Saturday, January 25, 2014

Diggin' a little deeper with #WriteTheWord

Hope you're staying warm and safe during all of these Polar Vortex conditions we are having!

What better time to #writetheword than now?!

So, let's dig a little deeper now...

I'll start with my typical #writetheword style for Joshua Chapter 5.

First of all, I want to point out here that in much of my first few chapters of writing The Word through the book of Joshua, I didn't always write verbatim, but would write a summary of what each verse was stating by pulling out the high points in each verse. This is another way to #writetheword as it forces you to focus on leaning on God's Spirit to help you comprehend it right then as you write. It often helps it make more sense to you. However, I later began to write the chapters more verbatim. That way is great as well, since many things (that you would have breezed over and missed before) jump out at you in ways they may not otherwise do.

Now, on to some of what and how I learned in Joshua 5.

From these initial writings/reading, these are the points of interest that stood out to me the most.
  1. v.1 - Another mention of "their hearts melted" (I'll come back to this one in a bit.)
  2. v.7 - "So He raised up their sons in their place..." - If you read the chapter, you will see that all of the disobedient, whiny generation of Israelites who were delivered from Egypt died as they all wandered through the desert on the way to the Promised Land since God said none of them would be able to enter it. Now, in this verse it is pointed out that their offspring have been raised up by God in their place to now inherit the land.
    • My takeaway from that: He will raise up our offspring in our place if we are disobedient and unfaithful.
  3. v.8 - "...they remained where they were in camp until they were healed." - 
    • My takeaway from that: God allows time to heal before moving us on to the next part of the journey.
  4. v.9-10 - God "rolled away (their) reproach" and called the place they camped "Gilgal." (I'll come back to that in a bit as well.)
  5. v.11 - God provided the produce of the land the day after their first passover in the Promised Land, and then... 
  6. v.12 - ...the manna stopped...the day after they ate the food from the land (that was provided by God.)
  7. v.13 - repeated references to looking & going UP.
  8. v.14-15 - God showed up!
    • As we celebrate God's past and present goodness, He not only provides more but He shows up!
So, there you have it. Some of what jumped out to me, just by writing The Word.

Then I took it a step further...
...dug a little deeper, if you will.

First, I opened my Bible (because up to this point I was using my digital Bible).
This Bible I use most often is one I have had since high school and often take notes directly in it.
As I skimmed Joshua 5 in that Bible, I noticed several notes from past sermons and individual studies. Even a sermon from Johnny Booty, a Shreveport pastor and coach for many years. (Yes, one of his sons is Josh Booty.)

It's always neat and enlightening to look back over past things I have heard and learned about portions of God's Word.

Now, after reviewing past notes, I also dug a little deeper with some of what was standing out to my now.
Basically, what I did first was did a little keyword search on on "hearts melted" since that phrase was standing out to me a lot throughout Joshua. Then I wrote the verses it showed up in.

Additionally, as you see on the bottom of that page, I looked up the definition of Gilgal (in Easton's Bible Dictionary on I then wrote the definition (which is "rolling") and a couple of other things mentioned about Gilgal in that dictionary.

Finally, I looked up the definition of "reproach" online and went with my favorite go-to online dictionary, Merriam-Webster. (Easton's didn't have this definition, which is why I googled it.)

If you can read my writing, I will let you gather insight from what I wrote and learned. Also, feel free to do the same kind of searches that I did. You can search parts of Joshua or whatever else you are writing and learning right now.

I look forward to hearing more of what you are learning! 
I am loving this journey with you!


Please share!!!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

#WriteTheWord Baby Steps

How have you been doing this past week?

Have you been able to #WriteTheWord much? I know some of you have and have shared some of your insights. I am really loving this journey together!

If you haven't joined it already, feel free to jump in anytime and take your time as you work your way through it. I have a page set up here that links you to each post in order so you can go at your own pace and invite others along as well.

For those who are up to this point of the journey, let's take a couple of more baby steps together along the way.

