Tackling Tough Topics

Looking for information and guidance on some of today’s toughest issues?

One hundred different topics, and some of today’s most prevalent issues, are discussed in the Hope for the Heart Biblical Counseling Library. This in-depth counseling library provides practical strategies to address topics like the blended family, suicide prevention, cults, stress management, and many others.

Whether you are a regular counselor, a pastor, or just have a friend dealing with an issue, this collection will help answer your questions and give you biblically-based guidance on these subjects.

Each book discusses one topic, presented in a simple, outline format. Beginning with several definitions, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the issue. Next, you’ll find characteristics of those dealing with the issue and then possible causes of the problem. Finally, steps to a solution that will lead to freedom in Christ are outlined. Biblical illustrations and real-life examples are given throughout each book.

And don’t forget—you can test drive the Hope for the Heart Biblical Counseling Library by purchasing the individual titles of the collection. If you want counseling tools on a specific issue, then start off by checking out that individual title. Then you may decide that the entire collection would be a great addition to your library, so we’ll deduct your recent purchase from the cost of the collection.

Here are a few individual titles to get you started:

Have you read or used any individual titles from the Hope for the Heart Biblical Counseling Library? Leave us a comment and let us know!

The Salsa Competition Heats Up

If you visit Logos during the annual salsa cook-off, you will find it difficult to believe that Americans were once afraid to eat tomatoes. But it’s true. During the Colonial era there was an erroneous belief that eating tomatoes would raise your blood acidity to dangerous levels. Luckily that’s changed. Now the average American eats more than 22 pounds of tomatoes every year. With the annual salsa cook-off at Logos, we are trying to bring that average up.

This year saw a handful of entries in both the mild and hot salsa categories, and the winners (listed below) brought their “A” game.

Matt Rudder, Tony Segar, Eric Olsen

In the mild category:

  • First place: Matt Rudder
  • Second place: Tony Segar
  • Third place: Eric Olson

Jana Gering, Ryan Riley, Robert Campbell

In the hot category:

  • First place: Jana Gering
  • Second place: Ryan Riley
  • Third place: Robert Campbell

As you can see in the video below, these regular Logos cook-offs are serious business! In fact, it is this sort of atmosphere that helps us get nominated as one of Washington State’s Best Workplaces (for the second year in a row)!

Check out this video and—if you are so inclined—why not check out the Logos career page and see how you might fit into the Logos family? And remember, if you have a good salsa recipe it wouldn’t hurt to put that on your resume.

Jana Gering’s Winning Salsa Verde Recipe

  • 3–4 lbs of Tomatillos, husked and washed (on the large ones, cut out the stem as you would for a tomato)
  • 4 Small Sweet White Onions (I used Hawaiian sweets), roughly chopped. (If the onions smell hot, slice them into rings first and soak them in a bowl of ice water for 20 minutes or so before chopping. This removes a bit of the sting and odor.)
  • 4 Anaheim Peppers
  • 3 Jalapeno Peppers
  • 8 Habanero Peppers
  • 3 Yellow Chile Peppers
  • 8-10 Cloves Garlic (roughly chopped)
  • 5 Small Limes, juiced
  • 12 Mini Hass Avocados, or six regular-size Hass Avocados.
  • 2 Bunches Cilantro (stemmed and roughly chopped)
  • 1 Tablespoon Salt, or to taste (I used specialty smoked black sea salt, but regular sea salt is good, too)
  • 2 tsp white pepper
  1. Place tomatillos on a cookie tray or two. Cut the largest ones in half, the rest can be lined up whole. Place in the bottom rack with the oven on broil. Roast until the skins are blackened or browned on top and the juice of the tomatillos has cooked out (about 5-10 minutes)
  2. Place all the peppers on a cookie sheet, and place on the lower rack of the oven on broil. Roast for 5 mins (or until the skins are blackened) then turn and roast the other side.
  3. USE GLOVES to retrieve the peppers and place them in a brown paper bag to cool (this will make the skins easier to peel.) For the tomatillos, let them cool on the cookie sheets, then remove only the charred parts of the skin and the tough stem pieces. You do not need to use the juice that has cooked out, just throw the main part of each tomatillo into the food processor.
  4. Place the chopped onions and the chopped garlic cloves in the food processor (you may need to do this in batches), and pulse until finely chopped. Add the tomatillos, the lime juice, and most of the cilantro (reserving some for garnish) and pulse until blended.
  5. Remove the peppers from the paper bag, and wearing gloves, peel the loosened skin off as much as you can, then slice open the peppers and scrape out as many of the seeds as you can. Slice the roasted peppers into smaller chunks, and add to the food processor. Add the salt and white pepper, and pulse until blended.
  6. Refrigerate the salsa overnight or for a few hours to allow the flavors to blend.
  7. Just before serving, chop the avocados and the remaining cilantro and stir into the salsa.

