Kids Reading: 100 Bible Stories for Children

The summer may have slipped away from me before I could share more kids books, but I’m excited to get back into blogging with the next book I recommend for kids: 100 Bible Stories for Children. Both my 4 year old and 1 year old love to read a story from this book at bedtime, and they were thrilled to help me get some pictures of them with the book. It reminds me of a book my parents would have read to me as a child; the illustrations are timeless and the stories are taken directly from scripture with similar phrasing and they don’t shy away from difficult subjects.

This book is compiled by Tyndale publishers and includes 100 of the most well-known stories from both the Old and New Testament. Some of the stories include creation, Noah’s ark, Joseph and his brothers, the Ten Commandments, Naomi and Ruth, Daniel in the lions den, the birth of Jesus, the Beatitudes, the crucifixion and resurrection, Paul’s ministry, and heaven. They are arranged in the order you would find them in the Bible.

One of the things I like the most about this book is that it’s written for children in a way that doesn’t water down the Bible for them. Some other Bible story books we have seem to almost make scripture “too easy” for kids, and it loses some of the seriousness of the message. Obviously I believe you should teach scripture to your children in an age appropriate way, but I appreciate that this book introduces kids at a young age to a broad scope of the Bible and its often difficult topics, like sin, Cain and Abel, and the death of Jesus.

Each story is arranged as its own chapter, with at least one illustration and the direct scripture reference listed at the beginning of the story. The book has a ribbon bookmark to make it easy to find your place each time as you read it together with your child. The stories are short enough to read one or two at a time before bed.

I am so grateful for Tyndale sending me this book to review with my family. I can definitely see it becoming a regular part of our family reading. I would consider 100 Bible Stories for Children a great resource for parents to help teach the Bible to their children in a way that is both fun and educational.

To order your own 100 Bible Stories for Children on Amazon, click here.

Please note this post contains affiliate links. This means I receive a small commission when you purchase through the link at no additional cost to you. Tyndale Publishers sent me a copy of this book to review. I was not required to give a positive review. All opinions and pictures contained in this post are my own.

Advertisements

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas: In Bloom Book

My third recommendation in this blog series for Mother’s Day Gift Ideas is the amazing book In Bloom: Trading Restless Insecurity for Abiding Confidence by Kayla Aimee. I had the privilege of being on the launch team for this book back in February when it was released, and even though my review is a little late (better late than never, right?) I knew I just had to share this book for Mother’s Day. I seriously think every woman can benefit from reading this book! This post today is written more towards women, so I think this is a great gift to give to your fellow mom friends, soon-to-be moms, women who hope to be a mother someday, or even a gift-to-self this Mother’s Day.

To order In Bloom by Kayla Aimee on Amazon, click here.

In Bloom is part memoir of Kayla growing up in the 90s, part stories about navigating how to raise her daughter to be a confident woman of God, and part call to action to put aside insecurity once and for all to finally bloom into the confident woman God created you to be. This book not only was touching and witty, but it put into words many things I have felt myself, especially having grown up in the church in the 90s in a culture that viewed “biblical femininity” one way that I didn’t exactly feel like fit into.

To explain why this book spoke to me so much, I must explain a little bit about my background. My mom raised me to be a strong, outspoken/opinionated, independent woman, which seemed to be at odds with some of the teachings and cultures I was surrounded by in church while coming of age. I’ve had a lot of time in my adulthood to explore for myself what the Bible says and what it means to be a woman of God, and as I have shed some of the self-imposed misconceptions of my youth, I have seen God do a greater work in me than I would have planned for myself. If someone had told me 10 years ago that I’d be sharing my personal journaling publicly for everyone to see and read, I would have probably locked myself in my room and never come out (hello, introvert here). I am so grateful to now have a book like In Bloom to recommend to women who have felt insecure and need some encouragement for how to bloom into confidence, and hopefully do it a lot earlier in life than I did.

