Getting Dressed A Loft Prompt

Edit: I thought this had posted the other day, but for some reason it was not showing up….
This week at the Loft, it’s a pot luck. I had an idea for a post, but I decided to share an older post. The issue with that is that I am also a host now, which means I need to let you know where to link up.
The post I am sharing is entitled Dressing for the Day, please take a moment to check it out.
THE
 
Welcome to The Loft!
We are a topic driven link-up, which means that we link posts that pertain to the topic of the week. Posts that are not on topic will be deleted. We will offer a month’s worth of topics each week so you can plan and prepare for a post that helps you enter into the conversation. Here are the topics for the next month:
January 27 ~ Pot Luck ~ You may link up any post, on any topic today!
February 3 ~ Family
February 10 ~ Love
February 17 ~ Contentment
Just a reminder that the link-up goes live on Wednesday morning at 5am and will stay live until the following Monday at 5pm. If you link up at The Loft, please do not link-and-run. We want to create conversation and community, therefore, we ask that if you linkup one post, please visit two others. There are some beautiful people who link-up each week, and visiting their posts is the best way to get to know them.
 
Now, it it time to get to today’s link-up. Our topic is Potluck. You may link up any post, on any topic today.
You will find the linky at the bottom of my post. Enjoy the fellowship at The Loft.
The Loft
 

#TheLoft

 
The Loft

Now it is time to linkup!



Bible Study Resources & Posts

Bible Study Resources & Posts
Edit:
I have now finished this series! So here are the links to these posts that go together.
Feeding Your Soul-Why Bible Study is Important
Where Do I Start? Tips and Methods for Digging Deep
Bible Study Posts and Resources
Here I am sharing my favorite Bible study resources and posts from around the blogospher and web.
~Disclaimer~
In this post there are some Amazon Affiliate links. This means that if you click on the link and end up ordering the item you are interested in, I get a small commission. This does not change the price that you pay, but helps me out.
 

Posts

These are some of my favorite Bible study related posts. For more posts and resources, you can check out my Pinterest board, Walk. There are some links there that are handy, and usable for studying the actual Bible, but they are Mormon based. Just use discretion.
3 Ways to Dig Deeper in Bible Study-Lisa shares some great ideas for digging deep into the Word
Beginner Tips for Bible Journaling-Rachel shares some great resources for those interested in Bible journaling
Rooted Bible Study-Danielle shares some tips for studying the Word
Bible Study for Moms-Christin shares about shifting our perspective
How to Study the Bible by Topic in 4 Easy Steps-A very handy post from Arabah Joy
How to Do a Bible Word Study-Arabah Joy’s great post.
A Quick and Easy Guide to Choosing What to Read Next-A fun post from Alice.
Online Resources for Bible Study– A great quick guide to some online Bible study resources from Branson.
From a Mom to a Mexican Cab Driver-Traci shares a bit about her journey reading a Chronological Bible
The Classics-Traci shares some of her favorite books-including her favorite Bible studies.
All For Him Life’s Past Bible Studies-Pretty self explanatory, no?
The Bible as a Literary Work-Jennie gives us a brief overview of the entire Bible
How to Study the Bible (for Kids)-Ashley shares some great tips
Great Resources List for Bible Study-Angela has put together a wonderful list here
7 Practical Bible Study Tips for the Easily Distracted-Kelsey shares some good tips
Bible Reading for the Easily Distracted-Lynnae shares some great tips
Write the Word-Victoria at CreativeHomekeeper shares how writing the word transformed her faith
How to Study the Bible-Yelena shares her thoughts and some good tips
12 Do’s and Don’ts of Effective Bible Study-Michelle shares some great pointers
Context is King-Don Landis on the importance of context
Best Onlines Bible Studies for Women-Kayse shares some great studies
Women’s Bibles Studies by Book of the Bible-Rachel shares a great guide

Bible Studies

The 17:18 Series-This series is pretty awesome. Inside there is space to write out the Scriptures you are reading, then there is space for you to make notes, observations or write prayers about said Scriptures.
James – Bible Study Book: Mercy Triumphs~This is one I just about finished with some ladies from my church. I missed one session, but it was a phenomenal study.
Children of the Day – Bible Study Book: 1 & 2 Thessalonians!This is one I did not get to finish the summer before last, but I hope to one day, the few sessions I was in where great.
For Beth Moore’s Other Studies Click Here
Kelly Minter’s Bible Studies-Right now I am doing What Love Is at church, we are just a week in, but it is good stuff.
Moms in the Word-A great groups of ladies who get together to study the Word
Good Morning Girls~I mentioned this study series the other day. A few Good Morning Girls Journals are available on Amazon, but for the rest of their studies (before they began publishing journals), you can check out their Bible Study Page Here (you may have to scroll a bit).

