Posted in resources, Reviews, Uncategorized

Review: CSB Women’s Study Bible

Today I have the honor of reviewing the CSB Women’s Study Bible on the blog. Can I just get real with you? I’m just over the moon on cloud nine to be able to bring you this review. Bibles have to be one of my favorite things. I don’t like to admit it but I’m pretty addicted to new Bibles. I always love stalking the Bible section at Lifeway everytime I go in so when I was given this opportunity I jumped at the chance.

Please note that this is not sponsored in any way. This review is my honest opinion. I would never recommend or review anything that I didn’t personally read or try out. I received this Bible free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review of it.

This Bible comes in three different cover options. It comes in hardcover, softcover teal with flowers, and a soft cover brown version. The Bible itself is a CSB translation which stands for Christian Standard Bible.

I have been using this translation for about a year now and absolutely love it. Growing up I used NKJV as well as NLT. I find that for me the CSB is easy to understand while keeping close to the original translation.

The layout of the Bible is beautiful! There are so many different features throughout to help you navigate through and study God’s Word. My only complaint is that I wish the page that explained the different sections was at the front of the Bible instead of at the back even though it tells you in the table of contents that it was.

When you open the Bible you have the title page of who the Bible is presented too. Next, there is a page for the wife and husband’s family tree, marriage contract (The Ketubah), family milestone page, as well as a page for spiritual mothers. I think the spiritual mother’s page is my favorite.

After the table of contents, you have an introduction to the study Bible for women and how to study the Bible written by Dorthy Kelly Patterson. The Christian Life article written by Rhonda Harrington Kelly is next. Then there is a section that talks about the CSB Bible itself followed by charts of transliteration, table of weights and measures, and abbreviations used in this Bible.

Each book of the Bible starts out with an introduction. Included is a key verse, timeline, content outline and answers what the book is about, good reasons for women to read it as well as provide guidance for studying it effectively.

Throughout the whole Bible, there are study notes that will highlight important truths and insights. I also love that they include different sections like biblical womanhood, hard questions, word study, doctrine, and character profiles.

Each book of the Bible closes out with a section called written on my heart. It is basically a devotional, word of application, celebration, or encouragement that you can remember truths from that book and allow the Holy Spirit to write them on your heart.

Last but not least there is the index of features listed out with page numbers. It tells you what is in each section of biblical womanhood, charts, doctrine, hard questions and maps and reconstructions.

Of course, there are acknowledgments, citations, contributors, the concordance featuring all the women of the Bible and maps.

As I have reviewed this Bible I would highly recommend it to my friends.

It would make a great gift for any woman who wants to dig deeper in the Word while navigating through this crazy thing we call life. It could be very useful or helpful for those in ministry, writers, bloggers, or who have a heart to mentor others. Whether you are a long time Bible reader or just beginning I would say this would be a perfect Bible to add to your collection.

Grab a copy of it today for yourself or for a friend over at Lifeway.com I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Posted in Bible Study, Life, Prayer

My Jesus Time

If there is one thing that you have learned about me you know how much I love studying the Bible and spending time with Jesus. There’s nothing better then starting this new year off by making a commitment to spend time reading my Bible, studying Scripture, and opening time in prayer daily then now.

Today I would like to take some time to share with you what I call My Jesus Time. I’m going to be talking about what my daily quiet time looks like and hopefully some prompts to help you get started as well.

I would like to place this disclaimer that there is no right or wrong way. What I share with you is just what seems to work for me. It has taken me time to figure out what works and what doesn’t work for me. What works for me might not work for you. Figure out what works best and then stick to it.

My Jesus Time is usually in the evenings before bed. I have a chronic health issue that makes it hard for me to get up early in the mornings so I find doing my devotions at night works best for me. This doesn’t mean I don’t do something in the mornings, it just means that I do my in depth studying usually at night. In the mornings I do have a prayer time and read the verse of the day on You Version app as well as I’m reading the Bible through in a year chronologically using the She Works His Way 2018 reading plan.

