“At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. Then at three o’clock Jesus called out with a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?’ which means ‘My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?’
Some of the bystanders misunderstood and thought he was calling for the prophet Elijah. One of them ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, holding it up to him on a reed stick so he could drink. ‘Wait!’ he said. ‘Let’s see whether Elijah comes to take him down!’
Then Jesus uttered another loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.
When the Roman officer who stood facing him saw how he had died, he exclaimed, ‘This man truly was the Son of God!’
Some women were there, watching from a distance, including Mary Magdalene, Mary (the mother of James the younger and of Joseph*), and Salome. They had been followers of Jesus and had cared for him while he was in Galilee. Many other women who had come with him to Jerusalem were also there.” Mark 15:33-41, NLT
He came to pay a debt he didn’t owe because we owed a debt we couldn’t pay. May his love fill every day with wonder and thankfulness.
Lord, it can be so hard to receive the truth of what you paid to release me from darkness and death. Open my eyes to the beauty of freedom in you. Show me how deep and wide your love is—so that I can live a full life of joy and so that joy spills out to the world around me.
Do you ever have moments when you wonder whether you’re somehow missing the spiritual boat? Maybe at church, while listening to a sermon, everyone else seems enthralled but . . . you just aren’t feelin’ it. Or how about this one? All your friends are into this new inspirational book (“It’s a must-read!” they say), so you order it, crack it open, and . . . no fireworks.
What am I missing? you wonder. The answer may very well be nothing. Most of us have discovered that faith isn’t an exact science. There’s no spiritual equation that guarantees a certain outcome; our hearts aren’t made that way. What speaks to you one day may not register with the friend beside you. What lights your friend’s fire may not even make yours flicker. And that’s good! We’re God’s workmanship, not his minions.
We’re kind of like specially made locks, and he possesses the one-of-a-kind key to each of us. The more we embrace that about ourselves, the more authentic our faith journeys will be.
As we fix our eyes on him and stop comparing ourselves with those around us, we lose the pressure of conforming in ways that don’t speak to our hearts. Then we can encourage and celebrate each other without compromising ourselves.
by Shanna Noel and Paige DeRuyscher , 100 Days of Prayer
Lord, help me to see all the ways you made me special. Guide me as I use my unique gifts to helps others experience your everlasting love. In Jesus name, amen.
“But who am I, and who are my people, that we could give anything to you? Everything we have has come from you, and we give you only what you first gave us! We are here for only a moment, visitors and strangers in the land as our ancestors were before us. Our days on earth are like a passing shadow, gone so soon without a trace.
“O Lord our God, even this material we have gathered to build a Temple to honor your holy name comes from you! It all belongs to you! I know, my God, that you examine our hearts and rejoice when you find integrity there. You know I have done all this with good motives, and I have watched your people offer their gifts willingly and joyously.
“O Lord, the God of our ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, make your people always want to obey you. See to it that their love for you never changes. Give my son Solomon the wholehearted desire to obey all your commands, laws, and decrees, and to do everything necessary to build this Temple, for which I have made these preparations.” 1 Chronicles 29:14-19
“I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me,just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep.I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd.” John 10:14-16, NLT.
Being called sheep doesn’t carry much prestige. Sheep can be pretty clueless and helpless. We’d probably much rather choose to be known as something noble—like a lion, a cheetah, or an eagle.
But we’re called sheep because we tend to wander, we get lost, and we need constant protection and provision. The real blessing in all this is that we get to have a Great Shepherd.
He’s not just an okay shepherd; he’s not doing it for a hidden reason. He loves to look after his silly sheep, and we definitely benefit from his care.
