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tool box time

Hello lovelies! How was your weekend! I steam mopped my kitchen floor this weekend…so…I was actually super pumped about that. I know I am a real adult now because I felt thrilled over a steam mop. What have I become? We are also getting ready to get back into the fall routine and lazy summer days will end as we become a little more schedule-oriented. Fall is exciting, though, and it always reminds me of new beginnings. It has become my favorite season. I think of fresh opportunities, trying new experiences, and building healthy routines...and pumpkin spice Cheerios and lattes, of course!

As life rhythms naturally change and new activities begin, it is also a great time to create stronger spiritual routines as well! How many of y’all make time to sit still with our heavenly Father each day? I totally get it. School starts early. Work starts early. We are tired at the end of the day. Practice has happened or work has been exhausting. We may have the desire to spend time with God, but to actually do it requires some effort, right? Right! And it is definitely worth it!

I have some ideas for you to put in your spiritual tool box, if you will, to help you study and get to know our loving God a little better. I want everyone to experience God’s Word come to life and to really get the idea that what we read in the Bible actually happened (Hebrews 4:12). I want to challenge you to put the effort in and see how God changes your world! Here are some FUN tools that I have used in seminary and in my own home as well. Just so you know, I like fun books with pictures, so these are tools anyone can enjoy. I also like quick tools at this point in life since I have four little girls five years old and under. Check these out!

Bible Dictionary: This is great to learn about the people, places, things, and events in the Bible. Search key words to find more about a word or phrase in the Bible that is not familiar. Lots of information is included and written in a way that is easy to read and understand. It includes a few pictures as well! Bonus! Click here to get more info.

Guide to Understanding the Bible: This is an overview of each book of the Bible. The main idea of each book is included, along with maps, charts, authors, events, themes, and purposes. It helps give the big picture for each book to make understanding each book much easier. This particular book is colorful too! Click here to get more info.

Bible Atlas: The title of atlas shows that it obviously includes pictures, so that is helpful. This explains physical, cultural, and historical settings of the Bible books. It also gives events of Bible history from Genesis through Revelation. Click here to get more info.

Concordance: This tool gives an alphabetical listing of each word in the Bible and where it can be found. It defines every Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic word in the Bible. Woohoo! Such a useful book! This one may not be as colorful as the others, but just as useful and full of information to help readers understand God’s Word. This is great for when I know a piece of a verse but can’t remember where to find it! Click here to get more info.

Bonus tools:

For you extra curious individuals who like to read and learn, I have to extras that you will love! I feel like a nerd, but these are two of my favorite books. I used them in seminary for classes, but I have used them to teach teenagers and children - they are just that great!

Four Portraits, One Jesus: This book shows the four Gospel books, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in comparison and contrast. It explains the background for each author and culture. It also explains Jesus’s ministry, message, and life on earth. The book shows how each book tells the same narrative of Jesus, but from different perspectives on His work and life. Did I mention how colorful and full of pictures this is? Yep, it’s great. Click here to get more info.

Systematic Theology: This is going to make me sound like a real nerd and someone who loves to study. If that is not you, never fear. This is not just for those who enjoy stuff like studying. This book is basically an introduction to Christian doctrine - what we believe and why, based on what we read in Scripture. This book is not just for theologians, but for us students, young professionals, moms, and grandmas! Readers can search for a topic and learn what theories exist and what Scripture has to speak about each topic. This is a great resource for people who like to think! I know many young professionals who want to get to the heart of Jesus and the Bible and this works well for them! Click here to get more info.

These are some resources that I find helpful to keep nearby. I always like practicality, so these sources will not do any good setting on a shelf, so keeping them near me in a nightstand or where I spend time with God enables me to actually use them. I know myself, and if it is not easy, I will not use it!

Use this fall and season of fresh beginnings be a time to create new ways to grow spiritually! Include these resources and enjoy learning more about the One Who cares for you more than anyone else! Let me know if you use some of these tools and how they affect your life! If you have any questions, feel free to contact me as well! Have a wonderful week!



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