Do you have a tip for great salsa? Leave us a comment and tell us what it is.

4 Qualities That Set the Evangelical Exegetical Commentary Series Apart

Because no one person could possibly explore the full depth of a passage of God’s Word, we here at Logos often encourage people to purchase and read multiple commentaries on a book they’re studying. Each commentary series offered for Logos’ library interprets the Bible from a different perspective. And most commentary series are intentional about what aspect of biblical interpretation they want to focus on: exegetical, pastoral, theological, application, or others. So what does the Evangelical Exegetical Commentary series (EEC) focus on?

The Ezra & Nehemiah: EEC volume by Israel Loken—which is now available—well illustrates four things that make the EEC different.

  1. The EEC is meant for a large audience
    The EEC editors—H. Wayne House, William D. Barrick, and Hall Harris—decided that the EEC audience would include the scholar, the pastor, the Sunday school teacher, and the person unfamiliar with the Bible. The EEC would address problems we all face. Ezra & Nehemiah by Loken considers problems and makes connections that are relevant no matter how deep someone’s relationship with Christ is.
  2. The EEC covers nearly all types of biblical interpretation
    Once the editors decided that the EEC would have a very wide audience, they asked: “What will make this commentary as helpful as possible?” Answering this question meant interpreting the Bible phrase by phrase from an evangelical perspective. The EEC would also incorporate the latest in biblical scholarship—combining historical, literary, and theological explanations with ideas for applying the Bible to everyday life. In Ezra & Nehemiah, Loken often discusses how the problems faced by God’s people after their exile in Babylon are not that different from the problems churches face today. He first makes this point through some biblical theology connections before connecting it to his thoughts about applying the Bible.
  3. The EEC is created for a digital world
    Digital books do not have page constraints. There is room for additional notes, excursuses on important issues, and anything else worth addressing. Loken included in Ezra & Nehemiah tables illustrating the historical events surrounding the book and interesting discussions like the literary connections between Ezra and Nehemiah.
  4. The EEC focuses on the biblical story
    Ezra & Nehemiah helps interpret the biblical story’s meaning for us. By analyzing the elements of narrative and the historical background of Ezra and Nehemiah, Loken explains how and why God’s people rebuilt Jerusalem and changed their way of worship. He continually emphasizes what we can learn about God’s story today from observing God’s story back then.

We’re not the only ones excited about Ezra & Nehemiah. In case you missed it, we published a blog post in April highlighting new endorsements for the Evangelical Exegetical Commentary by four leading biblical professors.

If you purchase the collection today you will receive the Ezra & Nehemiah volume immediately. Then, each time a new commentary is released, it will automatically download into your library at no additional cost.

Also, you can order the 44 volume, Evangelical Exegetical Commentary using a payment plan and spread those payments out for up to a year!

Do you already have the Ezra & Nehemiah volume in your collection? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think!

Reflecting on Three Years of Bible Study Magazine

God’s Word has the power to do more in someone’s life than we could ever hope to do on our own. For that reason—before Bible Study Magazine was announced about three years ago—the decision was made that it would be all about the Word.

Using the print medium for this purpose was indeed a simple technology solution. We came to the conclusion that print would serve this purpose well: it was a great medium for presenting fresh ideas about Bible study.

