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How to Make the Most of Your YouVersion Reading Plan

The Bible App™ on iPadWhen you start a YouVersion Reading Plan, you have the best intentions. You’re going to read every day and never miss, once and for all establishing that daily Bible reading habit that you’ve been promising yourself. And then your life happens—you get busy, you get tired, you get interrupted. Hearing what God has to say to us each day is important. So we’ve put together a few tips to help you find consistent success when you read God’s Word.

Find your version. YouVersion offers more than 200 Bible versions. If you have a favorite Bible verse, select “Bible” from the Bible App™ dashboard and look it up. Try reading it in several different versions, and see if one feels more natural to you than others. (To change versions, tap the “short code” next to the chapter name, then select another.) If you don’t have a favorite verse, try reading a well-known one like John 3:16 in different versions. You might even do a little research online to find a version that fits your reading style.

Pick your size. Set realistic goals. If you’ve never tried a Reading Plan before, a one-year reading plan probably isn’t the best place for you to start. We offer plans that can take you through a book of the Bible in as little as 2 days. Take some time to browse. You’ll find plans for 5 days, 7 days, 14 days, 90 days—and more. And if you’re using the Bible App for iOS (iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch), you can even go to Browse Plans, Advanced, and list plans by length.

Pick your power time of the day. Are you a morning person or a night person? Maybe you take a break in the middle of the day or in the early afternoon to think. Whatever your time, plan to check your Reading Plan then—during the time when you know you’ll probably get the most out of it. Most newer versions of the Bible App even let you set reminders. Try setting yours for your best time.

Find your spot. Do you have a favorite place to think? Maybe you have a quiet spot where you’re less likely to be interrupted. It could be inside or outside. Do you prefer to sit, stand, even walk around? Many people have told us they love listening to audio Bibles while they’re exercising, working, or during their commute. Find your best place to concentrate, and plan to spend your time in God’s Word there.

Talk to God. Right before you read, take just a moment to pray. It doesn’t have to be anything formal or elaborate. Ask God to give you ears to hear what He wants to say to you. Ask Him give you direction and insight through His Word. Ask Him to help you understand. James 1:5 says God generously gives us wisdom—if we’ll just ask. Get your heart and mind into a posture of listening for His still, small voice.

Read, or listen. If you’ve done everything else, this part should be easy. Adjust your Bible reader’s background color, font, and size until you find just the right comfortable mix. Or, if reading is difficult for you, don’t forget: we offer audio Bibles in several versions and languages. Try putting in headphones and just listening. You can even listen while you walk, run, or ride.

Reflect on what you just read. For most people, when they read God’s Word, specific things will jump out at them. Take notes. (Keeping track of your thoughts is easy with the Bible App’s Notes and Bookmarks.) Again, keep it simple for now. Replay those things over and over in your mind. (In the Bible, David calls this “meditating on the law of the Lord.”) In Jeremiah 29:13, God promises His people that they’ll find Him when they seek Him with all their hearts.

The Bible is more than just a book, more than the sum of its parts. In fact, the apostle Paul, who was mentoring Timothy, once wrote to him in a letter: “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16–17)

Make the effort to delight yourself in His Word, and to think about what it says. When you spend purposeful, meaningful time reading what God has to say to you, you’ll discover insights that will transform your relationship with Him and shape your perspective on your daily life.


To learn more about the “how to” of Reading Plans:

  1. Visit our Support website.
  2. Bottom: Select your preferred language.
  3. Left: Choose your device type.
  4. Look under “Plans.”

 

More Powerful Search Comes to Bible App for iPhone and iPod touch

Find exactly what you’re looking for! The newest update of the Bible App™ for iPhone and iPod touch was just released. Version 3.5—available now in the iTunes App Store—offers inline translation notes, improved signup with Facebook, easier Help, faster performance, and enhanced Search features. Today we’ll share some quick tips to help you take full advantage of the most robust, flexible Search tools the Bible App has ever offered.

Note: For now, these enhanced search features are available only on iPhone and iPod touch.

Quick Search in the Bible App™ for iOS Version 3.5Quick Search. As always, search is available directly from the Dashboard Launcher, right at the top. Simply click in the “Reference or Keyword” text field, key what you’re looking for, then tap the [Search] button. You can search on individual words, whole phrases, and even jump to specific passages with book names, and/or chapter numbers, and/or verse numbers.
 
