Donny's Ramblings


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Olivetree Bible Software for iPhone

YouVersion Bible App:  Free on iTunes

YouVersion Bible App: Free on iTunes

Since purchasing my iPhone in 2007, I’ve been using the Bible App from YouVersion any time I want to read a passage. That application has come in very handy, and has increased the amount of scripture I read. In fact, I’ve read through the entire New Testament four times in the last year, and much of that was done on my iPhone with this app.  With 19 different translations at my fingertips from YouVersion, I’m able to pick up something new every time I read it.  The main downside to this YouVersion app is that a connection to the Internet is required in order to use it, as it loads content from YouVersion’s server.  In other words:  I can’t read the Bible using this app if I’m, say, leaving on a jet plane.

When my friend David Louis Harter purchased an iPhone just weeks ago, I knew two things would happen for sure:  (1) I knew I’d soon be seeing interesting iPhone photos produced by David, and (2) I knew he’d diligently bring new iPhone apps and features to my attention. I wasn’t disappointed.  One of the first apps David recommended was the BibleReader for iPhone from Olivetree software.

A Partial View of my BibleReader for iPhone Library

A Partial View of my BibleReader Library - Click to Enlarge

If you’re an iPhone user, I can’t recommend this software highly enough.   Be sure to click to enlarge the screenshots I’m posting to check out what you’re missing.  Olivetree has brought a lot more than the Bible to this free application.  At my fingertips is Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, various concordances and study guides, the complete works of Flavius Josephus, the Confessions of St. Augustine, books by the likes of Charles Spurgeon, Martin Luther, John Piper, John Calvin, and a lot more.  Many of these books are completely free!  Just about any translastion of the Bible can be loaded into BibleReader, some free, some for a fee.

Free items for Olivetree BibleReader - Click to Enlarge

Free items for Olivetree BibleReader - Click to Enlarge

AND NO INTERNET CONNECTION IS REQUIRED TO READ THEM! The Bible, the books… all are downloaded to your iPhone and available at any time.

Navigating scripture is easy: after picking the translation you’d like to read from your library, click the “Verse” button on the top right side of the screen, simply select the Book you wish, followed by the Chapter, and then the Verse. It couldn’t be easier, and is much faster than flipping through the pages of a printed Bible.

I am particularly fond of this software’s split screen features (I’ll post screenshots below to show examples).  I can have two translations open at the same time, comparing, for example, the text of Today’s New International Version with that of the King James Version.  OR perhaps I’ll have a passage of scripture in one window, and commentary notes for it open in the other… or a concordance… or… or… or… It’s nifty, I tell ya! And flipping the screen sideways changes to a landscape view (see examples below).  The OliveTree Blog features “how-to” videos that explain everything for even the mentally slowest amongst us (which explains why I spent a good part of my morning watching said videos).

Since I never go anywhere without my phone, this software means I have multiple translations of the Bible, and related books, available in my pocket at all times.

Or at least until my battery dies…

DOWNLOAD BIBLEREADER FREE – CLICK HERE

———-

Split Screen Views

Split Screen Views

It's very easy to select book, chapter, and verse

It's very easy to select book, chapter, and verse


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iPhone 2.0 Update

iPHONE 3G

Since the 3G network isn’t available in Redding or Chico yet I have no reason to purchase the new phone, especially since Apple is making many of the new features available to existing iPhone users via a software update.

UPDATING MY iPHONE

Although it started off looking very promising, upgrading my iPhone to version 2.0 was quite a pain. I plugged my phone into my MacBook Pro and opened iTunes. When I was alerted that a new update was available I gave iTunes permission to download the software. After downloading the 225 MB file, the update was ready to install. All was going well at this point.

My troubles began when the phone restarted after the updated software was installed. Apparently, the phone has to be verified through iTunes. For more than an hour I kept receiving this message:

We could not complete your iTunes Store request.  An unknown error occurred (-4).  </p> <p>Ther was an error in the iTunes Store.  Please try again later.

iPhone 2.0 update error

My phone became an iBrick. I couldn’t make or receive calls or do anything with it other than to look at it and wish I was able to play with the new features.

Doing a google search, I discovered many other people have been having the same problem. Apple’s servers are simply overwhelmed with traffic. But from the reading I did, I learned that my update would finally complete itself if I just kept trying, so that’s what I did. Eventually, it worked.

