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Gary Simons, “Welcome to the 22nd edition,” Ethnoblog (Feb 21, 2019)

Ethnologue, 21st Edition /

On Mother Language Day (Feb 21), the editor of Ethnologue announced its 21st edition.

  • 7,097: living languages worldwide
  • 19: languages dropped (being extinct, merged or unsubstantiated)
  • 17: languages added (being dormant or identified)
  • 11: languages not previously identified


“The Story of God” by Matt Papa /

“The Story of God” is an epic spoken word piece by Matt Papa on the Bible’s story in 10 minutes.

Buy a script for group performance of “The Story of God.”

> Let me tell you a story
it’s no ordinary tale
no it is the ordinary
from which every other story hails
> it’s the story of God
it’s the story of history
and I’m not the author
no, the Author is a glorious mystery
> see long before He would put
His pen to the paper
long before there was time
or before there was matter
> He was there, all alone
Father Son Holy Sprit
1 God in 3 persons
everlasting in existence
> completely satisfied
needing absolutely nothing
He was happy in Himself
and His joy was overflowing
> the Son in the arms
of His holy righteous Father
the Spirit overshadowing
all glorifying one another
> so why would this God
even bother to create
the fountain of all happiness
can you improve upon this state?
> well the joy within Himself
welling up at such capacity
was so full it must be shared
with a glorious society
> so the mighty Author, quill in hand,
to share His infinite mind,
His love His joy, sat down to write
His “once upon a time”
> in the beginning God created
the Heavens and the Earth
He made all things to reflect
His beauty and His worth
> mountains rivers oceans trees
all gladly testifying
endless stars and galaxies
declare His glory shining
> He made it all and it was good
and to culminate His work
He fashioned man
and breathed to life
His special ball of dirt
> man came to life with blinking eyes
& was welcomed by God’s face
they walked with Him every day and night
there was peace and no such thing as shame
> God said
be fruitful, fill the earth
and eat from any tree
except for this one
cause if you do you’ll surely fall from Me
> now why do this? and give this choice?
because He is writing a Story
and He’s about to show to whole world
The fullness of His glory
> conflict enters
early on in the script
with a snake in the garden
doing was he does best running his lip
> flashback to when
this evil was created
he was an angel of heaven
who fell when his head got inflated
> banished from God
and from His endless mercy
he came down to earth
to tempt us with the unworthy
> so there in the garden
on an ordinary day
he came to the woman and said
did God really say?
> that you should not eat
from every tree in the garden?
He must not want your happiness
or you would have total freedom
> so pridefully they listened
and sinfully they took
and scorned their creator
and they ate the forbidden fruit
> injustice. this, my friends
this is injustice
that God should be seen &
then treated as a nothing
> that man should completely forfeit his joy
and dig for fleeting pleasures
in the gutters of this world
> fallen now is all mankind
and sure to face His judgement
a world of pain, of toil and strain
and hell forever after
> but God would make a promise to
preserve Himself a people
and through the brokenness of man
o could there shine a hero?
> the plot line continues
some character development
all supporting actors
all fantastic as embellishment
> Noah found great favor
in God’s holy sight
and when God sent the floods
He mercifully preserved his life
> we come to Abraham
and God made him a covenant
He said “I will bless you
and make your offspring abundant”
> to Isaac and to Jacob
God would come and do the same
and though many dangers
came to threaten His perfect plan
> the story would go on
with the Author’s full control
and He would lead His people
everywhere that they should go
> flash forward now 400 years
in Egypt there’s a pharaoh
who doesn’t like God’s people
growing numerous in freedom
> so he made them slaves
but God came down and chose His servant Moses
a burning bush… a call to go
His presence was His promise
> go and tell that pharaoh now to
let my people go
so they can freely worship Me
in the place that I will show
> plagues.  numerous
God would show that He is the I AM
that pharaoh’ rule is like a pawn
in His glorious hand
> the waters part. the millions leave
to follow their great Savior
He guided them provided for them
though they were so ungrateful
> at Sinai God gave the law
so perfect and so pure
His people soon discovered
they could not obey these rules
> they tried they failed
they tried they failed
compelled to live in sin
they’d bow to worship idols
then they’d bow to God again
> they said to God “give us a king”
and that will make things better
God, their rightful king, assured them
this would be a fetter
> they insisted, God relented
gave to them their kings
some were good, led them to Him
some brought idolatry
> God sent his prophets
“turn back to God”
sometimes the people listened
but mostly they just gave a nod
cause they all wanted to be Him
> “God will not wink at your sin”
the prophets would all say
the people rose to eat and drink
and left to go and play
> God finally seemed to have enough
and brought a blaring quiet
