Welcome To The gspn.tv Community Blog!

Here at the Generally Speaking Production Network, our main goal is to produce entertaining, educational, encouraging, and inspirational podcasts. This blog is one of the places that we turn to communicate between podcast episodes. Of course you can follow Cliff on Twitter or Facebook. Stephanie is on Twitter and Facebook as well.

November 2014 to March 2015.  I'm often encouraged by the posts from @ilbascy @amandaarlauskas and @alisweeney

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Just completed a 45 minute elliptical workout in Zone 3.  Burned 600 calories.

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Living FULLY ALIVE!

by Cliff Ravenscraft on November 14, 2014

in Blog

c8e38031f65eec199840f58896e43538I woke up at 5am this morning because I want to live fully alive. I remember seeing the snooze button option on the alarm app on my iPhone. I hit the snooze button.

However, I asked myself… Do I want to live life to it’s fullest potential? Or do I want to coast through life without becoming the man who I was created to be? This simple question was all it took for me to sit up and immediately get out of bed. I was on the floor less than 60 seconds of my alarm going off the first time.

This is not the first time that I’ve got up at 5am. In fact, over the past few months, I’ve been pretty good at going to bed early and waking up early.

However, something’s different this time. I have a deeper sense of purpose and meaning for my desire to get an early start to my day.

Before, I would wake up early because I knew that I would have a more productive day. I knew that I would get more work done.

While I had previously had desires to get in an early morning workout… I found myself checking my schedule for the day and then checking my email and instantly jumping into work mode to get all the big stuff out of the way so that I could get some important things accomplished towards the big goals I had set for my business.

The fact is that I have been very successful at a lot of things. However, I know in my heart, I’ve missed out on the most important thing of all.

I know that I’ve been called to live for something more than the work that I do.

This past week in Colorado reminded me that I have been given a heart and passion for encouraging others to become the people they created to be.

Here’s the thing. I can’t encourage others to do that if I’m not actively working toward becoming the person that I was created to be.

While I know that I’ve encouraged and inspired a lot of people in a lot of areas, there has been one area that I’ve ignored, too often, in my own life.

I know that I was not created to weigh 265.4 pounds, which is what I weigh today. I was not created to feel the way that I feel physically. I was not created to live a life of reckless eating without physical activity.

I am not beating myself up. I’m more the man that I was created to be than I was 1, 5, or even 10 years ago. However, I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that the I was created to be a healthy man who weighs less than 200 pounds. I know that I was created to be more responsible for the care of my my body by eating more healthy and by being intentionally physically active on a daily basis.

In 2008/2009 I started a journey toward greater physical health. I had gone from 268 pounds down to 212 pounds. It too 18 months to achieve that. It was a full lifestyle change. I recall how great it felt and at that time.

I won’t share any excuses. However, I had eventually slipped back into my old lifestyle and I began to pour all of myself into my business once again. The success of my business has soared. However, my physical body has suffered.

This past week, I had a friend offer to mentor me in the area of living “Fully Alive.” I’ve had so many offers over the past few years from all sorts of experts and well meaning friends. However, this offer was different. My friend, Ken Davis, seemed to be offering more than encouragement and accountability to eat more healthy and to exercise more. Ken’s offer of mentorship seemed to focus on what spoke most to my heart… A desire to LIVE THE LIFE FOR WHICH I WAS CREATED.

I accepted Ken’s offer to me. I have been reading his book titled “Fully Alive.” I’m on chapter seven of the book as of this morning and it is speaking to my heart.

When I had made so much progress and lost those 56 pounds a few years ago, I had many great motivators. Those motivators are still there. However, this time around, I feel something deeper in my soul motivating me to leap into action.

Today is the beginning of a new chapter in my life.

The photo with this post is of Ken and I having fun in Colorado.

WANT TO HEAR MORE OF MY THOUGHTS ON THIS?

Click Here To Listen To The Podcast Episode This Post Inspired.

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Stop It!

by Cliff Ravenscraft on March 21, 2014

in Blog

I don’t know why I hadn’t created a blog post with this video before. I have lost count the number of times that I have referred people to go and watch the STOP IT video with Bob Newhart.

I know that there are serious issues out there and that some things should used in jokes. This video pushes it to the limit and, for some, it may have even crossed the line. However, I still find this video hilarious and when I am sharing a link to it as a response to a question that someone has asked me, I only share this video as a joke with the hope that it would cause someone to smile.

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Yesterday, I created a facebook post, sharing the image shown below. This image is a screen capture from the LoseIt App on my iPhone. The text that I posted with this image simply stated… “Got on the scale today. I’ve lost 16 pounds since November 1st. #PABL”

300Within 24 hours, the post had well over 130 likes and 50 comments. I created this episode of Pursuing A Balanced Life (Click Play Button Above To Listen Now) directly as a result of a question that Chris Brogan asked. His question… “That’s awesome, Cliff. Have you written anywhere about what you do with that or your methods?”

