Your Own Personal Bible

Remember when you were in Vacation Bible School and the teacher would have you take out an index card and write out John 3:16, substituting your name for “The World?” Now, there’s an app for that. You just enter your name and gender, and the entire Bible is personalized for you.

ToYouBible instantly populates thousands of applicable Bible passages with the user’s name and also customizes them to read according to the user’s gender. A version of the app also allows the user to add their spouse’s name and instantly customizes all relevant biblical passages on marriage with both spouses’ names.

The popularity of Bible reading using mobile device applications has been demonstrated by the success of the YouVersion Bible app which currently has more than 100 million users worldwide.

The ToYouBible app also caters to the popularity of personalized merchandise and gifts. The creators of the ToYouBible App, say they believe the use of mobile devices and as well as the added value of personalization could help make Bible reading more meaningful and relevant to readers.

One of the creators, Gregory Ijiwola, Ph.D., an evangelical pastor and a Moody Theological Seminary alumnus, said his desire is to foster a more intimate experience in reading God’s word.

“We believe the Bible is God’s letter to humanity on his love and plans for us and it contains the answer to all of life’s questions. However, when people read it, the words and promises of the Bible oftentimes seem distant and meant for people who lived thousands of years ago.”

The ToYouBible App, tagged ‘The Bible That Reads in Your Name’ is available in the iOS and android version on the Apple Appstore and Google Play store respectively. The app costs 99 cents.

So, what do you think? Is this a new and effective way to communicate God’s Word, or is it a gimmicky method of tapping into America’s vanity for a buck?

The End Is Coming (again)

It’s the end of the world as we know it. Again. Marshall Swing, the world’s foremost gold and silver futures trading and price analyst, is the latest prognosticator of the end times. The newest date of the beginning of the end of days from well-meaning Christian doomsdayers is— drumroll please– September 11, 2015.  That’s right, September 11. Actually, it’s September 12, but that doesn’t grab as much attention so, Swing has fudged a little.

Swing predicts a global economic collapse on September 11th that will usher in the one-world government and one-world currency that are the mark of the coming of the Anti-Christ himself. The “September 11” event is predicted to occur at sundown in Israel, which Swing acknowledges is actually September 12th according to the Biblical method of the day starting with the evening or setting of the sun.

Swing’s predictions are in response to Jonathan Cahn, who had the audacity to claim the world would be ending on September 13. Not to be out-done, Swing has set his date at the 11th or, eh, maybe the 12th- ish…

Of course, the safest prediction is that September 11th, 12th and 13th will pass like normal days and by Sept. 14th, we’ll all go back to not having a clue who Swing and Cahn are.

Someone Finally Said It

The so-called “culture wars” have been picking up again and sometimes it is easy for Christians to get caught up in a set of political issues. Caleb Flores at The Gospel Coalition wrote an excellent blog post last year entitled “4 Things Jesus Didn’t Die For.” It is a good read, especially in light of recent events. Among the list of things, Flores points out that Jesus didn’t die to be the poster boy for a political cause or organization, and he didn’t actually die to make sure you could achieve the American Dream. This perspective is completely Biblical, and one many Christians today need to hear.

A father’s love

Pastor John Pavlovitz has gotten a lot of attention for his recent blog post about what he would do if he found out one of his kids was gay. Spoiler alert: He would love them just the same way a, father is called to love his child.

This is how it should be. Hats off to you, Mr. Pavlovitz. You’re doing it right.


Bride of Christ Jilted at Altar

EARTH- Today was a sad day for one blushing bride. After making plans for a wedding to rival that of Prince William, the Bride of Christ stood waiting for the Groom to make His long awaited appearance. He did not show His face.

“He didn’t even call, or text, or tweet or update His status on Facebook,” the disappointed bride told reporters.

Christ was not available for comment despite numerous prayers forwarded to His address in Heaven.

“That’s to be expected,” said the bride. “He’s a very quiet and private guy. Even through this whole process, He hasn’t been very vocal.”

In fact, the Groom wasn’t even present at the proposal two years ago. According to witnesses, the proposal and wedding date were announced by the bride through an obscure radio network. Listeners to that radio network then sold all of their possessions, bought a number of vans and billboard advertisements and began the process of inviting the entire world to the wedding. The Groom however has kept a low profile and has made no recent comments on the planned wedding. However, a posting on His Facebook page dated 2,000 years ago indicates He is not aware of the wedding date and has no intention of telling the Bride when that day will arrive.

“I just don’t understand,” The Bride said. “I was so certain.”

This is not the first time The Groom has failed to appear at His own wedding. Based on a long history of false alarms, it certainly will not be the last.


