Posted tagged ‘Free’

Freebie Friday – Audacity

January 27, 2012

A huge obstacle that is often faced in rural ministry is the lack of funds to buy tools and resources.  To help combat this problem the Rural Ministry Blog has Freebie Friday!  Every Friday we will take a look at a free, or nearly free, resource that could benefit anyone involved with rural ministry.

Today’s freebie is Audacity.  Audacity is a multi-track,  open source audio editor that is surprisingly feature rich and very easy to use.  Audacity allows you to record live audio, record audio from the Internet, edit the most popular audio formats (MP3, Ogg Vorbis, WAV or AIFF), and cut, copy, and splice sounds together.  It even has a feature that will allow you to change the speed and pitch of an audio file!

I use Audacity quite frequently to edit my sermons (taking out long stretches of silence, editing out coughs & sneezes, etc.) as well as changing the pitch on accompaniment tracks.  I’ve even used it to record and edit ads that my church put on a local radio station and was able to easily mix voice, sound effects, and background music.  If you’ve ever had the need to edit audio you will not regret giving Audacity a try!  Audacity is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

You can downloads Audacity by clicking here.  Please note that there are two different links for Windows – one for Windows 98/ME/2000/XP and another for Windows Vista/Windows 7.  the Windows Vista/Windows 7 version is still in Beta, but I’ve used it extensively and have had no issues at all.

Disclosure: Neither the Rural Ministry Blog or Harry Colegrove benefit in any way from this product recommendation

Freebie Friday – More free graphics!

June 17, 2011

A huge obstacle that is often faced in rural ministry is the lack of funds to buy tools and resources.  To help combat this problem the Rural Ministry Blog has Freebie Friday!  Every Friday we will take a look at a free resource that could benefit anyone involved with rural ministry.

As a weekly user of PowerPoint I am constantly on the lookout for royalty free images that I can use.  Vintagechurch.cc is a site that I recently ran across with loads of very high quality free graphics ready to use.  Some of the images are even available in layered Photoshop format for complete customization.  All the resources on Vintagechurch.cc are available for free, provided that you are a non-profit ministry or church whose primary mission is spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

You can visit Vintagechurch.cc by clicking here

Disclosure: Neither the Rural Ministry Blog or Harry Colegrove benefit in any way from this product review

Freebie Friday – Vimeo

June 3, 2011

Since we live in a multimedia world I’ve found that video clips are a great way to enhance my church services.  They help hold people’s interest as well as increase retention rates of the sermon.  The problem, however, is that church video clips tend to be kind of pricey.  It’s nothing to see a four or five minute clip selling for $15 or more.  As much as I like to use video, my church budget won’t allow me to spend that much money on any kind of regular basis. This is why I was so happy to find Vimeo.

Vimeo is a website very much like YouTube, except a large portion of their videos are downloadable!  Yes, I know that there are ways to download YouTube videos (I’ll write about how to do that sometime in the future), but with Vimeo you do not need to worry so much about copyrite issues. If the creator of a video does not want you to use it, they simply do not make it available for download.  I’ve found everything from countdown timers to service openers to sermon clips all available to freely use in my church service.  (click on the links to see examples that I have used).

To download a Vimeo clip you have to be a registered user.  Registration is quick, painless, and free.  Once registered simply scroll down to below the clip, and on the right hand side you will see a link to download.  Right click on the link and save it to your hard drive.  The videos are often posted in .mov or .mp4 format, which do not work very well with PowerPoint, so they may need to be converted. Next week I’ll write about a free utility that converts videos very nicely.  (If you can’t wait until next week e-mail me and I’ll send you the link.)

To use Vimeo click here

Disclosure: Neither the Rural Ministry Blog or Harry Colegrove benefit in any way from this website review.

Freebie Friday – Free Church Resources

May 20, 2011

A huge obstacle that is often faced in rural ministry is the lack of funds to buy tools and resources. To help combat this problem the Rural Ministry Blog has started Freebie Friday! Every Friday we will take a look at a free resource that could benefit anyone involved with rural ministry.

Today’s resource is CrazyChurch.com – at CrazyChurch you’ll find all kinds of free resources like graphics, sermons, small group ideas and some of the best skits I’ve read in a long time.  And of course it’s all free!

The CrazyChurch website says it very well:

CrazyChurch.com is an online menu of killer resources that have been created and used in local churches.  It’s all free.  Take whatever you like.  Use whatever you like.”

Why does CrazyChurch.com give stuff away?  In their Manifesto they state: “If we get to the end of our lives and the Internet is mostly known as a place to get porn for free and sermons for $5, something’s gone terribly wrong.” I couldn’t have said it better myself! 