That got me to thinking. You know, I haven’t produced an up to date resource that I can easily point people to to give them a solid overview of what I am doing and the results that I am getting based upon my methods for physical fitness and losing weight.

This podcast episode is a lengthy 57 minutes and 17 seconds. However, in it, you will learn how I dropped from 268 pounds down to 212 pounds from mid 2009 through 2010. (Note: I looked it up after I recorded this and 212 was the actual lowest I had got down to in 2010 for a total of 56 pounds that I lost over an 18 month period of time.)

I authentically share how I allowed other priorities in my life to derail my focus on my health and physical fitness and why, over the course of three years, ended up gaining all of my weight back. Most importantly, I share the steps that I took to ease myself back into the habits that had positively changed my life in the past and how I am approaching my health and physical fitness journey now and moving forward.

I hope that you find this podcast episode inspirational and motivational in your own pursuit of a balanced and healthy lifestyle.

Subscribe To Pursuing A Balanced Life Podcast
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Disney Cruise Photo & Veronica Mars Fan Podcast

by Cliff Ravenscraft on August 23, 2013

in Blog

The following is a quick email post that I just sent out to our gspn.tv community mailing list.

Many of you have been with us since the original LOST days and are just as blown away as we are by the growth of the gspn.tv network and and community. I can hardly believe how many wonderful things have happened since those early days in 2005.

gspn.tv Disney Dream Cruise
CruiseGroup-LR-small

This summer, Tim and Kerri Arthur (along with Mira and Nolan), Randy and Faye Crane, Geoff Gentry, Tom and Jenn Snively (Along with Logan) all joined our family on the gspn.tv Disney Dream Cruise. Stephanie and I talked about our cruise experience in episode 260 of Family From The Heart. My favorite thing about these types of events is taking people who have never met, face to face, before and how they can seem like such close friends after just a few short days spent with each other. I hope to get some time to post more photos soon to my Facebook profile and on my Flickr account.

Veronica Mars Fan Podcast
VeronicaMarsStephanie and I have launched another tv show fan podcast. The Veronica Mars Fan Podcast is our newest podcast.

Veronica Mars is an American television series by Rob Thomas that launched on September 22nd, 2004 on the CW television network. The show was cancelled in its third season in May of 2007. Fans of the tv show were very upset about the cancellation of the show and started various campaigns to convince the network to reverse their decision and continue with the production.

Stephanie had not heard about Veronica Mars until the show had already been canceled. Friends began telling stories about how fans had hired a plane to fly a banner over the CW offices that said “Renew Veronica Mars” and about their campaign where fans sent well over 10,000 “Mars Bars” to the CW network executives. These stories certainly peaked Stephanie’s interest and she began watching the show from the beginning. She was hooked.

It was not until the 2013 Kickstarter Campaign where the show’s creator announced that he had struck a deal with Warner Brothers to bring closure to the Veronica story in the form of a movie. However, there was one stipulation. He had to raise 2 Million Dollars from fans of the show for the to studio move forward. Stephanie and I watched as the kickstarter campaign was successfully funded with more than 2 million dollars in pledges within the first 24 hours. Of course, Stephanie was one of those backers. When I (Cliff) saw that a total of 91,585 fans donated over 5.7 million dollars to this campaign, I was convinced that now was the time to see what is so special about this tv show. And that, my friends, is why the Veronica Mars Fan Podcast now exists.

We would love to invite you to join us as we watch and review each episode of this tv show. You can get the episodes via instant streaming on Amazon.

Of course, if you would be interested in helping Stephanie and I in a VERY BIG WAY, it would mean a great deal if you were to do the following three things in iTunes.

1. Subscribing to the Veronica Mars Fan Podcast In iTunes
2. Clicking to give us a 5 Star Rating in iTunes. (But only if you think we’re worth it)
3. Writing even a short written review in iTunes. (Can be a single sentence if you like)

If you would be willing to do one or all three items above, it helps us great a much greater amount of visibility in itunes. Our goal is to reach as many of those 91,584 other fans who contributed to the movie project. Below is a direct link to our listing in itunes.

iTunes Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/veronica-mars-fan-podcast/id688851702

Well, I guess that is enough for now. I hope to reach out to you again before long with more updates related ot the gspn.tv network and community.

I hope you have a blessed weekend!

Cliff

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GSPN Community Disney Dream Cruise Information

by Cliff Ravenscraft on March 9, 2013

in Blog

GSPN Community Disney Dream Cruise: Please click play above to listen to the informational call that will give you the full details of our upcoming GSPN Community Disney Dream Cruise.

Disney Dream Cruise

You are invited to join the online community experience of a lifetime. In February of 2011 Stephanie and I took our family on the No More Mondays Cruise with Dan Miller and the 48 Days community. After that amazing experience, we knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that we wanted to host a cruise event for the gspn.tv community.

CliffAndStephanie-1200If you have been following Stephanie and I for any amount of time, you know that we are both huge fans of the “Disney Experience.” Since we had not yet been on a Disney Cruise, it seemed like this would be the perfect opportunity to make that happen and we are inviting the gspn.tv community to join us!

