Monday, November 02, 2009

New Logos 4 announced today!

Logos Bible Software has announced the launch of Logos 4 available today! This new version is a complete redesign of their excellent Bible software. Everything has been re-engineered from the ground up.

New Home Page
The new Home Page makes getting started easier. It looks much like an electronic newspaper with snippets of articles from books in your library. This helps you connect to information in your resources that you might not even know is available in your library.

New Passage and Exegetical Guides
The new Passage Guide is more robust and visually appealing. You can connect to information faster and more in depth with the click of the mouse. These guides provide your own electronic "librarian" to let you deeply study a passage like never before. In an instant, dozens of resources are open and ready for you to explore simply by typing in the passage you want to study.

The Exegetical Guide connects you to Greek and Hebrew resources and information without the need to be a Greek scholar. This guide breaks your passage down into its component words and then links you to resources that allow you to study each of those words in depth.

Greek and Hebrew for English Readers
Reverse interlinears are built directly into many English Bibles, allowing you to see the Greek or Hebrew behind your text. Highlight a portion of the text in one interlinear, and Logos 4 will highlight the corresponding text in your other open Bibles.

Better Maps and Graphics
Topographical, interactive maps make the biblical world come alive. Each map includes global coordinates linked to Google Maps. Thousands of other images from your library provide you with additional perspectives on the place you’re exploring.

Connect to more information about Bible people, places and things
One of my favorite features in Logos 3 was Biblical people. Type a name or a passage that contains a persons name, and you are presented with that person's interactive family tree. This is great when exploring the Old Testament to see the connections and relationships between people. Well Logos 4 has raised the bard by improving this feature and adding a similar function for Bible Places, and Biblical Things.

These tools help you visualize 3D maps and diagrams of your information and add depth to your studies like never before.

There are literally dozens of changes that have been made to this software. I have always been a fan of Logos, but Logos 4 certainly raises the bar. Check out this new version. Whether you are upgrading from version 3 or looking for a tool to help you go deeper in your Bible study faster - Logos 4 is a great tool for the job! Check out the intro video on their website for more information.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

LaCie Iamakey flash drive is a great solution

Flash drives are a great solution for backing up or transferring files IF you can find one when you need it. It seems like no matter how hard I try, I just can't seem to keep one in my pocket all the time. They aren't particularly bulky or heavy, I just forget to put it in my pocket all the time. That is where LaCie's Iamakey flash drive wins hands down! The Iamakey is not much thicker than a regular key, fits on my keychain and its solid, metal case is durable enough to live in my pocket all the time with my keys. I love this solution. It is a bit more expensive that other drives, but the convenience is worth it to me. It comes in 4GB, 8GB and 16GB models that range from $22 to $55 respectively. Now, if I have my keys in my pocket, which I ALWAYS do, my flash drive is ready to go.

Check out the Iamakey - it will be the only flash drive I buy from now on.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Blessings of Christianity - Neal Pollard

The Blessings of Christianity - Neal Pollard

Sunday, October 11, 2009 AM. Neal brought an encouraging lesson reminding us of the "Blessings of Christianity."

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Thayer available on Pre-Pub for Logos

The very popular Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament by Thayer is available for pre-pub through the Logos website. This work has long been a favorite of many preachers and Bible students and Logos is going to make it available for their Libronix Library System. You can check it out here - Six Years Later, Thayer’s Lexicon Is Back on Pre-Pub - Logos Bible Software Blog

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Bible Passages and Twitter - to the rescue

The social networking tool Twitter ( allows users to post short messages to everyone who "follows" them. SInce each "tweet" (that's what twitter users call their posts) can be no longer than 140 characters long, citing Bible passages can be quite a challenge. Usually there is not enough room to type out the Bible passage and say anything about it. Enter by Logos Bible Software ( When you go to you are able to enter a Bible reference (James 1:2-3 for example) and then click the "transform" button at the bottom of the screen. The Bible reference is converted into a short web address perfectly suited for your "tweet." Here is the compact URL for James 1:2-3 ( ). This short web address can be copied and pasted into your tweet or simply click the Tweet button in and you will be redirected to where you can log in and the URL will be added to a post for you. When a users clicks the link in your Tweet, they are redirected to to view your specified verse in context.

