Back in the dark ages [about six years ago], my laptop was big, bulky and slow. I used it for word processing and email. Now it is lighter and faster with a much bigger hard drive and it has gradually become a central part of my life. It’s now my photo album, music collection, mailbox, library [thanks to Project Gutenberg and the Nook for PC program], and often my dvd player, stereo, and telephone. Sometimes, I even use it as my camera during a Skype call.
And thanks to OneNote,[ a program Microsoft has been bundling with Office for a few years] my laptop has also become my spiritual journal. I’m not going to wax eloquent about how useful I find OneNote, except to say it has a great search function, and having pages and sections and notebooks makes material much more accessible than closed up in file that is tucked away in a folder.
Using my laptop for my journal has some pitfalls. It’s tempting to check email or news or blogs or google some random question. Since I usually spend time with God first thing in the morning, I’ve learned to turn my wireless off before I go to bed. But there are times I’ll turn it back on when I have one of those “where’s the verse with that phrase….” moments. Google finds it 99% of the time. And when I want to compare a passage [or copy a verse for this blog], I use a websites that has several different translations of the Bible.**
However, I’ve also downloaded a Bible onto my laptop. The NET Bible** is free, and like OneNote it is an absolute breeze to navigate and search. It’s probably the fastest way to look up a specific passage. Three clicks and you’re there. NET Bible is billed as a more literal translation, but I find it reads fresh. It also comes with very enlightening translator’s notes. This electronic Bible isn’t going to replace my paper and ink Bible [who could give up that wonderful crinkling sound when you turn the page?]. But it’s great to have a Bible at my fingertips all the time. If I have everything else on my laptop, why not the Word of life too?