Online Bible – Sharing The Word
Recently I have been encouraged to start communicating regularly with people who, over the years, have been interested in The Online Bible and posting the information on our Blog Website.
The difference between a Blog and a regular Website is that a Blog site contains a chronological listing of messages and a normal Website is usually a static group of pages.
This first blog is to encourage you (and myself) to reach out to others with God’s great gift to us, His son, Jesus Christ. It includes a few separate items.
This is an email I received from a missionary in Mexico.
I received my copy of Online Bible on CD-ROM the other day and I just wanted to drop you a note and thank you very much. I know it will be a great blessing in the future. As a matter of fact, it has already been a great blessing. Let me give you a testimony.
Last night I was in a chat room in Talk City. While there a person with the nickname “Blitzkreig” came into the room. This person, who I later found out was a 17 year old girl from Germany, wanted to know how to go to heaven. I got her to talk to me in a Private Window and was showing her scriptures to attempt to lead her to Christ. After going through the plan of salvation with her, she said that she was going to have to talk to the priest in order to be saved. I showed her 1Tim. 2:5 which says there is one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus. She could not understand what a mediator was. I then opened the Online Bible and found a German version. I typed in the German verse and she understood immediately. I then went back over the plan of salvation in German and she accepted Christ as her savior. Glory to God!!!
Keep up the good work. I know it costs you money to provide the CDs free for missionaries. Rest assured that they are being used for the furtherance of the gospel, even over the Internet. You will have to wait until you get to heaven to find out the rewards that will be awaiting you, but rest assured my friend they will be many.
Yours in Christ for Mexico, C.C. Acts 16:9,10
Recently Antonio Consorte, one of our Online Bible users, told me that part of his ministry is providing Bible study material to Italian speakers in Italy and he asked if we could create a Starter Pack in Italian. After quite a bit of work on his part, Antonio and Ken Martin, our Windows support person, put together an Italian Starter pack that installs Online Bible with an Italian interface. It can be downloaded or burnt to a CD or memory stick.
While doing this we realized that there are many opportunities for others to share Online Bible with friends who are not comfortable working in English. Since then, Ken has built Starter Packs in Spanish, German, French and Dutch. If you know someone who would benefit from one of these you can direct them to our free download section at http://www.onlinebible.us/winonlinebible.html
Even better would be for you to download the Starter Pack and take it to them on a memory stick or CD and help them install it and show them how to start using it.
We have Scripture modules in many other languages but do not have the ability to translate the interface for other Starter Packs ourselves. If you are fluent in another language and would like to contribute to this ministry, Ken can give you files to be translated and we can post them on the web site too.
A while ago my son in law Bruce who lives in Canada wrote this article and said I could share it.
Secret Agent Man
Do you like secret agent movies? What’s not to like? Going around with some important job to do with only you and your boss that know about it, being all cool and suave and knowing behind your seemingly mundane facade that you are doing a something that needs doing. In daydreams sometimes I imagine myself as, well, a Christian secret agent, with my own secret identity. And sometimes I even kind of believe it, except for the suave and cool part. And except for writing to a magazine about it, this thing I do is pretty secret. Maybe my cover name could be Jackie Luther. Anyway, I just wanted to tell you a three stories, one about my mom (don’t laugh, even James Bond has a mom), and the other two about my “missions”.
My mom is a woman in her early 70’s who as her age has increased has become increasingly concerned with doing what she thinks is the right thing, and decreasingly concerned with what anybody except her Heavenly Father thinks of what she is doing. One of the things she does is give evangelical tracts to people she meets. I had always cringed at these tracts as presenting the Gospel in a over simplified, formulaic way. She occasionally goes back to the tiny village where she grew up to visit. She told me she had a story for me about one of one of these trips. She said that she went back to her hometown, and at the motel she stays at, got talking to the desk manager. He was a new Canadian from India, and as she does in her loving straightforward way, turned the conversation to spiritual things and gave him a tract to read. She then told me that the next year she returned to the same motel and met the same innkeeper who told her, “I read the tract you gave me last time you were here and it was very interesting. I have become a Christian!” She told me that she went back the next year looking forward to talking to the inkeeper, but that she met somebody else at the front desk, and upon asking for her friend the person said, “Oh, I am sorry, he died this past year.”
