Crash Status


Well, some things to think about… I’m going to list some obvious things to do for you, that will help in knowing what to do in case of computer crash.

First, I’ll say that the so-called cloud backup from Wordsearch Bible Software is… not working. The most important parts of Wordsearch, the sermon illustrations, the listing of what sermon preached where, and the notecards (clippings) are lost. A few months ago I printed out on a lark my notecards as a pdf – I wasn’t sure why. Well, at least I’ve got those. But everything I was storing in Wordsearch is not working at all. Restoring from a disk backup creates an error and a crash. Restoring from the cloud sends me right back to the beginning. I have everything I got along the way, but most of my work in Wordsearch is gone. Only word processing documents and my verse lists. If it weren’t for those, I’d be deleting Wordsearch off my hard drive and just relying on Quickverse and Logos. My formerly high opinion of Wordsearch, which has been dropping steadily since January 2016, is about rock bottom now. The next Best Bible software review is going to feature me TRASHING this Bible software.

Recently I started using Evernote. Evernote was seamless. Reinstall, enter my name and password, and everything was there two minutes later. If you routinely save passwords, serial numbers for software, etc… one place to consider is saving it into EVernote.

Thunderbird Email. Um. All my emails going back to 2006 were gone. Wiped out. But I’m persistent, and I found that my computer now has a directory called old.windows. So, poking around, I found the storage locations for my emails, cut and copied the directories to My Documents for easy import. Next, downloaded the Import/Export addon for Thunderbird. I’ll save you two days of stress – it’s the VERY LAST import option in the massive drop down menu! Choose that (import profile) and find the directory you saved everything to in Myy Documents. It looks like all my emails are back, but probably about 30% of them appear to be sales notices from Home Depot. I should probably go back and delete 11 years of sales emails.

Logos. Installed Logos. Typed in my name and password. Wow. Go eat dinner. Everything is now back. Wish that Wordsearch worked this good. 18 months of resarch still there.

Opera web browser. Since I’d found my old Thunderbird emails, I looked for my bookmarks for Opera, copied them and pasted them into the Opera browser directory. Ta-da. Except I appear to have doubles, and I’m going to need to go through those as well. By the way, deleting a bookmark in Opera does not mean it’s gone! They have a trash folder. That has to be emptied. So if you accidentally delete Bible Gateway’s bookmark, no panic. Just go to your trash bin in Opera and restore it.

Since Windows 8.1 wants me to use Dropbox so badly, I went ahead and signed up. Smart move. I used Onedrive before this in Vista, and that was okay, but Dropbox is a LOT better. It’s up there with Evernote in my recommends.

Installing Thingamablog was quick and easy. Nothing to log in, it just found my data files immediately upon starting it. Nice! All my blog posts were there. I thought about the WordPress program (it’s not an ‘app’!), but the WordPress software requires you to be online. So, I… write um… offline. I’m not connected to the internet when I wrte these. Until WordPress fixes this in their software, I won’t be using it.

Computer crashes are emotionally draining. I know so many people who say, “I don’t even turn my computer on!” But I’m not a cell phone guy. Cell phones do not have the power of a computer, and I have looked at the internet on my phone ZERO times. Seriously. I cannot think of any one piece of research so pressing it can’t wait until I get home.

Bottom lines… Evernote and Dropbox are two must have programs. consider upgrading to Logos Bible software – yes, it’s hugely expensive. Yes, it’s going to take you months of saving. But it’s so worth it to know you won’t lose your research!

Accordance 12


If you’re interested in Accordance because of my articles on it, you’ll need to try to find the Accordance 11 demo. The Accordance 12 light replaces the demo and it… removes all the benefits and features that I wrote about. In essence, it reduces Accordance now to being just a fancier version of Olive Tree Bible software.

I have the Accordance 11 demo still. I can’t distribute the demo, but the nature of the internet assures that it’s out there somewhere. If you’re interested in Accordance 11, you’ll have to search for it now.

Or else, you’ll have to spend $60 on Accordance to see if the features I talked about are still there or not. They have a money back policy, but I never recommend that route.

It would be nice if the Accordance people would read this, and restore the features that were in the demo back into Accordance Light.

Being a Pastor 15 – the Sermon 8


Let’s go over some technical how-to’s quickly. Logos is really powerful, and your ability to do some of this stuff I’m doing relies on learning how to do it.

Hopefully, you’ve watched Morris Proctor’s quick start guide. Hopefully, you’ve taken the thirty day challenge (I’ve done it twice, in Logos 6 and Logos 7). The two courses teach you a lot about how to do things.

