Author Archives for Guest Blogger

My Favorite Three Bible Study Methods

September 14, 2015 9:00 am Published by 14 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 2 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


The Truest Thing About You

February 1, 2014 3:00 am Published by 4 Comments

Guest Blogger: David Lomas There are many true things about you. You may be a student. You may be a mom. You may love someone of the opposite sex or the same sex. You may make music or lattes. Life may be incredibly difficult, or you may feel like you’re living the dream. These things may be true—but are they the truest? Fried chicken is food, true, and so is a kale salad. But Jesus declared that He is the truest food. See, other things may have the appearance of being able to satisfy the deep needs of our bodies and even our souls, but Jesus declares that He is even truer food and truer drink. So even among truths, there are true things and there are truer things. Jesus wants to get to the truer things, the things so deeply true about you that they have the power to change everything else, including the merely true things. What if the truest thing about you can cause you to reimagine your entire life? What if the truest thing about you can drown out all the noise and speak the words that you’ve waited for your whole life? What the Gospel... View Article


NICOT Review for the Bible Study App

January 17, 2014 5:00 pm Published by 7 Comments

Guest Review: Abram Kielsmeier-Jones Ask a group of pastors, seminarians, professors, or serious Bible readers, “What one commentary series on the Old Testament would you most recommend?” and you’re likely to hear: “NICOT.” Eerdmans’ New International Commentary on the Old Testament blends scholarship with application in a readable and engaging manner. Few, if any, commentary series are consistently this good throughout the series. And I don’t know of any other series that has such broad ecumenical appeal. NICOT in Olive Tree has 23 volumes, spanning 26 biblical books. The bundle includes the 2010 volume on Hosea. The only volume currently in print that is not here is The Book of Judges, by Barry G. Webb (2012). (Judges is not available in any other Bible software at the moment.) General editor Robert L. Hubbard Jr. writes of the series: NICOT delicately balances “criticism” (i. e., the use of standard critical methodologies) with humble respect, admiration, and even affection for the biblical text. As an evangelical commentary, it pays particular attention to the textʼs literary features, theological themes, and implications for the life of faith today. As I preached through Isaiah this past Advent, John N. Oswalt’s two volumes on that book... View Article