It has many features that I really like:
- I can search by key word or phrase for specific passages.
- There are Bible reading plans to help you read daily. These include devotional content, too. I have tried a few of them and am currently working through a 40 day program, "Seeds of Spring", which I am really enjoying. It is a little more "meaty" than some of the plans I have tried. I receive automatic little reminders to check out the daily scriptures and devotions so I can stay on track.
- Different translations are available, so I can try them out and see which ones are the easiest for me to follow along with and understand.
The last time I got a new Bible was probably about 24, maybe 25, years ago. I received a beautiful, deep red, leather-bound Ryrie Study Bible, in the New American Standard translation. It has my name (well, former married name, but this doesn't bother me....) in beautiful gold script on the lower right corner. There is something about being able to leaf through the thin, gold-edged pages that is more tangible than reading scriptures on a small phone screen. Plus, I am a "marker".....I seem to have favored pink highlighters through the years. There are various notes and dates in the margins. I like that looking back through it is like looking at a script of my life.....
Lately, I have been trying out different translations. After reading Ann Voskamp's book, "1,000 Gifts", I am really drawn to the Amplified Bible. I think that perhaps I will invest in a new printed version! I think it's about time.
Through the years, I have tried many methods of studying scripture and prayer journaling. I have gone so far as to have a 6x9 3-ring binder that had several different tabs for things such as prayer requests, recording favorite scriptures, etc.....
But, often times, I found that all my time was spent "organizing" my prayers and Bible study - not actually "doing" it. So, I went to the other extreme - not writing anything down, just winging it. As you can guess, that didn't work so well. I suppose I am just not mature enough to keep up the daily routine, but I found that issues I wanted to commit to pray over were falling between the cracks simply because I couldn't remember everything. I am naturally a list maker, so I needed to write things down to jog my memory.
Now, what is working for me is a small notebook (with pretty flowers and pink pages, a bargain at the Dollar General) to keep up with prayer requests and jot down a scripture or a quote from a devotional that speaks to me that particular day. I also have a spiral notebook for listing "gifts". I keep these, along with my Bible, in a basket on the bedside table, so I don't have to go far or search for it at the end of the day.
And, yes, I am an "end of day" person.....I find that I am able to keep the daily routine up better if I do it before retiring in the evenings instead of rising early to have my "quiet time". Quite simply, my early morning "quiet time" involves a cup of coffee on the back porch, just soaking up birdsong and watching the dogs do their business - it is sort of like a wake up time for me, but it gives me a sense of peace to start off the day.
Whatever it is that you do to grow spiritually, find something works for YOU! No two people are the same. But, I have no doubt that God will lay it on our hearts to draw near to Him in a way that works for us, individually. Experiment with it....you will find what works for you! And then just stick with it!
Be blessed today......