Monday, April 25, 2011

my favorite app

Do you have a smart phone? i have a BlackBerry Torch which I loved until about 2 months ago and am now drooling over the Android phones. Not that it matters. Blackberry was my first smartphone and I thought I would love it forever but then I started hearing about some of the droid capabilities and . . . . I guess I am fickle.

But my favorite app works on a BlackBerry and Droid (as well as that other phone producer. You know which one I am talking about). is a website that has the Bible online for free. And not just one or two translations - 41 translations in 22 languages. They also have reading plans, for example 18 different plans for reading through the whole Bible. Most of those are reading through the Bible in a year, some you read the new testament more than once, some chronological, some in the order they were written, one for reading the Bible in 90 days.

The nice thing is that it keeps track for you. There is no need to find the list that tells you which verses are today's reading, it knows that you missed last Wednesdays reading so you can catch up on Saturday.

There is also the ability to bookmark verses and make notes as you are reading. Not to mention a pretty awesome search function.

And all of this is available on the phone app and more things that I haven't explored.

And now there is the ability to have the phone app read the Bible to you. Now this is not available in all translations (or probably all languages) but I think that it is a cool function.

What they haven't been able to do is reproduce the feel of a Bible in your hands.

I still love the weight of my study Bible. I love turning the onion skin pages. I get so much out of the notes I have written in the margin, the verses I have highlighted over the years.

But I can't carry that Bible in my pocket. It isn't convenient to pull it out while waiting in line at the grocery store. For that I love YouVersion.

I have not been asked by YouVersion to give this review. I have received the app for free because it is free for everyone. I am not getting any special benefit or kickback or anything. I just love the app.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Happy Campers

When I was in elementary school, my dad and I were involved in a group called Indian Princesses through the YMCA. The main thing I remember about it is getting to go camping with my Dad.

Then sometime around 11 my family got a camper trailer and we did a lot of family camping in that. There were several trips to Big Bend and Fort Davis that we enjoyed and quite a few other places as well.

I loved camping.

Then there was a "camping" trip with my first husband that was horrible (it was cold and we slept in the car and we where with his friends. It was the end of our marriage.)

I hated camping.

Then my daughter got involved in girl scouts and we went camping. Since more that 10 years had gone by, I was willing to give camping another chance. One of the girls was so homesick that she cried until she threw-up AND it was so cold that the girls got their polar bear patch (I hate being cold).

I still hated camping.

After much pleading from my kids and husband, I agreed to try it again. This time in we would try in April when it wouldn't be cold. Except it was. A cold front had the lows dropping below 40 degrees.

BUT I had fun. We had tents and cooked over a fire and went fishing and had a wonderful time. It was a ton of work getting prepared to go, planning the menus with all the sides and extras, trying to get everything packed so that we could access it easily. I forgot to get blankets (hubby and I slept on inflatable mattresses with sheets) but luckily they were remembered before we got more then 6 miles from the house. Its been a ton of work getting stuff washed and put away since we got back - but it was worth it.

The kids only complaint was that we didn't spend enough time camping, they wanted to be there for longer. They left their electronics at home and were very irritated with me when they saw I had brought the laptop. Honestly though, the laptop was only so that we could look at the stars and know what we were looking at. I downloaded Stelarium or Stellarium which is an amazing program, even if they can't figure out how to spell it (their website spells it both ways). You can have it show you what constellations are over your head at that moment and since I can find at least 15 big dippers and little dippers, it is a huge help to me. Although, since the moon was so bright, we couldn't see the stars so the laptop stayed in the car.

All in all, we were happy campers.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Bible in 90 days

Last year I tried to do the Bible in 90 days challenge but I didn't finish.

I didn't get very far at all.

This year I was determined to do better.

And I did!

I finished in 88 days.

Considering how many days I had to read 2 or 3 days worth, I probably could have read it in 60 days but we won't even go there.

I loved doing Bible in 90 days because it gave me a broad overview of the whole Bible. I think a good comparison would be if you had a painting by a master (Renoir, Van Gough, Matisse) and only looked at it with a magnifying glass. You might know exactly how he painted that ear or eye or flower but never know the painting was of a girl, a man or a field of flowers. Sometimes you have to step back to see the whole picture.

I still think Bible Study is incredibly important but I think you can get a lot from an overview. It's true you can't read in depth when you are reading so much at a time but there is still value in reading through all the events, not just the ones that are easy to read.

Would I do it again? Yes, definately! I am planning on participating again in July when it happens again.

In the meantime, I plan on studying more about the Gospels also with Amy at Mom's Toolbox.