The 5 W’s

THE 5 W’s

The 5 W’s is one of my favorite methods. I’m currently teaching my daughter through this method. She has been learning on Wednesday nights at our church how to study the Bible also. So, she is familiar with the 5 W’s.

As you are probably also familiar with it. I add a little color to mine..of course. I have an index card I have on my desk that list: WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY. Beside each W, I give it an assigned color.

I start by reading the chapter or section I’m currently in. Then I go back and underline with the color pencils all the words that apply to the W’s in their designated color. Again, I’m visual (this is my nice way of saying I have ADHD by the way…so there is that. I need to write a book for just ADHD Christians…called the ADHD Christian..see, I just got off subject…FOCUS!) so when I look back at my scripture reading for the day, I see all my words underlined. Then I can go back to my journal and list what I’ve underlined by WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY. Then I write a conclusion. I then ask, “What does this say about God? His Character? Who He is? This has helped me with knowing who He is and deepening my personal relationship with Him.

Journaling

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JOURNALING
Journaling looks different to many people. There is no set way to do it. I will list a few ways I’ve done it and you can go from there!!
*BIBLE DOODLING
-Write out scripture in fun writing
-Draw out the pictures in your head from the passage you’ve read
-Write out genealogies (Just the practice of writing this out makes reading through it less daunting. I like to write down each person’s name. Plus, God had each of their names in there for a reason.)
-Write out characteristics
-Write out laws to understand them better.
-Write out prayers


*COMPOSITION BOOK OR NOTEBOOKS
-This is where a lot of Bible Study notes and deeper study goes for me. When you run out of margin space and have a lot to say or want to write out scripture. A lot of my tips will probably go best in this little gal.
****Keep this in mind guys…if you are focusing more on how beautiful your drawing looks only to Instagram it perfectly..then you aren’t doing it for the right reason. Maybe this isn’t the type of study for you if you are tempted with pride and bragging rights.

I enjoy doing this type of doodling because I’m a visual person and have a problem remembering what I read. Drawing it out leaves the image and story in my mind and helps me recall stories from the bible when I see pictures. We have to be intentional with the “pretty” and “popular” bible study techniques.

ESTABLISHING A QUIET TIME

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ESTABLISHING A QUIET TIME
Making a time and place to focus on God and be quiet and still is so important in our daily lives. You become who you spend the most time with. When we spend time focusing on Jesus and His life on a daily basis, we will become more like Him.
When I first started getting up early 5 years ago to study my bible quietly, I sat at my kitchen table. We were in a smaller house and that was the only place I had to lay all of my stuff out. I’ve always had a journal to write down things. I learn by writing. If I read a verse that speaks to me, I highlight it underline words in it and write it down in my journal (composition book or notebook). I still have those notebooks and journals. But the kitchen table is made of wood and you can see several spots where the pen made indentions from me writing notes on paper. I truly miss sitting in that spot. When I first started, I would sit for hours, because everything was so fresh and my eyes were open to see the beauty and understand what I was reading.
I’m going to go over some tips for establishing a quiet time.
*A PLACE:
This needs to be somewhere private if at all possible and a place that is available everyday. The environment should not be busy with “to do” tasks laying around. When I sat at my table years ago, I made sure the table was clear and I put only things I needed for my bible study time. I sat with my back against the kitchen. I wasn’t distracted by anything in there. For this very reason I can not have my quiet time in my office, because I will fixate on what all I have to do.
Place ideas – bedroom, basement, backyard, garage, laundry room (this one is mine), living room, patio, table, or even your closet.
*SET A TIME:
Make an appointment with God. I suggest finding a time that you are most attentive. Mornings are good for me because I tend to start tasks and snowball from there until I hit the bed. So I start off with bible study first so that I don’t feel distracted later in the day. If I have a break in my day, I try and read too. One thing I heard from a preacher that now I’m remembering is… you are setting up this appointment, Jesus will definitely be there. It’s up to you to show up or leave Him waiting. That broke my heart.
*SET YOUR INTENTIONS:
I’m an alarm freak. Like I mentioned before, I get distracted by the tasks in the day, so I have to set alarms that go off throughout my day to remember the smallest tasks. They are part of my daily routine. My 5:00 a.m. alarm is intentionally set for bible study.
*WHERE DO I START?
Very common question and can be answered differently by different folks. If you are reading the Bible for the first time, like really reading it, I started with the stories I was told as a child. I admit, I cheated by looking at my daughter’s story bible. That was a wonderful experience to read those stories. There were so many lessons to learn from each character. I also started in Genesis where a lot of those stories are found. Now, if you are a new believer, I suggest reading John first. Know the story of Jesus and then discover Him throughout all of the bible.
*GET RID OF DISTRACTIONS
This is iffy. I use my phone for study sometimes so when I’m not using it, I put it on silent and flip it over. But if you can put it in another room, you’ll be doing even better. Also, have a post-it pad near by. If you think of something…right it down, so you can have all those randoms ready to take on after bible study.

