Thursday, July 7, 2011

You Version Bible App

I am a poor reader. I am slow, have really low comprehension, stumble over my words, am easily distracted, etc.

DSC_2809I want to be a reader, though.  So I go through periods of time where I pick up a book or two and try to read.  Given the right circumstances (the right book, the right family activity level, etc), I might read 2 or 3 books in a row.  But more often than not my laziness prevails and I just go back to my TV watching or my hobbies on my computer.  I desperately want Audrey and Annie to be readers, so I encourage reading whenever possible.  I'm  a horrible example, though, as I don't sit down and read very often.

One book I'm determined to read over and over and over again, however, is the bible.  Actually, I've never read it all the way through (9 more chapters and I will say that I have).  I am a huge proponent of daily bible reading and time with God.  Again, something I want to pass on to my children, and again, I'm not a great example.

Many things get in the way of my daily bible reading.  But primarily it's that I just can't sit down and focus; especially in the deep books with lots of big words and boring content.  I've tried reading at different times of the day; different versions (NIV, NKJV, NASB, Living, etc); reading outloud; shortening my time.  I just can't find something that really helps me stay committed.

I think I've found a solution.  I sit down and read during my forced breaks in a secluded room at work (these are also known as pumping breaks).  This is good for me.  Quiet.  Alone. But I still can't focus.

Enter the YouVersion bible app.  In and of itself it's pretty cool. Several translations available, you can highlight, make notes, add bookmarks, etc.  And it's GREAT in church when I'm wearing a baby and can't hold and thumb through a bible in my lap.  But it has even one more feature that has solidified my use of it.  Audio bible.  In multiple versions.  So I sit down, open up my paper bible and then hit play on the audio bible in the YouVersion App.  I follow along as the reader reads.  I can pause and make notes (on paper, in my journal, in my bible, or in the app itself).  I can rewind.  I can re-read myself.  It reads at a steady pace, so I'm not reading faster than I can comprehend.  It doesn't stumble over the words.  

I've been doing this for about 2 weeks now and I'm really enjoying it.  I am finding myself not dreading over how much I have to read, but rather just sitting back and taking it in.

If you have a smart phone or other handheld mobile device, check it out.  It's awesome.  Well worth it.  Oh ... and it's FREE.  Its available for iphone, android, blackberry, palm, and windows.  And your account is available both mobile and on the computer, so you can go back and re-read your notes if you want.  You can email a passage.  Or tweet it.  Or FB it.  It's an awesome way to share what you're reading with a friend ... perhaps a mentor or accountability partner.

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