Monday, December 31, 2007

Outstanding Free Bible Software

In his sermon at church on Sunday, Smokey Nevins challenged us to spend more time reading, memorizing, and meditating on God's Word. A great tool for doing so is the free Bible software E-Sword.

E-sword comes with the King James Version and Strong's concordance, but it also allows you to download and install a number of free add-ons, including other Bible translations. Of the free translations, I recommend the English Standard Version.

(If you want, you can add the New American Standard Bible study set, but you'll have to fork out a few bucks to the Lockman Foundation to get it. I finally caved in and did this last year.)

You can also add free classic commentaries, such as Matthew Henry's Commentary, and other great study aides, like the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge.

If one of your New Year's resolutions is to do a daily Bible reading, E-Sword can help you set up a customized reading plan. Prior to using E-Sword, I always had a hard time remembering where I left off last time I read my Bible. E-Sword solves this problem by automatically popping up your next daily reading whenever you open the program.

You can also use E-Sword to read a daily devotional, like Morning & Evening by Charles Spurgeon, test your memory of a Bible passage, and keep track of prayer requests.

Download the free E-Sword software using the link below. If you have problems or a slow internet connection, let me know and I'd be happy to lend you my E-Sword installation CD.

e-Sword Home

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Fun Year End Trivia

Since this blog is now just over one year old and we're wrapping up 2007, it seems timely to post some random highlights and statistics about our blog. We hope you find them interesting.

Average visits per day: 13.18

Blog posts with most comments: New Baby Pic... by Christina (5/15/07, 15 comments to date), In Memory of Felicity by Christina (9/26/07, 10 comments to date), Reformation Day Movie Night by David (10/20/07, 9 comments to date)

E-mail subscribers: 9

Estimated Value: $2,258.16

Level of education required to understand our blog: Genius

Month with most posts: January 2007 (13 posts)

Month with least posts: November 2007 (2 posts)

Most comments (just a wild guess): Sharon Lowery

Odd search terms that found our blog: ebates scam (11 visits), winzy search about diapers (4 visits), russian diapers (3 visits)

Technorati authority: 4

Technorati rank: 1,644,723

Top traffic sources: Baby NRM! (285 visits), Home-schooled Nerd (147 visits), A Relentless Pursuit (119 visits)

Thank you for reading our blog this year. We appreciate you. Best wishes for a very Happy New Year to you all.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Peace on Earth

So, in Luke 2 an angel shows up and tells some shepherds about Christ's birth. Then, as if to eliminate any doubt about the magnitude of the angel's announcement, reinforcements show up in verse 14 "praising God and saying..."

Hold it there just a second. Does it actually matter what the angels say? If so, tell me, what did they say?

(1) Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.


(2) Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.

Your answer to this question most likely depends on the Bible translation you read. (#1 is the King James Version and #2 is the New American Standard Bible.)

Now, is it just me, or is there a big difference between "good will toward men" and "peace among men with whom He is pleased." The former seems warm and inclusive, just the sort of platitude everyone loves to hear this time of year. The latter seems more exclusive and begs the question, "Is God pleased with me?"

I haven't had a chance to research this further yet. Do any of you know why there is such a significant variation in the translation of this verse?

May God bless you with a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 23, 2007


Watch a 50 second video of Eliana eating dinner last month at Great Grandpa and Great Grandma's house.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

About Time

Remember my earlier post titled"The Missing Movie"? Well, there's finally been a major development that should bring this movie to a cinema near you. (You'll still have to wait three more years, of course.)

Business Week reports:

The battle for Middle Earth just got a little easier. The movie version of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, suspended in legal limbo for decades, will hit the big screen thanks to the settlement of one of Hollywood's nastiest lawsuits. And like The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien's fantasy series about dwarfs and other unworldly creatures, The Hobbit is being counted on by the studios behind it to become another larger-than-life blockbuster.

