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Daily Devotional Podcasts

28 Oct

As Christians, we know the importance of spending regular time in God’s Word.  Unfortunately, in today’s fast-paced world, finding time alone with our Bible’s isn’t always that easy.  That’s why this week, we’re featuring three helpful podcasts which bring God’s Word to your ears even when your eyes are unavailable!

If you’re looking for an easy daily devotional, why not check out Early Light?  Brought to you courtesy of In Touch Ministries, this brief meditation gives a kick-start to your day with thought-provoking real-life stories and accompanying scripture readings.  At just under five minutes, these devotions are an easy listen with deep impact.  Like a vitamin shot, they’re great for aligning your focus – helping you put God’s Word into action as you head off to school, work, or even a day of play!

Looking for something longer?  Why not check out the Daily Radio Program with Charles Stanley?  These thirty minute sermons are a great way to get centered as you go about your routine.  Join Dr. Stanley as he takes a look at both Scripture and its practical application in the daily lives of believers.  At under 30 minutes, they fit nicely into the school/work commute or even as an accompaniment to your morning bowl of cereal or evening jog!

Want an afternoon pick-me-up?  Then check out Our Daily Bread.  A production of RBC Ministries, these five minute podcasts take a meditative look at Scripture and its relevance in the lives of believers.  Thoughtfully written, these devotions are sure to get you refocused after a long day at school or the office.

With plenty of great content, these podcasts are sure to help you keep your head in the Word… even when you can’t find a place to sit down and read!

Wave Study Bible

14 Oct

It doesn’t take long to discover that not every Bible app available through the iTunes store is truly useful… or easy to use.  If you’ve gotten tired of downloading programs only to find that you need an internet connection to make best use of them or discover that the text of the Scripture is overwhelmed by excessive commentary, then the Wave Study Bible is for you!

Simple and intuitive, the Wave Study Bible provides you with a convenient way to go in depth as you compare Scripture translations side-by-side.  The app comes preloaded with the King James, the Greek New Testament, the New English Translation, and the GOD’s WORD translation (other translations are available for purchase).  Transition from one version to the next with a simple swipe of the screen.

See a word you want to study deeper?  Tap it and you’ll be granted access to the app’s lexicon – a wealth of information on Hebrew and Greek word-origins that’s guaranteed to help clarify the meaning of those tricky passages.

Concerned about trying to find the right passage in a hurry?  Tired of trying to correctly spell “Revelation” with that teeny-tiny keyboard?  The Wave Study Bible utilizes scroll system instead – allowing you to select your book, chapter, and verse with a slide of your finger!

Perhaps the best feature of this app, though, is its easy-to-view font.  Placed against a vibrant background, the passage you select is highlighted for easier viewing.  A quick pinch of the screen reduces font size while the opposite motion expands it, making the text easy-to-read regardless of the quality of the ambient light or your own visual limitations!

A simple app, the Wave Study Bible is sure to be one of your favorites!

Hollywood Worldviews

7 Oct

From foreign films to Academy Award winning features, movies are part of the American culture.  An escape from the work-a-day world, they provide us fantasy, adventure, romance, and a bit of comedy.  Sadly, many Christians approach the movie industry with an attitude of indifference – consuming whatever they find without first engaging their brains.  That’s why, this week, we’re featuring Brian Godawa’s “Hollywood Worldviews: Watching Films With Wisdom & Discernment”.

A great read on its own or as a Bible study, “Hollywood Worldviews: Watching Films With Wisdom & Discernment” introduces readers to the elements of critical thinking… then teaches them to utilize those elements as they sit in front of the big screen.  Godawa explores the mythology of the movies as expressed in themes of faith and redemption, takes a look at predominant worldviews like existentialism and postmodernism, and helps other believers pick apart the messages of the films they watch without forfeiting their enjoyment of the medium.

The book is peppered with insights or “Director’s Cuts” in which Brian links readers to his website where readers can find deeper information on the topics discussed, checklists to help them carefully consider the morals and meaning of the movies they view, and links to his movie blog where they can see the book’s principles in action.  Each chapter ends with a list of “viewing” assignments and questions to help movie lovers learn to apply the Biblical principles being taught.

Brian recognizes that not all Christians enjoy the same genre or have the same tolerance for the immoral behavior often portrayed in movies, so he concludes this volume with a candid look at how the Christian faith (and our concern for our brothers and sisters) ought to influence our viewing choices.

A great book for groups of any size, “Hollywood Worldviews: Watching Films With Wisdom & Discernment” truly delivers – offering readers an insightful course in the application of Biblical theology and critical thinking even when the world surrounding us is one of fantasy!

Published by Intervarsity Press, “Hollywood Worldviews: Watching Films With Wisdom & Discernment” is available in paperback and for Kindle.

Philosophy Bites

23 Sep

Throughout Scripture, Christians are encouraged to be in the world, but not of the world.  While this means that our behaviors shouldn’t reflect the moral views of those who don’t know Christ, it also means that we will encounter those views.  When we do, we need to be equipped to meet them. 

That’s why, this week, we’re featuring the Philosophy Bites podcast: a secular resource dedicated to introducing listeners to the views of modern philosophers in easy-to-digest bites.  In 10-20 minute, bi-weekly interviews, Edmunds and Warburton explore the issues that bend the brains of some of today’s greatest thinkers and help you to do the same.  You’ll be treated to a variety of views on everything from existentialism to vegetarianism, all presented in a friendly, non-aggressive environment that encourages dialogue rather than conflict.

