Of course, I would not be where I am today without God’s help. As His servants, many people have had a great influence on me over the years, and it seems only right that I provide some credit to a few of them. This isn’t everyone, but not all of those who have poured into me over the years (like my family) has a significant online presence.
Without a church family, I would not be where I am today. For much of my adult life, that family has been the First Christian Church of Canton, Ohio (USA). The members and staff of that congregation – both past and present – have provided where I could not, and allowed me to serve with my own gifts.
Through their invitation to occasionally serve as a guest author for their study guides (usually accompanying the sermon for the week), I was able to get a head-start on this site. You can find articles from this site that were originally study guides (sometimes with a little editing), here:
One Sunday morning, another Christian from the church shared the stage with one of our ministers. She talked about how she had chosen to follow Christ, but didn’t know how to read her Bible or how to pray. Inspired by that, I collected a number of instructional and testimonial articles from others in the church, and put together a “how-to” guide of the basics of these elements of the Christian life. Some of those that have been re-published on this site (plus a few others) can be found here:
Don Merritt is a friend of my dad’s, and while I appreciate Don’s teaching when I visited my parent’s church occasionally, I have also found Don’s blog, The Life Project, to be not only thought-provoking and educational, but also a great example of ways to write about the Christian faith. I suspect that his work influences this site, as well.
A friend and former teacher, Mike Hines, taught me a lot about the Bible, history, and teaching others. His main website is: http://christianchronicler.com, and three of his books can be found on Amazon, here:
The “Questions People Asked” book came out of a joint project that Mike and I worked on together, back when I used to maintain the website for our church (long ago, when the Internet was much younger). We would take questions about the faith from readers around the world, and Mike would provide answers. I also credit Mike for teaching me the “Hook, Book, Look, Took” model for teaching. You will probably find that my articles often follow this pattern, even if that happens subconsciously.
In more recent time, my pastor friend Pat Hartson has helped prompt me to grow in my Christian faith and walk. In a Discipleship Group that he led, he provided some interesting publications, of which he said that I could share the following .
If you’re interested in discussing this, I welcome the conversation. Or, if you’d like to chat with Pat about it, I can put you in contact with him.
And, I appreciate those who have taken the time to translate the Bible into my language, trying to replicate the subtleties and beauty of the original languages in which it was first written. Here are copyright notices that several of those organizations have provided:
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Copyright by The Lockman Foundation.
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Having said this, while each translation should have a similar goal (communicating the Word of God in languages other than the ones in which it was originally recorded), different translations use their own approaches to do so. As a result, I encourage you to review the philosophy and intent of any translation that you read from (publishers will typically share this information in a readily-accessible format), in order to understand how the source material was rendered in a different language, so that you can better understand it.
Along the same lines, the ability to search the Bible and review multiple translations at https://www.biblegateway.com/ has been invaluable. I’ve used a concordance before, but there’s nothing like having the entire Word of God immediately available for cross-references and study, especially when I want to see what God said about a particular topic. Likewise, the YouVersion mobile app (which is even better on a tablet, versus on my phone) has given me access to the Bible (often with accompanying devotion plans) in many circumstances where I didn’t have a print Bible handy.
This isn’t everyone, but only God knows how He has lined up all those who crossed paths with my life at just the right time. Hopefully, though, I can continue to try and live out the command in this verse from Galatians:
The one who is taught the word is to share all good things with the one who teaches him.
Galatians 6:6 NASB