Tag Archives: davidcalves

My Sabbatical Primers and Spiritual Formation Book Available as a “Pre-pub” Collection at Logos.com

I’m writing this to my friends, family, and present and future readers. I believe that my books serve an important role in both spiritual formation for believers in Christ as well as  foundational primers for pastors. Now, they have a great chance of being made available to those students of Scripture and ministry leaders who use Logos Bible Software.

Both Sabbatical Primers and We’re the “sons of God” . . . So What? have been made available to Logos Bible Software’s “Pre-pub” Department. If you have any inclination to help place my pastoral and spiritual formation books into the hands of readers at a reasonable price, I’d like to show you how you can help.

Simply click on the link or the photo of my collection of books here in the post or at the right in the navigation bar and that will take you to the product page. Of course, once there you can buy the books for yourself for $19.99, but that’s not necessary to help. Whether you buy them or not, simply share them using the social media icons directly under the photo of my books on the product page.

You can also simply copy and paste the URL below into your Facebook or Twitter and say something about the books. When you publish your comment, the link will place a photo of the books and the product page on your FB or Twitter so that readers can click and go to the product page to look at and purchase the collection.


When the books gather enough interest, then Logos will publish and ship them. I hope you’ll decide to help make this roll-out of the new collection available.

Catalog Your Books in Your Personal Library?

To Catalog or Not to Catalog?

That is the question for us bibliophiles. Why is that a question for us? Because we are a diverse lot. We are a stewpot of male, female, everything in between, adventurers, eggheads, bookworms, Renaissance men and women, lovers, haters, spiritual, unspiritual, true believers, atheists, scientists, romantics. You get my point. We have a challenge agreeing on anything . . . except our love of books. But even here, we diverge–our tastes align infrequently. But when they do . . . it’s Nirvana, Happy Hunting Ground, Heaven, or Oblivion–whichever you embrace.

For some, cataloging opposes a dearly held value–freedom. The person who has a perfect memory, has his/her books already cataloged mentally. He knows where every book he ever bought is located. She is aware of the date of purchase, the cost, the conversation at the checkout, and the feel and weight of the volume (perhaps smell too). Others of us–I believe most of us–know we think that maybe we have that book. Sounds familiar. Oh right. I bought four copies because I forgot about the other three. I know they’re here . . . somewhere. And that’s the testimony of a young person. Add forty years to a twenty-year-old and 10,000 volumes over a lifetime, and you might be in the boat I’m in.

I NEED to catalog.

And if you use your books, as I often do, as research assistants, then you definitely need to catalog. Unless you IQ and retention are superhuman–which leaves the rest of us out.

In a modest attempt to unite us toward a consensus then, let’s consider some reasons for or against cataloging your personal library. See, I know you. Some of you are already querying, “Why do we need to ‘unite . . . toward a consensus”?

Because, we may grow. We may be able to move from our own opinion to include the opinion of someone who can simplify our lives and free us of our limitations. Someone who got desperate enough early on to know that libraries catalog for a reason. And I have benefited from that system across my years of education, research, and writing.

Don’t have a personal library? But you want one? Then take a moment to read “How to Build Your Personal Library.” You may want to then read, “How to Arrange Your Personal Library.” Then come back here.

Some Pro’s and Con’s – You Decide


  • Takes too much time
  • I could be reading instead
  • I hate organizing
  • I’d rather not know what I have. I like surprises


  • I know what I have
  • I can easily access the information I need
  • I like order and harmony
  • If I want to lay my hands on a book, I know exactly where it is
  • I want to know where I bought it, when, how much I paid, etc.
  • I can do book lists in an instant

3 Resources I’ve Found Helpful

  • Librarything.com  a little technical for me. I prefer user-friendly. Also, I could not find a mobile app that worked properly.
  • Collectorz.com – costs money, but a good system. I used it for years. Stopped using it because every upgrade cost money and I could only access my books if I had my computer wtih me.
  • Goodreads.com – FREE and easy to use. Lacks some bells & whistles, but I’m sure they’ll show up soon enough. In addition, the mobile app is excellent, easy to use and access, and user-friendly.

QUESTION: Do you catalog your personal library? What software or site have you found helpful?

Dear Readers & New Look for “David’s Place”

Wanted to give all my friends and readers a heads-up.


I want to give you the best and easiest reading experience possible. I’ll be changing the look of my blog-site within the next couple of weeks (perhaps sooner). Don’t want you to be surprised when I do.

I hope you’ll like the new look and feel. Please take the time to comment once the change is made. Love to know what you think.


In addition, I thought it might be good to tell you about my focus here. I know that I’ve somewhat covered it in my ABOUT page, but not many people go to a blogger’s about page.

As someone on a spiritual journey to know God better, I write posts that I would like to read. Sometimes they’re on writing, or perhaps a review of a good book. Sometimes I simply need a laugh and post something humorous. I also post cultural warning signs so that fellow travelers will not be hurt along the path. Because foster care and adoption played a part in my childhood, I also write about that. And occasionally I post a devotional thought or journal entry from my various journals. My “How-to’s” seem to draw the most readers. Well . . . you get it. I intentionally mix it up–writing what I like reading.


