Ron's Story: A "My Story" Feature (Blog)

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Ron’s Salvation Story

I was born in San Diego, and grew up as an only child in a Christian home. I attended private Christian school. My family attended a Baptist church. At 13 years of age, I prayed the ‘sinner’s prayer’ one day in church, but I did not tell anyone. I guess that I wasn’t ready yet to make him the Lord of my life, and I was fearful of what the neighborhood kids would say about me. Maybe they would laugh at me, make fun of me, or call me a Jesus freak After all, the idea that Jesus died and came back to life seemed very unlikely to me. How could I possibly defend this crazy sounding story? If it was true, I wanted to believe, but I just didn’t know how, and I was too afraid to ask.
For 27 years, I walked through life believing that there might be a God, but was unsure. I believed that I was a pretty good person and deserved to go to heaven if there was one. However, my belief had no basis other than I had heard this for a number of other people and it seemed logical to me. Also, I was told by a close friend in college that there are a lot of religions, as well as, ways to heaven. And, in addition, religions just try to explain what we do not know.
At nearly 40 years old, I was in the best physical shape of my life, and everything seemed great. However, starting with my 40th birthday, I began to experience pain in a number of areas of my life. First, I became very aware that my marriage relationship was not in a good place. Soon to follow, my athletic triathlete body started to hurt from age and injury. I surrendered. I let go. No longer did I believe that I was in control. I began to work on myself. I began searching for answers. Thankfully, God had put many people in my path that would help me find a life of significance and purpose.
During that same year, a friend put his hand on my shoulder in the parking lot of a hospital, and prayed for God to make himself known to me in a way that I could understand. Eleven days later, the prayer was answered when God revealed himself in a powerful way to me. It was on that day of September 15, 2011, that God became real to me.

Ron’s Thrills and Trials as a Disciple of Jesus

I have been a believer now for almost 6 years, and it is time for me to work at going deeper. I want to be able to grow my faith and take it to a greater depth. More specifically, I need discipleship help in the area of leadership. I am a father to three children and I desperately want them to know God. And, I want to be a better father to them. Also, there is a new believer at church that is asking me to meet with him weekly. I want to know how to disciple him in his new found faith.

Ron and Podcast Seminary

I have lead a couple of small groups, and both times they have dissolved after two or three years. If I was better at discipleship, I believe that those small groups might have remained intact and still be thriving to this day. It is my hope that Podcast Seminary can help me to meet my spiritual growth needs, and as a result, I can become a more effective discipler and follower of Christ.


Listen to Ron’s Interviews on Our Official Podcast! Part 1 and Part 2

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Your Turn

Do you have a story? We want to hear about it. People want to read it! We are even willing to consider featuring your story on PodcastSeminary.com/blog in a future post like this one.
Your StoryConnect with me through leaving a comment below or by going to the Contact page, and we’ll get started!

[audio podcast] 20 Centuries of Christian Spirituality in 20 Minutes [podcast]

Podcast Seminary BannerA Short History of Christian Spirituality


Want to learn about 20 Centuries of Christian Spirituality in 20 Minutes?

Read the blog version

Spiritual maturity is important to Christians, so they have always sought to understand spirituality. Christian formation has to do with how we cooperate with God in our own personal transformation and quest for spiritual maturity. Listen to learn about several of the key movements in the history of Christianity and how believers of different centuries have thought about and practiced their faith!


http://podcastseminary.libsyn.com/2000-years-of-christian-spirituality-in-20-minutes-e012


Conclusion

That is a basic introduction to the history of Spiritual Formation. These forces did and still do impact Christians and how they think about their faith. At least gaining a basic understanding of these movements will help Christians understand other believers and how they experience God and seek to grow spiritually. Be encouraged to learn more– to expand your understanding of other believers, and also to think about how your relationship with God can become stronger through a stronger appreciation of how fellow believers seek to know God.

