Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Kindle, iPhone, iPad and the Bible

On September 4th, 2010 I read a post on one of my regular blogs about a woman that read the Bible in 90 Days using the book that Ted Cooper, Jr. put together.  I was impressed with her post.  I had never heard of anyone reading the whole bible in only 90 days.  She had small children so I figured if she could do it, I could do it.  If I started on 9/4/2010 I could finish the entire bible by the end of the year....or so I thought.

I'm going to give you a little background on my journey and then give all Christians a great excuse to why they need to save up and buy a Kindle, iPhone or iPad.   If they don't have the money, then download the Kindle app (or other eBook app) to your smart phone and purchase the "Bible in 90 Days".  The Kindle version is currently, $6.59.  Also, if you end up purchasing it, will you purchase it using the Amazon link to the right?  That way I will know if my post has made a difference in anyone's life and I can pray for whoever it is that they will succeed.  (Of course, I won't know who it is, but God knows)

I need to confess that I had never read the bible from cover to cover.  I am ashamed of this and that it has taken me 35 years to do it.  I was excited and decided I wasn't going to tell anyone (besides Kevan) that I was going to try.  First, because I didn't want anyone to know if I failed and second, because I didn't want the devil to use it as an opportunity to help me fail. 

I was very "gung-ho" in the beginning and reached day 40 in about 45 days.  Only 5 days behind!  Then, things got hard.  When reading the "Bible in 90 Days" it takes about 1-1.5 hours to read the daily reading.  I was in class and couldn't fit in my reading, my studies plus my full-time job.  So, some days it took me 4 or 5 days to get through my daily reading, but I pressed on.  The New Year passed me by, then my birthday (April 1), but I continued to read what I could.  I finally finished on September 5th, 2011.  It took me 367 days, but I did it! 

Now, I want to mention my journey of reading the bible using technology instead of a normal paper bible.  I have tried several times in my life to read the bible in a year.  I never succeeded until now and I believe that part of it was because I had the technology available at my fingertips whenever I wanted to read.  I read at home on the couch, in the bathtub (probably 60% of my reading was while I was taking a bath ~ I have a waterproof cover for my Kindle), at the beach, at the doctor, reading out loud in the car to Kevan as he drove and sometimes even at Lowes when waiting on Kevan.

I am so glad that I have experienced reading the bible from cover to cover.  There is nothing like it.  Reading little bits here and there does not compare to reading Paul's letters one after the other or reading the Old Testament from beginning to end.  It is beautiful and it made me realize just how much of a sinner I am and how much I needed Jesus Christ to be the sacrifice for my sin.  I am so thankful for my God and for all he has done for me (us).  Of course, I knew this before, but the Old Testament really makes it clear how much I fail at living the life I should and the New Testament showed me the love that Jesus had for all of us when he sacrificed himself on our behalf.  I loved reading the different Gospel accounts back to back and seeing the slight differences in how each writer told the story.  It will help you to appreciate God's holiness and make you realize your unholiness and need for a Savior.

When I started reading I used only my Kindle because I did not have an iPad or iPhone.  Being a woman, it was easy for me to carry with me because it fits in my purse.  So, anywhere I went I was able to read.  Below is a sample of the Reading Plan on my Kindle.  I'm sorry for such bad pictures, but I am not a photographer and I didn't have a lot of time to play around with the pics.  The Kindle is not this is just my bad pictures.

Here is the end of the reading plan.  You can see that it ends with Day 88, not 90!  So, there, you are already 2 days ahead!

I love the fact that if I turn the wireless off on my Kindle the battery will last about 2 weeks.  One of my favorite things about reading on a Kindle or iPad is that it tells me my progress.  Down in the bottom section it shows me the percentage that I've read.  A paper version won't tell you this.  That may be why I have always failed.  So, when I reached 20% I was so psyched to see the percentage.  Then, by 50% I couldn't believe I had already read 1/2 the bible!  The funny thing you see below....when you end your reading in Revelation it is actually 94%.  So, the percentage you've already gained 6% points!  So, you are ahead, again!

