May 28, 2015

6 Tips to Get More Out of Your Bible Journal

When I started my first Bible journal I struggled with what to write in it.  I made lists of facts but that was about it.  Things really started improving when I changed my approach and went back to a student's mindset and what I had learned about studying in High School and college.

These are the tips that transferred over beautifully to the Bible journal.  Of course, all of these are after praying for the Holy Spirit to work in your heart and open your mind.

Ask 5W's and an H--Just like my English teacher told me, good information gathering will always includes Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How.  

Read slow--Sometimes I would blitz through a chapter or book just to mark off my time.  There.  Done.  Check.  Next?  But I need to slow down and really think through something as deep as God's word to me.  " ...because of the internet, we have become very good at collecting a wide range of factual tidbits, [but] we are also gradually forgetting how to sit back, contemplate, and relate all these facts to each other." -Patrick Kingsley  Reading slow sometimes means going back and re-reading if you can't remember what you just read.  This is exactly the reason I started ruining my Bible, so I could be sure I was reading slow enough to summarize.

Think--The great minds of church history were thinkers, deep thinkers.  But how? Were they smarter?  I don't think so. They were more focused and WAY less distracted. The early church fathers would often ponder simple and deep things while waiting or walking or working.  They had no news, music, podcasts, or books to keep their mind distracted and entertained.  They thought deeply about patterns, interconnections, and how God fits into all.  If they came to a building to meet someone and had to wait by the door, they'd ponder the door.  How did God use door in His word?  Jesus is the door to salvation, etc.  How often had I done that?  Exactly never.

Stop--In order to start thinking and pondering, however, I needed to quit the craziness of fitting God's word into a distracted head.  I need to be practical, yes, I can't spend four hours praying and reading the Word in the morning when I still have to be responsible for my kids, work, homeschool, etc.  But I can stop the other things that cut into my time with the Lord... like checking email before opening my Bible, or clicking over to Facebook, or the internet news.  I need to stop all the "other" and protect that little piece of time to sit with my Creator.  I wrote out a stop-doing list that I still need to see and be reminded of.

Ask Questions--This was a hard one for me.  I used to think that God shouldn't be questioned.  I mean, He's God.  Who am I to shake my fist at him and cry out "Why Me?!"  But I realized not all questions are bad, and God is big enough to handle my sincere questions.  I started writing out questions directly in my Bible or on sticky notes and adding them right to the page.  And slowly, I began getting answers... during sermons, while talking with others, while reading.  

Doodle--There has been some research done on the power of drawing or doodling to aid in learning.  It's been tested and has shown that if you are listening or reading and add in doodling, not only does it help you focus because you are engaging multiple senses, but it also helps you distill down the words to their most important points and transfer them into simple line doodles that make it fun to do and easy to remember.

These tips are just the start of all the things you can do with a Bible journal.  If you'd like to know more or dig deeper into the Word, the Galatians Bible study was just released and is currently available!  It's been revamped into a new, self-paced format and includes doodles, questions, video links, and much more.  Click on over to the Bible study page here to learn more.  Also, be sure to subscribe on the bar at the right for your free copy of Journal and Doodle through Ephesians!

Do you have any great tips you use in your Bible journal?  If so, please share in the comments below!

May 21, 2015

Inside Debbie's Bible Journal

Today we get to sit down with Debbie and flip through her Bible Journal and see the works she did through the book of Acts.  In February I shared 28 days in Acts and Debbie hopped along for the ride creating her own pages! Love them!

May 20, 2015

A peek inside Carolyn's Bible Journal

Carolyn took some time to share her Bible journal and some of her pages from the Journal and Doodle Bible studies with us!  THANK YOU Carolyn! Love them!

May 18, 2015

Lisa's Bible Journal and Interview

Lisa was kind enough to take some pictures of her gorgeous Bible Journal and the work she's done with the Journal and Doodle Bible studies to share with us!  I love LOVE looking through other people's journals and seeing what God is teaching them!  I hope you enjoy your time with Lisa too!
I stumbled across Kari's bible journaling pages on Pinterest in the winter of 2013. I had been marking up my Bible fairly regularly, but I wanted to improve my study skills instead of relying on the notes and writings of others. 

May 14, 2015

My Big Problem with Bible Study

Before I can get really into my big problem with Bible study, I have to first share a bit about where I've been...

