by Jana Kennedy-Spicer on February 27th, 2017

The LORD your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.
Zephaniah 3:17

​This week we finish up our month long look at Living a #JoyFilledLife so I want to share one of the study sections from the Soul Inspired Bible Study / Journaling Kit.  This post is meant to be interactive, so grab your notebook or download and print these free journal pages.
 
Download Soul Inspired #JoyFilledLife Bible Study Sample

In his letter to the nation of Judah, the prophet Zephaniah gives the people a strong warning about the coming judgement of God on the day of the Lord. He tells them there is hope for them if they repent and return to God because God wants to extend blessing and grace to all people and nations.

Our scripture reveals a beautiful image of our Heavenly Father’s response when his children return to him.

Looking at each section of this verse, consider how realizing God’s joy over you, can stir you to live a joy filled life.

1. He will be with us
We often say that one “asks Jesus into their heart” as a descriptor of the moment we repent and accept God’s forgiveness. But this is also spiritually true as the Holy Spirit is given to indwell and provide guidance.

2. He will save us
Christ is our champion who delivers our salvation, giving us ultimate victory over sin.
 
3. He will rejoice over us
“.. As the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.” Isaiah 62:5 ESV
 
4. He will calm us
God’s love will be so strong and deep as to hush motion or speech, his love is too great for words to express.
 
5. He will sing over us
God delights to show his love and great affection toward his church.
 
 
 
Does that not just grab you that God actually sings over us? That he is so full of joy when we return to him that it can not be contained and the heavens erupt with his excitement?!
For our part, we seek him and follow him. We trust in him and rejoice in him. And God personally delights over each and every one of us.

And not some emotionless contentment, but a delight which burst forth in joyful divine celebration.

How can knowing this NOT in turn, elicit the same type of joyful celebration?
 
Oh Lord, fan the flames of joy in our hearts to praise you with such shouts of joy that the heavens hear and rejoice with us! In Jesus name, amen.
 
· What is a worship song which ignites your heart with joy?


​Blessings Soul Friends,

 

Soul Inspired Bible Journaling
 

I love sunflowers! The bright yellow petals just shine and make me smile. When I'm drawing a scripture in my Journaling Bible I love adding flowers and images that warm my heart.

​As with most of my pages, this design was hand drawn in pencil then inked over using black  Prismacolor Premier Fine line Markers. Then colored with Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils.
 

​Today's blog post is an excerpt from our Soul Inspired Bible Study - Joy Filled Life.
​For more info - click here.

by Jana Kennedy-Spicer on December 9th, 2016

When it comes to Bible Journaling, one of the questions I get asked the most is "what kind of journaling Bible do you use?"

​Well, I actually have several different Journaling Bibles as well as sketch books and journals which I use to worship creatively. And recently I was sent the NJKV Journal the Word Bible - Large Print, to use and review, and give-a-way. So today, I'd like to share with you my impression of this particular Journaling Bible.

​First, the translation of this Journal The Word Bible is NKJV, or New King James Version. To quote Wikipedia, "​The aim of its translators was to update the vocabulary and grammar of the King James Version, while preserving the classic style and literary beauty of the original 1611 KJV." All that being said, I find the NKJV translation very easy to read and understand.

​Next, and another attribute that I like is the single-column format. This is different from the other journaling Bibles I use, and I found that I liked it quite nicely.

​But one of this Bible's format's that I really love is that it is Large Print.  Most journaling Bibles have a small print to allow for the blank margins on the page which creates the space for journaling, note taking and doodling. But Thomas Nelson has beautifully combined Large Print and generous journaling space in this Journal The Word Bible.
 

​The trade off with having Large Print and journaling space is that this Bible includes 2,000 pages to journal, draw, doodle, study and worship through creativity. Yes, 2,000 pages. This is a lot more journaling space than another brand of journaling Bible I have which has the same page dimensions but smaller print, and thus 600 less pages.

​And then there's the cover. The version I received is black hardcover, and I love it! You might be wondering, does the cover make a difference? Well, I think so. Many are soft and flexible, like my everyday Bible, and several Journaling Bible have beautiful printed covers, but this black hardcover is another blank space for me to be creative and custom letter to truly personalize my journaling Bible.
 

Give-a-way

Now for the fun part. I would love for you to have one of these wonderful Journal The Word Bibles. And a set of Soul Inspired Bible Journaling Templates / Color Your Own Book Marks too. 

​One lucky winner will receive a FREE Journal The Word Bible + Journaling Templates.

​Another winner will receive the set of Soul Inspired Bible Journaling Templates.

And a 3rd winner will receive  both Soul Inspired Christmas Template and Ornaments Kits.

​I would love to hear about your favorite Journaling Bible and supplies. Thanks for stopping by today!

Blessings Soul Friends
​Disclaimer: A free copy of the NKJV Journal the Word Bible was provided in exchange for an honest review of the product.
Affiliate links are included in this blog post. 

 
As a special THANK YOU, I'd like to give you this coupon for 25% your total purchase from Sweet To The Soul Shoppe, now through December 31, 2016.

​Visit our shoppe to see our full line of scripture prints, Bible Journaling templates/ color your own bookmarks, Soul Deep Scripture Journals and more!