If you have ever felt out of place or that God got it wrong when he made you, then run to go read this book! Kayla writes: “When we imagine ourselves before and after, we think of the end of one thing and the beginning of another. But that’s where I think we get discouraged because we assume change means becoming someone completely different. Maybe we’re looking at change all wrong. It seems to me that if we are fearfully and wonderfully made in the beginning, then our renewing isn’t meant to keep changing us from one old thing to another totally new thing, over and over again. It’s meant to liberate us of our shame, enhancing our gifts and adorning us in grace” (page 142). Kayla’s writing in this book is so relatable and accessible, and I was flipping through chapter after chapter, not able to put it down. I think one of the biggest messages of this book other than confidence is that you don’t have to live in shame. What a liberating truth that God does not want us to live in our shame, but instead he wants us to be liberated through Christ to use our gifts and bear fruit!

This book is more than just a story. It’s a guide to help identify your sources of inadequacy and insecurity that have bombarded you throughout your life, and replace them with affirming truths from God’s word that you are accepted, loved, and filled with purpose. The text is saturated with biblical truth without being imposing and judgmental. Instead, In Bloom is a celebration of being a confident woman and embracing who God made you to be.

I enjoyed this book so much that I had to bring some of the lessons I learned into the margin of my Bible. I journaled this page in my Thrive Bible in Psalm 92:12-15 “But the godly will flourish like palm trees and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon. For they are transplanted to the Lord’s own house. They flourish in the courts of our God. Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green. They will declare, “The Lord is just! He is my rock! There is no evil in him!”

I highly recommend this book, and I think it’s a great resource for helping to instill a culture of acceptance, confidence, and flourishing in the next generation of young women, especially as mothers raising daughters. To order your own copy of In Bloom for yourself or as a gift on Amazon, click here.

I’m also having a giveaway over on Instagram @kountingsheepbiblejournaling for a copy of In Bloom, as well as other goodies. Head on over to my account to enter to win a copy of this book!

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. This means I receive a small commission when you purchase through my link at no additional cost to you. All pictures and opinions contained in this post are my own.

Anna’s Shawl [Free Crochet Pattern]

In January 2011, I created and published a pattern called “Anna’s Shawl.” I was still very inexperienced in my pattern writing, but it quickly became my most popular pattern to date. This pattern was originally created when I made a comfort shawl for a friend going through a hard time. I love the idea of prayer shawls, but I like to call them comfort shawls, because many times when words aren’t enough, a comforting gift is like a loving hug you can carry with you.

Last year I began a project to update all of my old patterns to reflect my improved skills as a designer, but I didn’t realize there was still an error in the pattern. So I decided to go ahead and completely rework the pattern myself using new yarn, Lion Brand Mandala, to fix some of the minor issues with the pattern. My heart for Anna’s Shawl remains the same: that it would be a way for you to either bring comfort to your own life as you work on it going through a hard time, or be a comforting gift to give to someone else.

I am pleased to share my newly revised Anna’s Shawl pattern! Because the original pattern was offered for free, it will continue to be available for free as a thank you to all of my wonderful followers and supporters! See below for a list of supplies (affiliate links) and the pattern. If you prefer to have a downloadable pdf file, you can purchase one for a low cost on Ravelry here or in my Etsy shop here.

Anna’s Shawl

2 skeins Lion Brand Mandala Yarn in Chimera (or color of choice)

Size J (5.75 mm) Boye ergonomic crochet hook (Boye hook set)

Yarn needle, tape measure, and scissors

Finished size: wingspan 60 inches, Center spine 31 inches long (info on how to make a gauge square here)

Level: advanced beginner/intermediate (if you are new to crochet, here’s a great book to get started: Learn to Crochet)

Gauge: 15 sc and 18 rows = 4″/10 cm

Abbreviations (US Terms)

  • ch – chain
  • dc – double crochet
  • RS – right side
  • sc – single crochet
  • sl st – slip stitch
  • sp, sps – space, spaces
  • st, sts – stitch, stitches
  • V-Stitch – (Dc, ch 1, dc) in same st/ch
  • V-Stitch Inc – (Dc, ch 1, dc, ch 1, dc) in same st/ch
  • WS – wrong side

Notes

If you are struggling with gauge, it would be better to go with a larger hook than a smaller one; gauge is not essential. Using the right size hook for your yarn and tension will keep the top edge of the shawl from curling downwards. If you find that it is curling downwards too much, you need to go up a hook size. Slight curling is okay and should flatten out during the edging portion and/or with a light steam blocking. Steam blocking is recommended due to the acrylic content of the yarn. For the Body, the sc count at the end of each row should always be an odd number. You can make the shawl longer/wider by continuing to repeat Rows 48-49 in the Lace Section.

