Monday, October 24, 2016

God’s Word Brings Light

I wasn’t going to write another post about Scripture journaling, but then I opened my Bible this morning to this verse. 
Every word you give me is a miracle word—how could I help but obey? Break open your words, let the light shine out, let ordinary people see the meaning. Psalm 119:129-130 MSG (bold mine) 
And how could I not write about it? First in my journal, and then here to share.

Last week, I had the privilege of speaking to a group of women about journaling.

I said, “When we don’t make time to be with God in His Word, we miss His comfort, wisdom, strength, understanding, and rest. We can’t understand Scripture if we don’t spend time reading it, but it is God who enables us to understand His Word.

God’s Word provides hope, comfort, perspective, guidance, and instruction. His Word gives us Light. The Light to guide our way.

If we don’t read or hear Scripture, we won’t know what it can do for us…but without God, we can’t understand the full meaning.

God gives discernment and enables ordinary people like you and me to comprehend His Word.

God gives us the ability to feel His Word—and let it change our hearts.

Understanding doesn’t come all at one time. His Word is too great for us to ever completely understand it as He does. He knows how much we can take in each time we meet with Him.

He may lead us to a new verse, or to the same verse over and over, revealing a new layer of depth each time.

This morning, I opened to Psalm 119, and He led me to the above verses and to verse 125. 
I’m your servant—help me understand what that means, the inner meaning of your instructions. Psalm 119:125 MSG 
Each time He leads us to a particular verse, He’s speaking to us. It may be clear at the time why He led us there, like an a-ha moment. Other times, it’s only the beginning, and He will continue to reveal meaning in His time and His way. 
Dear Lord, every Word you give us brings Light into our lives. Light to guide us. Light to give us hope and perspective in this world we live in. You’ve called us, ordinary people, to be Your servants. Please show us what that means and how to live that out for Your glory and Your kingdom. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen. 
In Christ,

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Monday, October 17, 2016

Journal to Grow

As I’ve been preparing a Bible study on journaling to share at an event this month, I’ve been sharing portions of the study here as well. Click here to read more in this series.

Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. Colossians 2:7 NLT (bold mine)
Remember the grade school science project of getting a seed to grow roots? I remember my daughter bringing home a little cup with a tiny little sprout. In class, she learned the seed needed light and water so it could grow roots, and she had carefully nurtured that little seed until it poked through the dirt.

The same is true for the roots of our faith. In order to grow, they need to be cared for and nurtured by spending time with God. They need Light and Living Water. And they need the nutrients from God’s Word.

Unlike the seed’s roots, the roots of faith aren’t always visible, and yet as they grow, they can be seen in different ways—how we trust and depend on God, how we love others, how we act and react in difficult situations.

As our roots grow, it changes us. With God, change always starts on the inside—in our hearts. Over time, it shows on the outside, where others can see it. {Tweet this}
Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. Ephesians 3:16-17 NLT
Where does journaling come in? It’s a way of processing what God is showing us in His Word as we spend time alone with Him.

I love looking back through my journal and notes in my Bible. I can see where I was, what He’s walked me through, and where I am now. It’s written proof of how I’ve learned to listen for Him and how my relationship with Him has grown deeper.

Journaling is a way of spending time with God, not only praying and talking to Him, but listening for His voice. When I hear from Him, I want to remember the moment—what He said and how I felt.

In the Old Testament, God told the prophets to write down everything He told them. (Jeremiah 30:2, Isaiah 30:8-9

Perhaps He’s asking us to do the same.
My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.” Psalm 27:8 NLT 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Journal to Remember

A Scripture journal is different from a personal journal, and yet, Scripture journaling is very personal.

It’s personal because when we dig into God’s Word with Him, He reveals to us who He is. He opens our hearts and minds to what He wants to teach us. He might direct us to a particular verse we need at that moment. It could be a new verse He wants us to discover, or a deeper understanding of a verse we’ve read many times.

Individual one-to-one time spent with our creator is special and timeless. Just as you might take pictures to remember time spent with a loved one, Scripture journaling records time spent with God. It creates a memory of time spent together.

Throughout the Bible, God’s people were instructed to remember the times God was with them.

He told the Israelites to commit themselves to His commandments—to repeat them to their children, to talk about them while traveling and at home, to write them down and keep the writings with them. (Deuteronomy 6, 11)
Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth. Deuteronomy 11:18-21 NIV (bold mine)
Journaling Scripture fixes God’s Word in our hearts and minds. As we read Scripture and reflect on it through journaling, we learn. As we learn, we are able to share and teach. {Tweet this}

God directed memorials to be built to remember His miracles, and to teach future generations of His power and love. (Joshua 4)
We will use these stones to build a memorial. In the future your children will ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ Then you can tell them, ‘They remind us that the Jordan River stopped flowing when the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant went across.’ These stones will stand as a memorial among the people of Israel forever.” Joshua 4:6-7 NLT (bold mine)
Someday, my journal, filled with Scripture and personal prayers, will be a memorial for my daughter. In it, she’ll be able to read the prayers I prayed for her, where my heart was when I cried out to God, and the research and notes I made as I dug deep into God’s Word. She’ll be able to read what I learned about God and what I learned about myself. And she’ll be able to share it with her children, teaching them what I tried to teach her.

Do you journal Scripture? What’s your preference—journaling through artwork or written word?

If you’d like to try Scripture journaling, but you’re not sure how to start, click here to download the free Scripture Journaling Worksheets I’ve created. 

Each sheet starts with a place to write the verse you’re studying, followed by word prompts, and extra space for notes, a prayer, or artwork. It eliminates the intimidating blank page, but also allows you to use the page as you choose so you can discover what works for you.

In Christ,

Monday, October 10, 2016

After the Dream

You’ve been dreaming. You’ve been praying. You’ve been planning and following God’s lead. And finally, after the wait and the work, you experience your God-sized dream.

Now what?

It’s not a let-down, per se. It’s just that the dream has been your focus for quite a while, and now that you’ve been fortunate enough to experience it, there’s a bit of a void. Maybe you even feel a little lost and not sure what to do next. I get it—I know the feeling.

When we’ve worked toward one focus for a period of time, that’s what we’ve grown used to. It’s the goal we’ve been looking forward to—the God-sized dream that God may or may not bring to pass. When we don’t experience it, it’s still out there in the “maybe someday” category. When we do experience it, we relish in the awesome experience. And then…the question…what’s next?

This is where I’d love to tell you I have the answer, but I don’t. In fact, I’m right there with you in wondering what’s next? But what I can share are three thoughts I’m keeping in front of me.

I'm happy to be sharing at God-sized Dreams today. I hope you'll join me there to continue reading After the Dream

In Christ,

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