Nobody Ever Regretted Backing Up

Nobody Ever Regretted Backing Up

AJ and I have a two-pronged approach when it comes to backing up data. First, we setup something that does it for us, secondly we never think about it again. I've found that the biggest obstacle to backing up data, is the one posed by humans. I just never remembered. I sure meant to back up, but never got to it. Over the years we've both had that horrible, horrible feeling of losing data. With more and more of our data being stored in the cloud there's a temptation to not worry about backing up so much, but that's a dangerous thought so I thought we'd outline how we approach data storage and data backup.

Data Storage

Music

We are Apple Music subscribers. Prior to that we were iTunes Match customers. What this means is that (aside from being able to access nearly all the music on earth) all of our iTunes libraries are stored in the cloud. Should our laptops get stolen or iPhones get dropped, all of our music is safe on Apple's servers. A bonus: all our music is accessible from any of our Apple products at any time. In addition to this, we have a home server with all our music stored locally.

Photos

By far the biggest data hog are our photos. Again we turn to Apple. We use iCloud Photo Library to store all of our photos in the cloud. If anything happens to our devices, our photos are in the cloud.

Documents

All of our teaching material including the 1,000+ keynote presentations are stored in Dropbox. If we forget our laptop on the way to church, we can borrow someone else's, log into our Dropbox account and we're golden.

Relying on the cloud has some advantages. But that's not really a backup of your data. So in addition to where we store our data, we also have regular automatic backups happening on all our devices.

Data Backup

iOS Devices

Our iPhones and iPads back up to iCloud every night automatically. If anything happened to those devices we could easily restore all our data from iCloud and pick up from where we left off (which we have done, several times.) To ensure we have enough space for our iCloud data storage (for photos and for device backups) we pay Apple $2.99 each month for 200GB data. Currently I have 36GB free.

Laptops

We use two different services for backing up our laptops, both fully automated. We have a Time Capsule at home. This is a wireless router with a hard drive in it. When our laptops are connected to our Wi-Fi network at home, they automatically back up data in the background. If we were to have a hard drive crash or lose a laptop, we'd still be able to access data locally from that hard drive and restore files immediately.

We also use a service called BackBlaze. This is very similar to backing up to a Time Capsule, but this time our data is backed up over the internet to BackBlaze's servers. That way, if our Time Capsule gets struck by lightning or our house burns down, we still have access to all our data courtesy of BackBlaze. 

BackBlaze takes a while on your first backup because you are transferring huge amounts of data over the internet. Currently we have around 1TB of data in BackBlaze. The software was written by former Apple engineers and best of all it's only $5 per computer for unlimited storage. We highly recommend it. You can get a free trial and if you use this link you'll also get another month free once you sign up.

The secret to the success of backing up with both Time Machine and BackBlaze is that they are fully automated services. They take a few minutes to set up, but going forward everything else happens behind the scenes without any user input. Don't be a dummy, backup today.

SOSL

SOSL

From current student Tiffany Zajas: 

Going to Grace Center’s School of Supernatural Life has honestly been one of the best decisions I have ever made. This school is designed to change your life, and for me...it has done just that. Before SOSL, I was hurting, believing lies that had been spoken over me, and weary of constantly striving for perfection, acceptance, and value. In the past 6 months since starting the school, I have experienced the presence of God like never before, come into a full realization of the Father’s unconditional love for me, and am now walking in a new level of healing and identity in Christ.
— Tiffany Zajas

Read her (unsolicited) full post.  

Gary Morgan's Prophetic Ministry

Gary Morgan's Prophetic Ministry

An almost unbelievable ministry time at Grace Center this morning with Gary Morgan. Some of the most accurate and astonishing words of knowledge I've witnessed; dates of birth, names, addresses and wedding anniversaries all in the context of the Father's love. Do yourself a favor, take 45 minutes to watch the above video and be super encouraged. And if you're in the area, come join us tomorrow night when Gary will be ministering at emanate.