By "baby steps", I simply mean I will wait another week or so to go deeper and share more of the optional things you can do with this style of Bible study. In the meantime, for this week's post, I will share some more of what I have written in Joshua, specifically chapters 3 and 4. I know some of you have already written one or both of these chapters, and for that I congratulate you! If you haven't or haven't even written up through chapter 2, no big deal. Remember, this is at your own pace and no pressure.

Now, on to chapter 3...

I absolutely LOVE Joshua 3! Crossing the wow!
So many things to draw from here and parallel to our own lives.

  1. What is your Jordan?
    • Think of that and pray about it as you read/write through Joshua 3.
  2. What does Joshua tell the people to do the day before they are to cross the Jordan?
    • v.5 Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you.”
    • Consecrate? What does that mean? Well, this is one little baby step you could take at this point. You could look up, as I just did, the definition of "consecrate." I googled it and chose to use Merriam-Webster's definition as I often do. 
    • They define it as: dedicated to a sacred purpose. Joshua, the new leader of God's people, is telling them to dedicate themselves to a sacred purpose. So, crossing a rushing river that will somehow be dry ground will have a sacred purpose? I would think so! Doesn't sound run-of-the-mill, everyday-hum-drum to me. Yep, definitely sacred. God's appointed leader said so, after all.  
  3. What does Joshua say will be done by the LORD?
    • AMAZING THINGS...among YOU! WOW!
Okay, so that's just in the first 5 verses and there are 12 more after that! I could go on and on with my aha moments from this chapter, but instead I will sum it up with the statement I wrote on my page about it.

When we reach the water's edge, 
our obstacles will be cut off so we can proceed firmly on dry ground.

Let that sink in a bit. Read the chapter again. Big stuff here!

Now on to chapter 4...

As you can see in these pics from chapter 4, I underlined several things that stood out to me. I even made a note in the margin in one part (I was actually reminded of a song in verse 11..."break on through to the other side!").

Another thing to notice with chapter 3 and chapter 4 is that I started breaking the chapters down into several sections. I pretty much started writing up to the end of a notebook page then prayed and thought over that section I had just written and wrote what I felt God's Spirit was trying to teach me through it that day in that way. Not just what I had learned or thought about it before, but right then. Breaking it up into sections made that process interesting since it caused me to focus more on smaller sections than I might have otherwise, so different things stood out to me than might have before.

Try it! Oh, and it also makes it easier to process and digest if you break it up like this. Don't worry about how "long" it might take you to get through the book you are studying if you break it down into sections like this. It's not a time thing, remember? It's about quality of time in the Scripture with you and God.

So, as far as what I learned from chapter 4...again, too much to type here. However, I will again type out what I wrote as my section summations. (Remember, you don't have to write these summations. You can just straight up #WriteTheWord and nothing more. You will still learn vastly that was as well.)

  1. Chapter 4, verses 1-7
    • Keep memorials and tell your children about the LORD's deeds when they ask what the memorials mean.
  2. Chapter 4, verses 8-13
    • To remain standing in the middle of a potentially fearful situation until everything the LORD commands is done takes the strength of the LORD to endure.
  3. Chapter 4, verses 14-24
    • As the covenant turns into a testimony, I am to tell others of the LORD's power and I am to reverently fear the LORD my God.
Just soooo much to learn here! And anywhere in God's Word you have chosen to #WriteTheWord for that matter. Soooo much to learn indeed...and soooo much we will learn most certainly.

Now, as you write more and digest more, please do share here and/or on Facebook. I love to see your pics if you chose to share them! Also, another place I and many other Word writers share #WriteTheWord pics is on Instagram. So, if you are on there, please do share pics and use the hashtag #WriteTheWord when you post them (same goes for Twitter, as well).

Looking forward to more of this #WriteTheWord journey! 

Keep it up!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Going a little farther with #WriteTheWord

Welcome back!

How did you do with your beginning journey into writing the Word?

Remember, no pressure here at all. Write as little or as much as you are led by the Spirit of God to write.

Today, I want to briefly introduce you to a little more of what I sometimes do when writing the Word.

As you may notice in my snapshots of portions of chapters 1 and 2 of Joshua, I often underline (and sometimes even circle) words and/or phrases that stand out to me as I am writing and reading. Sometime, as in chapter 1 above, I even write in ALL CAPS. Those words/phrases are very important to me. 

