Friday, October 09, 2009

Daily Bible reading

What's the connection between technology and spirituality? On one hand, it's reasonable to wonder whether people are out of touch with the spiritual world because of the pervasiveness of entertainment media. On the other hand, there's . These folks offer 13 reading plans -- they'll send you an email every day or every weekday, depending on the plan you choose. You can get through the Bible in a year, or the Proverbs in a month (but you could just read chapter 1 on the 1st of the month, chapter 2 on the 2nd, etc). I'm on the lazy man's plan -- New Testament in a year, weekdays only.

If you prefer a pure hardware solution, Tyndale's excellent One Year Bible is pretty nice. Please feel free to refer to my daily essays, which are keyed to those readings.

So why did you mark this with the "computers" label?

Well, as it turns out, those emails you get from don't have a chapter of Bible text in them. Instead, they have pointers to a website; you click on the link and read the text from somewhere else -- I think.

So back before I started using an http-enabled email client, I wrote this little procmail script to go out and get the text from that website. The recipe looks like this:
* ^From:.* (or something like this)
* B ?? http://
URL=| grep http: | sed -n -e "1s/ *//gp"

TEXT=| lynx -dump "$URL" | grep -Fve http -e '['

| ( echo "$TEXT"; cat; )
See, "URL" gets the blank-stripped "http://..." string; we pass that as a parameter to lynx to get the text, then we remove the lines that contain '[' or 'http' and replace the message body with the Biblical text. Thank you !

So procmail and lynx are technological aids to spirituality too.

Other reading plans

There are a lot of 'em. Some of them involve charts and checklists; others are websites: There's also Our Daily Bread which gives you a little reading but doesn't take you through the whole Bible in a year or even a few years.

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