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February 4, 2015

Logos Bible Software

I just finished my final distance training session on how to use Logos Bible Software.  You had to commit to three sessions of training with the seminary in order to receive the academic discount, which was the only way we were going to be able to afford to products that I need to really help me in the ministry.  At first, I thought Logos was primarily going to help me in working with the original languages a lot faster and more efficiently.  It does that for sure, but it also does so much more!

It opens up a whole new world with everything it offers.  You can search almost anything in the Bible and it will have some information on it.  For example, if you search for Jesus, it will have a ton of information on Him including painting of Him, family trees, graphics on how He relates to others in different Bible passages, Scripture verses He is referenced in (and what those references are as in if he is the subject or object or indirect object and so on) and all kinds of other stuff.  There are also atlases and all kinds of Bible dictionaries and everything else that you could think of.  There is so much on there I am sure I could go through my whole ministry without even knowing about some of it.

In addition to that though is how you can customize things and create things in Logos.  For example, through the "Personal Book Builder" tool I could compose a "book" of lecture notes, and then through some simple coding I could built it as a book in Logos and it will link to all the scripture references or references in Luther's works or what not.  It is so much customization that you can set it up however you want to make it work exactly how you need/want it to.  I am so excited to really be able to start building off what I have and making great tools to use for my future ministries, including things like Bible Studies and Confirmation and such things.  So much to do and it will be so much fun!

Usborne Books: A Summary

I'm nearing the end of my first 30 days as an independent consultant with Usborne Books and More. Usborne is a direct sales company that strives to end the literacy crisis through book ownership. Unfortunately, in 2012, 67% of US fourth graders were reading at a level that was under their grade level. Usborne books enrich the mind through engaging non-fiction books and enrich the heart through heartwarming stories from countries all over the world.

Training with Usborne has been really busy. Usborne has a 12 week training and incentive period for new consultants. I'm a third of the way through this period and about half way through all the material. I've learned a lot about hosting home and Facebook parties, holding preschool book fairs, recruiting new consultants and running special programs Usborne offers, like fundraisers and literacy grants. I'm swept away by all the information, but I'm also blown away by the company. Usborne has amazing books and yes, does a lot of sales through parties. But the mission of the company is not profit, but literacy. Usborne is truly working to get engaging books into kids hands through multiple programs. This aspect makes the job more fulfilling for me. 

Getting my business started has been stressful, but I am so thankful for my supporting husband and team leader. By the end of my first 30 days, I will have hosted 5 Facebook parties. That was a stretch for me. Booking parties did not come easy to me. I took some time to learn the online ordering system that consultants use. It also took several troubleshooting messages to my team leader. Everything is getting easier as the days pass. 

Moving forward, I'm getting ready to contact area preschools about having a book fair. I'm following up with a local church and a local homeschool group about using our Cards for a Cause fundraiser. I'm getting ideas for a book drive. I'm ready to start branching out into the special programs Usborne offers. 

I'm glad I took this risk and signed up to own my own business. I couldn't be happier working for a company that does more than sell books. (And the books are amazing!) As with any new endeavor I've struggled, but I've learned a lot through those struggles. I've set my goals for February. And planning to meet those goals. Here we go!