Misc.

For highlighting most Bibles, you will need Bible Highlighters. Yeah, they are different from your average highlighter, designed to not bleed through the thin pages that most Bibles have.
You could also use Colored Pencils. These are great for Bible journaling/doodling as well.

Apps and Websites

OliveTree a free app with a lot of Bible study tools. Sorry, I’m not sure how to link to the app store for android or ios, so you will have to search for it.
Bible.is~Listening to the Word can be powerful, and help you ‘see’ it in a different light (so to speak). This site lets you listen to the Word being read by some very talented people.
Biblegateway.com~You can look up verses, or chapters in almost any translation you could want, plus they have some excellent tools and articles to help you study the Word
BibleStudyTools.com~Pretty self explainitory if you ask me, but a very usefully site.
Biblehub.com~You put in your verse reference and it brings your verse up in different translations so it might help you see it more clearly. They also have some great tools to aid your study.
Blue Letter Bible-a newer one to me, but still very handy. I like that you can pull up multiple verses at once. There are also a lot of word study tools.

Organization

Once you get your supplies, you will need a place to keep them. Here are my top three favorite ways to keep it together.
The Double Duty Caddy
Super cute and functional. I love the ones I have. I use them for Bible study resources and tools.
The Creative Caddy
A Newer one, but I love all of the pockets. Would be great for Bible Journaling/doodling. I have one that I love and I am working on building a journaling kit in it.
The Keep It Tote
The perfect bag to grab on your way out the door to your Bible study. Perfect length straps to throw over your shoulder. Pen pockets. Mesh side pockets. Probably my favorite Bible study bag ever. Unfortunately, it will not be available after the end of January.
What are some of your favorite Bible study resources?

Hope

This week our Loft prompt is Hope. It kind of goes along with my theme of Joy for the year.
It is because of the hope that I have that I can have Joy.
My thoughts on this topic have been a bit scattered. I have had a hard time trying to pin down any particular aspect of it.
As a Christ follower, my hope is in the Lord and His Word. (1 TImothy 1:1, 1 Timothy 4:10, Psalm 130:5, Lamentations 3:21-24)
God has made plan a plan for me, to give me a future and hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)
In this season of grieving, it is not as those without hope.  I will see loved ones who follow the Lord again. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
This is a rather short and scattered post, but it is about all I can manage right at the moment.
I am, as always, excited to be hosting over at the Loft again, please join us and link up your posts on Hope.
 
THE
 
Welcome to The Loft!
We are a topic driven link-up, which means that we link posts that pertain to the topic of the week. Posts that are not on topic will be deleted. We will offer a month’s worth of topics each week so you can plan and prepare for a post that helps you enter into the conversation. Here are the topics for the next month:
January 20 ~ Hope
January 27 ~ Pot Luck ~ You may link up any post, on any topic today!
February 3 ~ Family
February 10 ~ Love
Just a reminder that the link-up goes live on Wednesday morning at 5am and will stay live until the following Monday at 5pm. If you link up at The Loft, please do not link-and-run. We want to create conversation and community, therefore, we ask that if you linkup one post, please visit two others. There are some beautiful people who link-up each week, and visiting their posts is the best way to get to know them.
 
Now, it it time to get to today’s link-up. Our topic is your Hope.
You will find the linky at the bottom of my post. Enjoy the fellowship at The Loft.
The Loft
 

#TheLoft

 
The Loft
Now it is time to linkup!


How to Start Studying the Bible

 
How to start
When we first see a big, thick book, it can be intimidating,  right?
Fortunately for us, the Bible us a book of what are essentially letters.
Some people just open to a random page and begin reading.  While this might be okay for a quick extra dose of the Word, I am not a fan of this as a way to study the Bible.
Imagine that you got a letter from a dear friend or someone you highly respect.
Would you just flip to page two and begin reading?
How well would you understand what is being said?
What if the part of the letter that you skipped totally changed the meaning of the passage you read?
Context is so important in Bible study.
Begin at the first part of a book and read through the entire book if possible.  Most of the New Testement books are easily read in one sitting.
Remember that that is how they are meant to be read. Chapters and verses have since been established to help us find verses easily.
Just because there’s a new verse or even chapter number does not mean that the thought being conveyed has changed.

