Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Seeker Friendly Resources

Imagine with me. 

Once there was an excellent 2nd grade math teacher.  She loved manipulatives (you know, those little blocks) and taught with them every day.  Next door was another excellent teacher.  She thought manipulatives were a disaster because they didn't develop kids' ability to think abstractly.  One day in front of a class full of children struggling with a new concept, they began to argue. Fingers went in the air, big words like "objective representation" and "associationist theory" were tossed around and finally they devolved to red faced name calling. 

What words could we use to describe this? 

Divisive.  Angry.  Argumentative.  Frustrating.  Nitpicky.  Out of touch.  Out of focus.  Irresponsible.

Argue.pngThese unhappy words describe so much Christian conversation online. In fact, when mature Christians disagree vehemently in front of those outside the faith or young in it, we seem as foolish as the teachers we imagined.  Not because we don't need to stand up for the truth of the gospel, we must.  But there is a time and place for disagreement.  Let's give people space to grow before they are bombarded with the venomous discussions that are so far from the unity and love that Jesus taught and the early church was called to practice (John 13:35, John 17:22-23, Ephesians 4:13, Colossians 3:4).

With that in mind, I compiled a list of resources that I often recommend to young people, seekers and young Christians.  None of them are perfect, being produced by humans after all, but all of them are non-denominational, gentle with their disagreement, and very encouraging!   

BiblesBefore you recommend a bible, I would strongly encourage you to think carefully about the reading level of the person you are recommending to.  Although a translation like the NASB that I study from every day is great for me, it is a challenge to anyone with reading difficulty.  We won't even talk about how difficult the KJV is for anyone under the age of 50.  It is USELESS to give/recommend a translation that is going to be a barrier instead of a blessing.
All of these are free online (Beware: like any other internet site they will use data if you are not hooked up to wifi or a landline). Each will let the reader pick a translation and even compare two translations side by side.  All have excellent search features so that they can be used like a concordance.

Apps- YouVersion is a free Bible app that allows the reader to search or read in multiple languages/translations for free as long as they are online.  If you are offline it will either use data or require buying a particular version and downloading it to your phone.  (You can find directions for downloading the app on an iPhone below)

Podcasts- If your own minister is posting sermons online, let me recommend starting there. I assume that you are happy to listen to him and would like to introduce your friend to him.  If that's not true...well that's a topic for another day.  After that let me recommend a couple of podcasts that I perennially enjoy and recommend. (You can find directions for downloading them on an iPhone below) Despite the name, this is not a podcast for preachers.  Rather it is the recordings of a local preacher, Steve Higginbotham, in Tennessee with his congregation. I have listened for a couple of years!
Eat this book.  This brand new podcast focuses on the topic of how to better read and understand our Bibles.  We are only 5 episodes in, but I LOVE it. It's positive, encouraging and enlightening! 
Start2Finish This is actually a collection of blogs and columns.  While I often find that they step on my toes and cover controversial topics, they are covered in a confessional and non-judgmental way.  They have columns by both men and women and new content nearly every day!  If you don't want to commit to subscribing (something I am often reluctant to do) let me suggest liking their page on Facebook so you'll see their new content on your feed

Flightpaths I won't dwell on how wonderful this blog is because I have before.  Look here or here to read all about it! 

Casandra Martin - She is the author of multiple books for Christian women.  Early on in our blogging we were blown away by the opportunity to interview her and review one of her books .  Hers is a blog that is an enormous Christian encouragement to women besides being real, honest and easy to understand! (Update: Sadly, Casandra passed away in December of 2015.  However, her old blog posts are still available at the website above and still worth a read.)

Call for fire - This blog on prayer focuses not only on bringing Biblical prayers to our attention but on improving our own personal prayer life. I would highly recommend it for a young Christian or seeker trying to learn to pray.
Online Magazine
Virtuous Woman - The author describes her online magazine this way,  "My love for the Lord, living faithful and fashion magazines all merged into one passion and that was creating a magazine for Christian women that helped us grow our faith and inspired scriptural living."  This website offers a blog, free weekly devotionals sent straight to your inbox and a free ebook when you subscribe!
I hope you are blessed with young Christians, teens or kids, and others who are learning about Christ and want more good solid Bible teaching than a Sunday morning can provide. I have lots in my life. I would love for you to recommend more resources like this. Leave me a comment at the bottom!

Instructions on getting podcasts on your IPhone
1. Tap podcasts
2. Tap Search (far right side)
3. Type in the search bar at the top -  Hit search.
4. Near the bottom, under "Podcasts" (not "Podcast Episodes"), choose this image

Eat This Book
1. Tap podcasts
2. Tap Search (far right side)
3. Type in the search bar at the top - Eat This Book.  Hit search
4.  Near the bottom, under "Podcasts" (not "Podcast Episodes"), choose this image

Bible On phone
1. Tap App Store
2. Tap Search on the bottom right
3. Type in "YouVersion" and you will see "YouVersion Bible App Free".  Choose that.
4. You should see this image.

5. Tap the blue open box. 


No comments:

Post a Comment