100 Days of Bible Promises: A Devotional Journal

I want to share with you the newest book by Shanna Noel, founder of Illustrated Faith: 100 Days of Bible Promises: A Devotional Journal! There’s been a lot of buzz in the journaling community about this book, so I want to show you why. This book is not only super cute, but it’s also packed full of scripture, prayers, devotional content, and room for writing and art journaling. Let’s take a more in-depth look of the inside and all the different features.

To purchase your own copy of “100 Days of Bible Promises” from Dayspring, click here.

Today is the official kick-off for the 100 Day challenge, and the Illustrated Faith community is working through this book. Whether art journaling is your thing or not, this book is a beautiful journal that has plenty of space for writing. The surrounding illustrations are a great backdrop for writing out your own prayers with just a pen.

Each two-page spread is centered around one promise from the Bible and includes a small devotion, 3-5 verses for further exploration, unique artwork, space for journaling, and ends with a small prayer. The amazing thing about this book is that each spread has different artwork, so there are 100 different illustrations to inspire you as you read and pray through this book. Another great feature is the variety of verses for each promise to give you a jumpstart to take your journaling into your Bible.

The pages themselves are nice thick paper to allow for less possibility of bleed thru. The book itself doesn’t lay flat without a lot of bending and coaxing, so that’s the only drawback that I’ve found with the physical book itself. The size is very portable, making it easy to slip into a bag while on the go. The cover is a flexible latex board with a matte finish and the binding is a notebook binding. As a bonus to go with the book when you purchase through Dayspring, you receive an email with a free 3-page downloadable printable that coordinates with the art in the book to use with your journaling.

I have seen many people alter their book by having it spiral bound at their local office supply store for a small additional cost in order to allow for the book to lay flat, as well as have more room for lots of thick additions such as tabs, clips, tip-ins, extra ribbons and ephemera. Since I’ve already started working in mine before I saw this binding technique, I decided to leave mine as-is. I have noticed that as I’ve started working in my book, the cover is laying flat better, so I’m hoping it will continue to loosen up a bit as I add more journaling. I may eventually add a fabric cover to my book because I can already tell I’m going to get messy with this one.

My plan is to use up a lot of pieces and supplies from my stash as a way to work with what I have already. I feel like my stash is busting at the seams, and I need to start using what I have saved instead of hoarding it for “just the right project.” This is now my “just the right project,” and I’ve already had fun pairing odds and ends from past kits, purchases, and happy mail to illustrate the inside covers, dedication page, and the first few pages that I’ve journaled. I mixed up my start date, so I’ve already worked through the first few pages of the book before the actual challenge begins on Tuesday, April 3rd.

For Day 1, I add some Illustrated Faith acrylic paint onto the page with bubble wrap and a paint brush. I used several different stickers around the page, including to spell out the following phrase from the devotion: “let My grace take over.” I added a tip-in using a journaling card piece from the 2017 Persevere kit (no longer available) so that I could hide my more personal prayer. I really want to have the freedom to pour my heart out in this journal, so I will be using lots of tip-ins to keep some of them private as I share my pages publicly.

For Day 2, I used my Jane Davenport Mermaid Markers to add some hot pink to the page to match the ribbon bookmark that comes attached to the book. These did bleed a little, so I still had to use a light hand with these paint brushes, but at least they didn’t bleed as badly as when I’ve used them in my Bible. I added a few stickers, and then cut apart a tip-in to create a tab and place for hidden journaling. The promise that really stuck out to me on this page was that Jesus is always near me, so I can worry less and be fearless.

Day 3 was a really fun one for me as I used these cute lemonade stickers that my husband gave me from a restaurant. The page already had an illustration of what looks like lemons to me, so I continued that them with some adorable happy lemons making lemonade. I used a mixture of alpha stickers to write out “God can turn my lemons into lemonade,” since the promise for this section is that nothing is too difficult for God. I have a hunch that this will be one of my favorite pages in this book.

If you are looking for a fresh project to jumpstart your daily bible reading and prayer time as the midyear point approaches, then this book is perfect! I am really looking forward to working through this book with the Illustrated Faith community, and you can join the pop-up Facebook group here.

Pick up your own copy of “100 Days of Bible Promises” by Shanna Noel at Dayspring here. From now until Monday 4/9, you can use code FAITH25 for 25% off your entire Dayspring order!

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. This means that I receive a small commission when you purchase through the link at no additional cost to you. I purchased this copy of “100 Days of Bible Promises” on my own, and I’m sharing my review as a courtesy. 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 download link for the PDF pattern.

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)

Download Anna’s Shawl Here

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!

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.

All Things New Kit + Entries

The arrival of March usually signals spring, life waking up in nature after a long winter and the promise of new things. This time of year also brings the anticipation of Easter, the promised savior who came to die and rise again as the Rescuer come to save. As I reflect on all these wonderful things, I’m also reminded that new seasons of life are not always as happy and rosy as a new spring day. Right now my family is facing a new season that is both unfamiliar territory and a bit scary, and the path ahead is not clear, which makes the “All Things New” kit from Dayspring very timely for me.

To order the “All Things New” kit, click here. To watch my unboxing video, click here.

The very first session starts with the passage in Isaiah talking about God making a new path for the Israelites through the Red Sea. I think I would have to say that this is one of my favorite metaphors in the Bible, because not only does it show the strength and wonder of God’s power, but it shows his care for his people to guide them in safety to where they needed to go. So many times I’ve found myself on new path, not knowing what God is doing, but learning to trust that he will protect me and guide me.

