Are you skeptical of the many online bible translations that are available today? Growing up the only bible translations that I knew about were King James Version and New International Version. In college I was introduced to English Standard Version and by that time there were so many translations available it was hard to make a decision on which one to use. My next revelation to scripture format was online bible tools. I would use Bible Gateway for keyword searches and I also downloaded the iPhone Bible application just in case I needed a quick reference on the go.


All this to say — it seems the bible has evolved quite a bit in the last few decades. Now “evolved” is an interesting word to use here since scripture is unchanging and inerrant. Yet it has evolved into newer versions that are easier to read because they have been translated to reflect modern speech which sets them apart from versions like the KJV. Even though the words are modern most versions are still based on the original Hebrew and Greek text. Then comes the question, with all the bible versions popping up, is it possible that someday people will be able to make up their own versions of the bible that are filled with what they want to hear?


Christianity Today’s article Hacking the Bible, informs readers that there may be a possibility in the near future for individuals to create their own personalized version of the bible, based on their preferences. This idea comes from Stephen Smith; he calls his idea Franken-Bible. Franken-Bible would work by way of algorithm, a mathematical/computer science concept that would automatically generate data to create new versions. Smith seems to be in love with the art of this process but he admits that at the same time it “raises so many problems and doesn’t really provide great answers”. Smith has created a rough draft version of this software and believes that this will be the next step that takes place in the Bible translation domain.


Who would want to create their own version of the Bible? I can think of a few people off the top of my head that would jump at this opportunity; not to mention well known pastors and teachers might create and promote a version. However if individuals start creating their own versions this could take consequences that come with biblical teaching role to a dangerous level.


Bible software has made in depth bible study available to all who have the desire to learn and this is a blessing! What are your thoughts on this software program that individualizes a version of the bible based on a person’s preference? Please leave your comment below.

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 work in progress

Let’s thank the Lord together. Let’s thank the Lord for the many blessings He has given us but let’s also thank Him for the blessings that are to come. That’s right, let’s thank Him for the blessings we don’t even know that we need that are to come and the blessings we feel we need that for whatever reason have not yet been given. God has our best interest in mind therefore we can trust that the Lord has great things in store for our future.


Do you remember where you came from? Can you remember who you were before you came to know Christ? As believers we are not who we once were and though we have come a LONG way God is not finished molding and changing us into who He wants us to be. Apart from our initial salvation knowing that God is constantly molding us to be more like Him is one of my favorite topics to think about. This truth fills me with hope!! Now don’t get me wrong; I am still in many ways a “mess”. I fall short of my goals the majority of the time, which I realize is not very impressive. BUT I am thankful the Lord has taught me to cut myself a bit of slack because I am not the finished product yet.


My friends and I have a saying for those times when things go wrong and we can’t exactly pinpoint the problem;  we say with shoulders in mid shrug “something missed”. I have debated getting t-shirts made with this logo on them so those who come into contact with me can be immediately informed. (Let me know if you want to order one!!)  Yet it never fails, as soon as I am determined to send my t-shirt to print the Lord reminds me how far I have come. I can either be discouraged by thinking I am spiritually impaired or I can thank Him for how far He has brought me. So to thank Him a step further let’s take a moment to appreciate the Lord for the blessings He has not yet bestowed upon us. We might not know how or when but we can trust that He has our best interest at heart and He is more dedicated to our spiritual growth then we are. He will change us in His good and perfect timing. After all, He who began the good work in us will bring it to completion. (Phil 1:6) The Lord has a perfect record so I’m going to hold on to this promise with excitement!!


Happy Friday!! Do you have any slogans that describe seasons in your life like the above example “something missed”? I look forward to hearing from you!! 

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Best-selling author and popular blogger Anne Marie Miller will be the Keynote Speaker for ISC 2014 in St. Louis, MO! She joins us today for an interview at our Memphis headquarters to give us a preview of the information she wants to share with Shelby conference attendees this summer. Watch and learn how Anne Marie’s family life led to her ministry work today, why spiritual leadership is so stressful and what you can do about it, what hot topic got a huge reaction on her blog, what types of issues she addresses in her books, and discover what her keynote address and breakout sessions will cover. Make sure you watch the end of the video for a special offer on Anne Marie’s brand new e-book and audio-book combo, Beating Burnout, that will help to prepare your heart for this conference.

Shelby Podcast: Anne Marie Miller – ISC 2014 Keynote Speaker from Shelby Systems Media on Vimeo.

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 It is possible the thought has never crossed your mind but your label printer can benefit from a routine cleaning. Regular maintenance is a preventative step that will help your printer have a long life. When a label printer is well maintained, the printer head will generally last a million linear inches. How often should you clean your printer? We think it is a good rule of thumb to clean the printer when you reorder your labels.


Here are the steps we have found to be helpful.

