» Life

That’s Contextualization

missional lifestyle, videos - by - February 17, 2009 - 23:51 Etc/GMT+5 - Be first to Comment!

I am getting tired of this

missional lifestyle, thinking green - by - January 15, 2009 - 15:07 Etc/GMT+5 - 1 Comment

People gripe and complain about the economy, about who is elected for what office, about how nothing last like it use to (and growing landfills) and all these other social and environmental issues, yet they are getting exactly what they voted for. NO, I am not talking about the vote you cast at the ballot box. While that counts for something, we each vote every single day with our time and our money: a much more powerful elector.

I am sure I could rant all day about this if you let me, but today let me point you to a couple items to note and a few resources you may be interested in.

Regulating the U.S. to Death – my wife does a lot of our social and environmental blogging, this post from yesterday is just the tip of the iceberg, feel free to look at some of our other posts there.

What to do about Detroit – think free market.

Buy Used: buying used reduces waste, saves you money and reduces demand for cheap junk. Buying local reduces transportation cost and is environmentally friendly.

The Power of Consumer Patriotism: (lots of ads on this site, but there is some good info if you are willing to dig.)

a couple of Resources (click on the icons to visit the websites)

learn how you can b(eco)me greener

Goal: Worship

Excellence in the Arts, Media, missional lifestyle - by - January 10, 2009 - 18:50 Etc/GMT+5 - Be first to Comment!

While preparing for this weekend’s Media Training conference, I took a break to check some blogs. My mix of blog-reading includes some for spiritual challenge, some for spiritual refreshing, and some that are just plain fun. One of the spiritually challenging and refreshing blogs is The Resurgence Blog. And this week, Mark Driscoll blogged about Worship— and the message is timely to our message to train to work in Media and serve the church in worship to our Lord.

Mark defines worship as “continuously living our lives individually and corporately as living sacrifices to the glory of a person or thing.” He concludes his blog post by appealing to those of you who say, “I don’t have time to work at church on media- I have to worship, it’s the only church service I get to just sit and worship.”

Jesus’ life destroys any notion that worship is a sacred thing we do at a special time and special place. All of life is to be lived as ceaseless worship; cutting our grass and cleaning our dishes are as sacred and God-glorifying as raising our hands in church. Jesus Himself modeled this: He spent roughly 90 percent of His earthly life doing chores as a boy and working a carpentry job as a man.


family, Technology - by - December 20, 2008 - 05:46 Etc/GMT+5 - Be first to Comment!

In my previous blog post (HERE) I mentioned I thought my lens may be part of my problem in achieving good pictures. After some more research, I purchased a 50mm prime lens (f/1.4) and had a chance to try it this evening. Wow, what a difference.
This photo (of my beautiful wife) was taken by the light of the Christmas tree. A quick set and shoot. So there is hope for my photos after all.

of power and computers

family, Technology - by - September 9, 2008 - 02:03 Etc/GMT+5 - Be first to Comment!

had a very interesting experience today. I purchased my kids an inexpensive dell laptop (used) about a year ago and have regretted it ever since. This laptop was such a dog – slow, unresponsive and impossible to use if you had more than one program running. I tried everything – wipe the drive, install xp straight up (no manuf. junk), hardware test, etc, etc. This should be an okay computer – 1.5GHz mobile celeron (yea, I know, but cheap), 1gb memory, 256mb dedicated graphics, 80gb harddrive, but it never worked well enough to be very usable.

Then the power supply died. yup, that little brick of a powersupply. So the laptop sat around for a couple of months…. I decided I would sell it and see if I could get any of the cash I put in it back out…. but I wanted to make sure it just needed a new power supply – so, I grabed a power supply off a HP laptop we have at church…. simular specs, simular plug…. wow, all of a sudden this computer actually works! I can even draw in Sketchup while I run an anti-virus scan. Could it have had a bad power supply all along?

Where are all the Post?

family, Media - by - September 2, 2008 - 19:37 Etc/GMT+5 - 2 Comments

Some of you might be wondering if this has just turned into a blog about what worked and what didn’t for our Sunday services – Hopefully not. I have had a lot of good intentions about blogging ideas here, and the weekly Foldback article should just be one of many blog post, but, as with many of you, I have been extremely busy lately. So I have several partial blog post started, that I might remember my ideas later, but no time to finish.