On Dec. 18, MGM announced that it will team with Time Warner's (TWX) New Line Cinema unit to make two Hobbit flicks, with the first scheduled for Christmas, 2010. "This is the major league of major-league franchises," says MGM studio Chairman Harry Sloan, who helped negotiate the lawsuit settlement needed to get the films on track.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Brotherhood of Sons

The Wonderful Sharon Lowery sent this article excerpt to me, and I'm posting it here in full support of her request. The whole article can be found here. Sharon says that all are welcome at the Lowery home Sunday night to further discuss this topic and the article mentioned recently by my husband on "The Golden Compass."

So for all our dear friends and family that have shown a picture of God's loving plan for us through adoption...
What Some Rude Questions About Adoption Taught Me About the Gospel of Christ
by Russell D. Moore

“So, are they brothers?” the woman asked. My wife Maria and I, jet-lagged from just returning from Russia, looked at each other wearily. This was the twelfth time since we returned that we’d been asked this question. This lady was looking at the grainy pictures, printed off a computer from some digital photographs, of two one-year-old boys in a Russian orphanage, boys who had only days earlier been pronounced by a Russian court to be our children, after the legally mandated waiting period had elapsed for the paperwork to be filed.Maria and I had returned to Kentucky to wait for the call to return to pick up our children, and had only these pictures of young Maxim and Sergei, our equivalent of a prenatal sonogram, to show to our friends and relatives back home. But people kept asking: “Are they brothers?”

Now Brothers
“They are now,” I replied. “Yes,” the lady snapped, “I know. But are they really brothers?” Clenching my jaw, I coolly responded, “Yes, now they are both our children so they are now really brothers.” The woman sighed, rolled her eyes, and said, “Well, you know what I mean.”

Of course, we did know what she meant. She meant did these two boys—born three weeks apart—share a common biological ancestry, a common bloodline, some common DNA. It struck me that this question betrayed what most of us tend to view as really important when it comes to sonship: traceable genetic material.

This is the reason people would also ask us, “So do you also have any children of your own?” And it is the reason newspaper obituaries will often refer to the deceased’s “adopted child,” as though this were the equivalent of a stepchild or a protégé, rather than a real offspring....

This newness of identity also informed the way we responded to questions, whether from social workers or friends, about whether we planned to “teach the children about their cultural heritage.” We assured everyone we would, and we have.Now, what most people meant by this question is whether we would teach our boys Russian folk-tales and Russian songs, observing Russian holidays, and so forth. But as we see it, that’s not their heritage anymore, and we hardly want to signal to them that they are strangers and aliens, even welcome ones, in our home.

We teach them about their heritage, but their heritage as Mississippians. They learn about their great-grandfather, the faithful Baptist pastor, about their countrymen before them in the Confederate army and the civil rights movement.... Whether our background is Norwegian or Haitian or Indonesian, if we are united to Christ, our family genealogy is found not primarily in the front pages of our dusty old family Bible but inside its pages, in the first chapter of the Gospel of Matthew....

We don’t think we were adopted. In our persistent Pelagianism, we assume we’re natural-born children, with a right to all of this grace, to all of this glory. We’re ashamed to think of ourselves as adopted, because to do so would focus our minds on the bloody truth that all of us in Christ, like my sons, once were lost but now we’re found, once were strangers and now we’re children, once were slaves and now we’re heirs.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Mohler on The Golden Compass

Dr. Al Mohler writes:

The release of The Golden Compass as a major motion picture represents a new challenge for Christians -- especially parents. The release of a popular film with major actors that presents a message directly subversive of Christianity is something new. It is not likely to be the last.
He continues:
This is not just any fantasy trilogy or film project. Philip Pullman has an agenda -- an agenda about as subtle as an army tank. His agenda is nothing less than to expose what he believes is the tyranny of the Christian faith and the Christian church. His hatred of the biblical storyline is clear. He is an atheist whose most important literary project is intended to offer a moral narrative that will reverse the biblical account of the fall and provide a liberating mythology for a new secular age.
Read Mohler's complete comments on his blog.