20 Centuries of Christian Spirituality in 20 Minutes [blog]

Podcast Seminary BannerA Short History of Christian Spirituality


by Chase Webster and Freddy Cardoza


Want to learn about 20 Centuries of Christian Spirituality in 20 Minutes?

Spiritual maturity is important to Christians, so they have always sought to understand spirituality.
Christian formation has to do with how we cooperate with God in our own personal transformation and quest for spiritual maturity. Christians have always, since the days Jesus walked with His disciples, engaged in spiritual formation.
Later, after Jesus ascended into heaven, and as the Church matured in the following centuries, there was also a maturing of devotional practice. What was done individually and privately by believers, was more fully understood and communicated to other believers in future centuries. Spirituality began to be practiced systematically in Christian communities. And over time, a greater understanding and development of spiritual disciplines was identified, written about, and practiced.
The history of that development happened in a series of important events over the last 2000 years—events which inform us even today, and that helps our ability to grow spiritually mature.
One wonders, what were the major developments in how Christians and the church thought about spiritual formation? That’s a long and interesting story that began with Jesus, then began to change in the centuries that followed.

The Desert Fathers (250 AD) –

Before Christianity became the state religion under Constantine, believers were being persecuted and even martyred for their faith.
Christians would pray more, met together more, and meditated more because the physical and spiritual needs were great during the time of persecution.
Once Christianity became the state religion, there was changes that came to the faith. A person was no longer in danger if they believed in Jesus as their Savior. This led to a more relaxed approach to maturity and spiritual disciplines among many.
Also, the state religion started to blend Christianity with their old pagan practices. So there were some men who decided to remove themselves from society and practice spiritual disciplines out in the desert, hence the name Desert Fathers (and Mothers). These men would meet in caves to pray and meditate. Eventually they would form communities in the caves. These people are believed to be the first model of monks and the monastic movement.
Following the Desert Fathers and monastic periods, the next major era of Christian Formation took place during the Protestant Reformation.

Protestant Reformation (1500s) –

One of the monks started to observe how the Church lacked an emphasis of a personal relationship with God in the faith. This monk’s name was Martin Luther. Luther raised issues that he thought the Church had like a distant relationship with the Father, very little guidance from the Spirit, faith by grace, and how an individual is justified. Luther was eventually excommunicated from the Church because of his differences with Catholic Church. He never intended on starting the Lutheran Church, but he stuck to his beliefs and there were those agreed and followed him.
The Reformation continued and matured, ultimately leading to the modern age. The largest movement of the 20th Century was Evangelicalism, birthed from Christian Fundamentalism.

Evangelicalism – (1950s-1960s)

The Evangelical movement was a break off from the fundamentalism in 1950s and 1960s. Evangelicals believed that fundamentalism was becoming legalistic and hard towards the movement of the Spirit. At the core of the Evangelical movement is that the person who believes is born again. Typically, evangelical spirituality has focused on the Word of God and personal discipleship, where people model spiritual maturity and teach people in discipleship settings, with a focus on biblical instruction, content, and application. So the focus in evangelical spiritual formation has especially been centered on the Word of God and on Truth.
A sister movement, within Evangelicalism– but that also became very large in the coming decades, until now, sprang up in the 1960s and beyond.

Charismatic Movement (1960s)-

Charismatic Christians thought spirituality and Christian maturity should be more focused on the ministry of the Holy Spirit, including supernatural actions of the Spirit and certain manifestations they believed to be an ongoing part of the ministry of God’s Spirit. Though this is debated within Evangelicalism, the Charismatic movement is a massive movement in the world and within Christianity, and faith and spirituality among Charismatics ‘looks differently’ than it does in other Evangelical churches and among other evangelical Christians. Charismatic believers emphasize spiritual experiences related to the baptism of the Spirit and what is commonly called “speaking in tongues.” These are, again, understood differently in non-Charismatic evangelical churches, but a great number of Charismatic believers emphasize these experiences. Charismatics focus more on experience and experiential Christianity—than only or primarily on teaching the Word of God and personal discipleship in ways more traditional to other evangelicals.
One of the most recent movements in history concerning spiritual formation focused its efforts towards reforming the heart, with a greater interest in more ancient understandings of Christian spirituality and a variety of devotional exercises called ‘spiritual disciples.’

