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 - Ref.ly to the rescue

The social networking tool Twitter (twitter.com) 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 Ref.ly by Logos Bible Software (Logos.com). When you go to http://Ref.ly 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 ( http://ref.ly/Jm1.2f ). This short web address can be copied and pasted into your tweet or simply click the Tweet button in Ref.ly and you will be redirected to Twitter.com 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 http://Bible.Logos.com to view your specified verse in context.

Another great feature of Ref.ly 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 ( http://ref.ly/Jm1.2f;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.