Quick Tips – Narrow Your Search with Topic Explorer

The Topic Explorer in WORDsearch is a powerful tool that searches your entire library for a single subject in seconds. Instead of searching every word of every book for your search term, the Topic Explorer narrows your search by looking only at the the titles of articles and chapters that include or are related to your search term. Imagine searching the subject indexes of all of your books in an instant, and you’ll have imagined the Topic Explorer.

Let’s say we want to teach a lesson or create a sermon on the broad topic of “love.” First, we’ll click on the Topic Explorer icon to open the window.

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There are two different types of searches we can do with the Topic Explorer. The first and fastest type, “At beginning of topic,” looks only at the first word in our subject indices for our search term. The second and more thorough type, “Anywhere in topic,” searches every word in our subject indices for our search term.

Let’s look at how to get the shorter list first. To do this, we’ll follow these steps:

  1. Type “love” in the Search for: bar at the top of the Topic Explorer window
  2. Choose “At the beginning of topic” from the Find topic text drop down option
  3. Select a collection of books to search or choose to search all books
  4. Click the search button

As expected, all of our results start with the word “love,” because we chose to find only the index entries that begin with the word “love.”

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For the second type of search we can do, we follow the same instructions as above, but choose “Anywhere in topic” in step two, we’ll see a longer list of results. For example, our search results now include “Beloved Disciple,” “Brotherly Love,” “Family of Love,” and more. This is because we chose to find index entries that include the word “love” anywhere within them.

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When we click on the plus sign next to one of our search results, for example, the “Beloved Disciple”, we’re shown the book that includes the topic (sometimes there is more than one). From there, we can click on the entry in the book to read what the book says. If we want to continue reading a particular entry in a new window,we can click on the button “Open in new window”.

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The Topic Explorer defaults to sorting our results by Topic alphabetically, but we can also sort our results alphabetically by book title or book category (i.e., location). Another helpful feature within the Topic Explorer is the red level button. When we click this button and then expand a topic, book, or category, every sub-folder underneath that topic, book, or category will also be expanded, so we don’t have to keep clicking through the levels to get to our results.

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The Topic Explorer is one of our favorite features of WORDsearch, because it makes finding relevant material so easy and so efficient.

Have you made an exciting or surprising discovery because of the Topic Explorer tool lately? We’d love to hear about it in our comments below!

The Pastor/Teacher’s Toolkit – Syncing Sermons

pastor/teacher's toolkit, wordsearch bible, sermonsSometimes, when creating a sermon, writer’s block hits, or the specific point you want to make seems to elude you, or you have trouble outlining your sermon. Have you ever wished you could see the opinion of another pastor on the topic you’re studying to help nudge you over the block?

WORDsearch publishes sermons from prominent preachers, and reading them can give you training from some of the best preachers in the world, past and present. Recently, we updated our published sermons to make them sync with Scripture. This helps you more quickly navigate to sermon content based on the Scripture you’re analyzing. This helps you see how the preacher divided up Scripture, and how they preached on that verse.

Let’s say I have my HCSB and Bible Knowledge Commentary opened and synced to Mark 6, where Jesus is rejected in Nazareth. In my commentary, I get background information about how far Jesus traveled to get to His hometown and who was with Him.  In verse 2 where the people ask, “What is this wisdom given to Him, and how are these miracles performed by His hands?” the BKC explains how their tone was disparaging and that they were offended. And that’s when writer’s block hits. How do I write a sermon about this?

Leaving my Bible and BKC open, I open up Wells of Living Water, a collection of sermons by Robert E. Neighbor. It immediately opens to Mark 6, because it’s syncing with my opened Bible. Here I find a sermon titled “How Unbelief Hindered Christ.” There are multiple parts of this sermon, with topics that could easily be split into a sermon series. Some of them include “Holding Jesus of Nazareth Down to a Human Genealogy,” “Making it Impossible for Christ to Do Mighty Works,” and “Marveling at Their Unbelief.” It also provides an illustration Neighbor personally used to help bring the point across.

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I can easily open up another set of sermons and navigate to Mark 6 to see if it contains any messages on that verse. Also, as I progress through Mark 6, the sermon follows along with anything it says about the verse I’m clicking on.

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Reading Neighbor’s words reinvigorates my enthusiasm for the text and fills me with fresh ideas on how to present it.  I decide I like the focus on the unbelief in these verses and how Jesus was not able to do any miracles in His hometown because they didn’t believe in Him. I craft my outline, add my ownl illustration of unbelief, and use WORDsearch to find other stories of how active faith allowed Jesus to do amazing things.

Scripture-synced sermons allows you to find great ideas by some of history’s finest preachers with the click of a button. As a result, your sermon prep time is greatly reduced. This is an excellent way to find fresh inspiration from renowned preachers and their sermons. And syncing makes it easier than ever to find just the material you’re looking for.

If you own any of these sermons sets already, simply go to Help, Check for Book Updates, then choose the sermons you want to update. This added functionality is free!

For more tips, don’t miss out on the other posts in the Pastor/Teacher’s Toolkit series, Bible Dictionaries and Bible Surveys.

Free Friday! 4000 Questions and Answers on the Bible

4000 Questions and Answers on the Bible, wordsearch bibleHappy Friday everyone! Today’s free download, usually $7.95, is 4000 Questions and Answers on the Bible by A. Dana Adams.

