Tech Review

Am I a techie? No way. But I deal with technology (at least what some would consider tech) quite a bit with my “day job” and even when it comes to preaching. When it comes to tech, if it’s useful I think it should be used.

My latest tech experience with the new Window’s Tablet called “Surface” has been less than enjoyable. My wife and in-laws got it for me as a surprise because I expressed some interest in it while seeing the TV commercials. The price (which is way more affordable than Apple products) and the connectivity with Window products/programs such as Word (which is what I have done all my sermon outlines on) made the Surface an attractive piece of tech to me personally. After all, being able to type up my sermon outlines outside of my office, being able save paper by using a digital copy of my outline and at the same time being able to have a Bible app on the same device made everything seem like a win-win! Unfortunately it really hasn’t been.

For anyone who is used to using Apple products such as the iPhone or iPad, figuring out the layout and functionality of the Surface is not a very user-friendly task. The Surface uses a very odd and an almost seemingly unorthodox mixture of apps, tablet and PC functionality that makes the device feel like it’s full of oil and water – if you get what I’m saying. Instead of a couple “clicks” to get where you need to be, often times, especially when you’re dealing with the Word program and PDFs, it takes a few clicks and a couple of turns in multiple directions to get where you need to be. To those who aren’t familiar with an Apple product this may sound like nothing, but let me put it like this – my two-year old (literally 2 years old) had the functionality of an iPhone (which is practically the same as an iPad tablet) down in no time…this isn’t going to happen with the Surface. One top of that, I have found that the apps (particularly the ones dealing with the Bible) in the Window’s store are woefully lacking compared to the ones that are found in Apple’s iStore. And for those of you who like being able to connect to the Internet via ways other than Wi-Fi the Surface is not for you.

The only positive thing(s) that I can say about the Surface is that it is cheaper, and that I do like being able to automatically have every outline that I have ever written at my finger tips due to the heavy dependence upon Microsoft Word without having to go through the whole download rigmarole that would be necessary on other devices. Once you convert the outline to a PDF you’re ready to go; although the text size on the screen may be an issue with some.

Overall, on a scale of 1 to 5, when it comes Microsoft’s Surface and my experience – I give it a 1 1/2.

P.S. – this review in no way reflects upon the thoughtfulness and love of my family; I’m blessed beyond measure in that area 🙂

  • See comments for another positive that can be said about the Surface tablet

#preaching-tool, #product-review, #review, #technology, #technology-in-ministry

History Channel’s “The Bible” TV Show

I was waiting to see if anyone would do any reviews or write a basic post about History’s latest “biblical” blockbuster. I guess it’s been about as popular and intriguing with the fellows as it has been with me, but I thought it would be worth the time to have a review in TFR about it.

The couple of times that I have watched the show it has been sorely lacking something that I would consider to be key with the whole title and all. Graphics? It’s got that! Drama? It’s got that too! Buzz? Can’t deny that! Bible based lines and actions? Let’s just say it seems like the majority of their script writers didn’t take the lead from the original screen play.

Now I understand that the show tried to cover a lot of ground in a quick manner, but that’s no excuse for a TV show whose producers feel that they have been “called” by God to do what they’re doing. I also understand (like the original 10 Commandments movie) that they are times when things have to be filled in with subjective calls. Things like wardrobes, sets, lighting, “extras”, dialogue for when larger gaps of time occur…etc. But what I don’t understand is why objective, clearly stated words and actions have to be ignored. Let me give an example. In the scene where Moses and the children of Israel cross the Red Sea, the “Bible” (the show) has Moses walk out into the water and strike it with his stick! I guess they were thinking of Numbers 20:8-11 instead of Exodus 14:15-16 because there the actual Bible says something totally different from what appeared on the small screen:

And the Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward. But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.” (NKJV – emphasis mine)

How much clearer can it be? How confusing is that? How can that not be exciting enough? Some may think this is only a small technicality, but I say if you’re going to name your TV show after the greatest book to have been written then the show should follow the book that its name bears. That’s not to mention the rest that they got wrong with the Red Sea scene biblically speaking. There was plenty!

I am glad that the show has people talking about the Bible; maybe it will cause people to look up what they see on TV in the scriptures – but I am afraid if they do they might not recognize what they’re reading. The TV show may be good for “entertaining” people when it comes to the Bible, but the show comes short when it comes to “educating” people on the Bible.

#bible, #bible-study, #christianity, #entertainment, #god, #history-channel, #review, #television, #tv, #tv-show-the-bible

A Good Website for Movie Reviews

I searched quite a while and finally found a website that I think does a really good job of reviewing movies from a fair Bible based moral viewpoint. You can even sign up for emails that come out each week with a description of the new weekend release’s language, violence, sex and nudity content. It also has a “search box” to look up individual movie reviews from the past. Along with the rating, there is also a basic review that describes the movie’s theme from beginning to end, along with particular reasons that the movie received the rating that it did. Fewer things irk me than children’s movies with adult innuendos. This isn’t an “endorsement,” but I will say that I have yet to find anything that comes close to being better for the purpose…and it’s free!

The website is called So, if you still like to try to squeeze in a movie once in a blue moon (it’s been about a year for me), but you want to avoid the junk as best as possible, you will find this site to be extremely useful!

#christian-living, #movies, #review

Reviewers Needed

I’ve been asked to write about gluttony. I just finished the draft. At nearly 4000 words, I won’t post it here. However, before I publish it on AE, I’d like to get some brethren to review it critically. Nothing like putting yourself out there on a controversial subject and then having to eat your words later (pun intended). If you’d like to read the draft and make suggestions, I’d be grateful. Email me Fri or Sat if interested:

#gluttony, #review