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, but...you 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!

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