Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Galtians Words Introduction


Galatians Words Introduction

Tomorrow, we begin the Galatians Words Challenge! Today I would like to give a bit of the background for Paul’s letter to the Galatian churches, offer a few study tips, and explain the format for this Words Challenge. This post is a bit long, but I promise the challenge posts will not be so long.

First, let’s look at the format as I have changed it a bit for this Words Challenge based on feedback from past challenges. Beginning tomorrow I will post a Bible study devotion on my blog for the first word. From there I will post each word and Bible study devotion every other day. The day in between posts is a day for you to study and make art if you choose. At the end of each post, I’ll give you some suggestions for studying for the next word. You will get so much more out of this challenge if you participate in studying yourself before reading my posts about what I saw in the study. Remember that I will be using a new study tool, the ESV Scripture Journal for Galatians. I posted a few days ago about how I added extra note pages. You can read that here. You can click on the picture below to be taken to Amazon to purchase a Scripture Journal.

Now, let’s look at some background information about Paul’s letter to the Galatian churches. This letter is thought to be one of his earlier letters, probably written after 1 & 2 Thessalonians. 

The book of Acts tells us the story of how the Galatian territories, and other Gentile areas, heard the gospel of Christ and then formed churches.  I am going to make this a quick overview but will provide Scripture references if you would like to read the full story.

  • The book of Acts begins after Jesus' resurrection and the forty days he spent among his disciples. In Acts 1:8 Jesus says his final words to his followers telling them, "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." The rest of the book of Acts tells the story of how this took place,
  • Acts 2:1-13 tells the story of the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit comes upon Jesus' followers. This follows with a great gospel presentation from Peter in 2:14-41. In this presentation, Peter shares how the coming of the Holy Spirit fulfills the Old Testament prophecies of the New Covenant in Ezekiel 36:26-27 and Joel 2:28-32. God promised to put His Spirit in His people, enabling them to live His ways. He would pour out His Spirit on His people. 
  • As we continue through the book of Acts, we begin to see the story of the Gospel of Christ spreading throughout Jerusalem, Jude and Samaria as Jesus foretold. But at this time, it is mainly spread through the Jewish synagogues and populations to the Jewish people. That is until we reach Acts 9. 
  • In Acts 9:1-18 we read the story of a man named Saul who was Jewish and a member of the Pharisees. Scripture tells us that his job was to persecute those who were turning to faith in Christ. But this wonderful story in Acts 9 shares how Saul himself meets the Risen Christ and he becomes a Christ-follower as well. We read in 9:15 that the Lord "has chosen this man as my instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles..."
  • And so, begins the story of how Saul becomes the Apostle Paul and takes the Gospel of Christ to the Gentile nations, which will lead to it being spread to "the ends of the earth". This is the story of the book of  Acts; the Gospel spreads to the Gentile nations and local congregations are born.
  • In Acts 13 and 14. Saul and Barnabas take their first missionary journey. They begin in Antioch, sail to the island of Cyprus, then continue to the regions of Asia Minor which included the Galatian region. On this journey Paul preaches in syagagues but begins to face persecution from the Jewish people who see people turning to Christ as a threat to their religion's ways and to the synagogue's financial means. Part way through his journey after facing repeated threats and beatings, Saul states in 13:46-47 that the Jews rejection of the Gospel of Christ will now result in him "turning to the Gentiles...becoming a light for the Gentiles, to bring salvation to the ends of the earth." It is at this point in his journey that he travels to Galatia. It is also on this journey to Galatia that we begin to see Saul become known by his Gentile name, Paul.
  • At each town where many Gentiles came to faith in Christ, Paul would teach them and train elders, and a local church would be established to continue their spiritual growth in this new way of life and to continue the spread of the gospel in that town. Many of the New Testament letters were written by Paul to these churches he had established. He would receive reports back from the elders and respond with letters which would be read aloud and taught to the congregations. These letters would contain theology of the gospel, instruction on how to live as God's people, and would often address solutions to specific problems that the local churches were facing. Our job in the 21st century is to learn about the problems and challenges the 1st century churches faced and then apply them to the situations we face today.
Paul's letter to the Galatian churches will deal with problems unique to their churches that had implications for all churches and all Christ-followers. We will learn about their unique problems and receive Paul's solutions for them, and hopefully, find ourselves in both the problems and the solutions and come away encouraged and transformed. At the heart of the Galatian message is the cry of the Protestant faith: 

Sola gratia, sola fide, solus Christus.

Which is Latin for by grace alone though faith alone in Christ alone. Our journey through Galatians will reveal the heart of Paul for the gospel of grace.

So, what steps can you take to prepare for this journey? 

