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Archive for the ‘How to’s’ Category

Choosing a Commentary for the way you study

Posted on: January 27th, 2015 by Michelle Stramel 8 Comments

Stack of booksFrom the early church fathers to Matthew Henry and beyond, Bible scholars and teachers continue to find different approaches for explaining the meaning of the Bible text to us. While we all appreciate their efforts, it can be difficult to choose from so many options. Here is a guide to help you easily navigate the commentary choices for use with PocketBible.

Concise Commentary

Brief but comprehensive is how the dictionary defines “concise.” You may see adjectives such as “overview,” “passage-by-passage” or “chapter-by-chapter” in the description for a concise commentary. Study Bibles generally fall into this category. As do Bible Handbooks which, among other features, offer brief commentary on the Bible text. The benefit of these types of commentaries is that they are brief and to the point. They either focus on the main or most important points of a verse or passage or provide overviews of Scripture in sections.

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3 Benefits of Listening to the Bible

Posted on: January 23rd, 2015 by Michelle Stramel No Comments

What keeps you from reading your Bible? Time? Ability to focus? You may find listening to the Bible a way to combat these issues and more:

  • Engage two senses – if you read through several paragraphs and can’t remember what you just read, try listening and reading at the same time. This will help you keep your attention on what you are reading.
  • Redeem the time – listen to the Bible while you clean the house, run, work or commute and put this wasted time to a good use.
  • Multi-front approach – if you are trying to memorize or meditate on a specific passage of Scripture, reading and listening separately can reinforce your efforts.

PocketBible offers text-to-speech capability with all but the Windows PC version. To listen with PocketBible, you will need to purchase the Advanced Feature set for the version of PocketBible you are using on your device (Advanced Feature Sets are sold separately for each operating system). Additionally for the iOS version, you also need to purchase a voice; Other versions of PocketBible use the built-in voice capability of the operating system.

Here’s how to use the audio feature in each version of PocketBible:

  • PocketBible for iOS – with the Advanced Feature Set and a voice installed, you can use the contextual menu to start the reading from any verse in the Bible. Or turn on the Audio remote (icon looks like megaphone) to easily stop and start the audio.
  • PocketBible for Mac OS X – with the Advanced Feature Set installed, use the right-click menu to start speaking from the current location of your Bible.
  • PocketBible for Windows Phone – with the Advanced Feature Set installed, select Menu | show audio controls and then press Play to start listening.
  • PocketBible for Windows Store – with the Advanced Feature Set installed, choose Audiobar from the menu and tap the play button to begin the audio.
  • PocketBible for Android OS – Advanced Feature Set with this feature coming soon!

Starting your Bible Reading Plan or Devotional Over for a New Year

Posted on: January 1st, 2015 by Michelle Stramel 4 Comments

A new year is here and with it the opportunity for a fresh start on Bible reading efforts! Whether you are on track to make it all the way through from January 1 to December 31 or you got side-tracked at some point during the year, PocketBible makes it easy to begin anew.

Here are instructions for resetting your Bible reading or devotional tracking for the various versions of PocketBible:

  • PocketBible for iPad/iPhone/iPod touch – open PocketBible and go to the Bible reading plan you want to reset. Select the Today button | Devotional Settings and choose to reset your reading progress and change the start date to today’s date.
  • PocketBible for Android OS – if you are using PocketBible on your Android phone, you can change the start date for a devotional by tapping on the dove menu and choosing Devotionals. Then choose the correct book at the top drop down and then hit the Manage button. You can choose to catch up or start over on this page. If you are using PocketBible on a tablet, use the blue tab instead of the dove menu.
  • PocketBible for Windows Phone – select Menu | Daily Readings and tap and hold on the devotional book. From the menu select Remove daily reading. You can then go back and restart.
  • PocketBible for Windows Store (8/8.1) – select Daily readings from the application bar and select the devotional book. From the application bar select Remove Daily Reading. You can then go back and restart.
  • PocketBible for Windows PC – choose Devotional Reading | Book Options from the menu and select the Start Over tab. Press the Start Over button. Choose the Start Date tab to set a new start date.
  • PocketBible for Windows Mobile – Are you one of our few customers still using this older type of mobile device? You can find complete instructions here.
  • DailyReader for Palm OS – Are one of our few customers still using this older type of mobile device? You can find complete instructions here.

