Free Friday! Logged On and Tuned Out

vicki courtney, logged on and tuned outHappy Friday everyone! Today’s free download is Logged On and Tuned Out: A Non-Techie’s Guide to Parenting a Tech-Savvy Generation in honor of DotMom. Don’t forget to pray for all the moms at the event!

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Like most other adults my age, I prided myself on having mastered the task of sending and receiving e-mail, doing an occasional search for a product, and using Word to type my manuscripts. Anything beyond that would cause sweaty palms and increased heart palpitations. I was still part of the old school of thought that an accidental tap of the Escape key would result in the computer blowing up. I was content living my nontechie, ignorance-is-bliss existence—that is, until one afternoon when I received the wake-up call that would bring me out of my technological slumber.

When CNN and FOX News asked Vicki Courtney to discuss child safety and the Internet on-air last summer, the best-selling author who is popular among both teenagers and parents knew this urgent issue had to become the core topic of her next book.

For sure, gone are the days when kids were safe just as long as they were at home and under your nose. Today’s children can access the world from a growing number of portable gadgets, and depending on what they do with this ability, could potentially invite a world of danger into their lives.

Logged On and Tuned Out is a timely wake-up call to low-tech (tuned out) parents whose high-tech (logged on) kids use modern computer and cell phone technology like second nature. In simple language, moms and dads overwhelmed by today’s digital world will learn the imperative basics and checkpoints of instant messaging, text messaging, social networking web sites (MySpace, Facebook), chat rooms, and photo and video uploading. The book even has its own related web site where parents can download online safety contracts, get updated information about safety filters, and more.

Vicki Courtney is founder of Virtuous Reality Ministries, producing online content and hosting events across the United States for preteen and teen girls and their parents. She is the best-selling author of 5 Conversations You Must Have with Your Daughter and Your Girl as well as the ECPA Christian Book Award winners TeenVirtue and TeenVirtue Confidential. Vicki lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and their three children.

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!

iOS Update – Stream the HCSB & More

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Don’t miss the newest updates on the WORDsearch iOS app. We’ve added two updates, fixed an issue, and rolled out an updated store design. Here are the details:

  • Stream the HCSB instead of downloading
  • Multiple translations are now available in the Scripture pop-up window
  • Panes not syncing by default issue resolved
  • Updated Store design.

Thank you for your patience as we continue to improve your mobile experience with WORDsearch.

Guest Post – Activity or Accomplishment?

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Please note: The views & opinions expressed in any guest post featured on our site are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions & views of LifeWay Christian Resources.

When the Crystal Palace Exhibition opened in 1851, people flocked to London’s Hyde Park to see all the marvels current technology provided. One of the greatest marvels then was steam. There were steam plows displayed, along with steam locomotives, steam looms, steam organs, and even a steam cannon. Of all the great exhibits that year, the first prize winner was a steam invention with 7,000 parts. When it was turned on, its pulleys, whistles, bells, and gears made a lot of noise, but ironically, the contraption didn’t do a thing! 7,000 moving parts making a lot of commotion…but having no real practical use.

With the technology-filled era we live in, it’s easy to confuse activity with accomplishment, to be fooled into thinking that the sound of gears and pulleys is the sound of something important being done. Is that true of your life? Are there hundreds, even thousands, of parts spinning, turning, and making a lot of noise in your life, but accomplishing very little in return? To a very busy, yet distracted Martha, Jesus counseled, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:41-42). That good part was taking time for Christ and His Word, to penetrate and motivate who she was, and how she should live.

The “contraptions” of our lives may look impressive to others, but what of its substance? God is the final judge, and what you think has substance may dissipate before His searching eyes like steam. “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.  And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do” (Heb. 4:12-13).

rjohnson colorRobert Johnson is a minister in Longview, Texas, where he has been a preacher for over 40 years. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Bible and Biblical Languages, and a Masters is in Liberal Studies from the University of Oklahoma. He loves sharing the gospel with others and ministering to people’s needs.

 

Saturday’s WORDsearch Roundup

This was a busy week for WORDsearch. We released new sermon helps, wrote a bunch of blog posts, and got excited about our upcoming training conferences. Here’s a summary of what you might have missed this week.

Exposition on Prayer – Prayer Pops Up Everywhere

Prayer is the one thing we all do, yet all of us want to do it better.

