Meet Beth Nyhart. Wife & mom extraordinaire, Jane of all trades, and the heart & soul behind Many Sparrows Sisterhood. With a hope to bring together Christian women who struggle with sin in their everyday lives and give them a safe place to get prayer, accountability, and inspiration I am excited to be featuring her as a guest on The Purple Merchant today. We have asked Beth to share with us how you can incorporate art with your devotions through Bible journaling. How cool is that! Here is what she had to say.
The biggest thing that draws me to Bible Journaling is the fact that it forces you to slow down. I am terrible about forgetting what I read in my devotions, like, literally as I’m reading it. My brain just doesn’t focus very well on the written word.
But with art, you have to kinda sit there awhile. You have to think about what you want to draw or paint, pick colors, smooth the paint across the page, and slowly write or draw out the picture in your mind. It gives your hands something to do while you think about what this passage means and how God is speaking to you through it.
I love using water-colours as they let me cover the whole page without obscuring the words. There are many differing opinions about what is okay to do in your Bible. Some may say that this is disrespecting God’s word while others say that it’s okay as long as the words are still legible or you stay in the margin. I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but the way I see it is that I bought this specific Bible for art. I have done entries that completely covered the words, and while that doesn’t bother me, I prefer to be able to read them.
You would think that paint would bleed through and you’d end up with a horrible mess on the other side of the page, but it really doesn’t. If you are careful to spread the paint quickly and not let water sit on the page you really won’t see much on the other side at all.
The passage featured in the images you see in this post are based on John 8:1-11, the story of the woman caught in adultery. This past week I used this passage as one of the Daily Devo Journal / Art Prompts for Instagram and Facebook. Every day we post a passage of scripture, a few questions, something to pray about, and a prompt for writing or art. I love that it keeps me intentional about studying my Bible and allows my creative brain something to visualize.
This story stands out in particular to me as the characters within it were focused on the woman caught in adultery and her shame, but Jesus turned the focus from her to the accusers hearts. He is always doing that! Instead of looking at how bad this woman’s sin was and making sure she was justly punished, he said that if their hearts were absolutely pure they were free to throw their stones at her.
What do you say to that? There’s just nothing. The only response is to walk away, which is what the crowds did that day. When Jesus spoke to the woman he said that he wasn’t going to condemn her either, and then gave her the charge to go and change her sinful ways. He forgave her.
Reflecting on the concept of the passage in my own life, I realize how quickly I am thinking badly of other people without letting my mind dwell too long on my own shortcomings. It is so easy to look at someone’s actions or attitude without knowing their heart or their situation and just rip them apart. What is it about women? We are especially bad at this.
But when I consider their sin (or just their annoying personality) in light of my own equally crappy sin and equally selfish personality, there aren’t any stones for me to throw. I have to give the job of condemnation back to God and just stay out of it.
To reflect these thoughts I’m using an alpha stamp set to stamp in the words here. I tried to emphasize the words “sin” and “my own” by making them all in the outlined letters and then filling the outlines in with a white gel pen.
We are called to love each other, encourage and build one another up. We are also called to have good judgment and confront sin in fellow Christian’s lives, but not with the attitude that we are their ultimate judge. The woman caught in adultery probably could have used a few good friends to help her get back on her feet and find her way after her life was completely upheaved that day.
This Bible Journaling entry is pretty simple. I used water-colours, alpha stamps, a white gel pen and a date stamp to complete it. The art is fun, and I love the pretty visual, but the real gem of studying the Bible this way is the extra time and thought that needs to be put into the passage.
I really believe that God has used Bible Journaling to enhance my devotional life. And you can totally do it too! No super crazy artistic talent required, though a quick search through Instagram or Pinterest will show you some amazing examples of Bible Journaling art.
It is all about your heart, and helping your mind sit and ruminate on the word of God. If you tend to skim over the words in the greatest book of all time, God’s personal love letter written to you, maybe this method will help you dig in there a little deeper.
For daily inspiration and an easy way to spend time with Jesus, check out Many Sparrows Sisterhood on Instagram or Facebook and follow the Daily Devo prompts. You can also use the Many Sparrows Faith & Life Planner for artistic Bible study if you are squeamish about painting in your Bible.
Beth Nyhart has her heart set on being a Godly wife & mother, and being as close to God as possible. She dabbles in all things creative, from DIY home improvement to Bible Journaling, and is often swept into a new obsession with making stuff look cool.
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The Purple Merchant is based on Lydia from Acts 16; a business woman and seller of purple cloth. This blog was founded as a way to connect Christian woman who sell handmade craft items and people who love supporting their work. We exist to showcase Christian handmade shops, empower handmade business woman, and provide mission opportunities for crafters!