An Unscripted Journey: Brave Prayers and Bold Praises to my Beloved Jesus. ~ When my heart surrenders and focuses on His Truth, the unexpected happens… a life filled with unlimited possibilities. His love endures forever!
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!
An opportunity to reflect on our lives in the midst of busyness,
An opportunity to reflect on God’s Truth,
An opportunity to align our lives to His precepts,
An opportunity to discover unconfessed sin(s),
An opportunity to discover negative emotion(s) including anger, bitterness, jealousy or envy, hurts, and disappointment,
An opportunity to count today’s blessings,
An opportunity to guard our hearts from negative emotion(s) including unforgiveness and hatred,
An opportunity to submit our petitions to the Lord,
An opportunity to pray for others,
An opportunity to write down your key points from the Pastor’s sermon,
An opportunity to reflect back and apply what was learned at a conference or bible study,
An opportunity to write Scriptures and explore different Bible versions to grow deeper in our walk with the Lord,
An opportunity to write God’s Word to memorize and hide His Truth in our hearts eternally,
An opportunity to establish and maintain an on-going dialogue with our Creator,
An opportunity to listen attentively when taking notes in the additional lined pages of the journal,
An opportunity to appreciate how faithful God is in our everyday lives,
An opportunity to gain insights and fresh perspective on a given challenge,
An opportunity to reflect on learned lessons,
An opportunity to seek for God’s wisdom and direction,
An opportunity to witness God’s answers to prayers
An opportunity to take notes from your favorite commentaries.
Note, there is no right or wrong way to journal, I would encourage for you to do it. You will grow closer to God and His Word will guard your heart. Everyday stressful or challenging circumstances can lead to worries, anxieties or distress. If we take the time to cast our cares onto the Lord, He will give us rest and peace as soon as we rely on Him for comfort.
“A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance…” Ecclesiastes 3:4 NIV
As a child, I spent countless hours at our family’s country house, ‘La Morita’. We would travel there every weekend with relatives and friends. The adults would play cards, dominoes or bingo in the evenings after a tasty home-made meal. All of the children would laugh often when sharing stories at the hammocks zone, play Marco Polo at the pool, ride horses in town or hike the mountains at sunrise.
I certainly miss ‘La Morita’. Those memorable times were filled with joy. I don’t remember experiencing any sadness then. Our families were united, loved one another, and were energized by fellowship, outdoor activities and mesmerized by the beauty of nature.
As I grew older, I soon realized life was not ‘picture perfect’. There are moments filled with contentment and other times filled with great distress, anger, emotional pain, grief and/or sorrow.
God promised to be right there with us thru it all – the fun, the boring, the best, the ugly and the worst times.
The Lord is our Refuge. He will never leave us nor forsake us. That is His promise.
When dad passed away, mom relocated back to our home country in South America. Since then, I have only seen her once. We don’t get to walk at the local park nor shop at ‘Sawgrass Mills’ Shopping Center anymore. It has been over two years since I last had a meal with mom at the table. I miss her voice, enthusiasm and most importantly her presence. I wish I could sit with you right now and share the details of my next trip to Florida. The truth is I may never be able to visit mom again and this is a reality I have recently come to terms with. I am in a season of loss, grief and sorrow indeed. It is time to weep, mourn and embrace the loss of mom’s current living situation, geographical distance and deteriorating health conditions.
Are you grieving at this moment, my friend? Are you reminiscing on ‘how’ your past circumstances are quite different than todays? Perhaps, you are facing an ‘unexpected’ loss and you are quite overwhelmed with the intensity and impact of the sudden challenge.
Do not be dismayed or broken-hearted, my friend.
We are in a season of grief but His mercies are new every morning. Today is filled with opportunities for us to briefly reminisce about the past then spend the rest of the time counting our blessings. We have been blessed for all the countless memories and unforgettable moments with our loved ones. They have left their ‘forever’ fingerprints on our minds, hearts and souls. My heart rejoices every time I think of mom.
Let us not dwell on the emotional distress or pain of our recent past. Let us acknowledge our loss, lament and journal our painful thoughts until we are comforted by His promises. Our Lord listens to our melancholic cries and painful thoughts and He comforts our shattered hearts over time.
We will dance once again as soon as our hearts are healed and restored.
Lord, there are so many seasons in our lives and some are difficult to process and get thru. I know we may be in the midst of a tough season. As we lament our losses, we know you are comforting us with your faithfulness, morning mercies and compassion … You hear all of our cries and wipe our tears away. You heal our brokenness and bind our deep wounds. You are our only Hope and Refuge. Turn the gaze of our hearts towards the beauty of all of your promises and fill our hearts with never-ending Hope.
Lord, I’m willing to embrace the new season in life. Spring is here! Flowers are blooming. I want to rejoice once again. Jesus, hold my hand and come with me and waltz together at the dance floor.
In Jesus’ name we boldly pray, Amen.
“You, LORD, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,” Psalm 10:17 NIV
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3 NIV
“The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.” Psalm 9:9 NIV
“One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.” Psalm 27:4 NIV
“There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the Heaven…He has made everything beautiful in its time…” Ecclesiastes 3:1-2, 5 NIV
There will always be a season for a “fresh start” whether it is a new career, a church community, a job, a friendship or even a ministry. I delight in the freshness of ‘new beginnings’. When we embark on a new path, it is normal for us to expect favorable outcomes right away. In a world of instant gratification, I like for circumstances to unfold quickly in my favor or be resolved immediately.
When I was in High School, I wanted to finish the academic coursework in three years… When I was a young adult, I wanted to marry and move out of the house… When I was in college, I wanted to graduate in less than four years! I tend to rush. I sure do. As I got older, I soon realized there are no shortcuts or healthy quick fixes in life.
Time is of the essence! Be still and know He is in control of our lives. (Psalm 46:10) Let us sit back, relax and be present in the moment.
We may need additional time to select a new career path. It takes a while to get settled in a new community. There is usually a learning curve to master and be proficient at new tasks. In relationships, we need time to learn one another and build trust. If we are serving in ministry, we may need to wait for direction, wisdom, and understanding.
God’s timetable is different than ours! His ways are higher than ours. His timing and plans are perfect. Let us be open-minded and flexible in the midst of our wait. It may take longer than expected!
If we want to be fruitful in life, let us break down our goals, and zero into specific action steps. Just know, God is orchestrating all of our circumstances and He does not miss a beat! Over the course of time, suitable conditions will flourish. God makes everything beautiful in His time. He is in charge of the Harvest.
The more I wait and persevere, the more I trust His plan. In my last wait, the Holy Spirit reminded me of the following;
Let us honor our new beginnings and trust His timing. Do not rush or grow weary. “So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me.” Acts 27:25 NIV
Let us take a leap of Faith and take the next step without anxiety or distress. Do not be afraid. “But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage!…” Matthew 14:27 NIV
In Christ, we have His wisdom to face challenges along the way. Do not doubt yourself. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7 NIV
Do not be distracted by external circumstances“…And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer, and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him, he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2 NIV
Lord, help us be in your presence so we may experience serenity in the midst of our wait.“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7 NIV
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.
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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.”