Jim Rosscup realized that prayer is one of the most fundamental disciplines of every believer. The Bible is filled with prayer; in fact it appears in 61 of the 66 books of the Bible. Rosscup spent 15 years researching and writing this commentary that walks you through each book of the Bible, with a laser-like focus on acts of prayer.

This commentary is written in a way you’ll find useful for preaching and teaching. It covers every prayer and reference to prayer in the Bible. This includes the prayers of Christ, along with every man, woman, child, and even demons. The Bible makes over 1,000 references through prayer, and Rosscup takes us on a journey through each instance. Imagine the benefits of injecting the element of prayer into every Scripture you study and every lesson you preach or teach. This is on sale until September 16.

Dean M. Weaver Sermon Outlines – Outlines with Strong Christology

Lord, open my eyes and help me say only what the Word says.” This simple statement is what Weaver prays before any of his writing.

Dean Weaver is a gifted preacher, pastor, and sermon writer who has spent over 46 years pastoring and preaching. Over the decades, Weaver has assembled a treasure trove of unpublished, alliterated sermon outlines.

Dr. Franklin L. Kirksey, pastor, teacher, writer, and author of Sound Biblical Preaching: Giving the Bible a Voice highly recommends this set of sermon outlines. “Dr. Dean M. Weaver generously shares the fruit of his labor in these volumes. Obviously, he desired the favor of his Lord in his ministry. This collection of sermon outlines reveals the focus of his life as a gifted Bible expositor.”

Weaver covers each book with alliterated outlines, and each outline is divided into many sub-points, making it practical and easy to grasp for building thousands of your own sermons and lessons. Weaver looks beyond the obvious, offering fresh and understandable outlines that hold tightly to the Scripture. He also adds bonus material to a few books in the set, providing you hotlinks to more detailed information on certain words and phrases. Just mouse-over any of these hotlinks and a sidebar will pop up with more detailed study on this particular name, place, idea, or topic. Many of these sidebars contain enough material for fully-alliterated sermons. Can’t you see yourself creating sermons with this already? This new release is on sale until September 25.

Receive Expert Training & Recharge Your Battery

It’s hard to believe that October is coming up fast. Don’t miss your chance to come learn more about WORDsearch while hanging out with others in the ministry at the Nashville conference. We have a beautiful new conference website with all the information you’ll need. It’s so beautiful, it’s worth taking a look even if you can’t make it. We also have Atlanta and Houston conferences scheduled for November.

Blog Posts You Might Have Missed This Week from WORDsearch

How quickly do you respond to the command of your heavenly Father? Guest Post – Reluctant Obedience

Quick Tip – Sort Through Thousands of Cross-References in Seconds

Remembering and Honoring September 11.

5 Stories of Encouragement from WORDsearch Staff

Have a great weekend, and remember, don’t miss any news or updates by liking us on Facebook or following us on Twitter.

5 Stories of Encouragement, Plus Free Friday

Encouragement is a powerful force because it is a form of hope, one of the three things we know will always remain (1 Cor. 13:13). Every man, woman, and child stands in constant need of encouragement. Offering encouragement to others is easy to do, costs us nothing, and delivers kindness, love, and energy to the weary and downcast.

Today is The National Day of Encouragement, “a day dedicated to uplifting those around us and making a positive impact, no matter the magnitude.” To encourage you, we want to share a few personal stories of encouragement. We hope this inspires you in your walk with others. And don’t worry, we didn’t forget about Free Friday! You can download today’s free book at the end of this post.

“As a 9-year old boy, I was a Calvinist Cadet (my church’s version of boy scouts). My troupe met on Friday evenings and one night, our troupe leader called me into his office. I thought for sure I was in trouble. This man, who I respected, satTerrFayeCasperia me down and said, ‘I want to encourage you because you’re the best cadet in our group. You make our meetings fun for everyone, and others look up to you and follow your lead. I wanted you to know how much I appreciate your attitude.’ Wow. I wasn’t expecting that.

As I look back now, I admire this man’s godly act of offering encouragement to a youngster. It lifted my spirits, made me want to become a good leader, and was an example of how to encourage others. It was an act of pure, unsolicited encouragement. And 50 years later, it still feels good to think about.

Encouragement is one of those ‘pay it forward’ experiences, and I’d like to encourage every believer to consciously encourage others. It’s a Christ-like force of goodness.”