The new features and “App Store” make that short hour of inconvenience well worth the wait. The first application I added was the Bible application from Lifechurch.tv. It offers 12 versions of the Bible in English (and 3 in spanish) at the touch of a button, has a “Daily Reader” feature and allows for easy search. I’m lovin’ it!

SCREENSHOTS

I was very happy to learn that the iPhone allows me to capture screenshots of whatever is on my screen by simply holding down the “home” button and pressing the power button at the top of the phone… so instead of telling you about the apps I’ve added so far I’ll simply post a few screenshots. Here’s what I have on my iPhone so far:

iPhone Screenshot #1

iPhone Screenshot

In the photo above you’ll see several different apps I’ve installed. The only one I paid for is Tetris. Tetris is a lot of fun. The Exposure app is great, too. With Exposure, you can access your Flickr photos, or those of your contacts. But what I REALLY like is the feature that allows you to find photos on Flickr that were taken near you. The iPhone determines your GPS location and then finds photos on Flickr that were taken nearby. It rocks!

Here is a look at a few of the top “free applications” available for iPhone:

iPhone Screenshot #3

And a look at a few of the top “paid apps” for iPhone:

iPhone Screenshot #4

I am SUCH a gadget geek, and am feeling on top of the world today with all of these new nifty “things” to play with. If you’re an iPhone user let me know what your favorite “apps” are so far. And check back, ’cause I might update this post or talk more about my faves in the comments section.


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Not “Practicing What I Preach”

On July 13th I purchased my iPhone. Because I’d recently had a house foreclosed upon and autos and other “sparkley things” repossessed, activating it was a frustrating experience. AT&T wanted a $1,000 deposit, which I felt was a bit excessive, especially after spending $600 bucks on the phone itself. One thing I’ve learned is that there are few things in life which are completely set in stone, so after speaking to several different employees and a manager or two on the telephone, the deposit was reduced to $500. That deposit is returned 6 months later if all payments have been made on time. “Six months later”, dear constant reader, is January 13th, 2008… just a handful of days from today.

Earlier this afternoon I was in Red Bluff, California at Walmart looking for a large candy cane for Caden’s stocking… you know, those really big ones that are two or three inches thick and a foot long? My search for the candy cane was unsuccessful, but I did find a few presents he’d asked Santa to bring his cat.

Next on my agenda was a present for my brother: getting his AT&T prepaid cell number transferred to my account as a second line so that he no longer has to worry about refilling his minutes. I don’t use all my own minutes now that I’m using the same network as the people I call the most. I’m building up quite the collection of “rollover minutes” and I have no doubts that Daniel can help me take care of those. I figured a quick call to customer service would take care of it, but I quickly learned that I’d have to go to an AT&T store. Despite the fact that his prepaid phone is through AT&T, a new simm card is needed. My favorite AT&T store was 45 minutes away, so off I headed.

My preconceived notion was that this whole process was going to be a hassle, and I allowed my attitude to sour as I headed to the door. Cort, the lucky employee who greeted me as I walked in, was friendly enough. Maybe this wouldn’t be so bad after all. Cort handed me a list of family plans, I selected one, and he started typing away into the computer. Just a few minutes later and something on the screen made him pick up the phone to call customer service.

AT&T wanted another $500 deposit for that second line. I was (ahem) a very happy man at this point.

Those who know me best can verify I have a sharp tongue from time to time. As a teenager, I remember telling my parents in cutting language just how much smarter I was than them. When I really want to make myself feel good, words are chosen to demonstrate my intellectual superiority to the person on the receiving end of my verbal barrage. I am working on this part of me. Today I lost that battle.

As Cort hung up the phone I put on my best condescending attitude and let him know that it would be nice if SOMEONE around here was able to do a little critical thinking, notice that I already had a $500 deposit on file that would soon be returned, and ask the customer service rep (or supervisor) on the other end of the phone if they’d simply apply that deposit toward the new line instead of crediting it to my account as scheduled on January 13th. A few more sharp words with a dose of “extra attitude” escaped my lips, and Cort was back on the phone, this time handing it to me so that I could speak with the representative myself.

As I left the store I felt less than proud of the hypocrite I’d been, completely forgetting to show the love for others I’d like to believe I possess. There was no way to take back my words, and a simple “I’m sorry” didn’t seem to be enough. Instead I walked to the nearby Target and picked up a $15 gift card. On the back I wrote, “Nobody deserves to be treated like that. I apologize.”

God’s definitely got a lot of work left to do on this creature, dear constant reader.

