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Beyond Scriptural Typography (Exceeding Text Elevation)

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Treasured Treasure

Adored Adornment

Prized Prize

Valued Valuable

Treasured Treasure

The Bible…the very words of God.

For centuries, time has been devoted to the mere visual art form of Scripture. WHY? Like any written craft, its legibility and appeal are key factors in enticing its audience. Man has spent endless hours arranging and selecting the letter spacing, typefaces, and line lengths to attain the preferred typographic anatomy.

Experts in the field have continually taken in account all the essential principles when designing a layout of the recorded words of God. Their main aspiration is to fabricate an alluring product with an optical invitation. Placement and alignment concerns are just the beginning to their labor in achieving the goal, a visual hierarchy.

Typography is big business when it comes to the Bible. God’s Word, a treasured treasure, routinely generates $425 million in annual sales according to an article by Brandon Gaille. Valued as valuable to numerous believers, the demand for published Scripture not only requires a skilled typographer but also breeds a steady workload for the industry due to needing “the perfect Bible”.

Do you have this in large print? Does this devotional Bible come in an English Standard Version? What are the language options for the Message Bible? Could you suggest the best user-friendly study Bible for a new believer? Are there any Spanish NIV translations with comfort print in a red-letter edition?

Then, let us not forget to consider the digital world as well. How can I access this version on an e-reader or tablet? What are my Bible options for a smartphone? Is there an audio app for the New King James translation? And the list of specific wishes and requests continue-an endless petition for “the perfect fit” according to the consumer.

Thanks to technology and individual preferences revolutionizing the delivery methods and presentations of God’s Word, the publishing industry has gone beyond ink and paper. Believers now have a multitude of alternatives to be able to connect with God’s Word. So, the bigger question is, “What suits your personal needs?”.  

Some of the measures used to select the “perfect” version of the Bible is based on the need of convenience, simplicity, compatibility with an on-the-go lifestyle, and inclusion of hi-tech devices. Shall we say…finding a suitable option in the world where digital and audio Bibles abide. It seems as though we have God’s Word at our fingertips and can connect with His Holy Word at the drop of a hat.

These multifaceted doorways allow us to handpick a version based on our liking. We can select a format exclusively for our lifestyle. Gone are the days of being restricted to a physical book. Thanks to publishers, we have been extended an expanded invitation to interact with Scripture on a grander scale than ever before.

Ponder this. In a moment’s notice, we can access the Bible on our phone, bookmark passages, and even magnify that so-called “perfect” text if need be. We are blessed with the engagement opportunities afforded to us left and right. It is as painless as downloading an app. Free at that! WOW! Every mode luring each believer to go beyond the typography.

What more could we desire? Our prized prize and adored adornment can be displayed beyond a coffee table. We can showcase it on every device we own and pull up any passage regardless of our location. We can even screenshot verses of interest in the middle of a sermon and share it immediately on social media.

What a welcoming welcome. An opportunity to see past the layout we choose. A chance to experience the life-changing power the words hold. An open invitation to go beyond the charming print. An ability to interact with Scripture through exceeding levels of availability far outweighing anything previously offered. Oh, how attractive, tantalizing, and downright alluring.

Inviting invitation

Tempting temptation

Charming charm

Welcoming welcome

Inviting invitation

The Bible…and for some, it stops here!!…the very words of God.

Gaille, Brandon. “29 Good Bible Sales Statistics.” Bradon Gaille Small Business & Marketing Advice, 23 May 2017, https://brandongaille.com/27-good-bible-sales-statistics.

Praise & Worship for Chapter 4

Press in-continue to listen to the Voice of GOD! Make it part of your lifetime journey.
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go. Psalm 32:8 ESV
Yahweh Nissi: Protect us Father
Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. Psalm 71:3 NIV
“Practically speaking, I had to declare He was a better life executive than me!” page 46
“The wisdom God imparted was the solution had to begin with my dedication.” page. 46

Crown the Sword: Chapter 4-How can Scripture Impact?

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Have you ever studied the impact of a water droplet? Do you know the effects according to the surface it hits? Think about it this way-what happens to the water droplet landing on granite versus landing in a pond? You may not be able to scientifically explain it but it is obvious to the naked eye-the impact is different.

With that analogy in mind, what impacts your life? Are there times when God’s Word finds the surface of your heart hard? Can your eyes see the insight of Scripture? Does your entire being respond and absorb the Bible’s principles and apply it to your daily living? Will that single drop of His Word increase your desire to want the entire out pouring? Do you really want the ripple effect of the Lord?