The CrazyChurch website is rather unique in its set up, but I found it to be very entertaining and easy to navigate.  To visit CrazyChurch.com click here

Disclosure: Neither the Rural Ministry Blog or Harry Colegrove benefit in any way from this website review

Freebie Friday – Mozy

May 13, 2011

A huge obstacle that is often faced in rural ministry is the lack of funds to buy tools and resources. To help combat this problem the Rural Ministry Blog has Freebie Friday! Every Friday we will take a look at a free resource that could benefit anyone involved with rural ministry.

Ever had your computer crash? If you’ve used computers for any length of time the answer, of course, is yes. I’ve discovered that when it comes to computer crashes Murphy’s Law rules – your crash will happen at the most inopportune time. Sometimes I’ve been able to recover from crashes pretty easily, other times the crash caused me to lose some very important files. I know the importance of making backups, but didn’t always take the time to do it. Now, however, I use Mozy. Mozy is a program that you install on your computer that automatically backs up your files for you. Documents, pictures, music, and videos are all backed up every night automatically. If something happens to your computer, all you need to do is log in to your Mozy account and you can either download the missing files from their website, or for a small fee you can have them send you your files on CD. The best thing about Mozy is that you get 2GB of backup absolutely free! If you need more than 2GB it’s only $5.99 per month for unlimited backup, which in my opinion is a no brainer. I’ve found Mozy to be easy to use and very reliable, although depending on how much data you have the initial backup can take a long time.

To try Mozy you can click here or go to http://mozy.com/home/free/

Disclosure: Neither the Rural Ministry Blog or Harry Colegrove benefit in any way from this product review

Freebie Friday – Dropbox

May 6, 2011

A huge obstacle that is often faced in rural ministry is the lack of funds to buy tools and resources. To help combat this problem the Rural Ministry Blog has Freebie Friday! Every Friday we will take a look at a free resource that could benefit anyone involved with rural ministry.

Today’s resource is a must have for anyone who uses multiple computers. I have a laptop, an office computer, and a home computer that I regularly find myself using. At one time the only way I could share files from one computer to another was by using a USB flash drive, but that was before I discovered Dropbox. Dropbox is software that automatically synchronizes your files across multiple computers. This means that any file I save in the Dropbox folder on one computer automatically gets copied to all my other computers. Dropbox also synchronizes with a secure web server, which will allow you to access your Dropbox files from any Internet computer. Another great feature of Dropbox is that the secure website will keep a one-month history of your work, which allows you to retrieve deleted files or undo changes made to documents contained in the Dropbox folder. The best part of this is that the first 2GB of storage is totally free! That’s right, 2GB of Dropbox storage at absolutely no cost or obligation. If you need more than 2GB you can purchase additional storage of up to 100GB for very reasonable rates.

Dropbox is available for Windows, Mac, Linux, iPad, iPhone, Android, and Blackberry devices. For more information or to download click here

Disclosure: If you sign up for Dropbox by clicking on any of the above Dropbox links, Harry Colegrove will receive an additional 250MB of free Dropbox storage up to a maximum of 8GB. If you wish to install Dropbox without Harry Colegrove receiving the additional storage space click here.

Freebie Friday – Free Creative Materials

April 29, 2011

A huge obstacle that is often faced in rural ministry is the lack of funds to buy tools and resources.  To help combat this problem the Rural Ministry Blog has Freebie Friday!  Every Friday we will take a look at a free resource that could benefit anyone involved with rural ministry.

Today’s freebie is from Open Lifechurch.tv, which offers high quality creative materials for sermons, small groups, youth, children, and worship services.  The materials include videos, graphics, and message notes.  The best part about it is that it’s all free!  Here’s a direct quote from the Open Lifechurch.tv website:

“… all we ask is that content is used in a non-commercial application in which the overall mission is to lead people to Christ. That’s absolutely it. And if a free gift with no strings attached seems too good to be true…well, isn’t that why we’re all doing what we’re doing anyway?”

I have used their material for my church youth group and found it to be absolutely outstanding!  The videos and graphics are top notch and the message notes are easily adaptable and customizable for almost any setting.  Open Lifechurch.tv also has downloadable worship sets in which their worship team leads a full contemporary song service complete with on screen lyrics.  These worship sets are perfect for Sunday morning services, youth services, or whenever you need a high quality contemporary song service.

My hat is off to Lifechurch.tv – this is a ministry that gets it.  They could easily charge for this material, but instead are more focused on offering their resources to further the Kingdom.  Although they do not ask for anything, I’m sure they would accept a donation to their ministry if you choose to bless them for blessing you.

Check out all the resources available at Open Lifechurch.tv at http://open.lifechurch.tv/ or go to their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/LifeChurchtv.OPEN

FYI: Some of the files are huge (one worship set I downloaded was over 900MB) so you will need a high speed Internet connection to take full advantage of the site.

Disclosure: Neither the Rural Ministry Blog or Harry Colegrove benefit in any way from this product review