So what has me so busy? I have been having a lot of fun lately. As many of your know I am on staff at High Pointe Baptist Church full time, and the media ministry is always growing and expanding, requiring care and feeding. But above and beyond of that I am also a Church Media Consultant for other churches and companies, and lately that has also been a full time job. In the midst of they two full time jobs, I have also started making a more purposeful effort to be a better dad and husband and make good quality time for my family.

The family requires a lot of direction and planning, and my wife does a great job of helping hold everything together, getting kids to their appointments and practices on time, making sure we are all fed and clothed and general managing a large family, and I am very grateful for all she does. I won’t go into great detail about all that is going on there, as she also manages to keep her blog and facebook page well updated with all that is going on, and I would just be repeating a lot of what she has already said. But let’s say between school, football, soccer, scouts, youth, media, orthodontics, dentist, doctors, etc, etc, etc, we have been running all the time. And let’s not even talk about our remodeling projects!

On the consultant side of things I have been working on several really cool projects and several other projects are in the wings. We just finished helping The Father’s House in Vacaville CA with a new speaker system based around JBL line arrays and Bag End subs. This church knows how to ROCK and the system performed showcases their sound extremely well. Currently I am working on audio system design for 3 rooms in a childrens space expansion at a church in Kansas City (and these rooms have more AVL (audio / video / lighting) than many churches!) I am also picking back up a project that’s been on hold for a while in Oak Harbor, WA, reviewing and finishing the design work for audio and acoustics in their sanctuary and youth dome.

Then there is the ever growing list of media work at High Pointe. Last month our focus was on lighting in the Sanctuary and we were able to do many, but not all the repairs and mantainence needed in there. This month our focus is re-vamping the Livingston Training Room Audio and Lighting, and preparing the other training rooms for overflow and presentation needs.

So there is my excuse….. but I will try to be a little more faithful in getting other blog post and updates worked in here.

wow, what a week

family, Life - by - August 2, 2008 - 11:14 Etc/GMT+5 - Be first to Comment!

Yes, I am still here, still going to post. It has been a busy few weeks.

Last weekend my family and I headed to Memphis for my wife’s 20th year class reunion. The children had a great time with their grandparents, and Amy and I had too much fun enjoying time together and with her old class mates – but that’s another story! Then I headed to WorshipGod08….

I do what to praise God for this past week though. A lot has gone on, and I have seen Him work in some awesome ways. A little background. Pastor Juan had suggested that we, the staff leadership should attend this conference together back some time ago. We had made our reservations and our wonderful travel planner had booked our flights. I was excited as this was to be the first time we as a staff had gone together to any of these conferences and knew it was going to be an awesome time.

It was only after the plane tickets had been booked that I found out we would be flying thru Memphis on the way to Gaithersburg, MD…. yes, Memphis, where my wife’s class reunion would be taking place. Well, that seems awful silly of me to drive back to Austin on a Monday so I could fly back to Memphis (on the way to Maryland) on Tuesday….. why don’t I just plan on catching up with them at the Memphis airport on Tuesday and let my family stay in Memphis for the week? Great Idea…. or at least I thought so.

I tried to change my ticket, but it was going to cost $450, almost twice the price of the original ticket. So after talking to a few people I decided I would check in on line for my flight, “miss” my flight from Austin, and “catch up” in Memphis…. after all, the airlines I usally fly always seemed to help me get to my final destination, right? BAD IDEA. First, this wasn’t the airlines I usally fly. Second, well, read on.

I check in online Tuesday AM, and I notice a little disclaimer at the bottom of the page saying if you don’t notify the airlines before the missing the first leg of your flight the travel ticket is null and void….. so I call the airline to let them know what I am going to do, and am told I can’t do that. I am told that my ticket will be cancelled if I do, and it is going to cost me $1680 to change my ticket. Thanks, but no thanks. So I start praying. I know I am suppose to be there. We have others start praying. I know I need to try everything I can. So Amy takes me to the airport (memphis) – sure enought, I don’t have a reservation anymore (the plane had already left Austin at this point, Matt tells me later they came on the plane right before shutting the door asking if Jeffrey Jones was anywhere on the plane….) BUT, what’s this? I can still check my luggage? Okay, I wasn’t planning on it, but yes, one bag to Baltimore!

So I go thru secuity (yes, I had my boarding pass that I had printed earlier, yes they questioned me about being there before my flight had arrived…) and go back to the gate. I ask the gate agent to check my seat assignment while I prayed furvently. No sir, you are not listed in that seat….. infact sir, you are not listed in any seat…. here let me take care of that for you…. Praise you Jesus!

