The Happiest Place on Earth

Posted by on 03/12/2014 in:

I don’t travel to new places very often; I love being at home. A couple weeks ago I broke the mold and traveled to southern California to spend time with my sister, and we spent a Saturday at Disneyland. The day was a happy whirl of rides, lines, ice cream, and warm sunshine, but around 3:30 that afternoon, when the park was at its most busy and we couldn’t walk without bumping into someone, I began to feel the effects of the crowds. As a child, I might have pitched a fit. But as such tantrums are not tolerated with adults (however much we might want to), I agreed with my sister that a half hour break in the car would be good for both of us. I recognized unmistakable symptoms of being overtired, irritable, and, in this new environment with so many unknown faces, a little fragile, too.

The next day, my sister and I visited my grandma who had recently suffered a minor stroke. My sister and I helped her from her wheelchair to the hospital bed, and she lay there helplessly, unable to use her arms to prop herself up on the bed. My sister and the nurse hoisted her up, and we stood over her, looking down.  She grabbed our hands, hers still surprisingly firm and strong, and said to us, “I’m sorry you have to see me at my worst.” I smiled at her and squeezed her hand, but my insides wrinkled uncomfortably as I recalled the day before, overwhelmed in the happiest place on earth, ready to burst into tears like a petulant child. My grandma’s worst didn’t seem that much different than my worst.

Two weeks later, I sat in the Ash Wednesday service at church and listened to the words of invitation to the observance of Lent:Wooden cross isolated on white

“Friends in Christ, every year at the time of the Christian Passover, we celebrate our redemption through the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Lent is a time to prepare for this celebration and to renew our life in the paschal mystery. We begin our journey to Easter with the sign of ashes. This ancient sign speaks of the frailty and uncertainty of human life and marks the penitence of this community.”

As the sign of the cross was marked on my forehead with ashes, I was struck by the troubling paradox in the words of invitation, new life and frailty in the same breath. It’s like Lent itself, a season marked by penitence and fasting, which is puzzlingly placed at the time of year when the created world is bursting into new life. The grass becomes green again, the trees straighten towards the light, and flowers emerge from the cold ground.

I realized as I felt the ash on my forehead that my grandma and I both represented the paradox of Lent. My grandma, whose earthly body is failing, is headed for the new life that awaits us in heaven, where the earthly wear and tear fades away forever. While still young and healthy, I have my own frailty in wrestling with the sin and brokenness that are inherent to human life. And yet, the promise of new life still extends to me in the culmination of Lent, that glorious triumph of the cross of Christ. I like Disneyland and all, but surely living in the light of new life, even with the shadow of death, is the happiest place on earth.

Continue Reading

Sneak Peek: Archaeological Study Bible Notes

Posted by on 03/07/2014 in: , ,

One of the great things about our upcoming 5.9 iOS release is how The Bible Study App will be better able to layout text in ways that we could not before.  We wanted to show you a few examples of this using the Archaeological Study Bible Notes. (Screenshots taken from an iPad 2.  Click for a larger view.)

Compare the Study Notes in the Resource Guide in the Split Screen

Split Comparison 1

On the current iOS 5.5.4 App, The Archaeological Study Bible Notes require the entire width to display the images, and that the text cannot flow around the images. In the new iOS 5.9 App, note how the caption actually looks like a proper caption, and the text flows around the images as intended.

Split Comparison 2

Compare the Study Notes in Full Screen

Full Screen Comparison

Text display is just one of the many advantages to this future app update.  Make sure you have our latest iOS update that paves the way for this future update by clicking the link App Store graphic below:

appstore

The Archaeological Study Bible Notes and all enhanced titles for the Resource Guide are discounted this weekend.

Continue Reading

Enhanced for the Resource Guide: Bible Dictionaries & Encyclopedias

Posted by on 03/07/2014 in: , , ,

What is the Resource Guide?  The Resource Guide is your personal research assistant within The Bible Study App.  When we say a resource is “enhanced” for the Resource Guide, it means it’s more than just a flat ebook that you read once and put away.  An enhanced resource is a powerful feature in The Bible Study App that you can use to find what you’re looking for easily and quickly.  Bible dictionaries and encyclopedias are two of the products that Olive Tree enhances for the Resource Guide.

Here are three ways The Bible Study App enhances Bible Dictionaries and Encyclopedias (screenshots are from an iPad 2 and a Nexus 7 – click on an image for a expanded view):

ONE:

Open your favorite Bible in the main window. (I’ve got the ESV open in this example.)  Tap the split window handle and drag it to a width or height you like.  As I scroll through the Bible text, the resource guide keeps up with me and searches through all the books in my library for content related to the Scripture passage in the main window.

If you scroll down the Resource Guide results, you will see the section headings “People,” “Places,” and “Topics.”

ios-split results splitwindow-topics

Tap or click on the person/place/topic you want to learn more about.  I chose “Altar” in this example.  The Bible Study App then brings you results from within the resources you have on your device.  I’m using the Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible for our example.

ios-results android-altar results

You’ll see that the resource has the words “article to altar” underneath the book cover.  Tap/Click on the book cover and The Bible Study App will take you directly to the article within the Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible.  After you’ve tapped on the Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible, you can scroll down and read the entire article without having to leave your Bible text.

ios altar image inline

When you encounter a map, chart, image or photo, you can tap to bring up a closer view.

android-altar android-altar large

If there are scripture references in the article, just tap the verse and it will appear in a pop-up window.

ios-pop-up android-pop-up

You can also tap the top right-hand corner of the pop-up window to bring up the option to open these hyperlinked references in the main window or the split window.