As stated in Chapter 4, Ezra was impacted by divine wisdom. He “allowed Scripture to penetrate his inner being and transform him entirely”. I want that! I want that kind of devotion! I want to study Scripture beyond my own ability! I want to obey God’s Word in every aspect of my life! And, even as I write this, I fall short. There are areas of struggle in my life right now that are a part of my own doing. Places where I haven’t learned to live out Scripture and allow God to grow.

What about you?

However, when I have clung to Scripture, abided full in Christ, and claimed God as my Yahweh Nissi, I found a beautiful treasure. Scripture-“It is a mighty gift-the best I have ever unwrapped on any occasion.” (page 49)

Do you really want a life submerged in God’s Holy Word? Make your appeal known to God. Please ponder your thoughts and pour out your desires to Him no matter how far fetched they make seem. Let this week be the beginning to a Word-fed life. Ask God for a heart His Word can penetrate. Write it, Claim it, Shout it, Pray it, Draw it, Sing it, Cry it-

God has been waiting for this moment. He knew you would be right there, in that very spot, reading these very words! His disposition towards you is complete love. Stop and read John 3:16 in several translations and get a good view of this Love.

What is your disposition to God? Is it love for Him and His Word? Let this be the week to get in touch with your inward aspiration. It is an individual choice to “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5 ESV)

I don’t know about you but I needed to hear this:

IF NOT NOW-WHEN?

Women’s Retreat: July 1-3, 2021

Stephenville, TX

Mark your calendars! This will be a time filled with fun & applicable life sustaining information. We extend a warm invitation to you for an amazing getaway. You will experience fellowship, Bible study, praise & worship, candlelight with God, and discover Scripture through a variety of techniques. The goal is for you to walk away from the retreat empowered to live life through an open Bible.

Come fall deeper in love with God’s Word through an intentional walk in Philippians with like-minded sisters in Christ. As an added plus, Kris Swiatocho will be the guest speaker on Saturday morning. You don’t want to miss out on an opportunity to meet this dynamic speaker She has the largest Singles ministry in the United States! Kris has a wealth of knowledge to share with you regarding living a life saturated with Scripture.

Download the brochure for more details:

REGISTRATION FORM:

Praise & Worship for Chapter 3

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV)

Listen-again I say-Listen. Press into knowing the voice of God on a new level this week. “BE STILL AND KNOW…”

Crown the Sword: Ch. 3-How Can I just LISTEN to God?

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“In Zephaniah 3:17, we are assured God is with us. We are even told His love will quieten us, and He will rejoice over us with singing.” However, how quiet do we have to become in order to really hear God’s voice? In our daily world it seems there is never a quiet moment. For instance, what do you hear right now? I hear the typing of the keys, a space heater, the ticking of a clock, the laughter of my husband, the jingling of the dog’s tags, and the sound of the television in the distance. (and this is a quiet night at home).

Life pulls and tugs for our attention. In our fast paced environment, we have perhaps forgotten how to intentionally stop and just listen. I am talking about refraining from responding, listening past the words, and tapping into the true nature of the one speaking. Seeing beyond what you know and hearing the voice of God deep within your heart. Disciplining your mind to comprehend a new perspective and training your ears to be in tune with a higher being. Devising your perfect quiet time agenda and exercising it routinely. Oh in a perfect world you say?

Think about this…let’s focus on your best friend. How did you get to this point in your relationship? By spending very little time together and when you did-you did all the talking? No! There was give and take, moments of listening, times of seeing past your own viewpoint, days when disclosures occurred, and if they were a really good friend-having those hard conversations no one else would approach. And why are you willing to do this and so much more–because you value them and they value you. A free gift of love and trust. A beautiful bond with deep rooted understanding and insight. You would stop everything and just listen if they called right now. Plus, you could pick out their voice in a crowd blindfolded. You know them and they know you.

So, do you know God’s voice? I am venturing to say since you are reading this, you have heard His voice at least once. Remember, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20) But God desires for us to know Him more than just this one encounter. The Father desires to be more than our best friend. He wants us to listen to His voice above and beyond all others. It is one way we can grow in faith. In Romans 10:17 we are told, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing my the word of God.” So, how often do you intentionally take time away to just listen.

His very words spoke the world into existence. His very words caused the dead to rise. His very words made the lame walk. His very words changed Saul to Paul instantly. His very words placed life within the womb. Powerful-miraculous-life-changing-transformational words-His very voice! And He still speaks today! God can restore, renew, redeem, and refine us beyond recognition. When we make time to stop and truly listen, our relationship with Him goes from distance to personal. God reveals His attributes one by one and becomes very real when we make Him a priority.

