Living Stones Updates

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    Updates to the software and services provided by Living Stones Ministry
  • Living Stones Ministry

    The mission of Living Stones Ministry is to be used by God to build up His body, the Church, by providing software tools and building blocks

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Outage: Domain name hijacked! March 4th, 2010

Somehow I let the domain name expire. Someone took the opportunity to grab it and point the domain to an advertising page.

That means that if you’re using our software, which points to, it’s not going to work.

I’m obviously trying to get the domain back. In the meantime, here’s a quick fix:
– Do a search in the software for
– Replace it with

I apologize for this failure and appreciate your grace and patience.


Bible Web Services Output Cleaned Up February 23rd, 2009

The original source texts I use for Bible translations include some non-standard characters that many web servers struggle with – things like curly quotes and long dashes. I’m now catching all of those that I’ve been able to identify and replacing them with standard characters. Please let me know if you see anything that I’ve missed.

Sermons package updated July 28th, 2007

A new version of the Sermons package is now available. Some of the changes will be relatively transparent to users (e.g. switching from the Yahoo UI library to jQuery) although they do make the user interface slightly more usable. This version has eliminated the need for setting up all of the church management components just to add sermons to the church website.

Features include:

  • Support for a sermon title, date, pastor, brief summary, attachments (pictures, handouts, audio, presentations, etc.), sermon text, sermon series, topic categories associated with each sermon.
  • Listing sermons by date, pastor, sermon text, sermon series, or topic category.
  • Search for sermons by a word or phrase.

This package, like most Living Stones software, uses PHP and MySQL.

Oak Hills Presbyterian is using this software – see it here.

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User Management Software now available May 31st, 2007

The User Management package is now available for download.

The package provides a security framework that is foundational to all other Living Stones dynamic content building blocks. It is critical that only authorized administrators be able to update the content on your site, but who is allowed to do what is likely to vary across different sections of your site, so this is not a simple on/off switch. To enable that level of security control without requiring a PhD in computer science, the User Management package provides a straightforward framework for managing user access to various Living Stones building blocks.

Included in this package are the overall Living Stones administration interface, the User management component, the People management component, a login page, and a user registration page. This package, like most Living Stones software, uses PHP and MySQL.

This package simplifies and replaces the prior Living Stones Starter Kit.

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Free Bible Software May 28th, 2007

In addition to the building block previously available supporting six public domain translations of the Bible, our re-designed website also features a new building block making it easy for churches to add the English Standard Version of the Bible to their website using the ESV web service provided by the publishers of the ESV.  Note that the ESV is NOT in the public domain and therefore there are restrictions on how the text can be used.

Find both building blocks here.

Oak Hills Presbyterian is using the new ESV building block on their website here.

The Christian Homeschool Network is using the original Bible building block on their website here.

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Website Redesign May 27th, 2007

This weekend we are launching the website redesign.

In the first phase, we are focused on presentation – dramatically improving how the site looks.

In the second phase, we will be focused on developer interaction – how church website developers interact with Living Stones. As part of that effort, this updates web log is becoming the main way that developers will be informed of updates to Living Stones software.

Activity on this blog will be very limited – just updates to our software and services – and since our staffing is light, those will be relatively infrequent.

Therefore, we encourage everyone using Living Stones software to subscribe to this feed – either through an RSS reader or through the e-mail subscription (e-mails are only sent when there are new posts – meaning new software updates).

Thanks and Blessings!

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First Building Block published January 5th, 2006

The first building block has been published. It makes it easy to add Bible search and passage lookup to any web page (that has PHP available…). It uses the Seek First/Living Stones web services so that the web developer has access to the growing list of public domain Bible translations at Seek First without having to duplicate all of the Bible content on his own web server. (In other words, your visitors will stay on your site under your control – they won’t be sent to another site to read the Bible.)

We’ve been working on perfecting this through the Seek First portal, which now obviously uses this building block.

As with any other building block we will publish, this is “open source” software, under the Living Stones license (meaning the software can only be used to glorify God, which should isn’t very restrictive since we are commended to do everything to His glory!). Folks are encouraged to take the software, modify it to meet their specific needs (e.g. hard-code selection of a specific translation) and drop it into the HTML/CSS code on their web-pages.