Loving God on Earth Day

But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? In His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind. – Job 12:7-10, NIV

Today is a beautiful spring day in Austin. Everything is turning green, (well, as green as it can get in Texas) and bluebonnets and Indian paintbrushes are popping up everywhere. Every time I go outside, I try to take a deep breath and appreciate the beauty, especially since this is a brief respite before the sweltering 100+ degree summer that is coming soon.

It is easy on days like this to be in awe of God’s creation. The cool breeze, the blue sky, the birds’ songs, the sun shining down on my sun-screened face all make it a perfect day to celebrate Earth Day. Every April Earth Day reminds me that the earth doesn’t belong to us, it is the Lord’s. And since the Lord loves and cares for His creation, it follows that we should love and care for the earth. Especially since He gives us the responsibility to care for it in Genesis 1.

And isn’t this a great responsibility? It isn’t an easy task, but it is one where small steps can make a difference when they all add up. I want to live everyday, not just Earth Day, as a steward of the earth. I’ll stop and be grateful for what the Lord has blessed me with, like water, that people around the world might not have easy access to. I’ll recycle, use less water, walk more, plant a garden, turn the lights out and praise God for how beautiful and creative He is.

earth day

How are you celebrating Earth Day this year? Share with us!

 -Katie Cornett

Resurrection Sunday

photo (1)The Resurrection is the most important part of our story as disciples of Jesus. It is what sets us apart, makes our beliefs different, and gives us great hope.

On Easter, we celebrate Jesus doing the unexpected, the unbelievable, the miraculous – rising from the dead. So many witnesses, including the disciples, had seen Jesus arrested, publicly beaten, and paraded through the streets up to Golgotha. They saw Him nailed onto the wooden cross and lifted up to hang there between criminals. They saw Him give up His spirit, take His last breath, and die.

And with it, they saw their hope lost.

But what they didn’t realize was that this wasn’t the end of the story that God had written before the beginning of time. A few days later, Mary Magdalene goes to the tomb where they had buried him, sees the stone rolled away. Peter and John walk over, look in the tomb, see He is gone, and they leave.

Mary waits, crying. And in her waiting receives the beautiful gift of Jesus giving voice to her name, “Mary.” It was really happening – He was risen!

“Don’t cling to me,” Jesus told her, “for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to My brothers and tell them that I am ascending to My Father and your Father – to My God and your God.” – John 20:17.

He told her to go tell the disciples what she was witnessing – that Jesus was alive! A fact that changed the course of history and our lives today.

As we celebrate the joy of the resurrection and the new life it means for us, let’s also celebrate the God who comes to us in our waiting.

Therefore the Lord is waiting to show you mercy, and is rising up to show you compassion, for the Lord is a just God. All who wait patiently for Him are happy.” – Isaiah 30:18

-Katie Cornett

Interview with Dr. Darrell Bock Concerning Truth Matters

Post by Selma Wilson, president of B&H Publishing Group, and originally posted on her blog.

I am very excited to share a Q&A with Dr. Darrell Bock, author of the new release, Truth Matters. This book supplies its audience with well-reasoned responses to their often honest questions or to the objections they read or hear. Those questions may come from professors, friends, or their own personal reflections. It’s an enriching lifesaver for curious young minds and hearts everywhere.

9781433682261_cvr_webQ: First, what was the motivation behind the book, Truth Matters?

A: I wrote the book to myself. What I mean by that is when I was in college, I was an agnostic. I didn’t believe. I had a lot of questions and a lot of skepticism about the Bible. I knew what it was to have those questions, and to think that way. And I’ve come in my time in ministry to know what I think the answers to those questions are. So in a very real way, this book is written to me, or someone who would have been my roommate, who was a Christian and didn’t know the answers. I roomed with a Southern Baptist and I had all these questions and he really didn’t have a clue how to answer them. The quality of his life spoke to me just as much as some of the answers he was trying to tell me. On the flipside, I thought that if he had been better equipped it would have been nice. So this book is written to me and my roommate at the time.

