5 Steps to Record a Skype Call with Audacity (FREE)

I searched far and wide for a solution to recording good quality Skype audio for Free. Most solutions had you buying a particular software or setting up a second computer. I knew it was easier then that and I ran across a tiny little hint the other day that solved everything. Basically Skype automatically mutes your microphone when it starts; keeping your recording software from picking up your side of the conversation. Here’s the simple steps to changing that.

  1. Download Audacity and Skype if you haven’t already.
  2. In Skype go to “Tools…Options…” Click the Sound Devices Icon… and UNCHECK the “Let Skype adjust my sound device settings”
  3. In Audacity choose Stereo Mixer as your input
  4. Hit Record and make your call!
  5. You will need to play with the Volume Control panel to adjust the audio inputs to similar levels (wave and microphone)

This is the simple trick to using Skype for podcast interviews and much more.

Of course, there is always the new Gizmo Project. Similar to Skype, but with some extra features, Gizmo has a built in recorder as well as sound effect buttons and a few other neat features.

How to Read a book

When in college I was a mass consumer of information. Books, lectures, sermons, classes, magazines, papers, etc. I decided it would be worth my time to set down an intentional list of questions that I would ask myself as I spent my time doing these things.
I’ve found, though I don’t do it all the time, that this is HUGELY beneficial to making the most of your time and the information you take in.

Reading a Book, Listening to a Lecture, and Taking a Class

Why do I do these things?
To gain insight, knowledge, wisdom for life.

What questions should I ask while I read, listen, etc. to make full use of that time?


  1. Why do I think this book/lecture/class will further my life?
  2. Of what importance is this aspect (from question #1) in my priorities in life?
  3. Am I committed to giving the time and effort to make this thing as beneficial as possible to my life?


  1. Is this sentence, chapter, idea or thought, new to me? (If yes: Write it down!)
  2. Does this new thought involve me taking action?
  3. Should I memorize it, read it again, or research further?
  4. How can I practically implement this new thing into my life right now?
  5. Is there anything I did not understand? Seek to understand it. Do NOT ignore new words, confusing sentences; read again or ask for help, until I understand.


  1. What did I learn from this?
  2. Is there actions I can take immediately to implement that?
  3. Did I make a mistake by choosing that thing? How can I not let that happen again?

After After

  1. Has this produced fruit in my life? Is it good or bad fruit?
  2. Am I giving my full energy and potential to applying this new thing?
  3. Have I implemented this to were I am satisfied?
  4. Can I then begin to take in something new?

Overflowmag to cover Soulforce at Wheaton

WheatonOverflowmag.com is a website/publication I helped start my senior year at Wheaton College. It has since been fairly vacant and has not received much attention. Recently though I have noticed a need by some Wheaton Alumni to make their voices heard at Wheaton. Soulforce’s Equality Ride is coming to Wheaton College on April 20-21. It looks to be a very engaging event for the current students there. Overflowmag will hopefully play a role in making that happen.

For the next few weeks the pages of Overflow Mag will be dedicated to sharing the stories of Wheaton Alumni. There is and has been much debate and disagreement over theological stances as it relates to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. This site is not going to attempt to sway you in either direction as it relates to your Biblical and Theological stance. You might hear some points from both sides of the issue.

The stories that will be shared are here so that you can hear from people who have been hurt and mistreated by the Wheaton community and by the Church. As a Christian you are called to love. As a community the issues surrounding lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people is far more complicated then whether the Community Covenant* says that it is a sin or not.

I will try and post a reference on here when stories begin to be posted, but I would appreciate you taking the time to subscribe to the overflowmag blog so that you’ll know about any updates that are happening there.

*Also to current students and recent Alum. If any of you who read this have strong feelings about the issues being discussed, or better yet, personal experience, particularly related to the Wheaton community, then I would love to be able to share it. Send your stories by email to me, or if your interested we could set up an interview that I could record the audio of and place on the website for download.

Cost of Living: dictated by values, not income.

Financial Lesson #3: Live by your values, not your income.