the prophets ceased, the people waited
400 years of silence
> enter our protagonist
mostly unannounced
the plot is quickly rising now
> who is this guy?
nobody really knows
He meek…..He’s humble
unordinary hero
> but the craziest thing
about this character is well
unlike the other characters
this is the Author himself
> His name was Jesus
He was born of a virgin
fully God He was perfect
fully man He was learnin’
> different from all the others
but tempted just the same
in every single way we are
without a single sin
> He made the lame to jump
He caused the blind to see
and unlike the religious leaders
had some real authority
> cause He came from high
and He came to redeem
not to be served but to serve
His haters and enemies
> He loved, He gave
showed us the heart of the Author
claimed no glory for Himself
cause He came from His Father
> and we hated Him for it
cause we wanted to be God
despised and rejected
we esteemed Him not
> conflict escalating now
it’s starts with a betrayal
Judas whores his eternal Lord
for 30 pieces of silver
> a final meal a prayer and then
they head into the garden
where Jesus sweat with drops of blood
preparing for our pardon
> The soldiers took the Lord away
and led him to a trail
“are you the Son of God?” they say
I AM there’s no denying
> Except of course for His disciples
who left their Lord in fear
Jesus looked up to the sky
He was all alone from here
> they led Him to the Pretorian
and then began to beat Him
“who hit you?” they would shout and say
“oh Father please forgive them”
> they made His back a bloody mess
they whipped Him till he lost his breath
they threw the cross upon His wounds
the weight of sin 300 pounds
> the great eternal Lord of all
the Author of all things
now like a lamb unto the slaughter
would this be His defeat?
> they nailed Him to the rugged cross
they shouted out “where is Your God?”
He said “have You forsaken me?”
He takes a breath, His final three:
> “It is finished”  the Savior’s cry
and then He bowed His head
the Author of life the Lord of all
the Son of God is dead
> they laid His body in a tomb
then everything was quiet
as God’s people find themselves again
in everlasting silence
> 2 days pass
> on the second morning after Jesus died
Mary went to the tomb to take a look inside
> and when she arrived she was
met by an angel
she fell to the ground but he said
there’s no danger
> this Jesus, Jesus
is He the one that you seek?
Mary He is not here
He is risen indeed!
> Climax, its true
every good story has one
the part where you feel
a slight shift of momentum
> Mary sprints to go
tell the disciples
the Lord, He’s alive!
He’s alive like he promised
> Peter and john go
and see for themselves
but there’s nothing there
they said “perhaps He truly lives?”
> then Jesus’ words
came flashing to mind
they will kill the Son of man
but after three days He will rise
> momentum is surely building now
the enemy is limpin’
Jesus finds the 12 and then
He gives to them the mission
> all authority is mine
all in Heaven and on Earth
go and tell them I’m alive
go and tell the whole wide world
> and don’t get slack
I’m coming back
> Acts now the church is born
the Holy Spirit given
the news of Jesus
like the most contagious sickness spreadin’
> thousands saved. A mighty wind
is blowing through the region
the promise God gave to Abraham
we’re finally starting to see it
> Repentance and forgiveness preached
All in the name of Jesus
Sinners and saints alike proclaim
Our God has come to save us!
> the Gentiles hear the story and
the news is blowing up
the plan is working, the gospel spreading
from Asia to Africa
> martyrs laying down their lives
cause they know this story’s true
it’s a story like no other
it’s a movement you cannot undo
> Constantine tried to slow it down
and turn it into steeples
but an angry monk from Germany
wrote some holy gospel thesis
> it’s spread like fire, then it came
to America by sail
and here we are the twenty-first century
the gospel cannot fail
> It’s the greatest story
that’s ever been told
by the greatest Author the world has ever known
> but there is some still left to go
yes there is some still left to go
> see GO was the command
to every tribe and nation
and carry this great story to
this dying generation
> cause when this gospel finally spreads
across the whole of earth
we’re gonna hear a trumpet sound
and Jesus will return
> Heaven will be opened
and a white horse shall appear
and the One who sits upon it
all His enemies shall fear
> His eyes will be like fire
and His purpose will be glory
justice for all evil
life for all who love this story
> He’ll come to judge the quick, the dead
and all who’ve trod this world….every
knee will bow
and tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord
> death and hades He will throw
into the Lake of Fire
and Satan too that serpent foe
that coward that old liar
> the church will rise
surround the throne
and clothed in glory His
with every nation tribe and tongue
we will worship Him
> singing Worthy Worthy
is the Lamb
The Lamb who has been slain
blessings honor glory and power
forever to His name
> and for ages and ages
we will sing
the praises of
our God and King
> it’s the greatest story
that ever been told
by the greatest Author
the world has known
> yeah the bad guys lose
the good guys win
Jesus is Lord of all
The End.
What Is Involved in Bringing Digital Texts into the World’s Languages? /

