From my first computer, my first cell phone, my first iPod, etc. I have always enjoyed technology. I enjoy the challenge of new software and new devices. I think if this type of technology had been around when I was young, I would have dreamed of being in this field instead of dreaming of being a CPA. Of course since I never attained that CPA dream and am too old to pursue it, its good that I can still have lots of fun and enjoyment with technology.

Being back here in Kenya, I am starting for the first time in my adult life to live without a paper day planner. I’ve been using electronic planners for a long time, but I always kept a paper planner too. First thing my daughter Dana is going to say when she reads this update is your OCD is kicking in Momma… and she would be right!

The problem in the last couple of years though is that I’ve tried to balance both yet, I can’t sync my paper planner with my electronic one. I was missing important things like birthdays and anniversaries, which had always been very important to me to keep up with. I had to make a decision and pick one.

As I’m shifting to not only an electronic planner only for everything, I am thoroughly enjoying some new Bible apps that go everywhere with me and offer access to resources when I’m studying Gods Word. No matter if I’m in the bush or at home, I have access to dig deep in Gods Word. However, my paper Bible is never far away and that is something that will never change. As much as I enjoy and am thankful for the biblical technology we have access to today, I never want to be without a tangible copy of Gods Word.

Since becoming a Christian and developing an intense hunger to know Gods Word, I have always cherished my bibles. Yes, bibles plural because I wear them out. I used to think that something I’d like to leave behind once God calls me home to heaven would be a worn out, well read bible for each of my children and grandchildren. However, that changed when I came to Africa and realized how many people didn’t have one bible, much less several they were holding onto for sentimental reasons. So, now I give them away and I’ve learned such a valuable lesson in doing so.

I’m a note taken when it comes to studying Gods Word. I write all over the pages of my bible with sermon notes and thoughts from the Holy Spirit when He helps me understand a verse or a chapter. What I’ve learned in giving my used bibles away, is most often the notes that are handwritten help whoever takes new ownership. And that is something we can never leave behind for anyone else if we only use electronic bibles.

I cherish God’s Word and I consider it the greatest material possession I have. I love my country and I love our American flag. As a small child I was taught the importance of our flag and to never let it touch the ground. Yet, I always want to give more honor and respect to my Bible. I never lay my bible on the floor or on the ground simply because its more important to me than the flag of my country.

I remember something my children learned in their youth group when they were in high school. Their youth pastor told them they should consider placing their Bible in between themselves and the person they were dating when they were out together. It gave my children a visual of how Gods physical Word could protect them from sexual impurities.

Another time in my life when the importance of the physical Word of God was made known to me was 10 years ago. I had moved into the Gainesville area and was living in a new gated community apartment complex. At that point in my life it was the most secure place I had ever lived.

I came home from work one evening and after punching in my code for the gate, began to drive toward my building. Up ahead of me I could see a woman walking in the middle of drive. The closer I got to her the more I realized she wasn’t moving out of the way.

When I came near her, I let my window down and ask if something was wrong. Because it was a gated community and I had always felt safe, I never question that this could be a person out to bring harm. Before I knew clearly what was happening, she came around to the other side of my vehicle and opened the door, coming in after me. But in the passenger seat lay my bible as I always took it back and forth to work with me.

Even though this woman was in a drug induced rage, she had no physical issues that would keep her from climbing over the seat to reach me to stab me with knife she had in her hand. Yet, as hard as she tried there was what seemed to be an invisible wall that kept her from reaching me. It was literally like watching a movie in slow motion.

Without any doubt in my mind all these years later, I still believe my bible the physical Word of God was what kept evil away. The demonic forces within her could not cross over Gods Word.

As I discover more and more uses with my electronic devices, I want to think of them as open tabletops. Tabletops like most of have in our homes where we lay our bibles. Because the device is holding the Word of God I never want there to be anything ungodly stored alongside it.

For example, I could never lay pornographic material on a table with my physical Bible. No matter how strong or how weak my relationship with God was, its something that I would know would just not be right. They don’t belong together in any setting.

I wonder about our young people today who are much more tech savvy than myself and way ahead of me with technology. If all they use is an electronic Bible, are they truly learning the importance and the treasure we have in the gift of His book. Or, is their Bible app just one of many other things stored on their devices. I wonder when Christians today lose their electronic device or it gets stolen, if the first thing they think is …oh no I’ve lost my Bible. I think the answer to that would be no thats not what is missed.

Its great to be able to take our electronic devices with us to church, for our pastors to use their devices to preach from, all of these things are good as long as we never forget the value and treasure the Word of God is. As long as it doesn’t become just a part of everything else we access.

I encourage you to embrace what technology has for us as Christians, in our personal spiritual growth as well as the endless opportunities to reach the world for Jesus Christ. Yet, cherish the Word no matter where you keep it, remember it is Holy.

Love to all,

Joy Breedlove

Missionary-East Africa