Body

Row 1 (RS): Ch 6. 2 sc in 2nd chain from hook, ch 2, skip next ch, sc in next ch (center sc created), ch 2, skip next ch, 2 sc in last ch. Ch 1, turn. (5 sc & 2 ch-2 sps)

Row 2 (WS): 2 sc in first sc, sc in next sc, ch 2, skip next ch-2 sp, sc in center sc, ch 2, skip next ch-2 sp, sc in next sc, 2 sc in last sc. Ch 1, turn. (7 sc & 2 ch-2 sps)

Row 3 (RS): 2 sc in first sc, 1 sc in each sc across to last sc before first ch-2 sp, 2 sc in next sc, ch 2, skip ch-2 sp, sc in center sc, ch 2, skip next ch-2 sp, 2 sc in first sc, 1 sc in each sc across to last sc, 2 sc in last sc. Ch 1, turn. (11 sc & 2 ch-2 sps) Rows 4-5: Repeat Row 3. (19 sc & 2 ch-2 sps)

Row 6 (WS): 1 sc in each sc accross to first ch-2 sp, ch 2, skip ch-2 sp, sc in center sc, ch 2, skip next ch-2 sp, 1 sc in next sc and each sc across. Ch 1, turn. (19 sc & 2 ch-2 sps)

Row 7 (RS): 2 sc in first sc, 1 sc in each sc across to last sc before first ch-2 sp, 2 sc in next sc, ch 2, skip ch-2 sp, sc in center sc, ch 2, skip next ch-2 sp, 2 sc in first sc, 1 sc in each sc across to last sc, 2 sc in last sc. Ch 1, turn. (23 sc & 2 ch-2 sps) Row 8 (WS): 1 sc in each sc across to first ch-2 sp, ch 2, skip ch-2 sp, sc in center sc, ch 2, skip next ch-2 sp, 1 sc in next sc and each sc across. Ch 1, turn. (23 sc & 2 ch-2 sps)

Rows 9-46: Repeat Rows 7-8 until you have 99 sc, ending on a WS row. (99 sc & 2 ch-2 sps). Turn, do NOT fasten off. Continue to Lace Section.

Lace Section

Row 47 (RS): Ch 4 (counts as first dc & ch 1, here & throughout), (dc, ch 1, dc) in same first sc, *skip next sc, V-Stitch in next sc. Repeat from * across to last 2 sc before first ch-2 sp, skip next sc, V-Stitch Inc in next sc, ch 2, skip ch-2 sp, dc in center sc (center dc created), ch 2, skip next ch-2 sp, V-Stitch Inc in first sc, * skip next sc, V-Stitch in next sc. Repeat from * across to last 2 sc, skip next sc, V-Stitch Inc in last sc. Turn.

Row 48 (WS): Ch 4, dc in ch-1 sp of first V-Stitch, V-Stitch in each V-Stitch ch-1 sp across to first ch-2 sp, ch 2, skip ch-2 sp, dc in center dc, ch 2, skip next ch-2 sp, V- Stitch in each V-stitch ch-1 sp across. Turn

Row 49 (RS): Ch 4, (dc, ch 1, dc) in ch-1 sp of first V-Stitch, V-Stitch in each V- Stitch ch-1 sp across to last V-Stitch before first ch-2 sp, V-Stitch Inc in ch-1 sp of next V-Stitch, ch 2, skip ch-2 sp, dc in center dc, ch 2, skip next ch-2 sp, V-Stitch Inc in ch-1 sp of first V-Stitch, V-Stitch in each V-stitch ch-1 sp across to last V-Stitch, V- Stitch Inc in last V-Stitch ch-1 sp. Turn.

Rows 50-70: Repeat Rows 48-49, ending on a WS Row. Turn, do NOT fasten off. Continue to Edging.

Edging

Row 71 (RS): Ch 4, sl st in ch-1 sp of first V-Stitch, * ch 4, sl st in ch-1 sp of next V- Stitch. Repeat from * across to first ch-2 sp, ch 4, sl st in ch-2 sp, ch 4, sl st in next ch-2 sp, * ch 4, sl st in ch-1 sp of next V-Stitch. Repeat from * across to the end of the row. Ch 1, turn, sc evenly across the top edge of the shawl. Join with sl st to beginning ch 4. Fasten off and weave in ends.