Bible Study Magazine is still all about getting people into the Word. We are grateful for the opportunity to publish the words of people who share our passion, like Priscilla Shirer. In the current issue, Shirer says: “The exact same Holy Spirit that lives in the people we admire, who teach us the Bible, is the exact same Holy Spirit that lives inside of us. … [We can’t] only hear the voice of God when somebody else is spoon feeding it to us. We have to know that we can go to the Scriptures ourselves.”

This idea is embodied by Dr. Yohanna Katanacho. As a Palestinian by birth who now lives in Israel, he shares the gospel with those struggling with ethnic and national boundaries. Through relationships, he often has the ability to demonstrate that Christ can overcome all things. He has been a missionary in the conflict of hatred for most of his life, yet he doesn’t seem discouraged by it—the Word of God helps him with the disappointments and enables him to experience victories. Katacacho’s story is both empowering and convicting. He prompts us to be anything but passive in our faith: He tells the story of how the Bible has transformed his life and continually been his guide. “For me, the Bible is the source of my strength,” says Katacacho, “without it I would be lost, not only because of the cognitive part, but because it is a holy ground for me. There I meet God, and through that meeting, I am refreshed.”

But as Sheila Walsh says in our current issue: “Sometimes we have a hard time resting in God’s promises because so many earthly promises are broken. But while we disappoint others and they disappoint us, God is not like us: ‘God is not human that he should lie, not a human being that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?’ (Numbers 23:19).”

God is here for us. He has provided the “holy ground” of His Word so that we can rest peacefully in Him. When we look to His Word, we see His promises. Bible Study Magazine is about how God is manifest in His Word and wants to manifest His Word in our lives.

I hope you decide to subscribe now to Bible Study Magazine for yourself, a family-member, or a friend. (To gift a subscription, just enter a different shipping address at check out.) We would be grateful for the opportunity to help you or someone you know get deeper into the Word.

Have you subscribed to Bible Study Magazine? We would love for you to tell us about it!

Logos 4: Hide Preferred Bible Section on Home Page

Today’s post is from Morris Proctor, certified and authorized trainer for Logos Bible Software. Morris has trained thousands of Logos users at his two-day Camp Logos training seminars and provides many training materials.

mp|seminars TipsIn your Logos library, you have dozens of Bibles.  Among these, you obviously have your favorite Bible which is called your Preferred Bible in Logos. In the ribbon (narrow band at the top) of the Home Page you can designate your Preferred Bible which looks up cross references as you study with Logos resources.
After designating your Preferred Bible, you’re probably not going to change it very often (if at all), so you don’t need to see the Choose preferred Bible section in the ribbon. It is taking up valuable space which could be used to display a Prayer List or Reading Plan. Here’s how easy it is to hide the Choose preferred Bible section:

  • Choose the Customize menu in the lower left corner of the Home Page (1)
  • Uncheck the box Choose preferred Bible in the Features section of the menu (2)

Logos 4: Hide Choose Preferred Bible

That’s it. That section will remain hidden in the ribbon until you check this box again!

What is your preferred Bible? Let us know by leaving a comment with your favorite verse using your preferred Bible translation.

Forum Week Round-Up

In case you’ve missed it, the Logos forum community is in its final few days of Forum Week, a week of celebrating reaching the 50,000-user milestone. It’s been a unique week of great sales and tons of fun!

If you’re thinking, “The words forums and fun can’t possibly go together,” you probably not be too familiar with the Logos forum community in general and you’ve definitely missed out on Forum Week in specific.

So far this week, we’ve:

  • played some games,
  • gotten a glimpse into the lives of other forum users (marble collectors, collapsed-parachute survivors, et. al.),
  • given away hundreds of dollars in prizes,
  • offered tens of thousands of dollars in deals,
  • hid an as-of-yet-undiscovered Easter egg,
  • and more!

Don’t miss out on all the action! Head over to the Forum Week forum and look around before it’s over. The festivities end midnight Sunday!

