Category Archives: General

Have a sticky beak at these gucci videos

It’s obvious from the total views listed for these videos that not enough people have followed the links on Ros’ blog to see what Michael Bird is really like. Considering I just spent intolerable amounts of time traveling back from vacation in a car, I might attribute some of his insanity to travel toxicity (most of the videos were filmed on a road trip with Zondervan). But probably not. In any case, I point you to these videos because we all need a little more humor in our lives. Just doing my part.

Biblical Studies Carnival 43

The Biblical Studies Carnival 43 is up now.

Many of you already know about it, but I’m posting the link here for my friends and readers who might think that biblical studies scholars are always stuck in a book in a library and do not have a sense of humor. Nothing could be further from the truth, as this month’s Carnival demonstrates. And hopefully, you will also enjoy reading the posts that the Carnival highlights.

Keeping the Brain Happy

I tell my students that studying Hebrew helps to keep their brain active which can stave off things like Alzheimers’ disease.

For example, here’s a lecture illustration I use. Which brain would you rather have?

Your brain on Hebrew

But even with all that language study, there are days when you need some supplemental grey matter exercise. So, here’s a suggestion. This is a nice little surface maze (a sample from Dover Publications’ The Ultimate Maze Book by Galen Wadzinskiby) for your brain to tackle when you need to take a break from research, reading, writing, or whatever.

Surface Maze (Dover Publications)

Dover Publications has lots of books with puzzles, mazes, and more to keep your brain cells active. I still have lots of stuff I want to coax out of my brain, so I’m going to do everything I can to keep exercising my brain cells.

Accordance 101

Bought Accordance and feel lost? Only know how to find a scripture verse, copy and paste it into another program? Want to figure out how to tap into the power of the Accordance search?

Accordance Bible

Now you don’t have to wait to go to a seminar or borrow someone’s training DVD. It’s all available online for free now!! Here are the main categories of videos:

The Accordance Interface
Searching the Bible
Working with Search Results
Viewing Parallel Passages
The Bible Atlas
The Timeline
Doing Your Own Thing
Advanced Topics

Each main category has subtopics. For example, the “Searching the Bible” section includes separate videos for each of these topics:

  • The Search Window
    A preliminary look at the various pop-up menus, icons, and buttons in the Search window.
  • How to Search by Verses
    Look up verses by reference and avoid common mistakes.
  • Searching by Words and Phrases
    Construct powerful word searches using wildcard symbols and search commands. Highly Recommended!!!
  • Creating and Using Search Ranges
    Limit your searches to specific books, chapters, and/or verses of the Bible.
  • Working with Key Numbers
    Look up the Greek and Hebrew words behind popular English translations.
  • Searching More Than One Module
    Search multiple resources using the LINK command, Text and Tool Sets, and Search All.
  • Using the Simple Construct Window
    Create sophisticated searches using a simple, drag-and-drop interface.

So, you have no excuse… learn to use the best tool you already have. What are you waiting for? (And if you don’t own Accordance yet, take a peek at the videos to convince yourself that you should not wait any longer).

(A few of) Karyn’s Essential Non-Digital Tools

This collection was actually harder to compile than my digital tools list. I’ve decided to limit this short list to items that help keep me and my office stuff productive.

RadTech ScreenSavrz
This little piece of miracle cloth will keep everything that builds up on your laptop keyboard from getting on your display. Moisten the microfiber cloth and you can clean the display and case. Soaks up spills before they cause a nightmare situation. At $16.95, you can’t afford to be without it. I have the leopard skin version, but you have your choice of several solid colors too. While you are at the RadTech site, check out their Portectorz and maintenance items.

Post-it Brand Flags

I prefer the translucent flags and I use hundreds of them. I mark books, articles, notes. I like to write brief reminders on the flags. When I’m organized I will read a book and notate in different colors as I read (be sure to keep a color key for each book you mark), then I can easily go back and find what I need to type up quotes, citations, and ideas.

WaterField bags
Made in San Francisco, these laptop bags and gear pouches are outstanding. I use the VertiGo (Mambo Combo) and several of the Cableguy and Gear Pouches. Exquisite design and meticulous workmanship. Phenomenal customer service (truly). You may have to save up to afford a purchase, but you won’t have to buy something again for a very, very long time. If you like to keep your cables, cords, and accessories organized and at hand, this is a great option.

[Warning: Do not laugh] Isokinetics Ball Chair
You will have to trust me on this one. A real conversation starter. I sit at my computer for hours and hours at a time and often ended up with sore neck, shoulder, and back muscles. I needed something to help me improve my posture. This chair promotes “active sitting” and I love it.
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Karyn’s Essential Digital tools

Want to know what my Mac computer and I can’t live without? Here’s the short list of my essential digital tools. Later I’ll give you a list of my essential non-digital tools.

The absolute best Mac word processor for incorporating both left-to-right and right-to-left (i.e., Hebrew) writing systems into your documents. Very active and helpful user forum (which the developers contribute to frequently). A reasonable price at $49 ($35 educational rate). You can buy Mellel and Bookends together (see next item in my list) at a 40% discount. That’s just $109 for both (only $89 if you are a university student!)

This reference management and bibliography application works seamlessly with Mellel. Keeps track of all your citations and will build a bibliography for you that is customized to whatever standards you have to follow.

What can I say? I use this bible software every single day. Powerful searches, great modules, and attentive support (blog and forum). It can be intimidating to know where to begin (as you build your own set of modules), but the staff will be very helpful. If you are studying biblical languages, start with the Scholars Collection. Module I could not live without: HALOT.

A GTD program (see “Getting Things Done” for more generic info on GTD ) you have to love. I no longer keep paper lists. That says it all. Download the free trial for a month. You’ll probably have to buy it before the month is over, you’ll be hooked.
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Here’s to your health

Working in a school/university/seminary puts you in contact with lots of people. Often, lots of sick people (for the sake of this post, let’s limit the definition of “sick” to a physical illness).

Everyone has their own secret (or not so secret) strategy for keeping healthy. Here’s the simplest: wash your hands. Often.

But getting people to actually wash their hands frequently and for the most beneficial period of time is not always easy. Let’s face it, it just isn’t fun. So, here’s a suggestion that worked with the kids (and even adults) that frequent our house. Install this.

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Time for a Change

Welcome back to my blog. I took a long hiatus (for a variety of reasons). Now that we are relocated in Durham, NC, I wanted to reinvent the blog. Previous readers will remember this blog as “Westminster Confessions.” The title was tied to our time at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. Now that we are no longer there, it seemed like a good time to make some changes.

In addition to the name change, I’ve changed the focus. Read the “About” to see what I’m after. I’ve kept some of the old posts below (others have been removed), but things should start to look different around here.

I hope you will stop back and contribute to the conversation.

Balancing Act

I guess I’m addicted. My desk is a veritable stonehenge of sorts. If only the rest of my life was as balanced.

This was re-posted by special request, so some of the comments are from the “past.” I wanted to make sure that you didn’t think the folks commenting were traveling through time. For that, see LOST.