We all look back at different periods in our lives and see them as pivotal points in our lives. There are two in my life that pertain to this blog post:
College. Most people would probably say college, but I don’t say college for the same reason as many would. I loved college – don’t get me wrong. But, the best thing I got out of college was not a degree – but was a dear friendship with my mentor. She taught me – more than anything else – how to believe the Word of God for the hope of the ones that she loves. She prays all the time for her family members (and me, and others). I’ve seen the fruit of years of prayer that God has faithfully answered.
Louisville. For almost three years I lived and worked in Louisville, KY. I worked for SBTS and enjoyed my time assisting one of the Deans there. It was not only great for my personal life, but also for my spiritual life. During that time I was introduced to the ESV Journaling Bible and started using it for my note taking – and I was taught how Christ is in ALL the Scriptures. Basically – what it means to live a gospel-centered life and how all of the Bible points to Christ. This time in Louisville greatly impacted my life, writing, and now even my parenting and marriage.
Since I’ve gotten married, I’ve started writing prayer journals for my husband. But, I don’t just pray random prayers – though I do. I pray through books of the Bible for him. You can find the one for Ephesians on Amazon and the one for Nehemiah on the blog. Colossians will be out in early 2015 with Philippians to follow. I love reading through a particular book of the Bible and systematically praying for my husband.
I’ve also been praying in similar ways for my boys. I usually pray through parenting books for them, but also want to start journaling in a Bible for them – so they can see the prayers I prayed for them when they get older, or even after I’m in the presence of Jesus. To have that legacy, a failed legacy many times, but one were I strive to pray for them daily.
And I’m writing prayers for myself and other moms – prayers that point us to the hope of the Gospel in this very hard task that we seek to accomplish every day. Those will be coming out late 2015.
That’s why I love the ESV Journaling Bible. I’ve given one of my old ones to each of my sons – so they can have my handwritten notes later on in their lives. I got that idea from my friend Daniel Renstrom. (Thanks, D.)
But, now, if I had my dream world: I would have four journaling Bibles – all different so I could keep track of which is which. I would want one for my husband, one for each of my boys, and one for myself. That is how I take sermon notes and journal through Bible studies. Next year I’m studying Deuteronomy and what the Bible has to say about Family – while also keeping up with She Reads Truth.
So, how can you use a journaling Bible to aid in your prayers for your friends and family – or even for yourself:
1. Read the Bible systematically. I love working through a particular book of the Bible. As my pastor says – it helps you love that particular book. He just preached through Daniel. As I look in my journaling Bible, I see that I know more about Christ and the book/times of Daniel than I did before. My notes are right there – application points and everything.
2. Mark it up! That’s what it is there. I’ve not found any writing instrument except a pencil that won’t show through at all. I don’t use any that bleed through, but I can tell that I’ve written something. I use Micron pens 005 and 01 for most of my writing in my Bible. I love being able to see what the Lord has taught me through the Holy Spirit and the depth of His Word. Encouragement comes to us through the Word (Romans 15)
Through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have HOPE! – Romans 15.4
3. Always have it with you. My bag I carry with my most of the time (not a diaper bag) has my journaling Bible in it and blank notecards. The blank notecards are for my doodling and drawing and lettering. The journaling Bible is for my digging into the Word. In Sunday School one of the ways I keep my mind from wandering is by doing application in my head with the verses that are being studied that day. In my morning quiet time, I jot down things that I’ve learned – or even re-writes the studied verse in the margin (that’s what I love the ESV Journaling Bible). Writing out Scripture is for me – the best way to learn it. I love having write the Word parties in my home. It is a great way to connect and share with ladies over the Word of God.
4. Love the Word. One of the ways I know I love a certain portion of Scripture is (yes, by knowing it) by seeing how much it is marked up in my Journaling Bible. Colossians, Psalms, Philippians, Hebrews, James – just to name a few. I can’t wait to see all the marks in Deuteronomy at the end of 2015.
God, through the Holy Spirit, speaks life-changing hope and freedom through His Word. And by using the ESV Journaling Bible, taking notes, marking it up, praying for your loved ones, you will leave a written legacy of how the Spirit changed your heart and transformed you into HIS likeness for the generations to come – so that they might know him.
That the next generation might know them (the teachings), the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God. – Psalm 78.6-7
Thanks to the kind people at Crossway, they’ve given me a Bible (the red Journaling Bible) to giveaway. Here are a couple ways to enter:
1. Leave a comment here.
2. Share this post on FB, IG, Pinterest, Twitter.
3. Leave a comment on one of my posts about this blog post.
Drawing will be when I go to bed late on Halloween night! (that’s Friday night).