A little less than a year ago I wrote about reading my way through the bible after putting "Read the Bible" on my 22 by 23 list (We'll talk more about that next week). You can get the full reading list here or use the YouVersion Bible App (free!). Admittedly I did very poorly and with my birthday 2 weeks away and a few goals left to meet, I got to work. As I was reading, though, it felt pointless to be reading just to say I had done it. I began searching for Bible study tips:
Following the Bible in a year plan, I kept notes on each chapter, asking:
- What (a summary of the chapter)
- Who (key people/ attributes of God)
- When (if it talks about a time that the events occured)
- Where (to put it into perspective on a map)
- Anything else (aka notes; for anything additional I might want to remember: verses, personal insights, etc.)
Some chapters fill up an entire page, while others only take up a few lines with the summary.Twitter's Chapter a day, Geneology (which I have occasionally to added throughout my study), Tribes of Israel map, Conquests of Joshua, Ancient Israel map, and various other maps and timelines. It is amazing just how much more a bible story makes sense when you understand the context.
Its nothing fancy - insightful notes surrounded with beautiful drawings and doodles - but it fits my needs perfectly. I do color code a smidge, just to keep things in order:
Orange = things I learned from looking them up (research)
Red = Questions I have
Blue = personal insights
Purple = Verses to remember
Some miscellaneous other tips:
- Play some relaxing music to keep you focused
- Find a comfortable seat but not one you usually sit in for another activity (ex. I sat in at the dining table in a different chair than usual)
- Be realistic in your goal setting (something I'm still learning)
- Do what works for you
- Do it for you and no one else
Comparing the reading I did when I started this goal and when I picked it back up again a few weeks ago, I feel like I have learned so much more using this system of studying. As I read through each chapter, I know that I will be able to go back later and do more in depth topic and character studies, using the information that I am writing down now. Check out these awesome blogs for in depth scripture study journal printouts: The Red Headed Hostess , One of a Kind, and Stone Soup for Five. Taking notes has made the reading that much more meaningful to me and, though it takes a lot longer to get through each chapter, I enjoy the time spent reading.
With only 2 weeks left before my birthday/ dead line I am only 34% through the bible (I started the month at 5% and took a 1wk break to volunteer at a camp with my brother). I'm confident I'll eventually make it all the way through but with July 5th (my birthday!) right around the corner, I'm not so sure I'll meet my deadline.
As always, you can follow me on Pinterest to see my inspiration, Twitter to see whats new, and Instagram to catch my photo-a-day. Thanks for reading and join me next week, same time (roughly), same place. Live long and prosper!