Advanced Search in the Bible App™ for iOS Version 3.5More Search Options. As soon as you tap Search, the Bible App presents you with several additional options:

  1. Sort Order. Choose Traditional (in book order) or Relevance.
  2. Advanced. Once you’re in Search mode, switch Advanced to ON to see more options for refining your search results:
  3. Version. Select the Bible translation you want to search.
  4. Section. Choose Old Testament, New Testament, or both.
  5. Book. Select the specific book(s) of the Bible where you want to search.
  6. Instant Results. Based on the options you’ve selected, your search results display—in context—at the bottom of the screen. Simply tap one to jump to it in the Bible Reader. Try a new search from the “Reference or Keyword” text field at the top, and your results update instantly.
  7. Search History. Tap the clock face button (top right) to display your previous searches. (More details below.)
 
Search History in the Bible App™ for iOS Version 3.5Search History. When you have a free YouVersion account, the Bible App saves all of your previous searches in this list.

  • Cancel. Tap the [Cancel] button to return to the Advanced Search screen.
  • Previous Search. Tap a previous search to once again see its results on the Advanced Search screen. (You can even refine those results with the Advanced features.)
  • Clear. Tap the [Clear] button to empty your Search History.
 

We hope these enhanced features will make it faster and easier than ever for you to find whatever you’re looking for in the Bible. Our passion is to help as many people as possible freely connect with the Bible, no matter where they live or what language they prefer. And great new tools like enhanced search can be a great conversation starter to help you share the Bible App with your friends.

Thank you so much for the part you play in the global YouVersion community!

Updated Bible App for iPhone and iPod touch: All-New Highlights, Expanded Bookmarks

If you haven’t heard, the Bible App™ for iPhone and iPod touch recently got a comprehensive update. Version 3.3 is available immediately in the iTunes App Store. Over the last few days, we’ve been sharing tips with you on how you can take full advantage of many of the Bible App’s new features, including the updated Bible Reader and Sign in, Sign up and Support. Today we’ll introduce highlights for the first time, and we’ll show you your expanded bookmarking options.

All-New Highlights in the Bible App™ 

  • Highlights. Now, if you like, you can bring some of your favorite features from paper Bibles to your personal Bible App account. (Instructions for how to highlight are in the next section below.)
    • New Bible readers. Highlights are a great way you can mark verses you enjoy, or that speak to you in special ways, so you can easily spot them later.
    • Experienced Bible readers. If you’ve been highlighting in your Bible for years, you’ll realize quickly that Bible App highlights work pretty much just as you’d expect.
  • Sync Your Highlights. When you add a highlight in the Bible App on any device, you’ll see your highlight on any YouVersion platform that supports that feature.
Highlighting in the Bible App™To add a highlight

  • Tap a verse (or more than one) to select it.
  • Bottom right: Tap the sharing icon that appears.
  • Tap the color you want your highlight to be.
    OR
    Tap the rainbow to select a custom color

    • Drag the color picker icon to select your color.
    • Lighter/Darker: Slide the shading bar.
    • Bottom: A sample of your color displays.
    • Tap Choose.

To remove a highlight:

  • Tap the highlighted verse(s) whose highlights you want to remove.
  • Bottom right: Tap the sharing icon that appears.
  • Tap the bright red ‘X’ selection.
Advanced Bookmark Options in the Bible App™
Bookmarks. For the first time in the Bible App, now you can bookmark multiple verses at a time. Here’s how it works: 

  • Tap the verse(s) you want to bookmark.
  • Bottom right: Tap the sharing icon that appears.
  • Tap Bookmark.
  • Optional: If you selected more verses than you intended to bookmark, tap the list and remove the ones you want to.
  • Optional: Select a highlight color.
  • Optional: Name your bookmark with a title.
  • Optional: Add a label(s) to your bookmark to categorize it for faster future reference (like Counseling, Encouragement, Fundamentals, etc.).

Use bookmarks to label verses you want to share with friends, to enhance your own personal studies, or however you want. The possibilities are truly only limited by your imagination and creativity.

At YouVersion, our simple mission is always the same: to make it as easy as possible for people to freely engage with the Bible, no matter where they live. It is this vision that drives the features and functions we add to the Bible App. If you’re not already, we hope you’ll consider using the Bible App to connect to the Bible every day. And if you do: Thanks! Please also share with your friends how fulfilling it can be to engage with God’s Word–anytime, anyplace.

Updated Bible App for iPhone, iPod touch, iPad: Sign in, Sign up, and Support

After the announcement of the Bible App™ version 3.3 release for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, we promised we’d give you specific tips on how you could get the most out of it. First, we covered Bible Reader updates. Today, we’ll tell you about enhancements to Sign in, Sign up, and integrated Technical Support.

