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Organizing Your Bible Study Tools

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The best way I could ever start any day is by spending the first part of it in the study of God’s Word and prayer.  I know that without the instruction in His Word, I would be desperate.  I would have no wisdom, order, no direction, no hope for today.  Therefore, it is my practice to spend the first part of my day in a place pulled apart from everything so that I can focus on what God wants to say to me.

O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.  Psalm 63:1

Most times, I am seated in a comfy chair in my bedroom.  I chose this spot because it has few distractions. I like to have everything I need in one place so that I don’t spend 15 minutes trying to find my Bible, a pen, my journal, and so on. I noticed recently that the tools I use to study with had gotten disheveled, causing my non-distracted space to become distracted!  So I set out to fix that problem, and I’m so much happier when I sit down each morning.  I can get to my books easily, I have pen ready and waiting, and it’s not a cluttered mess!

I wondered if anyone else might be struggling with the same problem of how to organize your study tools – your Bible, a  journal for notes, a prayer journal, other Bible study books, markers, highlighters, etc.  It can literally take over a corner of a room, can’t it?!  I’m going to show you pictures of how I organized my things.  I hope it will give you some ideas, so you can focus on God and His Word, rather than a mess that’s surrounding you!

I didn’t want to add a large bookshelf or even another piece of furniture to my room, so here’s what I did with my books – first, I used a table with a tray on top.

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You’ll notice that not everything is “out.”  My tray holds the items I use every day.  The pen holder is on the tray, but kind of tucked back out of the view, but within reach.

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My extra books and larger Prayer journal notebook are in two book bags on the floor, beside my chair.  They, too, are tucked out of view, as you can tell by the first picture on the post.

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No longer am I staring at a huge pile of books.  It’s all easy to reach, and is organized according to priority.

Maybe you have a great system that works for you, but if you need a little help, I hope this inspired you a little!

Stay refreshed in God’s Word!

Denise Signature 150 px

 

Christian Life · Uncategorized

Monuments

This is a reposting of a topic that is very dear to my heart – journaling. I talk to so  many women who do not keep a record of what they are learning or what God is doing. I repost this today to encourage you to consider otherwise. 😀

If there is anything I have a surplus of, it is journals. I have always loved to write my thoughts down and I have a sundry places in which I do just that. It began when I was in elementary school. I had a tiny diary with a lock and key. I wrote about things that happened at school, holidays at home and special events in history like when Neil Armstrong took the first steps on the moon in 1969 and the election of Richard Nixon to the White House.

In high school my writing took a little twist as I also included some creative writing in the form of poetry into my book of thoughts. How interesting it is to read of the events of my life as a teenager (and all the drama that entails!). I can clearly see how the Lord was directing my steps as I graduated from high school then sought His will for the future. If I hadn’t written all that was happening at that time I’m sure my fifty year-old mind would surely have forgotten the details of the God’s provision for my going to Bob Jones. As I went to college I journaled the anxiety of classes, homesickness and again seeking God’s will for the future.

Do you remember when Joshua and the Israelites crossed over the Jordan River? When all the nation had finished passing over the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, “Take twelve men from the people, from each tribe a man, and command them, saying, ‘Take twelve stones from here out of the midst of the Jordan, from the very place where the priests’ feet stood firmly, and bring them over with you and lay them down in the place where you lodge tonight’” (Joshua 4:1-3). Those twelve stones were to be the monument that reminded the people of the way God brought them across the river and delivered them. My journals are my monument, if you will, of God’s faithfulness to me. They remind me of what God has done. That stoney monument was also to be the “story-starter” for the Israelites’ children when they asked what the meaning of the stones was. My journals help me to tell my girls the details of how the Lord brought my husband into my life and how they too can wait on the Lord to do the same for them. I’m reminded of God’s provision in a material way, of the way He’s answered prayers over and over again.

There are many positives of keeping a journal, but the best is the preservation of the memories of God’s work in your life. If you’re not writing these things down, you probably won’t remember in the years to come and there will be no way to then pass on that memory to the generation behind you.

May I suggest:

  • Make bullets and write a phrase or two about the Scripture you’ve read.
  • Write what God said to you in that passage and how you can apply it.
  • Write down praises
  • Write down your prayer requests and write when they are answered

It doesn’t have to be lengthy or creative, just record events. Its memories will be monumental!

With love,

 

Christian Life · Uncategorized

2016 – Pray, Plan, Change

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On Tuesday of this week I suggested time for a spiritual check-up before the new year rolls in.  If you happened to come in at the feverish end of the thermometer, don’t feel guilty, but feel hopeful!  Why?  Because a new year, clean and fresh lies in front of you with  grace and mercies to equip you to get healthy!

Can I give you a “prescription” or two that might aid your journey?

  • Pray – Ask the Lord to show you where you need to change in your spiritual life.  Be still after you ask.  Listen to the Spirit’s tugging in your heart.
  • Plan – Now you’re ready to take what the Lord has shown you and set set some goals so you’ll know when you’ve arrived at the desired place.
  • Change – Avoid getting into a dry, stale routine that will cause you to weary quickly.
    • Choose a different Bible reading plan.
    • You might even want to find a new place to sit and read and pray.
    • Start a fresh, new journal for your new plan!
    • Use a different color pen for this year’s prayer requests, so you’ll know that they were added to your prayer journal in 2016.
    •  Don’t have a journal?  Well, that might be another goal to set!

I implemented a Bible reading plan in December that is called Four Streams.  I found it on my You Version app.  I am enjoying it so much!  The four streams are the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs.  With this plan in one year I will:

  • Read through the New Testament 4 times
  • Read through the Old Testament once
  • Read the Proverbs 4 times
  • Read the Psalms twice

Another little tweak I’m adding is that rather than reading,  I’m listening to the audio version.  With my pen in hand and my notebook open, I listen and take notes as the Lord speaks to my heart.  This has been a really special addition to my devotional time!

Strive this year to make the Word the central focus of your life.  Reading regularly each day will enable you to do just that.  The entrance of His Word gives light; allow His light to shine in 2016.

How are you planning to be in God’s Word this next year?  I’d love to hear your plans!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!