“Therefore let us [with privilege] approach the throne of grace [that is, the throne of God’s gracious favor] with confidence and without fear, so that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find [His amazing] grace to help in time of need [an appropriate blessing, coming just at the right moment].”HEBREWS 4:16 AMP
“but Christ is faithful as a Son over His [Father’s] house. And we are His house if we hold fast our confidence and sense of triumph in our hope [in Christ].” HEBREWS 3:6 AMP
“O LORD God of hosts, who is like You, O mighty LORD? Your faithfulness surrounds You [as an intrinsic, unchangeable part of Your very being].” PSALMS 89:8 AMP
I enjoy meditating on Your Word day and night. The more I reflect on Truth, the closer I am to You, my ABBA Father.
Your never-ending grace, morning mercies, and presence are palpable in time of distress.
The closer I am to You, Lord, the more confident and hopeful I am about the future. You are my only Refuge and Hope until my last breath on earth.
Closeness with our Lord = Quiet Time + His Word + Self-Examination + fervent Prayer.
Let us explore the daily process for the Bible Reading Journal today. It typically takes me approximately 30 minutes to read a chapter a day and journal. It may seem a long time but our time with the Lord is priceless and memorable!
Once we read the chapter, we highlight and inscribe a selected verse or two in different translations. When I inscribe His Word, I am able to memorize it a lot easier. I then journal ‘how’ I am going to step out in obedience in practical ways.
Later I examine my heart daily so I may repent and forgive, count my blessings and maintain a prayerful lifestyle.
Cross-References allow me to dig deeper into God’s Word and Commentaries enrich my “journaling” experience.
“…but God was working in every detail. He was providing, humbling, sanctifying, forgiving, and drawing their hearts to His in the most necessary and beautiful ways.“ Whitney from Love God Greatly Ministries.
“When I read my journals, I see God’s fingerprints all over. Journals are my stones of remembrance (Joshua 4:23-24)“ Adriana Morales-Spokane.
Join our FB Community for women at “The Bible Reading Journal Series”
Next Video Clip: The Bible Reading Journal Series: Verse Color Coding.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.” Ephesians 4:31 NLT
“But now you also put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them.” Colossians 3:8, 19 NASB
“that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit,” Ephesians 4:22 NASB
“Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander,” 1 Peter 2:1 NASB
“Let this be a sign among you, so that when your children ask later, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ then you shall say to them, ‘Because the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off.’ So these stones shall become a memorial to the sons of Israel forever.”
For the LORD your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed, just as the LORD your God had done to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed; that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the LORD is mighty, so that you may fear the LORD your God forever.” Joshua 4:6-7, 23-24 NASB
Journaling is a way to reflect on God’s Faithfulness.
All of my journals are priceless keepsakes and much more like memorial stones that last forever.
I get to look back to where I was and see how God has transformed my life over the course of time.
He is good all the time.
His Word renews my mind every day, strengthens my heart in moments of distress and has transformed my life over the past decade alone!
Let me introduce you to the Spanish Editor for the Bible Reading Journal Series, Dr. Angelica Langham, who retired successfully from the field of Medicine seven years ago.
Dr. Langham is both a conference speaker and a teacher of God’s Truth who now disciples women in Florida, Tennessee, Colombia, and Peru. She is fulfilling the Great Commission passionately one day at a time.
Jesus encourages all of us to “… go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20 NIV
Discipleship is a priority for the church.
When I asked Dr. Langham how did she begin discipleship relationships, her response was the following: “The Lord has laid on my heart to serve Him. Pursuing my calling, I began to evangelize women in a non-profit Christian organization and participated in different evangelistic events in my local church. Even though many people repented, believed and received Jesus as Savior and Lord, I realized that something was missing in ministering to them. New believers and Christians in the church need an ongoing relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. They need to grow and become mature in their Faith. However, many of them have become stagnant or even have abandoned their faith….”
