Monthly Archives: February 2007

Prayer – Does It Make Any Difference by Phillip Yancy

PrayerDoesItMakeAnyDifferencePhillipYancy.jpgPrayer – Does It Make Any Difference by Phillip Yancy, has been on my ‘wish list’ for some time. I’ve just ordered it from

I am building a nice collection of Christian books including various study bibles, bible commentaries, books on various books of the bible (i.e. Matthew), and a few other books. I have a few books on prayer, with Rev. E.M. Bounds collected works at the top of this list.

Here is what the publisher says about this book:

In his most powerful book since What’s So Amazing about Grace? and The Jesus I Never Knew, Yancey probes the most fundamental, challenging, perplexing, and deeply rewarding aspect – the very heartbeat – of your relationship with God: prayer. In theory, prayer is the essential human act, a priceless point of contact between you and the God of the universe. In practice however, prayer is often frustrating, confusing, and fraught with mystery. Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference? explores the mysterious intersection where you and God meet and relate. Writing as a fellow pilgrim, Yancey explores the questions surrounding prayer that you may wonder about but not know how to express. Above all, Yancey shows you how to pray to a God who sees what lies ahead of you, knows what lies within you, and who invites you into an eternal partnership with Him – through prayer.

I’ll review this book after I read it.

All three customer reviews give it 5 stars out of 5 stars.

The one customer writes:

Yancey here departs from an instructional approach to prayer common to many authors, and focuses instead on a conversational approach with the reader. He begins by identifying our longing to interact with God, and then proceeds to tackle a few of the nagging questions on prayer. Why should I pray? Does it make any difference? Does prayer change God? After sharing his own struggles with these issues, he moves to describing the language of prayer. Again he is not instructional here but conversational, sharing insights he has learned with the reader. His next section addresses the deep heart-rending dilemmas of prayer, such as unanswered prayers in general, and unanswered prayers for healing in particular. He finishes by focusing on the daily habits of prayer in the life of a disciple of Jesus Christ. I am a Yancey fan, and this title doesn’t disappoint. For anyone wanting to walk alongside a great author as he shares his heart on prayer, I highly recommend this volume.

Biblical Archaeology Review Back Issues on CD

BiblicalArchaeologyReviewArchiveCD.jpgAs a follow up on my entry from yesterday about the Biblical Archaeolog Review magazine, I now see they have a CD available.

Biblical Archaeology Review: The Archive CD-ROM (1975-2005)

Over 30 years of Biblical Archaeology Review issues are accessible on this deluxe 2-disc set. This comprehensive resource for Biblical archaeology research has all the editorial content of each issue – more than 1,800 articles and over 9,500 photos, maps, drawings and charts. It is fully searchable by keyword, author or subject. Five books published by BAS are also included.

At your fingertips – every issue of Biblical Archaeology Review from 1975 to 2005. More than 1,800 articles and 9,500 breathtaking photos, maps, drawings and charts.

Fully searchable! Can’t find that article on the Temple Mount, or David’s entry into Jerusalem, or the Siloam Pool? Just type in a keyword, author or title. When you come to a Bible citation, a click brings you to the passage in the King James version.

The cost for the CD collection is $134.95.

Jackson Reverdy Orrell – First Genealogy Lesson

This was originally posted on another blog on 15 January 2006.
Yesterday, Nora, my mother and I, travelled to Windsor, Pennsylvania, to spend a few hours with Sara, Reb, and Jackson, and to celebrate my mother’s and Reb’s birthdays.

While there, I decided to give Jackson his first real genealogy lesson. I told him about Uncle Bob and Uncle Ed in Florida. I explained the Dewey Decimal system to him, something he’ll need to know when researching in libraries. Then I told him about all the research trips Uncle Bob and I have taken, about our trampling through various cemeteries, and about how Uncle Bob, his father, and I, are all ‘world reknown’ authors. I gave him all of the facts and even told the truth about the times Uncle Bob and I have been thrown out of archives and libraries for giving the people a hard time. I even told him about the time I plugged my laptop into an outlet at the DAR and caused an entire bank of lights to short circuit. “History is history, my grandson,” I said. “You can’t rewrite history, even though liberals try to do that all the time.”

