Salvation? There’s an app for that!

These days, there’s an app for everything.  You want to time your contractions?  No problem!  Want to know the exact temperature and time to grill that steak for a perfect steakhouse flavor?  You can easily do that with a free download from the appstore too.  And who can forget about the absolute necessity of Angry Birds?  Don’t act like you haven’t played it!  But with all the games and apps that allow you to do…well…everything, how many of the apps on your phone or device have any REAL value?  I often like to point out things that humans do that waste or pervert the technologies that we’ve created or possess, but I often overlook the good that people have done through the same technologies.  For every hundred thousand worthless apps on the Android market, you come across something priceless like the YouVersion Bible app.  Want to know God more and get into right relationship with Christ through his word??  There’s an app for that!

When my wife and I first started attending Mt. Tabor Church of God last year, I was using a BlackBerry Storm smartphone. Apps were cool, but nearly as plentiful as they are today. I had a handful of rarely used and mostly ineffective apps such as WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, etc. I also had found a neat little app called YouVersion, which allowed you to fit nearly any version of the Bible in your pocket. Back then, though, apps didn’t work nearly as well as they do now, especially given the platform that I was using, and they just weren’t something I bothered to use very often. That being said, my physical Bible was all I was reading at the time, which was nice because it gave my wife and I a lot of devotional time together each night before bed. Reading together from the good book not only brought us closer to God, but it also brought us closer to each other, and I couldn’t have replaced that experience with any app in Appworld (for those of you who don’t know, this was the app BlackBerry used to download apps. Similar to Appstore and Android Market.).

Since, however, I had upgraded to a Motorola Droid 2 and my wife received an iPod touch. We got to see how oversaturated the app world had really become. Still, one of the first things that I looked for was YouVersion. I found my experience with the Bible app on Droid to be much more pleasant and intuitive. There are still tons of versions to choose from, but there are a lot more features now. You can easily start devotional plans (and there are TONS to choose from), write notes, highlight and share verses and even listen to the scripture being read to you. Over a period of time, this started to replace the physical Bible that I had been reading. As work schedules got switched around and a new baby was introduced to our house, my wife and I didn’t have devotional time together anymore, and this app has been an excellent alternative. Even better in some cases because we often read from the same plans, which isn’t quite like reading together but at least we are reading the same things, and I get to take it with me anywhere. I often read from my plans while at work on break. A much better way to spend my breaks considering I used to waste them smoking cigarettes or watching CNN (both of which were equally detrimental).

In the time that I’ve had my Droid 2 I’ve downloaded plenty of apps (but still not anywhere near as many apps as my wife has installed on her iPod).  Some of which are used pretty regularly, such as Facebook and Twitter, but most of which are forgotten about moments after installation.  I can’t remember how many paid apps I was refunded for within minutes.  Angry Birds entertained me for a day.  Pocket Legends might have given me a good week of dungeon crawling good times, but the one app that I keep going back to time and time again is YouVersion.  Just like it’s timeless bound counterpart, the Bible app is worth opening up time and time again.  It’s good whenever and wherever.  In app years, it’s timeless.  In a world filled with so much technology that is ever advancing, it’s refreshing to see that there are a few people willing to present something as everlasting as the Holy Bible in a new way that can effect an entirely new generation of people that grow up in the digital, app-infested age that we now live in.  I’ve downloaded several other Bible, prayer and Christian apps, but nothing comes close to YouVersion.  Kudos to you Life Church!

some info about the app (taken from GeekRev review):

  1. Versions: 41 Translations in 22 Languages. There’s a lot here for almost everyone.
  2. Notes: You can create notes of passages you are reading. You can keep the notes public or private. Your choice
  3. Search: Living in the age of fast search (Thanks Google), the Bible app has a search function for searching specific keywords.
  4. Syncable bookmarks: You can bookmark verses and they will sync with the cloud so that you can see your bookmarks on your smartphone and online (one drawback is that you can only bookmark one verse at a time)
  5. Reading Plans: More than 50 different reading plans. The plans give you a progress bar and help you catch up when you fall behind.
  6. Share: You can share verses via Facebook, Twitter, Email and SMS. A great way to encourage a friend who is getting his wisdom tooth pulled, “My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight – Prov. 3:21 (Ha!)
  7. Adjustable font: Half blind? No worries, you can make the text as BIG and as small as you want.
  8. Excellent support: The folks from YouVersion are really responsive and update the app consistently. You can be confident that they won’t allow the app to die a slow death.
  9. Multiple Platforms: Youversion’s Bible app is available for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Palm Web OS, Java, Symbian, Mobile Web and for the iPad.
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