I’m a little worried about moving on with so little feedback on my last finances post, but we’ll proceed anyways.
I think one of the BIGGEST steps we can make to healthy finances and Christ-like stewardship is to begin to live by our Values, rather then our Income. To make this conversation meaningful let me direct it to three different audiences:

Mr. College Student:
You are the one group I need to clarify something with: Most of you college students do not have an income. What does that mean? It means for a lot of you, you are going into debt to get yourself an education. Most folks would say that is a good thing, and some would say it’s not really debt, it’s an investment. I think I would agree with them, education is something I certainly value and I’m sure you do to, so this is a wise decision.
What does this also mean? It means you are going out to eat on the weekends, and bowling and buying concert tickets on money you don’t have. Going into debt on entertainment, does that align with your values?

Ms. Recent College Grad with the entry level job:
Congrats, you finally have your own income and are paying your own bills. It’s time to make some of those important decisions. There’s a good chance your still in debt for your school loans so some of what I said to the college students still applies. What that means is that you need to decided if it is more wise stewardship to pay off your student loans, or buy those fancy couches on lay-away.
I bet I know what most of you are choosing: your going to pay off the student loans, who needs fancy couches anyways? Especially you college students who had any exposure to global issues like poverty. To you folks it seems silly to buy a big screen TV for your living room when most folks in the world can’t put food on the table for their kids. That is your values speaking.

Mr. and Mrs. Nice job and In the money:
Hopefully your idealistic college days values are still in your mind. You have stepped into the world where the “American Dream” is possible and most would say necessary. You’ve got a better paying job and you darn well want to show it. You’ve been eyeing that BMW SUV and have kept your eyes open for a bigger home. And as far as everyone thinks there is nothing wrong with that: Higher Income = Higher Cost of Living. And suddenly your values are out the door. gone.

To clarify again I’ll leave you with a word picture and somewhat of a paraphrase of Luke 3:11*. Say your at home. A blizzard has just begun outside and you and your brother have to make the trek to school. You get to the closet first and see before you two coats. It’s quite cold outside so you take both the coats, leaving your brother with none. Is that what Christ called us to?
Now another word picture. You recently received a commission from your church to be a full-time missionary in your town. You don’t need to quit your job or anything, but rather just continue living and spend your time sharing the gospel with others. Here’s the neat thing: your church gives you a million dollar annual living stipend to support you. What does your home, car, lifestyle, etc. look like?

Why I am was at Wheaton

Before I walked into my room on the sixth floor of Traber dorm at Wheaton College, I had taken the time to sit down and write a statement to myself about why I was going to be spending the next few years of my life in that place.  Writing out this mission statement was probably the most impacting and influencial step I took in making my time in college worthwhile. 
For those new and current students who come across this post, I strongly encourage you to write your own statement and post it in a prominent place in your room.  Because I was intentional about them, most of the statements below of proven true.


I believe God has called me here.
1.He got me in despite my shortcomings
2.He’s provided the finances to be here

I am at one of the best Christian academic schools in the world because God wants me here.

God has called me here to…
-Learn about him and his work in many areas.
-To interact and study under some of the smartest Christians in their particular field in the world, and learn to glorify God in that area.
-To be a part of a body of young people eager for God
-To get a degree (because I have been afforded this opportunity)
-To be a light of God’s truth to the people around me
-To root myself in the factual evidence of God’s truth that I may stand on that firm foundation of God’s word.

“…And we take Captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
–I Cor. 10:5

When I think about my time at Wheaton I undoubtedly think of the many wonderful friendships that I have built through my time there.  I also look back with few regrets about where my priorities were.  There are many who look back wishing they had went to more classes, read more of the books, visited with more of the professors.  No one I know wishes they had slept through more of their college years.  I say all this to encourage current Wheaton students and any other college students to be intentional about your time.  The parties will be forgotten. 

Weekly Update podcast

This might actually become a continual thing. The podcast is about ten minutes long and it’s just me briefly going over the posts that I wrote this past week. I only cover a tiny bit of what they are each about, but you can read them below if it peaks your interest.

If your listening to this let me know what you think. Should I go more indepth? Should I add other things? Let me know.

or Download it here.

Thanks for listening!

