The ‘Secure’ Wi-Fi Standard Has a Huge, Dangerous Flaw

A vulnerability called KRACK affects nearly every Wi-Fi device on the market. It appears Microsoft has already released a patch but Android devices will have to wait. Click the link below for more.

Source: The ‘Secure’ Wi-Fi Standard Has a Huge, Dangerous Flaw

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Where to Find Free-to-Use Images

There are a number of sites that compile great images that are free to use for your personal projects — like your blog — or commercial work.

Visit the sites below for free-to-use images:

My personal favorite is http://freelyphotos.com.

Source: The Web is Your Oyster: Where to Find Free-to-Use Images

Snap! Encryption improvements in Azure and Android attacks up 40%

Encryption improvements are generally a good thing…

“This means it’s protected from everyone, unless they have the customer’s authorization, which presumably won’t be granted particularly easily unless it’s vital. Customers can create their own secret ‘enclave’ using Microsoft’s server software or using Intel chips with Microsoft’s security software built in.”

Source: Snap! Encryption improvements in Azure and Android attacks up 40%

Tech Tools to Share the Gospel

As a church or ministry, you have some free (or heavily discounted) technology available to you, but only if you know where to find them. Using these 5 tech tools, you can get the message of Christ’s love out to your members, your community and the world.

Here are 5 free or discounted technology tools you can use today:

#1 | Office 365 for Non Profits | FREE

Office 365 is a full suite of tools that can help your ministry or church get the message out in so many different ways. The Office 365 suite includes custom domain email (you@yourchurch.com), 1Tb of OneDrive storage per user, 25Tb of SharePoint storage, Forms (for event sign ups), Connections (email campaigns), Yammer (private social network), and so much more!

The backbone of almost all communication today is email and this suite from Microsoft does it best. To get setup, start a trial at https://products.office.com/en-us/business/office and once you are logged in to Admin Center, click on the Need Help button and ask how to get Non Profit pricing. The support team will have you fill out a form and submit your eligibility with TechSoup and in a day or two you will have a free working Microsoft Office 365 tenant.

NOTE: You can also hire me to implement Office 365 for your church or ministry.

#2 | Mailchimp | FREE*

Mailchimp is an email campaign service that allows you to email hundreds or thousands of people at once through a distribution list. The reason you want to use a service like Mailchimp is because you DO NOT want to use your own email server or service to send out these bulk messages. That is how you get marked as a spammer.

So sending bulk email is a legislated activity which is governed by the CAN-SPAM Act which I have linked here. The CAN-SPAM Act sets the rules for commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have you stop emailing them, and spells out tough penalties for violations. Which means, you have to abide by the law when sending group messages outside of your organization. And Mailchimp helps you do that for FREE, *as long as you keep the list to under 2000 recipients.

If you have more recipients you can ask about non profit pricing by contacting their support and filing the appropriate paper work with them. I don’t believe they use TechSoup for validation, but that doesn’t mean they won’t approve you based on what you provide them directly. Learn more about their Forever Free plan here.

#3 | Amazingmail

Amazingmail is a mailer service that sends postcards, letters, brochures and more to a list of street addresses that you provide. They also have access to mailing addresses of residents and businesses all over the country that you can purchase and use to send a mailing to all residents within a geographical area or to addresses that meet a particular demographic within that geographical area.

For example, if you are ministering to the elderly and want to reach residents who are over 60 years in age, Amazingmail can prepare that list for you and send out your custom postcard for you.

Amazingmail is not free, but it is an effective method for reaching people who may not be online. Visit https://sendcards.amazingmail.com/templates/business/non-profit-business-postcards for more information on how Amazingmail can help your non profit, church or ministry.

#4 | Buffer and Pablo | FREE

Although I am not a big fan of social networks, it is abundantly clear that there are lots of people who use these services. Now, all social networks require an email for you to even sign up for them, so I believe email is a superior communication method, however, if you want to publish on social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others, Buffer and Pablo are the way to do it.

Buffer is a web app that allows you to connect all your social networks at once and queue your postings out for several weeks. Using their free individual plan you can queue up to 10 messages on up to 5 different social networks. Using Buffer allows you to use one portal to update all your networks without having to visit them individually and login to them separately. A real time saver!

Pablo is an image creator for Buffer. Visiting https://pablo.buffer.com will allow you to create some artwork using royalty free images or your own artwork and add some text and logos to the artwork to personalize it. Once completed, you can Buffer that image across all your social networks.

I personally have used Buffer and Pablo for years now and have used it to encourage our followers with scripture passages and words of encouragement. Sharing the promises from scripture can lift people up and remind them of God’s love for them in Christ.