Sign up for the Bible App™ Using Facebook

  • Sign in is cleaner and offers more options, such as signing in with either your email address or username.
  • Sign up now lets you sign up for a free YouVersion account using your Facebook login, saving you time:
    • You won’t have to verify your email address, and
    • Your YouVersion account connects automatically to your Facebook account, making it easy to share the Bible App, verses, or Bible plans with your friends.
 
Access Technical Support from Directly Inside the Bible App™

  • Now you can access Technical Support from directly inside the Bible App. When you email Support from within the Bible App, your request automatically includes information that helps our team quickly troubleshoot your issue.
 
View Tech Support Knowledgebase from Inside the Bible App™Also from directly inside the Bible App, you can:

  • View solutions to Frequently Asked Questions from the YouVersion knowledgebase.
  • Watch video tutorials, and
  • See recent tweets on known issues from @YouVersionHelp, YouVersion’s official support account on Twitter.
 
 

 
Still don’t have your Apple device updated to the latest release of the Bible App? What are you waiting for? You can get it right now in the iTunes App Store. And be sure to come back tomorrow to learn all about the brand-new highlighting features and exciting updates to bookmarks! These much-requested, new and updated features promise to make your experience connecting with the Bible through the Bible App richer than ever before.

Updated Bible App for iPhone, iPod touch, iPad: New Bible Reader Features

Yesterday we announced the major release of version 3.3 of the Bible App™ for iOS. Over the next few days, we’ll be sharing with you some specific details about how you can take full advantage of this comprehensive update. Today, we’ll focus on enhancements to the Bible Reader: what they do for you and how you use them.

The Bible App™ Reader
Fullscreen Mode: (iPhone/iPod touch only) 

  • Enter fullscreen: Double-tap anywhere on the text portion of the screen. The Reader fills the entire screen, removing menus.
  • Leave fullscreen: Double-tap anywhere on the text portion of the screen.

Simplified Navigation:

  • Swipe Up/Down: Move backward/forward in current chapter.
  • Swipe Left/Right: Jump to previous/next chapter in current book.
 
The Bible App™ Multi Select Options
Multiple Verse Selection: 

  • Select the verses you want to work with.
  • Bottom right: Tap the options icon.
  • Your choices display, including:
    • Adding a note
    • Sharing
    • Copying
    • Bookmarking
    • Highlighting (with choice of colors)
 
The Bible App™ Book/Chapter/Verse NavigatorBook/Chapter/Verse Navigator: 

  • Top bar: Tap the chapter title.
  • Tap Book, Chapter, or Verse to quickly jump directly where you want to go.
  • Bottom bar: Select whether you want to view books in the order they appear in the translation you’re using, or alphabetically.

 
Keep checking back here for more tips about some of the great, time-saving features you can find in the updated Bible App. If you haven’t updated yours already, go check it out now in the iTunes App Store. And please tell your friends!

The Story of Easter Reading Plan from YouVersion

Reading Plans on an iPadOne week from today, on Sunday, April 24, all over the world, people who follow Christ will offer sincere thanks for the sacrifice he made for all of us on the cross. But more importantly, they will join together to celebrate the glory and awe of his resurrection. For many people, Easter offers a uniquely emotional opportunity for remembrance, reflection, and worship.

Prepared especially for the upcoming week, YouVersion is pleased to announce an all-new reading plan, “The Story of Easter.” This seven-day plan is purposefully designed to open our hearts as we approach the Easter celebration. Rather than dealing in the details of the historical events we will be remembering, The Story of Easter focuses instead on helping us evaluate the meaning and significance of the resurrection in our everyday lives.

Please consider joining with several thousand of us in the YouVersion community as we read through The Story of Easter together this week. You can find step-by-step instructions about how to select reading plans here:

(Note: If you like this plan, you might also enjoy the “Words of Jesus During Passion Week” reading plan this week.)

Limited Time: NIV Available Offline…Free on YouVersion!

2011 marks the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible. To commemorate this milestone achievement, which made the Bible available in the common language of the people, throughout 2011, YouVersion will roll out events and opportunities that will help you more easily access, engage and share the Bible. The first of these events is that Bible App™ users will be able to download the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible. Made possible through a special partnership with Biblica and Zondervan, this offer will only be available for a limited time.

Beginning THIS SATURDAY, February 12, at 8:00 PM U.S. Eastern Time (GMT-5), and lasting for 400 hours, you’ll be able to download the NIV to your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Android device. When you download the NIV, that means you’ll be able to read it even when you can’t connect to your service provider or to the Internet. This special promotion will end on March 1, at 12:00 PM noon U.S. Eastern Time (GMT-5).

