A good recommendation from a friend makes any decision-making process easier. That’s why I’ve created this post. By God’s grace, I’ve accumulated knowledge of certain resources, products, and services that might help you.
When I’m able, I provide information about each product or a link to more information. If you have a quick question about anything I recommend, feel free to contact me here.
Some of the links I share are affiliate links, meaning I make a small percentage of each sale at no expense to you. I only share what I use and/or highly recommend. I’d hate to stand before God and have Him ask me, “Why did you waste all my children’s money for personal gain?!” My aim is to serve.
250+ Great Seminary Resources (many are free)
Books – Where to Buy Them, How to Read Them
Where to Get Books
- I use the Kindle app for a lot of reading and have my phone read it to me. I also have a Kindle device but use my phone much more often.
- I appreciate the monthly listing on Cross-Points.org for free and discounted Christian ebooks.
- If you’d like a free Charles Spurgeon eBook of Our Savior’s Cries on the Cross, you can sign up for my newsletter.
Since the organizations below can’t vet every church on their directory, the churches listed on each directory serve as a good starting place when looking for a like-minded church.
- Logos Bible Software – I’ve used Logos for years, mainly for research and commentaries. I recommend it for every seminary student and pastor, although you’ll want to consider these six questions to see if Logos is right for you. If you’re on the fence, there’s no harm in trying the free version and adding a free book each month. (Although there is power in having a library, so you may find the free version limiting.)
- I like the YouVersion Bible app for my iPhone, but wish they didn’t make it so distracting—it feels like logging onto social media. I use it because it’s easy to switch between translations and languages. For a cleaner Bible app experience (in English) with great resources, the ESV Bible app is great.
- The PrayerMate App. This free app provides a digital prayer card system that can help you organize your prayer requests and pray more faithfully. Highly recommended! (Or if you prefer an analog way to organize your prayer requests, consider this worksheet.)
I have a two-pronged approach to information storage: OneNote for miscellaneous notes and working files separated by project, and Evernote, where I store sermon illustrations and information by tag (either a Scripture passage or topic). Both have great free options (what I use), Evernote has a paid version.
- Email – I switched to Mailerlite from Mailchimp for my newsletter and can’t be happier with the decision. The chat customer service is AMAZING. I get everything Mailchimp offered for much less per month. Get $20 off when you sign up through this link.
- Hosting – My long-time friend Jon runs Web Presence hosting and has blessed me tremendously.
- Covenant Eyes – This software provides web filtering and accountability options for computer and phone. Incredibly helpful and I’m sure has helped tens of thousands walk in purity. I’ve used it for years and give it my 100% recommendation. You may consider it for your family or ministry team.
- Freedom – This productivity app allows me to block any website or app that I want for any amount of time. I currently have social media blocked off during the work day, and I’m sure the app saves me hours per week. It’s pricey if you pay monthly, but I bought the lifetime subscription and haven’t regretted it for an instant. (Actually, that’s not true. I bought it and then asked for a refund, which they gave me. But then I regretted that, bought it again, and haven’t looked back.)
- ProWritingAid – I love ProWritingAid and how automatic they make some of the writing process. All of my best writing (published articles and my book) have passed through this wonderful tool.
- Overcast Podcasts – Apple Podcasts gave me fits a few years ago and I found this little gem. I love how it organizes podcasts, you can search or pin your favorites to the top. I also like how it can optimize speed and remove long pauses.
- Video Editing – I’m not great with video editing, but got used to Final Cut Pro and am learning Davinci Resolve. Davinci has a great free option, but there’s a learning curve.
- Teleprompter App – I use this app for recording short videos for social media.
- Kindle Direct Publishing – I’ve published a number of titles through KDP and appreciate how easy it is to get professional-quality books onto the world’s biggest site.
- Skullcandy Dime True Wireless In-Ear Bluetooth Earbuds – I’ve never used Apple’s Airpods (some of which cost $249!), but this economical model for less than $20 has done everything I’ve wanted headphones to do, with one exception: they occasionally fall out of my ear, but I’m guessing every model of earbuds would.
- MacBook Air. I’m thankful for my employer providing me with one of these. (Although not from this exact link.)
- Yeti Microphone – Many consider this an affordable #1 pick for podcasting microphone. A good pair of headphones with a microphone work well on their own, but if you want even better quality, this USB microphone will give it to you.
- Economical iPhone Microphone for social media video recording
My Favorite Gospel Tract to Handout – Gospels of John from the Pocket Testament League. There are two parts to the little booklet: a gospel presentation at the front and then the complete Gospel of John text. Remember the evangelistic nature of John’s Gospel: “These are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31). They’re also easy to give to people. “If you want to read about Jesus’ life and teaching, this is a great place to start.”
Printful Print-on-Demand – I’ve played around with this to order a custom hat and shirt and love how simple it is. I also have a few items for sale in an Etsy store. (The ease in connecting Printful to Etsy is what sold me on them.)
The category of finances deserves a disclaimer: I am simply recommending a few accounts that I use and have found worthwhile. You may be opposed to credit cards, and that’s fine. I am not if they are paid on time and don’t cause needless spending. I enjoy earning rewards that bless my family. I also realize some of these recommendations are only for people in my context, the United States. Hopefully this will help someone!
Before I get to nuts-and-bolts, let me recommend a few books to you: for a theological foundation on money, Randy Alcorn’s Managing God’s Money. If you’re in crazy debt and don’t know how to get out, Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey will set you straight. For a practical how-to on managing money over the long-haul not from a Christian perspective, I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi. It’s not my favorite title (being “rich” shouldn’t be our goal), but he has really helpful practical advice (i.e. choose a bank account from this bank over this one).
- Wealthfront Savings Account – This is an online bank that is offering a 4.80% APY interest (as of 08/2023). I switched from Chase Bank that offered only 0.01% APY! I’ve used Wealthfront for a few years and really like them.
- Wealthfront Automated Investing Account – This is a robo-advisor that makes it easy to invest in the market and track your progress.
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card – My #1 Recommended Credit Card. There is a yearly fee, but what makes this amazing is the flexibility. This card allows you to transfer points earned to so many partner programs like airlines, hotels, vacations, rental cars, etc. You can earn up to 80,000 bonus points for signing up.
Diet and Fitness
I HATE all the gimmicks that waste your time and money in the diet/fitness industry. I love common sense wisdom: eat healthy and live an active lifestyle.
Personal Training/Health Coach – I’m happy to say that my brother Kenny has revolutionized my approach to being healthy. He’s a personal trainer and health coach and offers consulting. You may also consider following him on Instagram for his helpful “Friday Fit Tip” videos. No gimmicks, just a wealth of common sense, implementable wisdom that can literally change your life. If you need some extra help to lose weight or become more healthy, my brother’s consulting will be preventative medicine.
Here are some fitness products I’ve found helpful. Search online for exercises you can do with each.