Occasionally I even put a star or a question mark next to something to indicate importance or something I would like to follow up on and look into further.

Also, as you see in several verses above such as chapter 2 verses 21 & 24, when the portion I am writing is part of a dialogue, I write in the margin (prior to the actual verse) who the dialogue was between. Again, you don't have to do it this way, but I found it to be a helpful new thing for me to try as I was writing through Joshua.

And finally, as you see at the bottom of the chapter 2 page, you can see that sometimes (especially as I wrote my way through Joshua) I write one concise statement that to me sums up what jumped out at me most throughout that portion of Scripture I wrote during that specific session. Sometimes I write more than one statement. Sometimes I even let the Scripture simmer a bit in my heart and pray about it quite a bit then come back a day or two later and write the take-away at that point. 

I have enjoyed doing that last piece lately, as it has brought to my attention many things I never before would have noticed or pieced together through some fairly well known scriptures.

So, with that little bit of extra guidance for you, I would also like to briefly share with you what I learned and gleaned through Joshua 1 & 2. 

BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS! It is repeated frequently (another thing I underline or circle is repeated words/phrases). Repetition is not by accident in the Word of God. PAY ATTENTION to what is repeated! Thankfully Joshua did pay attention to these words. Not sure if you realize this, but the fact that this is repeated to Joshua is an indication that he was afraid and felt weak often and therefore needed these reminders often. So do I. So do you. 

See? God's great men and women He shows us in His Word were people just like us. They were fearful, felt weak, and needed encouragement just like us. They needed God to BE their strength and courage and hope...just like we do. They were His people for that day and our models for today. We are His people for this day and His models for those to come.


Also, in chapter 2, my main takeaway was, "The LORD has surely given us the WHOLE promised land." 

Does something stand out to you that before you might have breezed past? Yep. WHOLE. I have read over that word countless times before, I am sure. But not this time. It really stood out to me that the LORD did not just give them some of the promised land but the WHOLE promised land.

When God makes a promise, He fulfills it IN FULL! You can take that to the bank!

So, now that we have gone a little farther with this, I will let you take these new lessons and try them out a bit with the next section of your writing.

Now, up to this point, I have just written the Word and marked it very minimally. I have not jumped out to any commentaries or dictionaries or any other cross-referenced Scriptures yet. I'll show you some of that later, but don't make it more difficult for yourself now than you are ready for. If those things are helpful to you at this point, then by all means, please use any or all of the additional resources I mentioned. BUT, don't feel pressured to make this more complicated than its most simple form if you are not yet ready for that.

As I close this post, I invite you to share anything you have learned as you #writetheword. You can share it in a comment here or as a post in the FB group. By the way, that group can be found here: and it is called #WriteTheWord with Haelie. :)


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

How to #WriteTheWord

So, how do I #writetheword?

Well, as I have said a few times, there are many ways to do this. I will start by sharing with you my most simple, straight-forward way, then I will over the next few weeks share different ways I mix it up a bit at times.

First of all, for this particular study that I am leading you in, I will be leading you through much of the Book of Joshua, or at least the historical, biblical account of Joshua's life and leadership as it is told to us at the end of Deuteronomy and throughout the Book of Joshua.

You, however, do not have to choose to write the same passage along with me. You are more than welcome to, of course, may have another book of the Bible or portion of Scripture on your heart that you would like to study in this way. Please feel free to use the methods I show each week to write the portion of Scripture that is most intriguing to you right now. You will of course learn about Joshua, too, as I and some others share what we are learning, but I would like to learn from you as well if you are learning things about a different passage of Scripture. So, feel free to study and share whatever you are being drawn to at this time. As a matter of fact, take a minute or two (or more) to pray about that specifically before you start this study.

Now, on to Joshua for me.

Why Joshua?

He was a great leader who did not set out to become a leader. He was young when he became a leader. He was appointed by God to lead God's beloved people in claiming the precious land God Himself had promised them. Joshua was clearly afraid and understandably nervous often, hence the need for God to continuously remind him to "Be strong and courageous...The Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."

