When God Redefines The Possible Book for iPad on iBookstore

Jun 3, 2013 by

When God Redefines The Possible Book for iPad on iBookstore


 ‘When God Redefines The Possible’ Now Available AT WGRTP.com

MONTGOMERY, AL—Former Senior Minister of Frazer Memorial United Methodist Church in Montgomery, John Ed Mathison, is making history again. This time, he’s teamed up with a former Alabama governor’s press secretary to release an innovative, interactive book exclusively for the iPad that will change how people around the world follow a daily devotional or use social media to hold “Sunday School classes worldwide.”

When God Redefines The Possible

When God Redefines The Possible, John Ed Mathison’s book for iPad.

Mathison recently released When God Redefines The Possible on Apple’s iBookstore, a title he published in paperback in November. The new work, complete with 22 videos, interactive puzzles, quizzes and Bible references can be used on the more than 100 million iPad and iPad mini devices in use around the world.

The book can be downloaded from the iBookstore by visiting WGRTP.com.

Production began in January with Claxton Creative, LLC of Dallas, led by Donald J. Claxton, former the former press secretary of Gov. Fob James and assistant press secretary to former Gov. Guy Hunt.

“We have taken a book printed in black and white and brought it to life with short video clips in multiple chapters that are designed to help readers prepare their minds for the text that follows by asking some important questions or giving some insight about what they’re about to read,” Mathison said. “With the rapid adoption of iPads in schools all across Montgomery and around the world, this is the new type of curriculum tool that readers young and old are finding more and more engaging and enriching in their study.

“It only makes sense to apply this same technology to something like a daily devotional where people can use these technological advances to draw closer to God and use social media to draw closer to other believers and non-believers around the world,” Mathison said.

Mathison’s book, which is 109-pages in print, expanded to 192 pages on the iPad and contains more than 50 chapters of colorful and important ministry lessons and encourages readers to see that God is still doing miracles, even in today’s turbulent times.

The videos, produced by another former aide to Gov. Hunt, Stacey Rimer Stakely, and shot at Frazer by Matthew Gamble, feature Mathison talking about healthy eating, God doing things in people’s lives they could not have anticipated, and even references to his late father, Si Mathison.

“John Ed Mathison has been a leader in ministry for almost 50 years and the exciting thing about this book for iPad is that it proves he’s still a leader in ministry even though he’s been retired from Frazer for a couple of years now,” Claxton said. “We have worked with him to produce a new tool that uses the latest in technology to help spread the word of God. That, in and of itself, is an example of God redefining the possible, as the technology for this didn’t even exist 17 months ago.”

Claxton said versions for readers using Amazon’s Kindle, Barnes and Noble’s Nook are near completion as well.

“John Ed’s use of digital books will make his work available to anyone in the world with a computer, tablet or smartphone,” Claxton said.

John Ed, who served 36 years as Senior Minister of Frazer Memorial United Methodist Church in Montgomery, said he is excited to begin this new phase of his ministry.

“I have said before that ‘it is easy to have a Gutenberg mentality when we live in a Google reality.’ and taking converting my writings and teachings into a digital format so that people around the world can share and interact with each other through the social media tools and interactivity functions within the book is an example of where ministry must grow in order to reach those needing and yearning to hear the word of God,” Mathison said. “I’m excited for the potentials this brings for ministry. God really has redefined the possible.”

Claxton is no stranger to innovation and change. He was dubbed as the “foremost student iconoclast” in Dr. John Fair’s 1990 book about Auburn University at Montgomery’s first 20 years. In July 1994, he made candidate Fob James the first statewide candidate in Alabama to have a published email address. In March of 1995, he began writing the original pages for the state of Alabama’s website, which was launched and featured as the lead story in the Montgomery Advertiser in August 1995.  In 2001 he became the communications director for the Dallas Independent School District, then the 12th largest school district in the nation and helped pass the largest education bond program in Texas history—a $1.37 billion program. In 2012, his company began producing books for the iPad, including Dr. Mark Van Stone’s interactive text 2012: Science & Prophecy of the Ancient Maya and There’s A Zombie In My Treehouse by Ken Plume, John Robinson and Len Peralta of Atlanta. The company also has begun production on a book for Learning Forward, one of the largest professional development organizations in the world for schoolteachers.

Claxton Creative, LLC

Claxton Creative is a Dallas-based full-service public relations firm focused on the development of interactive, multi-touch publications for mobile devices worldwide.

