1 John 1:7 tells us:
I did some thinking this past month and realized that all of my notes about parenting and technology have been pessimistic, preventative topics. This month I would like to highlight some of the great technology tools that assist me in my life as a Christian.
I want to highlight four in particular:
- Bible (aka YouVersion.com) iPhone/iPad – Android – Web
- Mint.com iPhone/iPad – Android – Web
- Overdrive iPhone/iPad – Android – Web
- Google Calendar – Web
This is a must have if you haven’t yet downloaded it for your device or utilized the site. Created in 2008 the goal of this free application is to make the Bible a part of everyone’s daily life. To that end, the application boasts hundreds of different Bible translations and languages, including the NIV84 and ESV that we primarily use at Trinity. In addition to the large selection, you are able to download Bible translations for reading while “offline” and can even listen to audio versions of many translations. Perhaps one of the best features of this application is the reading plans that are available. Over 400 plans take you through the whole Bible in set time periods or simply through topical studies to help you grow. Overall this is a must have application for your portable device and is a definite candidate for your bookmarks folder.
The Mint application does not seem at first to be a faith app. Yet this site and application have helped my family be much better stewards of our finances. Overseeing checking accounts, savings accounts, retirement accounts, student loans, credit cards, house payments, car payments and more are easily done through Mint. Mint provides a dashboard for your financial life. Simply supply their secure site with your account credentials and you can quickly and easily peruse your bottom line, see where your spending is going, make a budget and much more. I will admit it seems a little unsafe to provide your bank and credit card passwords to a third party site, but their security practices are top notch. This system has helped my family see where our spending is going and helped us realize where we make better use of the financial situation God has given us.
Again this application is not an overtly faith based app, but it can connect you to many faith building resources for the cost of a library card (free). Overdrive is becoming the standard interface for Libraries to loan out eBooks and audiobooks. The Toledo Public Library is on this system and with your library card, you have access to thousands of resources for 21 days at a time. The best part is, there are no late fees in the Overdrive library system! Other library resource apps you should look into are Zinio (for magazine subscriptions) and Hoopla (for video and audio). Another tip that seems almost too good to be true is that in Ohio (I am sure this exists in other states too) you can have a library card in almost any library as long as you are an Ohio resident. Even better is that you can apply online for library cards at Columbus Metropolitan Library, The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, and the State Library of Ohio and receive access to their online holdings as well. Three books I have read on Overdrive that have helped my faith life recently are Love Does, Toxic Charity, and Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy.
There are literally books written about Google apps and how they can help your life. I’m going to give just a quick plug for the Google Calendar system which has greatly assisted our family in keeping up with each other’s schedules. Sharing calendars both within our family and from our activity centers (ie: Trinity’s Calendars) have helped us see when we are coming and going. Not that we always know which direction we are going at any given time, it helps us plan for the events of each week leading us to be better stewards of our days.
These are just a few of the applications that have helped me in my faith life to dedicate more time and resources to the Lord and to tap into His Word more regularly. What has helped you? Leave a comment or drop me a message to let me know. Praying God’s peace is with you online and off in this ever changing world we live in. Remember, He is always with you and He is always the same.