People at Olive Tree

Technological Innovation v. Golf

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”)

Drew trying to learn golf in Christina Lake, Canada

Drew learning to golf in Christina Lake, Canada.

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.


Competitive? Who Me?

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.


I’m competitive.

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…)

An Olive Tree Technophobe?

I am something of a technophobe.

I know what you’re thinking. Yes, I work at a Bible software company.

In the bubble of college two years ago, I was vaguely aware that technology existed, that some of my classmates were getting smartphones and that people actually used computers for something other than writing papers. But my mind was tied up with others things, i.e. what I was going to do after college with a Theology major and English minor.

A year and a half after graduating and 11 months after starting at Olive Tree, I purchased my first device: a brand-new Kindle Fire HD. The package arrived after work on a Monday afternoon. I saw the package on my dining room table and immediately regarded it with suspicion. What was I actually supposed to do with this thing? I sat on the couch and it sat next to me. I stared at it and it stared back.

I took the Fire to work the next day and called over my developer coworker, Ian. He couldn’t believe I hadn’t opened it yet and helped me set it up with a few quick swipes and taps. On my own, I downloaded Olive Tree’s app, found the icon in my carousel, and confidently tapped on it. I saw the green splash screen, and immediately got this message:

BibleReader has stopped working.


Meet the Director of Publisher and Ministry Relations

Over the last year Olive Tree has experienced tremendous growth and welcomed some great new people to our team. With these new additions, we’ve also recognized our experienced team members who have taken on leadership roles. Daniel Scott has been working for Olive Tree in numerous capacities over the last two years, including managing the customer satisfaction and marketing teams. He also represents Olive Tree at Christian conferences and events around the globe. We are excited to announce that Daniel (known as Danny around here) will be taking on the role of Director of Publisher and Ministry Relations.

Danny is fun-loving and appreciates a good pun, often posting groan-inducing cartoons on our kitchen bulletin board. Here are a few more things you should know about our new DPMR:

Tell us a little about your family.

Danny: My wife and I met through ACTION International Ministries where I served as the ministry assistant to the International Director. We have been married almost 3 years now and are excited to welcome our first child into our home this fall.

Any pets?

Danny: Yes, I have a 10lb miniature dachshund and a 90lb black lab. Mocha, our dachshund, is definitely the bossier of the two and puts our lab, Jeepers, in his place.



Renouncing Independence

A group of Olive Tree employees met this morning to pray for Olive Tree, our users, our industry partners, and the personal concerns of our employees. We started our time together by reading from Day 3 of Olive Tree’s 30-Day Devotional, which included a Scripture passage from John 15:7 and an excerpt from R.A. Torrey’s book How to Pray. Torrey writes:

“Now for us to abide in Christ is for us to bear the same relation to Him that the first sort of branches bear to the vine. To abide in Christ is to renounce any independent life of our own…and constantly to look to Him for the inflow of His life into us, and the outworking of His life through us. When we do this, and in so far as we do this, our prayers will obtain that which we seek from God.”

The renouncing of an independent life is true for Olive Tree as a business, but it’s also true for each individual who has devoted his or her life to Christ.

What might it look like for you to renounce your independence in favor of a Christ-governed life?

End-of-Summer Barbeque with Our Neighbors

Is it okay to say “end of summer” already? It’s always hard to tell.

Our next-door neighbors, a mission organization called Partners International, always host a barbeque at the end of August for the three companies in our building. This year Olive Tree was assigned to bring sides and salads and you might say that we “dressed” to impress. We brought pasta salad, potato salad, coleslaw, Caesar salad, green salad, fruit salad, and deviled eggs. What more could you ask for at a barbeque?

Here are some pictures from today’s festivities:

Olive Tree’s CEO, Stephen Johnson, looks on while a Partners employee flips burgers and hot dogs.

Olive Tree and Partners employees stand in a big circle getting ready to pray before the meal.

I told you there was LOTS of food, right? The table didn’t look quite so neat after we all came through.

Tell us about your favorite summer BBQs in the comments section. What’s a barbeque food you can’t live without?




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