Five more tips about Periscope

Here are five more things I’ve learned about Periscope in my first five days of using it. Click here to read my original first five list.Screen shot 2015-08-19 at 2.19.07 PM

  1. You can save the video clips through katch.me. They don’t have to disappear forever.
  2. Scope is the name of a Periscope webinar.
  3. Tap twice on the screen to flip the camera (front view or back view of your iPhone or iPad) while broadcasting.
  4. While watching someone else’s live broadcast, you can tap on the screen to indicate your approval or applause and with each tap comes a virtual image of a heart the person broadcasting can see.
  5. To delete replay of a broadcast, scroll to the bottom of the broadcast screen and hit the delete button. Ha — six people saw my accidental live broadcast that made me want to learn how to delete.

What tips can you share? What questions do you have?

—Jennifer Davis Rash

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5 things I learned about Periscope after my first 5 broadcasts

It’s a new day for journalism and even criminal evidence collection. You no longer need a college degree in either of those fields to potentially break a major story or solve a major crime.

Well, technically you do still need the degree to work in the field, but with the smartiest smart phones ever and the continuing development of social media video apps, we really only need to know how to use the technology available to us and be in the right place at the right time.

My latest schooling is focused on Periscope, Twitter’s social media video app. In facScreen shot 2015-08-17 at 10.35.48 AMt, my last five @RashionalThts tweets were “live on Periscope.” Guess I should chill out a little because I only downloaded and used the app for the first time Saturday afternoon.

My Baptist Communicators Association buddies Kyle and Brian introduced me to Periscope earlier this year, but it was my TAB colleague Wanda who convinced me to actually start using it. She is having lots of fun with it and has great ideas for how we can use it at TAB.

Less than 48 hours into my Periscope world, I have discovered a few things:

  1. The 24-hour news cycle is proven true — it’s old news after that and the Periscope broadcast disappears after 24 hours.
  2. The app is easy to use but there are limitations such as you can only video in portrait mode.
  3. The iPad is better for this app than the iPhone because of its size.
  4. There are Periscope-looking apps available for purchase but they are not the real thing. Remember that Periscope is a free app.
  5. If you are near people who might talk to you, then let them know what you are doing. We are still getting used to people videoing on their phones and tablets much less broadcasting live. How many times have you walked up to someone and started talking or walked in front of someone not realizing they were videoing? Just think if it were live!

Author and virtual mentor Michael Hyatt has more to say on the subject. Click here to see his suggestions for improvements.

What is your experience with Periscope, Meerkat or other social media video apps? What tips do you have?

—Jennifer Davis Rash

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No amount is too small

This same Saturday a year ago today, I drove Kelley and Belle home after spending the summer at St. Jude for what would be her last radiation treatment. The photo shows what I could see in my rear view mirror as I drove them home. She was a great traveler and had fun with Knuffle Bunny and her iPad during the trip.Belle and Knuffle Bunny August 2014

It would be the last time she was in my car, at my house and walking on her own when out in public for long periods of time. She would need a pediatric wheelchair for those moments.

A pediatric wheelchair costs $650, so I would like to raise that amount between now and the end of August as I continue chipping away at my overall goal of $2,500.

Please consider helping me raise funds for another child to have access to needed resources like a pediatric wheelchair as well as the amazing research being done at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital — research that benefits all children’s hospitals because they share their discoveries.

Donate now by clicking hereNo amount is too small. Thanks so much!

—Forever Aunt Jen Jen

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Definitely the right decision

What do you see when you look back? What do the anniversary milestones indicate?

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Do you ever look back at past decisions and shiver when you realize what you would have missed out on if you had not made the choice you did?

Many times we think about our regrets and missteps, but what about the countless decisions we made each day that brought us to this very moment, decisions that were exactly right?

Jason and I celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary this past Sunday (July 12), and while I could easily focus on him as why that was a right decision, there is another anniversary this week that makes me know without question I was supposed to be part of the Rash family.

Six months ago today Jason’s twin sister, Kelley, and her husband, David, released their bDSC_0391aaby girl into the arms of Jesus. Saturday, Jan. 17, was barely a reality when she left us. We had all said our goodbyes in the last hours of Friday, Jan. 16, as the minutes ticked toward the inevitable.