For my first entry using this kit, I wanted to focus on that overwhelming feeling of the floodwaters rising, but God being present on the midst of it, even when the new path isn’t clear. You can watch a process video of how I did this page here.

I really love all the different elements that were included with this kit and the structure of the 8 devotional cards as 8 sessions. There is a lot of written content to read through, scripture references to explore further, and questions to ponder. I like that the diamond shaped tip-ins are double-sided this time and provide more options for using them in my Bible. The stamp set has a bunch of nice smaller stamps that make it more versatile. And the washi tape is just the most adorable one so far this year!

For my second entry using Session 2 in Romans 12, I used the butterfly stamp to represent how God transforms me as a new creation in him. I love that the butterfly stamp came separated into 3 parts to make it easier to create a variety of butterflies. I colored in the stamp image on the page with Neocolors to mimic the look of the lettering in the kit. I cut the tip-in that coordinated with Romans 12:2 down to fit into my margin better and saved the triangle bits I cut off for another entry (see below).

For my Session 3 entry in Ruth 4:15, I knew I needed to create a triangle page. The triangle is a symbol of the trinity and the relationship of Father, Son and Holy Spirit being one. The book of Ruth is about relationship between Ruth and Naomi, Ruth and Boaz, and Ruth and God, so this seemed very fitting to use the triangle stamps here. God is the restorer of relationships and life: he restores us, redeems us, and gives us new life. I used the cut off pieces from the two tip-ins to lay the foundation of my triangles and then added the stamps and some hand-drawn triangles to fill in the rest of the page. I used one of the arrow stickers to point to my focus verse on the opposite page, and used the word stickers to create my title for this page ” Wait. God at work…he restores life!”

I can’t wait to work through the rest of this kit as I work through some hard things right now and wait for God to continuing working in my life. If you are needing some encouragement and renewal, this is the perfect kit for you! Grab your own “All Things New” kit here, and use code IFSHIPSFREE for free domestic shipping.

Another great resource that was just released, and that I will be sharing as soon as I receive my copy, is the new “100 Days of Bible Promises” devotional journal by Shanna Noel (founder of Illustrated Faith). If you haven’t seen this yet, go look at the preview images on Dayspring here and preorder your copy! (Picture courtesy Dayspring)

Please note this post contains affiliate links. This means that I receive a small commission when you purchase through the links at no additional cost to you. Dayspring sent me a copy of this kit in exchange for my honest review. All pictures (except the book picture) and opinions contained in this post are my own.

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.

This Is Love Kit + First Entries

February is known as a month for celebrating love. What better excuse to spend 28 days reflecting on and learning more about the vast love of God for his precious daughter! The “This Is Love” kit guides you through 8 verses centered on God’s love. If you haven’t had a chance to watch my unboxing + process video yet, click here.

To purchase your own “This Is Love” kit, click here.

One of my favorite things about the kit this month is that it pairs so well with the previous month’s #Goals kit, as well as the “You Are Loved” collection. There are so many options for mixing and matching. Dayspring was kind enough to send me the “This Is Love” kit for February, as well as 4 pieces from the “You Are Loved” collection as shown in the picture above: stamp set, tip-ins booklet, 35 paper piece pack, and cardstock stickers. I’ve been having fun creating pages that use a little bit of everything.

I really appreciate that there is a lot of green mixed in with the pink for this kit. It’s a subtle, abstract color palette that reminds me of flowers, which pairs so well with the flowers of the You Are Loved stickers and die cut pieces. But if flowers aren’t your thing, this kit on its own is perfect. The brush strokes on the devotional/journaling cards, die cut pieces, and even the washi tape make me want to break out all the paint brushes and acrylic paint, and just spend some time meditating on God’s great love for me while painting the page.

It’s always a surprise to see what pieces will be included in the monthly kits, and for this kit you get die cut pieces! There are so many options for layering hexagons, hearts, and words/phrases. The devotional/journaling cards have mixed it up this month too by being a mix of both. Some cards have devotional content with lines at the bottom for response. Other cards just have the verse written out, and a few are just lines. There is a verse on every card to give you 8 options for moving into the margins of your bible. The clear stickers give lots of word options as well as cute hearts and banners.

For my first page using the kit, which you can watch the process for on my video here, I jumped right into 1 Thessalonians 1:4 with a bunch of acrylic paint. I used a mixture of stamps and die cuts from “This Is Love” and “You Are Loved” to create the title and layered decorations. The tab was punched from the coordinating tip-ins booklet, and I finished it off with some washi tape and writing. “We know dear brothers and sisters, that God loves you and has chosen you to be his own people.” You are chosen by God!

The next page I did using the kit is from John 3:16-17, and I used the card with the verse reference as inspiration for my page. It’s been very timely to have lots of pieces to use this month, since I injured my hands and wrists, limiting the amount of things I can do with my journaling. Stamping, adding stickers and die cuts, and writing a little bit are about the extent of what I can do right now. But it doesn’t matter how much or how little art journaling I do, because as I create, the message of God’s great, never-ending, self-sacrificial, divine love is sinking down deep into my heart this month. “For this is how God loved the world: he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.” Such great love, indeed!

I invite you to join me this month with the “This Is Love” kit and the “You Are Loved” collection to embrace the love of Jesus! You can start your shopping for items shown in this post on Dayspring here. To order your own Thrive Bible on Amazon as shown in the pictures of this post, click here.

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. This means that I receive a small commission when you purchase through the link at no additional cost to you. Dayspring sent me the This Is Love kit and pieces from the You Are Loved collection in exchange for my honest review. All opinions and pictures contained in 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.