Thursday, July 3, 2014

5 Apps That Will Help Increase Your Daily Bible Reading


As a Christian, I have a very strong spiritual life and am constantly trying to improve myself in the areas of personal and spiritual development. One of the keys, for me, in doing this is through daily Bible reading. As an extremely busy writer though with a very heavy workload, this has proven to be challenging at times. However, I have found a way to be consistent in this area through the use of technology. Here are five apps that will help you increase your daily Bible reading.
  1. YouVersion. This one is my absolute favorite. The developers have made it possible for you to use it on a smartphone, a tablet, or a computer. There's a version for just about every handheld device out there. YouVersion has even improved over the years in that it now offers a social networking capability to the app. You can invite friends and together you can share the insights that you have gained in your reading during that day along with notes, highlights, and bookmarks. It is very encouraging and motivating to exchange these kinds of ideas with like-minded people.
  2. Bible Gateway. Bible Gateway has been around for a very long time. From different versions of the Bible to reading plans to scholarly commentary, everything that you could need or want to study the Word of God is here.
  3. Glo Bible. This is one that I have never heard of before today. It has all kinds of interactive multimedia capability and a beautiful layout and design. It is available for both iOS devices and the PC. The deal killer for me though is that it is not available for Android users.
  4. Daily Bible. In the interest of being fair, since the above app is only available for iOS, I am presenting this particular one because it is exclusive to Android so far. Very simple in design, it offers the Bible in the King James version and is indexed for topical study.
  5. Logos Bible. This one is a veritable powerhouse for serious students of the Word. Equipped with multiple versions of the Bible, maps, scholarly commentary, and social networking capabilities, this one is hard to beat. Available on iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, and the Web.
With all of the technology available to us today, there is no reason why any believer should not be able to get in a daily dose of the Word. God has blessed us to live in a time in this country where everyone has free access to the scriptures, and this is not a gift that should be taken lightly.
 
Download one of these apps today and enjoy studying at home, away, at church, or anywhere that you can sit down, get still, and receive the written Word of God.
 
Sources:
YouVersion.com
BibleGateway.com
GloBible.com
DailyBible.com
Logos Bible

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Story Behind I Love You Lord: A Children's Prayer Book

This is a brief video that I recorded telling the story behind I Love You Lord: A Children's Prayer Book.


Be blessed!


Monday, June 23, 2014

Helping the Poor and Needy


He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord; and that which he hath given will he pay him again. Proverbs 19:17, KJV

Something happened today that brought me to tears. I was truly wounded to my core. One of my Facebook friends, a very pleasant older lady with a strong work ethic who has worked many years over the course of her career life in a skilled and demanding profession, posted her frustration about being 12 days away from pay day and not knowing how she was going to purchase food.

I've seen her post her fears and hurt about being in such a predicament before, and her humiliation in having to 'beg her needs,' so to speak, radiates from her typewritten words stronger than any verbal expression ever could. Her distress has struck a nerve with me on other occasions, but this time to add to the poignancy of the situation other of her friends joined the refrain recounting their own past and current circumstances with being a part of the working poor.  

It's bad enough to have knowledge of the fact that she has worked so diligently for so many years, yet still has to face this challenge, but to see her anguish frequently met with disdain, scorn, apathy, and no compassion by others on her page is a dagger to my heart that I can't even begin to describe.

I'm aware that over the past few generations that we as a culture have been acclimated to become a generally 'me-centric' type of society, but have our hearts truly grown so cold that we can live in the comfort of fine homes, drive expensive cars, and eat 5-star cuisine, all the while fully aware that others are not only living a lifestyle that's not abundant, but that they are struggling to meet the essential needs of their daily life -- and it doesn't bother us even one bit?

I humbly submit that as we aggressively pursue better career and business opportunities that enable us to increase our standard of living that we might take just a moment to think of those far less fortunate than ourselves, and take some action motivated from a heartfelt place to fill a need that won't necessarily ever be reciprocated back our way.

Let us have hearts that extend beyond mere lip service and that represent a higher calling of character, godliness, and righteousness. 
 
May more of us be compelled to actions that portray a more loving and compassionate way of life.  

*Photo:  Franco Folini via Flickr.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day 2014


When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up. Psalm 27:10, KJV
Today we celebrate Father's Day in America.  In the spirit of the day, we honor not only the biological fathers who stepped up to the plate and have handled their business over the years but also those men who have stood in the gap due to the absence of bio dads and been role models, counselors, protectors, providers, prayer warriors -- whatever was needed to bring and nurture a young soul along.

As always on days like these, I not only give primary honor to my own father Mr. Roland Lane, Sr. for a lifelong history of service, sacrifice, love, fidelity, and commitment, but I remember those who were not so blessed for whatever reason to have a father figure present in their lives or whose fathers are no longer present on this earthly plane to hear the refrains of the accolades hurled their way. I also give honorable mention to my brothers, Roland Lane, Jr. and Jason Lane, for modeling the pattern of fatherhood set down by my father and carrying on the legacy. A special shout out to Morris "Bil" Lewis, Jr., my brother-in-law, for the exceptional care and parenting that he brings to the life of my nephew/godson.
As I scroll through the posts on my social media I see many narratives that break my heart -- tales of sons and daughters whose fathers didn’t take up the mantle of their calling and who abandoned them during the course of their lives. These posters poignantly express the sense of loss deeply embedded in their souls, their feelings of abandonment and rejection. To this group I offer this encouragement: there still is a hope for you. There is One who sits on high and looks down low, and He both sees and feels your pain.

Where your earthly father has missed the mark, know that your Heavenly Father has never abandoned you. Even when you have not felt His presence He has been right there by your side. He has ordained provision and provided protection that you will never know about until you see Him face to face. Most importantly, He showers down His love and is waiting for You to turn to Him and receive it.
Let that void in your heart be filled with the perfect love that only our Heavenly Father can give -- and armed with that love join the ranks of us who happily celebrate the true meaning of this day. You are not alone. You are not forgotten. No regrets. No sorrow. No looking back.

Happy Father's Day!

*Photo credit: Via Rachel Kramer

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day!

Today is Mother's Day in America, and millions are celebrating those who birthed them, raised them, sacrificed for them, and have consistently poured selfless love into their lives.

In addition to showing honor and appreciation to my own Mother for all that she has done, I'd like to take an extended tack and sow encouragement and peace to a special group whose mothers aren't here to receive their accolades on this special day--those whose mothers have been called to their divine appointments in our Father's bosom.

Know that you are not forgotten today and that prayers are going up for your sense of loss. Take comfort in knowing that your mother sits right next to the Father's heart, the happiest, safest, and most blessed place to be in the universe. Yes, you loved her, but He loved her more and ordained that she come to be in eternal fellowship with Him.

If you know someone who amidst all of the Mother's Day celebration and joy is not in a position this year to give their own mother a hug, send her flowers, or give her a call, speak a word of love to them and maybe recount a happy memory that you have of their mother--and don't forget to enfold them in prayer. 

*Feature photo via Forever Wiser.