The following is how I usually have my in depth quiet time in the evenings.


1. PRAY – Prayer is a very important part of my daily quiet time. I can’t stress this enough. Without prayer my life would be a complete mess. It’s one of the first things I do in my day. Usually I like to write out my prayers in a notebook or journal. However I realize that writing them out isn’t for everyone. It’s just something that helps me to focus on God and I love being able to go back later and read all my prayers.

Some prompts that might help you get started if you don’t know where to begin with your prayers.

  • Thank God for what you are thankful for
  • Ask Him to forgive you of anything you might need to confess
  • Pray on behalf of others requests
  • Ask Jesus to come meet you in your time in the Word
  • Ask Him to open your heart and eyes to what He wants to teach you
  • Pray for your day

After I spend some time in prayer I usually put on some worship music before digging into my Bible Study or devotional that I am going through at the time.


2. WORSHIP MUSIC – One thing that I love is listening to worship music while I am studying. Being in complete silence while I am reading the Bible or devotional is something I don’t like. In my experience I have found that I focus better with music on in the background.

My playlist consists of slower songs like…

  • Oceans
  • I Need You More
  • Revelation Song
  • Jesus, At the Center of It All
  • What a Beautiful Name
  • Overwhelm Me, etc.

I’ll be writing another article on worship music and playlists options because music is such a big part of my life and I believe that God speaks through music. We all can relate to that one song that was playing on the radio just at the right moment. At least I know I can.


3. JOURNALING MY DEVOTIONS – The next thing that I do after praying and turning my worship music on is dig right into my Bible Study. I like to follow a scripture writing plan. Don’t know where to start? Be sure to check out my scripture writing plan. You can go download it for free here. (Scripture Writing Plan). If you are anything like me then you will understand my love for journaling and writing down what God is teaching me. You can use any journal or notebook you have lying around.

Here are a few question prompts to get you started:

  • What does this passage tell me about God?
  • How can I apply this to my daily life?
  • What is this passage telling me about myself?
  • Is there something I can use to share Jesus and God with others?

I love using my Tending your Faith Journal. The idea behind the journal came to be when I was struggling to understand how to apply God’s Word to my life. It is split up into 2 pages per day. There is a section for gratitude, writing out scripture, how to apply it to our lives, prayer, and something you wan tot remember throughout the day. If you want to check it out you can find it here. (Tending Your Faith Journals)


4. BIBLE STUDY HIGHLIGHTING – When it comes to highlighting Scripture again I believe that there is no right or wrong way. If I am completely honest with you I never use to color code when I highlighted. It was just easier to pick up a highlighter and color the verse any which way. It wasn’t until recently that I found color coding to be helpful to me. The method I use to color code isn’t my own. My friend Amy Hale came up with this method and I just loved it so much that I adopted it into my own routine. You can change up the colors for each categories to make it your own. I changed up the colors a little bit to suit my style and taste. I changed the categories a little bit to make it easier for myself and the way I like to study Scriptures. Just remember that I don’t use all the categories all the time just when it fits the Scriptures I am reading for the day. 

  • GREEN – Anything about God, His character, names, or anything about Him.
  • PINK – Commands that I want to obey or can apply to my life. 
  • BLUE – Conjunctions/Interjections: and, but, therefore, introductions to thoughts,
  • ORANGE – Anything that are statements about a group of people or the church. 
  • PURPLE – Things and verses that would make good prayers for myself or people 
  • YELLOW – Anything else that doesn’t fit in any of the categories above

If this seems overwhelming to you with all these different categories then I encourage you to narrow it down to just these three, GOD, COMMANDS, and PRAYER. There will be another post on highlighting at some point. I will say though that once you get in the habit of highlighting and finding what works for you it will start to come natural. There will be times when I forget which color is which. Never fear because even if you make a mistake that’s okay. Your Bible isn’t suppose to be perfect. It’s suppose to be messy as you lean into all the truths it has for you.