  • Disconnect power to the printer.
  • Open the top of the printer using the green tabs on both sides.
  • I use alcohol wipes to clean the in house Godex printers. (We recommend the use of isopropyl alcohol to the print head and the roller.


  • Locate the Printer head and wipe it gently to remove any build up or debris.


  • Remove the Platen covers.


  • Lift out the roller and clean it to remove debris and adhesive residue.


  • Replace the roller and platen covers.  The platen covers have left, L, and right, R, indicators marked inside to ensure they are placed properly.
  • Your printer is now clean. 

Did you find these instructions helpful? Please let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment below. Are there any other third party product procedures that you would like to learn about? Let us know and we will be happy to research for you!!

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You have probably heard the recent hype of Amazon delivery moving towards a drone service. If you haven’t, Amazon has invented flying drones to deliver packages to replace our current means of shipping that requires human beings. This is definitely the next step in technology.  I have a feeling this is going to rub many people the wrong way. I can also foresee the parting of the shipping sea; one side will be those so excited they will sign up right away while the other side will boycott it until it is the only shipping option available. Not to mention we all we have read enough books and seen too many movies where machines outsmart their manufacturer and wreak havoc (usually on New York City). Drone delivery service brings this possibility too close to home. Since all we have are fictional experiences to play off of it makes sense we are a bit skeptical. If drones come into existence it will be as if the barrier between reality and fiction is broken. So it might take us a while to establish a less paranoid point of view.


All this playful talk to say we are not quite there yet. Drones are not in use but it will not be much longer. I ran across this video on Mashable that is a playful parody from Netflix. I was reading too quickly when I stumbled upon this video and for the first few moments I thought it was serious. However you can’t get very far into it before you realize it is a joke. This video is a playful expression of the fears and possibilities that well up inside each of us as we move toward the reality of a drone delivery service. Take a look.


What do you think about drone delivery? Do you get excited thinking about the modern invention or dread the impersonal service?

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never stop praying

Prayer has been a theme the Lord has been teaching me so far in 2014. My church started the year off by laying out 31 topics that we felt needed to be brought before the Lord. We prayed one request every day for the entire month of January. These request topics ranged from people groups within our church, current cultural issues, city leadership/schools and much more. It was exciting to wake up every morning to pray because I wanted to beg the Lord for these requests along with other members in my church. I wanted to do my part and not leave it up to someone else. I wanted to see what the Lord would do. I did not miss a day. I didn’t miss a day, simply because it was planned out for me in advance, interesting huh?


On top of learning more about corporate prayer I have also been reading a book about prayer that a friend gave me. The book is called The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson. The tag line for this book is “Praying circles around your biggest dreams and biggest fears”. The book tells the legend of Honi, the Circle Maker. Honi was a Jewish sage in 1st century B.C. whose faith in God and prayer life were so strong that his story has not been forgotten. Batterson has learned many attributes from Honi’s example and therefore teaches those who read his book that “God honors bold prayers because bold prayers honor God”.


So all this recent influence has caused my mind to churn. As believers, God is our father and he wants what is best for us just as we want what is best for our children. A parent delights in fulfilling the requests of their children. God delights in fulfilling our requests. If a child does not ask, there is a good chance the request will not be filled. However, we all know children are not afraid to ask over and over, even if the answer is no. In this way, we should never stop giving our requests to the Lord. Children give us a better understanding of praying without ceasing.


This book brings up many great application that will help you grow in your prayer life. The one I think is most applicable is having some method of tracking the prayers that you pray. When you track your prayers you are less likely to forget to pray for someone who has asked you and you are more likely to rejoice when a prayer is answered. You can track prayers in a journal or in a notebook that repeats on a monthly basis. I have known people who have a prayer card system that helps them remember to lift certain requests to the Lord. On a more corporate level you could organize a month worth of requests in advance and circulate them to the church body or you could get a software program that is made specifically to track prayer requests. The possibilities are vast. Who knows what miracles the Lord will perform? Batterson says “The greatest tragedy in life are the prayers that go unanswered because they go unasked”. I think the time, effort and organization will be worth the outcome!!


Anybody with me? What prayer strategy works for you and your church? Has Anyone read The Circle Maker? Leave your comments below!!



Shelby Systems is holding 3 FREE regional demos in your area and you are invited!

  • Birmingham, MI – Tues, Mar 4
    First United Methodist Church
    1589 W Maple Rd
    Birmingham, MI 48009
  • Grand Rapids, MI – Weds, Mar 5
    Calvary Church
    707 E Beltline Ave NE
    Grand Rapids, MI 49525
  • Indianapolis Arena – Thurs, Mar 6
    Mount Pleasant Christian Church
    381 N Bluff Rd
    Greenwood, IN 46142

Allow us to share with you the next steps on our product road map along with viewing the features and benefits of using Shelby Arena, our browser-based church management software, and the new Shelby Financials, our browser-based fund accounting software. These products are for both PC and Mac users. See how it can help your members, future members, lay leaders, and staff connect to what’s going on in your church and with each other. Managing your people’s information just got easier with using Shelby Arena for group management, volunteer tracking, workflow management, serving areas, check-in, online event registration, online giving and much more!