We have chosen the 4-Night Bahamian Cruise on board the Disney Dream Cruise Ship.

Date:
June 23rd through June 27th 2013.

Itinerary:
Day 1 – Leave Port Canaveral Florida
Day 2 – Ashore in Nassau Bahamas 9:30am to 6pm
Day 3 – Private Castaway Cay 8:30am to 4:30pm
Day 4 – At Sea
Day 5 – Return to Port Canaveral Florida 7:30am
Note: This itinerary is subject to change without notice.

Booking Through Us:
We are planing to make this a magical community event of a lifetime. To make sure everyone is included in any of the special community events/excursions that we host and in order to sit with the community for meals, you must book your reservations through Randy Crane, our travel consultant (Details provided below). This is the only way that we will be able to account for you in our planning.

Exciting Features of the Cruise!

– The Interior Staterooms have “Magical Portholes” – Flat screens designed to look like portholes above the beds, which project a real-time view outside the ship by means of high-def cameras and a live video feed. Watch the screen for long enough (or at just the right time), and you may catch a special surprise!

– “Enchanted Art” – Some of the art pieces that adorn the walls of the hallways and come to life as you admire them. Kids (and adults) can also pick up a packet at the Mid-ship Detective Agency and use the digital works to solve mysteries.

– The AquaDuck – the world’s first onboard water coaster. It’s a waterslide and more! I know people who have taken cruises on this ship almost exclusively because this is on it!

– No casino. – Save any money you would have spent in the casino and make a voluntary contribution to support the work of gspn.tv instead – LOL.

– Fireworks from the ship

– Private island (Castaway Cay)

– Disney style & quality shows (all with Disney characters in them).

– Rotational dining – There are 3 main dining rooms. You, your dining companions, and your wait-staff rotate from one to the next each night. So, for example, you might eat at Animator’s Palate the first night, the Enchanted Garden the second night, Royal Palace the third night, and so on. The change of environment and the uniqueness of each dining room, while getting to keep your tablemates & wait staff, is a huge benefit.

– All soda included

– Larger staterooms. It’s amazing how much of a difference a few square feet can make.

– Even though this is definitely the most family-oriented choice, there is quite a bit for adults to do as well.

– The “Disney Difference”.

Book Your Spot On the Community Dream Cruise Today!
Randy Crane has been a long time member, and supporter, of the gspn.tv community. Randy is our travel consultant, for our special Community Dream Cruise and has extensive experience in helping others plan dream Disney Vacations. With Randy’s help, we truly hope to give you a magical community cruise experience that you’ll never want to forget!

I’m excited to announce that everything is now set up and you can officially book your spot on the cruise today! To do, please contact Randy Crane by calling 714-697-6755 (Toll Free: 855-638-7263) or my emailing him at RandyC@cruisingco.com.

Cliff

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GSPN Community Disney Cruise Informational Call

by Cliff Ravenscraft on February 25, 2013

in Blog

image

I have scheduled a GSPN Community DISNEY CRUISE Informational Call for Saturday, March 9th at 1pm Eastern Time.

If you haven’t heard, the gspn.tv community is going to set sail this summer, June 23-27. Many of us will follow up the cruise with some time spent at the Disney Parks.

We would LOVE to have you join us! This informational call is scheduled to give you more details and to answer any questions you might have.

The call is FREE and there WILL NOT BE any hard sales push at all. So information only, no obligation. If you simply want to register for the call and listen in, we welcome you to do so.

This cruise (and call) is open to anyone who has EVER listened to ANY gspn.tv podcast (Lost Podcast, Family From The Heart, Podcast, Answer Man, and the other shows found at http://gspn.tv/shows).

This cruise is also open to anyone who I have connected with through Social Media, even if you don’t listen to any of our shows.

This cruise is going to be AWESOME and we are looking forward to taking our relationships to the “next level.”

To register for this GSPN Community Disney Cruise Informational Call where you can get all the details involved as well as ask any questions you may have about the cruise, please go to http://gspn.tv/CruiseCall

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Back in episode 232 of Family From The Heart, Stephanie and I shared the story of one of the worst date nights that we had ever experienced. It is with great joy that we share this special episode of Family From The Heart where we share our best date night ever!

Stephanie and I were invited by my friend, Dr. Lee C. Camp, to attend his most recent Tokens Show event held at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN. I encourage you to click on the play button above and have a listen to this episode for all the details about why this was such a great experience.

I have embedded a slideshow of just a few of the photos I took while we attended both the rehearsal and the show itself.

What is Tokens?
From The Tokens Website: Lee C. Camp, professor of theology & ethics at Lipscomb University, had been wondering for some years how the song-writers could get at poignant and important questions in a three minute song, while the theologians required hundreds of pages, and often not nearly so provocatively. So the question: how to let traditional theological inquiry be informed by and be in conversation with good music and song-writing and folk-tales? No answer was forthcoming for some years – at least no answer that promised not to ruin both elements.

