Get to Know Donald Cantrell

donald cantrellDonald Cantrell has been a preacher of the gospel since 1980. His goal in writing books is to be helpful to ministers who may need a simple thought to prompt them in developing a mighty message. His hope is to be practical, preachable, and accessible to the busy and pressured pastor.

In addition to preaching and writing, Donald has been active in personal sermon consulting and research, offering help with individual sermon development, subject research, Bible character studies, and sermon series. He has also helped various pastorates with the leading of revivals.

With the new release of his Bible Commentary Snapshots on WORDsearch today, we talked with the Florida Gators fan about his alliteration style, preaching, and his writing process.

WORDsearch: Where did you get the idea for this series?

Donald Cantrell: I have people contact me all the time from around the world, asking for advice. I like mentoring and helping people, that’s the primary goal. In the SBC in Georgia, the high majority of people are bivocational, and me doing this can help save them time.

I’ve always developed sermons and done alliteration, but then I started thinking what I wanted to do was come up with something catchy that would give a pastor or preacher something they could take straight to the puplit or develop into a full sermon on their own. I really liked the term “sermon snapshots.” I thought about it for a few days and really think it describes the material I create for a preacher.

 WS: What would you say is different in this work from your other works?

DC: This one I will try to do every verse in the New Testament and make sure every verse has an outline, or part of an outline, and that it’s alliterated. So far I’ve got Matthew- Acts, and I  just got done with 50 Christmas snapshots.

WS: What is your process in creating content? How do you get started?

DC: My main process is to first read the Scripture and then I like to think about it. Then I do my three or four main points, alliterate them, but very simply. Then I try to develop my main thoughts. Here’s how I look at it: I look at it like at first minimum alliteration, then once I have my main thoughts I go back and change and adapt it, then when it’s all said and done, my whole outline is all done, and I have what I call maximum alliteration. Alliteration is my thing, I’ve always been able to do it once I’ve started.

WS: How do you choose the verses or topics you cover?

DC: Well, I’m a pastor and I design sermons for my church also. If I get into something I really like at my church, I might just make a whole series out of it and offer it to pastors.

WS: How do you come up with your sermons?

DC: I like to do expository preaching, going through a book verse-by-verse, so that helps me a lot. That way I’m not just trying to come up with sermons, because if I know I’m preaching through a certain book, I know I’m going to have to have a sermon on that book on Sunday. Exposition with alliteration is my style.

WS: How often or long do you write each day?

DC: I write every day, and I have a process that I use. I read Scripture and if I want to develop a sermon, I use my computer now. I used to use a big ink pen with four colors, and I’ve got boxes of sermons with colored sermon outlines with a different color for each point. Then I adapted to the computer and now I’ve got all of that on the computer and have embraced it. I use Strong’s, my Bible, and a tool for alliteration.

WS: What’s your favorite Bible commentary?

In my ministry, I’ve had a lot of preachers ask this, and what I tell all of them is J. Vernon McGee’s Commentaries. What I like about him is that he covers every chapter, and they are simple and practical. I’m just simple and I just like simple stuff. But if I had to get rid of all my books in my library and keep one set it would be his.

WS: What is your favorite Bible translation?

I’m old school, I love the KJV just because I like the terminology and poetry, but I read a lot of different versions. I like the ESV, I don’t preach from it, but I study from it a lot. The reason I stick with the KJV is because it’s what I read when I was younger and what I memorized, so I’m familiar with it and just stuck with it over the years. 

Donald resides in Georgia with Denise, his wife of 33 years, and spends a lot of time with his grandbaby Kinsley.

Don’t miss our introductory sale on Cantrell’s new Bible Commentary Snapshots, along with 50 percent off all of his other works.

-Katie Cornett

5 Ways Bible Software Can Improve Your Ministry

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Even in this digital age of ebooks, many preachers still prepare sermons and lessons by researching dozens of paper books and Bibles in their library. Pastors often ask, “What are the main advantages of using Bible software?” The advantages are many, but here are 5 that stand out:

1. Bible software saves you time. With the fast topical and cross-reference searching features in Bible software, you can search your entire library for a single topic or verse in seconds. Instead of having to search through all of your books individually, imagine how powerful it is to search everything for exactly what you’re looking for by just typing and hitting “enter.” You can also quickly identify words linked to the original Greek and Hebrew using resources like Strong’s, leading to deeper understanding of each word.

2. Bible software saves you space. This might seem obvious, but with Bible software all you need is a computer or a mobile device. You can carry a seminary library on your laptop or device and access your content anywhere. This way, anywhere you are, if you need to access your library or look something up, it is as simple as grabbing your phone, tablet, or computer.

3. Bible software saves you money. With most Bible software, you can build a huge library of resources for a fraction of the cost of hard copies. More resources give you more content from prominent authors and pastors to help you improve your ministry to others.