Oh, guess what? I still didn’t get my way! I must either pony up another $500 or wait until the 13th to apply that existing deposit toward the second line.

(Sorry, Cort)


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Not "Practicing What I Preach"

On July 13th I purchased my iPhone. Because I’d recently had a house foreclosed upon and autos and other “sparkley things” repossessed, activating it was a frustrating experience. AT&T wanted a $1,000 deposit, which I felt was a bit excessive, especially after spending $600 bucks on the phone itself. One thing I’ve learned is that there are few things in life which are completely set in stone, so after speaking to several different employees and a manager or two on the telephone, the deposit was reduced to $500. That deposit is returned 6 months later if all payments have been made on time. “Six months later”, dear constant reader, is January 13th, 2008… just a handful of days from today.

Earlier this afternoon I was in Red Bluff, California at Walmart looking for a large candy cane for Caden’s stocking… you know, those really big ones that are two or three inches thick and a foot long? My search for the candy cane was unsuccessful, but I did find a few presents he’d asked Santa to bring his cat.

Next on my agenda was a present for my brother: getting his AT&T prepaid cell number transferred to my account as a second line so that he no longer has to worry about refilling his minutes. I don’t use all my own minutes now that I’m using the same network as the people I call the most. I’m building up quite the collection of “rollover minutes” and I have no doubts that Daniel can help me take care of those. I figured a quick call to customer service would take care of it, but I quickly learned that I’d have to go to an AT&T store. Despite the fact that his prepaid phone is through AT&T, a new simm card is needed. My favorite AT&T store was 45 minutes away, so off I headed.

My preconceived notion was that this whole process was going to be a hassle, and I allowed my attitude to sour as I headed to the door. Cort, the lucky employee who greeted me as I walked in, was friendly enough. Maybe this wouldn’t be so bad after all. Cort handed me a list of family plans, I selected one, and he started typing away into the computer. Just a few minutes later and something on the screen made him pick up the phone to call customer service.

AT&T wanted another $500 deposit for that second line. I was (ahem) a very happy man at this point.

Those who know me best can verify I have a sharp tongue from time to time. As a teenager, I remember telling my parents in cutting language just how much smarter I was than them. When I really want to make myself feel good, words are chosen to demonstrate my intellectual superiority to the person on the receiving end of my verbal barrage. I am working on this part of me. Today I lost that battle.

As Cort hung up the phone I put on my best condescending attitude and let him know that it would be nice if SOMEONE around here was able to do a little critical thinking, notice that I already had a $500 deposit on file that would soon be returned, and ask the customer service rep (or supervisor) on the other end of the phone if they’d simply apply that deposit toward the new line instead of crediting it to my account as scheduled on January 13th. A few more sharp words with a dose of “extra attitude” escaped my lips, and Cort was back on the phone, this time handing it to me so that I could speak with the representative myself.

As I left the store I felt less than proud of the hypocrite I’d been, completely forgetting to show the love for others I’d like to believe I possess. There was no way to take back my words, and a simple “I’m sorry” didn’t seem to be enough. Instead I walked to the nearby Target and picked up a $15 gift card. On the back I wrote, “Nobody deserves to be treated like that. I apologize.”

God’s definitely got a lot of work left to do on this creature, dear constant reader.

Oh, guess what? I still didn’t get my way! I must either pony up another $500 or wait until the 13th to apply that existing deposit toward the second line.

(Sorry, Cort)


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The Best Way to Use an iPhone Credit

Here is Donny’s official step-by-step guide on the proper way to use an Apple iPhone Credit.

STEP ONE:
iMac Photo Booth

Go to the Apple Store in Sacramento, California at Arden Fair, have an associate direct you to the proper spot on Apple’s website, enter your iPhone’s phone number and serial number, and wait for the text message that arrives shortly from Apple containing your “access code”.

(don’t forget to take a photo of yourself with “Photo Booth” on the the supplied 24 inch iMac – then email it to yourself for later blog use)

STEP TWO:
iPhone Credit

Have aforementioned associate print out your Apple Store Credit voucher.

STEP THREE:
8GB iPod Nano

Apply credit voucher towards the purchase of an iPod Nano for the beautiful ex-wife/mother-of-your-son person (shhh… don’t tell her!).

—–

PS: The first pic shows the shirt I wore to this morning’s “Porn and Pancakes” event before flying to Sac for tomorrow’s engagement. Craig Gross liked this one.


