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Apps and accountability for a fresh start with God January 1, 2019

Posted by P, J, or J in Uncategorized.
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Wanting to be in a better place physically, emotionally or spiritually, often isn’t quite enough to get us there. Most of us need a few nudges and some external help.

This is a new year post but it can apply every morning or every minute. It’s easy to make plans or even New Year’s resolutions – harder to stick to them. That’s why people buy fit-bits, or join some kind of club to keep them on track to achieving goals around fitness.

The same is often true about people’s desire to improve their ‘spiritual health’. We know that reading our Bible, spending time in prayer, and quiet contemplation, and then also spending time living out what we learn would help us feel better, live better and love better, but somehow it is easy to get distracted.

Thomas Aquinas with a smart phone
(adapted from an earlier work by
Gentile da Fabriano )

Fortunately, the same technology that can distract us from the world around us and the people around us can also help us stay connected to people, to God, and to the world he so loved.

Go Tandem app from Back to the Bible

Go Tandem is an app (and a website) from Back to The Bible, which leads you through your own self assessment to determine what you see as strengths and areas you would like to grow in and then gives you multiple nudges with Bible verses and questions for reflection throughout the day. When I first reviewed it a few years ago it also included an option for you to jot and share your own notes. A more recent upgrade has removed this function but links you to additional reading plans on other apps.

YouVersion Bible app and website

YouVersion and Bible.com now provides free access to scripture in 1,258 languages, (1,257 more than you might need) but it is designed not only to give as many people as possible access to the Bible but to encourage you to engage with God through the Bible. There are hundreds of different reading plans plus the tools to create bookmarks, highlight verses and create notes that you can either keep just between you and God or share with friends. Most versions can be downloaded for offline use but you do need to connect to the internet to use the search function or access some of the options. Getting a virtual badge for completing a reading plan or sharing your first verse may or may not be an encouragement to you but it obviously helps some people.

Additional resources include videos from the Jesus Film, Lumo, and the Bible Project, plus audio of many of the translations.

There are many other apps and tools through which the Bible is available in multiple languages and versions. Faith Comes by Hearing specialise in audio scriptures and have partnered with Jesus Film and others to bring together audio, text and film. Their Bible.is app also form the underlying technology of the Gideons app.

A longer list of Bible apps and sites is available at https://1000bibles.wordpress.com/ . If you have a favourite Bible app not listed leave a comment to let me know and be sure to let others know about it via your social media feed (or even by talking to people). But more important than the applications we have on our phones is how the Bible is applied in and through our lives.

Another resource worth exploring is PrayerMate. which is a helpful way to remind you what and who to pray for, drawing from selected prayer guides from different organisations and from your own personal list. The video gives a good overview but it would be good to emphasise that prayer is about who you are praying too not just what you are praying for.

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