Author Archives for Guest Blogger

The New, Holy Standard of Love

March 23, 2016 3:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

John 13:33-35 Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’ A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. Supper had been eaten. The cup had been blessed. Fellowship had been shared. Betrayal had been foretold. After Judas left Jesus and the other disciples at the table in the upper room, some of my favorite parts of the Holy Week narrative take place. They are common, familiar, lowly, home-centered—perhaps that is why they prick me especially poignantly, as I am a full time homemaker and homeschooling mama of four small children. I am daily surrounded by the common and the lowly. Morsels of bread, washing off dirt, and commands to love one another are tools of my own trade. What Jesus says to His disciples grabs my attention: not just love one another, but prefaced. A new commandment I give... View Article


Justice is a part of discipleship & ultimately our worship of God

March 3, 2016 3:00 am Published by 2 Comments

Guest Blog by Eugene Cho Over the years, I’ve been given by some the mini-reputation as a leader in the field of justice. At first, I took it as a compliment and  of course, I still do because I care a lot about justice. I know that people mean well. But I care about justice not  just for the sake of justice. I care about justice…because I care much about the Gospel. And sometimes, when I hear folks talk about justice in the church, I cringe… I cringe because if we’re not careful, we’re again compartmentalizing justice rather than seeing it as part of the whole Gospel; We need to see justice as a critical part of God’s character and thus, our discipleship and worship. Just like we shouldn’t extract the character of “love” or “grace” or “holiness” from God’s character, such must be the case with justice. People often ask me, “What’s the most critical part about seeking justice.” My answer: We must not just seek justice but live justly. Justice work and just living are part of our discipleship. Justice contributes to our worship of God. Justice is worship. You will know a tree from its fruit. 
In... View Article


Why We Do Digital Devotionals

February 2, 2016 9:59 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Guest Post by Lana Dwire via EdifyHub “Steve, I’m not sure if I’d really use an iPad if we got it.” “Well, Lana, if you don’t use it, it will become mine. I’m sure I’ll use it!” That was the conversation several years ago. Hard to believe I thought I wouldn’t use the iPad that much. Guess what? Steve never got the iPad we bought because I absolutely love being able to use Olive Tree on it for my Bible devotions! Previously I was a firm believer in doing devotions with a “real” Bible. There’s just something about having the actual book in your hands….but then I saw all that Steve could do with the Olive Tree app….and how I had a stack of books – the BIG Strong’s Concordance, Nave’s Topical Bible, my notebook & pen. Hmmm….maybe it would be nice to have it all together as one. It would make it so easy for traveling too! So, I got the iPad, installed Olive Tree, and haven’t regretted one bit switching to having my devotions on the iPad! Oh, I do love using my “real” Bible for church, but I can dig into His Word so much more and so much... View Article


My Favorite Three Bible Study methods

September 14, 2015 9:00 am Published by 7 Comments

From Guest Blogger: Andy Deane, author of Learn to Study the Bible Studying the Scriptures is supposed to be exciting! That’s why King David tells us in Psalm 119:103: “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” Like me, I hope that you have found this verse to be true. Maybe, like me, you have also discovered that having plain honey multiple times a day can get repetitive. I’m not saying that God’s word becomes boring over time. Actually, it’s quite the opposite. I love that God’s word is so diverse and continues to excite and bless the reader taste after taste. The Scriptures are not to blame if we lose our taste for them. The Bible is designed to be a continual blessing to the believer. But believers may sometimes need to mix up how they study the Scriptures to make sure to avoid the ruts that their method of extracting the honey can bring about. Sometimes when we use the same approach to studying each and every day, the approach can become repetitive. It’s not God’s word that needs new spice, it’s the method of study that needs variety. That is why I wrote Learn to Study the... View Article


Saturday Hope in the Waiting

April 3, 2015 12:00 pm Published by 10 Comments

Guest Blogger: Melissa Joy Job 30:26 But when I hoped for good, evil came, and when I waited for light, darkness came. Hope is a double edged sword. Walking through Holy Week, we think along the lines of so many events… It’s so busy! Jesus Christ rode into Jerusalem while His people worshipped and called hosanna, He cleansed the temple and taught His people, He is betrayed by one who is unfaithful, He is perfumed by one who is faithful, He gives thanks even in the presence of His betrayer, He hands out bread and wine to His followers, He prays in solitude, He is captured and taken away, He is scrutinized and condemned, He is taken before leaders and stood before multitudes, He is burdened in every imaginable way, He is stripped and scourged, He is hung and nailed through, He cries out, He is forsaken, He bleeds, He dies, He is taken away, He is buried in the dark tomb… Now what? The time between death and resurrection feels so dark, so empty, so long. What is happening in this day between Friday and Sunday? What are we to do as we sit outside the tomb? And what... View Article