Dr. Langham was discipled for two years before she started to disciple women locally and internationally. She is so grateful to witness how God is changing the lives of many of her students and even her own life. In these relationships, women have an opportunity to build spiritual disciplines, such as reading and meditating on the Bible passages, praying fervently with thanksgiving, worshiping the Lord and confessing their sins on a regular basis.
Jesus’ obedience to the Great Commission has impacted our lives today. Dr. Langham has discovered that the missing link in ministering to women is to establish a discipleship relationship in which both truth and life are shared in real life circumstances.
She further shared, “We cannot evangelize without making disciples. We cannot gain people without feeding them. We cannot leave believers alone, but we must help and encourage them in their faith. Therefore, following Jesus’ example of making disciples should be the primary goal in the body of Christ. Disciple-making is an intentional process to build up believers, to mend them, and to equip them to be fruitful and multiply, obeying the Great Commission. In these changing and difficult times, I believe that every Christian needs to be discipled to grow and be mature, to receive healing of past wounds, to build spiritual disciplines, to be accountable to other believers, to multiply and make discipleship relationships.”
And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the
waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling
up. Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke
Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” And
He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be
still.” And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. And
He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no
faith?” They became very much afraid and said to one
another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?” Now when
evening came, His disciples went down to the sea,and
after getting into a boat, they started to cross the
sea to Capernaum. It had already become dark, and Jesus had not yet come
to them. The sea began to be stirred up because a strong
wind was blowing.Then, when they had rowed about three or
four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near to the boat; and
they were frightened. But He said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” Mark 4: 37-41 (NASB)
In the midst of a storm
or should I say a tsunami, do not forget to look up to Jesus first.
God challenged and refined
me for almost four years although he did not give me more than I could handle
at the time.
Have you ever been choked or paralyzed by a life
storm? Have you ever experienced unbelief? I sure did yet cried out boldly and
loudly, ‘help me with my unbelief, Lord’ periodically. Some of you may be going
thru some challenges today… If you are going thru a storm, how would you
label your storm?
I labeled mine, “The Pit of Darkness.” The Lord was ahead of me working out every detail of my dire circumstances.
“Lord, You light my
lamp; my God illuminates my darkness.” (Psalm 18:28 HCSB) Let us never forget He
is our Light in our journey.
A few months after my dad had passed away, I was
promoted to a regional leadership platform. Today, I oversee the quality of
clinical services for close to 1,300 children and adolescents. During this time
of grief and sorrow, I was asked to make daily Clinical decisions on behalf of
these needy children. While I successfully provided adequate coverage, I was
also intertwined with family affairs and daily decision-making processes on
behalf of my dad’s Estate.
My “pit of darkness” was steep and
intense. I will explain next.
I was out of breath at times and my health was compromised on several occasions. My life circumstances definitely got grotesque before the circumstances got any better. I know our Lord will train us for today’s battlefield. His Truth reminds me, “He trains my hands for war; my arms can bend a bow of bronze.” (Psalm 18:32 HCSB) The Lord will fight on our behalf, we just need to be still, be quiet, listen and follow His lead (Exodus 14:14).
“Every time my eyes were not on Jesus, I was horrified even paralyzed when facing these stressors,” I thank the Lord for having a supportive husband who challenged me to take the next step in the midst of confusion, chaos, loss, and persecution from those who resisted change. Most importantly, I have a great God who clothed me with inner strength and filled my heart with hope (Psalm 18:39). He makes my way perfect (Psalm 18:32).
“The Lord is My Banner” (Exodus 17:15).
I was overwhelmed and frazzled at the beginning of my leadership role, I experienced a panic attack on one of my business trips. At the end of the first year, I literally experienced heart-attack symptoms such as discomfort in my arm, pain in my chest and shortness of breath. In my second year, I experienced severe vertigo signs. In one occasion, the medical doctor ruled out a brain tumor with an MRI!
