Biblical Womanhood · Christian growth · Godly Character Traits

BEST Bible Journaling

Recently when I was using a feature on my iPhone, the person with me said, “There are probably so many features on my phone that I don’t even know to use! This is what they had just heard me say ~

Siri, add ketchup and baking soda to my shopping list.

Alright, it’s added!

It’s so helpful to just speak and add a note to my ongoing shopping list! I need that list when I get to the store because I’ll remember things like milk or chicken, but forget things like ketchup and baking soda!

There’s another “list” that I make as I go through my week that is even more helpful, and that’s what God is teaching me each morning as I read His Word. I keep this list, for the most part, in my journal. It’s written with pen and ink. Why do I do this? It’s truly all glory to the Lord as an answer to a prayer that I asked Him for. It came from this passage ~

Jeremiah 15:16

Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.

I realized at one point in my life that God’s Word needed to be a higher priority, that I needed to love it more. It was then that I began to ask the Lord to give me a greater desire for it. God will answer a prayer like that, and I’m so thankful! It’s been a blessed journey!

Are you realizing like I did that you need greater doses of God’s Word? How can you know? Well, ask yourself these questions:

The answer for all of these needs is found in God’s Word. Then when we get God’s answers, it’s so important that we do something with those answers…and that includes putting it into a journal – that ongoing “list” so we won’t forget!

Last week I posted about the importance of writing down what God says to us in our Quiet Time with Him. Today let’s talk about some ways to make it easy and fun to write what God is teaching you. There are lots of ideas out there, but this is what works BEST for me. (Note the acronym that will help you remember the tips)

  • Best method – Use the method that works for you. You could use a paper journal, but if you hate to write, then type it up on your lap top on a Google Document. Or as in my opening illustration, you could even speak your note into your phone. “Hey Siri, make a note in my Bible notes.” What do you want to add? “Joseph is a reflection of Christ.” Typically iPhone notes are tricky because of misunderstanding your words, but my point is, look for the option that works best for you.
  • Equipment – Use good tools that will help you. I keep this little pouch filled with colored pens, highlighters, a straight edge for underlining, and a pencil. I buy the tiniest tip of a marker that will not transfer through pages. I also like buying colored ink and a pretty journal to make it more interesting.
  • Simplify – Keep your writing simple. I like to make bulleted points most of the time, rather than writing lengthy paragraphs.
  • Together – Keep everything in a basket, bin or tote so you can pull it together quickly in the morning. Having to go look for your highlighter or your notebook will only serve to frustrate you instead of encourage you.

Take your time as you read; be still before the Lord. It’s not the amount of things you’ve written down, but what you’re learning that is the most important. As you faithfully listen and the note what you’ve learned, you will look in time to come and see that you have grown deeper in your walk with the Lord. You have God’s Word on that!

I Peter 2:2

As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:”

Did this post encourage you to begin journaling or to pick it up again? I pray so! Let’s keep growing until the day we go home to heaven!

Godly Character Traits · spiritual growth · Spiritual Refreshment

One Thing We Can Do To Grow Spiritually This Year

We are a family of “Foodies.” We plan out our meals. We anticipate them. We enjoy them. We record them. When a new, “successful meal” is complete, I make sure I’ve marked that recipe for future use. I have a written copy of that recipe either on-line, in one of my cookbooks, or in my recipe box because I want to be able to go back and re-do that menu!

I make notes about how I may have tweaked the recipe, a substitution I made, or even what I learned I need to do the next time I make it. I love flipping through my recipes and bringing up old recipes I’d forgotten about! Without that written reminder, it would have been lost forever because we eat lots of meal in a year’s time!

But even more than my physical food, the greatest “food” I partake of each day is the manna of God’s Word – the Bible. It is a feast that is never complete. There’s always more. It’s rich, sweet, and nourishing. I need it. I look forward to it. I remember it.

For many of us, we enjoy the taking in of God’s Word, but we do little in regards to making a memory of what we’ve read or what we’ve learned. Simply put – we don’t write anything down after we’ve read the Scriptures.
Here are four reasons I’m choosing to journal when I read God’s Word this year ~

  • It helps me remember the Truth I just learned. There’s something about putting it in ink that just cements it better in my heart and mind. That leads to the next reason…
  • It helps me meditate on those Truths throughout the day. As I’m driving, I’m thinking about what I wrote down. I talk to the Lord and ask Him questions about the things that come to my mind as I ponder it.
  • It helps me dig deeper into those Truths and add notes – things from commentaries or quotes from other authors that are a blessing.
  • It helps me see my spiritual growth. Just like the physical growth of a child isn’t seen day by day, but you see it when you compare it to last year’s growth chart, neither is my spiritual growth seen daily. However, my journal serves as my “growth chart,” if you will. As I look back a month or a year later on what I’ve written, I see how the Lord has increased my faith, taught me lessons, and revealed more about Himself to me. It’s so encouraging!

I‘ve had seasons when I didn’t journal and I truly feel I didn’t grow like I should have. See if you resonate with my reasons for not doing so. I think there are four basic explanations as to why most women don’t journal ~

  1. I’m not a writer. I think that can mean two things – 1. I don’t enjoy using a pen…it’s just not my favorite thing to do the process of writing. It’s tiring. It’s messy 2. I’m not really good at expressing myself creatively.
  2. I used to, but I’ve just gotten away from it. I got tired of the habit.
  3. It takes more time and that’s one thing I don’t have!
  4. I really don’t feel like I need to do that. I’m good with just reading. I can remember it without writing it down.

As we think back to all the physical meals we’ve eaten this past year, there’s no way we could give a commentary on each one. How could we answer, “What was the best part? What did you enjoy most?” However, if we had each recipe card in front of us, we could be reminded and have something to share, right? Let’s make the analogy – As we think back to all the spiritual meals we’ve been exposed to in this past year, (preaching as well as personal devotions) could we share one truth we learned from each one? Only if we wrote something down.

Oh how much more value there is in God’s Word than our physical food! Job said it well in Job 23:12 ~

Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.

Could you and I really say that? It will show in how we value the Bible. Ask God to give you a greater love for His Word so that you will treasure it more than ever before!

Next Wednesday I’m going to share some practical answers to our four excuses and also share a guide in Bible journaling that can be simple, and effective!

Refresh your response to God’s Word,