I think he got a big kick out of the lesson.

Then I proceeded to tell him about all the other ‘Reverdys’, I’ve come across. He found that very interesting.

He really liked hearing about the Kings, Queens, Emporers, Dukes, Earls, Princes, Counts, and Knights he was decended from and how he is related to several Presidents, Governors, Mayors, and Senators.

From the looks of the photo below I think he really started to get tired when I started explaining the various blood relationships in the family and how everyone was connect.

Somehow, I think he has the right idea.


eSword Sync

One problem I run into is running my favorite programs on more than one computer. If not careful, I often wind up not keeping the latest files on each computer.

One way around the problem is to create ‘batch’ or ‘bat’ files. A batch file is a small computer program which does a ‘batch’ of commands, one after the other.

They are small execuatable computer programs and generally aren’t that difficult to write.

I run eSword on all my computers in a directory on the c:\ drive in a directory called Esword. (c:\Esword). In order for bat files to operate properly, you must make sure that your files and directories are stored in the exact same place on every computer you use.

My ‘S’ drive is a Fire Lite portable USB 80 gig drive. This comes in very handy, being a very small external USB hard drive. I use it as my main source to back up directories and data.

Below is the bat file I use.

In order to understand the logic behind the bat file you need to know that:

1. Files with the “.not” extension are the note files from eSword. The invididual person’s own Study Notes file from the program is stored in a file called study.not. This is probably the most important file to save as it contains all of your personal study notes that you have attached to various verses of the bible.

2. Files with the “.ovl” extension are overlay files. As you configure and adjust the program to your preferences, these files are changed.

3. Files with the “.mem” extension are Memory Scripture files. The user may create several of these type files with different names. Obviously, these are important to save and keep updated on each computer.

4. Files with the “.brp” extension are Bible Reading Plan files. As these are changed, it is important to back these files up.

5. Files with the “.lst” extension are ‘list’ type files. You create these as you search and save various items, such as “the word ‘prayer’ mentioned in the bible”. You would want to save all of these.

6. Files with the “.prl” extension are Prayer List Files. This file is rewritten every time you change your Prayer Lists.

7. The file “” is the individual’s Topic File that he creates. This is another important file.

Below is the bat file that I use to copy my important eSword files to my Fire Lite USB hard drive, after I have used eSword. I call is my eSwordUP.bat file, as it copies files ‘UP’ to my USB drive. I have a corresponding eSwordDOWN.bat file that is used to copy these files back down to the local hard drive (c: drive) on each computer.

I have similiar ‘bat’ files that I use to copy my email program from computer to computer and to change the configuration within the email program.

cd S:\Esword
del S:\Esword\study.not
del S:\Esword\*.*ovl
del S:\Esword\*.*mem
del S:\Esword\*.*brp
del S:\Esword\*.*lst
del S:\Esword\*.*prl
del S:\Esword\e-Sword.GID
del S:\Esword\
cd c:\Esword\
copy c:\Esword\study.not S:\Esword\
copy c:\Esword\*.*ovl S:\Esword\
copy c:\Esword\*.*mem S:\Esword\
copy c:\Esword\*.*brp S:\Esword\
copy c:\Esword\*.*lst S:\Esword\
copy c:\Esword\*.*prl S:\Esword\
copy c:\Esword\e-Sword.GID S:\Esword\
copy c:\Esword\ S:\Esword\

How To Stay Married

A man and woman had been married for more than 60 years. They had shared everything. They had talked about everything. They had kept no secrets from each other except that the little old woman had a shoe box in the top of her closet that she had cautioned her husband never to open or ask her about.

For all of these years, he had never thought about the box, but one day the little old woman got very sick and the doctor said she would not ecover.

