As we begin this new year, and this new decade, we are committed to reaffirm our mission statement:
To create, develop, and distribute materials to stimulate, encourage, and facilitate serious study of the Bible as the inerrant Word of God.Pursuant to this mission, we are committed to exploit whatever resources and technologies are placed at our disposal, and the opportunities ahead are breathtaking!
As many of you know, we have been experimenting with publishing our materials in various formats of electronic media. Many of you have taken advantage of the free Briefing Packs that have been made available on our website, www.khouse.org. The response has been extremely encouraging, and we continue to solicit your feedback.
From the results so far, we have decided to make our Expositional Commentaries available in the MP3 format. We have chosen MP3 for its high-quality audio fidelity, small file size and cross-platform standard file format. While there are a number of competing formats emerging, MP3 is a compression technology used heavily in the music industry, and the wide availability of portable players is now making it possible to listen in the car, while jogging, etc., as well as on your computer.
(The CODEC we are using meets or exceeds current tape standards. MP3 is a cross-platform standard; however, as other formats prove attractive, we believe we can readily respond with alternatives.)
The present bandwidth limitations of the Internet favor distributing the more extensive files by means of CD-ROMs rather than enduring the substantial download times required on the Net. (As the Internet bandwidth continues to improve, direct distribution should prove increasingly attractive.)
Of course, the improved efficiency of this form of publishing makes it possible to reduce the cost of our materials and thus broaden their availability. So, as our next step, we plan to release a commentary each month. This month we are releasing our Expositional Commentary on the Book of Daniel. The audio files are in MP3 format, and the extensive notes are also included in PDF files. We are including the program "Adobe Acrobat Reader" on each CD-ROM, which you will need to read the notes. For the MP3 audio files you will need one of the following (free) software programs: "Real Jukebox," which you can download from http://www.real.com or "Music Match," which you can download from http://www.musicmatch.com. Each program is free and will allow you to listen to the audio portion of the CD-ROM.
Next month we will be releasing our Expositional Commentary on the Book of Revelation. All 24 tapes, plus over 200 pages of notes, will be on a single CD-ROM. (To download this over the Internet would take about 40 hours.)
We're also planning a number of significant improvements to our website, including the publication of weekly email bulletins, etc. We will be announcing these as we go along. If you would like to participate, be sure that we have your email address. Further instructions and details will be found on our website at www.khouse.org.
On the more distant horizon we discussed last month our involvement in the SWANsatTM Project. While this is a longer-term project, we hope that it will prove of strategic significance to all our members and subscribers, particularly to our international affiliates. We will, of course, keep you posted on the progress.
Home Bible Studies
We also plan to provide supplemental materials and resources to encourage and assist group study. We recognize that most of our materials are proving useful in encouraging and facilitating home study groups. This is probably one of the most exciting trends that reflects the first century fellowship pattern. We continue to solicit your feedback and suggestions for both leadership and supporting materials.
Our current horizon continues to indicate the likelihood of global turbulence in many areas-and most of these appear to have Biblical relevance to the seasoned observer. Since awareness of the prophetic relevance of current events can be an effective stimulant to serious study of the Bible, and also can be an effective tool for witness in many contexts, we hope to increase our resourcefulness in this area. Our radio broadcasts, our news journal articles, our Internet resources, and other materials will continue to highlight the Biblical relevance of current events. Our increasing involvements through our international affiliates should broaden our perspectives in these activities.
How You Can Help
How can you help us? One way is to let your friends know what you think of our publications, and that you can arrange for them a free year's subscription to our news journal. Also, let's hear from you. What would you like to see in the future lineup? And do continue to pray for us. It is a warfare, after all!
* * *