Thursday, August 25, 2016

Why I color in my Bible and how to get started

I first saw Bible Journaling almost 2 years ago on Instagram. Several mom that I follow because of our adoption connection were either posting pictures of their Bibles or selling covers, bags, etc. I had been contemplating going back to using an actual paper Bible and not just an app as my main source of study for a while but this pushed me over the edge. I was excited of the idea of doodling my thoughts and keeping notes in the margins. At that time, it was actually difficult to get your hands on one. I actually purchased the cover and it sat empty for months as the only Journaling Bible I could find on Amazon was on backorder. They finally cancelled my order completely and I searched high and low until I finally was able find one online to order. Now, it seems like the the Journaling Bible drought is over and they should be pretty easy to find at your local Christian bookstore or online.

So why do I color in my Bible? I'm not particularly artistic and I don't have a flair for hand-lettering. It does let me try to express myself in that way but mostly, I take the time to doodle in the margins because it gives me a chance to meditate on what I've just read. I base my Bible study time off the First 5 app and I try to find something that pops out at me. Maybe it is something I've never noticed before or something that God has been saying to me in prayer. Whatever it is, I usually write it out and try to make it as beautiful as this non-artist can. 

This page is a great example:

There are people with far more artistic ability who can turn each page of their Bible into a work of art but I just enjoy the meditation and freedom of it. It does also give me a lot of room to keep sermon notes as well. 

If you want to get started with Bible journaling, here are a few recommendations:
-Gelatos are a great way to add color. Faber Castell makes some great collections of shades and they are easily available on Amazon.
-Micron pens are specifically designed not to bleed through thin Bible pages. 
-Accu-Gel Highlighters do a beautiful job highlighting without being too wet and again are designed for Bible use

I keep all these goodies in a tote bag and throw in some must haves for church like tissues, mints and lotion. It's a great way to keep everything accessible and easy to grab when I'm heading out to a Bible study, weekend service, or just out to my back patio in the mornings with my cup of coffee. 

Happy journaling!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Cherry Pecan Cookies

I've been meaning to blog about this recipe for a long time and I'm finally getting around to it. This is the perfect cookie recipe if you need to make a very large batch or are just looking for something very different than a standard chocolate chip. They also are great for a Christmas cookie exchange because the red color makes them so festive. They are very soft if you take them out quickly enough before they get too crisp and they cherry flavor is a hit with kids. I love them any time of year and I just made a batch the other day with my littles. This is a family recipe and what I love is how simple it is. It actually is a modification of a very famous old cookie recipe. It originally started as the "Prize Cookies" recipe from None Such Mincemeat but we aren't much of a mincemeat family so we throw in what we like. 

1 cup shortening (I used the butter flavored sticks)
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
3 cups flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
8 oz maraschino cherries chopped
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375. Beat shortening and sugar until fluffy then add eggs. Mix flour, salt and baking soda separately then slowly add to shortening mixture. Fold in cherries and pecans.  Drop rounded teaspoonsful onto greased cookie sheets about 2 inches apart and bake for about 10 minutes until they just start to turn golden on top.

Should make about 6 dozen. 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Next Door as it is in Heaven

I was very excited to receive this book to review because this is a subject that has been on my heart for a while. This book is packed with scripture and convicted my heart about how to share God's love in my neighborhood. The best part is that it isn't just a theological narrative to be pondered, it is full of real ways to make a difference. The authors, Lance Ford and Brad Brisco, take the reader through the ways that American neighborhoods have changed and how we have morphed from living and working in social villages to cocooning in isolated suburban homes.

They quickly move from the historical to the practical as they show countless examples of how to be a light in your neighborhood. The one that all of us can do right now is to pray for your neighbors. My husband and I have already started this part and now we are looking for new ways to interact.

I opened an email from where a neighbor just posted looking for a prayer group and feeling like God was opening a door, I offered to host the first one. I'm looking to hosting an ice cream social before school starts. There is also a monthly coffee group that meets in our neighborhood and I'm planning on attending my first one this weekend.

I highly recommend this book if you are looking for ways to be a light right where you are. One of my favorite parts is where they discuss hospitality and how our homes really belong to God and should be used for His glory. It was a convicting and powerful read.

The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these. Mark 12:31

I received a complimentary copy from Tyndale House.