a few of my favorite things

*cue Julie Andrew’s singing voice* as you read the title of this entry.

As promised, I’d love to share some of my favorite resources that have become helpful in my Bible studying as I try to dive deeper into the Word. I’m going to list a few different categories with resources and tips – Bible studies, apps on my phone, and music.

I am by no means an expert on any of these things. I struggle just as much as the next person when it comes to staying in the Word, but what I’m sharing are resources and tips that have helped me along the way! I pray that some of these things may help you, or that you may even be able to share some tips with me!

{Bible studies} I’m someone who loves to have guidance as I read the Bible. I love to have response questions and something to show me what I may be missing when I just read it myself. Don’t get me wrong, there are books of the Bible that I could read time and time again without a “study” to guide me, but when I have the opportunity to have a resource that helps me dive deeper I take it! I linked each website if you want to check them out 🙂

  1. Well-Watered Women (formerly called Life Lived Beautifully). Well-Watered Women has become one of my absolute favorite places for resources, studies, and so many other wonderful things. Gretchen Saffles, the creator, has a beautiful way of writing that truly invites you into God’s Word. The first item I ever purchased was a study called “Be Still” (which I think is unfortunately no longer available) and was focused on Romans 12:9-21 about love in action, and I was hooked. I also went through the “Ruth: Gospel of Grace” study about living humbly and the love story of Ruth and Boaz, and enjoyed every second! One of the best items that Gretchen has created is the “Give Me Jesus Journal” – this is a guided journal for study/meditation meant to be used each day to bring us closer to Jesus through the Word and it ROCKS. I eventually want to get my hands on each study she’s created, they’re that good. Plus, they’re fairly cheap! Gretchen also offers leader guides with many of the studies if you want to do it with a group. She also has an awesome blog, a cool shop with apparel, artwork, cards, notebooks, and so much more. I also follow Well-Watered Women on Instagram for some daily encouragement.
  2. Proverbs 31 Ministries. Proverbs 31 Ministries is a great resource for daily encouragement. They have daily devotions, resource library, radio, online Bible studies, and also have a really cool app (which I’ll mention later). Some studies are free – there are a lot of free archived resources in the resource library – and there are also studies you can purchase and follow along as they go through it. The studies they create are awesome and cover a multitude of books in the Bible and different subjects. Also, the cool thing is most of them are digitally downloadable!
  3. She Reads Truth. She Reads Truth is becoming another one of my favorites very quickly! They offer amazing online studies that would take you no more than 5-10 minutes a day if you’re someone who is constantly on the go. I really like to read whatever their daily devotion/study is sometimes before I head into work, or when I’m feeling stressed or anxious as a quick time of peace and calm. They also have tons of great resources – studies, devotions, books, music resources, and an app (which I’ll also mention later). The She Reads Truth team recently released a BEAUTIFUL Bible for women with amazing devotions, visuals, accessibility, and wide margins (for those of you who are like me and enjoy making notes). My parents actually gifted me one for Christmas and I can’t wait to dig into it to further my study! If you’re interested, click the blue “Bible” and it’ll take you directly to the site to learn more about it!
  4. Jennie Allen. I actually mentioned Jennie in my first post when I created my blog. She’s one of my favorite Christian authors! I’ve read two of her books (Nothing to Prove, and Anything) and absolutely loved them both. I actually was given the opportunity to hear Jennie speak when our church hosted her on her Freedom tour, and loved her even more in person. She’s extremely humble, and just loves Jesus. The day was focused on worshipping our Savior and realizing what it means to live truly free in Jesus. Jennie also has some great studies – my friends and I went through her “Chase” study over the summer and I loved it. The study was super interactive, discussion-based, and focused on the life of David and how he spent his life chasing after God, and asked us, “What are you chasing?”.

{Phone apps} With our world of technology and instant gratification, we might as well use it to grow in the Spirit! I love having immediate access to a Bible on my phone. I utilize this way more than I ever thought I would, and the apps I have are very useful to me!

  1. YouVersion Bible App. Most of us probably already have this app, or at least have heard about it. This Bible app is the OG of Bible apps. But, they’ve revamped it and made it super accessible and useful! You can create a login and a profile to save plans, highlight verses, bookmark passages, use an awesome keyword search feature that is exactly like the subject index at the back of most Bibles, and allows you to select the translation you prefer. One my favorite features is the “Verse of the Day” feature. You can set a time for the verse of the day to pop up on your phone – it’s an awesome small reminder of God’s love and grace each day. Another one of my favorite features are the Plans. The Plans tab offers so many relevant reading plans that you can do from your phone. Personally, I’m a pen-and-paper, Bible-and-notebook kind of girl, but sometimes a quick reading plan on my phone is just what I need. You can click “find plans” and choose a topic, search for a topic, or just browse through some of the most popular plans – some of them are as short as a few days! You can set up daily reminders to read, and it allows you to check off each day as you go through your plan. If you struggle with following a reading plan, this may be a great start for you!
  2. She Reads Truth app. Not only does She Reads Truth have an awesome website and Bible, but they also have a great app! It has a lot of the same features as the YouVersion app, but geared toward women, and if I do say so myself, it’s very visually beautiful. This app has the Bible with highlighting and saving features, daily devotions, plans, allows you to make a profile to keep your favorite things, and also has different translations to choose based on what you prefer. The She Reads Truth app is fairly new, so I’m still exploring it myself (but, I have found one of my favorite things about it – beautiful verse graphics that are made to be saved as a phone lock screen – how cool!).
  3. First5 app. The First 5 app is a Proverbs 31 Ministries creation, so you know it’s great. The description of the app says, “We say we put God first…so wouldn’t it make sense that we give Him the first 5 minutes of each day?…We must exchange whispers with God before shouts with the world.” This app, like the others, allows you to make a profile. You can bookmark, save plans, and also create groups with other women or your friends and go through plans together – which is awesome! Each day there is a new “first 5” devotion that takes no more than 5 minutes, and truly starts your day with Jesus and his peace. This app also has beautiful verse graphics created to be lock screens for your phone!

{Music} Music is something that has always been near and dear to my heart, and I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember. There’s not much that tugs on my heart and convicts me like a great worship song. Worship music has the power to move your soul, bring you to tears of joy, and to give you the feeling of closeness with Jesus. Some of my most memorable spiritual moments have happened during a worship set. Worship music isn’t just music, it’s prayer – prayer and reverence to our Savior that He so greatly deserves.

I have hours of music I could share, but since we’re focusing on resources for studying the Bible I’m going to share my current worship favorites playlist with you! This is what I typically listen to when I write, read the Bible, or when I’m in the car after a stressful day and need some peace. Here’s the link to my Spotify worship playlist, feel free to download it or follow the playlist as I add more songs! (Also, if you’re a dancer like me, hit me up and I’ll share my favorite Christian rappers and dance music artists – trust me, they’re better than you think!)

I truly pray that you gained a resource today to use toward furthering your study of God’s Word and His beautiful promises to us as believers. I know studying the Word can seem intimidating at times, but I promise you those fears and intimidation begin to slip away the minute you begin reading what He says to you.

Please leave me a comment with some of your favorite resources or tips for studying God’s Word, or let me know if one of these suggestions worked for you! In the future I’ll be sharing my ups and downs with prayer life, as well as tips for quiet time with God!

Your sister in Christ – kayley jean, a wife redeemed

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