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?

Every Day Should be Race Day

This weekend I finished my fourth half marathon.

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Before the Go Commando Half Marathon

This was a brutal race.

It started raining in the middle of mile one.

It did not stop until after mile twelve.

The rain fluctuated from sprinkling to blinding downpour. My clothes were soaked through by mile four.

There was a hill (or 2 or 3) in every single mile.

So I was soaked, cold (it was below 45 all morning), and my source of music was out since I was afraid of drowning my phone. I was feeling defeated every turn staring up at the road at another hill.

Here I was running with just my thoughts for 13 miles. Why did I do this to myself?

As you see on my shirt, I chose to run this race for T.J.

I was able to raise a $615 dollars for Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy. It wasn’t quite my goal, but still awesome to see the outpouring of love and support. I have left it open for anyone else who feels compelled to donate.

I didn’t run the whole thing. Many times, quite frankly I wanted to quit. Between the hills and rain, I was miserable. But then I remembered TJ, and a smile was put back on my face.

I started to really take in the race, more than I had for the last three (even Disney). Shocker I know.

Running for two and a half hours gives you a lot of time to be with yourself. It is a lot of time to criticize that I wasn’t going to PR, or focus on the cramp in my leg, or wonder if the liquid running down my face was rain/tears/snot.

But having TJ in the back of my mind made me run in a totally different way.

I had so much fun on this race despite being cold and sopping wet. I saw parts of Clarksville that are absolutely gorgeous in the fall. Since I wasn’t worried about time (well only to get into dry socks), I was able to observe things and be in the moment. We often try to rush to the end goal, so it was nice to take in the process. I was running somewhere between a walk and a hard pace. And I was quite content with that.

I think “every day should be race day.” And here is why.

1. People are constantly cheering for you. Who doesn’t love compliments like “You doing great.” “Work it girl.” “You are strong.” Some people even hold signs for you or come out in the road to give you a high five. Seriously, can these people come to my office all day?

2. Along the same lines, I have never felt that these races are competitive. Constantly you are cheering for your fellow runners on. I always end up running in the same group. You ebb and flow. Sometimes I was ahead of the rest, sometimes I was at the back. But the common theme was that we cheered each other on when we needed it most. We gave each other a heads up if the turn around was ahead. We made jokes to take away the fact our body was cramping. We ran along side each other to give the other person strength to take the next step. I think things in life would go much smoother if we took a lesson at this. Support each other even if it means you wont “win.” We are all living, so technically we are all winning. Comparison is the stealer of all joy. Run your race, and don’t be jealous of what others have.

3. Work hard and put in a solid effort, and you will be happy with your results. I am really proud of what I did today, and I worked for those 13.1 miles. No one can take that away from me.

4. No one criticizes what runners wear. Actually the more neon the better. I wear a fanny pack people. I would be ostracized if I wore a fanny pack to work or out and about. Think about it, these races are super accepting of all people.

5. Puddle jump. Oh hey rain. You tried making this race all about you? Well take that and puddle jump. Seriously enjoy life. (Why I realize that this doesn’t occur on most races, but I think there are ways to make every run fun…my interpretive dance walks are a big indication of this.) So take a moment to enjoy what you are doing in the here and now.

6. Do something to challenge yourself. This race was grueling with all the challenges, but the biggest challenge was the mental game. Being able to say you accomplished something challenging like this is a huge confidence boost. You also learn that you can do things if you just believe in yourself. We can do more than we realize.

7. There should be cookies at the end of everyday. Run for the cookies. Live for the cookies.

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13.1 miles later and feeling like I was about to board Noah’s ark, I made it!