Belle left this life like she lived it — fearless, peaceful and full of joy. Even though physical limitations gradually overtook her ability to show her fun-loving side to its fullest, we knew she was still as sassy as ever when, despite no longer being able to walk, she demanded to go swimming that week.

She also continued her sweet attention to others by zeroing in on specific past moments with each person who dropped by to say their goodbyes. So many stood in amazement holding back the flood of tears that fought to be released as she left them with the kind of memory only Belle could give.

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As we watched her slip away over the course of that last week, we took turns sitting with her around the clock. She and I did makeup that Wednesday and talked about my doggie Rudy several times throughout the week. She and Uncle Jay played thumb wars and picked on each other like they always did. Her siblings held her iPad so she could watch her favorite shows on Netflix. She even pushed them away and scolded them when they started aggravating her — just like normal. She held on tight to her daddy as he moved her from bed to sofa and back to bed, and among her final spoken words were, “I love you, Mommy.”

Those final moments are still so real, so raw. Six months seems like an eternity some days and six seconds on other days, but most often I simply want to believe it really didn’t happen.

And while the intensity of the ache of missing Belle will permanently be etched in our beings, I remain forever thankful and blessed that God saw fit to allow me to be part of the Belle experience — and that because of His saving grace I will be with her again. She is merely a little ahead of us on the journey Home.

Born May 24, 2007, Belle’s cancer battle began in September 2009. She fought haIMG_0338ard and beat all the odds for five and a half years. What a privilege for me to serve among the ranks of Team Belle, to be Belle’s Aunt Jen Jen and god mother, to give her all of my heart and watch her transform it beyond what I could ever imagine.

If Jason had not picked me, if I had not married him and if Kelley and David had not trusted and loved me so much, I would have missed out on the very reason I was created. God used Belle to touch so many lives, chief among them mine.

What happens next? How do we push through the grief? Who are we now?

Today, at the six-month mark, I can’t yet answer those questions. But I do know the future — a future anointed by God and enhanced by Belle — is bright, bold, joyous, compassionate, full of surprises, wrapped in excitement and, of course, streaked in hot pink.

—Forever Aunt Jen Jen

January 17, 2015

Streaks of hot pink (Belle’s favorite color) engulfed the sky around Rock Hill, S.C., on Jan. 17, 2015 — the day Belle left this earth.

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Holding the ropes

Katelyn stood before our church this past Sunday as we had a special time of prayeIMG_20150714_121448r for her before she leaves for a new season of life — life in another part of the world focused on missions.

In early June, Mallory also stood before our church as we prayed for her summer in Ecuador. A Sunday in late May, Bryce stood before his church in northwest Alabama as he prepared to leave for his summer missions work in Uganda.

And countless congregations across the state have held similar prayer moments recently as they sent out their young adults for a missions experience.

It is not only prayer for the summer missionary and the work he or she will do, but it also is prayer for his or her family. It is a prayer for peace as they release their child into the hands of missions and ministry teams in faraway places. Even a location across the state can seem faraway for parents sending their young adult child out for the first time.

A church “holding the ropes” for those serving in short-term and long-term missions experiences truly can make a difference for the missionary and his or her family.

No matter how strong your call to serve, there will be moments of loneliness and discouragement. And even the most excited of young adults are sometimes shocked to discover the difficulties and frustrations that come with adapting to a new culture, adjusting to the new area and feeling overwhelmed when they see the enormity of the work.

But knowing their church family is back home praying for them truly makes a difference when those weak moments surface.

Facetime and Skype had not been invented when I served a two-and-a-half-year term with the International Mission Board back in the mid-1990s, but a phone call here and there, an email on occasion and definitely cards in the mail became welcomed touches from home that kept my spirits lifted. I also remember the banner Pastor Sammy Taylor hung at Mountain View Baptist Church, Phil Campbell, that said “Mountain View holding the ropes for Jennifer.” I knew their prayers continued throughout my term and weren’t only spoken that Sunday I stood before the congregation to be sent out.

As special as the prayers prayed over you as you leave are, the ones that are consistently being  lifted during your missions service are the ones that sustain you.

Alabama Baptist students and young adults are serving in a variety of ways in Alabama, through ministries in many states across the nation and on missions fields around the world. They may not send back regular reports of their work while they are away, and it is easy to skip days and even weeks of praying for them without a consistent reminder.

