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New for PocketBible: The Practice of the Presence of God

Posted on: November 18th, 2014 by Michelle Stramel No Comments

This classic title by Brother Lawrence offers time-tested advice for turning your daily tasks into an opportunity to focus on God. In a series of conversations and letters, The Practice of the Presence of God puts forth Brother Lawrence’ philosophy on drawing near and staying near to God. “…he was pleased when he could take up a straw from the ground for the love of GOD, seeking Him only, and nothing else, not even His gifts.

This free book is now available for download on your device if you are using PocketBible for iOS, Mac, Android, Windows Phone or Windows Store. If you are using PocketBible for Windows PC or Windows Mobile or MyBible for Palm OS, you can add this book to your account here and download it to your device.

Setting up and Delivering a Message with PocketBible on your Kindle Fire (or other Android OS tablet)

Posted on: November 18th, 2014 by Michelle Stramel 2 Comments

One of the amazing uses of PocketBible is for delivering a message. It’s layout and features provide an excellent electronic Bible with its own built-in notebook, and it has all the tools you need to prepare your message, whether it’s for the classroom or the pulpit. This tutorial will look at setting up the message in PocketBible and then using the multi-screen feature for preaching and teaching.

Setting up the Message

There are several features of PocketBible that help in preparing sermons and classes. The features I like are Notes, Bookmarks, and Highlights. Here are a few of the ways that I use them together to prepare sermons.

NOTE – PocketBible has a lot of fine tools for the actual sermon prep itself including Bibles, dictionaries, commentaries, study Bibles, books, and more. We’ll go into detail about using them for sermon prep in future posts.

Notes

Tap on the verse where you want to place a note and select the notebook symbol on the Action Bar. In the notes area, you can type or paste in any kind of information you want. You can format your text to make it easy for you to use. Bullets are great for simple outlines. Add things that you want to make sure you remember to say. At the end of the note you can type the next verse. This will create a clickable link so you can quickly navigate to the next verse in your sermon.

Bookmarks

Once you’ve chosen the references you will use, you can bookmark them in a folder just for this message. I like to name the folder with the title I use for the message. If I need to, I can go to the bookmarks list and see every verse that I’m using in my sermon. This list can also be used to navigate to the next verse in your sermon.

Highlighting

This step is optional but I find it easier to see the verses I want to use if I’ve highlighted them. I like to use a different color for different topics. If my message is about the Scriptures, I like to highlight the verses green. This helps when navigating to the next verse. You can find it quicker because you know what color to look for. This is more effective when you’ve only colored the verses in your sermon that color. You might consider using a special color or marking just for this message.

Example


For my sermon I’ve created a bookmark folder called Sermon 001 The Word of God. It contains references to the following verses: Ps 119:11, Ps 119:16, Ps 119:80, Ps 119:89, Ps 119:105, 2Ti 2:15, 2Ti 3:16, 2Ti 3:17, 2Pe 3:16. I’ve colored all of these verse limegreen and each verse has a note with my primary point and a link to the next verse.

Ps 119:11 is the first verse I want to go to. It has a note that talks about the importance of memorizing Scripture. It also has a link to the next verse – Ps 119:16. The note on Ps 119:16 talks about how we should enjoy reading and studying the Scriptures, and how we should keep God on our minds and in our hearts by thinking and meditating on the Word. After this I have typed POINTS TO MAKE followed by two bullets:

  • Love the Word
  • Memorize the Word

After the note is a link to Ps 119:80, which contains a short note and the next reference. I continue this until I reach the end of the message. This can be as detailed or as simple as you want. If another point or verse comes to me during the sermon, I can navigate to it and still have my notes visible so I know where to go next.

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New for PocketBible: The 365 Day Devotional Commentary

Posted on: November 14th, 2014 by Michelle Stramel No Comments

We have released The 365 Day Devotional Commentary by Larry Richards for use with PocketBible. This book offers two 365-day reading plans that take you through the entire Bible. The first one (Plan A) is a traditional Genesis to Revelation reading through the Bible. The second (Plan B) alternates between reading the Old and New Testaments each day. Whether you use Plan A or Plan B, the daily reading is accompanied by study and devotional material.

Each day’s reading is enhanced with (1) an overview of the whole passage, (2) background information and commentary on history, the meaning of key words, etc., to deepen your understanding of the passage, and (3) a devotional on the core passage to help you focus on the personal meaning of God’s Word for today. You also get a personal application and quote from a famous Christian.