I need those reminders constantly, too. So do you.

I also see myself in Joshua in many ways. I, like you very likely, am a leader whether I want to be or not. I feel the weight of that responsibility daily. You are a leader as well. No? Yes, I insist that you are. You just may not realize it. You don't have to have a formal title at a "j-o-b" in order to be considered a leader. Somebody somewhere sometime is looking up to you and in some way learning from you and likely even mimicking you with their decisions and their life.

Yep. You're a leader. Accept it.

And now that you see that, I suggest you see what God has to say to and about leaders and study how He leads and comforts and uses leaders to work out His great plans. You feeling the weight with me now? :)

Okay, so now that you know why I have chosen Joshua, let me show you how I have studied him with my #writetheword method.

  1. Get your notebook, pen, and of course...Bible (digital or paper, just get it).
  2. Turn your Bible to the passage you would like to study.
  3. Let's start today by simply writing that passage or a portion of it pretty much verbatim.
Here's the way I did the last chapter of the Book of Deuteronomy, chapter 34. (You'll see why I chose to start there related to Joshua.)

If you read this chapter, you will see what big shoes Joshua is stepping into and the situation in which he is stepping into them. That's why I started there.

And, yes, that page is one full chapter written out by hand. And it only took me about 10 minutes to write that.

As you notice, it is by no means written neatly. (Sorry!) (Oh, I even had to switch pens after the first line or two because the pen I've been using for the past year finally ran out of ink on me...go figure!) Remember, I do this more for the kinetic process of learning it as I write it. No, it's not osmosis, but as close to it as I can get. ;)

Granted, yes, I would love it if this notebook gets handed down one day to my descendants and they glean from it and learn to #writetheword as well...BUT...I am not writing in a "perfect" way that stresses me out and takes away from the beautiful simplicity of this way of studying Scripture. In other words, don't stress over this, by any means! (By the way, I even have several ugly, yellow legal pads FULL of my #writetheword study sessions from years past. And I plan to pull them out and pick up where I left off on them again soon.)

Also, as you notice, in the past year or so, I have developed a tiny bit of consistent structure to it.
  • I write the book and chapter name at the top of the page along with the date (nice to look back at what I was writing and how it coincided with a specific time of my life).
  • I then write each verse with the verse number on the beginning of the line. I try to start a new verse on a new line. 
    • By the way, you don't have to do it this way and I haven't always done it this way either.
    • You could write it in paragraph form and follow whatever paragraph breaks you see in your Bible if that way feels better to you and seems to help you process it better.
  • I also try to indent a little with each section of quoted dialogue. (again, you totally don't have to do that)

Well, I think that is a good start for our "How to #writetheword" study. Seriously, break it down into small chunks like I did today...or even smaller if you need to. Or...if you are on a spiritual roll, go with it and just keep on writing until you sense you have come to the end of what God is leading you to study and learn for that specific study session. And again, don't forget to pray! Before...during...after. Pray, meditate on what you are writing and hearing God speak to you through it. Let Him process it in your heart, soul, and mind.

Now, what do you think so far? 

Please share with me your thoughts on this process overall as well as any specific things the Holy Spirit has caused to jump off of the page to you as you wrote it. (You will be amazed at the way He uses this process to make things jump out in a way you never before imagined!)

Alright, I will do my best to post again on Saturday. In the meantime, please feel free to do this daily or every couple of days or just a time or two...whatever you are led by the Spirit to do...just do it...and share if you like! :)

See you again soon!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Be strong. Be courageous. Be consistent. And #writetheword

Now, a little more housekeeping and then on to the good stuff.

As we begin our #writetheword Bible study, I want to describe how I plan to lead you on this journey. 

I want to start by leading you through a study of a book of the Bible that has greatly influenced me. Even more specifically, a person of the Bible who has had a tremendous impact on who I am and how I live. Joshua. And actually I would like to start at the end of the book prior to Joshua---Deuteronomy. More on that later, though. 

