Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Bible in One Year App... a recommendation.

Just want to say how much I am enjoying, benefiting and appreciating the Bible reading plan I am using this year. I try and read through the bible each year and have done that using various means in the past... a 'One year Bible pocket edition book... a bible reading plan from scripture union... the One Year Bible website using my laptop. This year I have discovered the ''Bible in a one year" app which as well as providing a bible reading plan that includes a portion of the New testament, the Old Testament and Psalms or proverbs each day has a good reflection and commentary by Nicky and Pippa Gumble of Alpha and Holy Trinity Brompton fame.

While it is data heavy for my ancient sort of smart phone it runs well on  my Samsung T700 tablet. On a practical level its ease of use and type face and layout make it very useable and readable. The bible readings are hyperlinked into Nicky's reflections and commentary so it is easy to flick back and forth.. The readings use the NIV bible and Nicky often supplements that by using quotes from the message in his reflection. I appreciate Eugene Petterson's translation/paraphrase of the bible to off set and augment reading a text like the NIV rather than reading it as my main bible text.While I don't use the audio file option for Nicky's reflections I cans see or rather hear how it is a useful feature.

There is an introduction to the theme each day, a reflection on each of the readings The reflections are  a good mix of  solid Biblical exegesis, passion for the gospel, deep personal insight and good application. There is a prayer at the end of each of the reflections on the bible reading.

I have appreciate both the readings and also the reflections of Nicky and Pippa Gumble. I did wonder how having a single theme for each day would work, if it was going to be a forced thing as there were three different passages each day. But I have found that they natural fit with the readings and help focus the three readings for everyday life. The prayers at the end of each reading are short and actually help to apply the bible passage to life.

I have to admit my devotional life has been rather on hold towards the end of last year and I had found myself slipping into  bad habits when it came to reading the bible outside of what I needed for Church and sermons... But I have found that as I am back on track and reading and reflecting and spending time with God in the word that he speaks to me through this daily devotion regularly...

AS you may be aware I share my name with the famous Egyptologist Howard Carter, a  connection I am often embarrassed about however this week God spoke and encouraged me very clearly through that connection and Nicky's reflection on 'your most exciting find the devotion for 6 April...

" Howard Carter made the world's most exciting archaeological find because he did not give up seeking. God loves you. God dos not force himself upon you, but he promises to reveal himself to you if you honestly seek him"

Not only in my personal life but also in a way that can only be the Holy Spirit that speaks directly to what I preaching on as well.  From my message on the gift of the Holy Spirit finished with part of the devotion I read on the Friday morning I finished writing...

In a coincident that could only be seen as the Holy Spirit Nicky Gumble in my devotions on Friday finished encouragingly with this…

“ we see how much is available to those who follow Jesus wholeheartedly, put their faith and trust in him and offer themselves to do his will. This is what you are called to. AS you do this, Jesus sends you out into the world with power and authority to proclaim the gospel and heal the sick”

I must say that Alpha is producing some really good free material and resources for people and the church today...   and I thoroughly recommend this bible reading app to you. You can get it via the Bible in One Year  website (just follow the link) or from google play... I'm no sure about iphone versions (sorry apple users) and it seems from looking at the website you can have the devotions sent to you as an email each day as well. And it comes in both english and simplified Chinese.

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