Woman’s Day Faith and Action app

There’s a new iPhone app that features a daily inspirational Bible verse with a brief reflection on it and practical tips to help grow stronger in your faith.

The Woman’s Day Faith & Action app, was designed by Beth Kreitzer, Ph.D., a part-time professor of religion and history at Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, N.C. This self-described “full-time ballet and soccer mom” for her three young children says apps are a great way to help bring daily grace into busy people’s lives.

“These days, a lot of us are rushing around a lot — I know I am — and sometimes we don’t have, say, an hour to read the Bible and reflect on what we’ve read,” she says. “But there can be great benefit from short reflections on the Word of God, even in the midst of a jam-packed, stressful day.

“The Bible offers us many messages for making our lives better,” Kreitzer continues. “With this new app, we hope to give people faithful reminders of those messages and the power they can bring to their daily lives. You can also create a library of your favorite verses and reflections and share them with your family and friends, using Facebook, email or a Twitter account.”

Kreitzer received her bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and her master’s and Ph.D. in religion from Duke University. Her primary field of study is the history of Christianity, and she published her dissertation, “Reforming Mary,” a study of the transformation of the image of the Virgin Mary in the Lutheran Reformation of the sixteenth century, with Oxford University Press in 2004.

Kreitzer was received into the Catholic Church in 2008. She is working on a book on Luke for the Reformation Commentary Series (Inter Varsity Press).

The Woman’s Day Faith & Action app is available for 99 cents at the Apple Store, which can be accessed through an Apple iPhone or iPad. To find out more, go to www.WomansDay.com/FaithandAction.

The app was created and is sponsored by Woman’s Day magazine, the fourth-largest magazine in the U.S. Since the magazine’s inception in 1937, Woman’s Day has published a Bible verse on its table of contents page. The publishers see the new app as a natural extension of that 73-year-old tradition.

Want just a taste of the kind of the inspiring reflections that are in store for you when you access the new Woman’s Day Faith & Action app? Here’s what Dr. Kreitzer wrote for Nov. 3, 2010:

1 Chron. 6:31-32
“These are the men David put in charge of the music in the house of the Lord after the ark came to rest there.  They ministered with music before the tabernacle, the Tent of Meeting, until Solomon built the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem.”

This long section of the first book of Chronicles lists the genealogies of the sons/tribes of Israel, along with where they settled, and if there was any especially important fact or event associated with them. This particular passage comes from the list of Levi’s sons, who traditionally served in the temple as priests.

Music was clearly an important part of the ministry in the temple, but it appears to have been central even in the time of David before the temple was built and the Lord was worshipped wherever the ark of the covenant rested.  The singers and musicians who worshipped the Lord with music are also mentioned in several other places in Chronicles.

It appears that several aspects of worship, including prophesying, were accompanied by harps, lyres, and cymbals. The musical tradition was passed on from father to son, and many served directly under supervision of the king, who organized this aspect of divine worship.

Some scholars have assumed that the person who kept these records must have been a musician, since they appear to be given an otherwise unusually prominent place in the lists. But I prefer to think that music was just that important in the life of the people of Israel and in their worship of God.

Put thought into action:
  1. Worship the Lord in song today.  Search for a recording (or performance on YouTube) of your favorite sacred music, and listen to it, reflecting on the words and the music, letting it take you to a higher plane of prayer, worship, and praise of God.
  2. Sing a song of praise to the Lord yourself!  It can be your own composition (perhaps chanting your own prayer or a psalm), or something as simple as “Jesus Loves Me,” which you can sing with the kids.  My favorite is Orlando Gibbons’ “Hosanna to the Son of David,” which in a good recording sounds like a double choir of angels singing praises to God.  Whichever you choose, sing from your heart, and you will realize why David chose to surround God’s throne with music.