhouse kit. Since she enjoys projects like I do, we assembled it together, and we had a blast.

Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pics during the first 6-8 hours of the project – dying shingles, painting each part, gluing the walls together, and and installing some wall paper. Suffice it to say that it was a beast of a project. It took over a week to complete, but she and I were both very pleased with how things turned out.

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Boba Fett Scratchbuilt Jetpack

It’s been a couple of years since I built my Boba Fett suit, but over the last few weeks I’ve been working on a jetpack. There’s a reason that I put this part off – it’s an incredibly difficult part to build from scratch. But since the unpainted resin kit costs $350, I chose to make the pack out of sintra and upholstery tubing which I managed to pick up for free. Other than that, it was just the cost of Bondo, spray paint, some wooden balls, liquid mask, and a few wooden dowels.

This was my first time to do something so elaborate, but I’m very pleased with the results.

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For a full writeup, see my full list of instructions on Instructables.

This project has been featured on:

instructables laughing-squidfashionably-geekmakeadafruittechnobob

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Trying to Lose Weight? Three things to avoid eating at all costs.

Call it a conspiracy of the food industry, if you will, but these three items are rarely discussed when it comes to weight loss. If you’re trying to manage your weight, here are three things you need to avoid eating in order to sustain a healthy diet.

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Item One: Jacks

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Believe it or not, these tasty morsels can actually wreck a diet that is otherwise going well. Like chips and other snack foods, it’s hard to just eat one or two. Once you open a box, most people will impulsively finish the whole thing. Don’t put yourself in a losing situation.

 

Item Two: Drano

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During any diet plan, there are often times you’ll begin to feel intensely thirsty and dehydrated. While your first instinct may be to dig around under the sink for this sweet libation, repeated studies have shown that the effects of this beverage are actually hazardous to your health. Don’t listen to your thirst – grab a tall glass of water instead.

 

Item Three: Razor Blades

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Contrary to common belief, razor blades are not actually considered a whole food. Though they may be low on calories, most health experts agree that razor blades are highly processed and may be the easiest way to wreck your diet.

By avoiding these three items, you’ll be well on your way to a heathy and fulfilling food plan that will enable you to achieve your weight loss dreams.

My Visit to Israel (Part 7)

This is the seventh part in a multi-post description of my recent visit to Israel. To start from the beginning, go here.

We started off the morning with a great breakfast at the Inbal hotel, then packed up our bags and headed to Bethlehem for our final day of shooting video. Since our Jewish guide and van driver were observing Shabbat, we connected up with a Christian guide and his friend, a Muslim driver.

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The Garden of Gethsemane is a heavily visited location, so we knew that we would have to capture video for that spot in a different place. This olive grove outside of Bethlehem was the perfect location for some peaceful footage.

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This little boy got some candy from our thoughtful Campus Pastor, Mike Baker.

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Beautiful almond tree in bloom in the middle of the olive grove.

Once shooting was done, we drove to the Shepherd’s Fields where the angels brought the message of the birth of the Messiah, Jesus, to the shepherds. Unfortunately, like many places, our large tripod bags called a little too much attention to ourselves, and we were turned out when we didn’t have express permission to shoot video in that location.

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So we headed into Bethlehem, the city of Jesus’ birth, and as we scouted out a nativity-looking location, we went ahead and shot a video overlooking the city.

Continue reading “My Visit to Israel (Part 7)”

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My Visit to Israel (Part 6)

This is the sixth part in a multi-post description of my recent visit to Israel. To start from the beginning, go here.

The morning of our fifth day was started early so that we could get to the Garden Tomb, one possible location of Jesus’ tomb, before the rest of the public would arrive and make our video shoot impossible.

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Up the path to the entrance to the Garden.

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Inside the Garden. The entrance to the tomb is in the middle of the screen above.

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Inside the tomb.

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Video of setting up for a shoot at the Garden Tomb.

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From the garden, we also had a view of the area that could be the location of the crucifixion – Golgotha.

Leaving the Garden Tomb, Chad Funk and myself split off from the rest of the group to visit the City of David, the oldest part of the city, and in particular Hezekiah’s tunnel.

King Hezekiah built this aqueduct, channeling water into the city, in preparation for an Assyrian attack after he refused to pay tribute. Biblical mention >>

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Here I am, with a GoPro harness strapped to my chest. This was one of the things on my wish list for the trip, and I was fired up that we were able to make it work.

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Standing in the area that many believe to be the ruins of David’s palace.

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Another view of the palace ruins.

Continue reading “My Visit to Israel (Part 6)”