*WHAT DO I NEED?
*Well for starters, a Bible. I suggest a notebook or journal too. And pens. That’s it for basic Bible study.
If you are a deep thinker…you get another list:
*bible
*pens
*highlighters
*color pencils/twistable crayons
*post it tabs
*journal
*concordance
*washi tape
*post its
*index cards
*START READING
This one is self explanatory. Open your bible and start reading. I find when I leave my bible open, I may walk by my desk and start reading again. So I suggest leaving your bible open, that’s my own personal opinion. I’m a visual person.
Up Next -We will be starting on bible study techniques you can try out during your study time. I will have several. You can try these all out and see what works best for you. What you learn best by doing. If it is a distraction from you understanding God’s Word, then it’s probably not the technique for you. Find what feeds you Truth.

How to Approach the Bible

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HOW TO APPROACH THE BIBLE
I believe today we have forgotten how beautiful and holy our bibles are. We are holding the words of God!
1.Knowing that the Bible is God’s words.
It is alive and active and because of that, it is POWERFUL. The more powerful something is, the more it demands our respect. Do we treat our Bibles that way? Where does you Bible sit at home? In a safe place? Under your bed? Collecting dust?
What are some things that completely take your breath away due to it’s beauty or it’s sense of awe?
Do you feel this way when you approach your bible? Do you hope to feel this way?
Everything about God must be approached with deep respect.
2. We open it daily.
Jesus told the woman at the well in John 4:14 “Whoever drinks from the water that I give him will never get thirsty again, in fact the water that I give him will become a well of water springing up in him for eternal life.”
This water would quench her thirst and satisfy her unlike the worldly things. When we don’t drink from this eternal well of living water daily, we will walk parched all day long. We must quench our thirst every morning/day/night, expecting to be filled. Without water we will dry up.
3. We approach the Word of God prayerfully.
We should always invite the Author of this book into bible study each time we read it. We must ask the Helper to guide us and open our eyes for truth and direction, and our daily assignment.
Psalm 119 is packed full of prayers to approach God’s Word with.

Lots of love your way.

Why Do We Study Our Bible?

