Many years ago, when I had my first computer, I ordered a Bible program called the Online Bible. The funny thing is that it wasn’t “online” at all. Of course, in the late 1980’s the term didn’t have anything to do with the Internet. I ordered the program and a week or so later I received a box of 3.5″ diskettes. I copied them onto my “massive” 20 megabyte (no, it’s not a typo) hard drive. What a thrill it was to have the Bible on my computer. My trusty Bible Concordance was placed on a forgotten corner of my book shelf and I could now do amazing searches of the Bible. I know there are many good Bible programs out there today, but I’ve stayed with the Online Bible through the years. I have it on my computer at home and also on my PDA. These days the Online Bible folks explain that the name doesn’t mean that their Bible is actually “online” although the program is actually, of course, available for download “online.” However, some folks just go to the Biblegateway website and do their Bible searching online for real. It’s interesting to me that the Online Bible started before anything was actually “online” but that now, there are several real “online” Bible websites that most folks just take for granted. We’re on an interesting journey through technology even in our access to that old Book.
At church we use SongShow Plus and it does a good job for us. I’d be glad to answer any questions about it if you care to ask. Several years ago I started doing a PowerPoint presentation with the sermon. I put the major points and scriptures up on the screen. Also, we have a fill-in-the-blank sermon outline in the bulletin the “answers” appear on the screen as I preach the sermon. Several faithfully fill in their outline each week.
I used to put my laptop on a stand by the pulpit so I could see what everyone else was seeing on the big screen behind me, but when we added a very large plasma screen to the back wall of the sanctuary so the praise team could sing without having to have music stands with the words, I decided to take advantage of the system for the sermon too.
SongShow Plus likes PowerPoint okay. You can make a PPT an event in a program and then run it from within SSP. You can also import a PPT presentation, converting it to the SSP format.
The main drawback using either method is that it doesn’t handle multi-part slides – if you want to have, say bullet points that appear one at a time you have to put each point on it’s own slide. Also, because of that you can’t get any fly in effects, etc.
Still, it works pretty good. I do my sermon in PPT and use a remote to change slides during the sermon. That way I don’t have to depend on the folks in the media booth to know when to change the slides. They just click on the PPT sermon, move the mouse to the “next” button on their screen and then stay hands off and let me run the sermon power point.
It works just fine. One thing I like about adding the PPT to the sermon is that I’m not a great sermon illustrator. I can find an image that illustrates my point and, as they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”
I’ve got to share this one. The children presented me with these two posters today. The names of the candy bars are part of the message.
My response: “Isn’t that sweet!”
We’re absolutely humbled by all the nice things being done for us by the good people of our congregation during pastor appreciation month this year. Apparently, folks have signed up to take a turn blessing us for practically every day of the month. We’ve received nice cards, gift cards, and invitations to meals. Last Sunday the song “Blest be the tie the binds” was inserted into the order of service. The first verse was sung as usual, but the rest of the verses were about the Lord’s blessing our ministry. It was sung in good humor, with laughter and it was fun and embarrassing at the same time for us.
Just to make things clear, we don’t deserve all this. I’m just an average pastor who is thankful for the privilege of serving some wonderful people. These days, I’m asking the Lord to help me, in some small measure, to live up to all the kindness I’ve been shown.
I’ve had my name in the paper before, but never quite like this. The editor attends our church.
A friend of ours, I’ll call her “TB,” looked over my Miscellaneous writing and found that I have been rather inconsistent in my observations. Following Hurricane Ike I waxed eloquent about our twelve days without electricity. However, looking a bit farther back in my ramblings, she found my sanguine thoughts on camping unplugged and how peaceful it is. What can I say? Sitting beside a beautiful mountain stream with nothing more important to do than start the campfire for the evening is more fun than sitting in the garage hoping for a whisper of a breeze on a hot September Texas Gulf Coast day!
Still, I get the point. A lot of things just depend on our perspective.