The author, noted Bible teacher Larry Richards, suggests that you use the commentary as follows. Each time you do your Bible reading, FIRST, read the “Overview” in the Commentary to see how the whole passage fits together. SECOND, read the Bible itself, and refer to the Commentary when you want to explore the Personal Application of a passage or event that particularly interests you. THIRD, read the “Devotional,” and spend some time in prayer. If you are in a rush on any given day, read the “Overview,” and turn directly to the “core passage” on which the day’s “Devotional” is based. Read that passage and the Devotional only, and spend time in prayer. You can view a sample reading here (links to PDF).

This book would be ideal for the person who wants to study the Bible over the year and not just read through the text. It would also appeal to the person who is looking for something more than a daily devotional reading. The layout of the book makes it easy to follow a 365-day plan or to pick and choose reading of specific books over a number of days (i.e. Read Romans in 14 days).

Also included with the commentary are two 30-day reading plans (Bible overview and personal relationship) and reading plans for special seasons (i.e. Christmas, Lent, Easter).

Because of the unique format of this book, you will receive two versions of the same book when you purchase. A Commentary version and a Devotional version. The text is the same but the Devotional version will allow you to use PocketBible’s devotional tracking features to track your progress through Plan A.

The 365 Day Devotional Commentary is available for $24.99 at the Laridian Web site. We also offer these other titles by Larry Richards for use with PocketBible: The Bible Teacher’s Commentary and the Bible Reader’s Companion.

How do I keep my Bible and commentary on the same verse in PocketBible?

Posted on: November 11th, 2014 by Michelle Stramel 7 Comments

As you read or study your way through the Bible in PocketBible, you should find that your commentaries are moving in sync with the Bible. In other words, when you are looking at Matthew 25:31 in the Bible, an open commentary that has a comment on this verse should be at that place as well. If you are not seeing this, it may be one of two things:

  • No comment available – The commentary you are viewing does not have a comment on the verse you are looking at in the Bible. Some commentaries are verse by verse. Some are passage by passage. And some items we classify as commentaries, such as Study Bibles, will not comment on every verse or passage.
  • Sync turned off – Keeping your Bible and commentaries in sync on the same verse in PocketBible is an option. It should be on by default in most versions of PocketBible but if a Bible and commentary are not syncing as you’d expect, double-check this option in the settings to make sure it is set correctly. Here’s how to do that in each version of PocketBible:
    • iOS – MENU | SETTINGS | BIBLE SETTINGS – make sure there is a check mark next to “Sync Bibles/Commentaries”
    • Mac OS X – POCKETBIBLE | PREFERENCES | GENERAL – make sure there is a check mark next to “Make all Bibles and commentaries move in response to changes in the active Bible”
    • Android OS – MENU | SETTINGS | PROGRAM SETTINGS – make sure the first item in the list “Bible Synchronization” has a checkmark.
    • Windows Phone and Windows Store – SETTINGS | GENERAL – first option listed, slide “Synchronize Books” to on
    • Windows PC – VIEW | SYNCHRONIZE – click on Synchronize to check mark it (or uncheck mark it).

Swiping through the Bible on your iOS Device

Posted on: November 11th, 2014 by Michelle Stramel 14 Comments

Since the release of PocketBible 3.1.0, if you own the Advanced Feature Set for PocketBible iOS, you have the ability to customize your movement through PocketBible Bibles and books.

By default, PocketBible offers specific touch zones depending on whether you are in a Bible or other type book. Bible touch zones include options to move by page, verse or chapter as well as moving to the next/prev open book. Non-Bible Book touch zones include options to move by page and to change books. To view navigation options for the current active book, tap in the center of the book and a temporary navigation overlay/guide will appear.

The Advanced Feature Set adds an option to Customize Touch Zones under the Settings menu. With this option, you are able to customize touch zones down to the book level (i.e. Bible, Devotionals, other), but we also include a set of pre-defined configurations. Here are suggested alternatives but feel free to try them all and see what works best for you:

  • If you find yourself swiping instead of tapping to move through a book, try the Alternative Default (option 2)
  • If you like the default touch zones but sometimes change books when you meant to move to the next page, try the Defaults with No Book Changes (option 3)
  • If you like swiping up to move through books but inadvertently change books, try the Alt Defaults with No Book Changes (option 4). To change books, tap on the title bar in the open window.

Watch the video below to see how to use this customization feature. It shows how to setup PocketBible so that swiping up will move you through the Bible (rather than changing books).