Derek Webb: a voice in the wilderness

Bits of Lyrics from his most recent album, Mockingbird:

From A King & A Kingdom

there are two great lies that i’ve heard:
“the day you eat of the fruit of that tree, you will not surely die”
and that Jesus Christ was a white, middle-class republican
and if you wanna be saved you have to learn to be like Him

From A New Law

don’t teach me about moderation and liberty
i prefer a shot of grape juice

don’t teach me about loving my enemies

don’t teach me how to listen to the Spirit
just give me a new law

From Rich Young Ruler

poverty is so hard to see
when it’s only on your tv and twenty miles across town
where we’re all living so good
that we moved out of Jesus’ neighborhood

From My Enemies Are Men Like Me

peace by way of war is like purity by way of fornication
it’s like telling someone murder is wrong
and then showing them by way of execution

From Love is Not Against The Law:

are we defending life
when we just pick and choose
lives acceptable to lose
and which ones to defend

‘cause you cannot choose your friends
but you choose your enemies
and what if they were one
one and the same

And for some real good insight into Derek’s views as well as Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz, Searching for God Knows What) check out their conversation here.

Tech Friday: Bookmarklets are so cool

You’ve all used and become quite familiar with “bookmarks,” but I’d like to introduce you to some tools that will rock your world: Bookmarklets. They are like Piglet is to pigs, similar in nature, but smarter, talking and half dressed.

The best way to explain bookmarklet’s is to just show you some of my favorites. They function just like bookmarks, but they are more like an arsenal of tools cause they do cool things. If you like one, just drag the link into your toolbar. Here are my current can’t do without bookmarklets.

  1. Library Look-up: This is nice little bookmarklet that makes it easy to browse Amazon looking at books and with one click see if it’s in your local (for Nashville folks) library. It pulls the ISBN number from the site and checks in the library catalog. (If you live someplace other then Nashville you can find or make your own here.)
  2. %5cn’+pjwTitle+’%5cn



    ‘);void(close()) }”>QUOTE: This one is essential for you frequent bloggers. I tweaked a similar bookmarklet so it works specifically for WordPress

    html and it also has “From [title of the page your quoting from with hyperlink]” above the quote. Making quoting easy.

  3. imageshack. It keeps you from hogging other people’s bandwidth to show pictures. (Please don’t use this for ill)
  4. TinyURL: Takes the huge long url of the site your looking at and makes it into a TinyURL in one click, saves the cutting and pasting time.

Those are the ones I use regularly. If your looking for more you can find many at bookmarklets.com

Inappropriate and Oversexualized Harry Potter

Note: I realized after writing this, that most people will write me off as overly paranoid and critical, but please try to see if there is even some validity to what I’m saying.

I’ll start by saying I’m not a Harry Potter hater, nor am I a fanatic. I come from a fairly unbiased side of the fence (it’s a strange looking fence) and I simply want to voice my thoughts and concerns on the most recent movie: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I should preface with two notes, I’ve only read the first book and I’ve only seen the first movie, before seeing this one.

Though I enjoyed the movie overall, I felt there were far too many scenes overt and implied concerning the sexuality of the young characters. I don’t mean to say that youth the age of Harry and his friends don’t have sexual feelings or that those parts should be left out of the movie, I’m more specifically talking about the age difference in two of the relationship scenes specifically. The two I’d like to address are: Hermione and Viktor Krum; and Harry Potter and Myrtle.

We’ll start with Hermione and Viktor. From my amateur detective work while watching the film I believe Hermione is supposed to be 14 (the same age as Harry I assumed) and here date for the big ball is Viktor (who is at least 17, and definitely meant to look bigger, more mature, and older then all of his peers). Now, in an attempt to make that look as good as possible, there are plenty of couples with that big of an age gap, and given Viktor’s seeming lack of intelligence and Hermione’s geniusness, they could even be in the same grade. At the same time that age difference has gotten a lot of folks in a lot of trouble, and it’s a little awkward to see it in a movie targeted to our youth.
The few lines we get from Hermione about Viktor are this:

Actually we didn’t really talk at all, Viktor’s more of a physical being. I just mean he’s not particularly… (I could be wrong but it sounded like an innuendo)

And then there is Harry and Myrtle. I did a little research on Myrtle and found she is a ghost that haunts the Hogwarts bathroom after being killed while a student there (So I guess in actuality she’s student age as well, but she does appear older in the movie). In the movie Myrtle talks to Harry while he’s in the bath and their interaction is again rather sexually driven. The troublesome part is that Harry appears to be very uncomfortable with it, but Myrtle persist nonetheless.