4. Bible software gives you a new perspective in seconds. Quickly seeing the opinion of another pastor or scholar on the topic you’re studying can nudge you out of writer’s block. Scripture syncing features in Bible software can help you more quickly navigate to sermon content based on the Scripture you’re analyzing. This helps you see how others have outlined this Scripture, and how they have preached on that verse.

5. Bible software allows you to see things you’d miss otherwise. Bible software does cool things you can’t do any other way. For example, imagine clicking a button and seeing how the word “love” appears throughout all of Scripture, neatly displayed in a colorful bar graph. Imagine comparing 10 different Bible translations side by side, in perfect sync with one another.

With the help of powerful searching tools and access to more resources, including Bible dictionaries, surveys, commentaries, maps, and more, you can become a better student of God’s Word, which in turn helps you become a better teacher of God’s Word.

Originally posted on Pastors Today.

Saturday’s Roundup

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Can you believe another week has passed already? If you didn’t keep up with everything going on at WORDseach, we can’t blame you! We know how busy you are, so here’s an update on our news and releases from this week.

Did You Know the Bible Records Over 650 Definite Prayers and 7,487 Promises God Made to Man? 

What started as an interesting idea for Dr. Herbert Lockyer ended up as a decades long endeavor. Lockyer dreamed of a reference volume that would explore all the men of the Bible. It turned out that there are over 3,000 men who are mentioned in the Bible, and Lockyer researched and wrote a book covering each in the depth that they deserved. He even went further by covering unnamed men of the Bible, like The Hypocrites, The Wise Men, The Rich Young Ruler, The Good Samaritan, and so on.

But what ended up becoming All the Men of the Bible was just the beginning. Lockyer labored for decades, producing one volume after another with a laser-like focus on everything the Bible has to say about a given subject or theme. There is a volume on Apostles, Prayers, Promises, Parables, Divine Names, Doctrines, Miracles, Men, Women, Messianic Prophecies, Holy Spirit, Angles, the Second coming, God’s Comfort, and Music. Lockyer was a preacher, and his work shows great respect to those who preach and teach. You’ll notice that he often alliterated chapters because he knew the lessons would be preachable.

You will quickly discover that WORDsearch makes The All Series far more useful and valuable than the author ever intended. Any time you are studying a passage of Scripture that deals with a man, woman, apostle, doctrine, divine name, miracle, prophecy, parable, prayer, or promise, WORDsearch can instantly assemble the exact information you want from this massive collection of detailed studies. What sermon, lesson, or study wouldn’t benefit from the treasures stored in this collection?

With all of that said – you don’t miss out on our sale of The All Series.

Read Further for a $20 Savings Coupon

The past few months we’ve had our big Fall Sale going on at WORDsearch. If you haven’t checked out the sale page, now is the time to make sure you don’t miss out on any of these great sales. Many of the sale items are our most popular Bible study tools and new releases, all for 30-70 percent off. We’ve also recently added ten of our newest study packages for the final days in this sale, including Pulpit Pages, Weaver’s Sermon Outlines, and Butler’s Sermon Starters. Just for being a loyal reader, you can also use the code 8470 to take $20 off a purchase of $40 or more on these sale items. So what are you waiting for? Head over to the sale page before it’s gone on October 30!

Blog Posts You Might Have Missed This Week from WORDsearch

What will it take to bring us to the realization that He will help us? Do we have the faith to come to Him and not stay away? Guest Post – Gusty Faith

Comparing different translations can help you gain a better understanding of the Bible. New Quick Tip – Parallel Bibles

This week our biggest conversation on Facebook was about parallel Bibles. Don’t forget to stop by and join in the conversation to have your voice heard. We love to hear from you. We also had some beautiful Bible verse images from our designer this week that you can share with your friends, so make sure you “like” us. Have a great weekend!

Free Friday! Full Assurance

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Happy Friday everyone! Today’s free download, usually $7.95, is Full Assurance by Harry A. Ironside. Click here to download.

Be certain of this: God is deeply concerned about you. He longs to give you the knowledge of His salvation. It is no mere accident that these pages have come to your attention. He put it on my heart to write them. He would have you read them. They may prove to be His own message to your troubled soul. God’s ways are varied. “He worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.”

Dr. Harry A. Ironside’s goal in writing Full Assurance was to make as plain as possibly just how any troubled soul may find settled peace with God. He was thinking particularly of those people who believe the Holy Scriptures to be divinely inspired and who recognize that salvation is only to be found in Christ. In someway however, they have missed the “peace of a perfect trust,” and though earnestly desiring to know the Lord, are floundering in perplexity of mind.

Dr. Harry A. Ironside was an internationally acclaimed Bible teacher and preacher, as well as the author of more than 80 books and pamphlets. His writings include addresses or commentaries on the entire New Testament, all of the Old Testament prophetic books, and a great many volumes on other biblical topics. For 18 of his 50 years of ministry, Dr. Ironside was pastor of the famous Moody Memorial Church in Chicago, Illinois.

