8 Essentials Every Church Should Know Before Investing in Multimedia | graphic multimedia

2. Find Your Screen:Many people don’t give much thought to the screens, but they are a key piece of equipment for any multimedia system. As such, several things should be taken into account. “Where can it be hung? Should it be electric or fixed? Should we go with one screen or multiple screens? Which aspect ratio is right for us – 16:9 or 4:3? What surface should we go with?” These are all questions to consider. Again, Fowler will help you determine the right size for your congregation, and once the size is established, that will start narrowing down your placement options. (For screen info click here)3. Choose A Projector:Once your screen placement and size are decided, you can determine what kind of projector you will need. After that, you can choose where and how you want to mount the projector. Most can be ceiling mounted, and you’ll want to place it as close to the screen as possible to achieve the brightest picture. Of course, when mounting to the ceiling you will need to be sure there is enough attic space above the projector to run cables plus a structure to attach the mounting hardware to. An electrician will need to provide power at the projector location. If you have high ceilings you will need to look into using scaffolding or a lift. (You might ask your sales consultant about installation.)There are other options when it comes to projector placement. Projecting from a balcony or from the back of the sanctuary usually requires a projector that offers multiple lens options. This allows you to select the perfect lens for your specific throw distance and screen size. You might also consider a slightly brighter projector because there is some light lost in a long throw application. This option will appear more expensive initially; however, once you consider the extra cost and time required with ceiling mounts, it often comes out to be about the same. Also, regular maintenance and lamp changes are often much easier with a long throw application.4. Plan For Cameras:We often find the decision to add cameras to your church media system is usually an after thought. However, more and more churches want to incorporate cameras into their existing system. If done well, it can greatly enhance the worship experience; but if done poorly it can be a major distraction. There are so many options available – robotic; manned; CCU control; HD or standard def, etc. – and the decision you make on your cameras will affect the direction we go with your projector, switching, scaling, cabling, etc. So, even if cameras are not on the immediate agenda but you are considering them for the future, plan now and it will save you money in the long run. (For more camera options click here.)5. Select A Switcher/Scaler:A switcher allows you to switch between your sources. A scaler takes all of your video signals and scales them up to a higher resolution to match your computer’s resolution (which should also be the native resolution of your projector). Be warned! There are several consumer grade switcher/scalers on the market that use low quality scaling engines; your image quality can be significantly impacted by using one of these.When using a switcher/scaler you can choose to go with a single scaler or a dual. Single scalers allow simple dip to black transitions, whereas a dual scaler will allow for all of your effects like cross fades, wipes, cuts, etc. Again the one best suited for your needs will be determined by the direction you want to go with your system – the use of cameras being the biggest question. With cameras we always recommend a dual scaler. Whether or not you are doing High Def will determine which dual scaler.Some people try to save a little money and use their projector as the switcher. They simply plug their sources into the projector and then switch sources using the remote. The downside is that your projector will not do the scaling as well and remotes can be unreliable (if you do this make sure you hard wire your remote). Delays, glitches and unwanted on-screen text often occur, and most projectors don’t even allow you to easily select the source you need – you have to hit the input button until you get to the source you’re looking for.Traditionally, if you planned on using cameras, you could use a video mixer instead of a switcher/scaler. The primary difference is that rather than scaling all of your sources up to a higher resolution, you will need a scan converter to convert all of your signals down to video. If you do this though, the quality of your computer images will suffer. But now that switcher/scalers are available, this isn’t even an issue.6. Develop Your Infrastructure:The infrastructure of your media system is HUGE when it comes to the quality and success of your entire system. You can install a $100,000 projector with low quality cable or leave out a distribution amplifier and your image will look terrible! And a lack of planning on your infrastructure will hinder your ability to add to your system in the future. So, decide now – will you ever want to add:CamerasChoir confidence monitorsMultiple screensDigital signage in the lobbyRecording and duplicating equipmentIf so, do you only want camera feed or will you want everything that’s on the screen?Your infrastructure may cost as much as your projector and screen, but you want to do it right the first time. You should only have to plan routes and pull cables once; after that it will be very simple to add to the system as your ministry grows.7. Choose The Best Sources:Again, as with infrastructure and screens, this is usually an afterthought. No big deal, someone’s donating their old computer or you already have a VCR/DVD player you can use… Or maybe you’ve recently seen the TV commercial where you can get a brand new computer for only $299! If you are only planning on checking emails or doing word processing with your computer that may be fine; but in order to display high end graphics and video, plus store everything your ministry does and display it quickly, you need a computer that is designed for this type of professional application.As for your VCR/DVD player and cameras, a good rule of thumb is to stick with professional grade products. Don’t spend the church’s money on something low quality from a retail store – invest that money in quality pieces. Yes you can go consumer and yes it will work, but those products are not designed for a professional application. As a result you will experience things that will be a big distraction during worship.8. Know Your Budget:There are hundreds of ways to do things, hundreds of products to choose from and pros and cons inherent with each, so for direction and a starting point we always ask the church for a budget to work with. On the other hand, the church is thinking, “Well, I don’t know what this stuff costs, that’s why I called you,” and so they either say they don’t have a budget or they give us a random number that isn’t necessarily realistic. A reputable dealer is not asking for a budget so they can spend every cent you have; they need to know what they’re working with in order to put together the best system for your church. It takes serious creativity and hard work to design a great media system on a limited budget. We can provide a big picture design and then work with you to implement it in phases.So, to sum it all up, there are no right answers or simple solutions. Get your leadership team involved in the planning of your system – not necessarily what equipment you want, but start with what you want it to do and then prioritize that list. Know what’s important in the short term and long term. Remember that when designing a system, flexibility always equals money, so everyone needs to be on the same page. Clear communication is the key to achieving your multimedia ministry goals.For more information on any of these topics, please contact Fowler at 405.321.8122 or toll free at 1.800.729.0163.

