Getting Started

I know I keep saying I'm so excited. But y'all really. I mean.....I'm so excited! And also a fair amount jittery. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart I can't believe that any of you would even trust me so far as to peak your interest in this endeavor. I hope that you stay and this is a place for fellowship and camaraderie as we set out for an adventure. Know that like you, I'm just a normal gal who is eager to learn. I stand in this place as a guide with bathtubs full of prayer and open hands to all the grace I can grab. 

First things first. This is a bible study that is centered and focused on the triune God, on what His word says about Him, and for His glory alone. God's word is about Him and as we pour over it, may we become more like him and may our lives be malleable in His trustworthy hands. 

I'm sure I'll write my on my own insights or impressions from time to time. But my biggest hope is that I can be a guide and at moments (oh so very humbly may I approach it) a teacher. At moments when all else in my life has worn thin, God's word stood strong and true. That is what I want to bring you, to show you, to give you. More of God's word which never fails. 

Secondly, the depth of your studying will be exponentially affected by the tools you use. Here is a list of what I start with and what I will be using during the course of this bible study. 

1. Bible. I use the ESV translation, I think it's wonderful. Because we are going to be looking at scripture in depth, please don't use The Message as your primary source of scripture. It can be a great aid for context or understanding but it is a paraphrase of scripture, so we just need to keep that in mind.

2. Jen Wilkin's book Women of the Word. Run, don't walk and buy this book. There's even a kindle edition which is what I prefer for easy searches and recalling info quickly. This book literally changed my life. If you read it (which you totally don't HAVE to!....you'll realize super quickly that I follow her plan for bible study. This woman (via this book) taught me so much about studying the bible, it's my pleasure to give all the credit to her. While I think you could read her book and go it alone, life was meant to be lived together. Plus we all have insights or questions that are put to better use by sharing them!  Jen Wilkin is amazing and I might have told my husband that she is without a doubt my bible-study-woman-crush. So buy her book and love it, but if you don't just know that I very much did and it was a HUGE influence in this process.

3. A study bible. Once again ESV study bible is WHERE. IT'S. AT. if you ask me. I use the online version which I think is free to sign up for. You have to sign up for an account here and then you can add the study bible "app" to use. Or you can use the good old fashion paper stuff ;)

4. Paper. You can use a journal, I love journals. However, with the kind of notes we will be taking I took a suggestion that Jen Wilkin makes to print out the section of scripture you are studying and at least double space the lines. Then you will use that space and margins for lots of things and you can use extra paper for writing out longer notes. I have done this the stubborn way by trying to keep it all handwritten in my cute journal, and trust me....a binder with paper in it works so much better.

So those are the basics. As we go along we may add in some extras like commentaries or sermons or excerpts from books. But to start, this is what you need as far as physical things go.

Which brings me to our hearts. I kind of feel silly even saying this--you know what yea--I'll just point out what is so obvious about y'all already. You are eager to learn. With patience and humility and a heart that loves to learn, this study will change our lives. 

And now I think all that's left is to make sure everyone subscribes. Please please have patience with me, adding this new segment of my blog is brand spankin' new for me and I'm no techie. I think that if you go to my About Me section and subscribe to the blog you will get an email containing each new post as it is published. Please let me know if that doesn't work. Also....for the sake of letting me know if things don't work or other contact....please EVERYONE send me a quick email with your first and last name and your email address at birdinatreeblog@gmail.com. This is how I will communicate with you until I am SURE that the subscriptions are working correctly! Also, moving forward when we get into the bible study, for those of you who would like to have discussions or read other people's insights or questions it would be awesome if you would click the link that says "subscribe via email" which is right above the comment box. That will allow you to follow the comment thread for that post. 

Phew. I think we have finally made it through the house keeping portion for the study!!!! I promise most posts won't be this lengthy! Very soon I will be posting about what book of the bible we will start with and we will dive in!