John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries

The John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries was formed in 2008, as John Ed reached the mandatory retirement age of the United Methodist Church. The ministry is a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. The mission of the ministry is to bring honor and glory to the Kingdom of God by training leaders for Kingdom work. John Ed actively speaks to churches, conferences and leadership training programs on a local, national and global scale. More information is available at www.JohnEdMathison.org.



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The Strength and Unity of Alabamians–Tornado Recovery

Apr 29, 2011 by

In Alabama you’re either “one of them,” (A fan of the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa) or an Auburn fan.  There is no in between.  But after Wednesday’s tornadoes, even that doesn’t matter.  Sure, fokes (that’s how the Montgomery Advertiser spells it and has for decades) are still sporting their loyalist garb, but as a whole, they are one now, and at this time of incredible devastation, people are banding together, whether they know one another or not, and they’re coping, trying to clear their roads and yards of tree limbs, debris, and anything else, and it’s an incredible thing to be a part of.  It’s truly one of the best things about Alabama.

Yesterday morning I was able to leave Huntsville with enough gas to get me to my mom’s in Montgomery.  Part of me wishes I’d stayed up there.  Helping pump gas at The Triangle Grocery in New Market were two guys.  One was a friend of the owner who had been at the station for a couple of hours helping pump gas to those of us desperate to have it.  He wasn’t getting paid.  Had no power himself.  But there he was.  The other was a school teacher who was just learning he and his wife, a fellow teacher, didn’t have to worry about school until at least Tuesday. 

When we, (Tom and Karen Taylor)  drove for cover Wednesday afternoon about 4 p.m. many of the roads had been blocked earlier in the day by fallen trees.  It wasn’t relief coming from Washington, DC, the White House, the Alabama Department of Transportation or Huntsville County Crews that had done it.  It was Alabamians with chainsaws.

On the way north while I was going south, I saw leagues of electric utility trucks with various stickers on their doors all heading into the thick of it.  Lines of unmarked, dark black Alabama State Trooper cars with blue lights flashing and running 10-17 in the left lane (That means they were running code to North Alabama; aka, they were hauling ass) were headed into the heart of it.  (As a side note, this also suggests they were higher ups heading into the fray, because lower ranked troopers don’t have brand new black cars….)

And then there was a time or two when I saw just plain old dump trucks and pickups rolling north, too.  They had bulldozers on the trailers they were pulling.

At the Publix yesterday morning in New Market/Meridianville the doors were open.  The electricity was off, but they’d found a way to run off emergency power and even could do electronic debit/credit card purchases.  But they were open at a time when they were needed most.  And the employees there said they were going to be there until the store closed or they had run out of food to sell.

Alabama is going to recover from this incredible, Biblic-proportioned devastation.  Some have said areas of Tuscaloosa, Cullman, Phil Campbell, Cordova, and Pleasant Grove in Birmingham look like they’d been hit by atomic bombs.  And while there will be help from the federal government and the state, a lot of healing and rebuilding had already begun before those very much needed and appreciated assets could be deployed.

That’s the way things happen in Alabama.  Even if you’re helping a fellow Auburn fan, or one of them Bama fans.

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Return To Huntsville, AL

Feb 21, 2011 by

Rockets in an outdoor museum in Huntsville, Al...

Image via Wikipedia

Tomorrow we have an exciting meeting in Huntsville, Alabama, where 16 years ago this month, members of the Alabama Super Computer showed our owner “this thing called a ‘browser.'” When he started saying, “Wow, you could set this up to renew driver’s licenses, legislative bills….” They said, “FINALLY!  Someone from state government who gets it!”

Two weeks later, the Super Computer Authority was running the first T-1 lines into the historic Alabama Capitol, and our owner went out and bought a “How To Write HTML In A Week” book. (That was literally the name of it.) Six months later in August 1995, out came the news release from the Governor’s Press Office that Alabama had an official Website. The Montgomery Advertiser story was lead with a headline that was six columns wide.

Our meeting tomorrow is with officials of a new high-tech software company that literally is going to change the world.

We can’t wait for the meeting, nor for what will happen when we return to The Rocket City in another 16 years.

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When are you too old to sit with Santa?

Dec 7, 2009 by

Through the blessing of my first marriage, I have three precious daughters.  They absolutely mean the world to me.   I've been through so much with them. 

The eldest of the three is my daughter, Chandler, 12, almost 13.