How to Create Your Own Topical Chain Reference in PocketBible

Posted on: November 1st, 2014 by Michelle Stramel 13 Comments

Topical chains are references that take you to the next verse in a topic. They are great for personal study, devotions, sermon prep, and for teaching or preaching. You can easily create your own topical chain reference in PocketBible. It can be as simple or detailed as you want: anything from a few verses and topics to a complete topical chain reference study Bible.

Bookmarks

PocketBible’s bookmarking feature is one I’ve used for years to aid in memorizing scripture. I now have my entire family’s memory list on my Android. Each person’s list is under their own name (as a category). The ability to maintain multiple bookmark lists is perfect for creating your own topical chain reference list.

Simply select a verse in PocketBible and place the bookmark. Create a new or choose an existing category (or topic) to place the bookmark in and you’re done. Easy. There is no limit to the number of bookmark categories you can create or the number of verses you can have in each category.

Verse Links

The next step on the list is creating your own links. To do this you will use the note feature. Select the verse you want to use in your chain reference and type the reference in a note on that verse. The reference becomes a clickable link. You can create a link to just the next verse or you can include the previous verse if you want your chain to go backwards as well as forwards. For multiple topics or to show more detail, write the topic name along with the reference. An alternative is to copy and paste the verse into the note and then place the reference with the portion of the verse you want it to refer to. Go to each verse in your bookmarks and create your links. (Note: verse reference links can’t be created in the Windows Phone/Windows Store versions of PocketBible at this time but is on our request for consideration in updates to these versions).

Highlighting

Another option is to use the highlighting feature. Each highlight can represent a topic (highlights can be renamed if you have the Advanced Feature Set for the version of PocketBible you are using). There are 19 different highlights which include 16 colors and 3 types of underlining. You can use highlighting as the primary topic and write the names of the subtopics in the notes. Select the verse you want to highlight, and then choose your highlight color.

Reading by Topic

To read the verses in the topics/category, simply review the list of verses you’ve bookmarked or highlighted. Any verse links you have added will show up in the notes attached to the verses in your list. This makes it easy to look through and read every single topic and chain reference in your lists.

Example

One of my favorite topics is the Scriptures themselves. I’ve created a chain that I call The Word of God. My list is not exhaustive, but the beauty of using PocketBible is that you can add to your list as much as you want. Here is the list of verses that appear in my bookmark category, The Word of God:

Psalms 119:11, Psalms 119:16, Psalms 119:89, Psalms 119:103, Psalms 119:105, Psalms 119:130, Proverbs 6:23, Isaiah 40:8, Matthew 5:18, Matthew 24:35, 2 Timothy 2:15, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, 1 Peter 1:25, 1 Peter 2:2, 2 Peter 1:21, 2 Peter 3:15-16

As I come across verses that speak to me about God’s Word I simply add it to the list. I have color-coded these verses green because that’s the color I use for the Scriptures.

Where do you get the verses for the chains?

My favorite place to get the verses is from my own reading. As I come across a verse that I want in a topical list I simply place it there. Another option is to use other Bibles as resources. I do this when I’m studying from Bibles that contain topical lists or chain references. Another choice is using PocketBible for word-searches.

Have you created your own topical chain references in PocketBible? Do you use another feature not included here?

This article is a guest post by Randy Brown, a long-time PocketBible user and owner of the Bible Buying Guide blog.

NOTE: Some of the features mentioned in this article are only available with purchase of the Advanced Features Set for PocketBible. Advanced Feature sets vary and are sold separately for each version of PocketBible.

Advanced Feature Set Now Available for PocketBible on the Mac

Posted on: October 30th, 2014 by Michelle Stramel 4 Comments

While PocketBible for Mac OS X is our most powerful and flexible version of PocketBible to date, we have put together some additional features to create an Advanced Feature Set that we think will enhance your Bible study even further! The Advanced Feature Set is available via in-app purchase (PocketBible Menu | Buy/Apply Upgrade) or can be purchased at the Laridian website for $14.99.

This video overview takes you through the extra features you will enjoy with the Advanced Feature Set:

What can Advanced Features do for you?

The Advanced Feature Set for Mac OS X offers additional study options that will show up on your menus in PocketBible for Mac OS X after you purchase the set. Some items are enhancements to existing features and some are all new features.