Once we begin, I will likely start by taking you through the general, simple process of how I #writetheword. Then, at some points where it is fitting, I would like to show you some ways that I occasionally deepen the study experience. 

Are you with me?! 


And back to that housekeeping I was talking about.  For this specific period of leading you online in this study together, I would like you to know some of the structure I plan to use.

For instance:

  • I plan to utilize many online avenues for us to interact with each other about this study including: my blog, a special Facebook group, email, Instagram, and even Twitter for those who are into it. 
    • You can interact as little or as much as you want and can use any or all of those methods for interaction. Just do whatever you are most comfortable doing, and if you want to try something new, then this might be the perfect opportunity to play around a little with something you would not normally use online.  
  • I plan to post once a week to recap what we have been studying the previous week and introduce the new week's study section.  My goal is to post these weekly posts on Saturdays. 
  • Each week's section will vary, but will typically be about 5 or 6 verses. Maybe longer or maybe even shorter depending on what the verses of the week cover.
  • Most important of all is for you to not let this be intimidating. This is going to be fun and more enlightening than you can imagine, and there is NO right or wrong way to do it! Just do it! Like I said, that is the most important thing. Don't let intimidation stop you.
  • Work at your own pace. Learn from our Lord what He wants to teach you in the way He wants to teach you. 
  • Pray. Pray now. Pray before each time you start to #writetheword (even if it's just a short prayer). Pray while writing as you feel led by the Spirit. Pray when you are done for God's Spirit to teach you through what you have just studied and to point out things to you that you may not have noticed yet.
    • Sometimes I only get through one or two verses of writing and realize that I have come to my stopping place that day where I need to put my pen down and just meditate on what I have just written. Each day will be different.
  • Oh, and speaking of days, although I will only be posting weekly, I look forward to seeing posts &/or pictures from you throughout the week sharing what you are writing and learning each day. 
  • I hope that you will use this as an opportunity to get into a daily or at least more frequent habit of spending even just a few minutes in God's word each day. 
    • Sometimes I study this way for only 15 minutes. Other times I can spend an hour or more doing this kind of study. Just doing something, again, is the key. 
So, I think that's enough housekeeping for now. 

The next post will be our actual kickoff of the content itself. 

It's about to get exciting around here!!! 

Are you ready?!

R U ready 2 #writetheword?!

Welcome to an exciting new adventure in your life!

What's that, you say? Oh, boy, do you have some unexpected fun waiting for you.

To begin, I want to thank you for allowing me the honor of leading you and walking alongside you as we study the Bible together in what is likely a whole new way for you. I personally have been enjoying studying the Bible this way on my own for many years. Nobody specifically taught me how to do this (other than the Holy Spirit, that is). It just makes sense to me and is as easy or as challenging as I want to make it.

I (and some others who do something similar) lately have been calling this #writetheword (a.k.a. "Write The Word"). A dear friend of mine introduced me to that name for it. She had been seeing many people, including me, online posting pictures of their handwritten Scriptures and started sharing about it on her blog and trying it for herself.  Her term for it describes it very well. It pretty much works the way it sounds. And it's pretty "no frills" for the most part. Basically, I just start with a part of the Bible I am interested in or want to dig deeper in, and I literally, by hand, write The Word on paper. And, actually The Seed Company even has a #writetheword community on Facebook.

No, I am not writing a NEW no means! I just rewrite almost verbatim the Scriptures I am reading. Like I said, nothing fancy, at least not unless I want to get fancy with it. I typically use a simple, lined notebook and a pen that is comfortable to write with. (Of course, this is where you can get as fancy and involved as you want...fancy notebook, colored pens, etc. However, I truly recommend starting out pretty simple. Maybe a nice notebook, maybe not, but don't go crazy trying to use color coding with multiple pens and all. Not yet. Wait until you try this in its simplicity first, then branch out & develop your style as you feel led.)

Could you do this digitally? Yes, I suppose you could. But. (You heard that coming, didn't you?) Again, I recommend you try this with literal handwriting on literal paper. Even if you have bad handwriting, so what? The point of writing it, for me at least, is not so that you or others can read it (though someone may someday, and what a precious thing to hand down to our posterity!). No, the point is the actual action of writing.

