Free and low cost Software and Resources

This is about good stewardship, not about being anti big business or anti Microsoft or Adobe. Those are good companies and products, but there is more out there that is just as good for a whole lot less. If you are a Christian in ministry, or lead a church, you must remember good stewardship with God’s resources.  

Office Software 

Open Office, http://www.openoffice.org/  You do not need to pay $200 to over $400 per computer for an office suite or $100 per year via cloud subscription. Unless you do compacted macros, this does it all and more that you would think and does pdf and dox files too.  

Libre Office http://www.libreoffice.org/is the best free power-packed open source personal productivity suite for Windows, Macintosh and Linux, that gives you six feature-rich applications for all … 

Email Reader 

Mozilla Thunderbird https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/thunderbird/ an excellent alternative to Outlook and does more and is more stable. The company is created by a global non-profit dedicated to putting individuals in control and shaping the future of the web for the public good. 

Graphics, why spend $700+ when you can get just a good to do it all for much less? 

GIPM http://www.gimp.org/ Just as good as Photoshop. The GNU Image Manipulation Program, for X Windows systems. Official site, including download area, documentation, FAQs, and a plugin registry.

Xara http://www.xara.com/us/ is renowned for making quality website and graphic design software for professionals and novices at a price which won’t break the bank.

Printing , save hundreds of $$ over the Office Stores or Kinko’s for the same quality!  

Next Day Flyers, Flyers, brochures, banners, http://www.nextdayflyers.com/Online printing company, Next Day Flyers, prints over 1 million pieces a day. 100% money back guarantee on printed business cards, brochures, flyers & more!

Visa Print, http://www.vistaprint.com , save a lot over the Office stores and Kinko’s.  

Labels, http://www.surething.com/, Easily create cd/dvd labels with easy to use cd label software, supervibrant cd/dvd labels, jewel case inserts, dvd case insert to make your projects pop. 

Sermons and audio podcast recording  

Audacity, http://audacity.sourceforge.net/ Audio editor for recording, slicing, and mixing audio. Site includes help, downloads, and developer information. (C++) [Cross-platform] 

Management Software, so many churches get duped in paying thousands for programs they will never use or be able to train its staff to use when there is better for much less! 

Power Church, http://www.powerchurch.com/ Church Management Software, has never been so affordable or easy to use! Plus makes it easy to manage your membership, non-profit …

Forms for serious websites, http://www.simfatic.com/ Illustrates how Simfatic Forms could be used to add form validations without you writing any code.

Used computers, you do not need new, http://www.geeks.com/  and http://www.internetauctionlist.com/

Operating System that works, http://www.opensuse.org/en/, tired of windows crashing….

More free and low cost best of the best comp software,  

http://www.pcworld.com/category/software/

 

Bible Study Tools and Aids

Free 

http://www.intothyword.org/pages.asp?pageid=53515 

www.BibleGateway.com

Christian Classics Ethereal Library www.ccel.org 

www.preceptaustin.org/ 

www.freebiblesoftware.com/ 

www.e-sword.net/ 

www.Bible.org 

Low cost 

www.olivetree.com 

www.logos.com/ 

BibleDatabase 

Bible Explorer 

BibleWorks 

BibleSoft 

Bible Software Review 

Bits & Bytes 

The Composite Bible 

CrossWire 

Discount Christian 

e-Sword 

GramCord 

ehemiah Bible Software 

Online BibleQuickVerse   

Rejoice Christian Software   

SwordSearcher 

YouVersion Bible Studies

Best places to have a website built, http://netministry.com/ and www.itwgroup.org

Church Stewardship

Precepts of Stewardship from Colossians 1:24-29

Paul’s Labor for the Church 

24 Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. 25 I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— 26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. 27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.  

28 He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. 29 To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.  (NIV)

Are you happy when you can suffer for others? Being poured out, used, exhausted—even abused by the church in which you serve? How is your church stewardship? 

By Christians who connive against you, who take advantage of you? Paul was! He saw it as His service of stewardship to our Lord! Suffering for the church is like continuing the suffering Christ did for the Church! This is not about being abused; it is about being totally dedicated to serve and not be self-centered or only pursue what suits and pleases us as leaders.

God has given us responsibility with our “church stewardship,” and when we lead, we have to take this seriously. Our church leadership responsibility is simple; we are to proclaim Christ’s message and be His display case for others to see His Word and Work. This is also an incredible opportunity and privilege as countless others through the millennia would love to have this occasion that many of us squander or misuse or become apathetic about! We should be pleased to tell people about Christ and His message, and do so cheerfully as God cheerfully gave it to us.

For the big secret is to effective church stewardship is simple, it is where our focus and trust is placed: Christ, the One, True, God, and Creator of the Universe, lives in us as believers. He is our assurance, hope, and reason for all we are and do. And we, as leaders or not, should be grateful to share in as we display His Glory. So let us learn and grow so we can be better at knowing Him and showing Him as we depend on Christ and His Mighty Work in us—empowering us!

This passage in Colossians is the display showing us that Christ’s Lordship is universal and cosmic, crossing space, time, and thought. He is eternal—always was, and is, and will be! God comes to us as The Sovereign LORD and “pursues” us. He is the giver of unmerited redemption. He has come as an impact to the universe as His redemptive work impacts our hearts and minds. So, He is displayed by our lives as He is displayed in the universe. This is how we become good stewards with His Church. In context, this passage also tells us that since Christ is the Firstborn of all creation, He must also be so in our spiritual lives and in the leading a church. If Christ is not first in our lives, He won’t be so in our churches ministries, boardrooms or decisions, and this puts us on shaky ground, bound to crumble!

Paul’s point is that Christ is Supreme and the head of the universe and the Church, including the one we lead. if we do not get this we become not only deficient in our churches stewardship, we become disloyal and disobedient to His Lordship. Christ is above all and He is the all in all! It is His Church we merely mange it of His glory! If we do not get this we are in the wrong! Then, false teaching will replace sound doctrine, just as it did in Paul’s day, as so many misguided churches whose teachings do nothing but distance and distract people from God, His precepts, and His call (Eph. 1:21-23; 4:15; 5:23).