My Favorite Bible Study App: Bible Reader

Two years ago I made the monumental shift from a PC laptop to an Apple. Overall, I am extremely happy with the results but I was slow in adding Bible Study software to my new format. I used to have a wide variety of Bible software on my laptop including Quickverse and Nelson’s Electronic Bible. These were dated editions, however, and would not work on the new Apple format. Purchasing Bible software could not be a priority at first because I had other more pressing needs initially.

I did download Bible Reader so I could read the Bible on my MacBook Pro and I used this app most of the time when wanting to check out a particular scripture reading. I did not purchase my favorite translations of the Bible, so this app was only used occasionally and without much practical use in my leadership as a pastor.

This is all changed recently when I decided that something need to be done to get me up to speed with an electronic Bible with good translations and Bible Study helps. It was easy to purchase the add on software packages by purchasing The Bible Study Kit to accompany Bible Reader on my laptop. This bundle includes the following translations: NRSV, NIV, HCSB, and KJV. It also includes the KJV with Strong’s Numbers; the Amplified Bible; Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary; Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary; Easton’s Bible Dictionary; Nave’s Topical Bible Index; Enhanced Strong’s Dictionary; Treasury of Scripture Knowledge; Olive Tree KJV Concordance; Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Devotional; Daily Light, KJV; Life Journal Daily Reading Plan, and Manna Maps Study Set. I also added on the Harper Collins Study Bible.

The result is a a good, quality set of electronic Bible Study tools that are always at my fingertips. An added bonus is that everything syncs to my iPhone, including any notes or highlights I make in Bible Reader. This is sweet!

I am now using Bible Reader diligently for sermon preparation, my weekly Bible Study, and my Small Group.

I highly recommend Bible Reader for anyone who wants to study the Bible more deeply.

Live Streaming Worship on Sundays at 8:30am!

We have great news to share with you!

Stroudsburg UMC is now streaming worship online at 8:30am. What does this mean to you? Well, first of all, you can now worship with us when you cannot be here physically due to illness or being away on vacation. Secondly, grandparents can see their children singing in the Cherub Choir from many states away when they cannot be here!

You can view the live streaming or any previously recorded worship here.

You can view the scripture reading and sermon on our sermon page here.

Bookmark these locations on your computer. You can view the files on your computer, iPod, or cell phone!

We hope you will share this with your family, friends, and neighbors and get the word out!

Digging Deeper Study Guide

This week will mark the fifth week of adding the Digging Deeper Study Guide in our bulletin. I hope you are finding this study guide useful!

The goal was to provide a way for us to dig deeper into each week’s sermon. I am happy to share that at the very least I am digging deeper into the Bible to find appropriate material for this study guide. This also allows for a more in-depth study of each week’s sermon for me, too.

There is limited time on Sunday morning for me to really dig deeply into the message. I often feel the conflict of time during worship and I also don’t want to get too long-winded! The study guide provides an opportunity for us to expand on the sermon and dig deeper into the subject.

I hope you are finding the Digging Deeper Study Guide helpful. If you are, please share it with a friend and write a comment here on my blog to let me know you’re using it.

Thanks!

God in the Movies?

Where have you last felt God’s presence in your life?

I confess that I am a simple, down to earth person much of the time. I grew up in the country and worked on a farm for most of my young life before going off to college. There is just something special about the simple things in life. I do get distracted with all the technology that is now available at our fingertips today, but I do see some positive connections with some of these advancements.

For example, television and movies can be places for us to see and consider important things–even spiritual things!

I like “The Waltons” television series and still watch the reruns today. This family show depicts a simple lifestyle loaded with life-lessons and spiritual connections. I believe this show connects to people of today quite well because of the tough economic times we are currently experiencing.

Movies can also connect us to spiritual ideas and ponderings. This is why I decided to use movies as a theme for our current sermon series: God in the Movies. Some of the movies are Christian and faith-based, while others are secular movies that talk about or depict God in some way. All of the movies I picked say something about our relationship to God and present questions many people have about God and faith.

I hope you are enjoying this sermon series on God in the movies. It does take some added effort to develop these sermons each week, but the journey has been educational and enlightening for me. I hope the next three weeks will speak to your soul. Here are the next three sermons:

  1. Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail
  2. Letters to God
  3. Glee – Grilled Cheesus
You can hear the previous sermons on this series on our church website.
This approach of using movies as the basis for our sermons is new and different for many of us. I do hope it is worth the effort and that this series is speaking to you spiritually.
What do you think? Is a sermon series based on movies a good idea? Do movies ask some questions that have been on your mind about God or your faith? What movies or tv shows speak to you?

Journey to the Cross

Palm Sunday is a triumphant and uplifting experience for many of us. We wave palm branches and see the donkey as we begin worship. (Yes, for those of you who don’t know or haven’t seen it, we have a miniature donkey in worship on Palm Sunday as part of our celebration.) The children process behind the donkey, waving their palm branches and sporting wide smiles as they see a donkey in church. Of course, our purpose in doing this is to recollect some of the fascinating details regarding Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem on that first Palm Sunday.

Things changed quickly that week for Jesus, the religious leaders, and the crowd. Jesus was condemned to die on the cross.

As we journey to the cross, I hope we will really take some time to reflect on the sacrifice Jesus made for each of us. This was truly an act of love!

The journey to the cross is not an easy one. Nevertheless, it is an important one. This coming Sunday we will examine some of the interesting details of Jesus’ crucifixion. Some recent archeological findings shed some light on some of these details. I am hopeful that we will not only learn some new things about the crucifixion, but we will be able to look at Jesus’ sacrifice in a personal way that will change our lives. These last 24 hours of Jesus’ life have a way of doing this. After all, these 24 hours did change the world!

24 Hours

My current sermon series is entitled “24 Hours that Changed the World.”

This series is adapted from Rev. Adam Hamilton’s series that he created a few years ago. You can find out more on his church’s website at cor.org.

These sermons look in-depth at the last 24 hours of Jesus’ life here on earth. Each week we examine a different portion of these last 24 hours and contemplate what it must have been like to be there during these difficult hours in Jesus’ life.

From The Last Supper to the cross on Golgotha, we will walk this difficult journey with Jesus. We will learn some new things along the way and try to strengthen our faith through the careful examination of these hours. We will also look at the disciples and those around Jesus in these dark hours.

Join us in worship to journey through these 24 hours and strengthen your relationship with Jesus.

I Need Your Help!

Well, it is soon time for me to start preparing and outlining my sermon topics for next  year. I started preaching sermon series this year and I need your help for my upcoming sermons.

What sermon topics interest you? If you could pick any series or topics to hear in a sermon, what would they be? Is there something you would enjoy hearing in a sermon? Are there some relevant subjects you believe the church should be addressing today?

Please help me by commenting and sharing your thoughts and ideas.

I look forward to hearing what you think could be pertinent and interesting sermon topics!

Thanks!