Archive for year 2012

The Prophesying Dinner Guest

Before coming to Olive Tree, I was an event planner. As such, I picked out flowers, spent far too long debating over menus, and had to deal with peoples’ lack of ability to RSVP. But I also acted as hostess, standing in front of large groups of people to welcome them to the event and make announcements. I spoke in front of people around 15 times a week. Occasionally people attending the event would introduce themselves to me and we’d exchange pleasantries, but for the most part I existed outside the event. However, there was one interaction with a guest that left a mark on me.


At a dinner I was hosting, I had just finished making my announcements and returned to my secluded table in the corner when a gentleman approached me. He had a serious expression on his face (more…)

Doubt and Faith: An Interview with Author Andrea Palpant Dilley

The great part about living in the town where I completed my undergraduate studies is that I get e-mails from the university about cultural and academic events. When I heard about the chance to sit again in the auditorium where I once learned about Aristotle and Descartes to listen to an author read from her new book Faith and Other Flat Tires: Searching for God on the Rough Road of Doubt, I jumped at the opportunity.

Author Andrea Palpant Dilley read several passages from her book that evening and answered audience questions in the same engaging, personable style that marks her book. Andrea’s book chronicles her struggles with doubt that led her to both leave and return to the church. I had a chance to ask Andrea questions about her journey of faith and how her experience can help churches and individuals lovingly guide fellow Christians who are also struggling with doubt.

NOTE: Check back on Tuesday, October 16 for Andrea’s advice to churches and Christian individuals about dealing with doubt.

Elizabeth: For those who haven’t read your book, give a little background to the narrative. What were the main questions you were asking of God and the other Christians around you?

Andrea: In the book, I tell a story about walking into an Episcopal cathedral in San Francisco one Sunday morning while I was in the middle of my faith crisis. I didn’t know a soul. I sat at the back of the church. When communion started, I went forward, knelt at the altar, took the sacrament, and then watched the priest stretch out his hand to bless me on my head. In that moment, I felt a strong sense of longing for God at the very same time that I felt frustrated with church and ambivalent about faith. I was struggling with a number of questions:


The Bible Study App

You may have noticed a couple of slight cosmetic changes around Olive Tree, like a fresh face on Good news! These changes are just the beginning. We have big plans for Olive Tree, and we’re excited to share them with you. I won’t tease you too much, but think Reading Plan Sync, Automatic Downloads, Rich Text Notes, and more. But as those are still to come, for now let’s focus on the cosmetic changes happening now.

We recently realized that calling our app ‘BibleReader’ didn’t make much sense anymore. Yes, you can read the Bible on our app, but you can do so much more than that, too. You can take notes, compare translations, use a study Bible, and read Greek and Hebrew. With our one-of-a-kind Resource Guide all of the relevant information in your library is brought to life along side your Bible reading.  The features we offer (and the ones still to come) make Olive Tree app the best app for Bible study.

The Bible Study App

With a fresh perspective and a clear trajectory, we’ve come to the conclusion that no longer are we going to be ‘BibleReader’ but instead, we are ‘The Bible Study App.’ We believe that Olive Tree is about studying the Bible, digging deep into God’s Word and getting to know Him personally. We want you to keep that in mind every time you open the Olive Tree app, so with the next update, the app on your device will be called ‘Bible Study.’

We hope that you are as excited as we are about these changes. We truly hope to inspire you to get into the Bible using The Bible Study App. Let us know what kind of features you would like to see in the future. Leave us a comment here. If you love our app, I hope you would considering leaving us a review in the iTunes or Google play stores.


Desiring God 2012 National Conference

This year’s Desiring God National Conference proved to be another exciting and busy time at the Olive Tree booth. Many of the conference goers I introduced to Olive Tree at last year’s conference are now using Olive Tree for their own studies. They came by the booth to express their enjoyment of the software and see what we’ve been up to the last year.

Desiring God Conference

Early Saturday morning Pastor John Piper (more…)

The Look of Fine Leather

Remember last week when I mentioned that my design choice for our splash screen won the Facebook contest? Well Genny is here today to share why she was hoping that we wouldn’t change the splash screen at all. Here’s Genny:

The group crammed in the small office represented all facets of Olive Tree’s operations. The matter of discussion: the iconic opening splash screen of Olive Tree’s Bible study app. I had answered the call to attend this meeting, a voluntary gathering, as I was bewildered why we would change from the faux-leather cover that currently greeted users of all of our apps.

I consider myself to be a technically progressive fifty-something individual, and loved it when we adopted that splash screen. It reminded me of all the well-used Bibles sitting on my shelf, now collecting dust. It was nostalgic. It was comforting. It was more than pixels for me.

“I really like our current screen,” I volunteered, “it makes an emotional connection for me. Why do we feel the need to change?” (more…)

Crying Out to God

Image Credit: Funzu

At church, my pastor is preaching through a series of Bible passages that all have to do with roads, drawing an analogy to the life of Christian discipleship. So far we’ve learned about the journey of the Magi in Matthew 2 and the narrow gateway to God’s Kingdom in Matthew 7. Yesterday, my pastor preached about the blind beggar in Mark 10:46-52. Here’s the passage:

46“Then they reached Jericho, and as Jesus and his disciples left town, a large crowd followed him. A blind beggar named Bartimaeus (son of Timaeus) was sitting beside the road. 47When Bartimaeus heard that Jesus of Nazareth was nearby, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me!”

48“Be quiet!” many of the people yelled at him. (more…)

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