UPDATE: We recorded a podcast with Gary & Sarah Morgan. You can listen to it here.

Overcast

Overcast

For over a year now, the app that we listen to podcasts with has been Overcast. Yet our logs reveal that less than 2% of those listening to Keeping Up With The Joneses use it. This is close to a tragedy. While you're reading this, download Overcast and then come back and I'll tell you why it's amazing.

There's a couple of neat features about Overcast. The first is Smart Speed which automatically shortens the gaps in spoken word. It manages to do this without making the conversation sound awkward. This feature is different than the common speed boost features found in other podcast apps. They speed up all the audio so you end up with someone sounding like a chipmunk on speed. Overcast only speeds up the conversation by dynamically reducing the quiet gaps in the podcast.

Next up is Voice Boost which uses some clever audio processing to ensure that vocals stay at a consistent level within episodes and between episodes. This means that you don't have that awkward moment when you crank the volume on one podcast and then have to lower it on the next.

There's more: streaming episodes without having to wait for them to download first, the ability to share episodes with other people (including sharing from a specific time in the episode) and the way show notes integrate so well with the user interface. It also supports chapters in episodes (something we're toying with including). Last of all, it's free to download and is maintained by someone who is also a prolific podcaster. Try it out, we think you'll like it.

Star Kart

Star Kart

Combining both of our loves, this video got released yesterday. Great job Dark Pixel.

Women in Ministry

Women in Ministry

I had the honor of speaking at The Belonging last week on the topic of women in ministry. If you've ever had questions about the topic or would like to hear what I had to say, watch the video below. I start speaking around 47 minutes 45 seconds. We've also made the audio available for download.

Justin Burns

Justin Burns

 Justin & Ashley

Justin & Ashley

We found out early this morning that our friend Justin Burns died last night. It's sent us spinning all day. 

Justin was a contemplative man with brilliant taste. He helped AJ and I greatly in improving the sound of our podcast. He taught me lots about sound production, Logic Pro X and was a constant source of insight for me. He was someone I looked to for help in all things audio visual. He was one of my favorite sound engineers, pulling off herculean feats in making the worship at emanate and our conferences at Grace Center sound amazing.

While it's comforting knowing he's in Heaven, we're so deeply saddened by his fast departure and heartbroken for Ashley, his wonderful wife. Justin turned 30 a week or so ago and we can't help but feel that we've been robbed of someone special. Please join us in praying for his family. 

Update: many of you have been asking what you can do to help. Ashley's friends and family have setup a memorial fund to help Ashley pay for the funeral. One of the most practical things you can do is give.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

Happy new year to all our friends, family, listeners and newcomers. 2015 was a blast and we can't wait to see what God has in store for 2016. We're praying you experience more of His goodness, more of His kindness and more of His glory this year.

How Much do You Read your Bible?

How Much do You Read your Bible?

R.T. wrote a great blog today on reading the Bible. Several gems found within, including this one:

Do listen to me dear reader. Once we give up the conviction that the Bible is the only infallible Word of God, we open ourselves to a strange world out there that may include the Holy Spirit but also if not equally the realm of the demonic. Do not be surprised: Satan “masquerades” as an angel of light (2 Cor.11:14). The devil will work overtime to keeping Christians from reading the Bible. He would love you to close it and just wait on God.

Whereas the Bible was not given to replace the miraculous or even revelation, as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones used to say, but “to correct abuses”, too many people don’t know their Bibles well enough to know what the Word of God says. And what the abuses might be. The Bible is the Final and Ultimate Revelation of Truth; no vision, word of knowledge or insight will ever – ever – contradict what the Bible has said. The first test of any vision or prophetic word is to run it by Scripture. If it is not upheld by the infallible Word of God, reject it – no matter how much you may respect the person who gives you a word.
— R.T. Kendall

Check it out.