Q: So you had all these questions, where did you start finding your answers?

A: The first thing I saw was the quality of life that people had, they lived differently. They viewed the world differently, and that got my attention. Then having gotten my attention that way, I began to pay more serious attention to the answers they had provided. Tone came first, truth came second.

Q: Who’s your target audience?

A: Everybody: the college student who heads off who has questions; the person who has more questions about the Bible; the roommate who lives with the person who has questions; the parents who don’t know how to answer the questions. It’s really written for anybody, and in my view it’s really the rest of the story. It’s often what you don’t hear the culture saying about Christianity that the culture should be aware of.

Q: Why do you think it’s important for students to have a resource like this before they set off for college?

A: They’re going to hear a lot of things about Christianity when they’re on the college campuses. If they’ve grown up in the church, especially the conservative church, most of what they hear will be news to them. And in some cases, it could be unsettling news. So, knowing what they’re hearing isn’t the only angle on what they’re hearing is very, very important.

Q: Anything else that you really want readers to know?

A: Here’s what I think is somewhat distinctive about the book: We are not claiming—as often previous apologetics types of books do—that we can prove to a 100 percent degree everything that we’re talking about. We are trying to say that what happens in the conversation with the culture is you’re trying to get them to discover the plausibility, probability, and likelihood to be open to what it is the church has to say to the culture. And we think there are good reasons for having that openness. I don’t think anyone can put a 100 percent fail-safe proof on it, no one can do that. If someone could do that, we wouldn’t need to have faith.

BH-TruthMattersShareSquares

Thank you, Dr. Bock, for sharing your insight on such an important issue today!

Blessings,

Selma

The Best Way to Learn More About WORDsearch

pastors_training_conferenceWhen I look back on some of my most enjoyable and memorable times during my two plus years working for WORDsearch, attending our training conferences have to be right at the top of the list.

 The conference trips always help me realize:

  •  I’m very fortunate to be a part of such an inspiring event that glorifies God’s Kingdom
  • The users of our software are among the finest people I’ve ever met
  • What we do as a company and what our users do daily is truly having a positive impact on the world

If you have never been to one of our conferences, I would highly encourage you to join us at the LifeWay headquarters in downtown Nashville this March. The primary reason that people attend is for better knowledge of how to use the WORDsearch Bible program.  However, it’s much more than just that.

It’s a great time to meet new people, to fellowship with others, to learn about what other ministries are doing around the world, and to pray for one another. It’s also a time for our users to get to know some of our WORDsearch staff, while learning about exciting upcoming technology advances. Plus, if you are looking to expand your digital library, there’s no better time to do it then when at one of our conferences. There are extremely special discounts that can be provided at these events, and it’s a blessing to provide these materials to you all at a rate that allows people to obtain materials that they previously thought were unattainable.

From previous conferences, I have had numerous people come up to me and tell me something along the lines of, “I’ve been using this program for years, but came here because I feel as if I don’t use it to its full potential.”

After two days of training from our expert teachers, Steven Ward, Scott Winter and Rick Milone, you will leave the conference feeling confident and equipped to use our software to further enhance your studies to a much greater level than you have before.

So regardless if you have never used our software, or have been studying with it for over a decade, I highly recommend you attend. We will be in touch with you to make sure you get into the certain class level that will be most appropriate for you, and we will also be there to spend some personal time with you to answer any questions you may have.

This is the type of event that for me personally, always recharges my batteries and leaves me with an uplifted spirit. These conferences provide me with the memories that drive me on a daily basis to push forward to make our company a better one.

I hope that you are able to join us on March 18-19 in Nashville to experience the same. If you have any questions about it in the meantime, please contact me at austin.bush@lifeway.com

The cost of the conference is $40 per person. This helps us cover a portion of the costs for the facilities and other miscellaneous things. However, to help balance out the upfront cost, upon arrival at the conference, each attendee will receive a $40 gift certificate that is good towards anything in our digital library.