In trying to sort out their affairs, the little old man took down the shoe box and took it to his wife’s bedside.

She agreed that it was time that he should know what was in the box. When he opened it, he found two crocheted dolls and a stack of money totaling $95,000.

He asked her about the contents. “When we were to be married,” she said, “my grandmother told me the secret of a happy marriage was to never argue. She told me that if I ever got angry with you, I should just keep quiet and crochet a doll.”

The little old man was so moved; he had to fight back tears. Only two precious dolls were in the box. She had only been angry with him two times in all those years of living and loving. He almost burst with happiness.

“Honey,” he said, “that explains the doll, but what about all of this money? Where did it come from?”

“Oh,” she said, “That’s the money I made from selling the dolls.”

Women will love this.

A Prayer…….

Dear Lord, I pray for Wisdom to understand my man; Love to forgive him;
And Patience for his moods; Because Lord, if I pray for Strength, I’ll
beat him to death. And I don’t know how to crochet.


eSword Word Macro – Paste

Yesterday, I posted an entry about the ‘copy’ eSword macro from within MicroSoft Word. Today we’ll look at the ‘paste’ macro.

Below is a diagram of the paste macro. From within Word, you just select the proper macro, then select the verse (or range of verses) you want.

You’ll also notice a drop down box at the bottom. For here you can select the ‘commentary’ notes you also want pasted into the Word document. I’ve done a few cut and paste screens to show the entire list of eSword commentaries I have installed on my computer.

Unfortunately, you can only select one commentary to post along with the verse (or verses). Also, you can select the type of formating you desire from the radio buttons on the left of the diagram.


eSword – Commentaries Feature

Above you’ll see another nice feature of the commentaries section.

eSword has the ability to fully display in a box, expanded section, of a verse abbreviation.

Look closely at the bottom part of the screen.

While this is commentary from Matthew Henry, you have the ability in eSword to create your own ‘Study Notes’.

When creating your own study notes, you can also use this feature. You just type in the verse (or range of verses), then activate the verse with a built in feature.

This comes in very handy.

Dr. Tony Evans

TonyEvansPhotoBW.jpgI know that I’ve mentioned Dr. Tony Evans on this blog before.

He is outstanding and easily one of my favorite bible teachers.

From his website:

B.A. (1972), Carver Bible College
Th.M. (1976), Dallas Theological Seminary
Th.D. (1982), Dallas Theological Seminary

Dr. Evans has served as an associate evangelist with the Grand Old Gospel Fellowship in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He helped organize and served as Vice President of Urban Evangelical Mission, a national evangelistic and church planting organization, and served as an associate professor in the Pastoral Ministries Department of Dallas Theological Seminary in the areas of evangelism, homiletics, and black church studies. He also served as chaplain for the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys and presently serves as chaplain for the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks.

Dr. Evans is founder and serves as Senior Pastor of the over 7,000 member Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas. He is also founder and president of The Urban Alternative, a national organization that seeks to bring about spiritual renewal in urban America through the church. The Urban Alternative radio broadcast, “The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans,” can be heard over 500 stations daily throughout the U.S. and in over 40 countries worldwide. He is a speaker on the Promise Keepers’ platform, as well as speaking regularly in crusades and Bible conferences in the United States and abroad.

Dr. Evans also received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Eastern College in St. Davids, Pennsylvania and an Honorary Doctor of Divinity from Dallas Baptist University in Dallas, Texas. Named “Student of the Year”, Carver Bible College (1972); received the “Outstanding Achievement” award from Dallas Theological Seminary (1976); graduated from Carver Bible College and Dallas Theological Seminary with academic honors. Listed in Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, and Outstanding Young Men of America. He was the first African-American to graduate with a doctoral degree from Dallas Theological Seminary. Dr. Evans was named “Father of the Year” in 1989 by Dallas Father of the Year Award Committee Group. He was also honored by Family Research Center with the Marian Pfister Anshutz Award in recognition of his “dedication to protecting, encouraging and strengthening the American family.” In addition, he serves on the Board of Incorporate Members for Dallas Theological Seminary, as well as the board of the National Religious Broadcasters and the Urban Evangelical Mission.