When we think of the Bible, we often relate it to our own personal quiet time with God or maybe to a special gift that could encourage a loved one into a deeper conversation with God. But have you thought about the Bible as a way to connect with your community? Looking to come together as a church in God’s Word or want to make an impact in your broader community, here are a few ideas:
Streetlights New Testament brings audio and print together in an exciting new format. Working with our friends at Streetlights Bible, we have been able to create a Bible portion that resonates with the urban generation. With the scan of a QR code, readers link to remarkably creative study content and audio resources that explain Christian truth and serve as a basic discipleship tool. Its unique tone and approach to the gospel have a strong appeal to many who are searching for an unconventional way to connect with God’s Word.
Immerse: The Bible Reading Experience was created for reading in community. The entire Bible is split into six volumes complete with reading plans, videos, and other resources to help your church, book club, Bible study, or neighborhood group engage in God’s Word together. Immerse removes many of the barriers which make Bible reading difficult, paving the way for deep connection with God and others through the Scriptures.
Filament Bible Journal Collection will be releasing at the end of the year and is perfect for Bible studies, sermon series, and outreach. Each journal is a book or series of books from the New Testament. They have a single-column format and every other page is blank, which is perfect for note-taking. Scan a page with a phone or tablet and you’ll have access to the Filament Bible app’s content for the book or books you are studying.
The One Year Pray for the Persecuted Church is a dynamic way to connect with people around the world who are being persecuted for their faith. Created with The Voice of the Martyrs, this Bible uses The One Year Bible reading plan, and each day’s reading includes a prayer prompt focusing on requests from our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ. As a church, why not spend a month focusing on praying for people being persecuted for their faith and then give the people in your church community the opportunity to continue to pray all year using The One Year Pray for the Persecuted Bible? One in eight Christians around the world are persecuted for their faith, and their first request is for us to pray. Let’s do it!
Inspire Portions allow your community to get creative while studying God’s Word. These coloring-book-style Bible portions provide a way to reach out to people looking to engage with God’s Word in a more tactile way. They feature high-quality art paper that works well with all art supplies so you can start a Bible journaling study or group. Coloring and creative art-journaling options appear throughout the portions, and the Bible text is displayed beautifully in a single-column, wide-margin, spacious layout.
New Believer’s New Testament is a great Bible to start answering some of the most common questions people have about the Bible. This softcover New Testament is perfect for an outreach ministry, for those who are just starting their faith journey, or for helping equip people who want to reach out to those in their lives who have questions about what it means to have a relationship with God.
Outreach Bibles are economy-priced, full-text Bibles available only in bulk order. Designed for outreach efforts, these Bibles include resources like how to become a Christian and basics on how to use a Bible. They are available in softcover full size, large print, children’s edition, and New Testament portion.
NLT Filament Bible Journals will be joining the collection this fall. These Bible portions contain a New Testament book or collection of books. These softcovers have interleaved (every-other-page) blank pages that offer an attractive modernization of a traditional design, with high quality thick, opaque cream-colored journaling paper and Smyth-sewn binding. They also will be available in box sets.
Compact Editionswill be joining the collection this fall. These are the smallest binding in the collection making them extremely portable. Some even have zipper covers!
ThePremium Value Thinlines also will release this fall. They will be available in full size and large print editions. These Bibles have beautiful covers at a very affordable price.
We will also be releasing some favorite covers in different lines.
Did you know the Filament Bible Experience App now includes reading plans? Check them out!
Most of us have a woman in our life who has given us support and been a listening ear and encourager. She’s someone who understands us and sees the best in us. It might be a mom, but it also might be a grandma, an aunt, a friend, a mentor, or a teacher. Mother’s Day is a time to thank those women and let them know how much they mean to us. A Bible is a wonderful way to say, “I love you.” It can offer encouragement and hope. It can be a treasured gift to pass down from generation to generation sharing what God is doing and has done in the lives of those who mean so much to us. Our Bible team wants to share a few ideas with you for this Mother’s Day:
The THRIVE Devotional Bible for Women is for every woman who wants to know God more deeply. God’s design for His children is that they live flourishing, fulfilling, joy-filled lives in Christ. This Bible is available in a standard edition and also in a wide-margin edition with lots of room for notes, art, prayers, and more.
