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Sep 29, 2019

Hi Friends!

Before sharing personal news, I’ll give various bits of news about Youversion Bible reading plans and Bible podcasts.

If you haven’t noticed, I believe it is a good thing to read the Bible. Following the suggestion of one of my spiritual fathers, I think it is a great idea to read the Bible once a year. Devoted Bible believers are kind of divided between the ones who choose to memorize a whole lot of the Bible, and those who choose to read the Bible in a year. Here’s what I have noticed about the Bible memorizers: In order to keep three hundred or more verses in your memory, one needs to be dedicated to reviewing the chosen verses regularly. And Bible memorizers will not want to change translations, because it will mess with what they have memorized. So while Bible memorizers can amaze their friends by quoting appropriate passages verbatim from memory, they may miss the blessing of yearly reading some Old Testament books or gaining insight from different translations. Obviously (from my biased description above) you will know that I prefer the decision I made early in life to read the Bible every year instead of focussing on memorization. I enjoy keeping my Bible reading fresh by using different translations, and embracing the whole book— cover to cover— in my Bible study, rather than pinpointing three hundred verses. This means I never get to amaze people by quoting passages verbatim, but I can usually paraphrase the passages I need in conversation. 

All that was to say that I encourage you to keep things fresh! At you can find tips for

  • reading the Bible in a real-book Bible,
  • listening to podcasts of the NLT and GNT,
  • or you can mix listening and reading using multiple translations and hearing multiple voices using the Read To Me Daily YouVersion reading plan.
  • Tips on how to do that with various apps or web sites are also found at

What I do NOT recommend is that you spend multiple years in a row listening to me reading. If you are listening to something I have produced this year, do something new and challenging in 2020. If you liked this year following my reading plan, please share my website with your friends.

If you happen to be using the Read To Me Daily YouVersion reading plan this year, I have just updated the images for each day. If you happen to be using a tablet, you may have noticed that the daily theme images (with words like Eyes on Christ or Wisdom) were pixelated and ugly. Now they should look much sharper. Semesters 3-4 have been published with the new images, and semesters 1-2 should go live with new pictures next week. You won’t see the new pictures if you just stay logged in on your device. Log out and then log back into your YouVersion app via the main settings page, then your plan should update to the new version.

Hey, let’s share our Bible-reading insights together. These don’t have to be profound. I have two ways to suggest: Come the first of the year, I will share my YouVersion Bible reading plan with people who request to join in my group. I’ll start on December 31st, so my sharing will be visible to you if you start on January 1st. If things go like this year, I normally share a little something about once a week. 

But secondly, I have been copying most of my posts from YouVersion into posts at our new forum: The BibleReaders forum is open to any Bible reader sharing about any verse in the Bible on any day. And it is a good place to ask questions. So no matter where you are in your Bible Reading experience, you can share. Let me give an example: Someone might share, “Hey, praise the Lord, this is the first time I have made it through reading Matthew!” You know what? That would encourage me greatly! Right now it’s kind of sleepy in the forum, and I hope things pick up in the new year.

Gale will be going to Jakarta with me starting on October 3! She comes home on the 21st, and I stay on for another month. We look forward to a little more than two weeks of special time with Hannah and Brandon, and Ava (10), Joel (9), and Devin (3). 

We praise the Lord for Him providing a 5 times bigger office for our little Bible translation organization, right in the same building where we have been located. We don't even have to change our address! Praise the Lord for our new office. 

While in Jakarta, I will have some important days of meetings with our five Albata employees there. It just so happened that right when we moved into our better office, some difficulties regarding employees surfaced. I have struggled to know how to share this prayer request. I hope I have said enough for you to read between the lines when I say that I will need to make some hard decisions. Please ask for heavenly wisdom for me, as I so much want to make upright decisions.

Please pray that our new part-time employee (Bobby) will be able to do a great job promoting the use of our TSI New Testament through social media, our website, and YouVersion reading plans. The goal of this is not our fame, but to increase the understanding of God's Word in every province of Indonesia.

It is a huge answer to prayer that in November and December three consultants will come, for the pre-publication checking of several Old Testament books. The venue for this has been very difficult to set up. We had to move locations from Papua, where there are protest riots now. The checking will now take place in Salatiga, Central Java. Praise the Lord that a faithful donor has promised to give the full $5000 budget for the two months of consultant checking. Please pray that through these face-to-face checking times, we will build trust with our consultants so that checking can be done via email in the future. Please pray that we can complete all consultant checking of Genesis and Ecclesiates by the end of December.