#5 | Stripe | FREE*

Okay, so this is not a service for directly sharing the Gospel, it is more about being equipped with resources in order to share the Gospel. Stripe is a merchant service that allows you to process credit cards and collect funds electronically. *The fees for the service come out of the actual transaction so there is no direct fee for the ministry for having the service.

Stripe integrates with all kinds of services and applications on the web which will enable you to request donations for your ministry or non profit. Stripe invites non profits to reach out to them at sales+nonprofit@stripe.com to see about reduced rates or other benefits.

Conclusion

There are other tools and services out there that can help spread the message of Christ that I did not mention here. Services like YouTube and Vimeo require producing video content which can be difficult.

The 5 tools mentioned here are either free (Office 365, Mailchimp, Buffer) or discounted (Amazingmail, Stripe) so that you can control your message with little to no advertising and communicate with the people in your community effectively to let them know about Christ’s love for them and the message of grace and forgiveness that is available through Jesus, the Lord of all creation.

What tools are you using that are free or heavily discounted? Share them in the comments below.

3 Steps to Starting a Site on the Web

Okay, take a deep breathe, this is going to be EASY!!!

Well…. let me set your expectations a bit. These instructions are easy to follow assuming you have some working knowledge of how to use a web browser… which you clearly have… since are currently reading this post. It also presupposes that you are looking for a simple site with maybe a blog or you are going to sell some product or service.

STEP 1: Buy a Domain

What’s a domain? A domain is the name that people will use to find and get to your website. For example; hover.com is the name of the website that I would recommend you use to buy your domain name. They have an easy to use website and they provide exceptional customer service. Visit Hover.com today to get started.

 

HoverDomain
Find and buy a domain at Hover.com

For a more detailed and technical look at the domain naming service visit ICANN’s beginner’s guide.

 

STEP 2: Pick a Provider

What is a website provider? A website provider is a company that will host your website on their servers and provide a way for you to update and maintain that website. For example; WordPress.com is a website provider who will host your site and provide their software for you to edit the content on the website. You don’t need to know how to use clunky control panels (ahem… cpanel) and take care of all the little details like Content Delivery, Secure Socket Layer and all the technical jargon you don’t have time for.

Some of my favorite providers are Squarespace, WordPress.com, Duda and Weebly. They all have reasonable pricing for a basic website and all offer Business upgrades for those wanting a more robust version of their solution.

Hover.com has a great integration with several website providers so it’s easy to quickly point your domain to that website provider. See the screenshot below:

 

HoverConnect
Hover Connect Control Panel

 

Once you have selected a service you simply connect Hover to it and now when someone enters your domain name in their browser, they can visit your website.

For a more detailed and technical look at content management systems and web builders visit The Next Web’s, 3 of the best Website Builders and how to choose the right one for your needs.

STEP 3: Build the Site

Okay, so this last step is by far the hardest. No matter what web provider you choose, this will be a challenge because building a website is a lot like writing a story. For most people, it’s hard to put your thoughts on paper and express what it is you are trying to communicate. This is where content creators, web designers and developers are an invaluable resource.

Hiring someone like me is also an option but sometimes doing it yourself and seeing what it takes can help you learn something new and save you money. Don’t worry, you don’t need to know HTML, CSS or JavaScript which are the languages that websites are written in. However, you will need to know what you want to communicate, and you will need to learn the software of that particular web provider.

For a more detailed and technical look at how to code a website visit Codecademy’s list of courses.

In Conclusion

It is not difficult to get started building your own website, however, it is a time commitment. And once you start, you will likely find yourself enjoying the process and the technology.

I hope this little guide helps you get started. Please let me know in the comments below if you purchased a domain, what that domain name is and what service you chose to build the website with. If you need help choosing, just ask in the comments below as well.

Why the Nashville Statement is Necessary

A Peculiar Pilgrim

The Council of Biblical Manhood & Womanhood recently released a declaration of belief regarding sex & gender ethics on behalf of the entire realm of Evangelical Christianity. It is called the Nashville Statement. The reason for the ambiguous title is that according to Christian tradition when a council or synod occurs, the meeting place is often used to identify the creed or statement of faith thereby produced. For example, the Nicene Creed was formulated in Nicaea, Turkey. The Canons of Dort were forged in the city of Dordrecht, Netherlands (often called Dort in English). More recently, the Manhattan Declaration was articulated in New York.

These kind of declarations, a clarion call to truth, are not common in this postmodern era. However, they have a rich history throughout the church age. During the explosion of biblical knowledge during the Protestant Reformation many confessions and creeds were put to pen and parchment. Other…

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