Find A Time

I have heard people say “I don’t have time for reading the Bible”. I will not sugar coat this next bit:
If you are a follower of Christ and think yourself too busy for Bible study, then you are too busy. Bible study should be a priority in your life.
Yes, there are seasons where Bible study does not mean pulling out tons of books and doing word research and highlighting, etc., but we MUST be intentional about being in the Word. If you missed yesterday’s post on why this is so important, please take a minute to check it out: Bible Study-Are You Feeding Your Soul?
Back to finding a time. I like to start my day off with study. Being a mom of two littles, I need to get moving before I start, or I will fall asleep again. I try to get up, shower and get dressed (yes, sometimes it is just in clean jammies or sweats) before I start my time with the Lord.
What time you do it does not matter. What does matter is making the time. There is no right or wrong time.

Where to start

Here are a couple of ideas of places to actually start:
‘John’ Reading Plan
A good place to start is the book of John.
Start with the Gospel of John, then start back in the Gospel of Matthew and read through the New Testament. Then go back to Genesis and read back through the entire Bible.
Chronological Reading Plan
The books of the Bible are typically grouped by genre, not necessarily in chronological order.
A chronological reading plan gives you a great sense of the time and history of the books.
BibleGateway has a Chronological reading plan here.
Good Morning Girls Studies
I love these studies. While I have never found an online group to join, I have done them myself and with a couple of friends. You can also go back and do past studies that they have done.

Translations

There are many different translations, some word for word, some use thought for thought and some paraphrase. I am looking into a new translation to use because the NIV, which I have used for the biggest part of my life, has changed. Not so much in a good way. Political correctness type stuff. Seriously, the 2004 NIV is not the same as the newest one.
Since we are talking about doing study in the Word, a word for word translation is important to me. I am leaning toward either the English Standard Version (ESV) or the New American Standard (NASB).

Concordance

Once I decide on a translation, I will get a concordance to help me dig into the Word. A concordance is a wonderful study aid, that lets you look up the words used in a particular Scripture so that you can get a deeper understanding of the original meaning in Greek or Hebrew. They are translation specific, so I do need to figure out which translation I am going to use for study. I will share more on how it all works when I get one, but here is a handy page with some great info.

Method

There are several great Bible study methods out there. You can study book by book, or themes or keywords in the Bible. I prefer to do book studies.
The one I use a lot is the SOAP method. I use it as I am studying a book of the Bible.
Good Morning Girls used this method a few years ago (they have changed it a bit and it is now called the SOAK method), and I love it.
S. Scripture-writing out the Scripture
O. Observation-jotting a couple of observations about the verses
A. Application-how can I apply it to my life today?
P. Prayer-Pray the Scriptures, pray for the changes you need to make, pray that God would impress the Scriptures on you heart and mind
I use plain journals to write it out. Cute ones I usually find at Michael’s arts and crafts for a dollar. I usually use one page to do Scripture and the opposite one to do notes on it. I recently found some amazing journals that are designed for just such a thing, I will link to them in tomorrow’s post of resources.
I have found that writing them out makes me think about them more, makes them stick in my mama needs more sleep fog.
Some more information on different Bible study methods:
Inductive Bible Study
Bible Study Methods and Applications
TASTE Bible Study Method
What Are Some Different Bible Study Methods?
SOAK Method
 

Application

It does not matter what you read or how you read it if you do not apply it to your life.
What good would taking driver’s education be if it did not shape the way you drive?
 
I hope this helps you on you journey closer to the Lord. Tomorrow (hopefully) I will be sharing how I organize my study supplies, some of my favorite resources and articles on Bible study.
Edit:
I have now finished this series! So here are the links to these posts that go together.
Feeding Your Soul-Why Bible Study is Important
Where Do I Start? Tips and Methods for Digging Deep
Bible Study Posts and Resources
What method of Bible study do you use? What is your favorite book of the Bible?

Bible Study

Feeding Your Soul @godschicki
 

How can a young person stay pure?
    By obeying your word.
I have tried hard to find you—
    don’t let me wander from your commands.
 I have hidden your word in my heart,
    that I might not sin against you.