Can God Be Trusted In Our Trials? (Moody, 2005), God Can Not Be Trusted And Five Other Lies Of Satan (Multnomah 2005), The Grace Of God (Moody, 2005), The Truth About Angels And Demons (Moody, 2005), Let It Go (Moody, 2005), Dry Bones Dancing (Multnomah, 2005), The Transforming Word (Moody, 2004), Our Love Is Here To Stay (Multnomah, 2004), Can God Be Trusted In Our Trials (Moody, 2004), The Grace Of God (Moody, 2004), God Is More Than Enough (Multnomah, 2004), Life Essentials (Moody, 2003), The Fire That Ignites (Multnomah, 2003), God’s Glorious Church (Moody, 2003), God Is Up To Something Great (Multnomah, 2002), Totally Saved (Moody, 2002), Free At Last (Moody, 2001), The Best Is Yet To Come (Moody, 2000), The Kingdom Agenda (Word Publishing, 1999), Who Is This King Of Glory? (Moody, 1999), The Battle Is The Lord’s (Moody, 1998), What Matters Most (Moody, 1997), Are Christians Destroying America? (Moody, 1996), No More Excuses (Crossway, 1996), The Promise (Moody, 1996), Time To Get Serious (Crossway, 1995), Returning To Your First Love (Moody, 1995), Our God Is Awesome (Moody, 1994), America’s Only Hope (Moody, 1990).
Dr. Evans has written many other booklets, videos and articles, as well as the monthly devotional Today’s Alternative and the monthly newsletter The Alternative View.

Married to Lois, and father of four children: Chrystal, Priscilla, Anthony, Jr., and Jonathan, and six grandchildren.

I’ve listened to his radio show many times and must say he was a great way of teaching. His comments are always down to earth and apply to our everyday lifes.

I’ve also read a few of his books.

Urgent Prayer Request – Ted Armstrong

KarolTed2004.jpg (Photo at left: Ted & Karol, 2004 Orrell Family Reunion)I have an urgent prayer request.

As many people know I am actively involved with genealogy. Through genealogy I have connected with several families and have come to know many more relatives.

My Orrell line can be traced back several generations in Maryland; however, I have been unable to connect to some of the other Orrell lines in Maryland. One line, the Daniel Black Orrell line, is most certainly connected to my line. I have come to know and love many members of this branch of the Orrell family.

One couple that I’ve known now for over 20 years is Ted & Karol (Orrell) Armstrong. Karol is an Honorary Charter Member of the Orrell Family Association and has always been a strong supporter of the organization.

Her husband, Ted, has also been a great supporter. Karol and Ted has hosted the Orrell Family Reunion several times over the last 20 years.

In October of 2005, Ted started feeling bad. He was diagnosed with lung cancer at that time and has undergone many rounds of chemo.

The situation has not improved. Ted has been in and out of the hospital over the last month or so. He went back in the hospital on January 26th and has recently been release to spend his final time at home.

I am currently trying to work with Karol to see if we can get what we need to continue posting updates about his condition on his blog. If that fails, I’ll probably be doing the updates on this blog.

In any event, I ask for prayer for the both of them. Having recently done through the same situation with my father a few months ago, I know how much support and prayer Karol is going to need during this time.

Ted is a good man and has been a good friend for the last 20 years. I’ve always enjoyed talking to him at the reunions. We’ve had a lot in common. Ted traded stocks, followed the stock market, and did his own investing until recently. We’d exchange ‘tips’ and would follow each other’s progress. Ted is also in the I.T. field. He is the one that got me interested in creating my own websites and starting my blogs. We would help each other out when we could. Much of that was in the way of support, constantly commenting on each other’s blogs.

It is Ted who now needs everyone’s support. It is Ted who now needs everyone’s prayers.