Downloading offline versions:

When the NIV becomes available on Saturday, here’s how you’ll be able to get yours:

iPhone/iPad/iPod touch:

Make sure you’re connected to the Internet or to your service provider. Then, from the Bible reader:

  1. Tap the top bar, where the current translation is presently displayed.
  2. All versions display in alphabetical order by language. Any translation with a download icon (a green box with a white arrow pointing downward) means it’s available as an offline version. Tap that version’s download icon.
  3. Follow the instructions and tap the large Download button.

1. Tap current translation 2. Tap download icon3. Tap Download button

Android:

Make sure you’re connected to the Internet or to your service provider. Then, from the Bible reader:

  1. Tap the box at the top right that displays the version short code.
  2. All available Bible versions display. Any translation with a download icon (an arrow pointing down) means it’s available as an offline version. Tap that version’s download icon.
  3. After a few moments, a different icon displays next to the short code, indicating your download is complete.

1. Tap current translation2. Tap download icon3 Download is complete

Essential Reading

Today marks exactly 100 days until Easter, the day when we, as followers of Christ, will reflect on and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus.

One of the more than 50 Reading Plans we offer to help you engage with God’s Word is called The Essential Jesus. This plan leads you through 100 carefully selected passages of Scripture, just one each day from both the Old and New Testaments, to introduce you to the person of Jesus. You’ll read prophecies foretelling His coming, see the things He said, observe His interactions with people, follow Him through His death and resurrection—even read about His inevitable return. Because it’s a very manageable amount of reading, it can even help you develop a daily Bible reading habit.

All you’ll need to start is a free YouVersion account. Then simply go to the The Essential Jesus plan’s description and select “Start This Plan,” either on your mobile device or at YouVersion.com. If you link your account to your social networks, you’ll be able to easily share what you’re reading with your friends on Facebook and Twitter, directly from the Bible App.

Best of all, if you start The Essential Jesus today, you’ll finish up exactly on Easter Sunday, just in time to celebrate Him!

The Essential Jesus

Who Has Time to Read?

The Bible App(TM) Icon

Why don’t people read the Bible more? Most Christians say it’s because they don’t have enough time. This week, we’ve been talking about how you can use a Reading Plan in the Bible App™ or at YouVersion.com to genuinely engage with the Scriptures. Most of us probably don’t feel there’s any “spare time” in our busy schedules. But there’s actually lots of time each day we could reclaim. Have you ever considered how much time you spend in a typical day…waiting?

When your Bible’s always with you, you can read:

  • Before anyone else you live with gets up (if you’re a morning person).
  • While you’re having your morning coffee or breakfast.
  • During your morning/evening commute on the train, the tube, or the bus. (Please: Not if you’re driving!)
  • While you’re waiting for a meeting to start.
  • As you’re eating lunch or taking a break from work.
  • When you’re waiting in line. (This could be anywhere: the grocery store, the post office, a movie.)
  • When you’re using the restroom. (Some of us get more time in the loo than others—some of us, much more time.)
  • While you’re hanging out waiting for your kids at soccer, at dance, at football practice, at volleyball, to get out of school… (If you have kids, you know this list could be practically endless.)
  • After everyone else you live with is asleep (if you’re a night person).

With the Bible App or another free tool, God’s Word is always as close as your phone. With offline versions like ESV and NLT (among many others), you don’t even have to be connected to the Internet or your service provider. If you don’t already have the Bible App, get it now. And start redeeming your time.

Go Public with Your Reading Plan

When we tell other people about our goals, we’re more likely to follow through and complete them. Even if you only mention it casually, it’s like making a check mark in your mind: “I need to do that.” Every time we talk to that person later, we’re reminded of our commitment. In this way, our relationships compel us to do the things we actually wanted to do in the first place.

Our friends and loved ones help us too, often without even realizing it, just by bringing it up: “Hey, remember you told me you were going to do that Bible reading plan this year? How’s that going? Where are you in it? How much have you read?”

Make your goal to read the Bible each day a part of your normal conversation. When you’re talking to your friends or family about everything else going on your life, even just casually mentioning it is enough.

Deuteronomy 11:18–21 says, “So commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these words of mine. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, so that as long as the sky remains above the earth, you and your children may flourish in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors.”
(New Living Translation)

There’s power in bringing the other people in your life…actually into your life.

Want a little extra help? Tomorrow, we’ll tell you how you can take this idea further.

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