When God impresses upon your mind a portion of Scripture what do you do about it? How do you record or remember what the Holy Spirit has shown you during your Bible Study time? Do you meditate on Scripture? Do you pray using the Scriptures to guide you?
All of these questions have gone through my mind this year. I found a simple way to record what God has been showing me by writing it down in my journal. For lack of a more imaginative name, I've titled it Scripture Writing. For those of you who have been around the blog for a while, you've been seeing these Scripture Writing posts several times a week. I thought you might like a little background about where they come from, so here goes...
Way back in High School ... a long, long time ago... I spent some time learning about calligraphy and hand lettering. I've done a few things over the years, but nothing recently. Last fall I thought it might be a good time to resurrect my hand-lettering skills. Chalkboard fonts were popping up everywhere, and I wanted another creative outlet, preferably one that didn't require long periods of time to complete. Bible journaling had been gaining popularity, and while I'm not opposed to making notes in my Bible, I wasn't really drawn to the cover the whole page style that seemed the most popular. Then this Spring we (the girls and I) saw a display about Bible Journaling. It seemed many people were going overboard ~ focusing more on the art and less on the Bible. If Bible journaling is your thing - go for it- but remember to keep a copy of your Bible that you can still read on a daily basis, not just the one you've painted, stamped, and stickered!
On to this Summer - our local Christian bookstore was hosting a free Bible journaling class. I decided to attend and see if maybe I was missing the mark. There are now several versions of Bibles bound with wide margins for journaling, even whole leaves to draw or take notes on. It still wasn't really calling to me, and by then I had done quite a few of my Scripture Writings in the journal I keep in my Bible bag. I like the adult coloring books with pictures and verses, but it does not have the same impact on me to color what someone else has drawn as focusing on what God is speaking to me each day.
So I decided that God was telling me to just keep doing what I was doing.
What was I doing? Just some hand-lettering of the portions of Scripture that seemed to jump out from the sermons at church, or that seemed particularly relevant when I would read at home. I was writing them on the left-hand page of my journal while taking notes on the right-hand page. Then one Saturday in August, I decided to take pictures of some of them, put them on backgrounds and post them on the blog.
I didn't think there would be such a love for them, but there is. Many of you have commented on how you like them, and even shared them. It is God working through His Word, it is nothing I'm doing out of the ordinary. Not every time I write out a portion of Scripture does it make it into the regular Sunday-Wednesday-Saturday rotation. Some of them just wouldn't make sense if you didn't have the back-story of the portion of Scripture to go with it. Here is a prime example:
Now, if you had been studying the book of Jonah with us for the past several weeks, or maybe months, you would know why we were in this part of the story and what God had been doing because of Jonah's hardness of heart. BUT, if you hadn't, and you saw this pop up on the blog, or in your email feed, you might wonder why I was asking about your anger...except I wasn't. Does that make sense about why I don't share everything?
Most of the Scripture Writing I do does end up here on the blog though. God's Word challenges me, it molds my thinking, it encourages my heart. Those are the passages I've shared. I hope they've been encouraging you as well. If you are wanting to meditate on Scripture, or use God's Word to guide your prayer time, Scripture Writing can help you slow down and focus. At least it helps me.
Now that you know how I got started on my Scripture Writing, are you wanting to try to yourself? It doesn't need to be fancy artwork, it can just be for you. If you're interested in learning more about how I actually go about the steps from first reading through final writing, leave some sort of note in the comments. If there is interest, I'll make a step-by-step tutorial and post it in November.
Until tomorrow, maybe God is using Jonah 4:4 for a reason today. Maybe it is for you, and maybe its just for me. Tomorrow's Scripture Writing is a theme, not a specific verse. You'll see it in the morning! :)