Left clicking on a verse in your Bible selects it, whether you see it or not (for the purpose of the context menu). Now right click. The context menu works from right to left (I approve of this!). You see the words listed, and then the verse itself. Matthew 15:1. Click on the right hand side of the context menu on the verse reference, not the words!

NOW the context menu suddenly changes. Now you can do a lot of the fun things I’ve been talking about. A lot of what i’ve done is open word studies in the Greek word.

Knowing how to run the guides goes a long way towards success in Logos. Keep everything minimized in your guides – this way everything opens much faster. This is important if you’re a bi-vocational pastor. Being a bi-vocational pastor is unBiblical by the way. The Apostles worked, but made it clear they were doing this because they were planting churches, and te right thing to do is pay your pastor.

Go head and open all of your guides. I made my own guide, by the way! And…never use it. But anyway, open all of them and close EVERY section by the little triangles, not by the x’s!

Now, when you open Logos and go to the go box, and type in any reference, the window opens much faster.

For those of you doing Accordance, you need to highlight words or verses, and right click. They have an abbreviated form of the context menu, and they call it the right-click menu (where did they come up with that name? Really?).

MUCH of what you do in Accordance will be in the Research menu. Other than that, you have to go to the Amplify menu. I really don’t know too much about the inner cool workings of Accordance, as I use it rarely. And as my Logos library grows, I’ll be turning to it less and less. But try this – select, amplify, parsing.

Neat, huh?

Bibleworks I do not have. however, you should note that most of the results I’m getting in my searches and studies you won’t get results for in Bibleworks as they don’t have a library other than Bibles, lexicons and concordances.

You can do this entire system I’m giving in notepad and pen. I keep a notepad in my hardcover Bible, and I try to keep a pen in there. Sometimes I get ideas reading my hardcover Bible, and I need to record those thoughts. It certainly doesn’t require Logos. But it goes a lot faster when you do.

Let’s go to Definitions -Restatments on the template. There are two mirror parts, the other being comparison-contrast. Under Comparison contrast, you could put “heart and law” and “relationship/ritual”. for definitions – you need the Webster’s 1828.

Tradition. 3. That which is handed down from age to age by oral communication. The Jews pay great regard to tradition in matters of religion, as do the Romanists. Protestants reject the authority of tradition in sacred things, and rely only on the written word. Traditions may be good or bad, true or false.

Commandment

1. A command; a mandate; an order or injunction given by authority; charge; precept.

So, let’s check the boxes off for those. My research has yeilded the application. This part goes under the application section. “The letter and spirit of the law must go together. There is nothing more important than your relationship to Jesus Christ. Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and all these things will be added unto you.”

You’ve got 8 out of 16 boxes checked now. You need to work on facts/statistics next. What facts or statistics could you deliver in this sermon? Denominations that engage in infant baptism is one. What percentage is it? I couldn’t find a specific percentage, but I did uncover a quote that “Most Chirstians belong to denominations where infant Baptism is practiced.”

And if you’re in a mood to challenge the congregation, you could point out that the Bible portrays the bread used in the Last Supper as unleavened – so why are we using oyster crackers, which clearly are leavened?

Out of all of it, categorizing is the LAST thing you’ll do.

Does this seem like too much work? it’s not. I do this every time I write a sermon. Sometimes the sermon is halfway done when I start, but rapid changes shape it better. Yes, you can just grab a text and get in the pulpit and wing it – but we’re not about good enough – we’re trying to excel. There’s no reason why the great sermons should be preached just by Presbyterians! Baptists are the original Christians, so our sermons should be OUTSTANDING.

Be outstanding. Be great. Yield yourself to God in the pulpit, and let His light shine though you. But you cannot do that while delivering a mediocre sermon.

We’re almost done with the research phase.

Being A Pastor 4


I’ve just gone through Thingamablog on my computer, looking to see if I’ve ever written an exhaustive list of the rules of Hermeneutics. To my surprise, I’ve got several articles where I list some parts, and some articles where I list other parts.

Let’s go through the list!