The Life Application Study Bible takes readers beyond knowing the Bible to living it out. Filled with over 10,000 notes and features, it is one of the most comprehensive and most beloved study Bibles in the world.
Inspire Bibles are single-column, wide-margin Bibles designed for creative engagement with God’s Word. They include hundreds of line-art illustrations of Bible verses to color and reflect on while reading. The original Inspire Bible, Inspire PRAISE Bible, and Inspire PRAYER Bible are available in large print, and a giant-print Inspire PRAYERBible is releasing this month.
The Illustrated Study Bible is one of the most beautiful Bibles on the market. It gives readers an entirely new visual study experience. Hundreds of information-rich windows to the world of the Bible communicate foundational truths and complex information in an understandable way.
The Filament Bible Collection is a revolutionary combination of print + digital. The beautiful, uninterrupted Bible reading experience is enhanced by scanning a small symbol on each page that gives you access to study, devotional, video, and worship resources curated to what you are reading.
The Art of Life Bibleis a beautiful way to reflect on God as creator. It weaves the beautiful NLT text into a rich tapestry of artwork illustrating many living things mentioned in Scripture—people, plants, and animals. Featuring 450 original hand-drawn illustrations in a unique style this Bible encourages contemplation and visual interaction with the Word.
This next one might seem out of box, but the Hands-On Bible for kids might be the perfect gift for a mom or grandma who is looking for a way to come together with her family in God’s Word. With questions designed to get conversations started, activities, crafts, and games for the whole family to enjoy, it’s a gift to connect with God and each other through His Word.
Inspire Bible Ambassador Spotlight: Barbie
Tyndale House Publishers
We are thrilled to feature beloved Bible journaler Barbie Ramirez of Contigo Arts in our Inspire Prayer Bible Ambassador Spotlight! We believe you will be incredibly blessed as she shares her beautiful heart, story, faith, art, advice, and prayers with you.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi! My name is Barbie, I’m from Costa Rica, and I am 43 years old. I’ve been married for 22 years, and we have two daughters: my eldest is 21, and my youngest is 15. I studied Psychology, and I am a Christian, you can say, since birth. I am a very sociable and friendly person, and I enjoy serving others. I love to help, teach, and guide others to know Jesus.
What are some of your favorite hobbies? (Besides Bible journaling in your Inspire Bible, of course!)
Well, of course Bible journaling is my favorite hobby. I also enjoy drawing and painting, and my preferred technique is watercolors. I love all arts and craft. I’m not good in the kitchen or in sports, but I give my best effort. People around me say I have the gift of prayer. I’m not sure it’s true, but what I do know for certain is that I love to pray, and I do it sincerely and constantly.
Tell us when you first encountered God and how your choice to follow him has impacted your life.
My parents led me to God at an early age. They not only instilled in me Christian values and principles but also taught me to love and respect God and his Word as well as to obey and share it with others. Even though I grew up in church, often times I felt like the lost coin of the parable, lost inside the house. I never left church or stopped going physically, but sometimes my heart was in another place. God in his mercy always sought me, and he found me, forgave me, cleansed me, and bestowed his wonderful love upon me.
I can say that every day is a struggle to fight against natural tendencies, but I feel his presence and compassion every day, in every step of the way. I have had moments of pain and loneliness, but it is in these moments where I have found a faithful and constant friend in Jesus.
Who (or what) has had the biggest influence on helping you grow in your faith?
I have always been a simple girl. I grew up in a humble home, but it was filled with love. My parents were and still are (even after death) a great influence. Their advice and counseling continue to help and guide me along the way. However, finding Bible journaling has given me a new perspective of how to have a relationship with God and his Word.
Five years ago, I would have never thought that I could be capable of drawing or painting. I discovered these talents thanks to Bible journaling, and I began to experiment with it. Today it’s my favorite thing. I need it, and it’s my way of spending time with God.
