Saturday, August 20, 2011
I recently bought a new app for my Apple iPod Touch called Fighter Verses from Children Desiring God.
Anyone familiar with the ministry of John Piper will know that he is a Scripture memory master. If you would like to see him in action, check out:
One of the outgrowths of Pastor Piper's commitment to Scripture memorization is a program called "Fighter Verses" which he developed back in 1997 as a ministry for the Bethlehem Church family. It started as a card deck containing selected verses that would allow the believer to "fight the fight of faith". More recently, it has been expanded to a web site and a pair of apps—one for the iOS and the other for Android.
The app is essentially a database of verses. There are several sets of 52 verses (one per week). There are 260 verses in the Fighter Verses Collection. That is enough for 5 years of study. Two other sets of verses are also included: Legacy Collection and the Extended Memory Collection which add another 10 years. The app also has the capability to add custom verse sets. Three popular translations are provided: ESV, NIV and KJV. According to the web site: "The Fighter Verses focus on 1) the character and worth of our great God, 2) battling against our fleshly desires, and 3) the hope of the Gospel."
With the app, you have the ability to read the whole chapter (to see the verse in context), listen to the verse, sing the verse and share the verse on various social networking sites. You can also check out the Fighter Verses blog, search the Desiring God web site and quiz yourself using the "fill in the blanks" method. Once you memorize the verse, you can mark it as memorized and move on.
The feature that I like the most is the Topical Index. It turns the database into a very nice topical Bible that you can consult in times of trouble for prayer and meditation. The verses selected are wonderful and should be in the arsenal of every believer.
I love the app so much that I also bought the Android version for my Galaxy Tab. Highly recommended for those who want the Word of God to abide in them.
Friday, August 5, 2011
|Harold L. Gaines|
Zoe Radio Africa is a new Internet radio station targeted to Senegal and French Africa. Harold Gaines is the founder and CEO of ZRA and I serve on the Board of Elders. I decided to ask Harold some questions about this new ministry:
Why did you decide to create an Internet Radio Station?
It was not my idea. I went to Africa on a medical missionary trip not knowing really what my purpose was. I spent some time there with members of the small church population and did triage for the medical professionals.
When I came home God spoke to me about creating an internet radio station. I did not have anything like that in mind. In fact, when I left Africa the first time, I swore I would never return. I thought my money was better spent sending financial help. But, when God speaks something into your heart it is only proper to obey and so Zoe Radio Africa was born.
I did not really choose Senegal. I had never been to Africa. When I was invited to take the mission trip, Senegal was where they were going. In retrospect, I certainly see the hand of God and know for certain that Senegal was the place He wanted me to go.
Describe the process of setting up the station?
The first thing that I had to do was spend hours and hours on the internet reading everything I could about starting an internet radio station. It was actually rather easy as most of the hosting sites have great information about how to use their services.
Second, I had to decide on which hosting service. I just choose the one with the website that I thought was most informative and was the easiest to use. The price differences between them didn’t vary much so ease of use was the primary factor in deciding.
Then, I set up a computer dedicated to this project. That was not required, but to keep from mixing personal and business files, I choose to use a separate computer. Once I had the content I just used the free File Transfer Protocol (FTP) program recommended by the host to transfer files to them. We ran the station with no listeners for about 3 months while I learned the nuances of the software and how to do some special things such as put pictures with the messages.
Lastly, we created a website to serve as an interface between our listeners and the host site.
What challenges did you face in getting the station on the air?
There were some obvious technical challenges but the most difficult challenge was starting an internet radio station in French. I don’t speak French so I had to rely on friends to translate everything.
Another challenge was finding French content. There is so little good Christian material in languages other than English. That is not to say that there aren’t great French churches, but compared to the English speaking ones in the public arena, French ones are quite scarce. I spent a good deal of my younger years as a radio personality but my voice is essentially useless since I don’t speak the language required.
What are your plans for future expansion?
The plan is to create another station later this year in Arabic to offer the Gospel in Northern Africa. The internet can go places where missionaries can never go. After that we may offer stations in English and Hebrew as direction is received from God.
Saturday, July 23, 2011
The reason is accessibility. Not only is Logos available on my computer, it also travels with me on my Samsung Galaxy Tab and my Apple iPod Touch. In addition, I can access much of its functionality via a website called Biblia on any computer with a web browser. This means that I can study the Bible just about anywhere and anytime I want to.
Instead of lugging a large briefcase full of heavy books and reference sources like I used to, I can access many of the over 600 books in my Logos library almost instantly. As a result, I don't have to spend all of my time sitting in front of the computer to study the Bible. I can study it while waiting in line at the grocery store, while sitting at the coffee shop or during my lunch break at work.
This is a revolutionary development that has the potential to increase the depth of Bible knowledge for the average Christian. One of the amazing things about Logos is its tremendous search capabilities. Instead of looking through tables of contents and indexes in various books, I can enter a search term and have results from all of the books in my library on the screen in seconds. Logos is an incredible resource and I thank God for it!