Naomi was so excited about the Tyndale Bible she bought her husband, Andrew, that she wasn’t sure she could wait until Christmas to give it to him. At age 37, this would be his first study Bible and the first time he would have God’s Word in the New Living Translation—Naomi’s favorite.
“Reading the NLT makes reading the Bible real, regular, and more vivid. I don’t have to wonder about word meanings and definitions. It comes alive so you can connect with it,” Naomi said.
“And study Bibles are great because you have resources right there in your Bible. If you’re not sure about something, it’s explained right there. If you’re wondering how something applies to your life, you can find that too. And when you see how prophecies have been fulfilled, you have further proof that this is the Word of God.”
Her love of God’s Word is not just apparent, it’s attractive—like the warm, magnetic glow of a long-burning, consistently stoked fire.
Having grown up in a Christian home with a single mother and one brother, Naomi is thankful for a heritage that immersed her in the church and God’s Word.
“I don’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t have a Bible,” Naomi recalls. “I grew up dirt poor, but my mom always made sure we had Bibles. Beginner Bibles, Life Application youth Bibles—even if they cost a whole day’s wages. We would line the covers with contact paper to help preserve them and read them until the bindings fell apart.”
Naomi has had the joy of seeing Andrew grow exponentially in his faith since he’s been reading his new Bible. And though he also enjoys reading God’s Word digitally, she said, “There’s something about holding it in your hands. He definitely cherishes his new Bible.”
And what would Naomi say to people who don’t read the Bible or have given up on finding help in God’s Word?
“There are people who think the Bible isn’t applicable. I would encourage them to have a Bible that’s easy to read and to ask God to help show them what they are meant to see that day. And if you don’t have a hunger for reading the Bible, ask God to give you a hunger. You’ll be amazed at what happens if you pray!”
“Recently, I read an article about Christians and Jews in Ukraine praying and reading Psalms 31 and 27. They’re under attack by the Russian army and they’re reading Scripture while bunkered down in the subway. Why? Because they know whatever problem you face, whether it’s an attack on the battlefield, an illness, the loss of a family member, or maybe just struggling to find purpose, the Bible has an answer for that!
“If people are turning to the Bible while listening to air-raid sirens and hiding from actual missiles, surely it has something for you in your situation as well!
“I hear people say things like ‘I wish God would just speak to me’ or ‘I wish God would give me a word,’ but if you aren’t opening your Bible, you’re missing out on hearing His voice. The Bible isn’t just ‘a word’ it’s The Word. So if you want to hear from God, first pray, then open your Bible and start reading and listening to what He has to say.
“God is faithful. He never walks away from us. And if you are far away from God, it’s never too late to walk back.”
The challenges of 2020 brought about something amazing in the life of Levi Gonzales. When the pandemic, the turmoil of the election, and the uncertainty of life left him feeling anxious, depleted, and desperate for God, he decided he needed a total “reset.”
And he was willing to take what some might call radical steps to revive his heart, steady his soul, and renew his mind. He also knew the source of what he needed was found in God’s Word.
Levi said, “I used to read a lot of my Bible. It was pretty common for me to sit down and read an entire book of the Bible, but over the past three years there was a career change and a move, and I wasn’t reading as much. I was desperate for a reset; for God’s word to realign my thinking. I needed to run away from the world, ignore the news, delete social media. I needed to get God’s perspective. So my initial plan was to read through the entire Bible in three months.”
Levi talked with his wife about his plan, and she was fully supportive, knowing that after Levi worked his full-time job as a software engineer, nights and weekends would be set aside for Bible reading. As it turned out, Levi most frequently settled into his wife’s comfortable chair, often reading 4-5 hours at a stretch.
“I was in the Barnes and Noble in Salt Lake City and chose this Bible. When I was talking with my wife about getting back into Bible reading, she was looking into the NLT. I also have friends and family that read it and enjoy it. I liked the font size, and the Bible was easy to hold up,” Levi explained.
