Tech Stuff

I have been serving in youth ministry for nearly 20 years, am currently the Director of Student Ministries at Valley Church in Des Moines, IA, and am on a first name basis with several Best Buy and Apple employees. My wife Keri and I have been married over ten years and have three great boys. My four favorite things are Jesus, my wife, Chicago Style Pizza, and fighting off our boys with sweet ninja moves.

readI think it was at a Willow Creek Leadership Summit several years about that Bill Hybles (http://twitter.com/#!/BillHybels) challenged me to “Read for 30 minutes a day. I know this is a DUH statement but, “reading helps me be a better thinker.” It is just like watching other pastors teach, I am challenge by their ideas, it generates new thoughts, and “I don’t know what I don’t know.”  One of my undergrad professors said years ago, “you need to read a lot and read from experts in the field, they ask questions you never thought to ask and give you answers you never knew you didn’t know.”  I am not a reading = relaxing kind of guy. Reading is work, I need to focus, sit still, and take note or highlight. Here are a few ways I get a minimun of 30 minutes in (yes in one sitting).

Spending 30 minutes reading 140 characters does not count but sometimes you get a rich nuggets to chew on.  I use the iPhone twitter app

I am a Kindle user.  All my eBooks are with amazon, I love it but if I hated it I would be stuck.  Before you start an ebook collection do some research…you will want to keep your library intack for years to come.  I own 2 Kindle devices, and Amazon has an app for all my mobile devices.  If you have Kindle books then all your notes and highlights are searchable and downloadable here https://kindle.amazon.com/.

I reading PDF files with iAnnotate PDF http://www.ajidev.com/iannotate/. If you have an iPad and read a lot of PDF documents this app is more than a reader.  Click the link and look at it’s features, t is kind of pricy at $9.99 but this app is robust!

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I have looked at a newspaper twice this year…both times were because I got bored in line at McDonalds. If I am looking for news I get it from an app on my iPad like Fox News, CNN, USA Today, or apps like Zite or Flipboard. Get digital YO!.

Google Reader is my favorite feed reader for collecting and reading a lot of blogs (the “J” and “K” keys are your friend!) but it will die soon so I have switched to feedly and when I find stuff I like and want to read later I star it or send it to my Instapaper account.

This is my goto Bible app!  I have hundreds of book and I can read & study from nearly all those books directly on my iPad.  I thought it was great taking only a laptop home to study, now all I need is my iPad and maybe a notebook. Portalbe, readable, and accessible! BOOM!  Thinking about getting Logos for some super powerful searching and portable studying? Contact my friend Dave at Logos and tell him Brandon Early sent you.

I am sad that Google is discontinuing Google Reader, what are you using as a blog reader or what will you switch to when Google Reader goes away?



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  • Cooper says:

    Commafeed.com is the best replacement for google reader. It is very similar, the developer created it because of his love for it and is great at adding new features and caring about his users! I highly recommend it.

    He is currently working on adding a mobile site and a few other features.

    • Brandon Early says:

      Very cool. I am mostly using Feedly because it has a great web environment and apps for my mobile devices.

  • Russ says:

    I’ve been using Feedly for my RSS feeds. It has a good user interface that is easy to navigate. I will miss the clean look of Reader. I did switch about a month ago knowing the impending doom and I’m now used to it. I had just used Reader for so LONG!

    Feedly is pretty easy to customize and has both iPhone and Android apps. I enjoy it…now.

    • Brandon Early says:

      I switched to feedly too, but also use Digg Reader and Flipboard sometimes. There are some great apps out there too. Sounds like a post is brewing.

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