Monthly Archives: November 2012

4Soils’ Bible Heroes app benefits parents and children

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By Jacob Trimmer
Inside The Pew

There’s no two ways about it: children are spending more time than ever on mobile devices. To help rest the minds of parents, Lusi Chien has found a way to do so.

The Bible Heroes app was created with children and parents in mind. Based out of Stanford, Calif., the series of apps, created by Chien’s company, 4Soils, is based on the principles of making learning the Bible exciting. In return, children can relate to the great biblical tales.

“The Bible Heroes app is geared toward children, but the value of the app is a huge benefit to parents who crave apps which entertain, educate, and enrich their children’s minds,” said Chien, who is an MBA graduate student at Stanford University. “Our app is one of the only apps that seamlessly integrates story and activities to create a truly engaging and interactive experience for hours of great Bible instruction and fun!”

The Bible stories featured  the series are: David and Goliath, Daniel and the Lion, Jonah and the Big Fish, Esther and the King, Noah and the Ark, Joseph and his multicolor dream coat, and the Christmas Story.

For holiday gift givers, the Bible Heroes app was recently released as a 7-in-1 Christmas bundle.  Features of the bundle ($9.99 USD) include:

  • 143 animated scenes that invite children to read or listen to biblically accurate accounts of all the Bible heroes. The stories come to life through vibrant illustration and touch animations. Each story features scriptures from the Bible and a closing lesson to reinforce key concepts.
  • 41 thrilling game levels which engage children in activities and games as they journey into the world of the Bible heroes for hours of endless fun!
  • 91 coloring pages for children to use their imagination and recolor all the Bible Heroes to their liking.

Chien said 4Soils relies on the input from parents, Christian educators, and youth pastors to help improve the app.

Dallas mother Felicia Pinkney said, “My children, ages 3 and 6, love hearing the Bible stories. The storytelling is engaging and easy to follow for kids of that age. The parent portal is a nice touch and helped me ask the right questions at the end of the story. The games are a great way to reinforce what they learned from the story.”

A parent in Vermont commented on the 4Soils Facebook page: “These stories are not being read to children enough, nor are children being encourage to read them as much as they need to be.”

The Bible Heroes app has also gained endorsements from the national Christian radio circuit, notably contemporary Christian singer Jaci Velasquez. The seven-time Dove Award winner and host of “The Family and Friendly Morning Show with Doug Griffin” on 94 FM in Nashville, Tenn., said the apps allows parents to “build their child’s faith, at church, at home, or in the car – everywhere your iPhone or iPad goes.”

The app – available for download on the App Store – is compatible with iPhone and iPad. iOS4.3 or later is required for the apps to operate. Learn more about the production process behind the Bible Heroes app, visit the 4Soils blog.

Be thankful for what the Lord has done

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By Jeremy Reynalds
Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (ANS) — It’s Thanksgiving again at Joy Junction, New Mexico’s largest emergency homeless shelter, and only shelter for homeless families.

It’s hard for me to believe that Thanksgiving Day will mark the 27th successive year we have shared the blessing of Thanksgiving with Albuquerque’s many homeless and abused women and homeless families.

I’m so thankful to the Lord and our wonderful family of donors for helping make this ministry of compassion possible on an ongoing basis.

Thanks to YOU, during 2012 we have been able to serve many thousands of hot and nutritious meals to hungry people, minister to many spiritually needy men, women, boys and girls in our chapel services and life recovery classes and provide thousands of nights of shelter to homeless people.

At Joy Junction on Thanksgiving Day and the holiday season as we provide special meals and activities for our homeless guests, we will be giving thanks to the Lord for all of His blessings. We are a faith-based ministry. We believe that a relationship with Jesus Christ is the most important component for homeless people in getting back on their feet again.

But not everyone sees things the same way as we do. For many people, “Thanksgiving” is not a time to give thanks to God. Take, for example, these Thanksgiving “offerings” I found some years ago from America on Line, billed as “All the Essentials for a Stress-Free Holiday.”

Encouraged to “sit back and relax,” AOL surfers learned that they could find “advice on roasting a perfect bird, crafts for the kids, ideas for giving back, hints for handling holiday stress, tips for avoiding the travel crush and much more.”

However, if you didn’t go any further than the stress section, you’d have missed a lot. There were a couple of forums on this AOL Thanksgiving special, one titled “Thanksgiving’s Best and Worst,” and another giving surfers the opportunity to say what they were most thankful for.

I was curious to see what people loved and hated about Thanksgiving, so I went over first to Thanksgiving’s best and worst. I got an inside look at what was on the minds of some Americans that year.

Here are some examples of what I read. One forum participant wrote, “Thanksgiving is easily the most boring day of the year.”