Then when Lee and his wife Laura, long-time listeners to Garrison Keillor, went to Garrison’s show at the Ryman on New Year’s Eve 2006, the “crazy idea” that became Tokens hit Lee and would not leave him alone: what about the old-time radio format, with some sort of under-stated but explicit and coherent theological agenda?

You can read the rest of this “about statement” on the Tokens About Page.

Brother Preacher
One of my favorite things about attending a Tokens show is the “Brother Preacher” bits. There’s something that is so funny about when jokes that are clearly meant to be an over exaggerated joke, but they are simply so close to the truth, that makes them even funnier. I’ve embedded a few videos from the Tokens YouTube Channel and a Brother Preacher YouTube Channel for you to see what I’m talking about.

Unique Thanksgiving Song
The video below is actually from the show that we attended this past weekend. I can’t wait for the whole show to be available for purchase. It was fantastic!

The Dispatches From The Buckle Podcast
I met Dr. Lee C. Camp through my good friend, Dan Miller. Dan had suggested that Lee contact me about potentially releasing some of the material from his Tokens events in an audio podcast to reach a wider audience for the show. Lee and I talked and he went through my July 2012 Podcasting A to Z course earlier this year.

The Tokens Podcast, Dispatches From The Buckle, instantly became one of my favorite podcasts and I highly encourage everyone to check it out on their website or subscribe via iTunes.

Thanks For Subscribing To Family From The Heart:
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Two gspn.tv Shows Have Been Nominated – PLEASE VOTE!

by Cliff Ravenscraft on November 3, 2012

in Blog

While I am very excited, I am going to keep this very brief! We have two gspn.tv shows that were nominated for the 8th Annual Podcast Awards this year.

Authentic Life Radio was nominated in the Entertainment category.
Encouraging Others Through Christ was nominated in the Religion Inspiration category.

The podcasts with the greatest number of votes, in each category, will win the podcast award for that category. Here’s the deal, everyone is allowed to vote one time each day, EVERY SINGLE DAY, between now and November 15th.

I’m asking members of the gspn.tv community to consider making it a point to go to http://PodcastAwards.com each and every day to vote for the Authentic Life Radio and Encouraging Others Through Christ podcasts.

If you want to show off your support, I’ve created a Facebook Group for those who are interested in letting others know that they have voted each day to show their support of the gspn.tv content and community. Click Here if you would like to join this Facebook Group.

That’s it! Thank you so much for considering your involvement in voting daily for our shows.

Very Sincerely,

Cliff

Ps. If you have some extra time, there are several gspn.tv community members who have podcasts that have also been nominated. I’ll list shows for you to consider for each category below.

Peoples Choice
Smart Passive Income – Pat Flynn

Best Produced
The Fringe Podcast – Darrell Darnell

Best Video Podcast
GeekBeat.tv – Cali Lewis

Business
Smart Passive Income – Pat Flynn

Comedy
The Ramen Noodle – Daniel J. Lewis

Cultural/Arts
Theatre Geeks – Dave DuFour

Education
Please vote for Ending Human Trafficking Podcast – Dave Stachowiak
Shout out to Grammar Girl – Mignon Fogerty

Entertainment
Please Vote For Authentic Life Radio – Stephanie Ravenscraft & Sarah Rader
Shout out to ONCE Podcast – Daniel J. Lewis
Shout out to The Fringe Podcast – Darrell Darnell

Religion Inspiration
Please Vote For Encouraging Others Through Christ – Cliff Ravenscraft

Sports
Who-Dey Weekly – Nick Seuberling

Technology
Consider Voting For Ruby Rogues – Chuck Wood
Consider Voting For Your Website Engineer – Dustin Hartzler
Google At A Glance – John Hanlon
The Audacity To Podcast – Daniel J. Lewis

Note: Shows in green are members of The Podcast Mastermind

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Where Have I Been?
It has been nearly a month since my last episode of Pursuing A Balanced Life. However, the reason for this is actually great news for my own pursuit of a more balanced and healthy lifestyle.

In this episode, I spent some time giving an update on where I am in my journey as it relates to my fitness goals. Those who are regular listeners to this Pursuing A Balanced Life podcast know that I carry a card in my pocket that says “I will weigh less than 200lbs before the end of 2012.”

I wrote that statement on the card on August 24th of this year. At the time I weighed 254.8lbs. Today is October 8th, 2012 which is just slightly over six weeks later. T his morning on I got on the scale and weighed in at 243.3lbs.

That means that I’ve lost 11.5 pounds in six weeks! That’s an average of about 2 pounds per week.

Here’s the deal. There are only 12 weeks left in the year. If I continue with losing an average of 2 pounds per week, I would only lose 24lbs between now and the end of this year. I’ve decided that I need to step it up so that I lose 3.6 pounds per week to meet my goal.

I believe I can do it if I bump my average daily step count to 13,000 steps per day and continue to maintain a healthy watch on my calorie consumption. This would require the dedication and discipline of walking an equivalent of two hours per day at 2.5 to 3.5 MPH.