How I Commune with God on my Morning Commute

February 18, 2015 3:00 am Published by 6 Comments

From Guest Blogger: Ashley LaMar In about 15 minutes I’m going to be starting my weekday commute to work. My commute looks like this: a 5-minute walk to the train station, waiting 5-10 minutes for the train to arrive, a 25-minute train ride, waiting 5-10 minutes for the bus to arrive, a 15-minute bus ride, and a 5-minute walk to my office. My total morning commute time is 1 hour – 1 hour and 15 minutes and approximately 45 minutes of that is spent either riding the transit system or waiting.  What do I do during the time? I read. I used to read a novel on my Kindle but ever since I’ve discovered the free Olive Tree Bible App I use this time for Bible study. Note: This is not a sponsored post by Olive Tree, I just love their app and really wanted to share it with you. I have two faith-based apps on my iPad that I use in the morning. The first is The Christian’s Daily Challenge. I read it in the morning when I first wake up before I shower, eat breakfast, and start my day. I ruminate on it and let it sink it while I’m getting dressed for work. Then,... View Article


God Is Passionate and Poetic – The Passion Translation

February 16, 2015 12:35 pm Published by 4 Comments

From Guest Blogger: Dr. Brian Simmons, Lead Translator for The Passion Translation God Is Passionate and Poetic. It may surprise some of us to hear God described this way, as passionate and poetic. Yet the heart of God is filled with holy longings, passions which he expressed in creation and through redemption. And we would never discover such passions completely without the gift of God’s poetic Word, spoken to us in our own language. The Passion Translation is committed to translating the Word of God with all of its poetic nuance, flavor, passion, and truth—without compromising accuracy in any way. It expresses God’s passion for people and His world by translating the original, life-changing message of God’s Word for modern readers; it is every bit reliable as it is relevant. God’s Word is potent, it has power to transform lives. As you read the Bible in this new, modern English version, expect to be delighted by The Passion Translation with new insights and a fresh understanding of all that God wants to say to our hearts. This is a heart-level translation, from the passion of God’s heart to the passion of your heart. Written by passionate men, the Bible is unlocked... View Article


What The NIDB Is and How It Has Helped Me

February 6, 2015 1:00 pm Published by 2 Comments

Guest Review: Abram Kielsmeier-Jones An underrated but really good Bible dictionary is the New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible (NIDB). Published by Abingdon, the five-volume set is edited by Katharine Doob Sakenfeld and includes contributions of nearly 1,000 scholars. For a short time the dictionary set is $99.99 in Olive Tree Bible software. Below I offer–from my perspective as a preaching pastor and Bible reader–my take on the set, with a focus on Olive Tree’s iOS Bible Study App. What The NIDB Is and How It Has Helped Me There are more than 7,000 articles in NIDB. The contributing scholars are diverse in terms of gender, ethnicity, and denominational background–a refreshing mix of voices. The dictionary balances reverence for the biblical text with rigorous scholarship–though the dictionary is rarely arcane. The NIDB has been eminently useful to me in my weekly sermon preparation. Last fall, for example, when preaching through Genesis, I knew I’d have to make sense somehow of the “subdue” command that God gives the first humans regarding their relationship to the earth. The dictionary’s “Image of God” entry helpfully clarifies: While the verb may involve coercive activities in interhuman relationships (see Num. 32:22, 29), no enemies are in... View Article


5 questions to ask when choosing a Bible reading plan

January 9, 2015 3:00 am Published by 3 Comments

Guest Blogger: Rachel Wojnarowski You intended for 2015 to be the year- the year that you settled into a daily Bible reading routine. Yet January 1st came… and the first week went, and you still haven’t started reading the Bible daily. Guess what? I have wonderful news; it’s not too late to choose a Bible reading plan for 2015! In fact, it’s never too late to begin a daily quiet time routine with God. The key to establishing a routine is to have an actual plan. Without a plan, we all know it just won’t happen; intentionality is a must. Today I have five questions to ask when choosing a Bible reading plan. These questions will provide guidance for choosing a Bible reading plan that works for you! 1. How much time do I intend to spend reading the Bible daily? Choosing the amount of time you are going to spend each day reading the Bible doesn’t have to be set in stone, but it’s a great idea to estimate how much time you are going to set aside each day for reading. Knowing how much time you are going to use will enable you to choose a plan that will... View Article


New Title for The Bible Study App: Voice of a Prophet: A.W.Tozer

May 9, 2014 10:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Voice of a Prophet is Now Available! Voice of a Prophet is the 11th title in a series of best selling trade books compiled and edited by James Snyder, today’s leading authority on the life and writings of A.W. Tozer and includes never-before-published content based on the teachings of Tozer.  Here’s a brief introduction to this new work by the compiler and editor, James L. Synder. From Guest Blogger and Editor:  James Snyder One great concern of Dr. A.W.Tozer, addressed in this new book, has to do with the condition of the church. He loved the church and consequently was deeply concerned at the direction it was going. Although he died in 1963, he had a prophetic view of where the evangelical church in particular was heading. And it disturbed him. Everything he said about the church seems to have come true. The responsibility for this decline in the church today, according to Tozer, rests upon the gatekeepers. Or, as presented in this book, the prophets. The question posed here is simply, where are the prophets? And more pointedly, who is responsible for silencing the prophets in our day? I think my favorite chapter is chapter 12, “We Need Prophets, Not Promoters.” The... View Article