For more information on the conference, please visit https://www.wordsearchbible.com/products/35727

Austin Bush is the Manager of Sales and Support at WORDsearch Bible Software in Austin, Texas.

Martin Luther King, Jr. and Community Service

source: pinterest

source: pinterest

Dr. King once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?‘” No matter how you choose to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day this year, this day and every day you can choose to reach out and help someone.

All over the country, there are events and volunteer opportunities happening today to celebrate the spirit of Dr. King.

In Atlanta, the birthplace of Dr. King, The Martin Luther King, Jr. Annual Commemorative Service is being held at the Ebenezer Baptist Church.

Boston University, where Dr. King earned his Ph.D., is holding the Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration at the George Sherman Union. The event is free and open to the public.

The National Civil Rights Museum, which is located at the former Lorraine Motel, the site of Dr. King’s assassination, is hosting its annual King Day Celebration. This year the theme is “Love, Peace and Freedom.”

The National Park Service is waving entrance fees today to commemorate the holiday.

You can also go visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in West Potomac Park in Washington, D.C. southwest of the National Mall.

Not near any of these places? The PBS website currently has a special section dedicated to the legacy of Dr. King featuring a collection of videos and features designed to educate people on Dr. King’s life and work.

It is easy to see that the one of the main themes of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is community service. The U.S. government even has a special site, United We Serve, dedicated to helping people find opportunities to serve their community and those around them. Check out this site to see if you can lend a helping hand to a project around your area.

Geri Bogue is an e-book Developer at WORDsearch. When she’s not at the office, she enjoys spending time with her husband Clint, her daughter Addison and her min pin Daisy.

A Thanksgiving Food Drive

“On any given night there are more than 2,300 Austinites living on the streets of Austin, in shelters or in other places not meant for human habitation, like cars. Over 900 of those who are homeless would be considered chronically homeless; people who have been homeless for over one year, or four times in the past 3 years.” – www.austintexas.gov

WORDsearch employees Julian Garcia, Mike Giles, Katie Cornett, Kristina Vandiver and Joe Hendley with some of the donations.

WORDsearch employees Julian Garcia, Mike Giles, Katie Cornett, Kristina Vandiver and Joe Hendley with some of the donations.

This fall, WORDsearch participated in a canned food drive for Thomas Wright Ministries.

Brought to WORDsearch by Julian Garcia from our tech support team, the food drive was held through Shoreline Christian Center with the goal of feeding the Austin homeless population a Thanksgiving meal. This is the fourth year WORDsearch has participated.

“As we all know, Thanksgiving is a day that is traditionally celebrated with friends and family over a big feast. However, for some people, just getting something to eat on any given day of the week is a challenge,” said Garcia.

Garcia set up boxes around the office so employees could donate to the cause. After two months of collecting goods, Garcia gathered up the food and delivered four boxes of canned food as well as other items that the homeless can use.

“It may not sound like a large donation, but we are a small company,” said Garcia. “Each canned food drive has been a testimony to the generosity of the WORDsearch employees. This company is made up of givers and servants. We are aware of the joy of giving, and, we know this makes God happy. ”

Pastor Thomas Wright, of Thomas Wright Ministries, sponsored by Shoreline Christian Center, was once a member of the homeless population. He is now off the streets and for the past ten years has been solely dedicated to preaching to the Austin homeless, and providing them with an opportunity to get off the streets, hear the gospel and to accept salvation. Now running the ministry, Wright manages food donations, Saturday afternoon open-air church services, praise and worship, and large public meals.

Garcia and Wright

Garcia and Wright

When asked what he thought of our donations, Wright replied, “This is awesome!

To learn more about Pastor Thomas Wright and his ministries visit:

http://www.twministries.net/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nL927pMMCeQ

What ministries are you working with? Share with us!