A Wonderful Tool; TextExpander

Posted September 19, 2014 by Joe Chase
Categories: Teaching, technology

Tags: , ,

icon_textexpanderMany of us who lead worship are ministers or have a second job. Typing text is a great big part of my work: blogging, writing bulletin articles, email and a thousand other jobs that require typing on my computer or phone.
I discovered a cool app for my Mac computer and my iOS devices. It is called TextExander by Smile Software. smilesoftware.com
This tool will expand various keystrokes on your computer or iOS device to words, blocks of text, even entire boilerplate letters and forms.

One of the ways that it is saving me time is in sending out the weekly church bulletin. I always blind carbon copy the email address of the 100 or so people that I send our bulletin to. I copied all of those addresses pasted them into TextExpander, assigned a key stroke combination and voila no more opening up old emails to copy and past the email list.

I also send out an introduction letter to all my Truth for the World Bible students. It takes several mouse clicks to open up a text document copy the text, paste it in the new document, date it, add the new name and contact info. Now I just type “xinto” and the 2 page document expands into the new email pausing to ask for the students name and adds the date. That saved a good 2 minutes, times 5 or six times per week, times 52 weeks in a years time that is 520 minutes I could be doing something else.

Another big help that TextExander gives is inserting accented letters, various symbols like ™or © instead of having to find the symbols or remember the hexidecimal code I just made a “snippet” assigned “xtm” for trademark and another for “xcw” for copy right.

Add to that the amount of times I have to type the date now all I have to do is type “ddate.” Thanks to Chad Landman, I have a library of snippets that spell out the names of the books of the Bible.  Instead of Revelation, I just type “xre”. Any text can become a snippet and assigned to a keystroke combination.  I am thrilled with this new tool. I believe that with the new expanded keyboard in iOS 8 the TextExander Touch will work on many more apps than before. So goodbye fumbling fingers and hello fast typest.

A Sinner’s Prayer

Posted April 2, 2012 by Joe Chase
Categories: Prayer

So often we’ve heard about the sinner’s prayer. Most often that refers to a prayer that many believe will bring salvation to the sinner. I am not convinced that any such prayer is possible, there are too many Scriptures that teach a series of things are necessary for the salvation of our souls.

However, I am not convinced that sinners should not pray. I am not persuaded that we ever reach a point in our lives that we are truly sinless. I do believe we can be in covenant relationship with the God of heaven and He cleanses us from all sin as we follow the savior who walks in the light (1 John 1:7-9). Never believe that the privilege of forgiveness is freedom to sin:

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? (Romans 6:1-2)

Today, I hope all of us will be humble enough to ask the Lord for forgiveness of our sins. I pray that all men will submit to the commands of the Lord necessary to enter His kingdom. It is then that we are assured of answers to our prayers (James 5:16). I am reminded of the beautiful old hymn that lays out the contrite heart of a sinner before God.

Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
Forgive our foolish ways;
Reclothe us in our rightful mind,
In purer lives Thy service find,
In deeper reverence, praise.

My prayer today is that God will forgive my failings, my stubbornness to change my heart to be like His. I ask Him for a clearer mind to serve Him better while I leave behind the mundane thoughts and deeds of worldliness. That He will help my sinfulness to become faithfulness to His service.

Joseph D. Chase

Morning

Posted January 17, 2012 by Joe Chase
Categories: christian living, Encouragement

Tags:

I’ve never been a joyful riser in the early hours. I try to have only one 7:00 in my day. However the past two weeks my wife and have been going to the gym at 4:30 each morning.

It is interesting how the world comes to life. Birds are already singing at 4:30. This gave me the idea that maybe that is the way I should start my morning. So I quietly sing a hymn of praise and thanksgiving while my body tries to begin the day.

Songs in the morning don’t have to be songs of mourning either. In facts as the new day brightens so do the prospects for greater accomplishments during the day.

I don’t know if I am a total convert to early rising but I am for singing and cheerfulness for each day.

Assurance for the Fainthearted

Posted December 28, 2011 by Joe Chase
Categories: christian living, Encouragement, Unconditional Love

Tags: ,

Everybody is prone to doubt. The devil does all he can to steal confidence from the Christian. If he can get us to doubt our salvation, God’s goodness or the efficacy of Jesus sacrifice he can get us to give up.

John’s first letter serves to bolster our confidence. The phrase “we know” occurs no less than 14 times in the brief letter. The Christian needs assurance to face the struggles of living in a wicked and fleshly world. So John lists for us things we can know and how we can know them.

(1) “Beloved, now are we children of God, and what we shall be has not yet been manifested; we know that if it is manifested we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2).

(2) “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love [his] brother abides in death” (1 John 3:14).

(3) “And if we know that He hears us, whatsoever we ask, …”

(4) “… We know that we have the petitions which we have asked of Him” (1 John 5:15).

(5) “We know that every one begotten of God does not sin, but he that has been begotten of God keeps himself, and the wicked [one] does not touch him” (1 John 5:18).

(6) “We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in the wicked [one]” (1 John 5:19).

(7) “And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us an understanding that we should know Him that [is] true; and we are in Him that [is] true, in His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life” (1 John 5:20).

(8) “And hereby we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments” (1 John 2:3).

(9) “… But whoever keeps His word, in him verily the love of God is perfected. Hereby we know that we are in Him” (1 John 2:5).

(10) “Little children, it is [the] last hour, and, according as ye have heard that antichrist comes, even now there have come many antichrists, whence we know that it is [the] last hour” (1 John 2:18).

(11) “And he that keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And hereby we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit which He has given to us” (1 John 3:24).

(12) “We are of God; he that knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. From this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error” (1 John 4:6).