Now I admit, I was nervous as anything till the plane took off from Memphis, but I did meet up with the pastors and we got on the plane and left on time. So I made it….. BUT.

Brenda, who arranges our travel (THANKYOU!) called to confirm my return trip, and sure enough, my ticket was cancelled. The airlines said there was NO WAY I should have been allowed on the flight there, and there was NO WAY I would be allowed on the flights home. I started thinking about what I was going to do on my extended stay in D.C…… But Brenda was able to work out a return trip for me after begging and pleading with the suppervisors at the airlines, who assured her this was the ONLY exception they have or will EVER make, they reinstaited my ticket for only a $100 change fee. PRAISE GOD.

Meantime it has been an AWESOME conference, I will post more about that later.

What’s up?

Excellence in the Arts, family, thinking green - by - June 17, 2008 - 00:26 Etc/GMT+5 - Be first to Comment!

It’s been a while since I posted, a lot has been going on, so here is a brief rundown.

First of all, Vacation! Yes, my family and I actually took some vacation, and I really did take off a few days – that’s right, several days without ANY work! Now to be honest, we were gone 10 days, and I did work part of at least 5 of them. So what did we do? Our youngest 4 went to have a vacation with my parents in the Houston area, then Amy, our oldest 3 boys and myself took off on a road trip and camping.

We challenged ourselves to do this trip for as little cost as possible, so we pushed every mile per gallon we could out of our little hybrid Escape, avoided eating out as much as possible, camped or stayed with friends and family and had a fun time doing it. A big thank you shout out to all of Amy’s e-maginary friends that hosted us on the road and helped us with supplies and food camping (sorry, you just can’t fit that much food in that tiny SUV when you have 5 people and their stuff in there too!) A big thank you to our media team and church staff who covered all the happenings at church while we were gone also!

So where did we go? Photos and Google map are here: but the short of it is DC and then camping in NW Pennsylvania. We had a wonderful time but we are also glad to be home.

Planning Retreat – Yep, while I was sitting on a stump out in middle of a forest, spent a good part of a day and a half praying to reading scripture, listening to teachings and sermons and firing up the apple laptop and writing out a ministry plan for the media ministry for the 2008 / 2009 planning year. More details will be posted as we start to work thru the plan, but you can rest assured that we really do have a plan in place!

Consulting – it seems like when it rains, it pours. Right now we have a half dozen clients whose projects are in full swing and need design work done NOW. So I am in middle of several designs, working with the clients to meet their timelines and needs, all of which is keeping us very busy. With some careful planning and scheduling, it looks like we will be able to get everything done for everyone, but it is looking like a busy summer.

Media Ministry and Evangelism

Media, missional lifestyle - by - March 31, 2008 - 19:37 Etc/GMT+5 - 2 Comments

Effectively sharing the Gospel

I was listening to some teachings recently about being effective in evangelism and the need for todays church to renew their vision for evangelism when I started to think about the connection between evangelism and the media ministry.

One of the primary reasons we have a ministry based on using media is simple to be more effective in how we share the gospel. That can be as simple as sound reinforcement so that the masses can hear the word of God preached on Sunday morning, projecting sermon notes on the screen so that those who are more visual learners register the main points of the sermon clearer or even as simplistic as with out light it is extremely hard to read the scriptures. On the other hand, the desire to share the Gospel and spread the word of God runs hand in hand with our push for new technology implementation, more types of media, in the reach of more people. This includes webcasting in multiple formats, both on demand and live streams, print media, CDs, DVDs, radio broadcast and any other media we can find a way to use to spread the Word. This reaching out to people using their preferred form of media is one type of contextualizing the gospel (a physical contextualization) – that is putting the gospel message into a physical format (context) that works better for today’s culture.

Contextualization is often seen as a bad thing, especially as some people feel it waters down the gospel (more speaking of cultural context of scripture than the physical medium). I heard Mark Dever (Capital Hill Baptist Church) make a statement recently on contextualization of scripture that should apply to our media ministry as to any other ministry. Paraphrased here, he states any contextualization of the gospel must make the offense of the gospel clearer, not obscure the offensiveness of the gospel. The gospel needs to be provocative.

I am still chewing on this and what it all means to our ministry, so expect more thoughts on this in upcoming weeks.

