Sunday, February 23, 2014

A little somethin' different with #WriteTheWord

Well, it's been a day or two...or a few...since I last posted. Yep, that's how I roll. As long as we're all on the same page with that. There will be no false pretenses here. I may have good intentions, but I won't promise to post consistently when I know that may or may not happen. Just want to be honest with you since you are on this journey with me and all.

Now, that said, where did I leave off?

Oh yeah. A little something different is what I promised and is what you will now get.

So, on our #WriteTheWord journey up to this point we have tried several different spins on this, each going a little deeper than the next. I have shown you mostly the book of Joshua up until now, but this post will be a bit different.

I actually started writing The Word several years ago, and during one phase of doing it I had a few key words in mind about which I wanted to read more in the Bible. For instance, one specific word I was interested in was "valley." I wanted to know everywhere in the Bible that the word "valley" was mentioned and what exactly was said about or even around it. So, I delved into a #WriteTheWord journey that took me through some amazing places and lessons.

Here are some pics of how I did this kind of keyword #WriteTheWord journey:

 To begin, I made a list of all of the named valleys in the Bible and the chapter(s) of the Bible it was mentioned in that came up when I did a search on using the word "valley." Then, I started working my way through writing each chapter or passage that was on my list (on a separate page). After I had done so, I came back to my master list and checked off the passage and ultimately the valley itself. 

Initially I began going through my list from top to bottom, but over time I started jumping around working on ones that were mentioned more often first (or maybe I saved them for last...really can't remember now).

As you can imagine, this whole process (to cover ALL of the valleys on my multi-page list) took quite a while (months), but I was in no hurry. I just wanted to dig in and see what God wanted to teach me through valleys in His Word. And boy did He!

 This (and the following few pics) is an example of the Valley of Berakah in 2 Chronicles 20 and how I wrote that chapter and made some notes about it. As a matter of fact, even if you can't read my notes well from these pics, you can check out the post I wrote back then on this blog since I was so inspired by that chapter and that valley. I called that post "The Blues Really Jazz Me Up!" (Please excuse any formatting issues, as I have yet to go back and fix the goofy formatting that occurred in that post.)

 This last pic is another example of a page of writing I did of another valley, the Valley of Ben Hinnom, which is in Joshua chapter 18. Does that book sound familiar? :) Yep, I think this might have been when I started to fall more in love with the book of Joshua than I even had been before...and look at us now!

So, with some of those examples, I wanted to show you how you can do a simple word search and embark on a Bible study journey which can lead you down some unexpected paths and can take you as short or long as you may want to spend in that Word study. 

As a matter of fact, I may expand on this some more in some later posts to show you what else you can do with this kind of a #WriteTheWord study.

Now that you have seen this new concept, what word or words seem to be standing out to you these days?

Think about that. Pray about it. 

That word or those words may just be God's Spirit speaking to your soul to nudge you along in something He is preparing your heart to learn. 

Listen to Him. 

While you're at it, please share that word or those words with me and our #WriteTheWord crew. 

Can't wait to hear!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Finally...more #WriteTheWord

Have you been writing The Word lately? 

How is it going? 
What are you learning? 
What are you writing?

I must admit, I have not been doing it nearly as much as I should and I can tell by my lack of clear direction right now. Time with God in His Word cannot in any way be replaced by nor substituted with any amount of deep thought, contemplation, nor analysis of any situation. Direction and strength for our paths are in God's Word alone.

With that, let's dig in together! 
I need it, and I bet you do, too.

To continue along with my Joshua study, I'll show you my pics of my Joshua chapter 6 #WriteTheWord pages. And then...I have a little something new for you. :)

Here you go...
My side notes:
v.2 - The LORD speaks deliverance even before it is done.
v.5 - How will the priests know the details and when to do it?
Did God talk to them separately? or did He just guide them?
Main point of v.1-7 - Sometimes advancing is as simple as just marching---putting one foot in front of the other.

v.7-8 - They (the Israelites) marched in front of / ahead of the Ark of the LORD.
v.10 - Be silent when God says to, but shout when God says to.
Main point of v.8-11 - Sometimes the beginning of the battle (for souls and all) is just quiet, faithful obedience.

Main point of v.12-16 - Getting up early to do God's work and study His Word sometimes seems repetitive, pointless, and fruitless. Sometimes it feels like "just going through the motions." BUT...there IS a 7th day ahead with a 7th march around and then we will SHOUT in VICTORY!!! He HAS GIVEN us the city!!!

v.17 - God doesn't cut out words nor people associated with shame. 
v.20 - Trumpets Sound & People Shout! Walls Collapse & People Charge! 
Battles are WON!
Main point of v.17-21 - Our gracious Redeemer shatters walls and wins our battles.

v.21 - To be honest this was a tough verse (which I actually included in the page above and realized it after I had written it and therefore drew a line through it on this page). It was tough as many of the battles in the Old Testament are. I have to trust my sovereign God with His purposes and plan and ways, even when they are tough for me to wrap my head around. I have since read and studied and listened to many commentaries on battles like these. The perspectives have been helpful. I encourage you to seek out trusted Bible scholars and pastors to help you understand things like this as well.
v.23 - God BRINGS OUT sinners from their sinful life by His forgiveness and grace.
Main point of v.22-27 - Do NOT attempt to rebuild or revisit what God has brought you out of!!!

Wow! That was a lot in one fairly short chapter!

As a matter of fact, I will leave you to chew on that for a while then will come back in the next day or two with that new stuff I was telling you about earlier.

Now, go #WriteTheWord and come share with me where you are and what you are learning!