Try These Tools For Growing Up

I am thankful for these online/digital tools that allow me to consume scripture and spiritual inspiration in a variety of ways. From podcasts to apps that capture my notes and eBook highlights, I am indebted to these tools to help me stay connected to scripture, grounded in truth, and reminded of meaningful things. 

I would encourage you to look into these tools and find one or two that spark your interest and start to implement them in your daily routine. The best way to add something new to your daily consumption is to remove something else. The Christmas Advent season is a great time to start a new regimen but you will have to eliminate something else to fit it in. 

That is just the way it works.

Daily Devotional Podcasts

Lectio 365 – Created by the UK ministry that has brought you Boiler Rooms and 24/7 Prayer, these daily devotionals walk you through P.R.A.Y. – Pause, Rejoice, Ask, and Yield. Each devotional includes a Psalm and a specific scripture. I listen to these almost every day when I am getting ready for work.

Pray As You Go – This used to be my go-to daily prayer podcast before I found Lectio 365. It is a tad more liturgical and so it’s emphasis on some days may seem a bit foreign but the moment of quiet reflection and the variety of music never gets redundant.

Audio Bible Apps 

Dwell – This is a fantastic way of listening to the BIble. Imagine Bible Gateway or the Bible App but with multiple voices to choose from and original music recordings backing the reading. The curated playlists are often centered around scriptural themes. I am currently listening to the He Loves Us playlists on my runs and highly recommend it. There is a cost for this app but it is well worth it.

Streetlights – This is a completely unique and powerful way of listening to scripture. Think Spoken Word poetry delivery mixed with dynamic grooves and Hip Hop soundtracks. This is an experience and one that will bring scripture to life. I especially enjoyed the Psalms performed in this way.

Prayer App

Daily Prayer – Created by Wellspring Church in Englewood, Colorado, this app walks the user through the Daily Prayer Offices found most commonly in the Book of Common Prayer. The simplicity and pleasant user experience of this app make it a joy to engage with. As I try to practice Scripture before Screens in the mornings, this is the app I often use to engage scripture, confess my sins, and focus on God as I start my day.

Weekly Podcasts

Next Right Thing – The value of this podcast and the next is that you don’t have to commit to more than 20 minutes of your time most weeks. As Emily P Freeman says in her opening every week, “You’re in the right place for a thoughtful story, a little prayer and a simple next right step.” I can listen to this when I am getting ready for the day and am often challenged and inspired to apply what I heard. 

Things Above – The best episodes of this podcast are the “thoughts from above” episodes. In these, James Bryan Smith walks the listener through a theological concept that often replaces false narratives that many of us have carried around for decades. If you need a refresher on who God is and why that matters, this podcast will be the pick-me-up that you need.

Memory Tool

Readwise – I absolutely love this tool. It connects to your Kindle eBook highlights and sends you a daily email featuring a random collection of your highlights across your Kindle or Instapaper or Pocket library. These daily highlights have sparked many of my blog posts and have helped me review and remember the absolute best concepts from the many books I have read. Though I want to be a print only guy, Readwise is pushing me more and more to use eBooks exclusively. There are some costs to use this app.

Something I Still Need to Find

Bible on eBook – Speaking of eBooks, I have not found a good eBook version of the Bible. The bounce around and find nature of scripture doesn’t work with the common formatting of eBooks. It is much easier to flip through a print version of scripture to find things than it is the electronic versions. If anyone has found a decent eBook version of the Bible I would love to know about it.

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