I'd argue the most practical benefit of living in the age of technology is the tremendous access to information. At no point in the history of creation has it been so easy for people to access so much information as we now can through the internet. And while much of what is made accessible to us through the internet can be seen as a distraction at best and a temptation at worst, for the Christ follower there is also an unprecedented opportunity to discover pockets of helpful, insightful and disciple-producing content.
Most of us own at least one device whether it be operate on iOS or Android that is capable of offering an astronomical number of apps to make connecting to this information easier. Frustratingly, the sheer number of apps available to us often makes finding quality apps that really help Christ followers grow in their relationship with Christ a difficult or overwhelming process. That's why I thought I'd share a couple apps with you that I use on either a daily or regular basis and have proven to be immensely helpful in my growth as a Christ follower. And if you have an app that you use, that you have found helpful, I'd love for you to leave it in the comments section to share with myself and others.
Let me know if you find these helpful, as in the future I'd love to share more great apps and how they are helping me grow as a Christ follower.
The Bible App
Nothing has the power to drive growth in an individual like getting into God's Word. Not only has having the bible on my phone impacted my daily bible reading, but it has also made possible things like having the app read the Bible aloud while on a long drive, doing a quick search for that passage that's partly fuzzy in your brain to make sure it says what you think it says. In so many ways having instant access to God's Word can be a world-changer for someone committed to growing in their relationship with Jesus. My preferred Bible App is this one, both because for me it seems to be the easiest to navigate and because it offers a tremendous selection of bible translations at absolutely no cost. There's also a tablet version that has a great interlinear function which I find incredibly helpful when doing intense study. Available for iOS, Windows Phone & Android
Right Now Media App
As a church we've been excited about Right Now Media for years. We refer to it as the Netflix of Bible Study videos. Now boasting over 10,000 video bible studies available this is a great resource for anyone looking for sound teaching covering a wide range of topics. I find myself on Right Now Media at least a couple times a week watching something when I am waiting in the car to pick up one of the kids or just looking for a fresh perspective on living the christian life. Through our partnership with them, Right Now Media is available free to every attender of VVCC, if you don't have a username and password for the service, email me and we will rectify that.
Right Now Media is available at rightnowmedia.org, and they recently launched an app for iOS devices with word that an ANDROID version of the app is in the works.
People are the most important thing in the world. Their value is infinite. If we look at the cost of a human soul we see this to be true. Making the assumption that the Bible is true, we read that the God who created the universe also created human beings. These humans had an intimate relationship with God but separated themselves by choice. They chose to disobey.
Then God enacted a ridiculous plan, a plan so audacious it makes all mythological stories about heroes seem silly and trite. His plan was to send His Son to pay the price for all humanity to bring them back to an intimate and eternal relationship with Him. Humanity deserved to die, but God could not die. So the God who created the universe became a man, a man of flesh and blood.
God had been invulnerable. Nothing could have hurt Him. But now He was vulnerable. Now God could bleed. Now God could die. That was the point. That was the plan.
This person, Jesus Christ, both fully God and fully man, was killed and His blood was poured out for all humanity. The blood of God, so antithetical and strange. The blood of God, so precious and unique. The blood of an infinite loving God given for human kind. No other substance in the universe could have done this great work, only the blood of God.
Therefore, people are the most important thing in the world. Their value is infinite. The cost of a human soul is the blood of God Himself.
At the time of this writing, my wife and I just concluded an incredibly emotional week for us. During this week Tina and I began to walk a path that many parents have walked before us and many will after us. Our oldest child, Jacey, graduated from high school. Now I am not the overly sentimental type but I found myself feeling incredibly emotional leading up to, during, and after the commencement ceremony. To be honest, my feelings really caught me off guard. I fully expected my wife to be emotional. In our marriage that’s always been the way it’s gone at major family life events; she gets emotional, I am her encourager, the shoulder to cry on, the voice to assure her everything is going to be ok. That’s not how it happened this time. This time we both required encouragement, both of us were in need of that shoulder, we looked for others to tell us everything was going to be ok.
