Tag Archives: Logos

My favorite Bible reading / prayer / memorization routine

There is nothing like reading a chapter of the Bible in the morning and a chapter at night, along with some study notes.  I did that the first time I read through the Bible back in 1996 and it was life-changing.  Hey, God’s word does what it promises.  Who knew?

While I’ve never stopped reading completely, I’ve had different patterns over the years, usually just once a day.  But late last year I started back with the twice a day routine and I don’t think I’ll ever stop.  It is just the perfect set of bookends for the day.

I don’t try to get through the entire Bible in a year.  Nothing wrong with that, of course.  I’ve done it before, and even listened to it over just a few months when I’d play it in the car regularly.  The pace I’m on now is a “read the Bible in 20 months” plan.

I’ve always loved the chronological approach, but I do like a mix of Old and New Testament as well.  But I think my favorite will be this plan I came across in Logos, where you cycle through 7 different books.  Currently I’m going through a few chapters each of Genesis, Ruth, Psalms, Job, Isaiah, Matthew and 1 Corinthians.  It is a great mix, where every day or two I’m reading from a different book.

For prayer, I made a personal translation of the Valley of Vision Puritan prayers, where I converted them from old English poetry form to contemporary prose.  I read one a day. (I wish I could get it published, as it is so much more accessible than the original, but the copyright owners didn’t even respond to my request.)

I also just started using the PrayerMate prayer app, which is an easy way to keep track of various prayer categories.

Finally, I love the Bible Memory app.  I cycle through a batch of verses at least once a day, sometimes more often.  When I come across a new verse or passage I add it to the list.  Whenever I am bored or distracted I am inclined to reach for my phone to do something.  But having taken off social media apps, I now go to the Bible Memory app and do a few verses instead.  Aside from being a great part of your devotional time, it is helpful if you are out waiting for something like an oil change or whatever.  It really redeems the time.

And while I am not good at memorizing, this app has helped me memorize so many more verses, passages and even whole chapters than I ever thought possible.  My challenge is not to just go through them and not think about them.  For example, I’ve gone through Jude so many times that I can recite it without thinking about it, so I need to challenge myself to slow down and meditate on what it says.

So that’s it.  Morning: Prayer, then reading a chapter of the Bible and the accompanying study notes, then some memory verses.  Evening: Another chapter.  And perhaps more memory verses at breaks during the day.

I love this routine and its results.  Your mileage may vary.

Some people are busier than ever during this pandemic, but others have lots of time on their hands.  For the latter, this is a great time to establish good habits in this area.  If you can’t do it now, when will you?

And remember that even if you are very busy, you can listen to the word of God on audio – for free!  Redeem your commute!  Each chapter is only about 4 minutes, so you’ll be surprised at how much ground you can cover.  Of course you can’t look at study notes and such, but the word of God is what really matters.  And if you get distracted there is always the rewind button.

And if you still say you don’t have time, ask yourself how much entertainment you consume each day, and why God designed the world in such a way that you never have time for his daily bread.

Be blessed!

iPhone stuff

Here are some of my favorite uses and applications for my iPhone.  It has been an amazing productivity improvement for me.  If you have an iPhone, what other apps do you use?

One thing I don’t do much on the iPhone is blog.  Anything that requires more than a couple lines of typing is too much. 

I wouldn’t have expected to enjoy reading the Bible and using the prayer list application so much, but for the last couple months I’ve used each 2-3 times per day.  I just pick a chapter then read it in the morning and before bed and often in the middle of the day. 

Features

iPod — Of course, I use the built-in iPod a lot.  I can play Podcasts at 1.5x speed and listen to 2 hours worth of sermons and apologetics shows during my commute (40 min. each way) or just driving around. 

I play music for about an hour a day when working out — a unique mix of pop, rock, contemporary Christian, classical, a little country, Broadway shows, even a couple disco tunes (eek!) — basically anything fast-paced.

The headphones have a built-in microphone and it automatically stops and restarts the music when you take a call.  Very cool.