Prayer cards, email notes and social media posts are good ways to keep the need in front of church members and others who would like to pray for those participating in summer missions. Posters, banners or other types of visuals in the church also are good reminders.

The Alabama Baptist regularly reports on students and young adults doing missions. When those stories appear, it is another good reminder to pray.

The prayers really do make a difference. I remember many times feeling a sense of strength, peace and focus I knew came from the prayers of those holding the ropes for me. I also remember the confidence and courage I felt with the love and support of family, friends and an amazing church. If someone inquired deeper about the experience, then my enthusiasm grew as I shared my story.

The privilege of praying for Katelyn, Mallory and Bryce provides an opportunity for me to give back by supporting the next generation of young adults following God’s call. Who will be your Katelyn, Mallory and Bryce?

Jennifer Davis Rash

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Friends that ‘outdo one another’

Greater love image revisedMy dear sweet friend had more on her to-do list than 200 people could accomplish in one week, but she didn’t flinch when my situation changed her plans.

She looked into my eyes and saw the 98-mile trek back home was going to be a challenge for me to accomplish on my own. She made a few quick adjustments to her return-trip plan, grabbed my car keys and tucked me safely into the passenger seat.

It was merely one of those crazy headaches I get every once in a while, but it was enough to make a simple hour and a half drive on the interstate seem daunting.

The day before another sweet friend secured a babysitter and hit pause on her routinely hectic day so we could celebrate our May birthdays over lunch. She also stuck around for several hours to help me with an important assignment that was on a tight deadline.

For the past few weeks — really for the past five months — my dear friends at The Alabama Baptist have worked extra hours or gone out of their way to help me with so many different personal and professional tasks, projects and assignments.

‘Love one another’

And then there are friends from church, my neighborhood and beyond who constantly surprise me with an encouraging word, a needed hug or a random act of kindness.

I am so blessed to be surrounded by such a crowd of special friends.

The Word tells us in John 15:12–15: “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

“You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.”

Romans 12:10 says, “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.”

And in Colossian 3:12–14, Paul says: “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”

Doing life together

I sometimes have a hard time accepting help. I’m stubborn like that but I’m learning I really can’t walk life’s journey on my own. I definitely need the help of friends, and I love doing things for friends as well.

The little things are really fun and something I hope I never forget to do, but it is the helping in times of extreme need that fills my heart.

It is such a special gift for me when I get the privilege of doing something for someone that I know is truly needed and appreciated.

In fact, I had an opportunity like this recently when a friend was in a bind and needed someone to pick her up. It was really a simple request but it was urgent and it was such an honor to get the call asking if I could help.

And a few days before that my husband and I had an opportunity to assist a woman who was going to be stranded for hours had we not stepped in. We ended up having several mutual friends in common and connected on a spiritual level as well.

I could have easily ignored what I was hearing as she talked on the phone near me. She didn’t realize I was there and would have never known if I hadn’t helped, but I would have known.

—Jennifer Davis Rash

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Happy Birthday, sweet Belle

Belle’s Ball

May 24, 2015 — Belle would have turned 8 today.

By Catherine Williams (friend of Belle’s Aunt Jen Jen)

Belle my sweet girl we still miss you soBelle dress up Aug 2014
You are with Your heavenly Father, this we all know
Your smile brightened our day, bravery inspired us too
We were always amazed by the things you could do
You loved the Disney Princesses, for a princess you are
God loaned you to us, but He is never very far
Belle on your birthday we miss your sweet smile
For you have been the Belle of the ball for quite a while
We miss you sweet Belle, this fact is true
And although you are in heaven we still miss you!
One day in the future we too will dance at Belle’s Ball
But for now may our love be a beacon of hope for all!

—————–

We shared a sIMG_20150524_222514pecial weekend together as a family celebrating Belle’s birthday (for the first time without her here). Along with lots of sweet memories and laughing at so many fun Belle stories, we did a few things in her honor such as wearing (temporary) tattoos of characters in Disney’s Frozen. She would have gotten so tickled to see her Daddy with an Elsa tattoo on his hand. Of course, she would have picked out each of ours for us as well as where they would have been placed if she had been with us.

To learn more about Belle’s story or to read Belle’s birthday post by her Mommy visit  www.caringbridge.org/visit/bellemitchell.

—Jennifer Davis Rash (aka Aunt Jen Jen)

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