 
My Workout Room
Speaking of walking. This episode of Pursuing A Balanced Life was recorded while I was walking on the treadmill in my new workout room. In the episode, I describe my motivation for setting up my workout room and I describe what I’ve done to make this a space that I actually enjoy going to for these daily workouts.

Here’s an image that I posted on Facebook last week, showing me doing a weekly conference call for a Book Club that I’m a part of on Friday mornings from my treadmill. Click on the image below to see a larger version of the image.

Friendly FitBit Competition
In my last episode, I shared my thoughts on the FitBit device and just how much of a motivator it is for me to stay physically active. Well, my friends, I’ve kicked the motivation up a few notches by connected with a few of my friends who, like me, typically would spend most of their days sitting in front of a computer.

In the image above, you see my personal FitBit Step count Leaderboard. In full transparency, I’ve chosen an image from earlier in the week when I was clearly in the lead. However, these friends have certainly stepped it up and are giving me some significant competition. I’ve been posting semi-regular updates on my Facebook Profile from time to time.

 
Other Topics Covered
There were a few other topics that I covered in this episode of Pursuing A Balanced Life. If you want to hear what I shared about the following topics, please have a listen to the episode.

– The one potential road block to my weight goal.
– My thoughts on my new iPhone 5.
– Not pursuing a commercial space.
– Freeing up my Mondays.
– Wrapping up NMX planning.
– Booked travel for my trip to Georgia.

Nominate Our Shows For The 8th Annual Podcast Awards
If you have not already done so, and you are reading this before the end of the day on October 15th, 2012, please consider going to http://gspn.tv/2012awards to learn how you can nominate our shows.

The awards ceremony will be held at New Media Expo in January and I’m believe that I’m going to engage a large portion of the gspn.tv community to vote for our shows during the 15 days of voting. The first step is to get nominated. If you are willing to help please go to http://gspn.tv/2012awards now and nominate our shows.

 
Thoughts On The Audio Quality of This Episode
As many of you know, I typically record Pursuing A Balanced Life while walking outside. However, with the colder weather upon us, I’m wondering what your thoughts are about me recording more episodes from my workout room while on the treadmill. Please let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Subscribe To Pursuing A Balanced Life Podcast
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Final Day To Nominate For Podcast Awards!

by Cliff Ravenscraft on September 20, 2012

in Blog

Today, October 15th, is the final day to nominate podcasts for the 8th Annual Podcast Awards. We’ve had the great privilege to receiving many nominations in previous years. The exposure that our shows get as a result of being nominated and listed on the voting page is simply amazing.

It is our hope that you will consider taking a few moments out of your day to nominate your favorite gspn.tv shows, along with your many of your other favorite podcasts that you subscribe to.

It’s important to note that you can only submit one, single, nomination form. Once you have submitted, you can’t go back and add more shows to other categories that you may have left blank.

Also, you can not nominate a single show to more than one category (Except for Best Produced and People’s Choice). For the best chances of our show(s) getting officially nominated, it’s important that our community is submitting our shows to the same categories.

Below is the recommended categories for our shows and the information you’ll need for each show to complete the nomination form. If you have another podcast that is your favorite in one of the categories below, we understand. There are so many wonderful podcasts out there.

Nominations Are Open October 1st through October 15th
Why not go ahead and put a reminder on your calendar to come back here so that you can nominate the following shows at http://PodcastAwards.com.

People’s Choice
Podcast Name: Family From The Heart
Podcast URL: http://FamilyFromTheHeart.com

Best Produced
Podcast Name: Podcast Answer Man
Podcast URL: http://PodcastAnswerMan.com

Business
Podcast Name: Virtual Assistant Podcast
Podcast URL: http://VirtualAssistantPodcast.com

Education
Podcast Name: Social Media Serenity
Podcast URL: http://SocialMediaSerenity.com

Entertainment
Podcast Name: Authentic Life Radio
Podcast URL: http://AuthenticLifeRadio.com

General
Podcast Name: Family From The Heart
Podcast URL: http://FamilyFromTheHeart.com

Health / Fitness
Podcast Name: Pursuing A Balanced Life
Podcast URL: http://PursuingABalancedLife.com

Movies / Films
Podcast Name: Hunger Games Fan Podcast
Podcast URL: http://HungerGamesPodcast.com

Religion Inspiration
Podcast Name: Encouraging Others Through Christ
Podcast URL: http://EncouragingOthersThroughChrist.com

Technology
Podcast Name: Podcast Answer Man
Podcast URL: http://PodcastAnswerMan.com

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What Form Does Your Christian Life Take These Days?

by Cliff Ravenscraft on September 19, 2012

in Blog

On Saturday, it will have been one year since I published episode 121 of the Encouraging Others Through Christ Podcast (Formally known as the About The Church Podcast). The title of that episode was “Not Going To church Anymore.

Last week, I had received an email from someone that I have come to respect highly over the past several years. In that email he wrote, “No doubt others have asked, but I would love to hear what form your christian life takes now that you have been detached from organized church for a while?”