Natural Pet Therapy: How Feng Shui Therapy Can Heal Your Pet Cat, Dog, Bird, Horse or Exotic Animal | Pets

Pets are Feng Shui, according to Feng Shui expert, Yvonne Phillips — author of Feng Shui ABC.”Pets emit a strong, positive form of energy in your home because they are constantly in motion. There is no better Feng Shui for your home,” said Yvonne, “than having an animal run around spreading positive chi.”Pet Feng Shui for Pet Health & Pet EnergyYvonne noted that animals are drawn to the best energy in a room or home. Generate positive energy in your home, and you will enhance your pet’s overall health and happiness.”Your animal will lie down on the area that has the best energy in the home.”They will always lie down on a rug, instead of the hard floor unless they are a hugh animal and have lots of fur to keep them warm.”Pet Feng Shui with Fresh Food, Fresh Water and a Clean BedYvonne stressed that pets like fresh food and water the same as you do! They also like a favorite blanket and favorite toy, so spoil them with what they love.Pet Feng Shui by giving your pet a clean bed!”We have included them in our homes, so we should make the appropriate choices of where they sleep or eat in order to live with us successfully. You like a clean home, they like a clean home as well.”Pet Feng Shui with a Clean HomeYvonne raised another important pet Feng Shui issue: cleanliness. Keep pet plates clean at all times. Be sure not to leave soap residue in your pet’s dish or water bowl. Soap residue can be very harmful for animals. Pets, especially cats, are drawn to well lit areas (like the window sill). Make certain those areas are clean and accessible — that you don’t have anything in the way that can be knocked over.Pet Feng Shui with ColorCats can see several colors. My cat is partial to red blankets.Yvonne indicated that her cat is drawn to both red and green.She suggested that pet Feng Shui plates should be pretty and colorful. Yellow bowls and plates can create an especially happy pet eating area.Negative to plastic! I’ve tossed out all those tiny plastic bowls sold in pet stores.My cat eats from a colorful glass plate and drinks from a glass bowl. He’s much happier — purring throughout the entire meal.Yvonne recommends that you can also use red to energize and feng shui a pet’s eating area.The eating area should also be a protected space — a corner out of the path of humans. Cats (more so than dogs) like privacy while they eat.Pet Feng Shui with Natural Salt Lamps and Natural Salt CandleholdersIt’s difficult to determine if wall colors affect cats and dogs, but pets can definitely sense the energy flow within a room.I use Natural Salt Therapy for Pet Feng Shui in every room of my house.Natural salt lamps and natural salt candleholders release negative ions in abundance – known for enhancing your well-being, energizing the room and gently purifying the air.Natural salt lamps and candleholders cleanse and purify home air from harmful bacteria.They also combat dangerous indoor electro “smog” (computers, televisions, etc.) — thus further safeguarding your pet.And here’s another natural salt benefit. Salt lamps and salt candleholders radiate a stunning, soft pink/red glow.Pets are attracted to natural light and especially to the rich warmth of natural salt lamps and salt candleholders.Yvonne recommends natural salt lamps for her clients and also uses them in her own home.A Feng Shui basket of Salt Crystals will also elevate and harmonize room energy for your pet.Copyright by Dr. Joyce Starr, 2006. All Rights Reserved.**Attn. Editors: You are free to use this article, so long as the Copyright & Resource Box remain intact.================================================================