Economic stimulus

missional lifestyle, the City, thinking green - by - March 8, 2008 - 03:30 Etc/GMT+5 - Be first to Comment!

This is an extension of the “Going Green with your green” post

The federal government is getting ready to dump billions of dollars into the economy to help stimulate the economy and help American families. The idea is that each of us tax payers, and those working families who don’t make enough to pay taxes, each will get a tax rebate (not sure how you can call it a rebate if you don’t pay anything in, but that argument is for another time), the amount based upon the number of people in the household. The checks are suppose to start mailing in May, then we will each turn around, spend that money on things we need and get some cash flowing in the economy.

A lot of folks will spend as if it were lottery winnings or an inheritance from a long lost uncle, purchasing things one would not otherwise buy for oneself when inflation is as high as 18% (look at your receipts… groceries alone have gone up 18-22% in the last 18 months). Some have already spent the money buying things they want and will use the check to pay off (or down) credit card debt. While this is spending the money and getting it into the economy, it is very short-sighted.

First, we are turning around and giving our cash into the big corporations that are already reporting record profits and don’t need help with an economic stimulus. Exxon Mobil (see here (and here)), Walmart (see here), etc (here, here, here). The impact on the economy will be short-lived if the rebates are poured right into the overflowing hands of Big Oil and Big Box Retailers. They are not hurting, despite the increases in prices (inflation) and the freeze on hiring and pay raises, and in some cases lay-offs (automaker with profit let go 8100 people), they do have profits, and even record profits.

Second- environmental impact. The environmental impact of the consumerist, materialistic lifestyle will cost even more down the road. Any economic upturn will be followed by an equal or deeper downturn. Dependence on oil is rooted in the dependence on modern luxury goods such as tv, radio, prepackaged food, eating out. Look at the “carbon footprint” left behind — miles goods travel, the amount of packaging required, and the landfill holding all the trashed stuff. [carbon footprint calculator]

Third – social impact. World magazine [Vol. 23, No.4, p 10] puts it this way:
“Not all taxpayers are created equal in the eyes of Congress. The economic stimulus effort signed into law Feb. 13 will mean different things to different Americans… but [the money] is only for taxpayers who made up to $75,000 last year and married taxpaying couples who made up to $150,000. Individuals who made between $75,000 and $87,000, and married couples who made between $150,000 and $174,000, will receive only partial rebates.” The implication is that the very hardworking middle class is being, once again, left out. When exactly did that income level become middle class? I’ve always thought I was middle class, and once again (the Federal School Lunch program gave me my first blow) I’m knocked over with a fiscal feather. I thought people who made that much money were well off and already spending a fair amount of disposable income. The average income of a single person in Austin is $42,689. The per capita income in Austin is about $24,000. Then I found this graph.
The number of Austin families making less than $50,000 a year decreased, and the numbers making over $50,000 increased in the last decade of the 20th century. And the percentage of single taxpayers or families earning between $75,000 and $100,000 was about 12.5%. The number of families earning between $150,000 and $200,000 is less than 4%. Now it’s been a long time since I sat in an economics class, but including the families making $200,000+, that is fewer than 9% of Austin families. That’s not middle class. That’s the wealthiest 10% of our society. The folks that may worry me are those who make so little money that they don’t always file taxes at all. We need to make sure folks know to file their taxes– and low income folks can file for free with Turbo Tax online. It’s accessible from any public library for free.

So what are we to do?

1. See Amy’s post on Going green with your green – we could make a huge difference if we all used our economic and tax rebates in a social and ecologically sound way, such as green initiatives. Use your rebate to purchase a Hybrid vehicle, solar panels, or a more efficient furnace, water heater or other appliance that you depend on daily. Make your money an investment that will give you a return. Double the money with the government’s incentives and rebates for “going green.” There’s a place to check off on your tax forms next year that could give you $3000 back on the purchase of a Hybrid. Your city utility may give rebates on the purchase of front loading washers, solar panels, or new toilets. Check it out.

2. Spend your check locally. Think Globally, Act Locally. Keep that money in your own community. Spend your check directly with small businesses or individuals. This will in-turn allow them to spend the money again, truly getting the cash flowing and stimulating the economy instead of increasing the coffers and profits of the big business while they lay off more workers to keep their profits growing by the right percentage year after year. Go by the Whip-In, Austin Baby and share this green love around. Let’s don’t give the money straight to Walmart. Make them work for it.

jeff & amy jones