One more tip is if a verse has more then two or three categories within it may be overwhelming to change colors or even frustrate you. Just take a deep breath. Remember to highlight the important parts of the verse. If highlighting the connecting words are too much then leave that category out all together. Just highlight anything about God and anything you should apply to your life and leave the rest plain.


So that my friend is pretty much what My Jesus Time looks like. Sometimes I do like doing a little journaling art drawing or lettering verses on separate paper or journals and then of course end with prayer again. I hope this gives you inspiration to dig into the Word and figure out your own person Jesus Time. I promise you that once you get in the habit of being in the Bible everyday it will change your life. It has changed mine. If it wasn’t for my quiet time and meeting with Jesus everyday my life would be a complete mess.

I’d love to hear about how meeting with Jesus makes your life better. Feel free to comment, send me a message on social media or sending me an email. I always love hearing from my readers and interacting with you. Let’s encourage one another this year as we make it a habit to be consistent in the Word each day.

Blessings, Grace Mae ❤

Posted in Bible Study, Uncategorized

4 Tips on Bible Study During Busy Seasons

If you are anything like me being busy on a regular basis can be overwhelming and stressful at times. I know for a fact that I struggle from time to time with finding time to get in the Word and have Bible study or quiet time. It’s extra hard this time of the year since there are all the parties, outreach, and Christmas festivities on top of our daily work, school and life schedules. It’s hard to find that extra time to dig into the Word.

Never fear, I am here to the recuse.

Today I am going to be talking about 4 practical easy ways to stay in the Word during the busy holiday season.

1. You Version App – Yes, I am going to be talking about an app. After all we are in 2017 with all this modern technology. One thing that everyone takes with them and spends time on is their phones. C’mon admit it with me. We spend more time on our phones then we do interacting with people. I know I do but one thing I love is my You Version app. It helps me The simplicity and user friendly options really help me to take the time to spend a few minutes in the Word.

2. Pray- Yes you should be praying all the time but this is one thing that I have found I can do even during the craziness of the holidays with being gone. Just spend time talking to God. You can do this while you are in the car driving (please remember not to close your eyes while driving) This is always a great way to listen too. Pray to God but stop and be quiet and listen to what He is speaking to you.

3. Music- Music is a big part of my life and anyone that knows me will tell you that I know a song for every situation that might come up. If you find that you are always on the go or move this is a great option. You can listen to worship music in the car or on your phone. I love the Spotify app. It’s really my most used app. I love that I can stream music while working around the house, driving in the car, waiting in lines etc.. Give it a try I promise you that it will help you keep your focus on Jesus during this holiday season.

4. Tending your Faith journal- yes I know that it’s a promotion but in all seriousness I designed it with the craziness of life in mind. It’s an easy way to spend 10 minutes at the least in the Word. There’s a place to write scripture, journal what God is speaking to you, write out a prayer, and what you are thankful for. Even in the busiest times we can all spare 10 minutes to spend it with Jesus.

I pray these 4 tips are helpful to you this holiday season. If you try one or more of these out I’d love to hear about it or if there is something you do that I didn’t mention please share. We all love hearing what works for others.

Blessings and Shalom,

Grace Mae ❤

Posted in Bible Study, Tending your Faith Journals, Uncategorized

Tending Your Faith Journals

IT’S HERE!!!! COVER

I’m excited to announce that I am ready to accept preorders for the Tending your Faith Journal Christmas edition!

This journal is designed to have enough pages in it for one month. Plus there are other pages which include prayer, scripture, and notes page as well as a New Years Goal page exclusively in this journal. 

These journals have been a project that God laid on my heart two years ago. I have been working hard and praying hard as I created this and I am beyond excited to be able to finally share it with you all.

Everyone that preorders from now until Thanksgiving will get an exclusive personalized hand letter bookmark with your name on it.

Christmas journals are $18

The 3 month journals are coming soon with 4 different

covers to choose from. If you want to preorder both you are more then welcome to.