Steam block lightly if desired, but original as shown in pictures was not blocked.

Link your project to pattern page on Ravelry here. Share on Instagram with the hashtag #annasshawl and feel free to tag me @kountingsheep. Happy crocheting!

Pattern for personal use only. Please do NOT distribute copies of this pattern and do NOT sell copies of this pattern. You may sell finished items that you make using this pattern, but you are required to credit the original pattern/designer as follows: “Made using a pattern from Kountingsheep by Jenny Galusha-Luna: http://kountingsheep.com ” Do not use the photos from this pattern to sell your items. Do not copy and paste the pattern from this blog post to create your own pattern document. Downloadable pattern is available for purchase here.

Copyright 2018. All photos and written content contained in this pattern are the property of Jenny Galusha-Luna

Please note this post contains Amazon affiliate links. This means I receive a small commission when you purchase through the link at no additional cost to you.

CSB Kids Bible [Review]

As the mother of two small children, I know someday that I will be in the market for some good kid Bibles. Right now they are at the age when Jesus Storybook Bible and Really Woolly Lamb prayer books make up the bulk of their “scripture” reading. But as they grow I want to be ready for that first step into a “big kid” Bible with the full text of scripture. Enter the CSB Kids Bible.

To order your own CSB Kids Bible on Amazon, click here.

Lifeway sent me a copy of the new CSB Kids Bible to share with my readers. As soon as I received this Bible, I noticed the bright colorful exterior of the hardcover version (there are several other color options). The bold design carries over onto the endpaper edges and makes for an eye-catching Bible that would be great for a boy or a girl. The size is not too bulky either, especially for being a hardcover. It’s bigger than a thinline Bible, but it’s still a nice portable size.

The more I read the CSB translation, the more I like it. I think it makes a very readable translation for kids as well. The text itself in this Bible is a nice large font and double column. The highly reliable CSB version is one that I would feel comfortable letting my kids read as they learn to study scripture.

Although this is not a traditional study Bible, it does include supplemental material in the front and back with special pages throughout. The front pages have special features like explanations and questions to ponder and quizzes for Bible knowledge. Throughout the text is colorful pages that explain the parts of the Bible and some of the main characters. In the back is an index called “Where to Turn” that gives a list of verses based on specific topics like “when I’m sad” discouraged, bored, angry, etc.

Based on the overall design of this Bible, I would consider it a great starter Bible for elementary aged kids through preteens. Since it includes the full text of scripture, it really can be used by anyone of any age, but it’s marketed to the 8-12 age range. Depending on the reading level of younger kids, I would recommend this for kids as young as 5 or 6. I like that this Bible comes in multiple cover designs so I can pick different covers for each of my girls. I’ll definitely be saving this for my daughters when they get old enough to use it. I am hoping to have the opportunity to review more Kids and teens Bibles in the future, so make sure you’re subscribed to my blog to be notified when new content is posted.

You can purchase the hardcover CSB Kids Bible as seen in the pictures of this post on Amazon here.

Want to read more Bible reviews? Visit the Bible Reviews page to see all available posts.

Please note this post contains affiliate links. This means I receive a small commission when you make a purchase through my link at no additional cost to you. B&H/Lifeway publishers sent me a copy of this Bible in exchange for my honest review. All pictures and opinions contained in this post are my own.

Lent 2018 Study Ideas: Drawn In

The season of Lent begins early this year, so I spent a lot of time in January thinking about what study guide or plan I wanted to use during the 40 days leading up to Easter. Then I remembered that Tyndale had sent me two new coloring Study books from a series called Drawn In Bible Study by Eugene Peterson using The Message translation, and I realized going through one of these books would be perfect! I received the studies on Esther and Mary, and although I’ve decided to use Mary for Lent, I’ll be showing you both versions in this post. They also have a third one on Ruththat I don’t have a copy of, but wanted to mention that it was available as well.

You can order Drawn In Bible Study: Mary on Amazon here, Esther available here, and Ruth available here. You can order The Message Canvas Bible on Amazon, as seen in these pictures, here.