Through the blessing of my second marriage, I have three wonderful sons and another daughter.  They absolutely mean the world to me, though it's sometimes perceived to the contrary.  And if you think having your own kids is rough work, try being a step-parent. 

The youngest of the three sons is Logan, 12, almost 13, and 10 days younger than Chandler. 

My Days As A Tween

I recall those days of my life. We were in Atwater, CA.  I had the world's biggest crush on Julie Nelson.  She didn't have one on me.  I was in band.  I played the drums.  I wanted so much to have my own drum set and a rock and roll band.  I wanted to have a black '57 Chevy that I worked on in our garage there on High Street. (Yeah, I know, I couldn't drive).  And I thought I knew it all. 

Nowadays, my perspective on life has changed.  I'm older now than my dad was when I was that age.  And there are many times still that I ask my tweens to do things with me that they object to because as Chandler oft puts it, "I have friends and I want to keep them." 

And so it goes.  I encourage things that a few years ago, Chandler would have been all over.  Now she won't touch them, even if she were dying. 

Case in point, my playing Santa in our front yard.  Ricky, 17, our eldest, won't go near the front yard when I'm out there.  He won't call me Santa either, which is bad because it ruins it for any of the other kids around that he'd try so hard to quash the spirit.  Jerrod and his squeeze came and sat on Santa's lap in the sleigh last week.  That was fun. They were all smiles.  Happiness!

Chandler, while she'll come outside, absolutely refuses to get up and sit on Santa's lap.  You don't know how much I wish she would.  After all, this is the sweet girl who used to ride with me to her sitters in the a.m. and we'd sing about her being a Daddy's girl.  I'd give her the front page of The Montgomery Advertiser on the ride over and she'd stare at the front page, not able to read a word, but mimicking her daddy.  This is the same child who would ride around with me on golf carts at Jubilee City Fest when I was site director, who wanted me to see about getting the Dixie Chicks to our festival and knew the key questions to consider were 1) How much are they? 2) Are they available? And 3) Do they play outdoor venues?  She was four.

Logan, surprisingly, came out front to see Santa Friday night before going to gymnastics.  It was nice.  He wanted and did sit in Santa's lap and told him (me), he wanted a skateboard for Christmas.  Saturday night, he was back out there again, this time offering cookies to the children who came by, offering Christmas pencils, playing with the younger kids who wanted to go inside Santa's Workshop and pretend to be part of such a fantastic enterprise.

When I came in on Saturday night, he stopped me and said, "I just wanted to tell you what a nice thing it is you are doing for others."  You don't know how special that was to me.  Logan and I have had our rough spots over the past four years.  It'd been a while since he'd had a dad in his life and it took some getting used to when a man was trying to shape him.  

The twins, Reagan and Haley, 10, have become so helpful to the Santa process out front. Haley is a born photographer.  She's got that natural pose for holding the camera and has a good eye.  She wants a camera for Christmas, (I think that's what she told Santa….) And she deserves one.  The first week we were out doing Santa I heard Haley tell one of her friends, "I'm so lucky."  Her friend asked her what she was lucky about and Haley's answer was, "Are you kidding?  Look around."

Ashleigh, our five-year-old, is so into Christmas.  The spirit is alive and well in this young one.

If the unfortunate were to happen tomorrow and I should not wake, I can pass to the ages knowing I've instilled something that's going to live in the hearts and minds of my kids for many years to come.  And without having to say so to my kids, they have each told me (well, Ricky hasn't, but that's okay) that what's happening out in front of our home on Friday and Saturday evenings, warm or cold, windy or calm, snowing or …. well don't push the rain point, our family is about doing something nice for others.

We don't make money off of Christmas in our front yard.  We do this to do something nice for others.  And my kids have testified to that without me having to explain it.  They've been able to gather this by seeing first-hand how other children react to coming to see Santa, to the happiness it brings another child to give them a cookie after seeing Santa, to see the surprise in the eyes of a parent who has a child/tween offering them hot chocolate on a cold winter's night and ask for nothing in return. 

To me this is the true gift and joy of Christmas.  It doesn't matter what will be under the tree for me.  It may still for my kids, but in the end, I know that I've given them something much richer than they can imagine right now; the gift of giving.  As the days of their lives pass, it will become more and more apparent to them that the special things we do in front of the house will mean more to them than what they got inside the house under the tree on Christmas morning. 

Until then, I still have one tween who won't sit in my lap, and one who wills.  And I thank God for both of them.  Merry Christmas, kids. 

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