I like the button that lets you rewind 30 seconds on Podcasts.  They need a 30 second forward button was well.

Email — having work and home email so easily accessible has been huge. 

Phone (duh) — Works seamlessly and easily with the favorites screen, recent call, keypad, Bluetooth, voicemail, etc.  My company has a way to have my office voice mails sent to me via email, so no more checking messages while I’m away.

Notes — I never used this feature much on Outlook but since I always have my iPhone with me it has come in handy for to-do’s and store lists. 

Clock features — seems like basic stuff, but I like how easy it is to program the timer (for naps and stationary biking) and how you can program multiple alarm times then just turn them on or off.

Text messages — I don’t do a lot of texting, but I like how you can save previous texts to save time in selecting a contact.

Voice memos — this has replaced my mini recorder I use when I think of brilliant thoughts for my blog (sarcasm intended).

Contacts — I hardly use that feature.  I find it easier to jump to the Search function to find a contact than to page through the long list.

Camera — I haven’t taken many pictures but it is handy to have it with you all the time.  Haven’t taken any videos.

Applications (free unless otherwise noted)

Kindle for iPhone — In some ways this is better than the real Kindle, since you can use the touch screen.  The screen is smaller, of course. 

I like reading the Bible on here.  It is so easy to navigate and jump to the study notes.  It automatically synchronizes with your regular Kindle or PC Kindle software.

My Prayer Lists ($3) — This has done a lot for my prayer life.  You can put prayers in different categories and different time configurations (e.g., daily, M-W-F).  You get a new list each day or each time you shake the iPhone. 

With a huge prayer list it is easy to fall into the “can’t win, don’t try” mode where you don’t start because there isn’t enough time to get through it all.  But this way I use it multiple times per day.  It makes me much better at following up as well.  People appreciate it when they know they are “really” on your prayer list.

Logos Bible — great free program that I used multiple times per day until I started reading the Bible with the Kindle iPhone app.

Facebook — makes it very easy to stay up to date and upload pictures.

Google Reader — I can scan blogs and mark the ones I want to refer to later.  Big time saver.

Guitar toolkit ($10) — Tuner and chord finder – very easy to use!  Simplest way to look up chords that I’ve found.

Yelp — great tool for finding restaurants, stores, etc. based on your location.

Photoshop — a simple but useful photo editor. 

Doc To Go ($15) — Pretty slick program that lets you read and write Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents.  Not for major editing, of course, but very handy for traveling.  This can make the difference in being able to travel without a laptop.

GPS Drive — It got good reviews but I haven’t used it yet.  Directions are free but voice commands will cost you.  The Maps app is good, too.

Shazam — provides the name of songs you are listening to.  You can be listening to the radio and it will tell you what is playing and let you buy it on iTunes.

SnapTell — sort of like Shazam except for books.  Take a picture of a book cover and it will tell you about it and let you order it.

Chipotle — lets you order and pay online so you just go to the register and pick it up.  Mmmmmmm . . . Chipotle!

My 24 — 24 Hour Fitness app — tells you class times (no benefit for me there) and locations (very handy).

ESPN Sportscenter — easy to keep up with scores

Yahoo! page — I quit using this and just use the ESPN, Weather and Stocks apps to keep up on that sort of thing.

Wikipedia — I’m not a big fan of them for anything remotely controversial, but it can be a handy app.

Dictionary.com — haven’t used it much, but handy to have.

Flixster — Movie theater locations, times and reviews.  Very easy to use for the 3 movies I see per year.

Flashlight — I downloaded this as a joke then actually needed it 30 minutes later when I dropped a nail while hammering something under my desk!

Things the iPhone is missing: Tethering to laptops so they can connect to the Internet and capability to use Adobe Flash Reader and a couple other softwares.

And they need to improve the battery life!  An auto charger is a must for me.  Mine couldn’t make it through a whole day on one charge.

I hope the Droid does well and provides some much needed competition for Apple and AT&T.