Wow. I thought about that story and wondered if there was anything I could do like that, my own version of what my mom does, maybe just in my spare time. It occurred to me that if I didn’t like tracts, maybe I could give folks something straight from God’s mouth to their ear. I went to a Bible bookstore and found I could get a little copy of the Gospel of St. John for about a buck and a half. I had recently started riding the public transit to work and thought that maybe I would just leave one of these Gospels in my seat whenever I rode transit, and that maybe somebody would come along and pick it up.
So that’s what I do. And that’s the kind of secret agent-y part. I figure it certainly doesn’t replace any other duty I have as a Christian – I am still obligated to feed the hungry and clothe the naked and all of those things. This is something I do for fun, and maybe God has even called me to it. And maybe almost all of these Gospels wind up lying on the floor getting stepped on and are nothing more than an irritation to the folks who clean transit vehicles. But maybe one will help somebody someday. And that would be pretty thrilling.
Now for the second story. I figure once I leave a Gospel, it’s God’s business how it goes from there, and that’s actually the fun part – how is God going to use His word today? Well I went to work one night and on the trip I was distracted and I actually forgot to leave the Gospel. So on the way home I thought I would get caught up by leaving one at the station and then one on the train. So in the morning I walked into the station and slipped one onto a bench and then kept walking another 20 yards and proceeded to wait for the train. As I said, I feel that once I leave it, it’s up to God, and not my concern. But as I waited for the train, I peeked back at the bench with that Gospel on it. I guess a real secret agent would watch by a little spy camera, but remember I’m just doing this in my spare time. Anyway, some folks walked into the station and the first man who passed that bench looked down, and by jingo, he reached down and picked up that Gospel. And then he flipped through it. And then he leaned up against the wall and started reading it. At that point I looked away and thanked God for doing His thing. I don’t know – maybe the guy was reading God’s word thinking “What a bunch of baloney”. But maybe he wasn’t. St. Paul said “faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ”. I’m going to go out on a limb and say it can come from reading too.
And now for my third story. As you may have gathered, I work shift work, and after I finish my last night shift, I just stay up all day so that I can get really tired and get a good sleep that night to get my body’s internal clock turned around. So I go home and my wife and our two toddlers and I go out to IHOP for breakfast. So we did that one morning. It was a Saturday and there was a lineup. When a space opened up on a bench, my wife told me to take it since I was tired. I was sitting between two people and the woman on my right held a book on her lap. In a minute she opened it to the introduction, and surreptitiously glancing over, I read a few lines. It was a book about spirituality, and talked about energy in the universe and possibly crystals and pretty quickly I saw it was a kind of a “New Age”-ey religious book. I sat for a moment, and then thought of my fearless mother, and said to the woman, “So you’re interested in spirituality, eh?” She looked up at me and said, “Oh yes. I think it’s good for me … actually I think it’s good for everybody to think about spirituality.” I looked at her and asked, “Do you have a Bible?” She paused a minute and looked thoughtfully at me and said, “Well, no I don’t.” And I smiled at her and said, “Well … I have two,” as I happened to have a little Testament in my pocket. I handed it to her, ready for any response. But she looked at me and said in a very sincere way, “Well thank you. I’ll look at that.” We went back to sitting and thinking our own thoughts. A moment later her table was called, and as she left she said, “Thank you again for the Bible”. And a moment later my table was called, and we went and ate some pancakes. And since there are more than two million people in Vancouver, odds are I’ll never see her again. So that felt a bit secret agent-y too. Kind of like one of those meetings where you exchange briefcases on a park bench.
Anyway, that’s my new little hobby. I really do feel like a secret agent when I do this stuff. I have to admit, James Bond gets a cool secret agent car and I’m riding public transit. But on the other hand I don’t have to worry about danger and villains, and I can pick my own hours. And it’s pretty fun.