Tuesday, January 8, 2019

bible study and resources

I thought I'd share a few resources with you, and the way I have my own personal quiet time each day.  There is no right or wrong way to this, by the way.  The point is to just start, and then be consistent, or as much as you can.  It's still early enough in the month, that anything I am doing, if this is something you want to do alongside me, you can join me and easily get caught up.  These are things I used to share with the teenage girls I helped lead...I don't know if any of them read this anymore, but they loved these kinds of ideas.  Surely someone else will, too.  And who doesn't need inspiration from time to time?

Moving on. 

The first thing I'd like to recommend is joining a bible study.  If you are local to me, and this sounds something you'd like to be a part of, we have one starting tomorrow, at my church, and it is not too late to join!  We are studying the book of Malachi, and this is a thirteen week commitment.  There will be a time to meet with your small group and we will talk about the homework.  The large session is where the author of the study and my friend Amy will teach. 

The "mirror image" part is where we then take what we've learned and see it reflected in our lives.  You can go to CFBCFamily.org and sign up!  The times and days are listed in this picture.  I love this type of study, and this large/small group thing and hope to see a lot of women joining us.  Lord willing, this will continue as the women in our church write more and more studies like this one on Malachi. 

The bible study thing I love most is that it brings about accountability.  To be consistent and to grow in our faith, accountability helps tremendously. 

Aside from bible study, I have quiet time each day.  I always begin with praying and then I ask God to pierce my heart with His word and to change me and help me to know Him more. 

This year, we are reading through the new testament in the bible as a church family.  We were given opportunity to purchase these journals to help us along in that, and though it is GREAT and I have one, it's not needed to read and study this way.  (We are using the HEAR method: Highlight a verse that jumps out, Explain the context, Apply it to your own life, and then Respond to God in prayer.)  I've done this for years now, using a similar method called SOAK (Scripture, Observe, Apply, Kneel in prayer).  I've done this in a spiral notebook and in my current journal.  

I love to "pretty things up" and used Washi tape to decorate the plain old spiral notebook.  Again, the point is to just start reading the word each and everyday and as best you can, be consistent.  

This was the verse I chose that stood out to me today, when I read Matthew six.  I love this verse.

Another thing I do is mark up my bible.  I love to highlight inside wherever I'm reading, and I love to put notes in the margins.  I use black pens and I use Papermate Flair felt tip colored pens, as well.  

The bible I'm currently using is the She Reads Truth bible with wide margins.  The cover is gray linen, and though it won't last long (it's like a hardback book), I love this bible.  

See?  I've done this for so long that I no longer even think about it.  I do this so my boys will have my bibles someday when I am no longer here.  (I have my grandmother's and it is something I treasure.)  

Bibles are meant to be USED, not kept perfect and put on a display shelf.  That is my thinking, at least.  I do know some people who are physically unable to ever ever write inside of a book.  

I love to write scripture and do this in a journal.  You can go to swtblessings.com to print out the January copy.  Writing out the word plants it deep within my heart.  I have pages and pages filled out with scripture I've written out over the years.  This never gets old.  

This last image is one from a couple of years ago.  A sweet lady I follow on Instagram diagrammed something like this and it inspired me to do one of my own.  

This is still pretty much the way I have my quiet time.  (And see?  I really do love that verse...Matthew 6:33.)  In the last year or so (when Chip came to live with us), I pushed back my quiet time until I've had my coffee and "woken up" a bit.  I felt like I was sleep walking my way through it some mornings, and now I sit down to do this around eight something most mornings.  On the mornings when I have to be somewhere early, I really try to be early at this, because I don't like to leave until I've had this time with the Lord.  There are some mornings that there is an exception to this rule, but for the most part, it holds true.  (Sunday morning would be one such day, especially if I'm singing on frontline that day and have to be on stage at eight thirty for rehearsal and sound checks.)  

I am also still using a journal.  I wrote about that last week.  I keep track of everything inside whatever journal I'm currently using, including sermon notes from my pastor's sermons each week.  I take A LOT of notes.  :)  I use one at a time, because if I have too many going, I lose my mind a little.  

So that's how I do things.  I pray this helps someone understand a little more of how to read and study the word of God.  My favorite method is to just go slow.  And the key is starting with prayer.  Thanks for reading!  Love to all.  

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