My daughter’s graduation made me appreciate the local church. Naturally, having devoted my adult, professional life to local church leadership I already possess quite the respect for the church. But this time I considered the church less as the one who participates in its leadership and more as the beneficiary of the love, community, and service contained within. In my nostalgia looking back at the past 18 years of raising my daughter I was reminded of the role the church has played in her upbringing. You see, Tina and I made the decision years ago to raise our children in the church. Church attendance was going to be the priority above all else.
In making church attendance the priority it meant that many people over the years would play incredibly important roles as our children grew up. As I reflected back on my daughter’s childhood, adolescence, and now young adulthood I could not help but become ever more emotional thinking of all those sweet saints who invested in her at key moments of her spiritual, emotional, and physical development. Yes, Tina and I raised our daughter. We put in the hard work but it was not without a wonderfully loving and supportive network of caring men and women willing to give of their time, talents, resources, and lives investing in Jacey and walking alongside Tina, me, and Jacey as she grew not only as a woman, but as a Christian.
So, to all you nursery workers who lovingly rocked Jacey and patiently introduced her to the gospel through memory verses, crafts, and coloring sheets...thank you! Your investment has paid dividends. To Tammy G., you BASECAMP MCs, teachers, and check in personnel…Tina and I are in your debt. I had the privilege of baptizing my daughter because you welcomed her and invested in her life of faith. To those who served as camp counselors and VBS volunteers, your service created priceless memories from which she draw upon for a lifetime. To all you youth workers, and Neil H. and Bryan E…my family appreciates your being there by her side, supporting us as we navigated the treacherous years of junior high and high school. You have been Christ-like examples providing a safe place for her to mature, ask difficult questions, and grapple with her faith without judging or condemning her. To those precious couples in whom Tina and I have relied and kept a close eye upon as you walked this path right before us, thank you for your allowing us into the lessons you’ve learned and sharing your hearts with utmost transparency.
Many have said that it takes a village to raise a child. I don’t really give this cliché much credence unless that village is the church. You see, Jacey is who she is today for several reasons. There are the obvious genetic and environmental reasons. She is without a doubt a product of her family of origin, but she is also the product of a host of wonderful men and women who comprise the church and who took the time to invest in her spiritual development. You will forever be a part of her spiritual legacy. You have been incredibly instrumental in the development of her faith, a faith from which I pray she never wavers. Thank you!
If you currently serve in the nursery, preschool, elementary, or youth ministries please do not lose your passion to see the children under your watch grow in their faith in Jesus. What you do on a regular basis is tiring, it can be frustrating, it is emotionally draining; but I am here to tell you, the reward is great! Please do not see what you do as a burden, time wasted, or as something you “have” to do. This is something you “get” to do. What a privilege it is to be a part of someone’s spiritual adventure. What a joy it is to see someone in whom you’ve invested much transition toward adulthood with her feet firmly planted upon God’s Word!
Perhaps, you’ve been on the fence as to whether or not you ought to get involved in one of these areas of ministry. Maybe you’re seeking that place where you can meet the Christian’s mandate to serve. Do not underestimate the importance of investing in the generation that follows.
As many of you have walked this bittersweet path before Tina and me you know what this next season of life entails. My family will learn all this soon enough. We are excited about the newness of the time. We mourn the end of what we’ve known and appreciated for so long, but welcome the challenges before us. We are so thankful that as we let our daughter go and pursue the life she desires for herself it will be with the manifold wisdom of God, a confidence in God’s Word, a strong desire to continue to serve others through the local church, and with God’s will in mind.
Thank you Victor Valley Christian Church. You’re not done. Our son has three years to go, and there are several dozen other infants, toddlers, children, and youth who need you.
From upcoming events to random thoughts, each week this is the place to hear from a staff member or guest writer.