Why I like my journalling bible

I tried to leave feedback on the eBay site where I got my journalling bible. It amused me that I was sent in circles due to the site using the word ‘leave’ in two different ways.

I wanted to leave feedback so I clicked on the blue Leave Feedback button which took me away from the leaving feedback section. It should have been labelled ‘Depart from Feedback’. Likewise the Leave Feedback could have been ‘Give your feedback’. A prime example of one word being used with two different meanings.

So I will leave my feedback here in the blog. I do hope you do not leave before you’ve read it.

I ordered my journalling bible after participating in a Creative Christianity Summit. One of the workshops was on bible journalling and doodling. As well as using a bible they showed various ways of drawing and decorating bible verses.

I have enjoyed using the journalling bible for my prayer times rather than the NRSV that I use for bible study for a sermon. I find it helps to dwell on the scriptures if I doodle or underline/highlight bits. For many years I have highlighted or underlined special verses but the space to write in the margins or even draw pictures means that when I look through the bible the pictures remind me of what was special about a verse or how it spoke to me.

This morning is a good example. The Celtic morning prayer suggested some verses from psalm 36 so I prayerfully read through the whole psalm. Verses 5-9 spoke to me most and the first thing I did was to connect verse 9 with Jesus so I took a pale blue highlighter and wrote his name through the verse. I then put a box in pink around verses 5-8.

Psalm 36

I was reminded of the Graham Kendrick song Such Love which has meant a great deal to me over the years. It was that song, played at its launch back in 1988 at the March for Jesus at the NEC was when I first experienced someone having a word of knowledge for me which then unlocked a block to me worshipping Jesus more deeply. So I started to write Such Love in the margin. However I didn’t want to simply write the lyrics – they wouldn’t all fit and I wouldn’t have got to the bit about Jesus being a fountain of life to me to tie in with vs 9. So I just wrote what came to mind. I then highlighted in pink verse 9 (possibly not the best move aesthetically) and verse 7. Overall my prayer time this morning was one that left me feeling peaceful and loved.

Here are other pages:

In the examples the one with the hearts was done on my recent retreat. It was on the first day and my guide had suggested I mull over Jeremiah 31:3. I used the Celtic morning prayer and all the readings seemed to be about Sabbath rest. So as I was thinking about God’s love during a walk by the beach I sang this (Tune: Dear Lord and Father of Mankind):

O Sabbath rest in Llandudno
O rugged hills above
where Jesus came to share with me
the silence of eternity
interpreted by love, interpreted by Love.

Just as I was thinking about God’s love I noticed a stone that someone had painted with hearts and left. I picked it up – what good timing! I nearly took the stone away with me but thought I would leave it for someone else to find. But when I was praying later with my bible I doodled the hearts. So that will be a reminder for me every time I turn to that page. My eyes strayed across to verse 14. My prayer was that God would refresh me so that I could go home and be able to feed his people, so I highlighted that verses too. As I was writing this I had to look at my written journal to find the words of my Sabbath rest in Llandudno so perhaps I will add them to that page in the bible above the hearts doodle.

The other thing I like about the bible is that it is the NIV. Although the NRSV is probably a more accurate translation and good for bible study, I have always preferred my NIV for devotional use. The language is more poetic. My old one, bought in the 1980s is falling apart and needed to be replaced. I’m glad I did replace it with this one which is also a newer edition (2011).

My old faithful NIV has been repaired many times

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