Here is the description of the series from the publisher: “Color with friends. Be drawn into scripture. Deepen your friendships as you gather around Scripture for coloring and conversation. Drawn In offers simple four-week Bible studies―perfect for groups or personal devotions. Coloring quiets your heart and mind so you can enter fully into Scripture’s stories. The Bible’s passion and personality come through in The Message, surprising new and old Bible readers alike. Discover the delight of being Drawn In.”

Each book contains 4 sessions that are designed to be used over 4 weeks. It can be used on your own for personal study or as a group bible study guide with additional suggestions in the back for group discussion suggestions and ideas. The study content is written by Eugene Peterson, a well-known author who also created The Message translation of the Bible, which is the scripture used in these books when quoted throughout. The full scripture text is not provided, so you will need your Bible in order to study along with these books.

The illustrations themselves are a highlight of these books. Spread throughout the entire book, they are both full page and partial page designs. The style is reminiscent of that used in The Message Canvas Bible (you can read my review here). My one criticism for the design of these books is that they don’t lay flat, which makes it a bit hard to write and color in them. I bent the binding of mine to be able to get them to lay flat in certain spots, and the binding is holding up well so far. Some illustrations also peek around the edges of pages and there are a few in the introduction, which would be great for practice.

There are lots of questions with space to write at the end of each 6 sections within each session. That gives you six days during the week to work through a session of you decide to do one session a week. I haven’t had a chance to read through the questions, but I’m excited to go through Drawn In: Mary for Lent. I’ll be able to break it up into the smaller sections for a daily reading to get me through this season, with a few days for catching up, which I’m sure I’ll inevitably need.

I think these little books would make a great individual or group bible study tool. The study itself isn’t super in-depth, but there is a ton of thought-provoking content and space to meditate and color. If you’re interested in going through the Mary study with me, you can order your copy on Amazon here. I will be posting my progress here on my blog and on my Instagram @kountingsheepbiblejournaling.

Please note that this post contains Amazon affiliate links. This means I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Tyndale sent me a copy of these books in exchange for my honest review. All pictures and opinions contained within this post are my own.

The Apologetics Study Bible [Review]

When I received The Apologetics Study Bible (CSB) from B&H/Lifeway, my original intention was to review it and then pass it off to my husband. And then I started reading it, the opening articles drew me in, and I couldn’t stop. What started as skimming for the purpose of a review has turned into a desire to devour everything about this Bible.

You can order a your own Apologetics Study Bible on Amazon here.

The publishers describe The Apologetics Study Bible as a Bible that “helps today’s Christians better understand, defend, and proclaim their beliefs in an age of increasing moral and spiritual relativism. This revised and updated edition includes new articles and extensive apologetics study material from today’s leading apologists to reflect and provide deeper understanding of the relevant apologetics issues and questions being discussed today. Includes commentary from over 90 leading apologists, including: Ted Cabal, Lee Strobel, Chuck Colson, Paul Copan, Norm Geisler, Hank Hanegraaff, Josh McDowell, Albert Mohler, J.P. Moreland, Ravi Zacharias, and many more — plus a lead article by Lee Strobel ( The Case for Christ).

Features include: Presentation page, Book Introductions, Study Notes, Apologetics articles from leading apologists, “Twisted Scripture” explanations for commonly misunderstood passages, Profiles of Christian apologists, Two-color interior, Two-column text, 9.75-point type size, Smyth-sewn binding, Ribbon marker, Full-color maps, and more.

The CSB Apologetics Study Bible features the highly readable, highly reliable text of the Christian Standard Bible® (CSB). The CSB stays as literal as possible to the Bible’s original meaning without sacrificing clarity, making it easier to engage with Scripture’s life-transforming message and to share it with others.”

One of my favorite features of this Bible is the clear study notes at the bottom of the pages. These notes help provide insight to historical customs and context, times when a person chose to sin instead of follow God, and the purposes and meanings behind things like genealogy and numbers. Another feature that I enjoyed while reading the text is the “Twisted Scripture” blurbs spread sporadically throughout. These small sections help illuminate ways that certain cultures, religions, or people groups have taken a certain passage of scripture and twisted it to mean something that distorts the original intention.