I became a Christian in my early teens without any opportunity to really grow.  I went to a youth group event at a church I didn't attend or know anyone and met Jesus in a barn, sitting on a hay bale.  Soon after, I realized I had a horrible allergy to hay as my eyes puffed up and my throat began to constrict.  I looked like I had a hugely emotional experience all coughing and red and swollen... but in reality I was introduced to my Savior with awe, surprise and wonder, and severe allergies.

I'll just let you soak in all the 80's awesomeness
 that this picture is...

May 13, 2015

A peek inside Kimberly's Bible Journal

 Kimberly was kind enough to answer all my interview questions, PLUS include pages from some of her work through the studies.  These journal pages are from the 1 Cornithians study Journal and Doodle study.

May 11, 2015

Interview and a peek inside Janna's Bible Journal

Janna was kind enough to share her Bible journal with us and some of her thoughts on the Journal and Doodle Ephesians study.  (If you haven't gotten your free study, be sure to subscribe on the side bar for an instant download!)

I love Janna's journal because of its clean simplicity and the deep meaning she's drawn out from the Word!

May 9, 2015

Start your own Guernsey-style Summer Book Club

I am currently in the middle of reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and LOVING it!  I was so inspired by how the characters set up their book club that I wanted to try it out in real life and see how it translates.

May 8, 2015

Marie's Bible Journal and Interview

Marie is another awesome subscriber who sent me her thoughts and pictures of her Bible journal with the Bible study through Ephesians (You can get yours free by subscribing on the right).

What I am loving about these interviews and photos is the difference that the journals have yet everyone has been enjoying their time in the Word!  You don't have to be an artist or graphics designer or page layout expert.  You just have to want to have fun and learn!  The Bible studies take you step by step through the process, but you get to add in the fun!

Okay, enough of me talking, here's Marie's interview and Bible study pages.

May 6, 2015

Kristen's Bible Journal and Interview

I got a chance to interview Kristen who has done the free Ephesians Bible study. 
(Get your copy by subscribing on the right!) 

I love her insights and thoughts and awesome sense of humor! Thank you so much for sharing your journal pages with us Kristen!  Here is her interview and journal.

Q:  How did you find out about the Journal and Doodle through the Bible Studies?
I was about to start studying Ephesians at my church's women's bible study and wanted to try something different...something that would make me excited to study & not my typical dry, boring approach. My previous journals are entirely composed of paragraphs and lists. Looks like a bunch of notes - not bad, but I wanted something different.  I went to pinterest and searched for "Bible journal" I got a bunch of results, somehow in my searching I found someone had pinned your 'in Christ' doodle (from Ephesians) and I was wowed...I was like " THIS!" 

May 4, 2015

Melanie's Bible Journal and interview

The all new study through Galatians is going to be available on May 23rd!  I can't wait to share it with you!  Final edits are being made and videos are being filmed! It's going to be the best one yet!

As I was preparing the Galatians study, I emailed my awesome subscribers who have done a study before and asked if they would share some of their thoughts and journal pages.  I wanted to interview people and share their thoughts.

When they started coming in I had so much fun looking through the Bible journal pages and comments that I thought I'd share a few of them just as they are with you, because they are so awesome.  I love that artistic people and those who like to journal more than draw are all finding ways to make their time in the Word deep and rich.

Here is Melanie's interview and her very inspiring journal pages.  

These studies are awesome!  I really enjoy them and they have piqued my interest into learning scripture more than any other study I've ever done.  

May 3, 2015

April Review and Reflection

Can you believe April 2015 is now a memory?!  How did you do?  Did you hit any goals? Did you make any goals?
Here's how my month went down:

I was sick for about two weeks of it, one week was on my birthday.  On that magical day when I could have gotten a free coffee almost anywhere in town, I was instead hugging the toilet bowl with chills, fever, and feeling like I was sure my life was over.

About a week later, I got a nice head cold with exhaustion.

We did not keep up on school, and are now another week behind because the flu made the rounds through everyone.


I did manage to lose a decent amount of weight!  (Flu diet not recommended, however).

And we got quite a bit done around the house, after I had my oldest son change my Facebook password (WHY do I have no self-control with that?!)

I painted something for our dining room wall.  Still not sure if I like it or if it's done, but it was fun to play around with.