Sermon Prep Part 5: Theotek Podcast #069

We’re in the home stretch in our series on writing your sermons and Bible studies using digital tools like Bible study software or online Bible sites. This episode covers tips and trips for actually writing the sermon outline or manuscript. How can digital BIble study tools help in forming your notes and outline?

Some of this can be done on an iPad. The new iPad Pro plus the Microsoft Word iPad app makes it easier than ever. See below.

Pur the tablet in landscape mode and tap the View Ribbon tab and tap Page Width.
Pur the tablet in landscape mode and tap the View Ribbon tab and tap Page Width.

Sermon Prep Part 4: Theotek Podcast #068

We talked about using Digital study tools to do word studies. Specifically we looked at Accordance Bible Software, Logos Bible Software and Bible Reader from Olive Tree.

We focused on studying the Bible in English using the tools built into Bible software that help users find the Greek or Hebrew words behind our English translations. Good language study tools focused on Greek and Hebrew tagging using Strong’s numbers helps users get at the Biblical meaning of each word and words in context. Regardless of which software you use, start with a text that includes Strong’s tagging. Usually they will let you right-click or double-click or even triple-click the word you want to study.

Start this process by searching for a word and read it in context in the different places it’s used in the Bible. Then use your software’s built-in word study tools. For example both Accordance and Logos show you how the author uses words with graphs and charts that show how many times a word gets used in each book of the Bible or how many times the original word gets translated one way versus another.

logos word study right click

The next step, after searching the word, is to look up the word in Greek or Hebrew Lexicons. Most Bible software tools include some in base packages. Users can buy more advanced tools.

Finally, if you still need some help, look up the word in an English Bible dictionary. Start with exegetical dictionaries like the Holman Treasury of Key Words or the AMG Complete Word Study Dictionary of the Greek or Hebrew.

Our Favorite Things

apple 29watt usb c charger

This week in “Our Favorite Things” we got some interesting recommendations. First, Antoine recommended the 29 Watt Apple USB-C charger to charge your iPad Pro. It charges the iPad in about an hour, but costs $49. It also requires a USB-C to Lightning cable which adds $35. He still loves the speed of the charging and wished Apple included this charger with the iPad Pro.

anker powercore charger

Rick recommended a similar device, the PowerCore+ 26800 & PowerPort+ 1 charger. It includes QuickCharge technology and with 2.4amp USB ports. It’s got 3 ports and can even charge the MacBook or other USB-C devices that need a lot of power. The 26,800mAh battery handles almost anything you can throw at it.

I showed off a new feature in the latest Developer Preview version of Windows 10. Microsoft has what they call the fast ring and slow ring for beta testers of their operating system. The fast ring version added a new feature that shows up in the system tray. The icon for this feature looks like a pen with a drawn line. Tap or click on it and a new pen-focused menu pops up with a few options as follows:

  • Sticky notes
  • Sketchpad – a white board
  • Screen sketch – the ability to do a screenshot that opens into an editor with pen/pencil drawing on the screen shot
  • Recently used – a few of the most recently opened Windows 10 Universal apps
  • Suggested – pen/stylus focused apps from the Windows store
  • Connect your pen – a link to the Settings where you can connect your Bluetooth Surface Pen or other stylus

windows 10 ink workspace

Microsoft calls this the Windows Ink Workspace.

In the “Least Favorite Things” folder, I talked about Vufine. This was originally a Kickstarter project that I mistakenly backed. They call it an HD wearable display that fastens to your glasses and shows a tiny screen inside the little device that sits just off the front of your glasses. It comes with a cheap, flimsy pair of plastic glasses if you don’t wear glasses regularly.

The problem is the Vufine is to tiny it’s nearly useless for anything. Some use it connected to a GoPro to see what the GoPro sees. But using at an actual display is nearly impossible since text is so small.

Sermon Prep Part 3: Theotek Podcast

In part 3 of the Sermon Prep series on Theotek, we covered digital reference books. Each member of the team recommends our favorite tools like Bible dictionaries, lexicons, and more.

For review we covered the first steps of sermon prep in part one of our series. Then in

We started out with English Bible dictionaries. Here’s a list of what we recommended.

  • Anchor Bible Dictionary
  • IVP Bible Dictionary
  • Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary
  • Biblical Archaeology Review
  • Hermeneia
  • Bible Illustration from Holman
  • Accordance Photo Guide
  • Wikipedia
  • CCEL
  • Harper’s Bible Dictionary
  • Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs

Here’s a couple of Bible Background sources we prefer. These help you get at the cultural information that tells us more about the world of the Biblical writers.

  • Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary
  • Accordance Atlas – one of the best digital atlas resources in Bible software

Next we look at Bible commentaries. The series that we each picked included…

  • Word Biblical Commentary
  • Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary
  • New American Commentary
  • Ancient Christian Commentary
  • IVP Bible Background Commentary
  • JPS Commentary

best commentaries

To find the best sources, we all agree that just one series isn’t the best approach to building a good library of commentaries. Instead check out Best Commentaries on the web. It lists the commentaries by book of the Bible and rates the best options available. They update it when new works come out.

Our Favorite Things

visual theology

I recommend Visual Theology, a work that Olive Tree released recently.

Screen Shot 2016-05-24 at 9.49.54 AM

Antoine recommended the Google Cardboard, their inexpensive Virtual Reality tool that the user can put their phone into to get a VR experience. There are other VR options like Samsung Gear VR, which I don’t recommend. The children’s version comes from Mattel and uses the old View Master idea.

Rick went the opposite direction and shared one of his least favorite things. He doesn’t like the 12-inch MacBook. The screen’s nice but the keyboard doesn’t feel very good and performance suffers when doing more than word processing or surfing the web.

Sermon Prep Part Two: Theotek Podcast #066

It’s part two of our sermon prep series using Bible software to help us write a message. This week just Rick Mansfield and I tackle a little used tool – the passage outline. We show how to do so in a few BIble software packages and talk about doing it in the Notes tool of any program.

We looked at the outlining features of both Accordance Bible Software and Logos. You can also do one of these in the notes tool of any Bible software that includes one. Just copy and past the text into the note and use the space or tab keys and the return button to arrange the text on-screen in way that shows the relationship of the ideas.

logos bible outline

For a good book on how to do good Bible passage outlines in English, see The 12 Essential Skills of Great Preaching by Dr. Wayne McDill, my preaching professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Digital Sermon Prep Part 1: Theotek Podcast #065

We started a series in this week’s Theotek Podcast on doing digital sermon prep. Our team will take you through our steps of sermon prep using Bible software and digital tools.

In this first step we focused on choosing a passage. Software packages come with tools to help you figure out what verses to include in your passage, or as the scholars call it, pericope. Then we look at other aspects of sermon prep. Watch the video below or listen to the audio version at the end of this post.

We didn’t have any recommendations in Our Favorite Things this week.

Online Bible Study: Theotek Podcast #055

Can you prepare your sermons using online Bible study sites? We try to answer that question and give a few recommendations if you choose to give it a try. At the end of the podcast we also give a few recommendations in our new segment, “Our Favorite Things”.

We only had three of our team members in this podcast. Rick Mansfield works with Accordance Bible Software and didn’t think that online Bible study sites were good enough to do full sermon prep yet. Users often don’t have access to the Internet or they don’t have a reliable connection. Most of the online sites don’t give users enough power to do serious word study. Most them include limited options for commentaries and word study tools. The ones included usually are only public domain works.

Antoine Wright from Mobile Ministry Magazine was a little more bullish since he’s a mobile-first kind of guy. He recommended a site called Bible Web App. It suffers from the same weaknesses of the other online sites with limited options and mostly public domain. It’s fast and clean and does most of what Antoine needs.

The Logos Web App available to Logos Now or Logos Cloud subscribers.
The Logos Web App available to Logos Now or Logos Cloud subscribers.

I like online sites and use a few. Last year I reviewed 6 online Bible sites in a two-part post. You can find part one and part two to see the video demos of the 6 sites (three in each post). Two of the sites I reviewed are no longer my favorites. Instead of My Study Bible from WORDsearch and Lifeway, I now recommend their new site MyWSB.com. Second, Logos has a site for subscribers to either their Logos Now or Logos Cloud services. Learn more about Logos Now in a recent post and Logos Cloud in another post.

lumina

The online sites from WORDsearch and Logos above will cost you a little bit. The best option for those looking for a free site comes from Bible.org. It’s called Lumina.

Our Favorite Things

hyperdrive usb-c dock

In “Our Favorite Things” this week we recommended some apps, a utility and an accessory. Rick recommended a USB C dock for the new 12-inch MacBook (not the Air or Pro). It’s the HyperDrive USB Type-C 5-in-1 Hub with Pass Through Charging for $50. It connects to the USB C port on the MacBook and adds ports for an SD card, micro-SD card, 2 USB 3.0 ports and a USB Type-C port for charging or hooking up a 4K video adapter.

Antoine recommended a list of Lent Apps he put together on his website.  They can help Christians who observe Lent.

DisableMonitor-running-in-osx-menu-bar-1024x333

My recommendation comes from github. It’s a free utility that helps the user switch their MacBook screen resolution. It’s called DisableMonitor and runs in the OS X menu bar. A drop down box shows all the resolutions your monitor supports. This gives you far greater control over the screen resolution settings than the built-in Display Settings in System Preferences in OS X. I wrote up a full How To post on it at Notebooks.com.