Of course the main draw of this Bible aside from the biblical text is the articles themselves. The articles are highlighted throughout with a distinctive gray design on the pages. This helps to distinguish the added articles from the scripture text itself. These articles are in no way adding to scripture but enhancing it, as well as exploring various topics that are controversial and relevant to today’s Christian. There is an index included in the front that lists the title, author, and page number for every article, so if you’re searching for a specific topic, you can find it with ease.

The design of The Apologetics Study Bible is clean and simple, creating a distraction-free reading experience. I will say that due to the content of some of the articles, it can get a bit academic and feel like reading a textbook. However, this doesn’t bother me as I enjoyed reading textbooks in college, but I wanted to mention that these are not light, fluffy articles. I think the hardcover version also adds to the feeling of a textbook, but luckily it’s not so thick that it’s too cumbersome to hold in your lap to read.

As graduation season approaches, I think this Bible would make a great gift for high school or college graduates looking to explore their faith on a deeper level, and it will equip them with intellectual tools to aid them in the defense of their faith. Since the articles are written by a variety of experts, theologians, and apologists, it appeals to a broad age range, as well as both men and women. I highly recommend this Bible, and I’m looking forward to reading more from it throughout the next year as I read the Bible in a year.

To purchase The Apologetics Study Bible (CSB) on Amazon, click here.

Want to read more Bible reviews? Visit the Bible Reviews page to see all available posts.

Please note this post contains affiliate links. This means I receive a small commission when you purchase through the link at no additional cost to you. B&H/Lifeway publishers sent me a copy of this Bible in exchange for my honest review. All pictures and opinions contained in this post are my own.

My 2018 Plans And #Goals

It’s officially 2018, and with the start of a new year means lots of people making plans, goals, and resolutions. I’m not really a resolution type girl, but I do like to make plans (even if that means watching them crash and burn later in the year). Since I started journaling 2 years ago, usually my start of a new year now includes new Bible studies and journaling plans. If you want to see more of my journaling plans in-depth, check out my YouTube video “My 2018 Plans” here.

Speaking of new Bible studies, I finally got a hold of the January #Goals kit from Dayspring. There were some delays with this one beyond their control but it’s finally here. You can watch my unboxing video here and purchase your #Goals kit from Dayspring here.

At first I wasn’t thrilled when I heard the theme of this kit, but then once I saw it, I was totally hooked. This kit is not only packed with some great content and more scripture references, but it is very visually appealing. The geometric patterns and lettering style that they used for the design of this kit makes me want to jump into my Bible and create as I meditate on the Word.

Here are some of my favorite things about #Goals: the shape of the tip-ins make them easier to use in the margin (plus they’re just so pretty), the 8 devotional cards all include a scripture reference in addition to questions and devotional content, the sticker sheet with all the words has filled in the blank space with mini diamond stickers, and can we just admire that geometric diamonds stamp *all the heart eyes* that I just want to use on everything. Also did you notice they’ve added in the color purple to their normal “Illustrated Faith” color scheme?

My one criticism for this kit is that I wish they had picked a different word other than using “hope” twice on the stamp set. I’m not a fan of the duplicates they’ve been prone to doing on the stamp sets lately because since the size has been reduced, I feel like they need to maximize what stamps are included as much as possible. However that geometric diamonds stamp alone would make this kit worth it to me, since I’m a stamp girl and one stamp can really sell a kit or a set to me.

If you watched my unboxing video, you will have seen my bonus process of the first session #Wisdom Goals. I made a bit of a mess in my Inspire Praise Bible on the video, but after I turned off the camera and thought through what the first session was trying to say and what I wanted to journal, I was able to fix my page. I did decide to journal through this session a second time in my Thrive Bible, because I really wanted to make sure the lesson had sunk in for me. The book of James is such a rich little few chapters that it wasn’t hard to spend more time meditating on the first chapter.

I have also had a chance to work through the second session #Hope Goals in my Thrive Bible. I will say that because there are some duplicates of words in the supplies of this kit, that gives me the opportunity to choose other passages to journal in addition to the ones provided, if I so desire. I also pulled out my Illustrated Faith “Faith Planner” stamp set to use some of the stamps that I felt went well with the #Goals kit, like the triangles, arrows and banners. I also used the Illustrated Faith acrylic paint set on this page and the colors were a perfect match to this kit!

