Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Tools of the Trade: Bible Marking for Beginners


Writing in your Bible can be one of the most effective tools to understanding and learning from the Word of God. I strongly encourage you to get over your fear of writing on its pages! Here are my top reasons why we should begin to mark our Bibles up:

- One of my biggest goals in my spiritual walk is to really get to know the scriptures. I don't want my Bible to get dusty, and I certainly don't want it to only be used when I attend church. Our Bibles are the best set of instructions for life you can find. Wouldn't you want that kind of manual to stop sitting on a shelf and become your companion? Marking in our Bibles allows us to highlight what we feel we need the most in our lives. By the time our Bibles fall apart with use and an abundance of notations, we will have a record of our growth as women living our lives for Him! 
- A well loved and written in Bible is a treasure! Wouldn't you love to be able to have your great grandmother's copy of the Word with all of her reflections and responses written in the margins? Your Bible, your companion, can be passed on to your children and their children and can be used to inspire them to really get to know the Word and encourage them to build a stronger relationship with God.
- Systematic Bible marking is useful when leading others to Christ. It allows you to find particular scriptures quickly and gives you notes to refer to when you are talking to someone about the Word and  are answering any questions they may have. 
- Difficult times in our lives often lead us to reading the same verses or chapter over and over again for comfort and strength. Sometimes joyous events in our lives lead us to reading psalms and verses of praise and thanksgiving. Highlighting, dating, and writing a few words next to these verses can serve as a journal by reminding you later of what impact the verse had on your life at that time.

I suggest developing a system to use when you begin marking a new Bible so that the colors are consistent throughout the whole Bible. My favorite tools to use are colored pencils, highlighters, and the marker type pens. Make sure you test your writing utensils on a blank page to check for smearing and bleed through before you begin writing notes all over the place :) 
These are my favorite pens to use because I love the colors! However, they do bleed through the pages a little bit, so keep that in mind. It isn't terrible bleed through and doesn't bother me too bad.

I also suggest creating a color coding key to keep in the front of your Bible to keep track of what each color means. I recommend coming up with a list of topics you want to focus on and dedicating a color to each topic. It's always a good idea to dedicate an extra color to a general observances category in case you want to make note of something that doesn't fit into one of the other topic categories.

I just purchased a new ESV Study Bible and I am in the process of developing a new system for it. I will post my key and a review of my new Bible soon!

Quiet Time: Using the Everyday Matters Bible for Women

Hey everyone!

Welcome to my new blog! I would like to dedicate my first post to my new Everyday Matters Bible for Women by Hedrickson Bibles. I purchased this Bible at Barnes and Noble a few months ago because of the reviews I read on its amazing devotional material. I bought it with the intentions of using it for my morning bible study, but I was overwhelmed by everything it had to offer!

This particular bible is in the NLT translation and highlights 24 spiritual disciplines in its supplemental content. From acceptance to worship, many different facets of our spiritual walks are discussed in articles throughout the bible. 

I was overwhelmed initially because I had idea where to begin! I wanted to grow spiritually, but I was having trouble picking a topic and really getting everything out of it that I could.

I decided to develop a system to help me get everything I could out of my morning study time with this bible. I began by cutting out strips of paper with each of the spiritual disciplines written on them. These slips were folded and put into a container, and each week, I draw a new discipline out. Let's say that this week I picked outreach! Each morning of this week I will read 2 or 3 of the articles and matching scripture associated with the topic of outreach. I will journal about the articles and write down how I can apply what I have read to my day. Doing this in the morning is refreshing as it reminds me of His greatness and helps me to reflect on what I have learned throughout the day. At the end of each week, I summarize the key points and write down quotes and verses that are related to the topic but weren't referenced in the articles. This has been a very helpful way to use this Bible! I have found myself less distracted and have been to get so much more out of my morning study time because I am more focused and have a specific topic/goal in mind.

In terms of organization and a system for morning study using this Bible, I have color coded each of the spiritual disciplines to help find them easier. I used highlighters and post it flags to mark the related scripture and where the discipline can be found from the outside of my Bible. 

I was inspired by the Virtue Training Bible to create a color coded reference page for the front of my Bible. Each discipline has a specific color tab and a certain location on the outside of the bible where its tabs can be found. I typed it up in MS Word, but even just a list in the front of your Bible or in your journal will do.

I hope this is helpful for this interested in refreshing their quiet time with The Lord. I have grown so much by using this Bible to enhance my understanding of the scripture.

2 Timothy 3:16-17