I thank God for ‘good health’ today!
The season of grief and sorrow, a fast-paced demanding work environment and family distress contributed to the pit of darkness. Slowly but surely, I began to read His Word daily and started to journal as I dealt with these life stressors.
I knew I had to handle
these life stressors God’s way! It is the only way, my friend.
Once I was convicted, I prayed for His strength, mercies, and inner peace. I begged the Lord to show me ‘how’ and to give me the strength to persevere thru it all.
Three years later, I changed the cultural climate at work, implemented new systems and mobilized community resources for the least restrictive placements, and held strategic, monthly conference calls with the former Commissioner.
At this time, my eyes
are on Jesus and no longer on my circumstances. In Christ, there is victory
without a doubt!
Out of the pit of
darkness, the Bible Reading Journal Series was birthed.
There will be seven
volumes addressing the core spiritual disciplines that involve life
application, confession, repentance, forgiveness, thanksgiving, and prayer. In
the midst of the storm, let us not forget to look up to Jesus, not our circumstances
In my darkest moments, I
felt hatred, unforgiveness, resentment, loneliness, isolation, and depression.
These negative emotions took root in my heart temporarily. When I was convicted
of the darkness in my life, I knew I had to look up to Jesus immediately for His
help, guidance, inner peace and most importantly a new heart!
He was forgiving,
compassionate and faithful.
As soon as I would
inscribe His Word, apply the lesson learned that morning, and submit my prayer
requests, I was able to focus on the next task, experience less distress and
endure the hardships at work.
His grace and faithfulness carried me one day at
And, when I submit all of my prayer requests at sunrise, my heart and mind are in peace and I am much better prepared for today’s battlefield and the unexpected events.
Today, I not only inscribe those Scriptures that speak to me when I’m reading the Bible, but I read these verses in different translations, apply them to my life, and step out in obedience.
As I go thru any of my journals, I have an opportunity to confess to God any sin(s) whether it is unbelief, anger or unforgiveness. I also ask the Lord to help me forgive those who have hurt me throughout the day.
Counting my blessings fills my heart with gratitude.
When I surrender and write out my prayers and praying for others, our Lord comforts me every morning.
I am boldly praising Jesus today! “Sing to the Lord, for He is highly exalted;
He has thrown the horse and its rider into the sea.” (Exodus 15: 21)
In Christ, there is victory so look up in the midst of a life storm. Do not fix your eyes on the circumstances, my friend.
Join the FB Bible Reading Journal Community today!
Bible Reading Journal: Growing Closer to God One Day at a Time.
Bible Reading Journal Series 2019
Volume 1 & 2 & 3 (Available Now on Amazon)
The Bible Reading Journal: Growing Closer to God One Day at a Time.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” ~
Matthew 11:28-30 NIV
I am lifting up all of my burdens and hardships to You at this moment.
Help me find rest for my soul so I may be ready for tomorrow’s battlefield.
At times, I am quite overwhelmed with simple tasks, intricate relationships at work or at home with my loved ones.
It is an ongoing struggle, Lord!
In You alone, I find my rest. I want to be mindful of regular breaks throughout the day so I may rest in Your Word always.
The most important event of my day is to focus on You, Lord. I want to focus on You day and night.
Yes, Lord, I will always need your wisdom and inner strength even when I am feeling brave or confident about troubling circumstances.
Help me not to be weary or burdened.
One of my biggest challenges is to forgive those who have hurt me in the past… You want me to forgive immediately (Colossians 3:13 NIV) just the way You have forgiven me. Not once or twice, but seventy times seven! Lord, this is a true challenge when I am still hurting. Help me forgive everyone and help me be discerning as I move forward in relationships.
Help me be hopeful always, and restore all distant relationships.
Our Lord is the Prince of Peace and does not want for my heart to be troubled (John 14:27 NIV). He is always with me wherever I go (Psalm 118:6 NIV).