Here’s all you need to do to take part:

  1. Sign in to your Logos.com account. (If you don’t already have your free account, get one here!)
  2. Visit the forums.
  3. Click on the forum at the top called “***Forum Week***”.
    Note: If you’re not logged in, this forum won’t be visible.
  4. Browse the top few posts to get up to speed.

If you’ve already been enjoying Forum Week, what’s been your favorite thing (or “random user fact”) about the forums so far? Let us know in the comment section.

5 Interesting Facts About John Wesley

John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, turns 308 today. Like any looming figure in Christian history, Wesley has his share of both theological supporters and detractors. But there are very few that will question the fervency and urgency Wesley felt when it came to evangelism and church work. As Prime Minister, Lord Baldwin, said of Wesley, “I am supposed to be a busy man, but by the side of Wesley, I join the ranks of the unemployed.”

To celebrate Wesley’s birthday, I wanted to take a few moments and look at five little known facts about his life.

    1. John Wesley came from a huge family.
      The child mortality rate in eighteenth century England was unbelievably high. Statistics suggest that 70% of all deaths were children under ten. So it is not surprising that many families had an abundance of children. John Wesley’s mother—Susanna Wesley—was the 25th of 25 children and she went on to bear a number of children as well. John was the 15th of 19 children. Susanna lost nine of her children in infancy. When Susanna died in 1742, she was only survived by eight of her children.
    2. John Wesley was a victim of bullying as a child.
      John, a short and intelligent boy, was bullied relentlessly as a child. This abuse affected him for the rest of his life. Accounts tell of how, as an adult, Wesley would tremble when discussing the barbaric treatment he received from his peers.
    3. John Wesley vehemently opposed slavery.
      Wesley was inspired to join the anti-slavery movement when he read a pamphlet by Quaker abolitionist Anthony Benezet. He was so moved that he frequently preached against the slave trade and authored Thoughts upon Slavery—a pamphlet publicly decrying the practice. Wesley’s last letter was written to convert and fellow abolitionist William Wilberforce. In it he wrote:

      “O be not weary of well doing! Go on, in the name of God and in the power of his might, till even American slavery (the vilest that ever saw the sun) shall vanish away before it.”

      This letter was written in 1791, and sixteen years later Parliament finally outlawed England’s participation in the slave trade.

    4. John Wesley is one of history’s most traveled men.

Biographer Edward T. Oakes states that Wesley traveled over 250,000 miles by horseback in his lifetime—that’s ten times the circumference of the earth.

    1. John Wesley is credited for coining the phrase “agree to disagree.”

Wesley often found himself at odds with George Whitefield. Whitefield, who shared Wesley’s enthusiasm for evangelism, clashed openly with Wesley on issues of soteriology. Eventually, the rivalry between Wesley and Whitefield’s theologies introduced an impassioned partisanship among their followers.

In a memorial sermon delivered after Whitefield’s passing, Wesley minimized the schism saying:

There are many doctrines of a less essential nature . . . In these we may think and let think; we may agree to disagree. But, meantime, let us hold fast the essentials . . .

This sermon is widely recognized as the first time “agree to disagree” appeared in print.

Get the Faithlife Study Bible—for free!

More insights like this are waiting for you in the Faithlife Study Bible—the world’s largest study Bible. And it’s totally free—get it now!


Logos Helps Me Hit the Ground Running

Given that we’re in the midst of Forum Week over in the Logos forums, it’s fitting that today’s blog post is by Forum MVP Thomas Black. Thomas is a pastor in Illinois passionate about Acts 6:4 ministry and a longtime user of Logos Bible Software.

Friday: I am home from the Moody Bible Institute Pastor’s Conference—time to hit the ground running.

Saturday: I’m sure glad I finished that sermon before I left, having free time with my family makes it worthwhile.

Sunday: Spending an awesome day in God’s presence.

Monday: The phone rings, “Pastor, I need you….” I’m there. The day is spent in home and hospital visits. Why not add a meeting or two just in case I have any unaccounted for free time?

Tuesday: I don’t even know where today went, It started with discipleship and ended with counseling though I know Bible study prep is in there somewhere.