Maybe I’m a little paranoid, but I felt a little uncomfortable with those interactions in a movie geared toward such a young audience.

read the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Transcript

Journal of Christian Nursing II: Male biases off the deep end

UPDATE: My good friend Zach pointed out that this critique was overly harsh, and after reviewing it I agree with him. I still think most of the points I make are valid (there are still many biases and subtle sexism throughout the article), but my tone was very out of line. I probably should not have just taken a small chunk and picked at it. There are things in the article I agree with, I realize men have some obstacles to overcome in the nursing profession. I’ll leave the original text up for everyone to read and critique and continue to interact with, but know from the start I realize it is harsher then it should be.

Two days ago we talked over a short quote by the editor of the Journal of Christian Nursing and critiquing some of the implications of that brief quote. Today, we are going to look at a longer passage (from an article applying Wild at Heart to nursing), along with my running commentary, and hopefully we’ll learn some important lessons.

From the Journal of Christian Nursing, “Men in Nursing: Hard-Wired for Adventure” page 15:

The way men are wired greatly directs the areas of nursing in which we find ourselves.

Gender exclusive statements like this always bother me a little. It always seems to imply a hint of “unlike women,” as if the way women are wired doesn’t necessarily direct nursing. You might find this being a little too critical, but what if it said: The way black guys are built really impacts the way they play basketball… or The way Muslim’s handle the Christian-Muslim tension is really commendable. Those two statements are a little more awkward (and racist).

Nurse anesthetists, for example, have a male population approaching 50 percent, despite the six percent total of nurses who are men nationally. Emergency rooms, intensive care units, circulating nurses in the operating room and nurse managers in all areas have higher rates of men than are reflected in the nursing population as a whole. Note that these areas have some similarities.

Let me jump in with my notable similarities (thanks Mindy). These positions are more prestigious and also pay more. Similar to management positions which also are dominated by males. Before we start seeing this as commendable, we should recognize that the affect of sexism and oppression has played a role and still plays a role in any place where men (particularly us white ones) are in positions of power and prestige over women. It’s changing, but it’s not their yet.

There are distinct battles that can be fought every day (an operation, an emergency situation, a critically ill patient or a bottom line to meet). Also, the battles have a clear outcome, a reflection of a man’s input into the battle.

Again, the implications here seem to belittle the more “female” nursing areas, as if they aren’t battles as well. I realize this “battle” terminology is important to Wild at Heart, but I read this and I ask, “What’s your point?”

It is not uncommon to hear men in the break room talk about the struggle involved with a particularly difficult case, and how hard it was to overcome those struggles.

Now this one is really bothersome. What in the world do you think women sit around the break room talking about? Their nails? (according to the author, Richard Haas, women, unlike these men, spend their time “gossiping.”). And in a hugely female dominated field I would think the majority of the time the “men” are usually talking to “women” about these cases, unless they are still keeping to their elitist male circles (and that would be a problem).

Some of these battles provide a background for an adventure, an exotic case or a patient whose condition is extremely tenuous.

“Exotic case”? Are you kidding me? You can go hike through an exotic jungle or go on an exotic vacation, but I highly doubt any patient would like to be referred to as an “exotic case.” Listen carefully to that sentence, it’s very self-oriented. I want the adventure for me. “Battle, Adventure, Exotic, Extremely Tenuous,” all these things make me more excited about the mountain I’m conquering. That’s not what nursing is about.
Nursing is about being a patient advocate. It’s not about the nurse and her prestige or exotic adventures, it’s about her patient and their well being. It’s about speaking up for the patients rights when a bunch of doctors walk-in and talk about this “exotic case” as if the patient wasn’t laying their dying of the disease the doctor’s are calling their latest “adventure.” Nurses love with a selfless love.

Further, some of these areas provide greater financial rewards, important to men who are primary wage earners for their families. –

Once again, the implications of gender exclusive language are disturbing. Let it be known that “Greater financial rewards” are important to WOMEN who are the primary wage earners for their families. But maybe “greater financial rewards” isn’t the point. Maybe women aren’t worried about that, they’ve probably got their priorities straight, it’s about helping people.

Let me finish by saying this: I’m not saying men can’t have their adventures and fight their battles. I am saying when we start elevating men’s motives and activities in such a way that it implies the exclusion or the belittling of what women are and do, we have a problem. Men and women are different, I fully agree. We are wired differently, I can agree with that too. What I can’t agree with is when people (Christian’s especially) lean on these “differences” to support sexism and discrimination.