I took some time to respond to this question this morning. Below is the response that I gave.

You are correct. Several have asked.

In fact, the answer to the question is that several have asked.

It seems that everywhere I go, I’ve been “asked to give the reason for the hope that I have.”

Over the past twelve months, I’ve [click to continue…]

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Journal Entry: September 17, 2012 – Journaling Again?

by Cliff Ravenscraft on September 17, 2012

in Blog

Please Note: The following are free flowing thoughts from my personal journal. There are going to be gramatical errors, typos, etc in this post. The only way I will be able to continue to share this type of content is if I feel that I can continue to post it without the constant need to proofread and fix errors.

September 17, 2012 10:28 AM

Today, I have made the decision to get back into journal writing. I’ve attempted this a number of times in the past. I’m thinking that this new software may have been just what I have been looking for to keeping it all organized.

The software that I am referring to is called Scrivener. I’ve heard a great deal about this software from several friends that I know and respect. The software was designed for those who write books. This, of course, is what originally captured my attention. I do have a desire to write a book. In fact, I have a desire to write a number of books. I’m just not sure which type of book I want to write first.

I figured the best thing would be for me to simply get back into the habit of writing a journal on a regular basis. This would allow for me to get back into the practice of writing. I’ve kept many journals in the past. Most of them written. I had stopped keeping a hand written journal when about 18 months of my life were lost in the rest room of the Cheesecake Factory Restaurant.

[click to continue…]

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In this episode of Family From The Heart, Stephanie and I share a very authentic conversation about what “might” be the next major leap of faith for our family and for our business pursuits. We are actually thinking about the purchase of a commercial building to expand our business and to take our network offerings to an entirely new level.

I’ve been saying, for more than a year, that I feel that God has some pretty significant plans for us. My goal has been to work hard and to be committed to always taken “the next right step.” One thing that has become clear is that expanding our business and our media is going to require more space than our current home has to offer.

I hope that you enjoy this conversation as we discuss the initial thoughts of this potential next step in our journey.

We discussed a few other topics in this episode, including my thoughts on a book called The Time Keeper. We hope that you enjoy the show. If so, please consider telling others about Family From The Heart!

Special thanks to the folks at Mardel.com! Please shop with them when looking for Christian books, music, dvds, and more. PLEASE BE SURE TO ENTER PROMO CODE “gspn” in the shopping cart so that they will see that you came to their site as a result of their sponsorship with us! You will receive an additional 10% off your entire order when you use our promo code!

Thanks For Subscribing To Family From The Heart:
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I recently fell in love with the Fitbit! My wife has had one of these for quite some time. However, I’ve just discovered, for myself, just how motivating it is to have one of these little devices.

I was so excited by the motivation that this gadget has provided that I decided to grab my audio recorder and I recorded an episode of Pursuing A Balanced Life to talk about why I love the Fitbit. You can listen to what I had to share by clicking the play button found at the very top of this post.

I recorded this episode two days ago. Since then, the excitement and motivation has spread, like wildfire, through to our whole family. So far, Stephanie, Megan, Matthew, and myself have our Fitbits and we are all finding ourselves going way out of our way to achieve the daily activity goals that we have set for ourselves. As you might suspect, McKenna is now begging to have a Fitbit of her own. There is a good chance that she will have one before the end of this week.

If you are not familiar with what a Fitbit is, have a listen to the audio that I recorded for this episode of Pursuing A Balanced Life and then check out the following video:

I can’t speak highly enough of this device. The cool thing is that I was able to set up our Withings Scale so that it automatically updates our individual weight records with FitBit each time we step on to the scale.

You can get your own Fitbit from a number of different places. However, if you were to use out affiliate link with FitBit’s Website, we would earn a commission from your purchase. Either way, if you get one of these devices, I hope you enjoy it as much as our family does!

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Next Podcasting A to Z Session Announced!

by Cliff Ravenscraft on August 27, 2012

in Blog

I’m writing to let you know that I have scheduled the next session for Podcasting A to Z.

You may be aware that I have already led six prior sessions of this four week training course. I am always thrilled by the amazing creativity that is included in each of the shows that are launched from my Podcasting A to Z students.

In fact, I am eagerly anticipating the official launch of what I know will become one of my all-time favorite podcasts. That podcast will be the Dispatches From The Belt Buckle podcast with Dr. Lee Camp, who was a student in my July 2012 session.

Dr. Camp is planning to launch his podcast closer to the date of his next live Tokens Show event that will be held at the Ryman Auditorium, in Nashvlille TN, this fall. I have already heard the first episode of his new podcast and I’ve told him that I want to officially be his first subscriber! After that, I will then announce the official launch of his new show on Podcast Answer Man.

I’ve created an edited down, six minute, version of his first episode to give you a sample of some of the content that my Podcasting A to Z students are producing. I highly encourage you to check it out by going to http://share.gspn.tv/J3Gl to download the sample that I’ve created for you. If you don’t listen to the full six minutes, you’ll miss out on some really amazing music!

