Monday, 21 November 2011

Joshua's weekend woodworking project

Made using recycled timber, with Dad's help for the lettering... but all Joshua's idea.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Have you seen YouVersion?

Jeff introduced me to this app and I love it!

It's basically a Bible reading app, and I already have those for the NIV and ESV translations, but YouVersion has a Bible reading plan element to it as well. You can choose from over 100 different plans, which vary from two day plans to read through epistles to week-long plans following a topic through the Bible, to year long whole-Bible reading plans that are organised chronologically (in the probably order the events happened), historically (in the order the books were written), or following several popular systems such as the McCheyne system. The best feature: automatic alerts sent each day, at the times you decide, to remind you to read the Bible passage set for that day.

I have chosen the 21-day "Plan for Busy Women: a rich and satisfying life" devotional, which will be my personal Bible study for the next three weeks. I've set my alert for this for 10am, by which time the kids are off to school, I have done my basic chores for the day and I'm ready for a coffee break - but (I hope) before I get lost in other, less essential, activities. (Perfect for filling the gap left by the summer break from BSF in the Southern Hemisphere.)

I've also signed up to read the Bible chronologically, since I want to read the whole OT through before I begin studying Old Testament 501 at Trinity next semester. I've set my alert for this longer reading at 8pm, after the kids are fed and in bed and the dishes are (usually!) done, but before I get distracted by evening TV shows or reading novels.

Logging in to allows you to adjust the length of any plan, as well. So I have condensed my year-long chronological study down so that I am reading enough chapters each day to get through the OT by February 17, when classes start.

YouVersion has accountability features as well, where you can sign up a friend (who already uses YouVersion) to receive emails telling them how you are going with the Bible reading plan you have signed up to. I could ask Jeff to keep track of my reading progress and encourage him with his reading of his chosen plan as well, for instance. (He's chosen the plan from the ESV Study Bible, a year-long plan with four shorter readings from different parts of the Bible each day.)

You can either down load a Bible version (or more than one) so you can read anytime without internet access, or you can download each reading when you want it (taking moments). I've downloaded the Holman Christian Standard Bible, so I can check it out - so far I like it. (I've been reading the NIV - 1984 edition - as my personal Bible for years.) I like that the HCSB text uses "Yahweh" in place of "LORD" for the tetragrammation, God's personal name, which means "I am who I am" - as God taught Moses in Exodus 3. This occurs in at least 500 places, but not in every use. I like this feature in the HCSB because I have just been teaching the kids in Children's Church all about who God is, and we started with Exodus 3. I hadn't heard about the HCSB until I read about it in the latest Briefing, which has an article considering the comparative merits of the ESV, NIV11 and HCSB for use in local churches as the version from which the pulpit Bible readings are presented.

If you're looking to turn over a new leaf in your personal Bible reading and study for 2012, YouVersion can help you get on track and stay on track.

PS Two months in, I've read about 60% of the Bible, according to the little green line for my Chronological reading plan. I dropped the other reading plan after a few days, but hope to get back to it once I finish reading through the Old Testament - I'm currently reading Jeremiah.