Psalm 119:9-11

While I would love to post the whole chapter,  that would be a lengthy post without me even using words of my own, so I highly recommend you take a few minutes to read it yourself.
Personal Bible study is crucial to a Christ follower’s walk. Think of it as food for your soul.
If we just go to church to be fed, we starve. Just think of what eating once or twice a week would do to your physical body.
Breadoflife.jpg
Having a consistent time of study has always been a struggle for me.  I wish I had the habit down. Now,  with small kids, it is even harder, but I need it more. This year I am striving to be more consistent in my time in the Word.
Giving yourself grace when you miss is important.  What would your physical body go through if you gave up on eating because you missed a meal? You might even just eat more the next time you get to.
Knowing Scripture is vital.

Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.

Ephesians 6:11-13

Our struggle is not against flesh. There is a spiritual battle raging for our hearts and minds and souls. How can we prepare to stand firm? What is the armor of God?

Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Ephesians 6:14-17

In Matthew 4, we see that Jesus is tempted by Satan. What does Satan use? Perverted, or twisted Scripture.
Satan knows Scripture.  He twists it against us.
Jesus used Scripture here. Ever think about why? I mean, He was the Word made flesh. He could have said anything to Satan and it would have been The Word.
I think it is to show us how to handle Satan’s attacks.
Ephesians 6:17 says that our (one) offensive weapon is the Sword of the Spirit which is ….the Word of God.
Let us think about a sword for a moment. Can one simply pick it up and use it properly? You may be able to clumsily win a small battle, but when your enemy knows swords, you do not stand much of a chance. You have to KNOW your weapon. Satan KNOWS the Word. How can we know the Word if we do not study it?
In today’s culture, we can quote sports stats, or celebrities, play candy crush or other games for hours, but what about knowing the Word?

I will study your commandments
    and reflect on your ways.

Psalm 119:15

If we read and keep the word with us all day in our thoughts, it will become second nature. We will begin using it in our daily lives. It will spill over into our lives.

Your laws please me;
    they give me wise advice.

Psalm 119:24

Make me walk along the path of your commands,
    for that is where my happiness is found.

Psalm 119:35

Do you delight in the word? Do they please you? Is your happiness found in the Word?

My soul weeps because of grief;
Strengthen me according to Your word.

Psalm 119:28

I have been soul weary much of the past year, but when I delve into the World, it helps me to put things back in perspective.

Lord, give me your unfailing love,
    the salvation that you promised me.
Then I can answer those who taunt me,
    for I trust in your word.

Psalm 119:41-42

When I choose to believe and trust in the Word of God, when I KNOW the Word enough to trust in it, I can use it to answer Satan when he starts trying to get me down.
I have typed and erased and retyped this next bit, it keeps coming back, so I think it should be here.

This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.  If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth;  but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

1 John 1:5-7

John does not mince words, does he? God is light and in Him is no darkness. If we say we have fellowship with him but still walk in darkness, we lie. We are hypocrites. But IF we walk in the Light, we have fellowship with believes and the blood of Jesus cleanses us.

Dear one, are you walking in the light today? How do we know what walking in light looks like if we are not in the Word?

If you have a regular quiet time, what are you reading in the Word?

This is a longer post than I usually like to do, but it is a topic I am passionate about!

Edit:
I have now finished this series! So here are the links to these posts that go together.
Feeding Your Soul-Why Bible Study is Important
Where Do I Start? Tips and Methods for Digging Deep
Bible Study Posts and Resources

I am once again honored to co-host the Loft Linkup.

Last week was so much fun reading about all the different words that the Lord has given us for 2016. Thank you for sharing!
Today’s topic is BIBLE STUDY ~ anything about Bible study…your favorite, the one that got all up in your business, the group with whom you study, your method…whatever floats your boat pertaining to Bible study is what we want to hear about today.
Come in, grab a cup of your favorite beverage, and enter into the conversation here at The Loft.
THE
Please remember that we are a topic driven link-up, which means that we link posts that pertain to the topic of the week. Posts that are not on topic will be deleted. We will offer a month’s worth of topics each week so you can plan and prepare for a post that helps you enter into the conversation. Here are the topics:
January 13 ~ Bible Study – the how, when, who, what and why of it
January 20 ~ Hope
January 27 ~ Pot Luck ~ You may link up any post, on any topic today!
February 3 ~ Family
Just a reminder that the link-up goes live on Wednesday morning at 5am and will stay live until the following Monday at5pm. If you link up at The Loft, please do not link-and-run. We want to create conversation and community, therefore, we ask that if you linkup one post, please visit two others. There are some beautiful people who link-up each week, and visiting their posts is the best way to get to know them.
Now, it it time to get to today’s link-up. Our topic is your Bible Study.
Enjoy the fellowship at The Loft.
The Loft

