Encouraging God’s People to Study the Bible Better!

March 2009
Volume #002
Issue #003

Hello <>!

Welcome to the March edition of the Bible-Student-Online.org e-zine, The Encourager.

With the coming of March, comes the hope of spring. That means warmer temperatures...more time outside and less time stuck indoors. Those warmer temperatures are God's gifts as refreshment to mind and body.

Spring is a wonderful part of God's creation. But there is one drawback...people tend to spend less time in God's Word in favor of warming themselves on the beach or taking a leisurely stroll in the park.

But we must stay in God's Word no matter what the season. We must have a plan to succeed. That's why we're here at Bible-Student-Online.org. We want to help.

And we've got some great ideas this month to improve you Bible study. So...

Without further ado...

Here are some of the useful little tidbits we’re offering in this issue…

1. Tip of the Month – Supercharge your Bible study time with these great ideas.

2. Starters of the Month – Can’t find anything to study? Look here for “starter” ideas.

3. Study of the Month – We’ve posed a question that we would like you to answer by making a thorough study of the Bible. Feel free to use resources. But the applications need to be your own.

4. What’s New? – We have several projects going (and are we busy!) Find out the "new news" here at Bible-Student-Online.org!

Alright…let’s get to it!

Bible Study Tip of the Month

This month we continue our discussion about Bible study programs. For those who weren't with us last month, we talked about using Bible programs to bring our study to a whole new level. We also mentioned some of the few free programs out there and some of their abilities and drawbacks. If you didn't hear that discussion please go to our homepage and click the "Back Issues" link. You'll find our last issue there.

Now, we're going to turn our focus to some of the specific ways Bible programs can improve our Bible study methods. I hinted last month at one way this can be done...using in-text notes. No longer do you have to make those messy little inkblots in your study Bible. With Bible programs, notes can be a breeze!

Every Bible study program I mentioned last month supports study notes. Most programs utilize this feature in the same way commentaries are accessed. With Online Bible, adding a text note is only a double click away, making it easy to add your thoughts to the text. E-Sword sports a cleaner note interface and many formatting options not offered in Online Bible. But adding notes isn't quite as simple, although this small obstacle is worth the hassle just for the formatting options. And E-Sword's flexibility can't be matched in other categories.

We also mentioned Bible Explorer as another viable option as a free Bible program. It certainly doesn't fail in this category either. A button allows you to toggle the notes on and off so you can work with them as you read...a very flexible feature. And Bible Explorer gives you the flexibility of formatting just like E-Sword does.

The Libronix platform showcases the most flexible note-taking abilities. The notes can be placed anywhere in the text...at the beginning of books, chapters or verses. And note-taking extends to other resources as well, not just the Bible. The nice thing about Libronix is the fact that the notes are placed inline with the text. You can always click on the note icon as you read your Bible later and there's your notes, instantaneously brought forward in a new window.

No matter what program you use (or decide to use) don't let the note features go to waste. Use them. The Holy Spirit may bring some things to mind you won't remember later. So write them down! If not for yourself, then write them as thoughts for your children later. But write down what you discover in God's Word. Don't let His wisdom to you go to waste.

And in most Bible programs there's another handy feature...color coding. Unfortunately, Online Bible doesn't support this feature (at least not the version I have.) But E-Sword has a solid array of colors you can choose from. Bible Explorer has options on this as well. But by far, Libronix hands you the best palette of color coding for notes. It not only furnishes colors, but different underlining, highlighting and Bible study techniques (like Inductive Bible Study) to choose from.

No matter what Bible program you decide to use, don't forget color coding either. Some Bible programs let you use it in conjunction (or the same way as) your notes. I find that making one color cross references, another color text notes and another translation notes keeps my information very well organized. But you can do just about anything you want. You may want to color dialogue in yellow and expositional passages in orange. Or perhaps, you may want to color doctrinal statements blue and practical Christian living statement green when you read through your Bible passage for the day.

The sky's the limit when it comes to color coordinating passages. Whatever you do, use color! It really works well with Bible programs.

I hope you've benefited from our little talk about Bible study programs. We are so blessed to have so many free resources available to us. We need to thank God every day for the blessings His Word, the Bible, brings us. Praise God for what He has done. And thank Him for making His Word so available.

Next time, we'll tackle another Bible study subject. But until then...

Keep up the good work. And...

Keep the Faith!

God bless!

Bible Study Starters of the Month

Here are a couple ideas to jump-start your brain for your personal Bible study…

1. Choose a Minor Prophet book in the Old Testament and read it once a week for the whole month. Write down any observations you have about the key themes and promises made in the book.

2. The book of James holds many practical truths for the Christian. Read his epistle (letter) and find any practices that James outlines relevant to the church today and write them down. Take note of their importance and how you could apply them to your own life.

Bible Study Project of the Month

Put on your thinking caps this month...

We sometimes hear statements like, "Anything that becomes more important to you is an idol!" Are we really able to go that far and say that? If we do, we must go to the Bible to find the answers. So...

Your assignment this month is to scour God's Word for instances where idolatry is mentioned, both Old and New Testaments. Find out what God's Word says concerning the worship of false gods and try to discover how that passage directly applies to you. Then determine what kind of action you should take in your own life according to what you've found.

Contact us through our “Contact Page” and tell us what you found. We're interested to hear what your studies turn up!

What’s New?

At last! We finally got it up! Our new e-book, I've Enlisted! Now What?!? Successful Strategies for God's Soldiers, has finally arrived! Just go to our homepage and click the book icon to find out what you need to do to get a copy.

We're very excited about this new edition to our ministry. And we hope you will be too.

Before we go we just want to thank you for taking the time to visit our site and sign up for this online newsletter. It's our pleasure to bring it to you. And of course...

Please continue to pray for the ministry here. We can't do any of this without your prayer support. Thanks everyone!

That about wraps it up for this month. We hope you enjoyed this e-zine provided by Bible-Student-Online.org.

God bless!