Last month I shared that I finished coloring in all the pages of my Inspire Bible and reading the book from beginning to end. Once I was finished, I thought "Now what?". I did buy a new Inspire Bible ( available HERE), but I didn't feel ready to abandon my current Bible and start a new one. My old one and I have been through so much together and I wasn't ready to part with it yet. I decided, there are lots of empty pages left, so I will just start filling up all those empty pages until the book is full or falling apart, whichever comes first. 😀 So from now on, you will be seeing only pages I created myself. No more pre-printed images I simply color in.
I still was perplexed as to where to begin. Where do I start reading again? I didn't want to go back to Genesis and start all over again. I've always been interested in trying one of those Bible Journaling kits I see advertised on-line so I ordered the "Unyielding Hope" Devotional Kit from Illustrated Faith. This kit is no longer available in a hard copy, but is still available in the digital format HERE.
Every month a new kit plus add ons are launched. Each kit contains a devotional, lots of ephemera , a stamp set, stickers, and a digital download. You can purchase a kit for $27.00 plus postage and handling, or you can order the digital version, which is much cheaper, but then you have to weigh the cost of ink and the fact that you won't get the stamp set. For my first try with a Bible Journaling kit, I ordered the hard copy.
I used the kit by first reading the devotional for the day, the recommended scriptures, and then creating a page using the products provided in the kit. Here is the first page I created. The flowers and "worship well" are ephemera. The "Amen" and background dots are stamps from the kit. The "He is my Salvation" is Washi Tape from my stash.
The devotional writer, Bekah, asked us to take a look at Exodus 15 and asked "How can you remain faithful even when your heart is weary and thirsty?" I created this page to answer that question, For me, I can have hope through difficult times by remembering and thanking God for all the past victories in my life. If He has been faithful in the past, He will be faithful now, and faithful in the future.
Next, Bekah had us read Exodus 3 1-17 and asked "How do I get from hopeless to hopeful?" I replied "When doubt and anxiety creep in, remind myself 'I can't, but He can'". In the scripture, Moses protested going before Pharaoh. He said "Who am I to appear Pharaoh? Who am I to lead my people Israel out of Egypt?" Moses was overwhelmed, insecure, filled with anxiety over his lack of ability, but God said "I Am Who I Am" and to tell the Israelites, that HE sent Moses to them.
Here is a page I created for Jeremiah 31:33 which is the promise of the Holy Spirit also illustrated in Hebrew 8:8-12.
In Week Two, Bekah challenged us to "put our faith glasses on and look at each problem through the lens of eternity. If you knew that all the battles were already won, how would that change the way you approached the situation?" In 2 Kings 6: 15-19 Elisha prayed that the Lord would open the young man's eyes so he could see the heavenly army surrounding him and that he didn't need to fear the Arabian army. Likewise, we need to put our faith glasses on and trust the Lord when we're going through scary situations.
In Week Three, Bekah challenged us to read Psalm 121 and meditate on it because "His word keeps our attitude in a state of worship." I felt the word "peace" so strongly while reading this Psalm, that I mediated on that word and all the ways He gives me peace in my life.
Bekah then said to read Psalm 9:10 and make a list of what's weighing on my heart then sign it with "I Trust You Jesus". I wrote the Psalm out, using stamps to highlight the words "know" and "trust" then I wrote my list on the ephemera provided in the kit.
Here's an example where you don't always have to use ephemera provided by the kit when following the devotional. My one beef with Bible Journaling kits is that the images they provide often don't illustrate the Bible passages. Flowers, butterflies, etc. don't always fit what I'm feeling or what I want to express. For this page, Bekah had us read Isaiah 43:1-3 and commit it to memory. I did that, and I hand wrote notes about it in the right column. But then I read through the whole chapter and I was struck by v. 2 because I could relate to the oppression that the Israelites were feeling in my own small way. I colored the background of the page with fire colored using gelatos, then I used a flame washi tape to illustrate fire. I wrote the verse down, using stamps once again for words I want to highlight. I then hand wrote some personal notes to myself.
By now, I was done with Becka's devotional. It was great, but way too short. I had so much ephemera left over, so I just decided to follow another devotional using the ephemera from the Illustrated Faith kit.
Here I read the story of how God dealt with the Amalekites hundreds of years later for their sin against Israel. I wrote significant points from the "Enduring Word" Bible Commentary in the margin, and highlighted the different points with gelatos. The "merciful love" and "Remember" ephemera is from the Illustrated Faith kit I purchased.
I created this page after reading a devotional from the television series "The Chosen". Once again, I used my "Unyielding Hope" ephemera from Illustrated Faith. These are good examples of how you can use the ephemera provided in your Bible Journaling for other purposes other than just with their devotional.
On this page, I illustrated a point the author of "The Chosen" devotional made, that this was the SECOND time Jesus needed to feed a crowd of people. Even though the disciples saw how Jesus was able to do that the first time, they questioned it the second time. They forgot God's faithfulness that quickly. "Jesus hoped they would regard his past FAITHFULNESS as a promise to meet their present need" the author said. I thought that was a good point, so I hand wrote it on my page, along with some personal notes to myself.
Well, now that I've used my Illustrated Faith Bible Journaling Kit for a month I wanted to give you some thoughts I've had about it.
1) The kits are very expensive. They are over $30 after Shipping and Handling. I only paid $40 for my whole Bible, so it's not like I can order a new kit every month. They do however have lots of sales, and I actually was able to purchase an older kit for $10, so I'm gonna watch out for sales!
2) Most of the ephemera is very large and doesn't even fit into the margins of my Bible. The ephemera is mostly used by women who like to journal in a separate journaling notebook. However, you are provided with the Digital version when you buy the kit, so I just shrank the images down in size, and printed them so they would fit in my Bible. Unfortunately, the printed versions are never as bright or as bold as the ones in the kit.
3) The devotional was too short! If they only come out with one kit a month, then the devotional should last at least a month, or have a month's worth of entries. I did "glance" at the $10 kit I ordered, and that devotional seemed much longer, so maybe it depends on the kit.
4)All your pages look the same style when you use a kit, until you change kits at least. There isn't much diversity.
5) You can be guided what the devotional writer is saying, rather than what the Holy Spirit may be saying to you. Or, whatever the devotional writer was dealing with at the moment she was putting the devotional together, you can't even relate to at this moment in your life.
6) They give way too much ephemera in their kits and I will never be able to use it all. It seems like a lot of waste. I wonder if they should put less quantity in their kits and charge less?
7) Many of their kits are "cutesy" like circus images, kiddie stuff, or non-biblical images like typewriters or airplanes. I just would never use images like that in my Bible. I wish they had more Biblical images, but when I said that on a Bible Journaling blog someone replied "Those are once and done images", so they must not be very popular for that reason.
So, in summary, will I use a kit again? Probably, but not all the time. Honestly, I think my favorite way of Bible Journaling is to create a page based on whatever I gleaned from the passage and if I can't draw the image myself, I google a free Sunday school coloring page on the Internet, and print it out on sticker paper and color it in. I will have an example of that next month.
Have a Great Day! Amy
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