  1. Treat every verse as literal unless the passage says otherwise. Don’t assume, as some do, that “like unto” is telling you its figurative – it’s figurative if the passage tells you shortly that someone is to give the understanding of it. Compare Daniel and the he-goats, the bear with the ribs, etc. The Bible declares its a vision, and an angel is commanded to give the interpretation. Jeremiah buries a loincloth at the riverbank, and digs it up. Is this describing the Papacy? Martin Luther? No. The passage gives the interpretation a few verses later.
  2. All scripture is inerrant, inspired, preserved and perfect, without error or contradiction. Get this rule in your head, and suddenly a lot of rebellion against the word of God suddenly is gone forever.
  3. We take what the Bible says as a whole. In other words, don’t serive your doctrine from one verse or one chapter – you really need to take what the Bible has to say on a doctrine as a whole.
  4. The unclear verses must give way to the clearer verses. This is a well established rule, and only cults and textual critics violate this rule. If you have 50 clear verses saying X and 3 verses saying Y, then the answer is X. Once you realize that, and examine the three verses with that understaning, you realize those three are not saying Y… they’re saying X, but giving more information about it.
  5. We never establish doctrine off of a ἅπαξ Hapax. Hapax is Greek for once. Any verse mentioned ONLY ONCE in the Bible we cannot make a doctrine from. Baptism for the dead. All I’m going to say.
  6. We never establish doctrine off of a parable. Parables, believe it or not, and despite everything you’ve heard Pastors say – are designed to CONCEAL knowledge, not make a story memorable. What is the oil in the Parable of the wise and foolish vergins? Salvation, right? So… how could the foolish virgins buy some from the wise virgins? And why could the wise ones not sell it? This kind of thinking is forcing a point, which we call “making a parable walk on all fours”.
  7. Avoid making doctrine from the following 4 books – Job, Lamentations, Song of Solomon, and Ecclesiastes. Remember that Job and his friends were wrong. If you take something that Bildad says and build a doctrine around it… you’ve just built an error that God specifically says is wrong.
  8. Treat the Bible Dispensationally. There’s a lot I could say on this. If you refuse to do this, huge amounts of the Bible are indecipherable. Once you do it, suddenly the Bible is open to you.

I’ve given examples of this repeatedly. Church – Universal or local? The answer is obvious. If you follow the rules above (not my rules, by the way) there’s only one answer, and 99% of Christianity shrinks from the answer in horror – the church is local.

Salvation – by faith or works? Follow the rules above – it’s by faith.

Is God through with the Jew? Follow the rules above, no. Not by a long shot.

Who is the 144,000 Jews? Follow the rules above, it’s easy – 144,000 Jewish evangelists. The Jehovah’s Witnesses are famous for taking this wildly out of context. I remember a JW telling me their Kingdom Hall had one of the 144,000. I asked if they were Jewish. The answer was ‘no’. I asked what mark was visible on the flesh of their forehead? The answer was “none”. I told him the supposed witness was… Biblically not one of the 144,000.

Useful tools – a topical Bible. Nave’s and Torrey’s are the two I’m used to. Torrey’s is better, but Nave’s has far more entries.

Concordance and an Interlinear. They’re built into Logos. I’m going to say this nicely, but if you’re going in the Ministry, quite simply, a good enough Bible program is not good enough. Logos, Accordance, or Bibleworks are what you need – and I really can’t recommend Bibleworks because it has so few books built in! I recommend Logos, but some people think differently, so I suggest Accordance as a backup.

If you’re going to be a pastor, then you need to take one year of Greek and one year of Hebrew – minimum. Seriously. And your Bible software has to have better language tools than just Strong’s. I can do more work in original language study in Logos in one hour than I can using a Bible software that depends on Strong’s in a month.

I’m serious.

Logos has far more original language tools than Accordance, but you can do a lot with Accordance. If all you’ve got is $60, then Accordance Starter may be right for you. I will say this – many Bible Colleges, Seminaries and Universities require Logos Gold as the minimum starting package. The answer is obvious – you get BDAG and HALOT, two really important Greek and Hebrew tools. Vine’s is highly recommended as well. Even if you choose a free on-line Independent Baptist Seminary, you should REALLY consider getting at least Logos Bronze.

I’d do this for the year before Seminary. You’re going to undertake some serious Bible study in the year before Seminary. Why? If you were going to swim college, you’d spend countless hours in the pool building up stamina. Well, same for Bible College. Get your mind USED to rapid-fire Bible study. Start getting deep into THIS, then back out at a moments notice to search THAT. The first year of Seminary, you’re required to read the entire Old Testament and entire New Testament. At the same time, Church History, Bible Doctrine 1 & 2, Greek 1 & 2, survey of Old Testament, Survey of the Gospels and New Testament.