Another great feature of is that the user can specify the version they want people to see by simply adding the abbreviation to the end of the compact URL provided. To get people to James 1:2-3 in the New King James version just add ";NKJV" to the end of the URL (;NKJV ). There are 20 translations you can link to overall.

I recently saw a case where a preacher tweets a link to the main passage for his Sunday morning sermon during the week so that members can read it and study it before his lesson. Sunday Bible class teachers could create links to passages they want their class to study during the week in preparation for Sunday mornings discussion. Children's Bible class teachers could post links to the sections they will be teaching so that parents can review the passages with their kids before Bible class. There are many ways this could be helpful in real ministry situations.

This tool provides us with great opportunities to share Bible passages within our circle of friends. Use it with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or any place where a short link to the Bible text is helpful. Give it a try - it is fast, easy and convenient.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Doing Mission Work in the Sixth Most Populus Country in the World - Facebook!

That's right - If Facebook was a country, it would be the sixth largest country by population on earth! It seems that as time goes by, the Lord provides more and more ways for His people to "go into all the world and preach the Gospel." The question is: what are we doing with these opportunities? Are we using these opportunities to take quizzes like "what color Crayola crayon are you" or "what Harry Potter character are you most like"? Do we show that we are more concerned about politics than righteousness? Jesus said:

"But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man" (Matthew 15:18).

I would suggest that the things that proceed out of our fingertips do the same thing. We often times reveal where are hearts are by the things we talk about, text about and post online. We have a great opportunity online to share our faith, encourage our brothers and sisters and reach out show what is really important to us. I would like to suggest a few things we can do as individuals to use these online opportunities to their fullest.

  • Practice the presence of the Lord - Whether we are in a physical situation or a 'cyber" situation, we need to remember that the Lord is there with us. Would he approve of the quizzes we take, the comments we make and the language we use in Facebook?
  • Become an encourager - The apostles called a man named Joseph, Barnabas, his name meant "Son of Encouragement" (Acts 4:36). We need to have a heart like Barnabas must have. Facebook gives us all a chance to encourage others when things aren't going so well for them. Start a prayer group to encourage someone struggling with health issues or just send some electronic smiles and hugs to someone who needs them. You could really make someone's day and demonstrate the love of Christ in your life.
  • Share a Scripture - We all have favorite Scriptures that lift us up, make us think, or just touch us in one way or another. Why not pass them along. Type your favorite verse as your status early in the day and meditate on it as the day goes on. You can help others think spiritually by sharing and remind yourself of them blessings of God at the same time.
  • Post about what you are studying - As you do your personal Bible study, share what you are reading. We often see things in our studies that are new and fresh to us - share those things - maybe they will be new ad fresh to others as well.

If you work at it, I imagine you can add to this list easily. The trick is to think about it - pray about it - practice it! We have an opportunity through tools like Facebook and Twitter to teach people about Jesus, to share our faith in a new and exciting way. Let's use the opportunity well.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Evernote...where have you been all my life?

I have to admit right from the jump here that I am not a particularly well organized kind of guy. My desk is usually messy (as is the rest of my office). I have tried to get organized - I have read Getting Things Done three times now - but have only had marginal success. But that all changed last week when I found Evernote. I heard about Evernote about 6 months ago, but didn’t give it much attention. I am paying attention now. This product is simply incredible and each day it is reducing the clutter in my office and getting me more and more organized all the time.

What is Evernote?
If you watch some of the videos on the Evernote website or YouTube, the head of the company describes Evernote as an “external brain.” It is a place to store all of the bits and pieces of information you collect throughout the day, knowing that you will always be able to find it again easily. There website say it this way:

Evernote allows you to easily capture information in any environment using whatever device or platform you find most convenient, and makes this information accessible and searchable at any time, from anywhere.

Whether the information is in text format, PDF or even an image, Evernote can keep track of it for you. The “killer app” functionality of it to me however is how it deals with images. Images added to Evernote are automatically run through a character recognition online and any text that appears in the image becomes searchable! Now I have to admit I was a bit unimpressed by this feature when I first heard about it, but I get it now! Here is an example - someone hands you a business card, you immediately snap a photo of it with Evernote on your phone. It is synchronized online in a couple of minutes and not if you search for any of the information (say the person’s name) that appears on the card, Evernote will find it for you! The system looks at the image and any text it finds becomes searchable information - EVEN HAND WRITTEN TEXT! Now as I said, I didn’t get how great this feature was until I started using it.

