Archive for November, 2011
I just read an article claiming that since 2009 the collective time spent playing Angry Birds totals over 200,000 YEARS! I was staggered by that number. I couldn’t help but think of all of that wasted time. Psalm 90:12 “So teach us to number or days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom.” We must be good stewards of the time we have available.
But this idea of “collective time” I find very interesting. Here is an example: If each member of a congregation of 200 would commit themselves to doing 2 hours of work each week for the Lord, at the end of 5 years they could accomplish as much work as a full-time, 60 hour per week minister could in 33 YEARS! A preacher or minister would have to spend 66 years of his life, working 60 hours per week, 52 weeks a year, to accomplish the work this group could do in just 10 years!
So maybe we should learn to number our days, put down Angry Birds, put our hand to the Lord’s plow and leverage our “collective time” to serve the Lord. There is no telling what we will accomplish for the Kingdom!
I have to admit my prayer life struggles at times. I have a lot of things I mean to pray for, people with needs, family situations, the government, friends, this list is actually quite extensive. And that is my problem. Until recently I struggled with remembering everything I wanted to pray about when I pray. This is where my new iPhone 4S, Siri, and Reminders have changed everything. I have my phone set up now where I can simply tell Siri “Add John Smith’s surgery to my Prayer list.” Siri knows I have a list in my Reminders called Prayer and adds the item to that list. Throughout the day I simply tell Siri what I want added to my Prayer list and then when it is time for me to pray, I can bring up my Prayer list and I have a list of all the things I wanted to pray for right in front of me.
You can even set the phone to remind you to say a prayer at a certain time. As an example, a member is going in to surgery at 10 a.m. and you would like to say a prayer before they go in. You can have the phone remind you of that prayer at 9:45. I find this particularly useful.
One feature of Reminders in that you can create different Lists. In the Reminders app, touch the small icon in the upper left (the one with three short bars on it). This takes you to the Lists area where you will see all the different Reminder lists you currently have. Touch the Edit icon (upper right) and you can edit the list and you should see “Create New List…” at the bottom. While you are there, create a new List and call it Prayer. (Note: I have found it best to use one word when naming lists. Don’t Call it My Prayers, or Michael’s Prayers, that will confuse Siri later.) Once the Prayer list is created, press Done and then Done again you are ready to go.
Tell Siri to add an item to your Prayer List
Now, start Siri and say “Add Mary Smith’s surgery to my Prayer list.” The keyword here is “ADD” and “to my Prayer list.” everything you say between these phrases is what Siri will put on the list. Siri will ask you to confirm the item and add it to your Prayer list. When it is time to pray, go to the Reminders app, scroll to your Prayer list and you will see a list of everything that you have added. After you pray, you can click the checkbox next to the item to remove it from the list or leave it for the next to you pray as well.
If you want to be reminded to say a prayer at a specific time. Add the item to your Prayer list, then go into the Reminder app and edit the item by touching it. Select Remind Me, set On a Day to on, select a day and time and the phone will remind you on that day at that time.
Also note that these Reminder lists will appear in the Reminders app on your iPad too if you have one. Siri is not available on the iPad, but you can see your lists and update them by typing if you want to.
That’s it. Now you can use Siri to help you write down and organize things you want to pray about. This has been a big help to me and I hope it is for you too.
I wanted to share a website I just found out about, Bible Geocoding. This website has mapped “every identifiable place mentioned in the Bible” using Google Earth and/or Google Maps. The site is very straightforward and easy to use. Each book of the Bible is listed and within each book, each chapter is broken out. Click the preview link and all of the mentioned locations will load into Google Maps. Click the KML link and a Google Earth file will download to your computer and open Google Earth to show the locations mentioned. Zoom in, shown modern country borders, zoom out to see the entire region. All of the features of Google Earth and Google Maps can help you see and explore these wonderful places, just as they appear today. This could be a great tool for Bible classes and teaching situations. Check it out here.
Apple has released an update to iOS5. It’s primary purpose seems to be to deal with the dreaded battery drain issue that many people are experiencing. But another aspect of this update that is significant is that it is the first over-the-air iOS update available. If you go to Settings | General | Software Update you can download the update straight to your iPhone or iPad without connecting to iTunes. But, to be honest, it is not exactly wireless – the update wants you to connect to power during the download and update to prevent problems. This is standard stuff on laptop updates too so it is really no surprise and I suggest you heed the warning. But being able to update devices without connecting to iTunes will be a nice feature.
So go forth and update!
Evernote Peek is an interesting study tool that was designed to work with an iPad 2 and Apple’s Smart Cover. The idea is that you can flip a small part of the cover up to reveal a question and then flip up the next section of the cover to reveal the answer. You know, just like you used to study with index cards. Well the problem was if you had a first generation iPad you were out of luck because the Smart Cover doesn’t work on the iPad 1! Well that has been resolved. Evernote announced today that Evernote Peek is now compatible with all iPads. Check out the video to see how it all works.
The video shows the iPad 2 with a Smart Cover but the new version uses a virtual cover and works on the iPad 1 as well.
NOTE: While the applications for students seems obvious – what about the average person using it to study and memorize Scriptures? Fun huh?
I have been using my new iPhone 4S for a few weeks now and I must say that I have found it well worth the upgrade (I was using a 3GS before this). Siri, the new voice capable digital assistant has been a HUGE help to me! Here are some of the things that I am finding most useful:
Voice dictation for texts, emails, and general information from Siri – simply touching a button and speaking what I want to send in a text or emailed is great! I know some have said their Andriod as been able to do the for awhile, but they have not. I can say “Send a message to Bob that says I will email the information when I get to the office” and Siri will send Bob a text for me. Or even something like “text my wife and tell her I am on my way, but I am going to be a little late” will send a text to my wife (yes, Siri knows those relationships) telling her I will be a little late. Very powerful stuff.
Location based Reminders – Siri can create reminders based on location so you can be reminded to do something when you arrive or when you are leaving a specific location. “Remind me to tell my wife about the Ladies Bible class when I get home” creates a reminder that is triggered when I pull into my driveway. You can create shopping lists that automatically open when you arrive at the store or remind you to do something when you get to the office. I use these constantly.
There are many more things I like about the iPhone 4S, but these top my list. More later.
Again I find myself letting time slip by without updating my blog! I guess I could make lots of excuses (none really all that valid) about why, but maybe dealing with the issue might teach a lesson for others (and to myself if I will listen). I have a tendency to write long posts. Long posts take more time to write. Time is at a premium and so therefore – I tend not to write. I am going to try to resurrect this blog by “trying” to post smaller articles and tips more often.
We will see how it goes.