Posts tagged Reading

Personal Touches to My Daily Reading Plan

By Olive Tree Staff: Harold Coleman

On the fourth day of my new reading plan, I decided to make 2013 the year to add personal touches, such as adding highlights and notes to verses that stand out to me as I read. The verse that got me started was Luke 4:1: “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit…was led by the Spirit…being tempted by the devil.” Here, the Creator (Jesus) was filled and led by the Holy Spirit just as the scriptures say I am to be. However, unlike me at times, Jesus resisted temptation and the devil.  I need to remember this verse as both an encouragement and a contrast to my life.

Highlighting the verse is as simple as touching the verse number and selecting highlight from the pop-up list. On my Android tablet, I selected Luke 4:1-2 by touching the right arrow, then the button “Select 2 Verses.”  I like underlining rather than highlighting, so I touched the yellow color and saw my choices for highlighting. By touching and holding the yellow highlighter, I got the option to edit the highlighter. I have the option to change the name “Yellow” to something meaningful. I can also change from highlight to pen or thin underline. (You’ll need to increase the intensity to see the thin underline.) Tapping the color allows me to even change the color. 


I decided to think through my strategy of naming the colors. I searched the Internet for Bible highlighting and found that people use different colors for different topics. Using some of the ideas I found, I created a list of significant highlighter titles. Highlighting by verse numbers allows me to switch between two Bible versions and still see the highlights.


I went back to Luke 4:1-2 and highlighted it with the color that stands for God’s Character and Nature. Before saving the highlight, I decided to add a tag by selecting “Edit Tags.” When I touched the pencil in the top corner of the pop-up and I was given the option to name a new tag.  I named it “Spirit Filled.” If I touched “Spirit Filled” in the list of tag names, a check mark was added to the right. I added “Spirit Led,” “Temptation,” and “Temptation, Resist,” then selected them all and touched the back arrow. Now I see all that each of the tags I chose is related to this highlight. In just a couple of weeks my list of tag names has grown to 45, including Anger, Forgiveness, Humility, Leadership, Promise, and Wisdom.
A quick review of the early stories of Genesis allowed me to catch up on highlighting. I’ve included the temptations common to us all, such as Adam and Eve’s lack of trust in God’s word.  Cain rejected the loving correction of God by letting hurt feelings lead to anger. Noah took a seemingly well-deserved break after being in the ark and got drunk. Ham disrespected his father’s privacy and then gossiped about his (Noah’s?) failures. I have tagged these stories with “Temptation, Falling to.” On the other hand, Shem and Japheth’s response is tagged with “Temptation, Resist,” as they refuse to enter into judgment or gossip in order to show their father respect. With just a few highlights and tags, I have the beginning of a lesson or sermon on temptation and Jesus’ example of resisting temptation.


As the year progresses, adding more highlights and tags will allow me to review scriptures related to any of my topics by selecting the topic in My Stuff – Tags. If a scripture is particularly meaningful, I add a note to the highlighted verse by touching the verse number and selecting Note.  I can then add thoughts and related scripture references. I can also add a personal prayer and steps I can take to put the insight into action. I can add tags to these notes, such as “A Personal Prayer” and “A Next Step.” Since tags are listed in alphabetical order in My Stuff, I can easily find my prayers and action steps at the top of the list.

What are some of your favorite highlights and tags?  Share a story of how using these tools has helped you in your studies and benefitted your life.





Gift for the New Year

By Olive Tree employee: Harold Coleman

For Christmas, the Android team at Olive Tree gave us a wonderful gift: reading plans that sync between devices! My wife has been using a reading plan on her iPad for the past year and now I have the opportunity to use reading plans on my Android tablet and phone.

I can find the reading plan by choosing the My Stuff and scrolling to the bottom of the list. On my Tablet, My Stuff is the briefcase at the top of the screen. On my phone, you can find My Stuff through the menu button near the bottom of the phone. For my S3 phone, I have to touch the bottom area to see the menu icon display. I chose the Life Journal reading plan because I get both Old and New Testament and can read through the New Testament twice in the year. I named the plan 2013 and then set it as the default reading plan. Now it is available at the top of the list as ‘Reading Plans in Progress’. Though one plan is enough for now, I see how I can add another plan, such as the Advent plan next Christmas season.

The reading plan  is easy to use by selecting it out of My Stuff, tapping my plan named 2013 and touching the Start/Continue Reading button. I’m taken to the reading for the day in the Old Testament. When I finish reading this section, I see a button below this portion of reading that takes me to the next section, which is in the New Testament for the first few days, but will be in Psalms later and in the New Testament by the seventh day. At the end of the New Testament reading the “Done” button finishes the reading, and I will be ready to start the next day.

What is nice is that I can just finish the Old Testament reading and touch the button to continue, then I stop reading for the morning. If I sync my tablet Bible+ app from the My Stuff list, I can continue the reading on my phone during a break at work by syncing my phone Bible+ app and choosing Continue Reading from the Reading Plan screen. It is so easy I might keep this New Year’s resolution to read through the Bible, or extend it slightly into 2014. The benefits are obvious in getting to know God’s Word, drawing closer to Him, and find His direction and plan for each day, month, and year.

Thanks to Olive Tree’s Android team for giving me a great start to the New Year!


Two great (free) resources to add to your Bible+ App

If you’ve installed The Bible Study App recently than the ESV Bible came preinstalled. But if you’ve been using the app for longer than a few weeks you may not know that you are now able to download the ESV Bible for free. Click HERE to download the ESV Bible and add it to your library.

The New Year is a great time to start a daily Bible reading plan. The Life Journal daily reading plan is a great resource designed to help you read through the entire Bible twice in one year. Click here to download the Life Journal daily reading plan for free.






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