1.  Get a Scripture Journal (link above) or print out the full book of Galatians on copy paper.

2.  A great way to start any book study is to mark key words throughout the book, which is why it's a good idea to use something other than our Bible for study notes. The calendar and list of words will be at the end of this post. Assign a different color for each of the 15 words. This is a great set of markers for a great price: here. There is a blank page in the Scripture Journal right before chapter 1. I recommend writing your words on it, showing your color code, and writing down the verses where each word appears, Here's an example from my Scripture journal:      


3.  I did a post the other day about how to add extra notes pages to the Scripture Journal. You can find it here.

4.  If you want to study today in advance of tomorrow's first word, grace, here are my suggestions: The first two words are found in chapter 1 (as well as other places throughout the book). So read chapter 1, mark your key words, and as you read see if you can determine the problem the Galatian churches are facing. I have other study tips and tutorials on the Bible Study Tips & Techniques page in the menu above, or follow this link

5.  If you are going to participate with a creative response then purchase or make an art journal or journal to hold your art, poems, photographs, or any other creative practice. I wrote about the accordion art journal I made for the study here. I will be sharing the art page I made for each word in each Bible study devotion post.

6.  Join the private Facebook group for the Words Challenges. You can use the button in the right hand sidebar or click here. Not on Facebook? Use #galatianswords on Instagram. I can be found on Instagram @foundonbrighton. Not on social media at all? Then subscribe to my blog and you will receive blog posts in your email box each morning they are published.

My hope for this challenge, and all of the Words challenges, is that we engage personally with the God of the Word through His Word, that we engage deeper as we meditate on the Word through study and creativity - imitating our Creator God -, and that we encourage one another through our art and sharing our study insights through the community we build in the Facebook group and on Instagram. We are God's people - people of the Word! May we grow deeper in our relationship with Him as we grow in our knowledge of Him (Colossians 1:9-14).

Click on photo to download a printable version

Saturday, August 27, 2022

How to Add Extra Notes Pages to ESV Scripture Journal


How to Add Extra Notes Pages to ESV Scripture Journal

In just a few days the newest Words Challenge will begin as we go through the book of Galatians together with Bible study and creative response. If you missed the intro post you can read it here and a sneak peek at my Galatians Words art journal here. In both posts I mentioned that I would be using a new study tool this time: An ESV Scripture Journal. ESV has a Scripture Journal for each book of the Bible. They give you the text on one page and lined pages for notes on the facing page. It's a great way to keep all of your study notes in one place. You can purchase them on Amazon by clicking on the picture link below.

However, as much as I like these Scripture journals, I found that at times one page for notes was not enough. So let me share today how I added extra pages. All you need is some washi tape or masking tape (1/2 to 1" wide) and extra paper - lined, dotted, or blank - and some scissors.

1.  Cut your extra paper to 5 1/4 x 7 1/2". The pages in the Scripture Journals are a bit larger but they have rounded corners. At the size I specified the extra page will fold into the journal nicely.

2.  Cut some strips of tape 7 1/2" long.

3. Lay a piece of cut paper next to the Scripture Journal page you want to add it to. If possible keep a very slim margin between the two papers, less than an 1/8". This will help your taped page fold nicer. Place one 7 1/2" long piece of tape so that it overlaps both pages. Press firmly using a bone folder or the handle of your scissors.

4. Next you will place another piece of tape on the opposite side, making sure it overlaps boths pieces of paper. Press firmly. Once tape is on both sides of the paper, fold the extra page into the journal page. Then run a bone folder or the edge of your scissors along this fold on top of the tape to create a crease.

5.  You can even add extra pages to the extra pages! I wanted to take notes on each of the words separate from my study notes. So, with my first extra page taped in place, I then added another page going through the same steps. I then added another page behind the second page.


Using patterned washi or masking tape will give you a decorated edge.

Get your Scripture journal, add in your extra study pages, make or buy an art journal, and get ready because the Galatians Words Challenge will begin on September 1st! There is a calendar of the words below. Also, join the Words Challenge Facebook group and share your photos and join the conversation. You can also share on social media with #galatianswords and #wordsartandfaithgroup. 

I truly enjoy doing these Word challenges in community. Bible study and art are both best shared!

Click on photo to download a printable version

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Galatians Words Journal Sneak Peek


Galatians Words Journal Sneak Peek

After two and a half years of dodging it, Covid has finally hit our house. I've been down for the count most of this past week. By Thursday I managed to feel well enough to get a little creative. Here is the promised sneak peek at the journal I made for the Galatians Words challenge.

