Dear Gracefilled Lillies,
Scriptures for this entry:
Psalm 34:10, 1 Chronicles 16:8; Col 5:23
Question of the day: How do you journal God's Word and pray at the same time without doing it in your Bible?
Yes, it is actually possible. I would like to offer you some options.
For many many years, most Christians would carry notebooks or journals with them to Church and have a pen handy. They would take sermon notes. I did that too, but I also Micro Journaled in my Bible, making notes in the sideline, drawing little hearts, doodles and more to help me remember what I learned and also dating the Scriptures and underlining it. All of these habits are good learning habits. Take it from me, I'm a trained teacher and studied the Word from an early age.
You don't need an expensive fancy journal Bible to be creatively journaling your faith and journaling about God's Word. A notebook is still a very acceptable place to do all of that in.
Don't get swayed by popular media and industry. God's Word is all you need and your journal. Make your own books. Start in a normal exercise school book. They are very cheap and affordable and just as good for the process and even better actually. You can choose between A4, A5 and TN size (just trim the A5 down to a TN) and cover it with paper or paint a cover on it. Add your beautiful paperclips in it. Very soon you will have filled your books and not your Bible. You will be able to actually use your Bible, one Bible for a very very long time.
I don't own a journal Bible and I don't think I will buy one probably. I just can't see myself spending that much on something that I will also probably never "color in" with products just because it was so expensive. I salvaged an old NIV that was falling apart and I use it for creative expression but also just for reading at times. It is in my studio while my study Bible is where I normally have my quiet times. It is a personal preference, but to me, it makes no real sense to fill a Bible with ton's of art products and try out techniques in it. That is what an art journal is for. I also can't see the point of just highlighting one verse and covering the rest with paint and products that make it difficult to read.
Remember that reading the same section in the Word again and again over time, will always give you new insights. You can't cover it and just focus on one part. You will miss out on the richness and depth of the Word. Also, remember that the Word is alive! Allow God to speak to you through all the parts, not just the parts you like. That is a challenge to all of us to keep in mind.
So, I'm writing you this post today to just make you think about where it is you are going with your "Creative Worship". Include God in it and ask Him to lead you in the direction He wants for you to take in His Word.
I can witness that God had me ask many questions and think long and hard about what and how I was engaging with His Word. I will always have to answer to Him. So be careful with God's Word and be careful about who you allow to "teach" you, what they teach you and how they go about doing so.
Never ever focus on the product or techniques but rather on how they are used to honor God and His Word and bring about His purposes in your life and the lives of others.
If you really want to art journal, then get an art journal and do just that. You can use all the products to your heart's content. But if you study the Word, really study it. Don't just add stuff to it, for the sake of adding stuff. And also think about what it is that you are adding.
Did you know that there is a scripture about not adding anything to God's Word or taking anything away from it and it comes with a stern warning? Click here to read the Scripture and ask God to speak to your heart. I'm doing the same. I want to make sure I am on the right track with what I'm doing.
So let's honor God and His Word today with how we go about using it.
This post is not about judging anyone or about criticizing any particular way or process. It is to place the focus firmly on God first, on honoring His Word the way He intended for us to use it and engage with it.
If we as believers allow an industry to dictate how we study the Word and how we learn from it and engage with it, we might find ourselves on the wrong track very quickly. Be mindful of the fact that industry is profit focused and God is not.
I also needed to ask myself serious questions. I am a believer first and therefor ministry focused; a teacher second so I'm people focused and I own a creative business to put food on my table, but God is my Source. I had to check my focus and my purpose with the Gracelilly Faith Art initiative and that is why I have probably not been so active with it as I would have liked. If I look back now, I feel God's Spirit want me to take note of some things happening around me in the "industry". Remember that God is not interested in the industry but rather in our characters.
I still want to do more Dreambook workshops because I know what the process of keeping a visual prayer journal meant to my spiritual journey. But I don't have any desire to do the "Illustrated Faith" thing. I want to journal creatively and because I am a believer it will include my faith, God's Word and teaching and my art. I communicate that way naturally. Always have. No matter if I make a card or paint a painting, God's light and love will shine through my spirit onto the canvas or journal page in a creative way.
The distinction God gave me recently was through the scripture about the seeds and the various places it falls. I'll do another post about this scripture another time. For now, I just want to mention that God made it clear to me that the seeds I sow are not the problem. He gives me my talents, thumbprint, unique and artistic way of communicating, the things I create using the gifts He has given, so He is the origin anyway and that's all good. It is actually about "WHERE" I sow those seeds and how. The ground I sow it in.
So, make sure you sow in the right places if you want to make sure there will be a harvest.
I hope you consider the journaling options above. They are much more affordable and sustainable.
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