TWO:

You can also utilize the Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible as a traditional encyclopedia in The Bible Study App.  Just Tap/Click the “Go-To” button and scroll through this awesome resource as you would a hard-copy encyclopedia.

ios-traditional  android-traditional

THREE:

The Bible Study App Search feature takes the Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible to another level. Tap/Click the “Search” icon (magnifying glass icon) and type the word you’re looking for to find all the references of that word in the Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible.

ios search android-search

EXTRA:

In iPhone/iPad app, you also have an additional option.  Tap and hold a word in the Bible text and an option menu bar will pop up.  From here you get the options to Copy, Highlight, Note, Bookmark, Share, Define, Lookup and More.

ios-word popup

If you tap “Define” you will get the integrated iOS dictionary pop-up.

If you tap the “Lookup” button you’ll get “hits” from your resources on just that specific word. From here you can follow the same steps as you would in the resource guide option above.

ios-lookup

Go here see all Dictionaries & Encyclopedias available for the Bible Study App!

Continue Reading

Free Resource Friday

Posted by on 03/07/2014 in:

This week’s Free Resource Friday is Olive Tree’s Places of the Bible: 100 Important Biblical LocationsPlaces in the Bible

Olive Tree Places: 100 Important Biblical Locations, offers details about towns, cities, and regions where some of the most important events in the Bible took place. From material on geographic locations to how each place is tied to the fabric of biblical history, this compilation provides information that will enrich your study of the Bible and enhance your understanding of the varied landscape in which God’s story unfolds.

In addition to browsing this work, readers will also be able to find entries through the Bible Study app’s dictionary look up feature, allowing them to access this information easily while studying the Bible or reading any of the other titles available on our platform.

To download this title for The Bible Study App you can search for it in the in-app store or go HERE for download instructions.

Also check out this week’s specials on titles enhanced for The Bible Study Apps Resource Guide.

Continue Reading

Sermons in the Resource Guide

Posted by on 03/05/2014 in: ,

Of the many Bible study tools that Olive Tree offers, sermon collections are another great resource that are specifically enhanced to work in the Resource Guide of The Bible Study App.

Sermons work much the same as a commentary in the resource guide. In the screenshot below the resource guide recognizes that I’m in Galatians chapter four and so when I look at the sermon section of the resource guide I see that in my installed sermon collections both Charles Spurgeon and John Piper have preached on this particular section of scripture.

Resource Guide Sermons1

A simple tap/click then takes me to the text of their sermon for easy reading and also to help me in my understanding of the passage.

Resource Guide Sermons2

This week there are over 600 titles on special that are specifically enhanced for the Resource Guide.

Continue Reading

New Release: AHA – The God Moment That Changes Everything

Posted by on 03/04/2014 in:

Today we feature a new release by David C. Cook written by pastor and author Kyle Idelman.

We’ve all had “aha!” moments in our lives, times when a sudden revelation surprises us with insight. According to pastor and bestselling author Kyle Idleman, we can experience this same kind of “aha!” in our spiritual lives. With everyday examples and trademark testimonies, Idleman draws on Scripture to reveal how three key elements can draw us closer to God and change our lives for good.

Also check out this free live event Free Live Event featuring Duck Dynasty’s Beardless Brother, Al Robertson, and author Kyle Idleman sharing about their AHA moments and more. Click here to register!

Get this new title for The Bible Study App here!

Continue Reading

The Powerful Resource Guide

Posted by on 03/03/2014 in: ,

What is the Resource Guide?
As you read along in your Bible in the main window of The Bible Study App, the Resource Guide in the split window follows along, looking in your library for any Bible study information that is relevant to your reading. As you scroll or change scripture references the Resource Guide will stay in sync looking to all of your study resources making for a powerful and easy to use study tool.

Your Very Own Research Assistant
Think of the Resource Guide as your own personal research assistant. If you were reading about Paul’s first missionary journey in Acts 13, your research assistant has a map of Paul’s journey, cross references to passages in Paul’s letters written to the churches he founded, charts that give an overview of Paul’s life, and all sorts of other resources. You didn’t have to do anything, in fact, you didn’t even have to ask. All of the work was already done by your personal research assistant, the Resource Guide.

Resource Guide 1

Completely Customizable
The configuration of the Resource Guide is also customizable. To access the options for customizing the Resource Guide tap on the double arrow button (double gear for Android) in the upper right corner. You will then see the various options for customizing the different sections in the Resource Guide.

Resource Guide2

Here’s a short video on the basics of the Resource Guide:

What types of resources work with the Resource Guide?
The Resource Guide is ‘verse driven’ which means that the Bible passage that is open in the main window directs what references appear in the Resource Guide. Not every resource is verse driven but some examples of verse driven resources are:

  • Articles on people, places, and other topics
  • Study Bible notes
  • Commentaries
  • Outlines
  • Dictionaries
  • Introductions to books of the Bible
  • Cross references
  • Maps
Browse Titles Enhanced for the Resource Guide

Continue Reading