Someone else commented, “Every year, my house (which is always neat and tidy) gets ‘trashed,’ even after I’ve told my in laws and their kids repeatedly to respect me and our house. My husband sits by and doesn’t say a word. I can’t turn them away, because they come from out of state and my husband thinks they do no wrong. I’m ready to move to Alaska where I know they’d never visit.”

The saddest post of all was from someone who wrote, “This is my first Thanksgiving without my husband of 25 years. He left me and our five kids (earlier this year) and served me with dissolution papers (soon after).”

However, what a testimony that this woman was still grateful for the blessings that she had. She continued to write “Through this horrible experience, I pray my Thanksgiving is filled with the gratitude and offerings to God that it should be. I am thankful for the gifts I have received, but pray that God’s will is to return my husband to me and our children. I would appreciate any prayers, silent or aloud at your Thanksgiving table for the healing of my family and all other families enduring pain and heart ache.”

Examples of people writing about what they were most thankful for included an inspiring post from someone who doesn’t mind getting older. She wrote, “I used to dread growing older, but now I actually feel as if I can embrace it. When I was younger it was always a case of watching after the kids, stressing over everything always being ‘perfect’, trying to prove myself to everyone but now I have grown to be thankful I had those times … I (also) have many things to look forward to.”

However, the letter that really touched my heart was a daughter’s tribute to her dad. She wrote:

“My father passed away this year. He was a quiet gentleman. I learned much by his words but far more by his actions. He served his country during WWII. He did not speak much about his experiences. Instead he flew our country’s flag proudly, reverently. His eyes welled up with tears when he stood for our national anthem. He stood even to the day he needed my mother on one side and myself on the other. He placed flags on the grave sites of each of my brothers, who also served our country. My father is a genuine patriot; his legacy lives on through all that knew him. I love you daddy, and I’m thankful and proud to be your daughter.”

Some forum participants also remembered the essence of Thanksgiving. Someone wrote, “I am thankful for the Lord for giving me good health and all my children home and in good health and His mercy.” Another person commented, “I am most thankful for allowing Christ to be my guide. I am also thankful for my mental and physical health. I give God all the praise.”

After all, that’s what Thanksgiving is really all about, isn’t it? In case you are not familiar how the day came into existence, here’s a quick synopsis.

It was way back in 1789 that President George Washington proclaimed a national day of Thanksgiving. This was the first ever presidential proclamation issued in the United States and read, “Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint committee, requested me to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer…”

However even back then, not everyone was in favor of this National Day of Thanksgiving. It took 74 years and President Lincoln to set things straight. In his 1863 proclamation, Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday of November as a national day of Thanksgiving.

After describing America’s blessing, Lincoln wrote, “No human counsel has devised nor has any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.”

Lincoln also encouraged his fellow citizens that while praising the Almighty for his blessings they also needed to exercise “humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience … and to fervently implore the (intervention) of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and union.”

Since that time, Thanksgiving has been proclaimed by every President. So as we get closer to Thanksgiving Day, take a moment and thank the Lord for the many blessings which we enjoy.

Alliance for Children and Families observes National Family Week

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By Jacob Trimmer
Inside The Pew

The Alliance for Children and Families, a Milwaukee-based human service nonprofit organization, has designated Nov. 18-24 as its annual National Family Week observance. Taking place each year during the week of Thanksgiving, National Family Week is an appropriate time to celebrate the individuals and organizations that bolster the chances of success for children, adults, and families.

National Family Week has been annually promoted by the Alliance for more than 40 years. Sam Wiley, who was a teacher and administrator in Indianapolis, Ind., founded National Family Week in 1968. The Alliance partnered with Wiley in the 1970s to promote the celebration among its members and the human-serving sector.

Susan Dreyfus, president and CEO of the Alliance, links National Family Week and its celebration of families to nonprofit human-serving organizations, which strengthen families.

“The Alliance and its network, due to our leadership, creative connections, effective advocacy, and ability to engage communities, are working to magnify our impact because the economic constraints merit nothing less,” Dreyfus said. “Because National Family Week takes place during the week of Thanksgiving, it is a great time to say thanks to the individuals and organizations that help children, adults, and families.”

National Family Week is just one way the Alliance leads the human-serving sector to achieve transformational impact on the lives of people of all ages. The Alliance strives to lead its network of members and the entire sector to decrease the number of people living in poverty, increase the number of people living safe and healthy lives, and put more people onto pathways for educational and employment success.

In addition to observances during the week of Thanksgiving, National Family Week goals can be used to achieve long-term family- and community-strengthening objectives. Potential program objectives include:

  • Economic self-sufficiency
  • Dependable transportation
  • Applicable education and training
  • Affordable housing

N.J. church to oversee meal distribution initiative for Sandy victims

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By Tonya Whitaker
Inside The Pew

While several eastern coast communities continue to recover from Hurricane Sandy, a New Jersey church is preparing to help those affected by the superstorm.