Laws Of Marriage In Nigeria | laws and issues

Nigeria is as pluralistic in her legal systems as she is in ethnic make ups. There are basically three systems of law in Nigeria I.e the English law, Customary law and Islamic law (also known as Sharia law).Each of these laws has its system of marriage, though they have their differences and similarities. All the three systems of marriage are equal at least in terms of their recognition as marriage that could be legally contracted in Nigeria by anyone who wishes.It is possible for a person to contract two marriages, one under the Customary law and the other under the Islamic law but this is unacceptable as far as English law is concerned.It is important at this point to have a look at each of the marriages with some details.English Law Marriage Contracting marriages in line with the tenets of the English law is governed by the Marriage Act in Nigeria. As far back as 1860 the court had, in Hyde vs. Hyde, defined marriage as ” the voluntary union for life of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others”. This has been accepted as the meaning of the English law marriage ever since. This type of marriage clearly abhors polygamy.For a marriage to be valid and qualified as an English law marriage in Nigeria, the under listed conditions stipulated by the Marriage Act must be complied with.Conditions for Valid English Law Marriage
Parties to the marriage must have agreed to be husband and wife
The man must have filed a notice in the Marriage Registry within the area where the marriage is to be celebrated, stating his intention to get married
The notice is then entered in the Marriage Notice Book by the registrar
The notice remains open for a minimum of 21 days before the Registrar can issue Marriage Certificate
During the 21 days, anybody who so wishes may enter a caveat as an objection to the planned marriage
At this point, the Registrar will refer the caveat to the High Court which will determine the fate of the caveat one way or the other
Where the caveat is held valid by the High Court, the Registrar will be stopped from issuing the Marriage Certificate until the objection raised in the caveat ceases to exist
Where the High Court invalidates the caveat, the Registrar will proceed to issue the Marriage Certificate. The issuance of the Marriage Certificate should not be earlier than 21 days or later than 3 months from the time of filling a notice of intention to get married by the man.
Other Factors That May Prevent Issuance of the Marriage CertificateApart from any objection that may be contained in a caveat, the Registrar must not issue the Marriage Certificate in any of the following situations:
where none of the parties has been resident in the area where the marriage is to be celebrated 15 days preceding the issuance of the marriage certificate
where the Registrar is satisfied that one of the parties is a minor (I.e below age of 16)
where consent of one of the parties to the marriage is obtained by fraud, dress, undue influence, mistaken identity or a party incapable of giving consent due to mental ill-health
where the parties have blood relationship like cousins
where one of the parties is already married either under the English or Customary law.
Celebration of MarriageThe marriage itself can take place in either of two places I.e the Marriage Registry or a place of worship.In the case of the Marriage Registry, the following conditions apply:
it must take place before the registrar
there must be at least two witnesses, and
it must take place between 10 am to 4pm.
While in the case of a place of worship, the rules are these:
it must be conducted by a recognized minister of the religious organization concerned
the place of worship must be a place licensed under the Marriage Act to conduct marriage
there must be minimum of two witnesses
before conducting the marriage, the minister must be certain that the Marriage Certificate has been obtained by the parties
the marriage must take place between 8am to 6pm
the minister must send a copy of the Marriage Certificate to the Registrar of Marriage within 7 days of the marriage
English law marriage is the most complicated to conclude as will be seen later in the article, when compared to the other two systems of marriage in Nigeria.Customary Law MarriageCustomary law marriage is the easiest marriage to contract in Nigeria. It is a marriage celebrated according to the customs and traditions of any local tribe in Nigeria. In terms of marriage, varied tribes in Nigeria have a lot in common.Essentials of a Customary Law Marriage
Agreement between a man and a woman to be husband and wife
Parental consent especially that of the woman’s side
Payment of the dowry by the man to the woman’s family
Handing over of the woman to the man.
Once the above conditions are fulfilled, a Customary law marriage is validly contracted. This marriage accommodates polygamy so the man can marry as many wives as he wishes. In fact, there is no limit to the number of women that a man can marry under various native customs in Nigeria.Islamic Law MarriageIslamic law marriage refers to a marriage celebrated by two Muslims (I.e a male & a female) in line with the dictates of the Sharia law. Islamic law allows a Muslim male to marry up to 4 wives provided that he will ensure fairness, equity and justice among them.To have a marriage validly celebrated in line with the Islamic law, the following must be fulfilled:
the parties to the marriage must have agreed to marry each other
the consent of the woman’s father or uncle or any male family member is compulsory
the man must give a gift( it could be money or an article) as dowry. The monetary value of whatever is given must not be less than N5000. There is no maximum
celebration of marriage itself must be witnessed by the minimum of two witnesses.
Once the above requirements are met, an Islamic law marriage is deemed to have taken place.What I have planned to do by this article is to present succinct picture of different marriages that Nigerians and Non-Nigerians residing in Nigeria can contract depending on the individual’s preference.The only marriage that is not free for all is the Islamic law marriage which can only take place between a Muslim male and female. However, a Muslim male is allowed to marry a female who belongs to “the People of the Book”. This refers to Jewish or Christian females.Apart from Christians and Jewish faithfuls, a Muslim male cannot marry from any other faith. It might be interesting to hear that the converse is the fate of a Muslim female. She can only marry a fellow Muslim male. This smacks of a subtle strategy to win more converts into the Islamic fold.Having said that, I believe Nigeria is one of the countries where multiplicity of marital choices is well taken care of. Although marriage between same sex or people who are closely related by blood is not allowed and there is no indication that that will happen in no distant future.It is quite funny to note that some people term marriage under the English law as “legal marriage” as if other marriages are not. This is wrong. As a matter of fact, all the three marriages are legal.