All New Features

  • Library Navigator – use this new option on your Study Panel to get an ongoing report of everywhere in your library the currently active verse is discussed. This is most useful with commentaries but you can choose the type of book or specific books to receive this information about.
  • AutoStudy – if you are using Advanced Features on an iPhone or iPad, you will already be familiar with this feature. Right-click on any verse, passage or word to produce and in-depth study using all (or selected) books in your PocketBible library.
  • AutoStudy today’s readings – use this to produce a document of your day’s readings or devotionals (with Bible verses included). You can then read as-is, print or save to a file.
  • Maximize pane or book – if you used PocketBible on Windows CE or Mobile device, you may remember this feature. It allows you to temporarily zoom in on a specific book or pane – maximize it in your window. Since an actual layout is created, you can save the view to easily return to later.
  • Hover over Bible verses to view the verse(s) mentioned in a verse reference. This is a much-requested feature that saves you time when using cross-references.

Enhancements to Existing Features

  • Journal Notes – add notes to PocketBible that are not attached to a Bible verse.
  • Search all – choose to search your entire library at once for a word or phrase (normally, search applies only to the active book)
  • Rename Highlight Colors – change the name of any of the 16 highlight colors to something more meaningful to you (i.e. change Aqua to God’s Love)
  • More layout options
    • Create multiple, named screen layouts for different purposes (for example, one for devotional reading, one for lesson preparation, and one for note-taking during sermons).
    • Create a special layout for devotional reading that will be activated when the Today button is pressed.

How to upgrade

If you are already using PocketBible on your Mac, you’ll need to make sure you are updated to the version 1.1.0 or later. If you are not, you can check for updates under the PocketBible menu in the program. You can then check under the PocketBible menu and choose Buy/Apply Upgrade to purchase from within the app. Be sure to check your Special Offers while you are there before purchasing (another Advanced Feature is the ability to turn off the Special Offers notices that occur occasionally while you are using the app).

Note: While Bibles and books are “buy once, own forever”, Advanced Features are sold separately for each version of PocketBible. This is to support current and future development for each operating system.

To our KickStarter supporters: if you chose a reward that included the Advanced Feature set, this should already be available in your account. If it is not, please contact us at support@laridian.com so we can take care of that for you.

Scripture Memory with PocketBible

Posted on: October 21st, 2014 by Michelle Stramel 11 Comments

scripture memorySometimes we make things more complicated than they need to be. A friend shared the following article from Awana with me: 10 Steps for Effective Scripture Memory. These 10 steps are actually fairly simple. To summarize, they suggest you: Read it, write it, speak it, hear it, divide it, memorize it, repeat it, recite it with a group, design it and review it. If memorizing Scripture is something you’d like to do, you can easily accomplish several of these steps with PocketBible using the bookmark or highlight feature:

  • Organize – create two bookmark categories for the purpose of memorizing (i.e. Memorize, Review) or choose a highlight color and rename it*.
  • Select – add the verses you are interested in committing to memory to the appropriate category in PocketBible.
  • Review – follow some or all of the steps in the Awana article to commit the verse to memory including reviewing it, reciting it, listening to it*. Once a verse is memorized, move it to your Review bookmark category for more occasional reviewing.

There are so many benefits to memorizing scripture including having the sword of the Spirit always at hand (Ephesians 6:17), helping you to focus on the right things (Philippians 4:8), and keeping you from sin (Psalm 119:9,11).

If you have tips on memorizing verses, please share them in them in the comments below! If you are looking for a dedicated memorization tool to use, consider this free online tool called Memverse.

Note: Some features mentioned above require the purchase of an Advanced Feature set which are currently available for iOS, Windows Phone and Windows Store.

What’s in the Pipeline?

Posted on: October 21st, 2014 by Michelle Stramel 132 Comments

We often get asked about what we are working on. While you can be sure we are always working, and that our work probably involves some version of PocketBible, we understand you may be interested in a more detailed explanation of what is going on behind the scenes. It is in that spirit that we are going to try something new with an occasional post on what’s in the pipeline for apps and books.

You’ll notice we don’t talk about release dates. We’ve been in this business for a long time and have learned that our best-laid plans often go awry. In fact, in the software business, that’s the rule rather than the exception. So we don’t spit into that wind nor tilt at those windmills. We’re pursuing the goals you see below at our best pace and will release new books and updates to our apps as soon as they’re ready.