Listen-nothing more and nothing less. Be still-sit in silence-quiet your spirit-and tune into His channel. Train your mind to stop injecting personal thoughts-develop eyes to see beyond closed eyelids-open your heart to more than feelings and head knowledge-and exercise your hearing ability to seek, know, and listen to His Voice. Oh the sweet aroma of His breath!

Crown the Sword: Ch. 2-Why the Stretch?

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Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7 (NIV)

Trials, temptations, adversary attacks, conflicts, disappointments, and life strains pull and tug at our heart, mind, and soul. The stretch often has us pleading for reprieve and begging for escape. Our appeal is for the test to be terminated instantaneously. If the pressure would lessen then we could better tolerate and cope is normally our generalization and mindset. Rarely do we ask-what is the purpose of this hardship?

God reminds us that when tests and trials enter, growth can occur. He even allows us to be stretched beyond our comfort zone because He loves us. (He is a Father-and discipline comes with the role.) However, the level of reverence and maturity varies for each of us. I stayed in the teenage zone for way too long. (Go ahead and ask God-He will agree with me!) I wanted everything to go my way and I had convinced myself I knew best. There may be a thousand reasons for this lack of trust and stubbornness but it is still no excuse. It took me being on the verge of life to realize my need to let God in the driver’s seat. Friends, I wasted a lot of God’s time. I was far from teachable and willing to be refined for a lifetime.

One thing I learned-spiritual growth begins with allowing God to lead. The Father is our assurance-the promise of survival and deliverance. Reigning victoriously starts way before the struggle. It originates with our understanding that we have not been promised sunshine 24/7. Life brings storms and raging winds. We have to decide ahead of time how we are going to fight our battles and if we are going to be compliant and dedicated enough to embrace the stretch. A choice to allow the valleys to strengthen our defenses and intensify our coping mechanisms.

Think about the power of the stretch under God’s authority:

Broadening our understanding of who God is

Extending the level of our faith

Enlarging our wisdom

Widening our eyes to the schemes of the enemy

Now ponder the results when trying to obtain victory on our own:

Broadening our thoughts of being incapable (possibly leading to depression)

Extending our level of anxiety

Enlarging our focus on ourselves (selfishness)

Widening our relationship gap with God

We can have the triumphant life when we preserve ourselves through walking in obedient faith daily. God is our way of escape. He can and will supply the support and elasticity. In Him, we can reign victorious and the words “Oh snap!” will only be for the enemy. It will be the sound of the adversary’s plan failing and slapping him in the face. Can I get an AMEN?

What are you committed to doing in advance?

Can you accept your current stretch?

Reach out-let us pray for you.

We have been there!!

Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

Hebrews 2:18 (NIV)

Crown the Sword: Ch. 1 – Is God’s Word for You?

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“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Matthew 16:15 (NIV)

Have you ever pondered why Jesus asked Simon Peter this question? What would you have answered? Christ wasn’t looking for the formal definition, a “good Christian” response, or even what the world had to say. He was more concerned with who he was to Peter on a personal level.

When I reflect on chapter 1, I think about the title of this segment- “This is for You”. Scripture, a perfect gift from God! John 1:1 states, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” This is the only substance Jeremiah found to sustain his very being. He could not help but live life through the Word because it was within him. Jeremiah allowed it to penetrate his every pore to overflowing. He was truly a follower drenched in God’s goodness.

As you read and study Chapter 1, think about your response to this question–How do you define God’s Word? Imagine your Bible looking you straight in the eye and asking, “Who do you say I am?” (Remember, God is all knowing.)

At one point in my life the physical dust and lack of engagement evidence of my Bible would have answered the question for me. Why would I need to respond? My personal definition was quite obvious. Oh in my heart I knew His Word had value and I would have agreed it contained the best advice, yet I just didn’t make time to partake. Maybe because I had not experienced the personal treasure sitting on a shelf-which I read once or twice a week when I attended church.

God wants so much more for us. He wants us to be a partaker-drenched “so much in Scripture it causes the enemy to scurry in fear from God’s goodness pooling around you.” Our spiritual progression depends on us reading, studying, meditating, praying, discussing, obeying, applying, and sharing God’s Word daily. It is far from an adornment sitting on the coffee table. (I think I just revealed my age with that statement! YIKES!) The Bible is a tremendous line of communication with the one who not only loves us more than anyone, but the one who formed us in our mother’s womb. He loved us before anyone did!

Dig deep this week. Let Scripture help you define God’s Word. Ask the Lord to help you increase your personal reverence and value of the Bible. Get real with the Father and determine where you are in your daily intake. Set your goal by deciding what type of partaker you want to be as you journey through Crown the Sword.

God is saying–“This is for YOU!” Let this be a time in your life to deepen your reliance on the One and Only life sustaining resource-the living and applicable WORD of GOD.

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