Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Bible Study Journal/Binder

So this is something I am incredibly new at, and really excited about all at the same time. I have always believed in Jesus, sort of. He was just this really big idea that I knew I wasn't mature enough to make a real decision about. Then, I went through some seriously lonely times, and after having Emma, I knew it was time to take my eternal soul seriously. So I started researching some religions, and the only thing that ever felt right was Jesus. Soon after, I noticed a change in my life, the one you hear people talk about all the time. Unfortunately, most people wait until after they get that feeling to find Jesus. But, it was when I found Jesus that I got that feeling of complete happiness.

So, I want to know everything I can about the Bible. It is God's love letter to us. It is our history books. And it is our guidelines on how to live a better, more Christlike life. It is everything we could ever need, when we need it. So I want to study it, and know it.

So, like any scholarly girl, I got together with a bunch of girlfriends (mostly family who have REALLY helped me on my spiritual journal and who I look up to) and we all made Bible Study binders. After pouring through Pinterest (I am SO disappointed by the amount of biblical related information available on there. Biblical quotes over a hipster sunset? Yes. But anything on the REAL Word? No.) we decided this was the best method for us. But anything works, composition notebook, stapled together construction paper, get really crazy and write it on the walls. Just PLEASE study your Bible!

Grab your binder, mine is a mini, and decorate it however you want. Flashy, plain, anything that gets you excited about opening it every day with your Bible! Some people will even ask you about it, and what a better way to witness? I used a purple mini binder, and gold glitter letters and paper strips from Hobby Lobby.

Then, you need to get your tabs. I got plain cheap tabs from OfficeMax and mod podged pretty scrapbook paper to them to make them more decorative. 

The Tabs:
Scripture: This is where I put everything I discover while I am reading my Bible. Every time I start a new book, I make a new page (with mini-binder notebook paper, also purchased at OfficeMax) and write in my favorite verses, anything I find interesting, and drawings to help me remember. I also have several pages dedicated to themes throughout the bible, where I put verses explaining different things no matter what book it is in. For example I have a baptism page where all verses about baptism go, and also an armor of God page, where I drew a suit of armor and show which meaning each piece has in the armor of God.

Sermon: I only get to go to the morning Sunday service because that is the only time a nursery is offered. So when I get to hear the sermon, I love to take notes so I can reflect on it later. After all, God put this message into our Pastor for us to hear. I take note of all the verses he mentions so I can look them up later, because sometimes there just isn't enough time to go to each one. I have found this has really helped me pay attention and not get distracted. I also hole punch the bulletin and stick it in front of each day's notes in case I need to reference dates or prayer requests!

Prayer: This one is pretty obvious, all my prayers and praises go here! I have tried list making, and also writing them out completely, and I personally prefer the list method because I feel like writing my prayers down instead of just speaking to God takes him out of it. But this is just me personally, a lot of people love writing out their whole prayer!

Sunday School: This one unfortunately does not get enough use. We have books that we are supposed to study each week, so most of my note taking goes in there. But I jot down anything extra during the lesson in this tab!

Worship: This is where I put anything extra I want to check out. Songs I hear that I want to make sure I remember, notes from Christian books, anything!

So I ran out of room for all my tabs and had to get a second set. I didn't put scrapbook paper on these, but I did put washi tape on the tab part to make them pretty! This was a lot easier and faster and leaves you room to decorate the rest of the tab with quotes and stickers!

Verse Mapping: This is another cool thing I am going to try and do. Bible memorization is really important to Christian living, to me. It allows you to witness easier, and you can also recall passages when you need them in your life. When you verse map, you pick a verse, and read/try to understand it over and over throughout the day or week. Here is an example:

Church Activities: Part of being a good Christian to me, is being active in your church. This is where I take note of any upcoming events or any ideas for things like VBS. 

Inspire: I have spent a lot of time working and discussing my faith with others. Here is where any song lyrics or quotes that inspire me and push me to our Lord go. 

Then I have a few leftover tabs in case I think of or see any other things I would like to add later! 

How do you study your Bible? Any suggestions to make my study experience more rewarding?