How has Bible journaling impacted your faith?
When days go by without painting my Bible, I feel empty and lost. I not only enjoy painting but also teaching others, that they can also discover the treasure that God gave me of illustrating the Bible. I’ve learned to seek God through his Word, and this has helped me in many areas of my life. It has strengthened my relationship with family, friends, and even myself, and it has enabled me to have more empathy and compassion toward others. It has changed my perspective on life and has given me a new reason to share the love of God, filling others’ worlds with color and hope.
When did you first start Bible journaling?
I began 3 years ago, but before that, when I found out it existed, I would just watch other women’s work, wishing I could be one of them.
Do you have any tips to share about how to stay close to God each day?
I believe putting God in the position of friend and confidant in your life is a way of having an encounter with him in each moment. This gives you the opportunity to have him close, speak to him of your feelings, your thoughts, what you are afraid of or causes uncertainty. You can consult every decision to know what his purpose for your life is. To reflect and meditate in his Word has helped me to know what God thinks of me, what he desires for me, what offends or hurts him. If you think on it, these are three things that you do with a friend or a person that you love.
1.Decide to let him come into your life and become a part of it. 2.Speak (pray) constantly, tell him all about everything. 3.Give yourself the opportunity to know him, so you can fall in love with him through the reading of his Word and reflect your feelings through the art in the Bible journaling or Bible diary.
We should be eager to imitate Jesus and follow his example of life, sacrifice, and service. It will give us purpose and a reason in life as we feel near to Jesus. We should look to bless others; caring for the little ones is the task that he gave us. It will give us great satisfaction and fill our hearts when someone we have blessed gives us a smile, gives us thanks or a hug. You will feel deep down that you are fulfilling the mission.
Who is your favorite person in the Bible and why?
I feel identified with many Bible characters that I definitely look forward to speak with when I get to heaven. But the one that inspires and comforts me the most and who I am eager to be with is Jesus. My heart is filled with emotion as I imagine that moment, when I can hug and kiss his feet and live eternally giving thanks and praise for his love and for saving me.
What Bible verse would you like to encourage others with today?
My favorite Bible text is Galatians 2:20, but the one that cheers me up and gives me hope is John 16:33, which says:
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, Because I have overcome the world.”
We are living in difficult times. The world is free-falling toward chaos, violence, and confusion. It’s good to know that even though it seems that everything is getting worse, God has a plan, and that in the end of history, he is victorious, and we will have victory in him and because of him.
Would you like to say a prayer for the person reading this right now?
Of course, this is one of the things that I most enjoy doing.
Dear Jesus, we just want to thank you for your infinite love. Because of your providence, I can get in touch with the person that is reading this prayer in this moment. I do not know this person’s name, life, or situation, but you know them by name, even before they were born, and even from that moment, you have loved them.
They are wonderfully made, unique and unrepeatable. Your desire is that they know and understand that they are important to you; that whatever is causing anguish will be resolved soon; that even as they face difficult situations, you, Lord, are by their side; that they have never been alone, and you will never leave them alone.
I pray they will trust in you, Lord, with all their heart. May they leave all their burdens in your hands and look into the future with optimism, knowing you have great plans for them. We know that he who began a good work in us will carry it on to completion. If someone feels like they are a lost case, remind them that you have not finished with them yet!
In Jesus’ powerful name we pray, Amen.
May God bless you; I’m sending you my hug and best regards wherever you may be.
It’s fun to reminisce and look back on God’s blessings! Next month marks the 5-year anniversary of the launch of the first Inspire Bible. Back then, some people wondered whether anyone would be interested in coloring or creating art in a Bible!
It may seem like coloring Bibles have been around for a long time, or perhaps you are just now discovering them, but not that long ago, Bibles with hundreds of pre-printed, ready to color Scripture line-art illustrations beautifully-displayed alongside the Bible text didn’t exist. Coloring and being creative in our Bibles has become a favorite way for many to meditate on God’s living and active Word, to express key truths, and to create legacy Bibles with notes and prayers that will be given to our loved ones someday.