It’s a lot. Get used to it NOW, so you’re not getting the first month overwhelm of “I hope I can do this”. The other thing to watch out for is – around year 4, the last six months, you’re OVER IT. If you make it a habit to study, study, study… then by year 4 you’re used to it. And the year you spend in study will greatly increase your grade point average.

I wish i’d done this part better! I’d have ended up with higher than an A- average.

What’s the Most Expensive Bible Software??


I write a lot about Bible programs, because – I use them DAILY. Your Bible program should not be “good enough”, but should be the BEST. I found THE BEST Bible program, but a lot of people (me included) complain it’s very expensive.

So, I thought I’d look at the super expensive, ultimate “buy this” package, and see what’s the most expensive?

I was surprised.

Here’s the rundown.

Wordsearch has their “Platinum” package, which is $4,900. You get a program that has a lot of features, you get an absolutely HUGE library – far bigger than anyone else – and minimal search, word processing, and original language tools. I’d say the Original Language tools are insufficient. Essentially, you’re dealing with 1994 technology.

Logos Platinum is $4,900 – the same as Wordsearch. It has a smaller library than Wordsearch, but a much better program.

Bibleworks is $395. Completely insufficient library.

Accordance Ultimate is $29,995.00

You read that right – thirty Thousand dollars. As in, a year’s salary for many people. About 24 months salary for most IFB pastors.

So, the funny thing is – you can get into Wordsearch for $49.95 – and top out equal with Logos.

You start out with Logos at around $250 – and top out equal with Wordsearch.

You get into Accordance at $60 – and top out at a huge year’s salary package.

So for everyone who claims Logos is the most expensive – no, not by a long shot! The startup cost is the second highest Bible Software package. If I ever get dirty rotten filthy stinking rich, trust me – I’m buying them ALL. It really seems like every time I go from one Bible package to another, my understanding of the Bible skyrockets.

But if you’re one of those people who like to say Logos is the most expensive – it’s not. It costs more to start with Bibleworks, putting it at the highest starting cost ($395), and to get the super ultimate package, Accordance is the most.

The Who spoke to who search code in Logos!


{Speaker <Person Jesus>} {Addressee <Person Peter>}

Copy this code and replace the names whenever you’re trying to do a search to see how many times someone speaks to someone else in the Bible. Only works in Logos, unfortunately.

Logos 7 My Recommendations


For those of you who can afford it… This is the list of how to upgrade and save money, unless you have a $1,600 budged to spend on Computer software this year)

  1. Logos Free Engine (should be available in February). Just add the free books Logos offers, and buy the Kng James for $9.99
  2. Logos 7 Standard Starter (better materials than Baptist)
  3. Logo7 Standard Bronze (Better materials than Baptist)
  4. Logos 7 Baptist Silver (switch to Baptist at this point, to avoid the overwhelming Roman Catholic materials they try to push on you)
  5. Logos Baptist Gold (if you can afford to go that high – I doubt I will, until I get a pastorate with a book allowance).

The most affordable way to get it is that subscription service, but I don’t like the thought of paying whatever a month for… forever. And when you cancel it you own… nothing.

The people at Logos are shrewd businessmen, to the point that my wife argues fairly convincingly they are not a Christian company. My experience is that – I’m not seeing a whole lot of “Christian” behaviour out of most “Christian” companies. No, sir. They either lie to you (Christian Book Distributors), rip you off, or… try to soak you for EVERY LAST PENNY YOU’LL EVER MAKE.

Kind of like all those ministries that want you to volunteer so they save thousands on payroll.

Well, the two best Bible software packages are both by companies that are not very Christian at all – Logos and Accordance. As I’ve said before, I can’t rate PC Bible Study because they really don’t have a demo, and I can’t rate Bibleworks because they only sell you one package, and it comes without really any books.

I doubt I’ll be able to afford the Logos Gold. However, the one good idea Logos has – and they’re the only company who does it – is the concept of dynamic pricing. Once you own something, you don’t have to pay for it again when you upgrade. So, the Logos Silver package discounts the items that are already in the Bronze and Starter package. So if you buy them in the order I give you, you’ll get the most effective library (for some reason, they think that Baptists don’t need certain books and items!!).

One additional thing I should add is I bought Logos Baptist Starter 6 two days before Logos 7 came out. So, I have access to books and materials in the Logos 6 that aren’t in 7.

Unless Logos 8 comes out before I can afford the Silver package, I don’t think I’m upgrading again. By then I will have spent over a thousand dollars on Bible software, and there’s got to be a limit.