In yet another story of Christians and their strange fetish for firepower, a pastor in Georgia has been arrested for shooting a 13 year old boy. What was the boy’s deadly offense? He threw a rock at the right reverend’s car.

Yeah. That’s reasonable. I remember Jesus saying, “Let the children come to me, but if they throw rocks, blow their brains out.”

If you’d like to read the full story the link is here.


Christ once said “the Truth shall set you free.” Anyone who has spent more than five minutes in a church has quickly learned that there are some truths church people just don’t want to hear.

Anne Jackson, a pastor’s kid, learned this when she struggled with pornography. Her experience led her to write the book “Permission to Speak Freely” and to start a website of the same name.

Think of it as PostSecret, only instead of just writing secrets they haven’t told anyone, Jackson is encouraging people to post the secrets they feel they can’t share with the family of God. Openness, freedom and love— the Church could sure use a lot more of that.

Good Medicine

Filed under “Things We Need to See More Of” this week is a blog post by Worship Leader Carlos Whittaker. In his post, “God’s Power, Prayer, and Paxil” he opens up about his struggles with anxiety and the answer he has found in the form of Paxil. He also talks about the crazy things Christians say to people who find themselves in need of medication of one form or another and sets the record straight about how God provides in ways we don’t understand, and that isn’t just limited to miracles and supernatural healing.

Oh, and for those of you who still want to judge, you might want to take a look at the statistics used in Whittaker’s blog post. He is not the only church leader who is on anxiety medication. In fact, he isn’t even in the minority.

Hats off to you, Mr. Whittaker. The Church needs more leaders like you who admit to having the same problems as people like us.

Prescription for intolerance

Ever notice how most Christians shun the use of any type of medication?

It doesn’t matter if you’re taking a pill for anxiety, a cholesterol problem, a treatment for a chronic illness or medication for an upset stomach, most church-people are going to urge you to leave the medicine behind.

They may not say it directly, but they’re certainly going to direct their prayers in small group in such a way that you and everyone else are aware that medication is evil and we should all strive to be free from it.

In response to your earnest prayer request, some pink-polo-shirt-wearing pansy might pray: “Lord, we lift up Brother Luther tonight and ask that you would help him— Lord— break free of the ailment he has opened up to us about. We would ask— Father— that— Lord— you would— Father— grant him the ability— Father— to rely solely on you and not on doctors or medications – Father— that he would be fully sustained by you… blah, blah, blah, Amen.”

Hogwash. Pure hogwash. These crazies seem to believe that if you just believe the right way, if you just pray the right way or if you would only have a little more faith, God will handle any illness or disease.

They want to blame the sufferer for their suffering, when throughout Scripture we find that suffering builds and molds a follower of Christ into the person God has planned for them to be.

Yet, we see Christian after Christian in the modern church acting as if illness is a symptom of a lack of faith and medication is a sign that one has given up on God.

Who is the weaker brother? The one who is struggling and learning that faith in Christ isn’t always a pretty picture and isn’t black and white, or the one who is condemning without having to walk down a dark road?

They will know us by our disgust

To further pigeonhole Christians into the stereotype of overly-political and anti-gay, we have this gentleman, a grown-ass man, who has been bullying and stalking a homosexual college kid. Watch as much of the video as you can without having a heart-attack— my commentary is below.

…and Jesus wept.

And now I’d like to say a few words to Mr. Shirvell:

First of all, Andy… pick on someone your own size. You are a grown-up now, which means you have to put on your big boy pants and not get your panties in a wad about the student body president of your alma matter. Based on your lack of intellectual-prowess, you probably ought to just be thankful you got out of there with a diploma and stop looking back.

Second, please stop politicizing Christianity. Being conservative and Christian are not the same. Also, if you are going to identify yourself as both, please decide which one is more important to you and be up front about it. My experience has been that most conservative Christians are just that, conservative first and Christian second. If Jesus came back today and said “Leave the gays alone,” I get the impression you and your elk would be the first to pick up the stones.

Last, where is Jesus in your actions? Where in your distorted version of faith do you see Christ bullying a boy who isn’t even old enough to remember life before the Internet. Can you point to a Scripture where Jesus condemns someone based on sexual-orientation? Can you find a place in the Bible where Jesus speaks out harshly against anyone other than the self-righteous religious leaders of his day?

You can’t. It isn’t there. So, Andy, if you aren’t being Christ-like in your actions, please do us all a favor and shut your pie hole. Learn to love. Learn to be identified as one of Christ’s disciples because of your love for others and not because of your bigotry and seething hatred for other human beings.

Those of you who think like Mr. Shirvell, go and do likewise.