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  • Quick guide to learning about the people and stories of the Bible
  • Explanations of the Bible as the cornerstone of Christianity
  • Descriptions on how the Bible was written and compiled
  • Detailed listings of verses that contain the essence of God’s message and a helpful summary of each Bible book

4000 Questions and Answers on the Bible has led generations of Christians into a deeper knowledge of the Bible with an easy-to-use question-and-answer format. In addition to 4000 questions and answers, you’ll find sections on how to study the Bible, the Bible as a basis of religious belief, a short history of the Bible, and a new practical course in Bible reading. This book is educational, fun, easy-to-use, and a great reference for anyone seeking answers to their Bible questions!

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. Have you read anything that has inspired you lately? Let us know!

Free Friday! The Ministry of Intercession

andrew murray, prayer, wordsearch bibleHappy Friday everyone! Today’s featured free download is The Ministry of Intercession by Andrew Murray. Click here to download.

A  fresh sight of what prayer is according to the will of God, of what our prayers can be, through the grace of God, will free us from those feeble defective views, in regard to the absolute necessity of continual prayer, which lie at the root of our failure. As we get an insight into the reasonableness and rightness of this divine appointment, and come under the full conviction of how wonderfully it fits in with God’s love and our own happiness, we shall be freed from the false impression of its being an arbitrary demand. We shall with our whole heart and soul consent to it and rejoice in it, as the one only possible way for the blessing of heaven to come to earth. All thought of task and burden, of self-effort and strain, will pass away in the blessed faith that as simple as breathing is in the healthy natural life, will praying be in the Christian life that is led and filled by the Spirit of God.

Andrew Murray longed for every Christian to understand the reality and glory of the privilege given to God’s children — the privilege of praying and receiving answers. In this unique and practical book, he motivates and instructs believers in the discipline of intercession. He then invites those who want to participate more effectively in the “great work of intercession” to devote ten minutes a day to this discipline for a month.

Andrew Murray, Jr. was born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1828. He was the second child of Andrew Murray, Sr., a Scottish Presbyterian serving the Dutch Reformed Church of South Africa as a missionary. Andrew was sent to Aberdeen in Scotland for his initial education together with his elder brother, John. Both remained there until they obtained their M.A in 1845. From there they both went to the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands where they studied theology. Both brothers were ordained by the Hague Committee of the Dutch Reformed Church on May 9, 1848 and returned to the Cape.

Andrew pastored churches in Bloemfontein, Worcester, Cape Town and Wellington, all in South Africa. He was an amazingly prolific Christian author. All of his publications were originally written in Dutch and then translated into English. As his popularity grew, Murray’s books found their way into more than twelve foreign languages during his lifetime alone. Murray is best known for his devotional writings, which place great emphasis on the need for a rich, personal devotional life. Several of his books have become classics, including: Abide in Christ, Absolute Surrender and Waiting on God.

After you have read the book, we’d love to hear what you thought in the Customer Reviews box on the bottom of the book’s page. Have you read anything that has inspired you lately? Let us know!

Free Friday! Heart Talks to Ministers and Christian Workers

ShelhamerHeartTalksHappy Friday everyone! Today’s featured free download is Heart Talks to Ministers and Christian Workers. Click here to download.

Many preachers fail because, as they say in the West, they are not “good mixers.” They have ability but not adaptability. They are set in their ways of doing things and they think they know just how such things should be done. A preacher enters his new field of labor impressed with this idea. He forgets that there are able and experienced members of his church who have the same ideas—that they know how things should be done and who have behind them to back up their ways of doing many years of experience in environments and conditions that are new to him. In the place of waiting and observing condition: to find out whose ways are better, he attempts to bring his members to his way of thinking and doing; and then there is trouble. If his ways are really better than theirs, he must first get the confidence of his membership and then as a rule they will be ready to follow him in any reasonable changes. Confidence is a plant of slow growth. It must be secured to insure successful leadership.

Heart Talks to Ministers and Christian Workers is a series of “Heart Talks” to Christian Ministers on various pitfalls and struggles in ministry compiled by E.E. Shelhamer. Includes chapters by: H. C. Morrison, Wm. Bramwell, Bishop W. T. Hogue, J. M. Humphrey, Richard Baxter, Adam Clarke, John Wesley, Charles Finney and more.

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. Have you read anything that has inspired you lately? Let us know!

Free Friday! Letters to Timothy

LettersTimothyHappy Friday everyone! Today’s free download, usually $19.95,  is Letters to Timothy: A Handbook for Pastors by John Bisagno. Click here to download.

The word church in the New Testament is used two different ways. The first is the universal or invisible church. When you become a Christian, the Holy Spirit baptizes you into oneness not only with Jesus but also with all other believers everywhere. It is a church that exists beyond buildings, denominational lines, and international borders. It is the body of Christ, the family of God on earth. Ninety percent of the time, however, the New Testament use of the word church means a visible, locally assembled body of baptized believers worshiping together, ministering to one another, honoring him, and winning the lost.

After nearly fifty years in ministry, Letters to Timothy is John Bisagno’s retirement gift to younger and older pastors alike. A voluminous and comprehensive work, it is full of useful advice to ministers covering the “things that might have fallen through the cracks in seminary.” This book is a practical manual covering all aspects of pastoral life for clergy in churches of all sizes, locations, and denominations.

John Bisagno is Pastor Emeritus of the 22,000-member Houston’s First Baptist Church. His remarkable 30 years at Houston’s First Baptist is summed up in Rick Warren’s words: “There are some great pastors that excel in one particular area. But John has excelled at it all.” It is precisely this multi-gifted aspect that propelled him to be a dynamic evangelist, compassionate shepherd, and strong leader. In addition to being nationally recognized as a popular and effective crusade evangelist and Bible teacher, he is the author of 25 books. Dr. Bisagno has spoken at the Southern Baptist Convention, the World Congress on Evangelism, and every major state convention and state evangelism conference.

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. Have you read anything that has inspired you lately? Let us know!