Three months seemed like a rigorous pace, but after acquiring his new Bible and starting to read, things did not go as planned…Levi read the entire Bible in 30 days!
He said, “I’ve read through the whole bible before but this time, at this speed, I was able to really see the ties and connections back and forth between books of the Bible that align historically and prophetically. And seeing the grand picture of Scripture… witnessing the story of redemption unfolding… it was what I needed to be reminded of the absolute and sovereign control of God.
“I feel like the NLT does a great job of explaining what it is trying to say. It is so easy to read. I don’t have to guess at what I’m reading, and I needed a translation that did all the heavy lifting for me.”
His method, his motivation, and his advice for Bible reading all go hand-in-hand.
“My advice is to soak up as much as God’s Word as you need. Consume as much nourishment as you need. Goals are not for goal’s sake, but for what you get out God’s Word,” Levi shared.
“My method was to not go about it like many who start in Genesis and try to read through. I tried that before and got burnt out in 2 Samuel. I feel like I need a little more Jesus at that point!” So Levi’s approach was to follow his interest.
“I just picked a book and read it all the way through, most of the time in one sitting. As I tackled each book I mixed Old and New Testament, usually not in any order and sometimes historically backwards. I read what piqued my interest at the time, because you put more effort in what you’re interested in.”
It was a method that not only led Levi to far exceed his initial plan, it also led him to achieve the results he needed.
“Who I am now, after doing it, is a much less stressed and anxious person.”
In our world of sound bites, scrolling, and skimming headlines, reading Scripture may seem like an idea destined to fail. And inviting people to read the entire Bible through in one year? Well, that seems even less likely to attract “followers.”
Yet right now, people around the world are committed to—and enjoying—regularly reading the Bible at a pace that takes them through the entirety of God’s Word in 365 days. Grace Fellowship of Kent, a church in the Seattle suburbs, serves as one example of how this goal can take root, grow, and bear great spiritual fruit in individuals, families, and communities.
According to church elder Kristopher Galvin, the idea started in late 2018. A man who had grown up in the church had moved away and then discovered The One Year Bible. He became an enthusiastic proponent for this reading program and had recommended it to his friends and family. When he moved back to Grace Fellowship of Kent years later, he pitched the idea to the elders.
The church website expresses well why the elders chose to elevate the goal:
God has provided such a great blessing in His Holy Word, the Bible. This unique and remarkable book describes and demonstrates His many immeasurable qualities and illuminates the only path to eternal life with Him, which is through His only Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ. It gives meaning to history, context to our present life and hope for the future.
The Bible provides believers in Jesus with tools to live a life that is consistent with our faith and to share the good news of Jesus with others. The only way to realize those blessings is to read it, meditate upon it, and pray about it. These are some of the reasons that the folks at Grace Fellowship of Kent are reading through the whole Bible in one year.
It’s not a one-time “bucket list task” to complete the reading in a year. Better analogies would be eating and breathing—something to do every day. In our busy daily lives, it is so beneficial to have a daily schedule for exercising your mind and soul to “work out your salvation” (Philippians 2:12) and for “eating a healthy diet” (Deuteronomy 8:3). Like a precious letter from someone you are in love with, you will want to read it all, again and again.
Galvin shared, “We encourage people to follow The One Year Bible reading schedule, so we are all reading the same verses each week; usually about 20 minutes per day. This schedule includes daily selections from the Old Testament, the New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs, so readers don’t get bogged down in just one book.”
If you’ve ever attempted to read through the Bible and lost your steam somewhere in the seemingly endless genealogies, you’ll understand the advantage of doing it this way!
Galvin added that community is also a key success factor. “When people see other people enjoying and succeeding with it, they realize they can do it. And by using the same schedule, we’re all ‘on the same page’ each day, which facilitates discussions and prayers in our small groups and during our Sunday worship service.”
