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

Saturday’s Roundup

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Please tell me when you’ll have the Word Biblical Commentary!” Well folks, it’s here! This whole week here at WORDsearch was focused on getting the WBC released and out to you, and we are so grateful for your patience! In case you missed it, here are some more details, along with what else you might have missed this week.

The Word Biblical Commentary – Unmatched Level of Precise Scholarship

The WBC is one of our most requested resources, and for good reason. It is highly regarded by pastors, preachers, teachers, and the academic community. Each commentator was chosen for his specific area of expertise, and you’ll experience this by the unmatched level of precise scholarship. Most commentaries tend to have a dominant focus that will be expositional, critical, summary, application, homiletical, or devotional. With the WBC, you get all of that in one commentary. The best part? For a limited time this set is available for $299.95, (aka only $5.17 a volume) so don’t miss this opportunity!

Enhance Your Understanding of the Bible – New Study Bibles

Another common request has been fulfilled this week – the excellent HCSB Study Bible content has been formatted for two more translations, the KJV and NKJV. All the maps, photos, illustrations, charts, articles, and word studies that make the HCSB Study Bible so popular are included.  In WORDsearch, Study Bible Notes can be used with any translation, but with this content, the difference is any time a verse is quoted in the study material, it will be quoted in the translation of your preference.

Oh, and don’t forget there are only a few days left to get the Adrian Rogers videos. After October 2, they will no longer be offered for sale.

Blog Posts You Might Have Missed This Week from WORDsearch

“There is, and has been a narcissistic obsession and love affair with self that cannot be denied” – Guest Post: Did You Know that Selfie Is in the Bible?

Create a Deeper Sermon or Lesson with The Pastor/Teacher’s Toolkit – Cross-Reference Explorer

“Never Stop Praying” & See You At the Pole 2014

Have a great weekend, and remember, don’t miss any news or updates by liking us on Facebook or following us on Twitter. And don’t forget we are also on Pinterest if you ever need inspiration or recipes.

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.”

TopicExplorer, wordsearch

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! 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!

New Feature: Sermon Collections That Will Sync with Your Bibles

scripture synced sermons

Here’s a fantastic new feature we’ve added to 10 of our popular sermon collections. It’s called Scripture Synced Sermons. You already know how helpful syncing can be when you open Bibles and commentaries in WORDsearch. They stay in sync and scroll together. Imagine having this function with sermon collections. That’s what is now possible with Scripture Synced Sermons. Click here for more details on this helpful new function.

These 10 Collections Are Now Synced to Scripture:

  • Spurgeon’s Sermons from the Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit
  • 500 Selected Sermons of Thomas De Witt Talmage
  • Dr. George O. Wood Sermon Collection
  • Sermons and Bible Studies – Robert E. Neighbour
  • Sermons on Biblical Characters – Clovis G. Chappell
  • The Village Tragedy and Other Sermons – Clovis G. Chappell
  • The Westminster Pulpit – George C. Morgan
  • Wells of Living Water – Robert E. Neighbour
  • Today’s Best Sermons – Christianity Today
  • George W. Truett Library

If You Own Any of These Collections, You Can Begin Syncing Immediately for Free!

That’s right. Just launch your WORDsearch 10 software, go to the Help menu, and select “Check for Book Updates.” If any of the 10 sermon collections listed above are in your library, you’ll get a free update that contains the Scripture Synced Sermons feature. Within minutes you’ll discover how helpful this feature can be for your study time and preparation of sermons and lessons.

Try It and Tell Us What You Think

If you don’t currently own any of the collections listed above, try one. They’re all currently on sale. I’d love to get your feedback on the new Scripture Synced Sermons feature. If you find it as helpful as I think you will, it will encourage our team to add this function to more of our sermon collections, many of which are already in your library. Watch the video below to see the powerful benefits of this new feature.

Key Word Commentary – Sale Ends Monday

Here’s one of the best concise commentaries on the entire Bible you will ever find. It comes from our friends at AMG, the publishers of the highly popular Complete Word Study Bible. Author Mark Water delivers a concise, one-page summary for every chapter of the Bible. He also provides you with Key Thoughts, Key Words, Key Things, Key Quotes, Key Verses, and much more for each chapter of the Bible. The Key Word Commentary is normally priced at $34.95, but, through this Monday, you can have it by direct download for only $19.95. Just click here and you can be using it within minutes! Or, call us at 1-800-888-9898 and mention special offer 8314.

I hope you’ll take advantage of these specials before they expire. I know they will bless you in your studies of God’s Word as you minister to others.

In His Service,

Jim Baird