Stay with me here.

See, I don't know about you, but I personally am a bit of a kinetic learner, as are many people. That simply means that I learn and process better by doing. Think about it, do you learn better just listening and watching something or someone? Or does it sink in better when you touch and do and follow along? And how do you learn best in a lecture class and/or sermon? Do you takes notes? Why? For other people? No. Both for looking back over them and also for paying attention & processing it better as you listen.

Same concept applies here.

So, now that I have hopefully convinced you to give this a shot, let me wrap this intro up with your brief list of things to gather to prepare for our first round of this together.

For this Bible study, you will need:

  • A Bible
    • (This can be digital or paper, whatever you prefer. However, in this case it is nice to have a digital Bible available since you can search resources and even compare versions easily. I highly recommend and/or as Bible study resources.)
  • A pen
    • (Nothing fancy, just comfortable. May need to have a refill or replacement ready depending on how much of The Word you plan to write.)
  • A notebook
    • (Simple or's up to you.)

So, go gather your goodies & let's get going!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Well hello there, 2014

How YOU doin'?!

Yes, I know it has been quite a while since I have posted here. Almost 9 months to be exact. Guess that could qualify for writer's block. Actually, though, I have posted somewhat regularly at my newer blog Sundays With Nanny during that time as I have been cooking and blogging my way through my late grandmother's cookbook. And I am inspired quite often to write, but writing while driving is a bit frowned upon...and illegal...and unsafe. (I drive A LOT for work these days.) Still, though, I have been quite a bit too silent with my many inspired thoughts. I hope to change that in this year.

As a matter of fact, I have committed along with Jeff Goins as he has posed a challenge to anyone who will join him to write 500 words a day for the month of January. My plan is a varied plan to say the least. Yes, I plan to write 500 words/day (hopefully indefinitely, not just for a month), BUT it won't be all in the same format. At least not according to my plan, but you know how that goes. Best laid plans...

Here's what this means to me (and you):
  1. First of all, this post is the beginning of my compliance with this challenge. Am I at 500 words yet? No? Ok. More to write. ;)
  2. Some posts on this blog as well as my other one will be part of my compliance with this challenge.
  3. I am not promising great writing, just writing of some kind.
  4. Some of the posts that will be part of this challenge will be some reviews (both product and book & even an app review) on which I have been LONG overdue. Other posts will be on whatever topic is on my heart. 
  5. I may not make my 500 words part of a post everyday. By that, I mean I am not promising to write/publish a post everyday.  I am promising to write everyday. There is a difference. 
  6. Some of the days' writing will be random, freestyle writing just to get the juices flowing, so to speak, but not necessarily for sharing. 
  7. Some of the days' writing will hopefully be intended for being included in that "one-day" book I have been intending to write "one day." Ya' feel me on that?! I know you do. (Do you have a "one-day" book...or you?! Join me in this 500 word/day challenge, why don't you?! What could it hurt? You don't have to share your writing...just do it. But let me know if you're joining the challenge so I'll know I've inspired you & I'll know to pray for you as you work through it. Pray for me, too, by the way. Would you?) 
  8. One other exciting thing I want to share with you is that I do also have a goal of redesigning this blog in a big way (hopefully in the first quarter of this year). I will let you know as that develops. 
So, I guess you get the idea. I hope you'll check into Jeff's challenge as well! Now, have I written 500 words yet?! Yep! 533 to be exact...or including these words it's 546. Or more if I keep rambling...

What are some of your 2014 goals? (I'm not calling them resolutions. You know how that goes, too.)

Oh, and my #OneWord2014 - it's LIVE! Yep, I'm gonna LIVE. Kinda like the Tim McGraw song. Been touched by a lot of death this year. Want to make sure I truly LIVE and inspire others to do the same. 

So, what's your #OneWord2014 for #OneWord365? 

Remember the girl who invented it back in 2009, Alece Ronzino of Grit & Glory? She's still leading it. Go Alece! Go check out her #OneWord365 site & community here: 

Okay, let's take 2014 by the horns! Now, go write...and LIVE!