If you are looking for a different Bible reading plan this year, you’ll find help choosing one in our article on 8 Ways to Read through the Bible with PocketBible.

Installing PocketBible to a New Device

Posted on: December 25th, 2014 by Michelle Stramel 4 Comments

Are you the happy recipient of a new phone or tablet? Or a new Mac or PC? Congratulations! Here is what you need to know to get PocketBible on it!

First an important reminder – you never have to re-purchase any Laridian Bibles or books when you move to a new device. You may have to re-install a new version of PocketBible and download your books again but that is all FREE and we’ll try to make that as painless as possible with the tips in this article.

Install Guide by Device Type

Find your device type in the list below and follow the instructions from there:

  • iPhone/iPad/iPod touch (iOS) – go to the App Store from your device and search for PocketBible Bible Study. Download the free app and register it using your existing Laridian ID (or email address on file) and password. Tap on the Menu icon and choose Add/Remove Books. Go through the list of your books (should include all your previous purchases and free books) and tap on any you want to download at this time (you can always return to this list and download more later). Hit UPDATE at the top of the page to start the downloads.
  • Mac OS X – you can download PocketBible for Mac directly from our website. Go here to download and here for detailed directions. The first time you open PocketBible on your Mac, register using your existing Laridian customer information. Then you can select Cloud Library from the Books menu to download your past purchased books.
  • Android OS – go to the Google Play store on your device (or Amazon App store if you prefer) and search for PocketBible Bible Study. Download the free PocketBible app. Register using your existing Laridian account information. Tap on the Dove icon and choose to Download Books. You should see your previously purchased titles along with all free books. Tap on each book you want to download (you have to do this one at a time). Check out our Android OS videos at our Youtube channel for some tips on using PocketBible for Android.
  • Kindle Fire – we are still working with Amazon to get our Android version of PocketBible to show up in the Kindle Store. In the meantime, follow the instructions at this link to download PocketBible from our site and install as a 3rd party app. HDX owners you can watch a video of how to install.
  • Windows Phone – go to the Windows Marketplace on your phone. Search for PocketBible Bible Study and download and install the free app. Register using your existing Laridian account information. Choose the Cloud Library from the menu. Tap on any title to download. Open downloaded books from the Device Library.
  • Windows Surface – go to the Windows Store on your tablet. Search for PocketBible Bible Study and download and install the free PocketBible app. Register using your existing Laridian account information. Choose the Cloud Library from the menu. Tap on any title to download. Open downloaded books from the Device Library menu.

If you have personal data (i.e. notes, bookmarks, highlights) to transfer, you can synchronize with our server to receive the data to your new device (assumes you have synced to our server/cloud from your old device first to get personal data there).

One final note – Advanced Feature Sets are the only items which are sold separately for each operating system. So, for example, even if you own the Advanced Feature Set for your iPhone, you’ll still need to purchase the specific Advanced Feature Set for your Surface Pro or Mac OS X. However, if you own an iPhone and iPad, since they are the same operating system, you only need one copy for both devices.

Find Your Ideal Bible Reading Plan

Posted on: December 10th, 2014 by Michelle Stramel No Comments

scripture memoryThe primary goal of a Bible reading plan is to keep us reading the Bible. A Bible reading plan also organizes our reading and gives us goals to meet; usually a daily goal with the ultimate goal of finishing the plan in a specified time period.

Choosing a plan that is realistic for the amount of time you can devote to Bible reading each day will help you reach your goals. As will choosing a plan that presents the Bible in a way that will keep you motivated to read.

If you like doing things in order, then a Genesis to Revelation plan may be just what you are looking for. If you need variety to keep your interest, than a chronological plan or a New Testament/Old Testament plan might work better for you. Here are some tips on choosing a reading plan for use with PocketBible, based on your time and desire for variety.

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PocketBible for Mac OS X – Copy Passage Tips

Posted on: November 30th, 2014 by Craig Rairdin No Comments

I was taking notes in church this morning and realized I was making use of some shortcut keys and program capabilities that you may have missed when using PocketBible on your Mac. So when I got home I made this video to demonstrate two methods of quickly getting Bible text into the clipboard and from there into your notes. Of course you could use this same technique to paste into any other app.

I hope this helps you get more out of PocketBible on your Mac!

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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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).

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.

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, Mac OS X,Windows Phone and Windows Store.

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