Last month The Handmade Book Club held a five day challenge making accordion fold books. I decided then to make one for Galatians Words. My accordion journal has 8 panels, which gives me 15 pages plus a cover. It has a flap where, eventually, I will add a closure of some type. 

For my art pages I made 15 background pages of collage. They measure out to be 1/2" less than my journal page size all around, which makes the collage page float on the book page with a border. It also allows me to work on the pages apart from the journal and add them when they are complete.

If, by chance, you also did the accordion book challenge, I used the directions for the "4 Panel Accordion" and made two of these, gluing them together. If you did not take the accordion book challenge, I would recommend googling accordion fold books. They are quite simple to make and there are many instructions to be found online. But, of course, use whatever type of journal you like!

The cover of my journal gives a great clue to what is at the heart of the book of Galatians. Each phrase is Latin for the heart of the gospel: Sola gratia = grace alone. Sola fide = faith alone. Solus Christus = Christ alone. Salvation is by God's grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.  As we explore the book of Galatians together next month we will experience Paul's passion for nothing but the gospel of grace and its call to unify us.

If you haven't read my last post announcing the challenge you can read it here. I mentioned in that post that I am using an additional study tool that I found quite helpful. The ESV Scripture Journal for the book of Galatians. It gives you the book with the text on one page and a lined page next to it for notes. You can mark up your passages, write observations and study notes, and have it altogether in one place.

You can click on the photo for a link to purchase the Scripture Journal on Amazon. *Please note that as an Amazon affiliate I do receive a small percentage for sales made through links on my blog.

If you want to get a head start on connecting with the book of Galatians, get a Scripture Journal, take the list of the words we will be using, set up a color code for them and mark them throughout the Scripture journal. You can also do this by simply printing out the book on copy paper. Those words will then stand out as you read and study the book.

Next week I will post a tutorial on how to add the additional study note pages to your Scripture Journal, like you see in the photo above. I'm so excited to dive into this book with all of you!

Click on photo to download a printable calendar

Monday, August 15, 2022

Galatians Words Challenge Coming Soon!


Coming Soon!

I feel the need to blow the dust off of this blog. It's been so long since I have posted here. I have spent the summer studying the book of Galatians. A book study is always a sure-fire way to re-ignite both my passion for the Word and my spark for creativity. So, haing done that  - and thoroughly enjoying it -  I am ready to announce a new Words art and faith challenge!

Galatians Words: September 1-30

Let's jump right into some of the details.

1. What is a Words art and faith challenge and how does it work? My Words challenges combine Bible study and creative response. They takes place in this manner: I provide a list of words that are key to the book of the Bible we will study. The words will "walk" us through the entire book. Along with the words are a key verse or passage. Then I will post a Bible study devotion each day of the study to help us see how the author has used that word in the book. I encourage you to study as well, then read the devotion, and then respond to it in whatever creative manner you choose.

2. That sounds like a lot! I may get overwhelmed, so how do I keep up? First of all, you don't have to keep up. Reflection on Bible study is best done at a pace that enables the Word to permeate your heart, mind and soul. So, don't worry about schedules! But for those of you who will worry about the schedule, I've slowed down the pace for this Words challenge. I will post a word and a Bible study devotion every other day in September, giving you a day in-between to do your own study and to respond creatively. The calendar is at the end of the post.

3. That brings me to the study part: My desire with the Words challenges is to encourage you to dig into the study too, not just to read what I have studied through my Bible study devotion posts. To that end, this time I used a different tool. The English Standard Version (ESV) has published a scripture journal for every book of the Bible. It gives you the book with the text on one page and a lined page next to it for notes. You can mark up your passages, write observations and study notes, and have it altogether in one place. I even added some tip-in pages in mine for extra notes and will do a tutorial post about this before the study begins.

You can click on the photo for a link to purchase the Scripture Journal on Amazon. *Please note that as an Amazon affiliate I do receive a small percentage for sales made through links on my blog.

4. Where can I share my creative responses and join in conversation about the study? You can post on Instagram using #galatianswords and #wordsartandfaithgroup. You can also join the private Facebook group set up for the Words challenges:  Words Art & Faith Challenge Group. Click on the link here or the button in the sidebar on the right.

I made an accordion fold journal to put my Galatians Words art in, which I will give you a preview of toward the end of the week.

I would encourage you to get a Scripture Journal and begin marking the key words. Pick a different color for each word and circle or box them throughout the book. Noticing key words and color coding them is a great way to jump into Bible study and be creative at the same time! (BTW,one of my favorite fineliner markers for Bible study are the Stabilo point 88. Amazon has a great deal right now on a set of 40.)The word list and calendar are below.

Click on the photo for a printable version without the background