People at Olive Tree
A couple of weeks ago we asked a question on our Facebook about what device people were using to run The Bible Study App and what country they were from. Hundreds of you were kind enough to answer (you can see the post here) and one of the things that stood out was how many people from around the world use the Bible Study App to read and study God’s word – over 3 million people from 6 continents (we’re still trying to find someone in Antarctica).
There are two reasons this is exciting to us at Olive Tree:
Matthew 24:14 says, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” As many of you indicated the country you’re from it was a great reminder that God’s promises come to pass. The good news (gospel) has gone out as Jesus promised and no matter what country we’re from we are all a part of his Kingdom.
The other reason it was great to see your responses is because our work at Olive Tree is driven by our mission statement to, “inspire people to connect with God and study the Bible using technology.” As individual employees we are all continuing to grow in our faith and blessed to be a part of a company that seeks to provide the best tool possible to study, learn, and grow.
(The Olive Tree Offices)
Last week we asked for prayer requests through our social media channels and as a staff we gathered together on a Thursday morning to pray for those of you who had submitted requests. It was a great honor for us to be able to do that and something we want to continue to do in the days ahead. We also appreciate your prayers as we are praying and planning for the future and how to best equip and resource people who use The Bible Study App.
We value your feedback and our development teams are constantly working to bring new features to the various platforms. We also appreciate your ratings! If you haven’t yet rated our app on Google Play or the Apple Store please take a minute to do so.
Olive Tree employees had the opportunity to participate in a Spokane-area Christmas tradition this year called the Tree of Sharing. The non-profit organization aims to serve the “often-forgotten” members of the community by supplying 60 local agencies with Christmas presents and other aid throughout the year. My coworker and I picked out 30 tags before Thanksgiving on which 30 individuals of all ages had requested Christmas gifts. The gifts Olive Tree employees could buy were varied, to say the least, from hats and gloves to board games to monster trucks and John Deere tractors for kids. I particularly liked these guys:
For three weeks, Olive Tree employees brought their gifts in, some wrapped and some unwrapped, and piled them around the Christmas tree in the Olive Tree kitchen. By the end of the three weeks, we had quite the stack of presents!
This morning, two men from the Tree of Sharing organization came to pick up the gifts. Several of us helped them carry the gifts out into the gently falling snow to a car that would deliver the gifts to the families and individuals.
In this Christmas season, it has been such a blessing for me and the other Olive Tree employees to follow Jesus’ words in the Gospel of Matthew: “I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!” (25:40). Praise God that Christmas reminds us to give with bold generosity as we pattern our lives after the King of Kings who “though he was God, did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being” (Phil. 2:6-7) and “so the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only son” (John 1:14).
Praise be to Emmanuel, God With Us!
Question of the Day: Does your family or workplace have a giving tradition at Christmas? Tell us about it.
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.
Early Saturday morning Pastor John Piper (more…)
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…)
Pastor and blogger Kevin Purcell interviewed Olive Tree for an article in Christian Computing Magazine on September 26. However, from my perspective as Olive Tree’s president, Kevin’s article has a big, bad word in it.
Somehow, Kevin got the idea that I am retiring. Did an asteroid hit a satellite during the interview? Or maybe a golf ball hit the window in Stephen’s office during the e-mail interview. I am learning how to golf after all, though with minimal achievement. (I call “golf” ”goof”)
Kevin’s interview is great; however, I am still involved in Olive Tree as the President, especially with company leadership, software innovation, and publisher relations. There are still so many innovative ways to help people study the Bible using technology. Olive Tree is at the exciting intersection of this people, Bible, and technology triangle.
There must be something in the air around here, because it’s confession time. On the heels of Elizabeth’s announcement that she is a wee bit afraid of technology, I must admit that I also have a secret problem.
This may not sound like a big issue, competition is a way of life in the USA, but I’m not just kind of competitive. For example, if you and I were walking into a building at the same time, I would have to force myself to refrain from taking off running and proclaiming, “Last one to the door is a rotten egg!” Sometimes I play out the race in my head anyway and smugly open the door, knowing that I won and you are a rotten egg.
Usually I can filter my competitiveness so that it stays in my head. When I pull out my phone at church to open my Olive Tree app to the Bible verse, I secretly peek over to the person next to me who is doing the same, but (more…)