DashHouse.com

The Blog of Darryl Dash

This blog is about how Jesus changes everything. He changes:

Our relationship with God

Our relationship with others

Our vocations - how we live and work in this world

Our ministries

This blog exists to explore some of the ways that Jesus changes everything. It provides resources and articles that will help you think about the ways that Jesus can change every part of your life.

The Lord himself invites you to a conference concerning your immediate and endless happiness, and He would not have done this if He did not mean well toward you. Do not refuse the Lord Jesus who knocks at your door; for He knocks with a hand which was nailed to the tree for such as you are. Since His only and sole object is your good, incline your ear and come to Him. Hearken diligently, and let the good word sink into your soul. (C.H. Spurgeon, All of Grace)

Filtering by Category: Technology

Review: Logos Sermon Finder

Just a few years ago, many of Tim Keller’s sermon manuscripts were all on paper. He talked about this in a sermon in 1994:

In my life, I have about a thousand sermons I wrote from about 1975 to 1985 that are all written on paper, hard copy. They’re not on any disk. They’re all there. That’s it. I spent 10 to 20 hours on each one of those things, and they’re all in one basic long file drawer. I look at that and I shudder sometimes. I say, “What would happen?”

They may still be sitting there in a drawer somewhere, but things have changed. I know have over 1,200 of his sermons in my Logos library, as well as 1,300 of John Piper’s sermons, not to mention hundreds of sermons by Charles Spurgeon and now Greg Laurie.

Here’s what’s good about this: I have an embarrassment of riches with me everywhere I go, as long as I have my phone, tablet, or computer with me. As I prepared my sermon for tonight, I was able to study the text, read many of the best commentaries, and then check out what great preachers did with the text. I can search within the sermon archives I own, or browse them by date, series, or by Scripture reference. For instance, check out some of Greg Laurie’s sermons on Philippians:

I don’t know Laurie that well, and his preaching style is probably different from mine, but that is a good thing. I appreciate seeing what someone who is different than me did with the text.

Logos does a great job of explaining how it works at their site.

It’s easy to access sermons by passage.

  1. Open Guides > Passage Guide.
  2. Enter a Passage in the Reference Box — e.g. James 1
  3. Scroll down to the "Sermons" section. You may need to click the triangle to expand it.
  4. Click on any blue sermon title to open the associated sermon entry.

Each sermon title will display the passage it covers and some may include the date when they were preached. Here's what it looks like for the passage I preached last weekend:

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Any good thing can be abused. I never want to begin a sermon my reading how others preached the text. Nothing can replace the preacher’s own wrestling with the text before turning to commentaries and the sermons of others. Also, it’s never a good  to preach someone else’s sermon as your own. At some point in the process, however, it does help to see how other capable preachers have handled the text. It can spark ideas and sharpen the sermons that we are about to preach.

There’s value, too, in having these sermons in Logos. I feel like I’m just scratching the surface of what this program is able to do, but I can’t imagine doing without it.

Getting the job done requires that we have the right tools. Logos is a tool I’ve come to love. If you are a preacher or a serious student of the Bible, I encourage you to take a look at the sermon archives that they have available.

Find out more about the Logos Sermon Finder page here.

Thanks to Logos for giving me a copy of Greg Laurie’s sermon archives to review.

Continuous Partial Attention

Daniel Goleman mentions a phrase in his new book Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence. It's "continuous partial attention." It's not a new phrase; it's supposedly been around for some 15 years. But it is both descriptive and damning at the same time.

Download-Focus-The-Hidden-Driver-of-Excellence-by-Daniel-Goleman-free-PDF-and-EPUB.jpg

Continuous partial attention means that we are paying attention to many things, but at a superficial level. We're never completely tuning in to one thing because of the other stimuli competing for our attention.

  • It's checking in on Facebook while the professor lectures.
  • It's pulling out the smartphone while on a date with your wife.
  • It's tweeting in the middle of a sermon.
  • It's missing out on what's here because we're wondering what's going on somewhere else that we're missing.
  • It's never being able to pray because we're too distracted. 

What's lost is the ability to pay attention, to sustain thought, to be fully present. And that's a shame when it comes to our most important relationships, not to mention our ability to think and pray.

I know two things. One: this is not a good way to live. Two: it's dangerous to the soul. Could this be one of the greatest pastoral issues that we are facing today?

Two Tech Tools

I'm always on the lookout for tools that make life easier or more productive. Here are two. I found one recently, and the other one I've been using for a while now.

Transient

Sanebox

I can relate to what this New York Times writer says about email:

This month alone, I received more than 6,000 e-mails. That doesn’t include spam, notifications or daily deals, either. With all those messages, I have no desire to respond to even a fraction of them. I can just picture my tombstone: Here lies Nick Bilton, who responded to thousands of e-mails a month. May he rest in peace.

Email drives me crazy. Rules and filters help, but it's hard to keep up. I recently came across Sanebox, which does a lot of the work for you:

SaneBox filters your Inbox. We separate emails that you must deal with right away from ones that can wait at least a couple of hours. And we do it automatically with no fuss and bother. All you have to do is click twice and eventually pay us some money.

So far so good. It's like having somebody separate all the flyers and junk mail from the stuff that actually matters. They give you a free trial, so you may want to check it out. I don't get any affiliate fees; it's just because I think it's a helpful service.

IFTTT

IFTTT stands for "If This, Then That."

Transient

You can set a trigger (the "if this" part) based on almost anything on the internet: the weather, a Google Reader post, something on Twitter or Facebook. This will cause a certain action to be taken. If you don't know where to start, you can simply use recipes that other people have created. For instance:

  • When Facebook profile picture changes, update Twitter profile picture.
  • Thank people in Twitter when they mention you or RT
  • Text you the weather every morning
  • Send starred items in Google Reader to Evernote

The possibilities are almost endless. It's a great free service, and you can't lose giving this one a try.

Something's Not Working

I'm on a retreat today. The first part of any retreat is beginning to slow down from the distractions that surround us. I was struck by this quote from Living Into Focus: Choosing What Matters in an Age of Distractions:

Something's not working. "Labor-saving" devices make us busier. The faster computers go, the more time we give them. As highways and cars improve, we drive farther and vehicles become increasingly expensive. Email speeds communications but eats up greater amounts of time. With the ongoing invention of "essential" devices (even energy-efficent ones), we consume growing quantities of power...Too much of our lives are fragmented and frantic, leaving us frustrated.

One of our greatest challenges is learning to free ourselves from the tyranny of all the technology that is supposed to make our lives better. It's not that the technology is bad; it's that the technologies come with a price that we often don't count on paying.

Action Method Online

I've been looking for a good task manager lately. It's been surprisingly hard. You wouldn't think that it would be hard to find something that's beautiful, works well in a team context, and is simple and powerful, but I haven't found a lot out there. I've tried Mac apps, IOS apps, online apps, and even pen and paper, but I have never found the solution that I'm looking for — until now.

They've just unveiled a new version of Action Method Online, and I'm loving it. The Action Method is outlined in the book Making Ideas Happen, and also online. I started using this last month, and I love it.

Transient

Here's what I like:

  • It's visual. I love that it uses colors and gives you more than a list so that you can really visualize what you have to do.
  • It's intuitive. It doesn't take a lot to figure out how to use it. I was going in no time at all.
  • It works well in a team. I like that I can delegate tasks easily and keep track of what's going on.
  • It helps me focus. It allows you to choose five tasks and put them in a Focus Area. That's a great idea for setting the top things you want to accomplish that day.

I'm loving it. You may want to check it out too. This article will give you the rundown on how and why it works.