Overall I’m really happy about this first kit of 2018, and I would definitely recommend it. Even if you aren’t a “planner” type, the questions included on the devotional cards so far have been thought-provoking in regards to areas I want to work on in my faith journey. To order your own #Goals kit from Dayspring, click here.

To order your own Thrive Bible from Amazon, click here. Since this is my main reading bible for 2018, I am not covering the scripture text in this one to where I can’t read it. Thankfully the margins are wider and there’s even more journaling space on the 365 devotionals spread throughout, so I am really enjoying using this Bible as I journal and read.

Please note this post contains affiliate links. That means I receive a small commission when you purchase through my links at no additional cost to you. Dayspring sent me the #Goals kit in exchange for my honest review. All pictures and opinions in this post are my own.

Sage CSB Notetaking Bible [Review]

Now that the hectic Christmas season is over, it’s time to catch up on blog posts. For today, I’m sharing my review of the CSB Notetaking Bible with the Sage Cloth over Board Cover. This beautiful Bible was sent to me by B&H/Lifeway Publishing, and you can purchase a copy of your own through my Amazon affiliate link here.

Here is the original description from the publishers: “The CSB Notetaking Bible is designed to enhance personal Bible study as well as preparation for teaching and preaching. This Bible contains a single-column setting, and abundant space is provided with a 1.75 inch notetaking space on each page to make observations, record insights, raise questions, and suggest to yourself additional exploration of the text.

“Features inlcude: Smyth-sewn binding, Presentation page, single-column text, 1.75 inch margins for notetaking, 8-point type, One-year Bible Reading Plan, Concordance, Full-color maps, and more.

The CSB Notetaking Bible features the highly readable, highly reliable text of the Christian Standard Bible (CSB). The CSB stays as literal as possible to the Bible’s original meaning without sacrificing clarity, making it easier to engage with Scripture’s life-transforming message and to share it with others.”

The outside and inside covers feature a floral design. The pages themselves are a plain cream with dark lined margins. Since this is called a “Notetaking” bible, it is definitely geared more towards written notes and journaling. This Bible has one green ribbon bookmark for marking the page when you want to remember your place. It also features the CSB text, which has personally become my new favorite translation for its readability while still maintaining accuracy.

Each book of the Bible starts on a right side page, so if there is blank space between two books, it includes a lightly lined page. It might be hard to see in the above picture, but you can see the difference between the lightly lined full page and the dark lined margins.

As a Bible journaler, I do wish the margin lines had also been the light lines. I did two test pages with some dark artwork and some light artwork to see how the lines looked once I add illustrations to the pages. For the dark watercolor paint, I liked that I could still see the lines when I went to add my prayer journaling. For the light pink stamping I did on the second page, the lines are a little distracting, but something I can live with. However if the dark lines are something that would bother you, I would suggest using this Bible just for notes and written journaling.

The quality of the pages are great and handled different wet mediums well with no bleed through. I’ve come to expect high quality journaling Bibles from B&H/Lifeway, and this one does not disappoint. I’m also a fan of single column for journaling Bibles because it’s easier to add notes and art right next to the verse you’re trying to highlight or study.

Another great feature of this Bible is the sizable concordance in the back. It’s one of the biggest and most comprehensive I’ve seen in a journaling Bible, making it a great resource for those wanting to study certain topics or cross-reference different verses. There aren’t any footnotes in the Bible text itself, so this added feature is helpful for doing more in-depth personal study.

Overall I am very pleased with this Bible and would highly recommend it to those wanting a Bible for taking notes and written journaling. For those wanting to art worship in this Bible, I would just keep in mind whether the dark margin lines would be too distracting for you or not. For me personally it’s not a deal breaker, and I will happily continue to use this Bible for art worship.

To order your own CSB Notetaking Bible from Amazon, click here.

Want to read more Bible reviews? Visit the Bible Reviews page to see all available posts.

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. This means I receive a small commission when you purchase through my link at no additional cost to you. I was sent a copy of this Bible from B&H/Lifeway Publishing in exchange for my honest review. All pictures and opinions contained in this post are my own.