Wednesday: Finally, it’s Wednesday morning. Time to study. . . but it’s not going to happen. I head out of the office to sit and pray with the wife of a dear friend undergoing critical surgery. Time with family is a priority today, but I can’t forget there’s the prayer meeting this evening.

Thursday: This week has me breathless as I begin to study—the phone rings. I glance at my clock and cringe. . . .

Friday: It’s Friday morning, the phone is turned off and Sunday’s coming. In prayer this morning, I recount the week behind me. A week full of emergencies, counseling, meetings, hospital visits (three hospitals in three different towns!), discipleship sessions, and the plans I had that didn’t pan out. I open my Bible prayerfully and pause wondering, “Lord, how am I going to effectively study this passage well enough to preach it to the congregation with integrity and accuracy on Sunday? This is your Word, help me to take it into my own heart so I can share it with theirs.”

Logos Bible Software is God’s tool for enabling me to serve and preach.

In moments I have a passage guide, my passage, and a commentary. Bible word studies are popping open with regularity as I consult the Greek (or Hebrew) of my text. Prayers are whispered. The Spirit of God coaxes. Notes are taken. Soon I have more notes than time to cover them. My understanding grows and thoughts begin to distill as an outline and body take shape.

But before I can finish the sermon and crawl into bed, it’s off to the local Boy Scout carnival to spend three hours in a dunk tank.

Saturday: Today there is a lawn to be mowed and a family to be enjoyed—but I need to remember to get the Sunday School prep done too and I can’t forget the Sunday Evening message.

Sunday: A glorious day in the presence of Christ and His body the church.

Monday: I wake up on the morning that should serve as my Sabbath, but every pastor knows what I mean when I say Sunday’s coming. . . .

Not every week is quite like this one, but the speed and efficiency made possible with Logos Bible Software enables me to serve and preach His Word with integrity, accuracy and passion.

Do you have a testimony about how Logos Bible Software as helped you in your life or ministry? We would love to hear it! Leave us a comment and tell us about it. Then head over to the Logos forums to check out Forum Week!

Community Pricing: How Low Can it Go?

The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges (57 vols.) is nearing the 60% mark in Community Pricing at $50.00. That’s less than a buck a book. And guess what? The more people that bid on it, the lower the price can go. How low? That’s up to Logos users. The Community Pricing Program gives you a direct influence on the priorities and prices for all the resources in Community Pricing!

With contributors such as Herbert Edward Ryle, S. R. Driver, J. Skinner, A. Plummer, F. W. Farrar, H. C. G. Moule, W. H. Simcox, and more, The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges (57 vols.) won’t remain in Community Pricing for long. With 57 volumes of commentary covering the entire Bible, insight from dozens of well-known theologians and biblical scholars, helpful maps, indexes, appendixes, and outlines for each book of the Bible—the 14,000+ pages that make up The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges will be referred to in your Bible study again and again. Just a basic search through Logos 4 of some of these top names brings up thousands of hits—these trusted scholars are still being relied on after more than a generation.

So what are you waiting for? The Community Pricing Program brings classic works together with the power of Logos at a steep discount. Make sure you get your bid in for The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges (57 vols.) before it crosses over the 100% mark.

Be sure to check out the Community Pricing FAQ for any questions you might have. If you still have questions, leave us a comment or raise them in the forums—there are plenty of Logos users who would love to sing their praises about about the benefits of Community Pricing!

Biblical People, Places, and Things

We are in the midst of forum week and are excited to bring you another training post by forum MVP Mark Barnes. Mark is the pastor of Bethel Evangelical Church in Swansea, UK, and author of the Unofficial Tutorial Videos for Logos 4.

One of the great features in Logos Bible Software 4 is the Bible Facts tool, otherwise known as Biblical People, Biblical Places and Biblical Things. These three tools come with most Logos 4 base packages, and gather an immense amount of information from across your library in seconds. If you’re interested in a person, place or even a “thing” in the Bible, then these tools should be your first port of call. In this tutorial, we’re going to concentrate on Biblical Places (but Biblical People and Things work in just the same way).