The Bible reading emphasis in the church started with offering free One Year Bibles in the New International Version to start the reading program on January 1, 2019. Later, a young man suggested adding the New Living Translation (his favorite). After the elders researched, reviewed, and approved that translation, the young man gladly donated a stack of New Living Translation One Year Bibles.
Galvin said, “We also saw that other interesting formats like The One Year Pray for America and Pray for Life Bibles and the larger-print slimline NIV edition struck a chord with people. So now we are actually giving away more of those.”
The church continues to regularly provide One Year Bibles for free. Anyone who attends is encouraged to take one—or more—to give to friends as they invite them to join the Bible reading program. So far, the church has distributed a total number of copies equal to over 200% of its regular Sunday attendance!
Could you start a Bible reading program in your sphere of influence? With people everywhere hungry for Truth and with the power of prayer, you could be the next trendsetter who elevates the Word of God and its ability to create more faithful followers.
Interesting Fact: About one-third of the church body at Grace Fellowship of Kent has one or more Chinese speakers in the family. Their sermons are translated into Mandarin.
WayFM Bible Partnership Changing Lives
Tyndale House Publishers
We love being able to partner with incredible ministries like WayFM to help get God’s Word into the hands and hearts of people wanting to better understand who God is and his purpose for their lives. Through our WayFM partnership thousands of our HelpFinder Bibles have been sent out to help people go deeper into Scripture and easily find answers to some life’s toughest questions.
We hope you are as encouraged by Pastor Chad’s words as we are.
by Pastor Chad, Director of Ministries at WayFM
An incredible ministry that we have at WayFM Radio is our Free Bible Ministry, which exists because of our partnership with Tyndale. One of the encouraging elements of this ministry is that we ask people why they need a Bible. Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised, but almost every week I am amazed by the varying reasons.
Here are a few reasons from last month:
“My husband, our two children, and I are starting over from scratch after getting out of my family’s toxic home, and I’m not able to get anything from the house, including my Bible. I know I can get a Bible on my phone, but that comes with distractions and I want to give all my attention to God.” Mariah, Panama City, FL
“Mom sent me to my first church camp this summer. Camp Fuego in Louisiana. It was amazing. I came home on fire for Christ. Unfortunately, my Bible has 9 missing books at the back of it. Not sure how it got damaged. Mom says the Word is like food for my soul. Can you send me some ‘food’? My soul is hungry. I am 14 years old.” Billy, Sherman, TX
“I want to start my own spiritual walk with God. As a person raised by Wiccans, I never felt their beliefs reflected who I was, and buying a Bible by myself is a difficult thing to do, including going to church.” Tara, Shelby, MI
“I was homeless and addicted to heroin. I listen to your station and it gives me hope and I have become closer to the Lord! I would like to learn more, but money is really rough right now.” Amy, Louisville, KY
“It’s been too long since I’ve read or studied God’s Word. WayFM has inspired a tugging in my heart to grow closer to God and to learn more about Jesus.” James, Anna, TX
Each month, we gather a group of supporters, listeners, and staff to prepare the Bibles to mail out. Before each Bible mailing, we read many of the stories from the current list and pray that the power of God’s Word will impact the recipients in great ways.
Let us remember the words of Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.”
“My life changed when God led me to read the NLT Chronological Life Application Study Bible in one year!”
Those words are in all caps and lead the message Pamela Nicholson gives on her website, a ministry to aimed at single women but open to all, called Life in Sweet Abandon.
Pamela was single for 20 years between her divorce and current marriage, so she knows the struggle of the single life. “When Scripture says that a day is like a thousand years, it sure seemed like that for me on so many days during my singleness, especially on holidays and Valentine’s Day!” she recalls.
When God brought her an amazing husband, he encouraged her to start a ministry to share her love of God’s Word and all He had taught her with others. After praying about it, her successful career had no hold on her, and Life in Sweet Abandon was launched.
