read the bible

We believe that reading the bible daily and reflecting on how it applies to your life is the no.1 practice you can put into place to help you connect with God and transform your life.  As a way of being intentional about developing this in your life and so that we can encourage each other through what we are reading, the bible reading plan that we are recommending is the OWNit365 'One Story' plan.  The OWNit365 “One Story” plan takes you through the key stories of the Bible in one year. The plan shows how the many stories of the Bible make up one interconnected story – God’s story. The plan calls for reading between one to three chapters of Scripture a day from three separate chapters (i.e. the main storyline and key cross references), six days per week.  Read it on YouVersion or our own Catalyst Church Ipswich app,  or  download a hard copy of the entire plan that you can print.  (to sync with what day we are upto at Catalyst, ensure you have the 1st day of the plan being the 2nd of January 2017 - download some instructions here to help you sync it.).

how to journal

Journaling is an excellent way to both record and process what God has spoken to you. It's also a useful tool to use at a later time, to reflect on and review some of the 'gems' that you have received. Without writing them down, you may forget those blessings and some very important lessons! And while journaling is a very personal time with God, you may want to share some of your daily journaling with others. Through discussion, you may be able to look deeper into what God is speaking to you, gain new insight and even encourage others.

Journaling Step-By-Step Instructions.  Let's Get Started:
You'll need three items: a Bible, a pen/pencil and a journal. There are many journals you can purchase at a bookstore or a plain notebook will do.  Next, set aside a certain time in your schedule each day and find a quiet place where you're not likely to be distracted. It's not important when you do your devotions, but that you make it a very important part of your day. Think about giving God the best part of our day, whatever time that is.
Now what? Who talks first, me or God?

One way to do your devotions is to follow the simple acronym, S.O.A.P. which stands for Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer.

S for Scripture
Open your Bible to the reading found under today's date of your Bible bookmark. Take time reading and allow God to speak to you. Highlight, underline or place a mark in the margin of your Bible, next to the scriptures that stand out. When you are done, reread the verses you marked, look for one that particularly spoke to you that day, and write it in your journal.

O for Observation
What do you think God is saying to you in this scripture? Paraphrase and write this scripture down in your own words, in your journal.

A for Application
Personalize what you have read, by asking yourself how it applies to your life right now. Perhaps it is instruction, encouragement, revelation of a new promise, or corrections for a particular area of your life. Write how this scripture can apply to you today.

P for Prayer
This can be as simple as asking God to help you use this scripture, or it may be a greater insight on what He may be revealing to you. Remember, prayer is a two way conversation, so be sure to listen to what God has to say! Now, write it out.

If this seems a little overwhelming, take it slow and keep it simple. No matter how you decide to do your devotions, the important thing is to show up for your daily appointment, because God is always waiting for you