Web and ebook technology is a boon to the advancement of the written word. But it’s complex work to bring digital texts into the world’s languages. This article by Jiminy Panoz is a helpful overview: “Internationalization is fascinating: the ebook case.” It’s concise for the complexity involved. There’s even some coverage of the languages we work with in India.

At the start of my work abroad in digital technology, I felt the floor of my knowledge bottom out. So many assumptions unraveled. The flow and layout of an entire document changes for right-to-left scripts, for languages without letters, for languages with letters and half-letters that morph and seem out of order. And then to account for variations of operating systems and software that render these complex scripts differently. The work requires new vocabulary and standards to begin to address the challenges.

A digital reading system like the one in the referenced article may have it’s challenges but it already builds on advanced work in linguistics, design and technology. Here’s what it took to arrive at the current problems of international web and ebook development: language requirements research, the pioneering work of SIL, Unicode, mobile platforms, web standards, and fonts for every complex writing system. These are all monumental tasks in their own right. All for the sake of universal access to the written word.

I develop websites and digital texts in complex scripts with people in South Asia. I’m surprised every time I watch one open it on their mobile phone and read it with joy. I’m grateful for the humble technology worker that makes a way for this good reading experience.

Read Jiminy Panoz, “Internationalization is fascinating: the ebook case” (Dec 28, 2017).

“Small Tweaks That Can Make a Huge Impact on Your Website’s Accessibility” /

Summary of the article by Andy Bell, “Small Tweaks That Can Make a Huge Impact on Your Website’s Accessibility,” January 11, 2018.

  1. Document Structure and Semantics:
    1. Use a Single <main> Element: Help screen readers and add a skip link (and a :focus style) to it.
    2. Use Elements Appropriately: Use <button> for interactive elements and get keyboard events for free.
    3. Get Your Heading Hierarchy Locked-Down: Help screen readers navigate pages with a nice structure of <h1>, <h2>, etc.
  2. Get Your Color Contrast Right: Use tools to get a compliant contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 for text and 3:1 for headings.
  3. Responsible Text Labels: Use attribute aria-label to give context to labels and links.
  4. Small Typography Tweaks With a Big Impact:
    1. Size body content at 16px minimum, and line-height at around 1.5.
    2. Highlight key words and phrases.
    3. Use ligatures and decorative elements only in headings; sans-serif fonts are better for readers with dyslexia.
  5. Enhance Keyboard Support:
    1. Allow the escape key to hide dialogues.
    2. Use the :focus pseudo-selector to add obvious state changes.
  6. Don’t Rely on Color Alone to Communicate State Changes

Keep learning about accessbility. See the article for recommended resources.

Laura Brady, “Accessibility in Ebooks: Some Resources” (Sep 27, 2017)

Chris Coyier, “Design Resource Sites,” CSS-Tricks (Sep 13, 2017)

David Murray, “Biblical Counseling Resources”

Ethnologue, 20th Edition /

The 20th edition of the Ethnologue was released on the occasion of International Mother Language Day.

The Ethnologue has been documenting the world’s languages since 1951. This edition lists 7,099 living languages worldwide. Eleven languages that were listed as living in the previous edition were dropped and 13 are newly listed as living.

Also, the Ethnologue now adds new data for many languages: the written autonym (“self name”) that the speakers of the language give to the language itself; country-level international conventions to which the country is signatory and which affirm the language and culture rights of indigenous and minority peoples; and any revitalization efforts in language development.


Matthias Media Ebooks on Disciple-making: Sale /

Ebooks are a boon to work here and make a good gift to missionaries. Matthias Media is running a rare sale this week on their Kindle ebooks related to the task of making disciples.