Stone Soup for Five: slowing way down - biblical meditation at half speed

slowing way down - biblical meditation at half speed

I thought by now I'd be able to focus better and adjust to the new normal.  I think one of the biggest problems is that there is no end date, and things change day by day.  I like how one person put it, we've pressed the "Pause" and "Panic" buttons at the same time.

I want to use this time well and I want to come out if it with a deeper and stronger faith and knowledge of my Lord, but unless I work at it, it's just not going to happen on its own.

I'm currently working through I Will Meditate Volume 4 (You can find the whole series so far on Amazon.) and am meditating through Romans. When I hit chapter 12, I was a little overwhelmed because there is SO MUCH richness in that chapter!  I really wanted to slow down and look at it closely.  I wondered, what would happen if I moved through this chapter in a week instead of a day?  The best way to know is to try it, right?

Here's how I did it:


  • Read through Romans chapter 12.
  • Forgot to pray first, so prayed a short prayer after reading, which is why I put that checkbox there to remind me!
  • Skimmed over the chapter again and summarized the main points and wrote them down in box 1 of the journal.
  • Prayed that I can present my body as a living and holy sacrifice.  Prayed for His grace to be able to do that.
  • Read through the chapter again.
  • Said a quick prayer.
  • Decided which verses I'm going to dive deeper into.  I'd already looked closely at verses 1 and 2 previously, so I wanted to dig into something else.  Verses 9-12 stood out as particularly convicting right now, so I narrowed it down to write out verses 11 and 12 which are all areas that I am currently struggling in at the moment.
  • I wrote these verses down in box 2 in the journal.
  • I prayed through each section of these verses, asking God for grace to be diligent, fervent, serve, rejoice, persevere, and be devoted to prayer.
  • Reviewed what I wrote down in boxes 1 and 2.
  • Re-read the chapter again.
  • (Forgot to pray.)
  • Box 3 asks why I picked this verse:  "These are all characteristics I lack.  I decided to zoom into each section closer."
  • Turning a couple pages back in the journal I wrote out the first part of verse 11 on the extra notes page:  "not lagging behind in diligence NASB" then I wrote out the KJV version of it "not slothful in business."
  • When I find commands like this, I like to make two columns, one asking how I do what is asked, and the other inverting the question and ask how do I NOT do it.  I usually start answering the NOT column first, because it's easier.
  • Spent time in prayer asking for the Lord to give me the ability to be able to be diligent.


  • Reviewed previous work
  • Re-read the chapter again.
  • (Forgot to pray again.)
  • Looked up some of the definitions of some words to get more clarity on Blue Letter Bible (type in the verse, click on the verse, click "interlinear" and click on the word number)
  • Looked up: lagging behind, in diligence, fervent, in spirit.  
  • Wondered how I am to do this so re-read the chapter again for insight
  • Then clicked on the commentary (Matthew Henry is my favorite) for insight there.  "...and having made [service to God] our business, we must not be slothful in it, nor desire our own ease, and consult that when it comes in competition with our duty."
  • OUCH
  • Spent time in prayer because I definitely cannot do this in my own strength.
  • Re-read the chapter again.
  • This time I was convicted by one tiny part of a verse I had previously read over without pause: "he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness."  Romans 12:8
  • Flipped back to the notes page again and did a quick word study on 'shows mercy' and 'cheerfulness' 
  • Convicted anew about how it's not just showing mercy, but helping others with readiness of mind, joyful and prompt in showing that mercy.
  • Spent time again in prayer, because with this lockdown and everyone so close together all the time, I am definitely not showing mercy with cheerfulness.  Prayed for forgiveness and strength and grace to try again.

I'm still not done with my two pages on Romans 12, will spend more time this weekend and next week as I can.  Even though I haven't logged of a bunch of Bible reading this week, I have had my heart pricked where it needed to be, scrubbed raw with the Word, and washed over with God's strength, forgiveness, and love.  I encourage you, if you don't have enough time to both read and meditate, read less, meditate more.  You'll get far more heart work done that way.

Praying you are all healthy and well in this crazy time we live.


  1. Fabulous! Giggled every time you said forgot to pray—me too! I get so excited to dive right in. Love your two column analysis of DO and NOT. I am captivated by the journal itself. I’ll check it out. Most of all, my heart responded with spending the week and not just a day. THAT is truly meditation. I truly appreciate your sharing!

  2. I bought the Philippians Doodle Bible Study during your sale. First section... Joy in the Wait. So fitting for the time!

    1. Ah yes. Joy in the wait. The wait is so hard for me! Thanks for the reminder!

  3. I love your blogs. Each one has something in it that I can take away from.
    I went back to your blog about bible reading plans. I started Professor Grant Horner's reading plans and I love it. I've been meditating on what I have read. Keeping a mental note and jot down things that jump out at me.
    I wished I would known about bible mediation years ago. My life has completely changed because of it.
    Thank you Kari for being a woman of the Word.

    1. That is so great that you are loving that way of studying the Word! I'm like you, I wish I had known sooner about the power of meditation, but I know the Lord opens our eyes at the perfect time. Thanks for the encouragement!

  4. Thanks Kari - for the slowing down suggestion! I am one of those that wants to do the bible study of Ephesians, Romans 12 and Ps 119 all in one go. because time is so short and I want to learn it all at once! but you have shown me that I may relax and slow down (it really isn't a crime!) thanks I also forget to pray and have to add a PS - Dear Father I...... thanks Kari you're a gem.

    1. I love your addition to the end of meditation! I'm like you, I want to do it ALL, but know that the true heart change comes in the slow and deep times that can't be rushed.


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