In recent months I’ve realized that my own time alone with the Lord, in His Word, has dwindled to a near embarrassing amount. While I agree that the shear number of pages covered does not reflect directly on the level of intemacy with God, I do believe that there is a sweet spot. Too much, and you’re just covering distance. Too little, (without any additional study), and you’re just not getting anything accomplished.
So I thought I’d seek a new method to enhance my motivation.
Having the Word with you can really help open up the opportunities. But, not everyone can carry a Bible with them. When I was in US Army Basic Training, they gave us a little Gideon’s Bible NIV, New Testament. It was great for dropping into the leg pockets of my BDU’s. Today I even have a nice small, full length, copy of the ESV. It would be easy for me to take with me to work. In fact, I often do.
The next step was finding a reading plan. I can’t bring along a study Bible, or any additional books, so I decided that a basic reading plan, that forced me to read a decent amount each day would allow me to shoot for a good goal. That, of course, took me to the internets. I found YouVersion.com. What I needed wasn’t just the old fashioned bookmark reading plan. Although those have worked for a great long time, I decided that I wanted something with a bit more push. Finding something that tapped into my already existing computer focus was paramount.
YouVersion.com is a multifaceted approach. Their website is really a web app. It contains numerous translations of the Bible, but it also helps you keep track of where you’re reading. There’s a nice community built in as well. You sign up, build a small profile, and get started. There are several great reading plans to choose from. I chose a 90 day reading plan. It involves a bit more reading than the typical plan, but I wanted to bite off a big chuck. Of course if you just want to search for a verse, that’s easy enough as well. There’s also a really cool audio tool for listening to someone read it to you, if that’s what you need/want.
One feature that really stood out to me was their mobile apps. They have apps for iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, Android, Palm, and an old fashioned mobile app. Of course us Android folk, we get just one more feature! Scan that QR code on the right, and you’re taken straight to the Android Marketplace, to download and install the app quite easily.
I’m partial to the English Standard Version, so that’s the translation I’ll be reading. The app on my Nexus One will not only track my reading, but provides me with the text if I want it too. As I read along, I can check off what I’ve accomplished, if by chance I read it from a real book, or the app will pay attention if I read it in the app. All things we really should expect from our smart tools today. I can write journal entries on the web app, and make “contributions” to the community discusion even from the mobile app. Over all, this program of combined apps and information is going to really help me get on track to reading the Word more regularly, and equipping me to remain a bit more motivated.