Here is a real ministry example from my system. I have a small newspaper article that listed religious struggles that people say they deal with. I thought the list would make good topics for Bible class someday so I wanted to keep track of it. Rather than put it in a file in my desk (that I will never be able to find again or would only have access to when I was in my office) - I hand wrote “Bible Class Idea - Topical” next to the article and took a picture of it with my iPhone in Evernote (I could have scanned it too). Once it was uploaded and processed (a couple of minutes total) when I search my notes for the word “topical”, Evernote shows me the image of this article! That to me is amazing. The best part is that I can get to this note - from my laptop, online, or on my phone - literally anytime, anywhere! Now when I am talking to a Bible class teacher about a possible class I can pull this exact article up on my phone and share the idea with them. I can even email then a copy of the article right from my phone while we are talking!!

How do you get information into Evernote?
One of the great features of the product for me is how easy it is to get information into it. You can enter information into Evernote through a desktop client (MAC or PC). Simply create a new “note” and type or drag and drop text into the note. You can also drag and drop PDF files into the system with ease. Scan a printed document into the system and once it has been uploaded it becomes completely searchable. There are components you can add to your web browser for making capturing information from websites a breeze too. Just click the icon in the menu bar of your favorite broswer and the text is added to Evernote. You can shift-click the icon and Evernote will create a PDF of the webpage as a note too. In addition to text or document based information, you can also add create audio notes from your phone and even video notes from your built-in iSight camera if you own a MAC. Another interesting feature is that you can email information into Evernote. When you sign up for your free online account, Evernote assigns you a unique email address. Use this email address to send PDFs, text, or images into your note library.

Once the note is in your system you can add "tags" which work like keywords to keep track of the note. In addition to your tags, any text in the note or image is searchable. PDF files need to be created as "searchable" PDFs before they are added to Evernote if you want to be able to search the body of the document. You can even create separate and distinct "notebooks" to help you sort your notes if you like.

Perfect for preachers and/or students
The uses for ministry and students are unlimited. Her are a few suggested uses, but I am finding more and more everyday!


  • 1. Never lose you class notes again! At the end of the day, copy all of your class notes into your note library to create a permanent, searchable back-up that becomes accessible from your laptop, phone or any online computer.
  • 2. Take a photo of assignments and notes the instructor writes on the whiteboard and they will become searchable and indexed in your note library for later review.
  • 3. Clip information from a website for research for a paper you are writing. Tag the new note with the subject of your paper and you will be able to find all your notes on that subject in seconds - from anywhere!
  • 4. Type (or take a photo) of the assignment page in your course syllabus so you always have access to your assignments specs and due dates.


  • Place a PDF or your sermon outline in your note library, add the date and location you last preached it as a text note with it and keep track of where and when each sermon has been preached.
  • Collect illustration ideas as text, audio or photo images into you library - tag the note with subject ideas and you have a fully searchable illustrations database.
  • Forward important emails into your library to create a permanent, searchable copy.
  • Take a quick photo of the list of elders at a church you are visiting to keep a record of who works where.
  • Copy Bible study notes into your library to make them searchable from your phone.
  • Scan or photo receipts for expenses
  • Forward you final travel itinerary email received from your travel agent or airline to have it accessible on your phone or any online computer to check dates, times and flight numbers.
  • Type memorable quotes in as text notes for easy retrieval when you need them.
  • Keep lists of possible Bible class topics
  • Collect bulletin articles with the subject, date, and Scriptures verses to create a searchable index
The list goes on and on and on and on....I have to say that I am just beginning to scratch the surface of how this product can be used. It is certainly flexible enough for you to customize it to your way of doing things.

What does Evernote cost?
The best part of Evernote is the price - it is FREE! You can upload 40MB per month for no charge at all. You can get a Premium membership for $45 per year that allows you up to 500MB per month. This really does make this product a no-brainer from the start. Try it - you will love it I am sure!

I may always be somewhat organizationally challenged, but Evernote has helped me come a very long way in a very short time. The amount of information that was previous locked in my office drawers, or worse hidden in a stack of papers I hadn't process yet, is now all indexed and searchable anywhere I need it - even on my phone! I will be blogging more and more about how I am using Evernote and I ask you to let me know how you are using it too.