I found a few typo errors along the way, especially in Luke for some reason.  Then, Revelation 13 starts with 1/2 a word from the previous chapter.  The content is correct so I am not worried about the content being incorrect.

When you read on one device and go to the other it remembers where you were last and will come up with a message like the following (this is the iPad).

I enjoyed reading on my Kindle the most, but for highlighting and note taking I preferred the iPad.  Also, the iPad has the option to "Share".  So, you can share a verse on Facebook or Twitter by just a touch.  The iPad was also easier to navigate the Start and End points if you wanted to view where you were.  With the iPad it is just a touch of your finger, but with the Kindle you have to use the little mouse thingy and it just does not work that well for me.  I have the older Kindle though with the knobby thing.

Here is an example of how to point and highlight or make notes on my iPad.  First, I click with my finger:

Then, it will highlight the word and put two dots on each end.  If you grab the point with your finger and drag it, it will highlight as much as you'd like.

Here is the whole verse that I highlighted using my finger.

Then, what it looks like highlighted.

Or, you can make notes:

Reading the bible on the iPhone (or Android) using the Kindle app is a little tiny, but I can read it just fine.  Since the devices are linked to my Amazon account it remembers where I was when I read last.  So, if I'm at the doctor or sitting in my car and I don't have my Kindle or iPad I can just take my iPhone out of my purse and catch up on my reading.  [No, I can't seem to take a straight picture!]

Another advantage of reading the 90 day version is that it pushed me to read more if I had time.  Because at the end of each section says, "End of Day 1 / Start of Day 2".  So, sometimes I would keep reading and push myself until I made it to the section end (which I believe is about 12 pages of reading).  I assume the Bible in a Year bibles have the same markers, but I am unsure.

Lastly, while I was reading I would make notes and highlight along the way.  All of my notes/highlights are available on all devices, not just the device I highlighted them on. So, now, I can go back through and see what scripture I wanted to follow-up on and learn more.  Here is an example of my highlights on my iPad.

And my Kindle:

Friday, September 02, 2011

The Romance of a 100-year Old Home

As I post things about our house in TN on Facebook or on here I receive so many comments about it being romantic or a beautiful getaway.  I thought that I should set everyone straight.  I just want to be honest.  I should actually post this closer to Halloween, but since I have today off from work I thought it would be a good day to reveal the "romance" of our home.

Warning:  This is not romantic, but scary.  You may not want to go any further.

This will be revealing WAY MORE than I would like to reveal, but I am hoping one day that the following pictures will be replaced with pictures of a beautiful "getaway" from our hard labor.  Very hard labor.  You will see what I mean.

Some of you know that I do not go upstairs unless I have to.  The big upstairs bedroom is our cat's favorite room.  They love it.  So, I do have to go up sometimes to search for them, but if Kevan is not home and/or it is night time....I don't venture upstairs.

You are probably thinking, "it really can't be that bad".  No!  It really is.  At least, to a woman, it is THAT BAD. 

Are you ready?

This is a picture of the lower steps leading upstairs.  They look great (except for the dust...oops!).  

Then, as you get the the 2nd set of steps you see that things upstairs are not like downstairs.

Notice the white drywall, brown paneling and house/church paneling.  Not sure what they were thinking.  Also, the top steps are carpeted.  When they redid the bottom steps....why did they leave out the top steps?  These are questions we ask all the time when walking around this house.  What were they thinking?

In the previous picture you probably noticed the light on the wall.  Here is a close-up.

Also, there is a chandelier hanging at the top that I can see was probably once really pretty.  I think my mom might like it even now.  :o)  She loves antiques.  [note, I showed this post to her before I posted it and she loved it.  She thinks I need to move it to a part of the house where everyone can see it.  lol]  Reminder, I don't go any dust you see will most likely remain until the items are taking down, thrown away, moved or painted.

