We believe that reading the bible daily + reflecting on how it applies to your life is the No.1 practice you can put into place to help you connect with God + transform your life. 

As a way of being intentional about developing this in your life + so that we can encourage each other through what we are reading, the bible reading plan that we are recommending is the OWNit365 New Testament  plan. NT+ is a 6-day-a-week revolutionary way to read through the New Testament. Instead of reading straight through the New Testament, the NT+ plan is strategically divided into reading based on authorship. Five days a week, you’ll read one chapter in the New Testament. On the sixth day, you’ll read a chapter in the Old Testament that was referenced in the New Testament reading that week to give you context for its New Testament emphasis.

> You can read it online via the YouVersion app or on the Catalyst Church Ipswich app.

> Alternatively, you can download or print the entire plan HERE.

how to journal

Journaling is an excellent way to both record + process what God has spoken to you. It's also a useful tool to use at a later time, to reflect on + review some of the 'gems' that you have received. Without writing them down, you may forget those blessings + 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 + even encourage others.

Journaling Step-By-Step

You'll need three items: a Bible, a pen/pencil + 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 + 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 + Prayer.

S for Scripture
Open your Bible to the reading found under today's date of your Bible bookmark. Take time reading + 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, + write it in your journal.

O for Observation
What do you think God is saying to you in this scripture? Paraphrase + 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 + 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