I’m calling it the Christmas bundle.

Christmas Bundle (1 Christmas and 1 of the 3 month journals) $42

To place your preorder comment with your email address and I will send you a PayPal invoice. Also there will be a shipping charge of $5. If you are local to me we can arrange local pickup.

Blessings and I can’t wait for you to get these journals in your hands. ETA for shipping is the day after Thanksgiving for the Christmas ones and the 3 Month ones will begin shipping in December.

 

Posted in Bible Study, Prayer, Uncategorized

Seek a Prayer Life: 4 Prayer Journal Ideas

Prayer is an important part of your spiritual walk with God.

Just like you talk to your friends to build a relationship and know more about them you need to do the same with God. Sometimes you may think it’s hard to pray or you don’t know what to pray for. Let me tell you that you can talk to God about anything at any time.

Some people think that prayer is only for when you have a decision to make or something major happening in your life. I used to think like that too. Over time I have come to realize the truth is you need to pray all the time. Even if nothing major is happening. You need to have that connection with God. Prayer changes you. It sure has changed me.

I remember when the movie War Room came out. I went to watch it let me just tell you that it changed my perspective on prayer. Prayer is a powerful weapon! It’s meant to be used for so many different things. God is listening to you. Even if you can’t find the words to say He knows your heart. He wants you to talk with Him on a daily basis.

One of my favorite Scripture Verse is:

“Because He bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath.” Psalm 116:2

I love this verse in Psalms because I want it to be my prayer. God always bends down to listen to us. He is never too busy and never gets bored. My response should be to pray and talk with Him as long as I am breathing and have breath in my lungs.

Another verse I love is:

“Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.” Philippians 4:6

Both of these verses have a great message. The second verse really hit me hard one day. It’s a long story so I’ll save it for another post but to sum it up I’d just say that I’m still learning. Praying about everything instead of worrying is learning curve and takes time. I’m still trying to get the hang of it. I’m so thankful that I can tell God everything. Some thing that I have been doing lately is using a prayer journal. I encourage you as well to start one. Write down your prayer requests. Write down what’s on your heart.

Not sure how to get started? Here are a few ideas of what I do in my prayer journal. Remember there is no right or wrong way to use a prayer journal. Be creative and make it your own.

 
1. Write a master list.

Write down the names of all the people you want to pray for. I am still adding to my list as I meet new people. You could write down the names of every single person you knew if you wanted to. 😀

2. Write down specific prayers for certain people.

For example, mother, father, sister, brother, grandma, grandpa, spouse, etc. I sometimes even write out prayers for someone who is on my heart because Jesus prompted me to pray for them. I find writing out a prayer while I am praying helps me to focus on them. 😉

3. Keep a place to write down the prayer requests that others ask you to pray for.

Most of my friends know that I am prayer warrior. They ask me all the time to pray for specific needs. I like to write them down so I can remember to pray for them. This probably is one of my favorite ways to pray. I love the idea of interceding in prayer on behalf of others. I consider it a privilege and honor. ❤

4. Write down your own prayers. What is on your heart. What you are feeling.

This is kinda like journaling and writing a letter all at the same time. Consider it your letter to God. I tend to write what is on my heart. Sometimes I find writing is easier than speaking for me. This way I can get all my feelings out of what in on my heart that I need to take to my Father who loves me. Just be honest and real and let your heart speak and pour out. 🙂

I hope this post encourages you to seek a prayer life. I promise you that it will help you in your walk with Christ. It has really changed me and I hope it will change you too.

As I end this post I just want you to know that I pray for each and every one that reads my blog. I pray that God will use me and my posts to encourage you. I pray that He will help you get through whatever you may be facing. He is the only one that will ever love you unconditionally.

If you have a prayer request that you would like me to pray for don’t hesitate to send me a message or leave a comment. I consider it a honor and privilege to be able to pray for you.

Blessings,

Grace Mae ❤