Bible Study Apps

One of my goals is to be more active with my personal bible study. I go to church, and I meet with some friends of mine on a regular basis to discuss a book we are reading together on the Word. However, I have not always been the best at being intentional with my own time with God.

I know I needed to do that but also needed to be aware of what medium would be the best for me to make sure the habit sticks. Also I didn’t want to do something to just do it; I wanted my devotional to mean something.

I have found two apps that I have on my phone that are really helping me see the word more often and take a more personal approach to my faith walk.

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You may have seen She Reads Truth out there. In case you haven’t, you should really check this app out! I have loved using this app for my daily devotional.

This app is set up so you can download a variety of plans that cover many topics. Each plan is split into daily lessons. The number of days varies from each plan. I have had some that are only 8, and then the one I am currently on is 20. Each lesson has three components:  scripture, lesson, and comments. I like that you read the Word first. Then someone from the She Reads Truth staff has built a lesson or sermon of sorts to dig deeper into that scripture. I like this because I like the guidance and then the freedom to think about my own thoughts and application. It is nice hearing someone else’s perspective too. I also love how these women write. They are real and genuine, so I never seem pressured or judged by what they are saying. They often talk openly about their own struggles, and I enjoy the rawness they put into their posts. The comments part is also nice because it allows any reader to post their own stories and input on the lesson. You can often learn even more from these snippets. It builds a great community too when you are able to respond like this. I like that the plans have so much movement with them. Each part gives you more depth and understanding.

You can also do even more with it. There is a note section where you can keep tabs of your personal thoughts as you go through. You can set an alarm to remind you to do your study each day. This is especially helpful if you are trying to create a routine. I do it every night while I am pumping before bed, so generally I don’t forget. Once I stop pumping though, I may use the alarm more often. There is also an option to download screensavers from each lesson. They are beautiful pictures with the Word that are great pieces of art to have on your phone or even displayed on walls.

I have really enjoyed using this app every day. I love how easy it is to use and how practical their approach is on the Word. I do have a few criticisms, albeit minute. Once you are done from a plan you cannot remove it from your list. If you know how to do this please share! I also would like to have a check mark or something on the daily titles to know that I read that one already. Not that it is a big deal, but I don’t always remember the titles I have read until I open it up and remember by the story that I already covered it. It is also geared towards women, so the topics are definitely female heavy. Sorry to my male readers, but I am sure there are other options for you out there. Other than those minor things, this is a great app.

The app itself is free to download. Some plans are free and some are a minimal fee. They have done a great job developing this, and I have learned a lot so far.

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The second app is Daily Bible. I have been using this one for a couple years now, and I am still enjoying it.

I don’t use the full scope of this app, but this also has several parts.

There is a Daily Verse. This pops up in my notifications every morning. It is the first thing that I see when I wake up. I like the quick shot of the Bible as I wake up.

Another part is the Daily Plan. I don’t use this section very often. This is a more lengthy section. This includes several passages from the Bible that are connected in message. It is just Bible verses and no explanations. This would be helpful if you need more guidance on verses that may have a common thread.

My favorite part of this app is the Devotions. These are audio podcasts that you can listen to. Each lasts about 10-20 minutes. I have not listened to all the options, so some may be even longer than that. You can choose from a variety of different speakers. Most seem to be pastors or motivational speakers. There are new podcasts all the time. In opening up different speakers, some may have a new one every day; others may have a new one every week.

What I like about these podcasts is you can pick and choose. It is very flexible and moldable for your needs. You can go back in time and open podcasts from weeks ago, or you can go ahead and listen to this entire week’s worth in one sitting.

The one I listen to most often seems to be organized in having one sermon being broken into several 15 minute sections. I like to listen to this as I am getting ready every morning. It is a great daily reminder to get my day started on the right foot. It helps me focus and encourages me to grow in my faith.

I have used the podcasts while I am running too which I have found is a great time to help me center myself and focus on my innermost being. Mind, body, and soul right there.

So there you have it. These are two apps that I use on a daily basis to help with my journey of faith.

Do you use any Bible study apps? Have you used either of these?

Book Review:  Restless

Book Review: Restless

I read this book recently as part of a bible study I participate in with two friends.

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We would read a couple chapters each week and then meet via Google chat to discuss.

I thought this was a good book to do in a group setting. It is broken up into three different parts. There are worksheets throughout the book that provide you with reflection questions in a journaling format. I liked this set up because it gave you room to write how the topic applied to you and gave you guidance on things you should be thinking about or discussing.

I enjoyed this book, and it came at a time that I was still unsure of what my future held. We started reading it well before I had a job, and there were a lot of things still up in the air.

This book focuses on how each of us have different threads of our life that are woven together for God’s plan. We may not always see how they fit together initially and may seem random, but God has intentionally made you a certain way for HIS glory.

You talk about your gifts and your times of suffering. Everything is deliberate, even if we may not see the reason right now. This book was a good reminder for me that I needed to trust and know that everything happens for a reason. (Cliche but true.) If you take the questions seriously, you take a look at your fears and insecurities, and see how they have a purpose in molding you into a specific person.

I also really love the story of Joseph, and it was used as an example throughout this book. He suffered a lot, but always remained faithful to God’s plan for him.

Jennie Allen is a great writer too. She wrote with conviction and a realness. You could relate to her stories and comments, which I always find helpful when discussing my faith. I think all too often we put faith in these perfect boxes of how it should look and sometimes it is great to talk about the hard sides of it all. We aren’t always perfect especially in those times of trial, but all we can do is push forward.

Some of my favorite quotes from the book are:

“…you exist for specific purposes and no one else can live them like you.”

“God is quiet and completely wise in his timing of revealing his will.”

“Fires are lit in our lives, and they can burn to shine light or cause destruction. We get to decide which purpose they will serve.”

“We can do one of two things with suffering:  we can absorb it and let it change us, or we can let it crush us.”

“God is accomplishing a thousand tiny purposes at any given moment around us.”

“We are scared that God’s dreams may not be as cool as the ones we create in our minds for ourselves.”

And some bible verses:

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. (Col. 3:12-15) (This was part of our wedding service, so I hold this one dear.)

Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. (Heb. 11.1)

This was a humbling book. And as Jennie put it, “This is a book about discovering ourselves and getting over ourselves all at the same time.”

I think we often get in our own way when we are struggling or succeeding. This was a reminder to always have faith and trust in HIS plans. It was a reminder that we do have a purpose even if it may not seem glamorous or grandiose. I need to let go of my preconceived notions and my control (when I didn’t really have it in the first place).

I recommend this for any small groups or even if you want to do some self reflection on your own. I do think it is geared towards women, but I think males would enjoy the concepts too.

This review sums up my own opinions. I was not contacted by anyone associated with these works or compensated for my review. My review has not been influenced by anything other than my love for entertainment and art.

Have you read any good devotional books lately?