-Terry Van Someren, Direct Marketing

“I’vGeri_Clinte found that the most encouraging thing someone else can do for me is just to tell me they appreciate my effort, whether it be in the office, as a coworker, or at home, as a mother, wife, or friend. I believe we all have several roles in our life, and we need encouragement in every area.”

-Geri Bogue, e-book Development

“I’ve fokristinaund asking the Lord to show me a specific way to encourage a specific person is very effective. He knows the person best, so I like to start with Him. Sometimes, He will lead me to pray for that person’s encouragement, sometimes He’ll lead me to send a note or a small gift. Then, there are other times when I might feel led to take a person to coffee and give them a listening ear. He might ask me to watch someone’s kids for an afternoon or clean their kitchen. Whatever tells a person, ‘You’re valuable. You matter. God has prepared good things for you to do’ and then energizes or enables that person to live this truth out is always a great way to pursue encouraging another.”

-Kristina Vandiver, Events Marketing

“Iaustin_bushn my personal experiences, I have seen encouragement in so many different forms. Often times, I can gain encouragement from others just by seeing a friendly smile. I also receive encouragement though from uplifting Bible verses and taking the moment to realize that God’s love and forgiveness surpasses all else.”

-Austin Bush, Sales & Support

“I am not by nature, or even by spirit, an encouraging person. I actually tend to be a little dumb about understacurtnding how others are feeling at any given time. The result of that is that sometimes I speak a casual word that brightens someone’s life immensely, and on the flip side I sometimes try to encourage someone and end up hurting their feelings deeply instead. However, I have developed a strategy for encouragement that I hope minimizes the chances of inadvertent discouragement. That strategy is summed up in three words: Make them laugh. A wholesome laugh brightens a person’s countenance emotionally, spiritually, physically, and—if the laughter is shared—socially as well.”

-Joe Hendley, e-book Development

Today’s free book is Mustard Seeds: Thoughts on the Nature of God and Faith. We hope you will be encouraged by the author’s stories of God’s grace during a period of hardship that sustain her faith today.

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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!

Quick Tip – Sort Through Thousands of Cross-References in Seconds

Depending on the size of your library, your WORDsearch books can contain thousands of references to Bible verses. If you want to study a specific verse of Scripture, it can seem overwhelming to even know where to begin.

The Cross-Reference Explorer shows you every single time a certain verse is found in every single one of your books. This is one of the most time-saving features of WORDsearch.

Let’s say you are doing a study on John 3:16. The Cross-Reference Explorer will search your entire library to show you every time John 3:16 is referenced. The best part? It only takes a few seconds.

First, click on the Cross-Reference Explorer icon to open up the tool. A few notes about the window that opens up:

  • The first bar at the top is where you choose the verse you want to search. Here we’ll use John 3:16. You can either type in the verse or use the drop-down to select, just like when you are navigating a Bible.
  • The little icon next to the verse chooser lets you arrange your windows either side-by-side or over/under. The usefulness of this icon depends on how many books you have open or what you determine to be more readable.
  • Just like in Bibles and commentaries, there is a sync icon. This comes in handy when you have a Bible or commentary open and want the Cross-Reference Explorer to follow your Bible navigation. If synced, the Cross-Reference Explorer will automatically update and find cross-references for whatever verse you are currently on. Pretty cool.
  • By default, the Cross-Reference Explorer will use all of your books, but you can also use a collection.

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Once we type John 3:16 into the verse chooser and hit enter, the results will display organized by book category. We can expand the categories in our results to see which books reference the verse, and we can expand individual books to see the different places within the book that reference the verse and how many times.

The results show us that John 3:16 is mentioned 31 times in the Bible Knowledge Commentary and in five devotionals in Daily Light on the Daily Path.

The red parentheses show how many references are in that section of the book. From there, you can click on any of the results to read more, or open the book in a new window for further study.

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Can you imagine trying to do this in your printed books? It would take a long time. With the Cross-Reference Explorer, it takes a few seconds. The Cross-Reference Explorer is a powerful and easy tool to find critical notes, historical and cultural information, and insights from others on God’s Word. Whether you want to see where the verse appears in your different texts or you want to build out your sermon, it can help you find any Bible verse, anywhere in your WORDsearch library.

Let us know how the Cross-Reference Explorer has helped you in your study in the comments below!