Fear not, for I am with you

Have you ever had a dream about something but then when you wake up you only remember bits and pieces of it and not the whole dream in detail?  I’ll wake up and recall a dream about something or someone but have no clue what it was about. However, this was not the case years ago when I had a very detailed dream and woke up with a clear understanding of the meaning behind it.

I don’t recall exactly what was going on in my life, whether I was happy, sad or fearful about something.  I can tell you that my husband and kids mean the world to me and I’d be lying if I said that I don’t worry about their safety whenever they leave the house. As a cancer survivor, I have to be diligent about going in for my annual checkups and necessary scans.  My mother who is in her 80’s has heart issues, and the usual ailments that come with old age.  I guess all these events bring about a sense of worry and fear. Like I said I worry for my husband and kids safety.  After all we live in an age where workplace and school violence is in the news far too often.  I worry about having cancer again.   I worry about losing my mom.  I worry about losing my job. And the list goes on. When we worry, we have a fear of what may come. What awful thing will we be forced to face and what dreaded card will we be dealt.

I am very good about preaching to my family and friends about how they shouldn’t worry about stuff and to simply trust in God and to have faith in His will for us. But yet I’m the one who often worries and has unending fears about what may or may not happen. I don’t know if the dream I had was the Lord’s way of telling me to let go and let God.  All I know is that in my dream, I was a passenger in a moving car. Sitting quietly, I looked out the passenger side window and took notice of two girls (my daughters) walking side be side with their arms around each other’s shoulder, in a protective comforting way, taking care of one another.  Then when I turned to say something to the driver, I realized there was no one there!  I panicked and started screaming and tried exiting the vehicle but was unable to. I thought if there is no driver, then the car will surely crash.  But then suddenly I had a sense of peace overcome me as I realized that the car I was riding in was not swerving or drifting or speeding out of control.  It was going at a safe normal speed and I was panicking for no reason at all. What frightened me was the empty driver seat. Who is driving this car? I thought, when the realization hit me.  It was then that it occurred to me that the very God that I pray to and ask protection from, is always with me. He is in control and always in the driver seat even when we can’t see Him.  God is the driver, the pilot and the author of my life.  He wrote my story before I was even born and knows me better than I know myself.   He protects me and like my two girls walking side by side with a protective arm around each other, He also has His protective hand on me and my family.

This is the only dream I can recall with great detail.  I know the Lord was speaking to my heart through this dream and I feel blessed to be able to share it.  I pray that whatever circumstances  that you are facing, that you find hope in God’s promises.

Philippians 4:6-7 ~ “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”.

Psalm 34:4 ~ “I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears”.

Hebrew 13:6 ~ “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”

Deuteronomy 31:8 ~ “And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you.  He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed”.



Bible Art Journaling

One of my latest discoveries has been the joy of bible art journaling. I’ve been a part of a Journaling Bible Community group on Facebook for several months just taking in all the beautiful artwork that some talented women have created in their bibles and honestly I never thought that I would eventually start journaling myself. To be honest I actually thought that all the time spent in drawing, painting and coloring was taking away from valuable study time. Yet the more I stalked this FB page the more I was intrigued by some of the pictures that were created that I eventually hopped on the band wagon and pulled out my Prismacolor pencils that  I got for Christmas and went to work.  I can tell you what a joy it has been to just sit and draw and color and really take in the scriptures . I’m no artist by any means and really the lack of artistic skills is what kept me from even trying to draw something that is faith-based and worthy of sharing anywhere. So I started with something easy. It was Valentine’s Day so I thought I’d journal on “love” and create a tree with hearts and then add the scripture Colossians 3:14 ~ “And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony”.

While I’ve seen some bibles with pages drenched in water color paint and almost completely covering the words, I opted for a more softer, approach and really prefer to not cover up God’s word with so much color that I can’t even read it.  Although I do have my NKJV study bible that I use solely for studying, I will use my ESV version bible with wide margins for bible art and for sharing some faith-based artwork.


How I study the bible using the S.O.A.P. method

I don’t know about you but studying the bible can be difficult at times especially if you are in a noise-filled environment. That’s why for me, it’s easier to grab a few precious minutes in the morning while I’m having breakfast before I leave for work.  Studying in the evening after dinner is almost out of the question unless I retreat to my room, put ear plugs in and hang a do not disturb sign outside my door.  Another problem I have while bible studying is sometimes understanding and really absorbing the scriptures and the meaning behind them. So I searched  “bible study methods” on YouTube and found a very informative video which I will link down below.

All you need is a bible, a notebook or journal and pen.  Basically what you do is select a verse that you are drawn to or wish to gain a deeper understanding of and follow the SOAP method. By following this method you will write out the the word SOAP vertically in your notebook. Each letter should be spaced out evenly like in the picture below.  I’ve outlined below the meaning for each letter…

Scripture    –    Read through the scripture and really take it in. Don’t just skim through it but really absorb every word and really think about what it means. Then write out the verse in your notebook.

Observation    –    Think about what you’ve observed in this passage and write it down and share what you feel God’s message is through this part of the scripture.

Application    –    This is where it gets personal in where you write down how the verse applies to you in your life today or how you identify with a specific bible character and how you plan to apply what you’ve learned.

Prayer    –    This is also personal. It’s a message from you to God so don’t stress about getting the words down right. Just speak/write from the heart and remember that God always listens to you and already knows your needs. He just wants to hear from you.

Feel free to check out the video How to Study the Bible Using the SOAP Method as it is very basic and clear and I love how Asheritah Ciuciu (love her name, don’t you?) explains things.

I pray the SOAP Method helps you in your walk with the Lord and brings you closer to Him than ever before. God Bless!