Classic Hymns: Read and Reflect with the Classics [Review]

As we enter December and the Advent season, I know a lot of people are looking for devotionals and reading plans to use both in personal study and with their families. B&H Publishing was kind enough to send me a copy of the book “Classic Hymns: Read and Reflect with the Classics” to review and share my thoughts. I thought this would be a great opportunity to suggest a non-Christmas-themed devotional. You can order a copy for yourself on Amazon through my affiliate link here.

First of all, I love hardcover, cloth over board, books. The outside cover gives a feel of a classic, timeless title. I also liked that it wasn’t flashy or gimmicky, which is very appropriate for Hymns since they are a more traditional style of worship.

The book includes 90 traditional hymns, including several Christmas hymns at the end of the book. Each chapter is just a few short pages and includes the full text of the hymn, Bible study questions with a suggested passage to read, personal reflection questions, and a prayer suggestion/topic as promoted by the hymn. I would consider the text of this book to be more of a devotional, since it doesn’t really include historical information about the hymns themselves other than the songwriter(s) and the year it was written.

I really like the fact that you can choose how in-depth you want to go into studying the hymn and suggested Scripture passages. I think this would be a perfect devotional to use during Advent when time can be limited, and I’m looking for a thoughtful, but brief study.

I grew up going to baptist churches, where we often still used hymnals and “praise and worship” style songs projected onto a screen was just starting to emerge and gain popularity. So I have a fondness for hymns and enjoy any resources that take traditional hymns and bring them to a modern audience. I will say that I’m a little disappointed that there wasn’t more historical information included to give context, as well as maybe some small explanations of the phrases and theology of the hymns themselves for those who may not be familiar with the language of hymns. Overall I would recommend this book for both personal and family study for those who want explore hymns in relation to scripture. I am looking forward to exploring this book more and using it as a study tool with my Bible journaling.

You can order “Classic Hymns” on Amazon here.

Please note this post contains affiliate links. This means I receive a small commission when you purchase through the links at no additional cost to you. B&H Publishing sent me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All pictures and opinions are my own.

Gratitude Documented Round-Up and Cyber Monday Sale

I wanted to share the journaling pages I did for Gratitude Documented. I didn’t journal all 30 days, and I wasn’t planning to, so I’m happy with the amount of time I was able to spend in thankfulness this month. I did a process video for one of my pages, so make sure to check it out here. (Psst, make sure you read to the end of this post for a Cyber Monday coupon code for Dayspring!)

I did my gratitude journaling in both my Inspire Praise Bible and my Documented Faith Binder. Not every page had a “fall” theme to the art, since an attitude of thankfulness should be something I try to have year-round. I also got to try out my new Documented Faith products that I received as part of my Blessed Friend ambassadorship. I think my favorite new item is the Bible sticky notes that are great for adding prayer journaling to the margin.

I have been loving my new Inspire Praise Bible as well. I tried to use a combo of blank margins and illustrated margins as I did my Gratitude journaling. I noticed that when I kept the entries simple or just colored, I was able to focus on the gratitude prompt a little more than on the pages where I was trying out some different techniques.

It’s been a lot of fun to see how different people interpret the same prompt in different ways in the margins of their Bible. That’s why I love being part of the Bible journaling community, because even though I’m mostly experiencing this community online, it still feels like a tight-knit group of people sharing their heart through their art. And that’s something to be thankful for.

In total, I journaled 10 pages in my Bible and 4 pages in my Documented Faith Binder for Gratitude documented. It was fun to have a bunch of supplies to choose from, but at times it was overwhelming to have all the different pieces. My plan for Advent is to keep it a little simpler when it comes to supplies, since I will be trying to journal every day in December. If you journaled for Gratitude Documented, how many entries were you able to finish? What was your favorite prompt? I’d love to hear from you, so leave a comment below.

You can grab the Gratitude kit here for the last few days of November, or pick up the Advent kit here to get a head start for December. For one day only, use code MONDAY17 to save 35% off your entire purchase at Dayspring here (excludes Willow Tree). Sale ends Monday 11/27 at 11:59pm. You can order the Inspire Praise Bible on Amazon here. And don’t forget to subscribe to my blog to receive new blog posts right to your inbox!

Please note this post contains affiliate links. This means that I receive a small commission when you shop through my links at no additional cost to you.