Please don’t miss this opportunity to see it for yourself AND get a FREE lunch!

Photo Credit: Thomas Leuthard via Compfight cc


At an impressive 1,928 pages, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) has more pages than the story of the man from La Mancha, the Odyssey of Odysseus and the King Kames Version of the Bible!  I would even venture to say, based on my brief read of it, reading The Canterbury Tales in Middle English would require fewer translations and definitions than the ACA.  So basically, it is long and taxing to read.  Regardless of where we all fall in our political views of the ACA, it is important that we understand how it affects the churches and ministries that we are involved in and work with.  Will you understand all there is to know about the ACA after reading this?  I can definitively say no.  Remember, it is longer than the Bible and I am still studying that!  What you will walk away with is a clearer understanding of tools available to you that help manage your church’s and ministry’s compliance to the ACA guidelines. The Benefit Status Monitor, offered by TimeClock Plus as an add-on module, allows you to do just that – help manage your compliance with the ACA, specifically section 4980 H, “Shared Responsibility for Employers Regarding Health Coverage”. 


So how does the Benefit Status Monitor help with compliance?

  • Employment statuses (full-time, part-time, or variable hour) can be flagged for reporting purposes and tracking.
  • Measurement Periods (the length of time, between 3 and 12 months, employers use to determine whether or not variable hour employees are eligible for coverage) can be defined and tracked in reporting.
  • Reports can be generated to show how close part-time and variable hour employees are to exceeding their hourly threshhold.
  • Reports can also show when full-time employees have fallen below the minimum number of hours needed to qualify for benefits.
  • Text and e-mail alerts can be sent out to managers and supervisors when employees are nearing their hourly threshold in a measurement period.
  • Provides the tools you need that help to reduce the risk of costly fines through poor employee time tracking practices.

Having the tools you need to accurately track and effectively manage employee hours will definitely make managing ACA compliance less of a hassle.


Click here for more information on the Benefit Status Monitor. 


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The day of love is here!! Today, many countries around the world focus on love since it is Valentine’s Day. As believers we know the greatest love of all through Christ. And for that reason and many others I hope we all celebrate!!


Here is a great story about a man and U.S. Olympian, Jeremy Bloom. Bloom is determined to show love to others by helping them fulfill their dreams. Now the type of people he helps might not be what you are expecting; which makes this story so unique and beautiful. Bloom was inspired to perform these acts of kindness by his grandmother. Take a look at this video!!


language chalkboard
Most people would agree that knowing a language other than their native tongue is an excellent skill to possess. I took Spanish in high school. I was interested in learning the language but the skills that remain are nowhere near fluent. I remember how to say “guapo” and “bonita” which means I am equipped to pay complements to infant children by telling them they are “handsome” or “pretty”. My skills end there.  


Sometimes I wish I had tried harder so that I could communicate with a broader range of people. Sure, there are programs put there that help you learn another language no matter your experience level. Rosetta Stone is one of those programs and it has helped many people add another language to the repertoire. And let’s not forget our good friend Dora The Explorer. She has almost single handedly introduced the Spanish language to our children even though it is an extremely dangerous task. Seriously, anyone else praying that Swiper the Fox would just leave her alone so she can complete her noble journey?!! #noblecause #thanksDora


Back to languages. Yes, knowing a second language would be a great skill. A language that has proven to be extremely helpful in the last few years is a “newer” language. I am not talking about Mandarin, Spanish or Russian but rather the constructed language known as the programming language. This language is also known as source code. The programming language was designed to communicate to machines; in most cases computers. Simply put, this code is the foundation upon which the websites we visit are built. This programming language is not verbally spoken but made up of a combination of different text and symbols. It is a relatively new language, so it makes sense that it is foreign to most of us.


Do you think it is important for those who do not know this code to learn it? Would this knowledge benefit everyone? How early should we start teaching this language? recently wrote about a children’s book author named Linda Liukas who has written a children’s book that helps teach the concepts of programming. Let’s face it, the internet is not going anywhere. We couldn’t live the same way without it so it only makes sense to teach this skill to the upcoming generations. The sooner the better. I bet parents can learn a thing or two from these books just like they subconsciously learn from Dora. Here’s a positive, you are less likely to get a theme song stuck in your from a book.


What are your thoughts on this topic? Do you think learning programming language is important? Do you think children should learn it or wait until they are older? Please leave a comment below!!

Photo Credit: the measure of mike via Compfight cc
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