Apps

  • PocketBible for Android – Version 1.3.0 was released on 9/22/14 and added devotional tracking features to the app and some other minor enhancements. We are currently working on what will become the Advanced Feature Set for the Android version.
  • PocketBible 3.1 for iOS – version 3.1.0 was uploaded to the App Store on 3/28/14. The program seems to be working well under iOS 8, so there wasn’t an update specific to iOS 8. We’ll be taking a more serious look at PocketBible for iOS once PocketBible for Mac is wrapped up.
  • PocketBible for Mac OS X – Version 1.1.0 with support for the new Advanced Feature Set was released on 10/28/14.
  • BookBuilder for Mac OS X – This was promised as part of the Kickstarter campaign for PocketBible and will get started soon.
  • PocketBible for Windows Phone – Send us your suggestions for enhancements.
  • PocketBible for Windows Store – Send us your suggestions for enhancements.

Books

Here’s what our editorial team has in the queue for you (not in any particular order):

  • Additional volumes of the Ancient Christian Commentary Series (IVP)
  • The Applied New Testament and Old Testament Commentary (Cook)
  • The Open Your Bible Commentary (Kingsley) – released 10/7/14
  • 365 Day Devotional Commentary (Richards)
  • Wesley Study Bible (Abingdon)

Disclaimers: All this is subject to change in priority, feasibility, copyright licensing, etc. That means we reserve the right to never release these features or books. We are sharing with you the current plan which is written in sand, not stone. Also, just because something is not on this list doesn’t mean we are not considering it. Finally, we are open to your requests, suggestions and comments!

3 Tips for Navigating Your Books in PocketBible

Posted on: October 20th, 2014 by Michelle Stramel 26 Comments

Navigating PocketBibleIf you want to explore the contents of a print book, you know to look at the table of contents inside the front cover. When it comes to Bibles, you may be able to flip through and be fairly close to the book of the Bible you are looking for because you are already familiar with the structure of that type of book. But how do you navigate different types of books in PocketBible? Where are the tables of contents?

GoTo = Index/Table of Contents

The key to simple navigation of any type book in PocketBible is the GoTo icon on the toolbar. Most PocketBible users know to tap on this icon if they want to go to a specific place in the Bible–here you can specify Book, Chapter and Verse to move to an exact location. But did you know this same button works similar for other types of books as well (i.e. dictionaries, devotionals and commentaries)?

When you tap on the GoTo icon in PocketBible, it presents you with an index or table of contents based on the book you currently have active. Thus, the navigation options presented change based on the book you are viewing. There are five categories of books in PocketBible:

  • Bibles – you can navigate Bibles by Book | Chapter | Verse.
  • Commentaries – while these books are organized by Bible verse, navigation options will also include links to introductory articles and appendices along with options to drill down to comments on specific Bible books, chapters, passages and verses.
  • Dictionaries – there are two types of PocketBible dictionaries:
    • English dictionaries – navigation is in article order, usually alphabetic but sometimes topical.
    • Greek/Hebrew or Strong’s number based dictionaries – navigation is by Strong’s number. Unless you have Strong’s numbers memorized, it is best to use a Strong’s numbered Bible translation to navigate to a definition as described here: How can I Use Strong’s Concordance in PocketBible?
  • Devotionals – navigation is by date. If you tap on the GoTo icon with a devotional active, you’ll be presented with a calendar. If the date is off or you are behind schedule, you can reschedule or start the readings over.
  • Other – the books in this category vary widely by type but one thing is the same for all, tapping on the GoTo icon with this type of book active will still present you with an appropriate index to navigate the book easily.

Searching

A major feature of PocketBible, Searching, lets you quickly find what you’re looking for in PocketBible without navigating an index. Just type in any word or phrase in the search field (look for the magnifying glass on your toolbar) and you’ll be able to choose from a list of places in a book where your search word(s) were found.

Synchronizing Books

Take advantage of PocketBible’s ability to synchronize books automatically and you won’t have to worry about navigating. If you go to John 3:16 in your NIV Bible, all other Bible translations will move to that same verse and your commentaries will move to that verse if they have a comment on it (this option can be turned on/off in PocketBible). Dictionaries will sync by topic/article as well. For example, if you look up the word “Aaron” all open dictionaries will move to their article on Aaron, if applicable. The same if you tapped on a Strong’s number – all open Strong’s numbered dictionaries will move to the article on the active Strong’s number.

A Bonus Tip

A quick way to move between open books is to tap on the title bar of the active window. You’ll get a drop down list of books that are open in that window or pane and you can tap on any book listed to move there. You’ll also see options in the drop down list to close or open books in that window. (Mac and PC users will see tabs for opening and closing books). See a video of this.

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