​Coupon is good on any purchase including our just released Coloring Book - Garden of Life.

by Rachel Britton on November 30th, 2016

​Have you ever made big, impossible requests of God?
 
Recently, I set up a fundraiser called Lost Girls: Silent and Suffering with the aim to raise ten thousand dollars. The money would be sent to rescue women and children from the atrocities of war and devastating humanitarian situation in South Sudan.
 
I asked God for His help.
 
The money flowed in quickly. In less than a week, we met our goal.
 
Then followed the monumental task of ensuring the money got to those for whom it was intended. Corruption is rife in South Sudan. Carrying cash is risky.
 
The task seemed impossible.
 
I pleaded with God.
 
Protect the person traveling to South Sudan who will purchase the plane tickets in the worn-torn capital, Juba. Put a hedge of protection around him. Provide an army of angels to keep him safe. Provide safe passage to the airport for the two women and ten children, who are so vulnerable when out on the streets. Allow them to get to refugee camps in either Uganda or Kenya.
 
God answered my very big requests.
 
Two weeks later, twenty-one people boarded planes to Uganda and Kenya. The husband and father whose job it had been to go to South Sudan and make it happen had returned home safely to his family in America.
 
God had answered abundantly, above and beyond my requests.
 
In scripture, ten lepers had big appeals, too. They called out for Jesus to have mercy on them. They didn’t ask for healing, just mercy.
 
Jesus instructed them to go and see the priest. On the way, their ravaged skin became clean and clear. The disease disappeared.
 
Jesus had healed them.
 
Yet, only one of the lepers turned back to thank Jesus. This man was a Samaritan—an outsider. He should have been the last one to acknowledge Jesus had authority from God to heal. Instead, he was not only the first; he was the only one.
 
 
 


by Ellen Chauvin on November 29th, 2016

[todays image can also be used as a phone lock screen, so download and
share with a friend to let them know you are thankful for them.]

 
We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. 
2 Thessalonians 1:3 ESV

 

Wisps of soft white cotton rolled across the road, blown by the fall breeze. The bank of scruffy weeds along the shoulder acted as a barricade, stockpiling the stray bolls. From a distance, it looked like a small snow drift. Cotton harvest had just ended in central Louisiana, leaving soft, fluffy reminders blown along the roadway.

I certainly never realized seeing cotton bolls strewn along the highway would bring back so many memories. Mama used to tell us stories of the cotton fields and how she worked them as a young girl. My mama was the daughter of a sharecropper in Mississippi. One of her chores was to help pick the cotton bolls during harvest. We joked about her being a cotton-pickin’ cotton picker! But it was hard, hard work, something Mama said she would never do again, if she could help it.

Mama’s daddy had an old mule he would use to help plow up the fields for planting. So many times that old mule would just STOP in the middle of a row. No more plowing. He wouldn’t budge an inch. I suppose he was tired, and decided he would just wait out in the field for someone to unhitch him and take him home to the barn.


In today’s scripture, Paul was addressing the believers in Thessalonica. They were suffering persecution, and wrongly assumed God’s judgement had begun. The result of this incorrect teaching was that many of the believer’s stopped working, and decided to just sit and wait for Christ’s return. Stubborn as a mule, you might say…

Haven’t we all been at this point from time to time? So discouraged and tired we just want to quit? Too overwhelmed to move forward? But then a breath of fresh air will blow in.

Unexpectedly, a friend will thank us or give a kind word of encouragement.

Paul had planted and established this church. He’s thrilled with their spiritual growth, but knew they needed a dose of encouragement. Like a proud parent, he loves on them, inspiring them to action.

I’m so very proud of you! And I’m thankful for you. Your faith is flourishing and growing in leaps and bounds, and you have such a sincere love for one another. I see your love increasing each and every day! What an example you are to other churches. I tell them about you all the time! 


Don’t we all need a little morale-boosting from time to time? Isn’t it uplifting when others come along side us, see our struggles and give us a much needed pat on the back?

 


by JoDitt Williams on November 29th, 2016

And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name. 
1 Chronicles 29:13
 

There have been a few times in my life when I was blind-sided by circumstances beyond my control that threatened to destroy my happiness. At those times, the last thing I wanted to do was to be thankful.
 
One of those times was when my son and daughter were pre-teens. We lived on and managed the farm/ranch where my husband had lived all his life. We all loved that land and loved getting to ride horses, raise cattle, and enjoy all the pleasures of living in the country.  That is the only life my husband ever dreamed of and planned for. But my husband’s parents experienced extreme financial trouble because of situations beyond their control. They were forced to sell the land before it was foreclosed upon. The new owner decided he wanted us to stay on and continue to manage the farm/ranch. We did that for a couple of grueling years. The owner was the kind of man whom it is impossible to please. Nothing my husband did was ever good enough, even though the land made more profit those years than it ever had before. Then one day the owner showed up out of the blue and told us that he had sold the land, and the new owners did not need us to manage it. We had no idea what we were going to do or where we were going to go.
 
God taught me a few things about being thankful during those difficult times. The first was this…
 
When you are feeling like you have nothing to be thankful for, instead of looking at your circumstances to find things to be thankful for, look at God and begin to thank Him for who He is, because He never changes.
 
Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. – Hebrews 13:8 NKJV
 
This is exactly what David did in the verses just previous to the one quoted at the beginning of this post.
 






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