Spiritual Formation Movement (1970s-1980s)-

In 1970s-80s, there were men like Richard Foster, Dallas Willard, and many others who wanted to refocus the discipleship experience of many Christians. The movement was taking place amongst evangelicals so the issue was not about salvation, but the issue was concerning more internally in regards to the heart and the nature of discipleship. This movement focused on what happens internally, in the heart, in the process of spiritual growth. Spiritual formation sought to combat moralism and the tendency toward legalism that some evangelicals had. It also sought to expand the Charismatic understanding of how the Holy Spirit works in the process of discipleship, by integrating sometimes ancient devotional practices to help people understand God’s work in their hearts, in hopes of transforming how believers understand and experience personal discipleship and life change.

Conclusion

That is a basic introduction to the history of Spiritual Formation. These forces did and still do impact Christians and how they think about their faith. At least gaining a basic understanding of these movements will help Christians understand other believers and how they experience God and seek to grow spiritually. Be encouraged to learn more– to expand your understanding of other believers, and also to think about how your relationship with God can become stronger through a stronger appreciation of how fellow believers seek to know God.

What is a Study Bible? (Video)

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What is a Study Bible? Aren’t all Bibles just, well, Bibles?
Not exactly. There are five types of Bibles, as we have been learning in this seven-part series on the Podcast Seminary vlog on our YouTube Channel. View this video to learn more about the essentials of a Study Bible, then go view the entire series to learn all the details on the other Bible types. Then, if you like it– share it. And we’d appreciate your feedback or questions on the comments section below or on our YouTube Channel!



Have Questions?

If you have a spiritual question, a biblical or theological question, or discipleship question about God, drop us an email at dean@podcastseminary.com!

Haters Gonna Hate Us For Giving You These Five Freebies!

Haters gonna hate for giving you these five freebies


There’s no doubt! Haters Gonna Hate Us For Giving You These Five Freebies!

Just Wow.

I’m incredibly excited to share these five valuable resources with you on the occasion of the Just-Released and First Online Course [Ministry | MINS 120: Introduction to Discipleship] at PodcastSeminary.com
.

What’s The Fuss?

We now have available both our first Audio Course for individual learning on the go via podcast, and this brand-new Online Discipleship Course that includes personal and group study. But that’s really not what this is about. This is about sharing with you five key resources as a special thanks for joining our Soapbox Network mailing list. That way we can keep you updated on these helpful resources that are now being produced and introduced. In addition, joining us will make sure you’re the first to know when I produce new blog posts, podcast episodes, and other resources… not to mention special offers and even free resources.
 

Subscribe/confirm your email to Freddy Cardoza's blogs/podcasts on SOAPBOX NETWORK and get 5 Resources:

  1.  A Complimentary (1) Discipleship Audio Course Lesson from Podcast Seminary
  2.  A Free Copy of 16 Bible Apps and Software White Papers
  3.  Presentation: Digital Digerati: Using Tech for God's Kingdom
  4.  My Interview on Church, Tech, & the Future of Seminaries
  5. Access to Our 30-Session Academic Career Video Course
All this, plus be the first to know about new posts, podcasts, & courses!  Just confirm your subscription to receive the five codes for these valuable resources!