Then, you might have noticed that one wall is paneling and drywall.  Why didn't they redo the whole wall?  Why half of a wall?  What were they thinking?

Are you ready to see inside the large bedroom?

 Double doors...could be a really nice entrance one day....I'm thinking pretty french doors!

The first thing you will notice when crossing the threshold is the pretty carpet.

Again, what were they thinking?  I know, I know....a time long long ago this was in style.  Also, they say cats cannot see color.  So, maybe that is why they love it upstairs.

The next thing you will notice is the TV in the corner.  The previous owners left it for us.  I didn't plug it in to see if it works.

Oh, I forgot to mention that this room has no heat or air conditioning.  So, they installed an air unit in the wall...which I will not show in this post because, again, I didn't dust beforehand.  This will be an issue one day if we redo this room since I will, most likely, want heat!

Did you notice the brand of TV?  

General Electric.  Kevan works for GE so I had to mention it.  :o)

One of Kevan's favorite things about this house/room is the upstairs "balcony".  I use this term VERY loosely.  When you open the doors to the "balcony" it is actually the tin roof of the house.  So, when you step out you are not on a level "balcony", but on a roof that is pitched in all different kinds of ways.

Now, besides the beautiful television they also left a pool table for our recreation.  I'm sure they thought they were doing us a huge favor since we now already have 2 items in our "game room".  I think Kevan and his dad see hours of fun playing pool.  I see something that is going to be really heavy and hard to give away.  Maybe my FIL will want it in his basement?  ;o)

I actually think the wall structure is very cute and has character.  But, I also imagine all of the work that goes along with the redo.

At some point one of the owners of this home decided to install an intercom system so they didn't have to yell downstairs.  If you ever visit our house the first conclusion you will come to is that the owners must have been too poor to buy a ruler or a level.  

Growing up my grandparents had an intercom system and I thought it was so cool.  Now, not so much.

Before you think that all of the walls up here are drywall I will disappoint you by showing you that for some reason one of the walls is paneling.  Very pretty house/church paneling.  At least, one day a long long time ago I guess this was in style.

Here is a close up.

Now, one last picture of this room that I will leave you with.  This is a picture of how straight the walls are where they meet.  Again, I think the owners didn't own a ruler or a level.  Poor past owners.  Must have been hard to do so many projects without the necessary tools.  If you can't see what is wrong in the picture probably should not be a carpenter.

Now, my favorite part of this post.  Let's imagine what could be done.  This is what I'm thinking.  Tear out and install nice up-to-date carpeting.  Add a few bookshelves for all of our books and you get...

Or add some bead board to the ceiling...(this is what it would look like if we had the money to pay someone to fix it up for us).  I love it and especially the skylights!

Maybe one day it will be a game room with a big TV like this one...

And one more for inspiration....

So, not everything about living on a farm in Tennessee is romantic.  A lot of it is about hard work and improvements.  If we ever finish the Master Bedroom downstairs I will look forward to improving the upstairs.  Inside and Out.  I won't even go into what the pastures look like or the barn. 

Although, we are only hoping to live here for a few years so I am conflicted on whether we should leave it to the next owners or fix it up beforehand.  What are your thoughts?  What would you do if you owned this home?

Also, don't judge me for the way my house looks upstairs.  When I go up there, I see potential.  :o)  Hopefully, one day....(soon) will be pretty and I will be proud to show you my home.

They way I look at it is.  God is Sovereign over all things.  This is the house he has provided us during our "trial run" at living in the country.  The house he wanted us to be in.  He could've provided a mansion that needed no improvements, but he provided a home that will require hard work instead.  I will be thankful for the things he has provided us in this home and for all the things we will learn along the way.  Maybe that will be my next post...."The blessings of a not so perfect 100-year-old farmhouse".

"Be thankful in all circumstances..."  I Thessalonians 5:18