Accessing Biblical Places

There are four ways to get access to Biblical Places. The easiest is to choose Biblical Places from the tools menu and then type the name of the place you want in the Biblical Places reference box, or use the Passage Guide (if the passage you’ve chosen mentions a place by name). Advanced users sometimes prefer to type “open biblical places” or even “open biblical places to Antioch” in the command bar. But another great way to access it to right click on a place name in most Bibles, make sure that Place is selected on the right-hand side of the menu, then click Biblical Places on the left. (Click on the images below to see them full sized.)

A Wealth of Information

Once Biblical Places is open to the place you’re interested in you’ll find it incredibly easy to access a wealth of information about that place.

In the top ribbon bar, you’ll find from left to right:

  1. A brief description of the place, and a list of all the Bible verses where it’s mentioned (you can click the … to see more). Biblical Places knows when the same place has different names, and where two different places have the same name. So if you select Jerusalem, Logos also includes references to the City of David that refer to Jerusalem, but doesn’t include the references to City of David that refer to Bethlehem.
  2. A list of all the dictionary articles about that place
  3. Other relevant links (to related places, people or things; to Wikipedia; and to Google maps)
  4. An overview of the map currently displayed in the main window

In the bottom ribbon bar you’ll find from left to right:

  • Thumbnails of interactive Logos maps that mention the place
  • A thumbnail of the special interactive Biblical World Map
  • Thumbnails of Logos InfoGraphics that are related to this place
  • Thumbnails of static maps and images from many resources in your library that are related to this place

If you can’t see all this on your screen, click the small left and right arrows at the end of the ribbon bars to scroll, or maximise the window to make it bigger. You can hover over any of the thumbnails in the bottom bar, to see a preview. Then just click to have it shown in the main window. (In the Biblical People tool, the maps are replaced by Family Trees and other diagrams showing the relationships between people.)

If you can’t see the image or map very well, you can use the ‘Actual Size’ and ‘Fit’ buttons at the top of the screen to change the zoom level, or you can use the mouse-wheel to zoom more precisely. If the map or image is bigger than the window, you can grab it to scroll around. If you want to use the map or image elsewhere, you can right-click on it to copy, save, print or send it to Powerpoint.

Interactive Maps vs. Static Maps

You’ll notice from the list above that there are two types of maps shown, and understanding the different will prevent much head-scratching later. On the left are interactive maps, sometimes called dynamic maps. These were created especially by Logos for the Biblical Places tool. On the right are static maps, which come from other resources in your library. What makes interactive maps so much better than static maps is that with interactive maps:

  • You can zoom right in and still have fantastic quality
  • You can hover over any of the place names to get a brief description
  • You can click on any place name to switch Biblical Places to focus on that place
  • You can open Google Maps to any location on the map (and therefore get a contemporary satellite view, or see what modern towns are nearby)
  • You can use the Find Tool (CTRL+F) to locate other places on the map
  • You can measure distances between two points

Most places will have several maps, but there’s one interactive map that’s worth pointing out specifically. It’s the Biblical World map, and it’s always the right-most interactive map (the last one before the Infographics and static images/maps). The Biblical World map is important because it lists every place. As you zoom in, more and more detail is added, and it should be your map of choice when you want to see how a place relates to other places nearby, as in the screenshot below.

Let me finish by showing you how to measure distances between two places on any interactive map (there’s more information about the other features mentioned in the video below). All you need to do is hold down the CTRL button, then click the mouse button on the place you want to start calculating this distance from. Then, continue to hold the button and move the mouse around the map. The distance calculated as you do, in both miles and kilometres. You can see below that Gilgal is nearly 30 miles from Joppa.


If you never used the full power of Biblical Places, why not try some these features now? But this tutorial has explained only some of the great features available. To find out even more, you can watch or download the Unofficial Tutorial video on Bible Facts, which also covers Biblical People and Biblical Things.

Have a Logos 4 feature that you would like to see a post on? Leave us a comment and let us know! Then head over the forums to check out Forum Week.