(13) “Hereby we know that we abide in Him and he in us, that He has given to us of His Spirit” (1 John 4:13).

(14) “Hereby know we that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments” (1 John 5:2).

.

It is too bad that we live in fear and doubt when God has told us we are winners, over-comers and conquerors. We we can boldly stand on ground given us by the captain of our faith. Don’t draw back but forge ahead in your faith reaching higher, richer and better blessings with every new success in the Lord.

Heaven and salvation is ours to lose if we so choose. Don’t let that happen.

Assurance for the Fainthearted

Posted December 28, 2011 by Joe Chase
Categories: christian living, Encouragement, Unconditional Love

Tags: ,

Everybody is prone to doubt. The devil does all he can to steal confidence from the Christian. If he can get us to doubt our salvation, God’s goodness or the efficacy of Jesus sacrifice he can get us to give up.

John’s first letter serves to bolster our confidence. The phrase “we know” occurs no less than 14 times in the brief letter. The Christian needs assurance to face the struggles of living in a wicked and fleshly world. So John lists for us things we can know and how we can know them.

(1) “Beloved, now are we children of God, and what we shall be has not yet been manifested; we know that if it is manifested we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2).

(2) “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love [his] brother abides in death” (1 John 3:14).

(3) “And if we know that He hears us, whatsoever we ask, …”

(4) “… We know that we have the petitions which we have asked of Him” (1 John 5:15).

(5) “We know that every one begotten of God does not sin, but he that has been begotten of God keeps himself, and the wicked [one] does not touch him” (1 John 5:18).

(6) “We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in the wicked [one]” (1 John 5:19).

(7) “And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us an understanding that we should know Him that [is] true; and we are in Him that [is] true, in His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life” (1 John 5:20).

(8) “And hereby we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments” (1 John 2:3).

(9) “… But whoever keeps His word, in him verily the love of God is perfected. Hereby we know that we are in Him” (1 John 2:5).

(10) “Little children, it is [the] last hour, and, according as ye have heard that antichrist comes, even now there have come many antichrists, whence we know that it is [the] last hour” (1 John 2:18).

(11) “And he that keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And hereby we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit which He has given to us” (1 John 3:24).

(12) “We are of God; he that knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. From this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error” (1 John 4:6).

(13) “Hereby we know that we abide in Him and he in us, that He has given to us of His Spirit” (1 John 4:13).

(14) “Hereby know we that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments” (1 John 5:2).

.

It is too bad that we live in fear and doubt when God has told us we are winners, over-comers and conquerors. We we can boldly stand on ground given us by the captain of our faith. Don’t draw back but forge ahead in your faith reaching higher, richer and better blessings with every new success in the Lord.

Heaven and salvation is ours to lose if we so choose. Don’t let that happen.

Tom T, Roger and a Young Carpenter

Posted December 2, 2011 by Joe Chase
Categories: Entertainment, Teaching

Tags: , ,

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Painting word pictures is a powerful teaching tool. A great story hangs in the heart. I always liked Tom T. Hall he made Clayton Delaney and the hitchhiking orphan boy a part of the fabric of our lives. Roger Miller could put us on a river bank or in a box car with just a few do wacka dos.

Tom’s and Roger’s stories standout in our minds because they speak to and from the commonality of human experience. Great stories take something we know and illustrate things we don’t. Roger was a master at turning a phrase upside down to make a point.

“I lack fourteen dollars havin’ twenty seven cents.”

What better way to say you wasted your rent money boozing it away? The song shows just how low one stoops to climb a high barstool. It does not pass our notice the sad story is set to happy music.

Tom T. Hall taught us the sage summation of what is most important in life “Old Dogs, Children and Watermelon Wine.” Although we do not endorse the wine part we can agree that life is good because of the simple things.

A young carpenter from Nazareth was the master teacher because of his ability to couch divine enlightenment within farming acumen. He could profoundly portray eternal principles with paradoxical phrases. We remember that God elevates the humble because Jesus said “the first shall be last and the last first.”. We see the greatness of giving all by a widow sacrificing her meager mite.

Jesus could have had a big career in the country music business if he decided to live on Music Row. Instead the sweet story teller changed the world with his amazing way of living his teachings.

My Smartphone Can Hurt Me Spiritually

Posted December 2, 2011 by Joe Chase
Categories: technology

Tags: , ,

Sometimes even good things turn bad. My smartphone is a wonderful tool for ministry. It goes with me everywhere. I can email, text and talk on the phone almost anywhere.

All those hours sitting in the hospital waiting room are still productive hours. Travel time can be filled with useful work. But, that constant connection to my inbox can steal family time, sleep and sabbatical rests. Nothing can ruin your day off like a message from the hyper critical fault-finder.

I’ve learned to turn off my phone for certain periods of the day. My daily prayer time and sermon prep time are two segments of my day where my phone is on silent. I know that my voicemail will work and texts will record for later when I am able to deal with them.

I quit reading email in bed. This helps avoid sleepless nights brooding over problems and news I can’t deal with until morning anyway. My wife appreciates me leaving work out of our family time.

I love twitter, texting and Facebook. They are great tools to share ministry information, keep in touch with people and news sites. But, they can rob time and attention from more important duties. I don’t check Facebook until lunch, twitter is not allowed to scroll or tweet freely on my phone or desktop computer.

I also use hootsuite to schedule most of my tweets and Facebook status updates. This way I only have to run them a few times per week. I try to automate posting of blog updates so that keeps me from having to visit FB, twitter, Google+ etc. several times per week. My ADD does not allow me to just read necessary posts I know I’ll chase cyber rabbits for 30 minutes for every perusal of Facebook or twitter read.

We need to learn to use our phones for God’s glory and not just work.


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