Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Help Create a Culture-Changing Shirt!

In the early days of Skype, you could set your Skype status to "Skype Me". "Skype Me" meant, "I'm bored, and I would love to talk with anybody." You could search the list of people in Skype Me mode, and strike up a conversation with them. I had a number of great conversations this way before Skype discontinued this feature.

But I realized that it's not just people who are online who are bored and hungry for human interaction. What if we could create a shirt (or hat) that these people could wear when they are out in public to let others know that they would be interested in meeting and talking with new people? The shirts would simply express availability for conversation.  So, for example, you go to Walmart, you see a person wearing one of these shirts, and you instantly know, "Oh, I could go talk to that person even though we've never met before."  Or, if you want to meet new people, you could put on one of these shirts, go to a public place and wait for people to come up to you.

But I am struggling to come up with wording for a shirt that would succinctly explain this idea. I'll bet some of you are still confused about the idea even after everything I've just written. The shirt has to explain it quickly. Here are a few ideas:
  • Help make me an extrovert. Come talk to me! 
  • Recovering introvert. Come talk to me!
  • Ask me why I'm wearing this shirt. 
  • Don't be a stranger. Meet me!
  • Break free of Facebook.  Come 'friend' me!
Please contact me if:
  • You have ideas for wording.
  • Or, you would be interested in testing different shirts to see which wording attracts the best conversations.
Can you imagine how the world could be changed if people rediscovered the blessing of face to face conversations, and the thrill of breaking through social fear?

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Apps for the Spiritual Race

Technology can easily distract us from Jesus.  But it can also be used to help us pursue Him more faithfully.  In this post, I'd like to show you the apps that help me.

 For Bible reading and study, I use several free apps.  The Lumina app has the extensive notes from the NET Bible.  WORDsearch and Logos offer a lot of free books.  For the other three free apps, I'll give separate info and screenshots below.
 Blue Letter Bible has the best features for Bible study.  Great tools for investigating the underlying Hebrew and Greek, multiple English translations, and extensive commentaries (including Matthew Henry).

The ESV Bible app is a fast app that requires no internet access.  But it has lots of tools including cross references and free access to the Global Study Bible notes.
YouVersion makes Scripture a community project, by allowing you to connect with up to 150 friends and share verses and comments with each other.  It also has an amazing selection of Bible reading plans (I like M'Cheyne's) and a huge number of Bible translations in hundreds of languages.

 I learned about PrayerMate from this article by Tim Challies. In addition to helping me be more systematic and faithful to pray for people, it also has live feeds from missions organizations like Operation World and the IMB, and some great ways to integrate Scripture into your prayers.

Scripture Typer is a wonderful tool for practicing your memory of Bible verses.  I paid for the Pro version (it was worth it).
The Psalms app has the complete text of the Book of Psalms for Worship, and sheet music and MIDI files to make learning the tunes easier.   This one costs $9.99 (and again, it's worth it).