Posting on a multiplicity of topics can prove frustrating for someone who’s looking for “a brand.” If you need a brand to subscribe to and follow my blog, check “categories” to filter my posts OR let it be this:


I suppose that would be the sum of the parts.


If anything in that brand appeals to you, then please follow my blog by either the follow button (if you’re on WordPress, signing up for email notifications, or subscribing to my post on Kindle.


Though it’s not a requirement to read here. I would really appreciate it too if you would take the time to comment too so that we can develop a community. I know you’re busy, but it’s really great when I go to a site and follow discussions. They sometimes enlarge or enhance the author’s post. I’ve been helped by them as well.


Well that’s about it. Thanks SO MUCH that you’ve read this far. And thanks for being a valued reader here at “David’s Place.” I appreciate your time and consider it a treasure.


Use What You Have

Meet the Need! What are you waiting for? Use what you have.

When you see a need, think of what skills, talents, abilities or resources you have. Then . . . take action. When you do, lives change. Let me illustrate. The following is a faithful and true account:

In her black dress, purple apron, and white bonnet, Sarah cleaned the room while I studied. When she passed by my chair, I asked her a question. “Sarah, I heard that you invited Jesus Christ to be your Lord. Is that true?”

She stopped and straightened her apron. Then in her thick Amish accent she said, “Yes. That’s true. Last year, I prayed to receive Jesus during Dot’s broadcast over my car radio.”

“Well then, you must have quite a story to tell to your friends and neighbors your changed life. You are certainly much more joyful and happy.” I said.

“No . . . I really don’t have a witness to my family or neighbors. They simply see me as stubborn.”

I was shocked. Really surprised. I was sure she had a great story to tell them about the major change in her life. “What? Why wouldn’t they be amazed at the difference in your life since then?”

“Because I have been banned. They have put me under the Bann,” she said. “The elders came to my house. They asked me what happened to me. I told them and they accused me of being unsubmissive. They said that I had to turn from what they called “the new light.” This ‘new teaching,’ they said, is not in keeping with their tradition.”

I was shocked. I said, “They sound like the Pharisees in Jesus’ day.”

“Yes, yes. That’s exactly what they are like. If you read about the Pharisees, you have read about my people. Oh, some know the Lord, but most do not at all. They merely dress the part and are religious, but don’t know Jesus . . . at all.”

“So Sarah, what did they do? Did you explain that you were following Jesus?”

“Yes. I showed them the Scriptures. I told them that I must follow Scripture, not their traditions. So they told me that I am under the Bann and cannot take communion. And that I must sit at a separate table from my husband and children during meals. So I have a little table set off from theirs. The worst part is not being able to hold my grandchildren though. I cannot take them in my arms. My daughter will not let me hold them.”

I asked, “And Eli? What does your husband say to you? Is he OK with this?”

“He is kind to me, but will not go against the elders. It can cause too much trouble with family and friends.”

I was appalled. “I wish there was something I could do to help.”

She looked intently into my eyes. “There is. You can help.”


“What do you have?” she asked.

I looked up, thinking. I wondered what she was asking. Money? Time?

Use what you have.” she said.

What do I have? I wondered.

She repeated more slowly, “Use . . . what . . . you . . . have. Do what only you can do!”

“I have no money. I have no inroads to the Amish community. All I have is the ability to write.”

“Then write!” she said, “My people can read. At least up to eighth grade. So keep it simple.”

That was how I wrote A Call to My Amish Neighbors: Back to the Old Ways. I wrote that booklet in 1988. It has gone through MANY printings (13 or 14). The booklet has been requested for 30,000 Amish in Lancaster County and 15,000 Amish in Ohio and Indiana. Within a year or two of its publication, the Mennonite Central Committee asked my permission to publish it into Spanish.

“Spanish?” I said to the rep who asked permission. “Why would you want to publish it in Spanish? The Amish speak high German.”

He looked at me over his coffee. Leaned forward a little smiling and said, “Not the 60,000 Amish in Bolivia. They all speak Spanish.”

“WOW. Are you serious? 60,000?” Of course, some Amish elders (who called me) told me in no uncertain terms that they were prompting their people to use my booklet to start their fires on cold winter nights. Banning my booklet had the reverse affect however. More started ordering from those locations. So yes, I’m banned in Ohio and . . .

Amish men continue to sneak off to phones and call our office looking for more copies of A Call. That booklet has continued to have a powerful, widespread ministry.

One man, in anger, put it in his tool drawer. A year later, he saw that booklet there again. He read it and invited Jesus to make Himself real in his own life. Then he contacted us and told us his story.

And it all started with a brave, young woman’s challenge to me as a young man. “Use what you have.” She certainly did!

QUESTION: What has God given you? How are you impacting your world with you have?

©2011, David C Alves

Follow @davidcalves


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