My next four week session of Podcasting A to Z will begin on Monday, September 24th and will end on Friday, October 19th. I’m happy to announce that I already have four students registered for this session. This course has a limit of 30 students and I only schedule sessions when I’m confident that there is enough demand to enroll a minimum of 20 students.

As a member of member of the GSPN Community, you could use the discount code “Save100” to save $100 off the cost of the course.

As an additional benefit for signing up right away, you’ll also be provided immediate access to every training tutorial that I have to offer. This early access to the tutorials will allow you to get a head start on your learning and will allow you to prepare many questions that you may ask during our four weeks together.

If you have been looking to create a podcast or take your existing podcast to a whole new level, Please go to http://PodcastingAtoZ.com and check out all the details of what is offered in this course. Then, please sign up using Discount Code “Save100” in the shopping cart to get your $100 off and to gain immediate access to the the tutorials.

I look forward to potentially working with you starting on Monday, September 24th.

I hope you have an amazing week!

Sincerely,

Cliff

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Our New Camera – The Canon 60 D

by Cliff Ravenscraft on June 30, 2012

in Blog

Why did I purchase TWO Canon 60D Cameras?

Canon 60D Camera

It’s no secret that when I develop a new passion, I typically dive in head first and stick with the motto of Go Big or Go Home! That’s what happened to me when I was bit hard by the Photography Bug.

Here’s the deal, for some reason, I’d never really taken photography all that seriously before. Over the years, I’ve had several point and shoot digital cameras. However, as the iPhones cameras started to improve, I stopped carrying an extra camera around and simply relied on the camera in my phone for the times when I wanted to snap a quick photo.

I had thought that the photos that I had been taken were pretty decent. However, that was until I went to NYC this summer and hosted a gspn.tv community and Podcast Mastermind meetup at John’s Pizzeria on Broadway.

During that dinner, I snapped the following photo from my iPhone… (Click Image For Larger Version)

Obviously, I figured that in low light situations, this would simply have to do. However, this is not a photo that I would consider sharing at all! I’m only showing it here to show just how horrible it is.

I was so happy that my good friend, Jason VanOrden, attended the dinner this night. He brought his Canon 60D camera with him. I noticed that he was shooting several photos through the night, without using a flash. I figured, due to the low lighting situation and the fact that he was not using a flash, that his photos wouldn’t be much better than what I got from my iPhone. However, when he shared the shots that he took, via DropBox, I found out just how wrong I was.

Take a look at the following shots that Jason took, in the same low light situation, without any flash at all, using his Canon 60D Camera. (Click Images For Larger Versions)

As you can tell, these images are AMAZING! I immediately created an album and uploaded these photos, and more to my Facebook account. I was BLOWN AWAY by the amount of “likes” and “comments” that these high quality photos generated.

This really got me to thinking. I had already found that when I made the decision to deliver the BEST AUDIO QUALITY for our podcasts, we immediately benefited by more engagement with our community and an unbelievable increase in audience retention. Quality REALLY DOES MATTER!

A few days later, Stephanie came to me and told me she knew what she wanted for her Birthday. She wanted a really nice camera so that she can better document the important events in our kid’s lives. She said her iPhone is okay in daylight, but it fails to capture any photos worth sharing, let alone printing, when indoors. As you can imagine, it didn’t take long to convince me of our need for a camera. I told her that I would begin investigating the potential purchase.

I reached out to Jason, my friend who took the great looking shots I mentioned above, and asked him if he would share some details about his camera. Here’s what he wrote to me…

I recommend the Canon T3i or the Canon 60D. The 60D is a nicer camera and worth the extra money if it is in your budget. I have the 60D.

That comes with what is called a kit lens. This is a basic, one-size fits lens that will get the job done. You can buy just the body, but I think it is worth having the kit lens when starting out. It is flexible and has nice image stabilization.

If you are interested in doing really nice photos and video with a nice professional blurred background, you need a fixed lens. That means that it doesn’t zoom, it just has one “focal length.” The advantage to this is that it will have a much wider aperture allowing for lower light use and the cool blurring effect in the background. That is what I was using in NYC.

Here is the lens that I had on the camera: Sigma 30mm lens

That is a similar set up to what you would see Pat using these days as well.

All the photos I post to FB of Calliope and Melanie use that set up. So look over my photos for examples.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

Armed with this information, I began to do google searches and YouTube searches for reviews of these cameras. I determined that the Canon 60D was the camera for me.

A few days later, Stephanie said she changed her mind. She knew that I was interested, just as much as she was, in having a new camera. She said that she would rather have a Coach Bag for her birthday and have the camera as our anniversary gift to each other. Stephanie’s birthday and our anniversary are just a week a part from each other.

I thought that this was a great idea. Now this could be “OUR CAMERA” and that I could take it on business trips where I host community meetups. Also, the Canon 60D takes AMAZING 1080P video!

