I get asked pretty often what bible I use, and about my routines in the morning. I think you pretty well know those by now, most people who read this, but I thought I'd touch on that, and what I use each morning for my quiet time.
I'll start with my bible.
This is the inside, and where I was reading this morning. It's an HCSB Study Bible. I love it for a million reasons, but the main reason I love it is because every single time God is referred to as He, or Him, or His, those pronouns are capitalized. That is extremely helpful when you're reading and trying to figure out who is being talked about.
I also love it because often times God is referred to as Yahweh. In the New Testament, instead of a verse maybe saying something about Christ, it will say Messiah. I love that!
I love it because there are pictures and maps and vocabulary boxes on a lot of the pages that tell you what the original word was (it's Hebrew, Aramaic in part of Daniel, or Greek) and it's meaning in the original language.
It's really big and heavy, which I also happen to love, and it lays perfectly flat. There are little tabs on it to help me find those minor prophet books (Joel, Hosea, Amos, etc.), and the pages feel good in my fingers and turn easily.
Know that this is a book nerd describing to you why she loves her bible so much.
I like to keep one bible to use for everything. Meaning, I use this for my quiet time everyday, and I take it to church with me every Sunday. I go through bibles pretty often, every two or three years, because I read them, mark them up, personalize them for my family members, and will someday pass them along to them. The more I read, the more I understand, and the more I understand, the more I crave, therefore, this means that my bible is all marked up.
Also, just for fun, I recently read where CSB is the bible that is the closest to the original languages. Now, I'll tell you when and how I felt dumb. We were discussing this at community groups the other night, with our senior girls, and one of the girls brought up a picture that her mom had sent her about how closely each type bible is to the original language, and how readable it is.
I felt dumb, because I said to them, "Oh, I've never heard of that one." The next week at bible study, my friend Renee brought in her new bible, that is CSB. And Missy and I looked at each other with eyes as wide as a deer's that is caught in headlights when she said, "CSB is the same bible you've got, but the H is being taken out." DUH. I've heard for years that NASB was the closest translated, with ESV following close behind it, but according to this, that's no longer true. And now, I want a bible just like my friend Renee's. It's the new She Reads Truth bible, but they don't capitalize the pronouns that refer to God. I have a problem. I know.
Moving on to the rest of this blog post now.
I'll share about the journal next. Isn't mine cute?! Sidenote: Hobby Lobby has wonderful products for sell by Dayspring, and among them are cards for all occasions and journals like this one above. Who would've guessed? I will never buy another card from any other place.
I use my journal for EVERYTHING. In quiet time, I keep track of where I'm reading. I write down all my scripture writings in this. I keep my daily list of five things I'm thankful for inside. I keep to-do lists, thoughts, blog ideas, books I want to read, scriptures I want to memorize, every single little thing, I use this one journal for. Oh! And for sermon notes on Sunday, too. Or podcast notes. Needless to say, I go through journals pretty quickly. I could talk for days about how to do this, but mostly, I just write what I'm thinking. If I have something I'm worried about, I write it down and turn it into a prayer to the Lord.
I cannot stress how great this is to do. It clears my mind, the writing out of everything, and it is so faith building to look back on. I keep prayer lists and needs in here and I write down all my answered prayers.
I'm a visual kinda gal, so I love a cute jar with my favorite pens. (Candle, optional.) I use these Papermate Flair felt tip pens all the time. I love them! My black one disappeared, though, so I'm sad about that. I use them in my bible instead of highlighters, because highlighters bleed so bad through the tissue thin pages of my bible. These do bleed through a little bit, but I'd prefer this to highlighters.
I love these little pens. I used to purchase the expensive Stabilo pens from Amazon (Hobby Lobby has them, too!), but there's no need anymore. These are cheaper, and they don't dry out as quickly as the Stabilo brand.
I like to light a candle for my quiet time. Like I said, I am a visual kind of person, so I like things that make my surroundings appealing to the eye. Also, candles make my environment more cozy. And remember that whole book I read on that topic last week? Well. Go back and read the review I did.
I bought these Sharpie marker pens last weekend and love them, too. I needed a good black pen to replace the Papermate Flair one I lost. These do not bleed at all! But the package must say that, or they will.
Also, notice my bluetooth speaker. I love to have music on some mornings. Not every morning, but sometimes when I can't focus well, soft music actually helps my brain to slow down and concentrate. We have a family Spotify account, and I have several artists and albums in my library on the app. If this is appealing to you, here are some artists or albums that I have repeat.
I'm Living Proof by Travis Cottrell.
These Christmas Lights by Matt Redman.
Anything else available by those two artists.
I also love Elevation Worship, Hillsong, Chris Tomlin, Passion worship, and Casting Crowns.
My top three favorites are Travis Cottrell, Matt Redman, and Chris Tomlin. Much of their lyrics come straight out of scripture. I love good, worshipful music. To me, we should be singing to God about God, not about us or how He makes us feel.
That's what I use every single day.
To begin each day, I spend time in prayer, then I read the bible (having asked God to teach me something new that day), I write out scripture, I write down five things I'm grateful for, and later in the day, I do my bible study homework.
I pray this inspires someone to start a consistent quiet time. I also post to Instagram for that reason...to inspire someone to get into the word of God. People have done that for me, and I like to pass the favor along. I have so many people who always inspire me in their walk with God, so if you'd like some recommendations on who to follow for that, comment, and I'll share some.
Have a great day! Love to all.