One of my resolutions for 2013 is to spend more time with God. My plan is to pray more, read the Bible more, read more "spiritual growth" books, and help others more. Its day 28 of the new year and I'm doing pretty well in my goals, except for the help others part. Though I did have an idea last night that will hopefully come to fruition sometime this year!
I think I mentioned before that my friend's church has started a book club this year. Its called 5 Star Woman. In the club, we read a book every month and the church has meetings (twice a month, I think) to discuss the book. Unfortunately, I probably won't ever be able to attend any of the meetings (they're on Monday nights at 7, and its over an hour drive for me), but I am trying to follow along, and my friend passes on the extra stuff to me after the meetings. I am very behind on the first book. For some reason, I just can't get into it. I think its because I started it, then decided to start a new "for fun" book (part of the series I blogged about Friday). I got so into the new book that reading something nonfiction just seemed so boring! I read a little more on Saturday, and I am not allowing myself to purchase any other books until I finish this one for the book club. I know it'll be good for me, so I'm gonna stick with it.
I also decided to read through the Bible this year. I have read the entire Bible before, but it was years ago. And it took me THREE YEARS to finish. I know, I know. In my defense, I was in college at the time. Still no excuse. I am determined to read the whole thing before 2014. I have a great study bible that I got as a teenager, and its got a one year plan in it. But I decided to try something different this time. I wanted a way that would almost guarantee I'd actually do the reading, a way that would enable me to always have the Bible with me (or at least that day's reading) without having to actually carry a heavy book around.
So I searched for an app! Obviously, reading the Bible from an app doesn't give you the same feeling as flipping through the crinkly pages of an actual Bible, but I figure if it gets the job done, why not? I think Jesus would use technology to get the Word out there, if He were here now. Back in His day, they wrote stuff on stone tablets. You don't hear anyone condemning people for not reading God's Word that way nowadays, do you? So I'm completely cool with using modern technology to learn about the Word.
Anyway, I already use my iPhone first thing every morning to record my waking temperature (my husband and I practice Natural Family Planning - more on that later!). My logic was if I had a Bible app on my phone, after I recorded my temperature I could just open the app and do my reading for the day. For a few weeks, that was a wonderful idea. And then my daughter decided she didn't like to sleep at night anymore - not for long periods of time, anyway - and I was like a zombie in the mornings. Still am, actually. :/ So lately I've been doing my daily readings at night, while I'm rocking her to sleep. I prefer to read from the Bible early in the morning - I feel like it just starts my day out better - but I gotta do what I gotta do these days!
I have done pretty well with keeping up with the readings. Sometimes on the weekends I get behind, like this weekend. Last night, I had to do Saturday's reading as well as Sunday's. But that's okay.
The app was free in the app store, and its called simply Bible In One Year, or BiOY as it appears on my phone. I thought about shelling out the few bucks to get a paid app, but I decided to give this one a try, and I am so glad I did. I love the way its set up. The author is Nicky Gumbel, a vicar of a church in London. Admittedly, I haven't read much about Mr. Gumbel or his church, so I can't say anything about that. The church is called HTB and I can't figure out what HTB stands for, haha. Mr. Gumbel is also the founder of something called Alpha, which seems to be an organization to introduce the Word to people. I am gonna have to read more about these two groups, because they both seem very interesting.
Anyway, Mr. Gumbel's app has daily readings from the book of Psalms or Proverbs, the New Testament, and the Old Testament. After each section of scripture, he gives a commentary. They're usually pretty short, but enlightening. Each day's reading is prefaced with a short story that ties into the day's reading. At the end, Mr. Gumbel's wife Pippa always adds a little tidbit, just something that stuck out to hear in the day's reading and her reaction to it. Its always a very short paragraph, but I enjoy it.