For the first 7 or 8 months after the Inspire Bible released in March 2016, we could not keep it in stock. Our favorite comment back then was when someone compared it to the Cabbage Patch doll craze of the 1980s, when no store could keep them on their shelves! It was the same with the Inspire Bible—and soon after, the teal original Inspire Bible became the bestselling Bible of 2016! Five years and many editions of Inspire later, the teal is still our most-loved binding. In fact, some of you may have noticed we were out of stock in the months leading up to Christmas (sorry!).
It has been so much fun interacting with so many of you through our Inspire Bible journaling events and studies, in our social media communities, and by email over the years. Please reach out any time! We love hearing from you, and we’re always blessed to be able to get even a tiny glimpse into what God is doing in your life.
Imagine if we could capture all of the stories of life-change represented by each Bible that has been read and journaled in. Or if we could flip through all of the pages that have personal expressions of faith and Scripture truths or notes and prayers splashed across them in response to time spent with the Lord in his Word. Imagine if we could hear how God inspired each entry. What if we could hear all of the testimonies of how God made himself known on those pages—of how God provided instruction, vision, hope, peace, strength, wisdom, courage, and yes, even course-correction and conviction of sin. We need it all in our pursuit to know God and live in step with him.
God’s Word is living and active. If you doubt it, or if you’ve never experienced the power of God’s Word to transform, begin reading; make a daily habit of it. Say a prayer before you read to invite God to speak to you through his Word, and quiet your heart to listen. It’s the greatest adventure, and you’ll soon find yourself hungering to be in the Word, walking closer with the Lord than you thought was possible and living it out as you genuinely seek him.
If you’re new to the idea of Bible journaling and you think you might enjoy expressing your creativity on the pages of your Bible, read on! There are a bunch of new releases in the Inspire Bible line. Perhaps one of them will interest you.
If you haven’t already read today’s Inspire Bible Ambassador Spotlight, you’ll be blessed to read about how Bible journaling has drawn Barbie of Instagram’s @contigo.art closer to the Lord and has strengthened her faith!
For those who are interested in what is new and coming soon, please read on.
We all have our own unique Christmas traditions. Maybe you open gifts on Christmas Eve or wait until Three Kings Day in January. Maybe you create a special family recipe or play a game each year. Do you decorate a tree or buy gifts for someone in need? One of my favorite traditions is helping my kids make their Christmas lists.
This year I asked my fellow team members to make their own Christmas lists and include which Bible they wish would be waiting under their Christmas tree. One of the things I love most about working on the Tyndale Bible team is that we are all so different. Each of us brings our individual gifts and abilities so that together we can bring God glory. But though we are all different, yet we are united in the Word that became human. What a reason to celebrate!
Here is what the Bible Team hopes is under their Christmas trees this year. You can click on the Bible title if you want to learn more.
“I am asking for the Daily Reader’s Bible. I am really curious about the unique layout, and I love the fact that the readings are numbered, not dated. My plan is to start in January, but because the readings are numbered, I don’t have to fear getting behind. I can just pick right back up when I can!”
Blaine is hoping to unwrap a beautiful new classic Bible.
“For Christmas this year, I have selected the NLT Filament-enabled Personal Size Giant Print Black Genuine Leather Indexed edition. Its uninterrupted readable text will allow me to focus on the Scripture without the distraction of study notes or other features. Knowing that a full suite of carefully curated study notes, devotionals, videos, and even worship songs is available to me by simply opening the Filament Bible app and pointing my phone at any page makes this a Bible unlike any other I’ve had the privilege of using over the years. I’m really looking forward to 2021 with this new Bible.”
Kim loves Bibles and surprises so she is sharing her top three so she will be surprised at what shows up under her tree.