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My Schedule – Are YOU Near Any of These Events?

(I have a prayer request at the end of this article)

I’m awake! I’m awake!

Of course I am… it’s time to get ready to fly to Ft. Myers, Florida. Tomorrow morning I’m speaking at Porn and Pancakes with Craig and J.R. My schedule for the next several weeks is hectic. I love it! Well, right NOW I love it, let’s see how I feel halfway into it. Fall starts the busy time of year for speaking engagements. Here’s mine for the next month and a half:

  • Friday, September 14 – Sunday, September 16: Ft. Myers, Florida for Porn and Pancakes, followed by Sunday Morning Services at First Assembly Ministry.
  • Friday, September 21st – Sunday, September 23rd: Colorado Springs, Colorado for Porn and Pancakes, followed by Sunday Morning Services at Pulpit Rock Church.
  • Friday, September 28 – Saturday, September 29: Irvine, California for Porn and Pancakes at Mariner’s Church.
  • Sunday, September 30th: Sacramento, California to speak at Morning services at Arcade Church.
  • Saturday, October 6th – Sunday, October 7th: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma for NATIONAL PORN SUNDAY, broadcasting from LifeChurch.tv.
  • Monday, October 8th – Tuesday, October 9th: Edinborough, Pennsylvania for Porn and Pizza at McLane Church.
  • Friday, October 12th – Saturday, October 13th: Richmond, Virginia for Porn and Pancakes at New Venture Christian Church.
  • Sunday, October 14th: Charlotte, North Carolina to speak during Sunday Morning services at Kinetic Church.
  • Friday, October 26 – Saturday, October 27th: Huntington Beach, California for Porn and Pancakes at First Christian Church.
  • Friday, November 2 – Saturday, November 3rd: Dayton, Ohio for Porn and Pancakes at Apex Community Church.

I’ll be logging a lot of frequent-flyer miles, and bringing my iPhone. I want to meet as many people as I can, take your photo so I remember you, and add you to my iPhone’s address book.

Come with a smile!

PRAYER REQUEST:

I’d like those of you who pray to agree with me in this request, and to pray with me for some of these things when you remember to do so:

God, I thank you SO MUCH for the opportunity to travel and speak with your sons and daughters about this very important issue.  I ask that you keep reminding me that YOU are merciful and full of grace, and that transforming a wretch like me is a miracle.  Using me in the manner in which you’ve used me is humbling.  Please remind me to stay in that place of humility.  You know me, God.  I have a HUGE ego, God, and have a tendency to sometimes want to take credit for things that have nothing to do with me and everything to do with you.  Please help me break that.  I’d ask you to just break it for me but I realize it’s something you’re happy to provide assistance with, but much of the work has to be done on my end.

I’d also like to ask for health.  Flying around the country is something that often times results in colds.  I hate colds.  I run to the grocery store for NyQuil and DayQuil at every sniffle.  Please, I ask, help me to stay away from bugs and germs.

I also ask that you open hearts to receive the message being presented at these events.  You’ve given all of us free will to do as we please, but sometimes our free will hurts others, and ourselves, much more than we realize.  I want those who listen to know that none of us are trying to take away rights or free will, we just want people to have more knowledge about all sides, all perspectives, of the issue of pornography.  It’s an issue that is huge and it’s a big blue elephant that we no longer want the church to ignore.

Be with all of us.  Bless every speaker and every listener.  I love you.

– Donny –


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Bethel Is A Really Weird Church

I originally wrote this as a comment to this article I found about Bethel Church in Redding, California.

Ah, a post on the crazy church in Redding known as Bethel… and a detailed one at that.

First of all, let me paint a little background picture for the record:

I produced porn for 9 years. For the first 3 years of that time I was married and hid it from my now ex-wife, who was devastated when she found out. She found healing at Bethel Church in Redding. She’d tell me things that happened at that church and I’d get angry because it sounded so stupid and ridiculous.

I made fun of her all the time when she’d tell me some of the things the “School of Ministry” students did (she became a 1st year school of ministry student herself). Crazy things happened, supposedly. Like feathers falling from the sky during service…. like the time when the quadriplegic she cared for had her tooth healed (“Donny, I brushed her teeth for her this morning before taking her to church… that gold tooth wasn’t there, I swear to you!”). Like all sorts of other “healings”.

People come from all over the world to attend that church.