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WHY DO WE STUDY OUR BIBLE?
Hebrews 4:12
“For the Word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any 2 edge sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
1. The word is ALIVE!
What do we mean it’s alive?
It’s how God speaks to us. And we may read His Word all our lives and it hit us differently each time we read it. It soothes, it convicts, it teaches, it brings hope, it applies to our lives, it counsels us.
Although there are many self-help books on the shelves, they can not do what the Word of God can do because the Bible is breathed out by God.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
“All scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
*It is profitable (beneficial, useful) for teaching. When we read the Bible, we have the ability to teach others the Truth. It is important that we teach the Word of God and not by our opinions of what we think it says.
*It is useful for rebuking. When you read what the Bible says on how we should live our lives as Christians, you can help other Christians and they can help you by gently rebuking your sinful actions based on scripture. (This comes with maturity as some may not like being rebuked. But, having a seasoned believer show you the Truth is an act of love and will help you to mature)
*It is beneficial for training. We read our Bibles like a training manual on how to be like Jesus. So others can see Jesus beaming from us rather than being all talk and no walk.
2. The Word of God is our Love Story from God
I say this lightly because scripture doesn’t say it’s our love story, but it shows His love for us throughout it. You can read the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) and see the life of Jesus. When you read what he has done for us, eliminating the Old Covenant by becoming the New Covenant, you can then go back to the Old Testament (Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers) and see what he has freed us from. This should cause us to fall more in love with him.
We also see how He loved His people throughout the Old Testament. And because of Jesus, we are now, “His people” and can cling to His promises throughout scripture until Jesus’ second coming. Filling us with a joy that can’t be purchased outside of Him. When we come back to His Word daily and focus on the promises to His people, we can’t help but get excited and ready to serve.
3. Reading the Bible is meant to deepen our personal relationship with Christ.
When we read the Bible with communion it deepens our relationship with Him. This communion means an exchanging of intimate thoughts, as if God was speaking it to you and how you would respond to Him. When we have intimately spoken with God through His Word, the outside noise sounds like filth. We know what He has told us and we are able to recognize the lies in the world.
Sometimes what we read may be chastising..meaning…we feel like we are being rebuked, scolded, lectured. When we are approached with God’s Word in this way, we are to respond with sorrow and repentance.
2 Corinthians 7:8-10
“For even if I grieved you with my letter, I don’t regret it. And if I regretted it–since I saw that the letter grieved you, yet only for a while– I now rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because your grief led to repentance. For you were grieved as God willed, so that you didn’t experience any loss from us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, but worldly grief produces death.”
Other times we are presented with scripture that commends us…meaning…congratulating us or applauding us. In response, we are to humbly thank Him.
He also will command us to do things through His Word. We find commands throughout the Bible and sometimes we do these out of obedience to be righteous in our own eyes. This would be called WORKS without faith and that does NOT honor God.
Hebrews 11:6
“Now without faith, it is impossible to please God, since the one who draws near to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him.” (rewards may not always be earthly, but heavenly)
We must listen to the Holy Spirit in where it guides us in obedience in the scripture. If you are approached in your daily reading with a command that pricks your heart, through faith, you will obey.
Examples of this is the “By Faith” Hall of Fame. (Hebrews 11)
4. Reading the Bible prepares us for the future.
Prophets throughout the Old Testament prepared people for what was to come. Jesus. People in the New Testament were called to prepare the future generations as well for the second coming and judgement.
As we wait for this coming, we will endure trials and tests. And each one we go through will make us stronger if we are obedient. The Word of God directs us through our trials and suffering and pushes us to perseverance, patience, and preparation until we see Jesus’ face.
Instead of focusing on social media, tv, fake news, we focus on what the Bible says is coming and we press on to be His followers and fisherman. We spread the Word, the Truth and make it louder than all the other voices.
5. The Bible is about God.
We study our Bibles because we want to know who God is and be men and women after His heart. We want an intimate relationship with Him and we have to know Truth or we will believe lies about Him.

Thanks for taking time to read this.
Written with love.

LET’S TALK ABOUT PRAYER

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LET’S TALK ABOUT PRAYER

Prayer…it is our conversation for a deep personal relationship with our Father in heaven. When we want to get to know someone, we talk to them. Even if you decide to Facebook stalk people…you are getting to know them, hopefully to make conversation with them and not to just be nosey.

But looking at prayer, we read our bibles (God’s Faithbook) and we read it to get to know who He is and we have conversation based off what we have learned. At least that is the way we are to approach prayer. With who He is.

Our Father, who is in heaven.

Let’s hang out there for a moment. Our father shows our relationship with God. He is our father. A father is relational with His children. Comforts, loves, cares for, listens to, is merciful. Now, let me make this clear, the next part explains the difference between his Fatherhood and our earthy fathers….He IS IN HEAVEN! This let’s us know he is mighty and majestic, He is holy. Our earthy fathers can not live up to our Heavenly Father. (Some children don’t have the kind of father listed in the characteristics above. Which sometimes makes it hard to understand what kind of father He is. And I’m sorry that has happened to you and my heart breaks for the fatherless or absent fathers, or even cold fathers. But we can not look at our Heavenly Father the way we look at our earthly fathers. Our earthly fathers are sinners and our Heavenly Father is sinless, Holy, Righteous.)

When we approach prayer, it should be with a reverence to who He is. He is our loving Daddy and He is MIGHTY. So prayer may start off like this:
“Father, you are my Comforter. My Helper and my Salvation. You’ve adopted me as you child and I love you and know that you are Good. I’m in awe of who you are. Mighty, Sovereign, Creator of the universe, the One and only God who has a plan for the universe, but also a unique plan for my individual life. I’m in awe of who I am speaking to.”

If we don’t start prayer with who we are approaching, the thrown of God, through Jesus, by the Holy Spirit, then we will be coming to Him selfishly. As if we are rubbing a lamp and making wishes.

Prayer is personal. Being saved is not by works, but by a personal relationship with God and we have a conversation daily without ceasing with our Heavenly Father. The veil has been torn and Jesus interceded for us and still does so that we can approach our Father in prayer. Only the holiest of holies were able to do this in the Old Testament. We forget this incredible gift that has been lavished on us. We take it for granted and forget to pray over our meals, confess our sins daily, ask for wisdom. Prayer is a gift. Let’s get to know our Heavenly Father.