“It was 2014 when I first saw the NLT Chronological Life Application Study Biblein a Christian bookstore, and I asked for it for Christmas. I had read many Bibles in my life and was looking for a way to be strategic in my reading. This Bible has 1833 pages (without the front and back material); perfect for reading 5 pages a day,” Pamela said. “My life changed when I met with God and allowed Him to speak into my heart. I wasn’t reading what someone else thought about God, I was hearing God speak to me through His Word and fill my heart and mind with His truth.”
Her experience with God’s Word, her reasons for selecting the NLT, and the plan that she followed are now shared on her website and with over 100 followers on her Facebook page:
“The words seemed to jump off the page and come to life! I love reading the Bible in the order in which the events happened!
Why this version of the Bible? The New Living Translation combines the latest biblical scholarship with a clear, dynamic writing style that communicates God’s Word powerfully to all who hear and read it. It renders the message of the original texts of Scripture into clear, contemporary English that was written to be read aloud. With a focus on clarity, The New Living Translation invites readers to go deeper into the biblical text to discover God’s story for their lives and the world.
There are excellent resources scattered throughout the book.”
Pamela has many stories of lives changed through reading the NLT like Kathy
“Since this is the first time for me to read the whole Bible, I am glad I read a chronological Bible. It helped me to see the order of the big pictures. Also, the study notes are easy to understand, which has helped me to get things quicker. I like that there are photos and charts and maps and nice images to go along with scripture. I am a visual person so I enjoy charts and images. A few other things that helped make this a success this year, a set of Bible highlighters, the daily chart has really helped me stay on track and also attending the Story of Scripture at North Point last Jan. A big picture overview was the perfect introduction. One more thing I do is to write down my prayers in a journal in the morning. It helps me to look back and see that God did answer certain prayers so I am glad I have a nice morning routine now.”
There’s another story that is particularly close to Pamela’s heart.
“When my stepmom passed away, my dad was single again after 30 years of marriage. He saturated his mind with God’s Word, and I believe that because of it, he did not sink into depression,” Pamela said.
“Dad has many Scriptures memorized in King James, but when I say, ‘Now dad, tell me what that means,’ he says, ‘Well I don’t know.’ But then, when he reads that same passage in the NLT, he says ‘Now that makes sense.’ That’s why I love to get this Bible in people’s hands. They can understand it and it sinks into their hearts.”
When working on the New Living Translation there were many priorities including creating a translation that was accurate, true to Biblical scholarship, engaging to read, understandable so truth could be applied and lived out in daily life, and a translation that was crafted to be ideally suited for public reading. What a joy to see that vision come to life through ministries like her.Bible. We are so thankful Jenny Steinbach, associate producer of this amazing audio Bible, shared her story with us.We think you will love it too.
“How could God allow so much pain and suffering in the world?” Sarah asked as we sat in the crowded student union at University of Western Ontario. I could relate from my own struggles with painful emotions that clouded the message of Jesus, even though I sat in church for many years. I pulled my maroon Living Bible out of my backpack to try to answer her questions about God and clearly communicate his Word. As a Cru staff member, my passion has always been to help people connect with God in meaningful and understandable ways. I discovered that people without Bible knowledge could not understand the scriptures until they heard it in modern English.
Fast forward to my years as a mom at home to four active little boys, my “quiet time” was very limited but my worn One Year Bible New Living Translation was a sanity saver as I read and reread it. Having a plan for each day was very helpful. Eventually my mother-in-law came to the Lord in her seventies and I bought her the same Bible. We had fun talking on the phone and discussing our daily readings. She was first generation Italian and not a confident reader. Seeing her grow because she could understand made me so happy.
A few years ago, I was working with the Cru City ministry in Orlando and enjoyed discipling women who were struggling with long term unemployment and poor self images.
I loved getting out the door and settling into the car with a cup of coffee to drive to work—until I got into rush hour traffic again. One morning, a red Toyota suddenly stopped in front of me and cut into the exit lane ahead of a long line of traffic. Anxiety kicked in as I checked my review mirror hoping I wouldn’t get rear ended at 60 miles per hour. I needed recovery time once I got to the office to be ready to face my teammates and coach our students. After work that evening, there was a heavy rainfall in Orlando and it took 90 minutes to get home.