#TheLoft

The Loft


Personal Goals for 2016

It has been said that failing to plan is planning to fail.  Aim for nothing and you are sure to hit it.
image
While we are already a week into 2016, I am sharing some of my personal goals for the year.
Personal
To establish a consistent quiet time
To take a Sabbath day every week
To make new friends
To read a fictional book
To reconnect with penpals
To start a Bible study with some mom’s who are in a similar boat
To get more physically active
To find a Titus 2 mentor
Marriage
To be intentional about spending time with hubby
To spend time growing closers to each other
Motherhood
To be a joyful mama
To savor the time I have with my kids
To read 5 books a day
To play more
To teach my kids how to clean up after themselves
To teach my kids how to do some simple chores
To start doing arts and crafts with the kids
Homemaking
To master cooking with cast iron
To declutter enough to get a handle on things
To establish a consistent daily routine
To have people over every month
To establish a cleaning schedule
To try a new recipe each month (at least)
To learn how to use my pressure canner
To have a big garden
To preserve the produce from said garden
To sew three aprons and one or two dresses
Blog
To post at least once a week
To build a community
To hit 1,000 Facebook page followers
To hit 1,000 subscribers
I am sure that these will evolve and change over the year, but they are what I am aiming at.
Do you have a list of goals for the year? What are you aiming for? 

Joy

 
I first heard of the “one word” thing last year. People kept talking about it in blogging groups that I am a part of, but there was never really an explanation as to what it was.
(From what I gather) it is about having a theme for the year, centered around one word.
Last year, the word “joy” popped into my head.
There is a difference between joy and happiness. Choosing joy in some circumstances can be tough. #joy #biblestudy #jesus #peace #christian #motherhood #parenting #homemaking
I wanted to regain the joy of my salvation. To be a more joyful mama. To count it all joy.
A lot went on last year. The stresses of trying to majorly declutter my home with two very young, very active kids, without help, while trying to figure out being a mama of two and nursing both of the kids got to me. I lost my granddaddy. I lost focus. While joy is not happiness, I did lose some joy.
It might be breaking some kind of rule, but “joy” is my word for the year, again.

My soul is weary with sorrow;
    strengthen me according to your word.
May your unfailing love come to me, Lord,
    your salvation, according to your promise;
 then I can answer anyone who taunts me,
    for I trust in your word.

Psalm 119:28,41-42

Jesus used Scripture to fight Satan. The Word used the word.
I am printing and posting these Scriptures around my home to help keep me focused.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
Psalm 51:12
 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Galatians 5:22-23
 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Philippians 4:4-9
 
You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
Psalm 16:11
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
James 1:2-3
You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
Psalm 30:11

Is there one word the Lord has laid on your heart for the year? Or a Scripture?
The Giveaway for the copy of The Organically Clean Home is still going on! Please check it out in this post. You can enter until Jan 8th, 2016!
The Loft is open once again! Please come and join us!
Happy New Year 2016!
Welcome back to The Loft! We hope you had a wonderful Christmas and New Years holiday.
In case you had not noticed, we have a new look. While our name is the same, our look is a bit different…hopefully a bit warmer, cozier, and more inviting. Who doesn’t love sitting by a fire, sipping a cuppa, and enjoying the company of special friends? That is what we hope our new look invites you to do. Come in, grab a cup of your favorite beverage, and enter into the conversation here at The Loft.
Please remember that we are a topic driven link-up, which means that we link posts that pertain to the topic of the week. Posts that are not on topic will be deleted. We will offer a month’s worth of topics each week so you can plan and prepare for a post that helps you enter into the conversation. Here are the January topics:
January 6 ~ One Word or Verse for 2016
January 13 ~ Bible Study – the how, when, who, what and why of it
January 20 ~ Hope
January 27 ~ Pot Luck ~ You may link up any post, on any topic today!
 
Just a reminder that the link-up goes live on Wednesday morning at 5am and will stay live until the following Monday at 5pm. If you link up at The Loft, please do not link-and-run. We want to create conversation and community, therefore, we ask that if you linkup one post, please visit two others. There are some beautiful people who link-up each week, and visiting their posts is the best way to get to know them.
 
Now, it it time to get to today’s link-up. Our topic is your One Word or Verse for 2016.
You will find the linky at the bottom of my post. Enjoy the fellowship at The Loft.
The Loft
 

#TheLoft

 
The Loft
Now it is time to linkup!



This week I have also linked up at Grace & Truth
Grace