After you have read the book, we would love to hear what you thought in the Customer Reviews box on the bottom of the book’s page.

Quick Tip – Parallel Bibles

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The Parallel Bible window is the best way to compare multiple Bible translations. Comparing different translations can help you understand word and verse meanings, see the differences in the Hebrew and Greek interpretations, and get a better understanding of the Bible.

In WORDsearch you can:

  • Select any number of translations in the order you prefer
  • Display the translations in rows or columns
  • Reopen the window after closing back to your same translations
  • Search the Bibles directly from within the Parallel Window itself.

Needless to say, the Parallel Bible window is a powerful research tool.

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First, here’s a rundown of what each icon on the Parallel Bible window will do.

Parallel bible

 

parallel bibleBook/Chapter/Verse Navigation box

Using the Book/Chapter/Verse Navigation box, you can change the book, chapter, or verse displayed in your Parallel Bible window

parallel biblePrevious and Next Chapter buttons

Click to go to the beginning of the previous chapter in the Bible or the beginning of the next chapter in the Bible.

parallel bibleAdd Translation button

Click to add a new translation.

parallel bibleRow/Column button

Click to toggle between displaying the verses in rows and columns.

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Search box

Use this to search all Bibles in the Parallel window. Results will be shown with matches in red.

parallel bibleColumn width buttons

Use these buttons to control minimum column width.

parallel bibleSearch Results display mode buttons

Use these buttons to swap between displaying normal Bible text, search result verses only, and search results in context (result rows with additional scripture before and after).

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Link with other Scripture-Based Books button

The Link with other Scripture-Based Books button will synchronize one book to another.

parallel bibleTarget button

Clicking this button will make the Parallel window the recipient of all scripture hyperlinks.

Now that we’ve got the buttons down, how do we arrange the translations?

You can control the order that translations appear in two ways. The first method is to use the Add Translation dialog box:

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Select a Bible in the list on the right side of the window and click the Up or Down buttons to change its position in the list. The translation at the start of the list will be the first shown in the window.

The second way to reorder translations is by using drag-drop. Click in the header area to the right of any translation abbreviation, hold down the mouse button, and drag it to the new desired position, and release the mouse.

parallel bibleWith this Quick Tip, you are ready to go compare your favorite Bible translations. Have you learned anything from using parallel Bibles recently? Share with us in the comments below!

Related Posts:

Quick Tip – The Resource Window

Quick Tip – Finding a Book in Your Library

Quick Tip – Using Strong’s Numbers

Quick Tip – Searching

Guest Post – Gutsy Faith

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Ever know someone, or read about a quality a person has, and think, “I want some of what they have.”

I recently had those thoughts, not in a jealous way, but a “divine gotta have’” way. In my study time I came across a gutsy gal in Mark 5:24-34, the woman with the bleeding condition. Oh I know, when we get to this area of Scripture, due to the topic we may tend to skim fast over it, yet it has amazing lessons for us.

Verse 25 describes this gal as one who had been afflicted for a very long time. She had sought help elsewhere, yet instead of improving, her condition was worsening. I love that in verse 27 “When she heard about Jesus, she came…” One resource claims that she may have traveled some 30 miles to get there.

The story proceeds with, “she came up behind Jesus in the crowd and touched His cloak.” This alone is a gutsy step of faith; she came to Him “in the crowd.” Let’s think about this. She is, as culture and tradition states, ceremonially “unclean” due to her condition. She should, from a distance, declare herself unclean and stay away. But, “she came…”

Out of confident desperation she says, “if I just touch His clothes, I will be healed.” Many times emphasis can be lost in the translation. The word used here for “if” in the Greek can be rendered “since or because.” May I be so bold to translate it this way, “Due to the fact that because I touched Jesus’ clothes, I WILL be healed.” That is some strong gutsy faith! Verse 29, “…immediately her bleeding stopped!”

Interesting note, the word used in the narrative for her touching Jesus’ garment doesn’t imply she just reached out and flicked her hand across the hem. She GRABBED it! She grabbed that garment so tight that she may have left an imprint of her hand on it. She KNEW, she believed that all it took was to grab His cloak and she WOULD be healed!

As I read through this, I felt the Lord say that I too am (we all are) like this woman at times. We may not have a physical ailment, but we have issues, stuff. We too can be lost in our own affliction and be there a LONG time, seeking help elsewhere. What will it take to bring us to the realization that He will help us? Do we have the faith to come to Him and not stay away? Confidently reach for Him and KNOW He will meet us in our need. It may take some gutsiness on our part, some faith reaching, strong grabbing, and by golly don’t worry about the crowd … just come to Jesus!

Pic of DeDe MoravikDeDe Southwick, is the mother of two wonderful sons and lives outside of Portland, Oregon. She has a degree in Theology, leads women’s bible studies, and has served on the leadership team of her local church. She loves studying God’s Word, gardening, and making her sons laugh. You can read her blog here.