So okay, I admit it, I am absolutely fascinated with the pictures of beautifully decorated Bible pages that are floating around on the internet.
My Pinterest account has a couple of hundred pins with pictures that I just think are totally amazing… and I may have spent a couple of hours on YouTube watching videos with people flipping through their Bibles and telling me how it’s done.
Now when I first started seeing those pictures I have to admit was completely intimidated. I thought there was no way that I could do that. I can’t draw!
Art was not one of my gifts.
My husband still teases me about the cow
that I drew for our son … almost six years ago. He’s one of those persons gifted
with creative and artistic ability, so to him, a cow looks like something you
can milk and not like two lopsided balloons with spots…
But over time (and lots of YouTube videos and Pinterest saves), I realized a few things that I’m going to share with you:
1. Bible art or illustrating your faith is not about the pictures. It’s about time spent in worship - reading, studying and seeking to understand God’s word. There’s something about expressing his word as art that makes it come alive for you.
2. You don’t need a bunch of special pens and art supplies to do it. Okay, so I live in Jamaica and it’s a beautiful, wonderful place but - I can’t just walk into a store and ask for Prisma pencils or Tombow pens.
Well I could, but the salespeople would look at me like I was crazy. What I can get are some Crayola or Sargent Arts pencils and regular ballpoint pens.
So, hmmm, does a lack of the “right supplies” hamper my faith illustration?
Yes and no.
Yes, it would be lovely to have all those Bible-adapted supplies.
But no, it doesn’t stop me from spending time with God and illustrating what he reveals to me.
3. A journaling Bible is not a requirement. While having a Bible with special margins for notes is an awesome thing (so I’ve read because I don’t actually have one), it doesn’t stop you from writing about what you read.
I want to break down Bible journaling to its simplest form - journaling is simply writing down what you observe, think or feel.
Bible journaling is writing that personal account based on what you read in God’s word.
So my advice would be this: start with what you have.
Maybe you want to find ways to creatively make notes in the minuscule margins of your current Bible. Or maybe you choose to journal in a notebook or on loose paper. This brings me to my next point:
4. You might be surprised to find that you’re already a ‘Bible journaler’.
Do you make notes about what you read?
Do you scribble in the margins?
Do you highlight key text?
Do you write sermon notes?
If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions … ding, ding, ding! You’re illustrating your faith!
Not convinced? Let me remind you of my first point: Bible art or illustrating your faith is not about the pictures. I just came to that conclusion about three days ago so I’ll give you a little time to work it out in your head.
After I really thought about Bible journaling in its purest form, I realized I had been doing it on and off for years but I really got serious about it a year and a half ago.
Seriously, do not fall into the trap of thinking that if your Bible pages don’t look like something that should be in an art museum that you’re not illustrating your faith.
Today I’m going to issue two challenges:
1. Stop looking at Bible art pictures on the internet. Doing that can make you so scared that you never start and you could miss out on something that could totally change the way you view Bible study.
2. Do something today to illustrate your faith. God is not an art teacher. He’s not going to judge you if you color outside the lines or if your cow looks something like a bloated balloon.
God has a lot of things that he desires to tell us and most times we miss out on the message because we rush through our devotions and when we do get insight we do not write them down.
I’m going to try to take my own advice – for the next 7 days I won’t scroll through images of other people illustrating their faith. I’m going to spend time with God, reading and seeking to understand his word so that I can illustrate my faith.
Next week I’ll be back with some more things that I learnt about Bible journaling. Until then, have fun illustrating your faith! Feel free to tell me about your attempts in the comments below.
Loved this post on Bible journaling? Check out the rest of the series here.