My daughter and I have been talking about this lately. She went into her room one night and started praying and asked God for help. She then grabbed her Bible and started reading some verses. She told me the next morning. “I hope you aren’t mad, but I stayed up and read my Bible last night after I prayed. And I read a verse that answered my prayer.” I was ecstatic. I told her, “you just had a conversation with God, that’s awesome!!”

I’m currently working on my prayer life. I went through a season of not feeling like I could approach Him. That I wasn’t good enough and I could not ask for anything. But I realized that I was getting dehydrated and my Bible study started being more knowledge than a relationship. I approached my bible as studying to become smarter and more knowledgeable rather than in deep awe and conversation with God. Sounds like the Pharisees. As we approach learning to study God’s word, we can not leave out prayer.
There are many resources to prayer. I’ve used prayer guides that line up with scripture to start my prayers or guide them so that I don’t come before Him with a selfish heart. Sometimes they are exactly what I wanted to say. I want conversation so bad with the Lord and sometimes I’m at a loss. So I will grab one of my prayer books and start praying prayers in them. I also go to Psalms and pray the psalms. Which we will get into further into this series.

I hope this has been enlightening. You may have already known all this and that is awesome. I love how the Lord shows us the way when we pray and seek His guidance.

Love to you all.

HOW TO HAVE A MORNING QUIET TIME……when you aren’t a morning person!

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I’ve had several people say they aren’t morning people, that getting up early and reading the Bible is tough. I get that. But I thought I could share some helpful tips that could help us mamas that need to get in that quiet time. Because, let’s admit it, if the kids are up…we are going. And the only quiet time we get MIGHT be a bathroom break or even sneaking out in our car. Yes, I’ve sat in my car and seen my kids’ heads peering out the door to catch me.
Doesn’t that quiet time sound so much better now?
So let’s go over some tips for doing that. I watched a YouTube video this morning with morning habits and thought I would incorporate a couple of them.
1. START WITH GOING TO BED EARLIER
Seems obvious, but we gotta get our sleep time in and if we are going to get up early, we gotta go to bed earlier.
I set my alarm for 5 a.m., so in order to get 8 hours of sleep, it is vital for me to be in the bed by 9. Our family has sort of adopted this early bedtime. We start putting the kids to bed at 8 and usually they are under the covers by 8:45-9:00. We are still working on this. For some reason my children are parched at bedtime…it’s so odd…really though. So I keep a cup in the bathroom and they get bathroom water. This makes getting a cup of water a lot faster.
2. PUT YOUR PHONE TO BED
Putting your phone to sleep one hour before bedtime…so no screen time. Screen time at night keeps adults from falling asleep and sleeping well because of the stimulation is puts off. So, no screen devices 1 to even 2 hours before bedtime to give your brain a rest.
(I’m planning on implementing this one…this was a tip I found on that video)
Which leads to tip #3…
3. PUT YOUR PHONE TO SLEEP IN ANOTHER ROOM
“But I have my alarm on my phone.” Me too.
Set your alarm and turn up the volume. Because if you are anything like me, you have 3 alarms set just so you can snooze them. But that only makes us groggy and I lose 15 minutes of quiet time when I do that. This way you have to put your feet on the ground and walk to the alarm. That is where you have to use your will power…self control…action over feelings…and keep walking to the kitchen.
To get…
4. COFFEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My coffee lovers…can I get a witness? Set your coffee timers to brew when your alarm goes off. Walking like a zombie to the kitchen and having an electronic butler sitting there with your coffee made is LUXURY!
For those who don’t drink coffee…bless it. Go take a cold shower…I don’t know what to tell you. You could do 25 jumping jacks to get your blood flowing.
5. REMEMBER YOUR PURPOSE
Why do we need this quiet time to start our day?
Psalm 119 is my favorite psalm. It says in verse 9 “How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping your word.” And how can we keep His Word? By reading and knowing what is says. We’ve made the mistake of only listening to other’s interpretations and keep the words they say…but sometimes it may not line up with His Word. In order to live a life that honors God, we must know what He is telling us to do. Will we be perfect…no way…but we can be intentional.
Our quiet time is that. Being intentional in learning who God is, what He has done, and what He is telling us to do. Then applying that knowledge to our daily living.
So there are my tips for having a morning quiet time.
For you “others”…the ones who have compliant children and routines and the kids are in bed by 7…or kids that are grown and out of the house…or maybe no kids at all…Quiet time can be anytime.
Next I will share how we can find extra time in our day.
Have a beautiful day and I love you all.