As you listen, take the time to critically consider each of the views presented.  Are there merits to any of the philosophies explored?  What factors detract from the reasonableness or believability of the interviewee’s viewpoint?  How would you Biblically respond to each point?  Are there places where your own philosophy could use some strengthening?

You’re sure to find these podcasts challenging and you may want to listen to some of them more than once as you exercise your critical thinking skills: applying Biblical principles to modern philosophy!

Kingdom of the Cults

16 Sep

Cult.  It’s a word we don’t like to use today.  It conjures images of secret ceremonies and strange behaviors of unquestioning deference to authority and deviant acts.  To suggest that someone is a member of a “cult” is tantamount to calling them a “freak” or a “weirdo”… and it certainly doesn’t help our ability to effectively share the Gospel!

So why feature a book on cults?  The answer is simple: while we may not enjoy using the word, it’s still important for Christians to understand the differences which exist between traditional Christianity and those religions which pose as “Christian” while denying the fundamental teachings of the faith.  The truth is, not all cults lean towards the occult.  Indeed, many “cult” members are quite normal both in their beliefs and practices.  What makes them a danger is the way in which they twist the requirements for Salvation from the simple faith taught in the Bible into legalistic systems.  Sadly, it’s not always easy to discern where or how such twists have taken place and that’s why, this week, we’re featuring the revised edition of Walter Martin’s classic “Kingdom of the Cults, The”.

Using Scripture as the measuring rod, Martin and Zacharias take readers through the tenants of each variation to see how they measure up to the Gospel presented by Jesus and His apostles.  You’ll enjoy the clear way in which both authors highlight the differences between the faiths and open up insights into potential evangelism opportunities. You’ll be introduced to the unique cultures of each cult and gain useful insights into the way members of these unique organizations think and act.  Read cover-to-cover or used simply as a reference, this in-depth guide will provide you with information on the history and teachings of the most prominent cults of our day.

Kingdom of the Cults, The” was produced by Bethany House Publishers and is available for $22.24 from www.Amazon.com.

William Tyndale: His Life, His Legacy

9 Sep

Throughout the world today, people are learning to be more efficient farmers, to keep more sanitary houses, and to prevent diseases all because someone was committed to bringing them the Bible in their native tongue.  This connection may not be obvious at first.  After all, what does the Sacred Writ really have to do with better medical techniques or the production of crops?  The answer may be simpler than you imagine.

Each of the 7,000 languages spoken in the world today began as an oral form of communication.  While this allows people to communicate their immediate needs, it is rarely an efficient form of accurately conveying information in the long term.  Like a game of “telephone”, verbal instructions can be warped and mutilated until what began as history and good advice becomes legend and folklore.  The ability to write changes this… and frequently this transformation begins with the work of men and women dedicated to sharing the words of the Bible.  It’s a story shared by literally thousands of languages, including (not too long ago) our own.

That’s why, this week, we’re featuring the 60 minute DVD “William Tyndale: His Life, His Legacy”.  Brief and informative, this winner of the 2004 WORLDFEST International Film Festival GOLD Special Jury Award will introduce you to the man whose efforts to make the Holy Scriptures available in the common tongue led to the creation of the modern English language.  In this incredible documentary, you’ll learn about Tyndale’s spiritual journey and the passion which drove him to defy the ruling powers as he translated the Bible into the language of his people.  You’ll hear about his fearless drive, even in the face of death, and you’ll witness first-hand how the written language can impact both the fate of nations and of individuals.  It’s a fascinating journey through the history of the world’s most popular book filled with insights into the origins of one of the most spoken languages of our day!

William Tyndale: His Life, His Legacy” was produced by Avalon Press and is available on www.Amazon.com.

JP Unreached and Joshua Project Languages

2 Sep

The world is a vast place, so it should come as no surprise that of the 16,650 distinct people groups recognized today, there are well over 7,000 that remain untouched by the good news of the Gospel.  These groups, representing 2.9 billion people and nearly 40% of the world’s population live their lives in isolation – both from others and from the message of God’s love.  While not every one of us is called to serve one of these groups in a missionary capacity, each of us can play a part in their future through the power of prayer.  And that’s where this week’s featured resources, the JP Unreached and the Joshua Project Languages mobile apps, can help.

Available to iOS, Android, and Google users, the JP Unreached app provides profiles for 366 of the most critical people groups.  These are the cultures which, if reached, have the greatest potential for carrying the Gospel message to the surrounding areas and are, therefore, of greatest concern.  Through this unique app, you’ll be provided with access to statistics on each group’s population, language and religion, as well as an introduction to their history and culture.  Each day’s entry contains information about obstacles that stand in the way of missionary efforts as well as prayer prompts to help you decide how best to intercede both for those who have yet to be reached and those who seek to reach them.  You can even set a “reminder” function, so you don’t forget your prayer commitment!

Looking for the stats on a language group not included in this app?  Then check out Joshua Project Languages!  Listed both by country and by language name, this comprehensive record links users to resources for tongues both living and dead – offering statistics, vocal recordings, and access to excellent evangelism materials ranging from the written word (including Bibles and gospel tracts) to audio-visual aides like the “Jesus Film”.  It’s a great app for anyone interested in world missions and comes highly recommended.

Pick up both apps today and you’ll be well on your way to both understanding the needs of the world’s unreached people groups… and making a difference in their lives!

 

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