Jan 082011

YouVersion.com and its whole tribe of mobile apps is arguably currently the most widely-available digital Bible in existence on the planet. For this month of January, they’re rallying a campaign with a goal of 1 BILLION MINUTES of Bible reading. At the time of this writing, over 144 million minutes of Bible reading have happened, and the counter is running.

According to this ChristianToday.com article, Bible app users challenged to spend 1 billion minutes reading the Bible, the Billion Minutes challenge was announced on a November webcast.

My own Bible reading pace had it’s inconsistent hiccups. Currently, I’m using the OwnIt365 reading plan. I like the social networking dynamics weaved in with it.

Some random asides about this YouVersion Billion Minute challenge:

  • Shouldn’t the URL be youversion.com/1billion instead of youversion.com/billions ?
  • Is social media the only way to find out about this Bible reading challenge? I’ve seen a good bit of mention on blogs, Twitter, Facebook, even mainstream media. Could a banner button or link or something on the youversion.com home page add to the participation?
  • Do we have to read the Bible using a Youversion-related manner? Could our reading of a printed Bible or via email or via BibleGateway.com count towards the challenge goal?
  • If I left a web browser window open to YouVersion.com, will that count towards the goal? Or is it only counting Bible reading on mobile apps? Is it only counting verses that get displayed as the person is scrolling, or is would the clock keep ticking if I just left a screen on 1 Bible passage? Don’t want to game the system, but if it’s being gamed…
  • Would an embeddable Billion minute counter widget add to the viralness of this challenge? Is it okay for the challenge counter to be embedded on other websites?
  • Is there a way for someone to get a counter for their own Bible reading minutes? Someone might want to know how many minutes they’ve added to the overall Billion Minute challenge.
  • In our over-simplified focused fast communication world, it’s not as easy to get fuller context or details. Those would have probably answered most of my questions. If it’s already been blogged somewhere, a link to that on the challenge counter page would be good. So I thought I’d ask out loud in the open here. Maybe one of the YouVersion team people will stop by and answer. :) I don’t have to know, but I am curious.
Jan 032011

What it all comes down to, is choosing to remember and choosing to do it. Bible reading. Just do it. And it’s a choice and decision every time. The choices we make determine the people we become.


As this new year of 2011 gets into full swing, I hear this talk from someone who’s read the Bible every day for 25 years, married to someone who’s read the Bible every day for 37 years, and mentions someone who read the Bible through in 20 days. Daunting. Not as inspiring to me as it was intended.

I have a confession. I haven’t had a streak or habit like that. And I have lots of (not so good) reasons for not reading the Bible every day. Reasons like:

I’m not a predictable creature of routines. I’m way better at being inconsistent and unpredictable.

I haven’t made a commitment like that, that 1st decision to do something every day, like Bible reading. There’s some wisdom to counting the cost before making a commitment. Failing to come through on commitment isn’t a good thing. I just don’t see myself doing a daily commitment. (There are other kinds of commitments, like being married, that was a decision and action that happened one day in the past, that continues to have consequence, but those don’t require a daily choice to do something to keep it.)

I know people who (say they) read the Bible every day or have a daily devotional life. And I’ll take them at their word on that. But their lives don’t show much patience nor kindness nor life change. Some even turn out to have scandalous lives of hypocrisy. Doesn’t seem to make much of a difference. I don’t want to be like that. Perspective: that’s their problem. It don’t have to be like that. I don’t have to be that guy.

I’m not motivated by the things that motivate and inspire other people. Goals. Plans. Challenges. Resolutions. Accountability. Competition. Those don’t work for me. What motivates me is elusive.

I don’t want Bible reading to be the kind of habit or routine where it becomes auto-pilot and disengages my heart & soul. Perspective: just because I’m doing something daily doesn’t mean it has to be disengaging.

I don’t want Bible reading to be an overspiritualized escape from the real world. It’s too easy for Bible reading to reinforce my biases and self-talk and cultural lenses. Perspective: I can believe by faith that God’s Spirit can break through my echo chamber and inspire new insights & thoughts to change me. And, reading & discussing Bible in community with others can break my self-talk too.

I blog all this to share honestly what I wrestle with. I’m way imperfect and don’t have it together. I think it can be a good thing to let one’s flaws and warts be shown rather than hidden. I think honesty is way more inspiring when it’s not an excuse for “that’s just the way I am” and it’s a confession of a desire for a turning point in life and even a humble need for help.

Sometime between Christmas and the New Year, I felt my heart changed. I give God credit for changing my heart to choose Bible reading in 2011. I got a couple days head start on a plan called the Bible in 90 Days. Didn’t make it to day 3. Not sticking that plan.

I’m hopeful that I’ll keep making progress in my Bible reading. All it takes is making that choice every day. Will update you in a month or two with how it goes.

Feb 262010

It’s the weekend and that means fun, especially for those of you who have an Xbox for indoor use and don’t have the balmy Southern California weather to go outdoors. (confession: I don’t have an Xbox, though I do have a Wii and a Mii, and I’m out of town this weekend to Nashville for NRB REACH — follow @djchuang247 for my live tweets.)

For those of you with an Xbox, you can win a free copy of the Bible Navigator X right here! Bible NavigatorHow to win: add a comment and describe one creative way you would use the Bible Navigator X. Winner will be selected by random drawing from the commenters. Comment must be submitted before Sunday February 28th 11:59pm Central, when the weekend ends. One entry per person. Multiple comments okay, but only one contest entry counts per commenter.

Bible Navigator X: HCSB is the first app on the XBOX 360 that allows the user to read the entire Bible from their 360. All the essential Bible functions are there: easy navigation, bookmarks, search, concordance, and themess. HCSB = Holman Christian Standard Bible translation of the Bible; press release; watch video intro:

Prize is courtesy of Aaron Linne (a self-described video game aficionado with an entire room of his home dedicated to gaming.[1])

Sep 042008

I’ve got more books than I have time or energy to read. Some of them arrive as review copies (read: comp’d), some as gifts, some as impulse buys. Now it is totally unfair to judge a book by its cover, and yet that’s how most people buy books, I’ve been told. I am not much for first impressions, but here are a few personal reactions in having taken a cursory glance or skim through these books.

Here’s one of my book stacks with my annotated impressions:

stack of books I've yet to read

I have several other stacks of books, and I’ll get around to mentioning those too; no promise on when I’ll get them online.