Audiobooks became a great solution to distract me from the challenging drive to and from the office. I wanted to be Spirit-filled by the time I arrived at work to coach people who needed to trust God with their employment struggles. And listening to audiobooks on the way home was a way to unwind. I heard great men’s and women’s voices read some wonderful books for those two hours spent on the road every day. Sometimes, I listened to the Bible too, but the longer I listened, the more it felt as if something was missing.
I explored more Bible apps but soon learned that they used the same audio files of the exact same male readers. I was looking for something different. I was simply looking for a pleasant woman’s voice to read Scripture with compassion and kindness, yet with the authority God’s Word deserves. This was a silent space in the audio book world.
One Sunday, my pastor gave a sermon about a woman from Ethiopia who had started an orphanage and was trusting God to provide for 100 orphans. The tears flowed because I felt distant from God’s work and powerless to change that. Then my pastor asked, “How has God gifted you?” and “What is the world waiting for you to do?”
The Lord spoke deep in my heart and told me that I had the background to produce a women’s audio Bible. I was shocked and afraid to tell anyone, but I woke up every morning feeling a burden to find a way to make this happen. Eventually I told my husband and my team and then had to find another job placement. This project was out of the box for Cru, but the Lord led me to the radio team, which had the expertise and the studio to help make this happen. Since Cru is such a large organization, where we fit into the mission, this is the first individual project I have ever owned.
Sometimes women’s jaws drop when they hear the idea of a women’s audio Bible because they grasp the need, but have not ever thought of it before. From my years helping to distribute the Magdalena film, in which Mary Magdalene narrates the story of Jesus, I knew that women who had experienced abuse or had emotional barriers to listening to God’s Word in a man’s voice, would experience a deeper connection with God. Globally, I knew there was a hunger for God’s Word in the “heart languages” of women too.
I wondered, if a modern Bible translation could be recorded in English, be available for free and utilize voices from different ethnicities, could it connect with younger listeners and those who learn orally? To me, only the New Living Translation would meet this need. Could this audio Bible serve as a model to women leaders in other language groups and be replicated in a way they could use to reach the women of their countries?
Thus began the adventure of producing her.BIBLE in women’s voices. It began with a simple, personal longing to give women a “voice” as they hear God’s Word. We have our first partner, who is passionate to produce an audio Bible in women’s UK voices and we eagerly look forward to the Lord raising up women to produce their languages in their available Bibles.
Sometimes it seems we are connected to everything, but each other. Ever try to start a conversation with your child about his or her day and met with, “I don’t know” or “I don’t remember.” Sometimes the hardest part is getting the conversation going. The Hands-On Bible is a great way to start a conversation. With interactive games, activities, crafts, and questions it helps you connect as a family and to God through His Word. Watch this video to see Jaxson and his dad enjoying the Hands-On Bible.
Life is complicated. What if reading the Bible wasn’t?
Imagine a gathering of people with only God’s Word in their hands. No DVD curricula, no workbooks; simply a story, if you will, with no chapter and verse numbers, section headings, or footnotes. And after reading this Bible, imagine a discussion with no big agenda or intimidating questions. Instead, there’s simply conversation around questions you can’t get wrong.
This is the unique atmosphere created by Immerse: The Bible Reading Experience, and Nancy Tang was excited to share the impact it’s had within the church in Minnesota where she coordinates small groups.
“We’ve been loving the Immerse Bible series and have several groups reading. My group is on the fourth of six books, and we thoroughly enjoy spending time together simply reading the Word of God,” she said.
With the goal of providing the best reading experience,Immerse has a one-column layout that’s free of distractions. At a glance, it looks like an ordinary novel rather than God’s anointed revelation. For Tang and others, this new approach is subtle, even imperceptible, but delivers innumerable benefits and profound impact.