Last year I wanted to turn my life over to God and leave porn production. I reached out to Bethel. 4 times. They wouldn’t talk to me. I don’t know why. They wouldn’t return calls. Wendy (my ex) had her sister go directly to leadership and implore them to call me. They didn’t.

I eventually surrendered my life to God on my own. And I decided to check out Bethel.

It’s weird. That’s for sure.

But I felt God there. Very strongly. I decided to follow along on a “treasure hunt” like the one of which you spoke. I was flabbergasted at what happened. I rode along with one of the church’s pastors, in his car, as we drove around Redding. He saw a group of people standing in front of Carl’s Jr and walked up to them. I followed. The people must have thought we were really odd when he said he had “a word” for one woman in the group. He told her that God knew she hadn’t been sleeping well the last few nights and that was all going to stop as of “right now”. He told her other personal things about herself. The whole group started laughing because he was RIGHT ON about everything, including her not sleeping well the last few days.

It was really weird to witness that. I didn’t want to accept it then, and I still don’t now. But I can’t deny it happened.

One night I had a very painful ear ache. In the middle of service it was called out that someone had pain in their ear and God wanted to heal them. I took the chance and stood up. Less than 10 seconds after they started praying, my ear popped and stopped hurting.

It was really weird. But it happened.

I don’t go to that church very often anymore. This past Sunday was the first time in a few months. It weirds me out. I find some of the people odd, and one of their counselors pulled some crap I don’t appreciate at all.

They go way off into la la land on some of their teachings. They talk about things I’ve never heard in church before.

I like facts and am not as into “supernatural” stuff. It doesn’t resolve for me. But after Bethel I sometimes wonder if there’s a whole lot more “supernatural” to God than most of us realize. I wonder if he really does work in more “mysterious ways” than any of us will ever know, or allow ourselves to accept…

—-
PHOTOS FROM BETHEL CHURCH, THIS PAST SUNDAY:
(taken with my iPhone – click any photo to enlarge it)

Flags In Church
Flags in Church? Why not? They used to bother me. Now I really like them. If we can get wild and crazy at sporting events, why not while celebrating our creator? (sent from my iPhone)

Kris Vallotton Praying After Service
Kris Vallotton praying for a man who has cancer.

Kris on Stage and Onscreen
Kris Vallotton preaching onstage.

A “Mystery Worshipper” reviews Bethel – click here.


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A Fun Thing To Do With an iPhone

A little over a week ago I wrote about buying an iPhone. I haven’t regretted it. This phone is great!

Oftentimes when I’m out walking I’ll think of something I want to write about, but by the time I’m back home I’ve forgotten what it was. Yesterday I started using the Notes feature on my iPhone to write down the ideas that came to me. No big deal, but handy.

That’s definitely not what I want to tell you about. This is:

I started yet another blog! Yeah, I know, I know – I already have two blogs I write for, so why another? Because I’m not gonna do all that much “writing” to it! I’m just gonna play a bit and have fun with it.

I’m calling it Donny’s iPhone Photo Blog (go ahead, click that link – you know you wanna).

So how does it work?

I’m glad you asked ’cause I’m dyin’ to tell ya! I’m sure you’ve heard of Flickr, right? I’ve been using Flickr for the photos I post here for quite awhile now. I recently opened another account specifically for my iPhone. See, Flickr has this really cool feature where they give you an email address you can use to send your photos to them directly from your cell phone or the email client on your computer. But they take it a step further: they’ve made it so that a person can snap a photo on their cell phone, email it to Flickr, and have Flickr automatically post it to a blog. So that’s what I have set up.

I attended two different church services this morning. Both churches have high speed internet access available in the sanctuary. Why? I don’t know. But I love it. In the first service I couldn’t resist: I picked up my phone and took a photo of Kris Vallotton on stage. Then I emailed the photo to my Flickr account and it showed up on the page I just linked you to. The “subject” line of the email became the title of the blog entry. The text I wrote in the “body” of my email became the body of the blog entry. Fun!

A few days ago I was showing the iPhone to my friend Teresa. I pointed the camera toward her and she made some silly faces. After showing her the images that resulted we had the following conversation about one of them:

“Don’t show anyone that photo, Donny!”

“I won’t. I promise!”

So, everyone, do not click on this link. Or this one either. (hee hee) This one, however, is okay to click.

(Teresa, I told them NOT to click. You’re okay with that, right? 😉 )

This new iPhone-to-blog thing is just gonna be WAY TOO MUCH FUN. Check it out.