What You’re Gonna Get

Divine Digerati Tease16 Bible Apps Cover Podcast SeminaryMIN 120 Online Course Details, TemplateSESSION 1, MINS 120, The Bible on DiscipleshipGratis Announcement Blog
 
 
 
 
 
 


Click or Scan To Get These Valuable Resources

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Accordance Bible Software (White Paper)

Accordance Bible Software on Soapbox.Network

Video Introduction

White Paper

Accordance Bible Software

Description
Accordance is a Bible software program that emphasizes the ability to search the biblical (and extra-biblical) texts. Accordance features an interface that allows users to view multiple translations/texts side by side. Users can also build an “e-library” of Accordance-compatible reference works that can be read directly on Accordance, side by side with biblical texts. Some of these reference works include interactive Bible atlases, timelines, Greek and Hebrew lexicons, and commentaries. One signature feature of Accordance is the Greek and Hebrew “construct.” The construct window allows users to search complex grammatical constructions, using graphs and charts.
Locating or Acquiring this Resource
Accordance can be purchased online at http://www.accordancebible.com. Currently, the most basic Accordance package can be purchased for $59. The basic package includes Accordance 11 along with a starter collection of various reference tools. Moreover, many Christian stores, including on-campus bookstores, also sell Accordance.
Using this Resource in Academic Teaching
There are various ways in which Accordance can be useful for teaching and enhancing effective student learning both in and outside the classroom:

  • Professors who teach intermediate or advanced Greek or Hebrew can illustrate real examples of complex grammatical concepts (e.g., Granville-Sharp) all in one convenient window.
  • Accordance is invaluable for exegesis of the biblical text. The kinds of searches that can be performed on Accordance are limited only to one’s own creativity. It can be as simple as searching the occurrences of a particular Hebrew word or activating a list of every optative verb in the New Testament. The searches can also be refined—narrowed or broadened—through the use of Boolean phrases. For example, one can broaden their search from every optative verb in the New Testament to every optative verb and every imperative.
  • For people who do not mind reading extensively on a computer screen, Accordance allows students and professors to purchase Accordance-compatible reference tools (e.g., commentaries), usually at significantly cheaper prices than their paper counterparts.
  • Accordance provides a convenient means for projecting the biblical text for a classroom lecture or seminar. Not only can professors project the biblical text using Accordance, they can also demonstrate on a projected screen how computerized searches of the biblical text can enhance exegesis and exposition.

Accordance Videos on YouTube
Disclaimer: As software is updated, some information may become obsolete or incorrect. Check the company website for details.

BibleWorks 9 Software

Bibleworks (

White Paper

BibleWorks 9 Software


Description
BibleWorks 9 is a Bible language software aimed at students, pastors, and scholars that provides tools for research, exegesis, and use of the biblical languages. BibleWorks is a Windows-based program, so Mac users must create either an emulation environment or install Windows as a native operating system.
BibleWorks boast a variety of features. Standard features from past BibleWorks editions include dozens of translations in numerous languages, an electronic collection of several lexicons, grammars, and concordances, topographical maps, and much more. In BibleWorks 9, several new features are also available. Among the most significant improvements are an additional analysis window, a verse tab, the CNNTS NT critical apparatus, as well as new material that can be unlocked, such as Metzger’s critical apparatus, Grudem’s Systematic Theology, and numerous other additions.
Locating or Acquiring This Resource
BibleWorks 9 can be purchased by visiting bibleworks.com. While the cost is about $359, it is extremely competitive with the market. Competing Bible software such as Accordance (available only for Mac) and Logos cost about $149-$349 and $629-$1689 respectively. For those already with an earlier version of BibleWorks, upgrades are available for about $159 (from version 8) or about $199 (from version 7).
 
Using This Resource in Academic Teaching
BibleWorks 9 has a wide-range of application to teaching courses related to the Bible and biblical languages.

  • Use BibleWorks Hebrew and Greek language fonts to create paradigms, quizzes, exams, etc. in Microsoft Word.
  • Export specific texts to Microsoft Office programs to create charts, tables, or simple text files.
  • Export results of word studies to other programs for comparison.
  • Conduct words studies through lemma searches.
  • Use language tools to parse words and look up meanings in lexicons.
  • Use searches to find inter-textual links in biblical texts.
  • Compare various versions of a text in order to see different translation strategies or the difficulties involved in translating certain passages.
  • Use maps as a visual aid in class to point out the location of the events in specific narratives.
  • Quickly and easily move between texts that are being used as illustrations.

BibleWorks 9 2  BibleWorks 9 3