Five Things I Discovered in 2016

gratitudeLooking back in my Gratitude Journal for January 2016 I find I was still going to acupuncture for IBS (with no real improvement), but no mention of knee trouble. Both of those issues are now non-issues!

openjournal

I used Ann Voskamp’s Purpose Plan for the new year and renewed my energies and determination to meet the Lord each day with Scripture, prayer, and thanksgiving.

 

 

 

 

Late in 2015 I began teaching our Wednesday night Bible class, a small, informal group of sweet ladies who always encourage and lift me up. This study led me searching a variety of sources online, and I discovered some great resources.

  1.  Bible Resources online
  • Bible apps

Bible Gateway and Youversion provide a number of translations and the ability to compare two or three at one time. You can highlight verses and create notes. My favorite version for Bible study is the Amplified Bible. It provides richer and deeper meaning to many familiar phrases or words. Example:

In the beginning God (Elohim) created [by forming from nothing] the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1

This app and website is rich with resources. Besides versions of the Bible, you can find a number of commentaries, along with a database of 10 parallel versions, Bible verse graphics, devotions, and reading plans. Another helpful service is the Parallel Gospels, all four gospels compared in one place.

This interesting site, found in Desiring God with John Piper, provides insight into Bible study of specific verses or chapters. John Piper thinks aloud as you see him mark the text with different colors, notes, and symbols.

2. Teaching Adults the Bible

I’ve taught Bible classes since I was a junior in high school, always children and all ages. Since retirement I have taught a few adult classes, usually a specific series from a book, but I never felt confident enough to just choose a book of the Bible and study it and teach it. This year I had several opportunities to teach Bible and found I love the preparation of my own study.

My teaching text in August, 2016

My teaching text in August, 2016

Bible study has been a part of me since Mama read Bible stories to us as children. I attended Christian colleges for four years, studied Bible every day, grew up learning to memorize Scripture, and continued to teach Bible classes through most of my adult life. I am surprised that I am still finding new and deeper understandings in God’s Word. My appreciation for God’s inspired words deepens.

3. Art Journaling the Bible

One of myfavorite passages from Ephesians 3:12-17

One of my favorite passages from Ephesians 3:12-17

I stumbled across this new trend during my days of required rest, propping up a painful knee (pre-surgery). I am not skilled in drawing, painting, etc. but I do love color and creative lettering. I created a Pinterest board and learned the wide variety of ways to make pages of the Bible meaningful. This new-to-me outlet led me to the next discovery.

4. New Living Translation

I am committed to continue teaching on Psalms the month of February, so I started my personal study in December. While browsing in Michaels before Christmas, I found this book that beautifully illustrates the book of Psalms. inspirepsalms

This book became my inspiration for the Psalms study, even though it used the New Living Translation. As I read through this book I discovered that I loved this translation. One of my favorite ways to study is to compare a passage with different translations. NLT gives me another version to consider.

5. Memorizing Psalm 40

I committed to memorize Psalm 40 in August and slowly made my way through the verses. I grouped 2-3 verses and spent time analyzing the meaning before memorizing it. I love the way it begins. I think many of us have felt at some point just as the Psalmist did: “He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire.”psalm-40

I always end each blog post with my thanks to God for blessings; today I am thankful for each of these discoveries. They continue to bless my life.

May you find blessings every day; if you write them down, it will make a difference in your life.

JoyMartell

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