April 2018’s Missing Post I: Christian Journey Supplements
When I think of April, I think of World Book and Copyright Day on the 23rd… and birthdays of a few unforgettable friends. Both of these aspects of April; the international day commemorating one of my favorite resources- books- and the support offered by the friends which render them unforgettable inspired the blog for this month.
I decided to make a list of top five resources- aside from the Bible, of course, lol- which have contributed to my growth as a Christian. Consider this a list of my most used Christian Journey Supplements.
I hope someone gains something from my list, and I look forward to reading what additional material my readers use in the comment section!
Here we go:
#5- My Phone Apps!
Okay, let’s get the most used resources out of the way first eh?
Anyone who knows me personally knows my phone is rarely far from my reach. But while I can agree to be a bit addicted (yes, I said just a bit), I can’t completely curse this problem because my phone has apps which help as much as they distract. The first Christian app I download with any new device is the Bible App- Youversion which goes beyond being a bible because it offers a vast variety of rich devotionals. I particularly love how they literally award you with badges and ‘points’ for how regularly you check in and how often you complete a reading plan/devotional. Also a big plus, being able to share with friends and go through a bible study/meditation with a loved one far away. My phone app list equally includes well-known devotional apps like the Our Daily Bread, Daily Hope and so on.
Recently, I discovered yet another gem of an app, the Prayer App, which helps one list down all the things and people for which they want to pray for. Not only does this app assist in guiding your prayers and ensuring you don’t forget something you planned to meditate on, but you can also set reminders and have an alarm notify you of your quiet time. You may think “I don’t need an app to remind me to pray” and you’re right, you likely don’t. But how often do you pledge to pray for something/someone and forget because it doesn’t concern you directly, or how often do you tell someone “I’ll help you pray” and then their problem slips from your mind because well, you were just “being nice”? Well, this app is there to remind you, help you keep those pledges and ensure your prayers are intentional and well directed.
You conveniently classify your prayer topics- Family members, friends, Personal flaws and issues you need to work on, your country, etc. I can honestly say this app has helped me keep the commission to pray for others more faithfully. And ooh! When a prayer is answered, you get to archive and see how far you’ve come in your archives!
Finally, Pinterest may not be considered a Christian App, but since an older friend of mine dragged me down that rabbit hole, I’ve found loads of inspirational messages and prayer memes to pin and encourage me on down days. Just create a board and try not to get addicted LOL!
#4- Christian Blogs and Study Bible Aids
Though I have only recently become acquainted with Christian blogs like Desiring God, I have, however, grown to appreciate a lot of their content. The friend who introduced me to this blog likewise listed online study bible aids as a supplement for her journey and I must agree! These days we can never be too safe with cross-checking the interpretations of the gospel we are being given. Check out a top list of Bible study software here.
#3 Gratitude Journal
I started keeping a gratitude journal after a severe bout of depression in 2013. As a supplement to Christian practice, journaling, in general, is very encouraged. Be it journaling your experiences and lessons learned in a diary or keeping a prayer book, or as in my case- a gratitude journal. Either way, keeping track of what there is to be grateful has helped me keep some reason on the worst of days and helped grow faith as it provides evidence of things already done when it feels like I’m asking for the impossible with my prayers.
#2 Youtube Sermons
The year I traveled out of the country for my master’s studies marked the first time in my adult Christian journey that I would be away from home and away from the church family I belong(ed) to. After visiting two churches I did vibe with I decided to find an alternative. Coincidentally a friend of mine shared THIS sermon by Priscilla Shirer with me on Facebook and I loved it. Thus began my using YouTube as a church supplement. I literally planned my “church service” and invited friends who were in other countries to stream with me so we would watch and discuss the sermon together. We had praise break too 🙂 A gospel playlist of our favorite gospel songs open in another tab.
While being away from home may have begun this practice, it has stayed with me. When for some reason I have to miss church, I assuage my guilt with organizing my own online service. Truth is, given my hearing impairment I, unfortunately, find myself in church most Sundays for simply the fellowship as I don’t always hear the word, so Youtube sermons have become a staple, especially when you find the right channel, the right preacher that really challenges you to study the word.
As this post was inspired by World Book Day, it’s only fitting that we list Christian literature as the number one supplement. If I had to list five books which have influenced me, be it Christian or pop-fiction, I would definitely have to list Rick Warren’s A Purpose Driven Life. This book helped me officially begin my Christian journey with 40 days of study resulting in my drawing up a life purpose statement and personal covenant. It’s a book I recommend to everyone.
I hope you enjoyed my list, looking forward to reading recommendations from you in the comments!