Whether readers are well-studied Christians or those opening the Bible for the first time, Immerse facilitates an unhindered awareness of God’s Word. And without the added verses numbers, chapter breaks, and other markers that were not in the original text, it encourages reading longer portions of the Bible.
Tang said, “There is something interesting that happens to my brain when I read without the headings. Someone in my group said, ‘I’ve read the Bible before, so I don’t know why this time is so different, but I just love it!’
“I invited a group of eight women to my home (pre-COVID) each Sunday afternoon to read through the Immerse: Messiah book. Each person in the group knew me but had no connection to each other prior to our meeting. Our 16 weeks together turned out to be a huge blessing. The women got to know each other, and it was great to see how our own experiences lent to the discussions. We had a mix of women who were new to reading the Bible and those who had read parts of it over many years. In either case, I often heard the comment ‘I didn’t know that was in the Bible,’ or ‘I didn’t know that was the meaning.’ It was rewarding to be with these women and watch the Word come alive.”
Joanne Schroeder is also involved at Tang’s church and noted the impact she’s experienced and observed.
“We’ve been using the Immerse Bible books in our women’s small group and have had a very positive response. The women have remarked that they’ve never been able to read through the Bible in this way before. Someone said, ‘I start reading the daily portion and find that I just keep reading well beyond that.’”
In addition to reading like a story, there’s also the support of reading it with others. Schroeder continued, “Several women are reading portions of the Scriptures that they either just missed or skipped before because they were difficult, but in this study with others, they are getting more understanding from what they are reading. The four questions help us to focus on listening to God’s Spirit as we read and discuss His Word together.
“I especially like that it is given to us in the New Living Translation, which is very readable and gives a new perspective on the familiar passages as well as the more obscure passages.”
Another church member, Wendy Seelhoff, added what might be the most impressive response to Immerse. Just a few women responded to her invitation to read every Tuesday evening, but they enjoyed it so much that the group grew, and they have consistently read together for almost two years.
Seelhoff said, “After we finished reading all six books, we enjoyed it so much that we decided to start all over again!”
Whether it’s a man who reluctantly walks into church on a Wednesday afternoon, a church member facing an unexpected crisis, or a new believer trying to figure out how to follow Christ, Daniel Thrower is ready to engage and encourage. And as a Connections Pastor at Hope Church in upstate South Carolina, he’s very clear about his role on the front lines of spiritual battles.
“My goal is not to have people connect with me or my church; my ultimate goal is to connect people to God Himself.”
Knowing there’s no better way to do that than through the Word of God, Daniel gives out a lot of Bibles—and the New Living Translation is his Bible of choice.
“There’s no translation quite like it for making the Word of God accessible and palatable,” Daniel said. While Bible scholars may enjoy the debate on translation methods and accuracy, there is no question that the NLT is both faithful to the ancient texts and extremely readable.
“I think of it like this: Raw veggies may be slightly healthier, but if people can’t or won’t eat them, what good are they? The NLT adds a little salt and butter. Now I can eat helping after helping because it tastes so good!” Daniel explained.
In addition to his conclusion that spiritual nourishment from the NLT is “easy to absorb,” he’s observed another important feature. The NLT helps people grasp the heart of God as they read the Word of God.”
“As I listened to sermons where various translations are read out loud, the NLT stood out to me every time I heard it. It felt warm and had a natural flow. Because I want people to love Scripture, this is a great way for them to read it,” Daniel said. “If the Bible feels like a foreign language, distant and hard to understand, people can project that on to God.”
As Daniel meets with people at critical times, he’s not offering a quick fix, but rather an eternal perspective.
“I grow oak trees not okra. So I’m laboring knowing there will be slow development. I’ve found the NLT to be the easiest way to let people ‘taste and see that the Lord is good’ (Psalm 34:8) so they are able to cultivate a real love for God’s 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.