Praising Jesus for His Faithfulness, peace, forgiveness and compassion.
Lord, give me wisdom and discernment to do good so I may not only forgive but bless others at all times.
Strengthen my heart. Renew my mind. Refresh my soul.
I need to fight “the good fight” and do all the work you have prepared me to do.
I want to be well-rested so I may be courageous and Brave in all I do in Christ.
In Jesus’ name I boldly praise and pray,
Your beloved daughter,
If you would like to journal as you rest on God’s Word, check out the selected Scriptures in the “Bible Reading Journal: Rest and Be Refreshed.”
There is no rush or urgency most weekends. The slow rhythm in tempo is invigorating on Saturday mornings. I get to choose the time I wake up, relax throughout the day, change plans as often as needed and choose a variety of activities.
On this date…
I met up with two of my girlfriends for breakfast! I had not seen them for a few weeks and we wanted to celebrate the Holiday season, have a gift exchange and get caught up before the New Year.
“How much fun is that?!”
The Holiday season is here and tender hearts intentionally connect…
The gift of friendship is an eternal gift.
We blessed our hot meal, laughed at times, confided in each other, took snapshots, rejoiced over answered prayers, exchanged gifts and prayed over our most recent circumstances. We celebrated for over three hours and didn’t even notice the crowd behind us nor the level of noise at the restaurant. Even though the restaurant was ‘jammed packed’, we truly enjoyed each other’s company.
Heart Connections are distinct, cherishable and memorable.
I’ve got to admit spending quality time with a girlfriend in our local community brings joy to my heart and these unforgettable moments are forever treasured in my mind, heart, and soul.
God is relational. He is love. He wants for all of us to connect and love one another as He has loved us (John 15:12 NIV).
God created all of us to live in a community so we can love, help, support, pray and encourage one another. I truly appreciate quality time with all of my girlfriends whether it is in person, by telephone or on social media!
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17 NIV
I realized how blessed I am for having godly friendships in my life. Yes! Each perfect gift is from above. Friendships are priceless for all the eternal blessings they bring to our lives.
It is a privilege to establish and maintain a friendship for a period of time. Some friendships last for a season and others for a lifetime.
Value the present moment and make unforgettable memories with a friend today!
Gift of Time: When we prioritize our day, week or month, let us consider reaching out to our network of friends and take the time to connect. God wants for all of us to fellowship with one another regardless of our ethnicity, race and socioeconomic status.
Love everyone, and learn the difference in fellowship styles!
Gift of Listening: When I spend time with sisters in Christ, I am heard and understood. If I have a concern or an unresolved issue in my life, I am able to openly voice them and process my upsetting thoughts and emotions without being judged.
Gift of Love: True friends love me for ‘who I am’ and they accept my character flaws. These trusting friends are accepting and nonjudgmental.
“We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing.” 2 Thessalonians 1:3 NIV
Gift of Vulnerability: An ability to be transparent in a relationship is critical for growth and intimacy. When someone is vulnerable, She will entrust you with information that shall never be shared with anyone else.
Trust is an essential ingredient for a forever friendship.
Gift of Fellowship: We all celebrate differently. When sisters in Christ celebrate, we all honor Jesus Christ in their thoughts, speech, and actions.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” Philippians 2:3-4 NIV
Friends are not selfish and are much more concerned about the well-being of others.
In a community, we grow and have an opportunity to sharpen and encourage each other, and a true friend will make us accountable for our actions.
Gift of Prayer: Sisters in Christ pray for one another. We all have different needs, challenging circumstances and emotional distress.
Photo Courtesy: Ben White @ UnSplash
Let us sit at our Lord’s feet:
Inscribe and Meditate on His Word: “May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.” 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13 NIV
Memory Verse: “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV
Weekly Challenge: Call a friend, wish her Merry Christmas and invite her for a cup of coffee or a meal at your house.
Create an opportunity to learn more about each other and pray for each other.