Here’s the deal, Stephanie said that she didn’t have any problem with me taking the camera, as long as it does not conflict with an event with the kids. I started to see red flags right away. The thing is that there are ALWAYS events going on with the kids. It was evident, after a 20 minute conversation, that we were going to be fighting over who would have custody over the camera any given day.

So what did I do? I did the craziest thing you could imagine. Not only did I order our anniversary gift to each other nearly two months early, I ended up ordering TWO OF THEM. The fact is that I just had 27 people register for my Podcasting A to Z course that starts on July 9th. This fact meant that there was ample amount of margin for these to fit in as a business expense.

Not only that, but I have a dream of one day doing a Late Night With Jimmy Fallon type of show when I finally create my full-blown video studio. With my Canon HF G10 and these two Cannon 60D cameras, assuming that Stephanie will allow me to use hers, I will be able to do a three camera video project. It’s going to be awesome!

I did as Jason suggested and I ordered the Canon EOS 60D with the 18-135mm Kit Lens for both Stephanie and myself. Knowing that I wanted to make sure that I could shoot the style of photos and videos that Jason spoke about, with the professional blurred background, I also purchased one Sigma 30mm Prime lens.

Stephanie and I could not be more happy with our purchase! Seriously, I am totally geeking out on photography. I’ve already taken more than six hours worth of training on Exposure, Lenses, and specifically how to use the Canon 60D. I will likely go through all six hours that I’ve already taken again. I also plan to take a course on composition.

However, after having my hands on my camera for just one week, I’ve taken the following first photos. See the Flicker Slideshow embedded below:

I think my favorite thing is that because I already have the Canon 60D and my amazing Sigma 30mm lens, I was able to capture, in full glory, the launch of Matthew and McKenna’s entry into the world of Entrepreneurship.

Today, Saturday, June 30th, 2012, Matthew and McKenna launched their first business selling lemonade. I am so excited for them. They made $46.00 in PROFIT their very first day! Not bad for selling a glass of lemonade for 50 cents and chocolate chip cookies for 50 cents. I’m sure we will talk more about this in episode 216 of Family From The Heart.

I posted an album on Facebook and on Flickr. However, here are a few shots that I wanted to share with you in this blog post. (Click Image To See Larger Version)

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please note that all links to the Canon EOS 60D and the Sigma 30mm lens are Affiliate Links. If you were to choose to purchase by clicking one of these links, I would earn a generous commission as a result.

So tell me, what type of camera do you have? What lens are you using? Please feel free to share links to any Facebook or Flickr Albums that you have set to public access. I’m just getting started, but I have a feeling that photography is going to become another life long passion of mine!

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New York City

I have a very special episode of Pursuing A Balanced Life for your this time around. I’m happy to bring you a recorded conversation with my great friend, Father Roderick Vonhogen.

Many of you know that I spent the entire last week in New York City. As you will hear in this episode, I crammed at least three weeks worth of experiences into five amazing days! I hope that you enjoy hearing just how much fun can be had when attending a New Media Expo conference. One tip is that you should be creative and find things off the beaten path.

While the New Media Expo conference, itself, was awesome, some of the greatest moments that I had were nowhere to be found on and “schedule” or “agenda” for the conference itself. ;)

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Desiring A Distraction Free Lifestyle

by Cliff Ravenscraft on May 11, 2012

in Blog

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Thoughts From The Journey – Colorado, Here I Come!

by Stephanie Ravenscraft on February 3, 2012

in Blog

As I sit on the plane heading to Chicago I can’t believe I’m on this journey. Or rather that this adventure is part of my journey.

I first learned about the Captivating Retreat several months ago in an email from Ransomed Heart Ministries. I’d never heard of such a thing before. I remember reading the email thinking “That’s Amazing, I would love to do that.”. But I never believed it would be possible. The cost, the time away, I just didn’t think it was possible.

Through an unexpected spontaneous moment at my kitchen table, my husband offered to send me and my best friend, Sarah. I was Shocked!! Again, I never believed it was possible and now I’m given the chance to share it with Sarah.

A few weeks into planning Sarah realized due to scheduling she would not be able to attend. I struggled with whether I should still go. Could I do this alone? Did
I want to? Through much prayer it became clear that this adventure was meant for me to do alone.

So I sit on this plane missing Sarah, and thinking how this all began. I like so many had lost myself in the hustle of the everyday. The things I love most being wife, mom, friend and business partner had become tasks to get done with my lost focus. I had become a hollow version of myself. Tied together with a smile but coming undone, to steal lyrics from Taylor Swift.

In November God started a work in me that has been leading to this weekend. Breaking me down, exposing my sins and confessing to those who hold me accountable. Taking apart the puzzle that is Stephanie and putting me back together piece by piece. Rearranging the pieces in the correct order make me a beautiful masterpiece for Him.

All leading up to this moment, on this plane, on this adventure to find all that my
God has in store for me.

I have so many emotions right now, excitement, terror, joy, anxiety all at the same time. But as I get closer to Colorado I’m more and more excited to spend this weekend with my Savior, learning more about both of us.

I truly can not wait to share what comes from this adventure with all of you.

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