Liquid Church, led by Pastor Tim Lucas, is gearing up to prepare, deliver, and host Sandy Thanksgiving (#SandyThanksgiving) meals to thousands of families still significantly hurt by the storm.

Hurricane Sandy, a category 1 hurricane that made landfall in Atlantic City, N.J., on Oct. 29, was catastrophic to the Garden State. According to Eqecat Inc., the storm caused at least $6 billion in damage to the state. Thousands still remain powerless, homeless and distraught in the Long Beach Island – Atlantic City region alone.

Truckloads of relief supplies are being collected at all three campus locations of Liquid Church to transport and distribute along with the Sandy Thanksgiving meals Nov. 22 and 23.  In addition, volunteer teams will also help residents clean out their storm-devastated homes by the storm that weekend.

“Amidst all of the devastation and challenges Sandy has brought, we want to be there physically with the families of the Jersey shore this Thanksgiving in order to bring hope to those that need it most right now,” Lucas said.

Jugs of water and canned goods are being collected at all three campuses during Sunday worship services in Morristown, New Brunswick, and Nutley. Distribution of supplies is being carried out in partnership with local churches and social service agencies along the Jersey Shore.

The Morristown-based Christian church is also coordinating support from communities and organizations outside of NJ for the Sandy Thanksgiving project.  The outreach coordination leaders are asking churches across the country to consider taking up a special offering for the Hurricane Sandy victims on the upcoming Sundays – Nov. 11, 18 or 25.

Details of how churches and other organizations can support the relief efforts are available at

Church, nonprofit organization events notes for Nov. 2

Published by:

By Jacob Trimmer
Inside The Pew

In Lumberton, N.C. – The music department at First Baptist Church Lumberton, 504 West Second St., presents an evening of worship with gospel recording artist Lowell Pye. The event begins at 5 p.m. and is free to the public. Contact the Rev. Robert Williams at 910-977-5682.

In Port Arthur – St. Paul United Methodist Church, 821 Freeman Ave., will celebrate its 97th anniversary with a fashion show and Christian play from 1 to 4 p.m. on Nov. 3 at S&G Auditorium, 900 5th St. Admission is $10. The celebration will come to a close on Nov. 11 with a special morning and evening worship services. Morning worship is scheduled for 10:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Rev. Donald Frank of New Hope Baptist Church will serve as guest speaker of the evening service, set of 4 to 6 p.m. Call 409-985-9977.

In Dallas – Friendship-West Baptist Church, 2020 W. Wheatland Road, plays host to The Bishop 5+1 Reunion, which continues through Nov. 9. Guest speakers for the event includes Dr. Ralph West, The Church Without Walls in Houston on Nov. 4; Dr. Denny Davis of St. John Church in Grand Prairie on Nov. 5; Dr. Kerry Wesley of Antioch Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church in Dallas on Nov. 6; Dr. Anthony Sharp of Tabernacle of Praise Baptist Church in Dallas on Nov. 7; Dr. Frederick Haynes III of Friendship-West Baptist Church on Nov. 8; and the Rev. Jeffrey Johnson of Eastern Star Church in Indianapolis on Nov. 9. Event benefits Paul Quinn College. Call 972-228-5200 or 214-376-1000 for more information.

In Killeen – The Apostles Empowerment Summit is slated for Nov. 17 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at St. John Faith Outreach, 3507 Cranford Ave. in Killeen. For additional information, call apostle George Books at 254-466-0809.

In Orange – Community Christian School staff and students will honor veterans with a special service at 10 a.m. Nov. 9 in the school’s worship center, 3400 MLK Drive.

In Katy – Katy Christian Women’s Connection will hold a prayer coffee and fellowship from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Nov. 8 at the Life Center at The Fellowship at Cinco Ranch Church, 22765 Westheimer Pkwy. The guest speaker is Cheryl Archer. Call 281-232-8338 to make reservations.

In Port Arthur – Broken Box Ministries, founded by Port Arthur native and national gospel promoter Minister Jon E. Bush, will host the second annual Night of Thanksgiving Praise event at 6 p.m. on Nov. 10 at New Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church, 2920 Sam St. The crowd will once again be entertained and uplifted by music from Port Arthur native and Houston resident Tammie Davis and national Christian recording artist, Naima.  Christian rapper John Guillory, soloist Mary Motley, and the Eastern Star Praise Team will join the lineup. Minister John Bernard and Bishop Ambrose Nwasi will also be on hand to encourage the crowd in thanksgiving and praise! Troy Hopkins is the pastor of New Jerusalem. The concert is free, but an offering will be taken. Contact Bush at 615-946-2535.

Submit calendar items to Jacob Trimmer at



St.John Faith Outreach
3507 Cranford Ave
Killeen, Tx 76543
contact info’; 254-466-0809/Apostle George