“The new Art of Life Bible because this Bible is so gorgeous and artsy—and there’s nothing else like it out there that I know of! I absolutely love that this Bible is slightly oversized with wider margins, comes in a slipcase, and has the most beautiful teal hardcover cloth design with gold foil accents. It looks more like a coffee table book than a Bible, but that’s what I love about it! The inside has amazing hand-drawn illustrations of Bible things like people, animals, and plants scattered throughout along with descriptions. It will be a really fascinating way to read through the Bible and reflect on this artist’s rendition of things mentioned in the Bible. It’s a spacious setting, so I could embellish, color, paint, or add to the illustrations if I wanted to do some Bible journaling in it, but I think I might reserve this one for reading since it’s already so amazing.
The new THRIVE Creative Journaling Devotional Bible for Women just released in two new bindings, and I absolutely love the teal cover with “Thrive” displayed in rose gold foil across the front. Probably my favorite thing about this design is the rose gold page edges. It is stunning, and it pairs so beautifully with the teal. I will be able to spend the whole year reading through the daily devotionals and journaling my reflections and prayers in the wide margins.
The new Inspire PRAYER Bible is another Bible I cannot wait to read and Bible journal in! I would love to use the extra-wide margins in this Bible to write out personal prayers focused on my marriage and also listing out ways (bullet journaling style!) that I can challenge myself to become more like Christ. I would love either of the cover designs—so surprise me! I adore the metallic champagne gold Hardcover LeatherLike binding because it is so special and unique (like me!), but I also love the colorful one because it is so cheerful—and floppy! This Bible has thirty-two of the most beautiful, colorful vellum sheets with prayers on them, prayer prompts in the margins, and hundreds of line-art illustrations I could watercolor, paint, or color in!”
“It’s not flashy or new, but I would like The One Year Chronological Bible, NLT, Large Print. This year, more than ever, I’d like to start 2021 on a fresh foot, with renewed commitment to good habits that are healthy for my body, mind, and soul. I like the idea of reading the Bible chronologically as it happened, and I think the reading schedule and the way The One Year Biblebreaks the Bible into manageable portions for each day is helpful and sets me up to successfully complete reading the whole Bible in a year. The large print edition is also easy on the eyes and would be nice to have.”
“The Bible on my wish list this Christmas and the one I plan to use daily in 2021 is The One Year Pray for Life Bible. With sanctity of life issues continuing to dominate the news cycle every day, I look forward to listening to God in his Word daily. I also look forward to joining my voice with thousands of other Christians around the world to pray not only for those who are threatened and impacted adversely by laws and policies but also for those who hold the power to write and support laws that defend the weak and powerless among us.”
Evie is all about relationships, so her wish list Bible is about time with family.
“I am hoping the purple and pink swirl Hands-On Bible is waiting under our Christmas tree. The interactive activities and lessons help me to engage with my girls in God’s Word in a way that keeps them entertained and excited to learn more. I love that we can play together while learning about God and his plan for our lives. It’s so wonderful to come together as a family to have fun and grow in our understanding of God’s Word.”
“The Life Application Study Biblehas been such a blessing in my life. Not only did I have the privilege of providing this life-changing Bible to thousands of people when I served in retail stores, but I also recently had the honor of working on the team that published the new ‘Third Edition.’ I just love how I can go anywhere in the Bible, begin reading, and understand how God’s Word really relates to me today. I learn something new every time I pick it up! The notes and features were updated through an amazing collaborative effort between the founding editors and a group of editors across generations which resulted in trustworthy biblical teaching that is incredibly relevant today—regardless of who you are. Also, my eyes appreciate a larger print font size, so the new Large PrintLife Application Study Bible, Third Edition, in the handsome brown genuine leather is the forever Bible that I hope to have under my tree this Christmas.”
We are so thankful that the most precious gift given to the world wasn’t wrapped in beautiful gift wrap and placed under a tree. It was a baby placed in a lowly manger who was himself the Word become human.
“So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.” John 1:14, NLT