Title: Journibles: The 17:18 Series
Author: Robert J. Wynalda
Major Themes: Bible Study, Devotionals
Synopsis: A unique devotional/Bible study journal that helps you study the Bible by itself, and write your thoughts and reflections alongside the Biblical text.
I’ve been interested in the Journibles for quite a while now, after seeing them reviewed by an author I follow a while back. I didn’t have the chance to get my hands on a copy until just recently, though, but I have really appreciated what I’ve seen so far!
The Journibles collection’s main goal is to help you write your own copy of the Bible. In each of their books, there is ample space on one side of a page for writing down the Bible verses, and on the opposite side there is plenty of room for your own thoughts or reactions to the verses.
It reminded me of a story I heard once about Matthew Henry, I think, and how he encouraged his children to write up their own commentaries of the Bible as they studied to get a better grasp of the scriptures. (I don’t know if the story was true, but I do find it an interesting thought, anyway!) This follows the same sort of idea, because not only are you handwriting (and therefore slowly processing) each verse, but you’re also able to do extensive commenting if one really made you think.
I always find it fascinating that no matter how many times you may have gone over a particular chapter or verse, there’s always something new in it for you. For me, the Journibles gave me the opportunity to do that all over again. I tend to read fairly quickly, trying to catch everything easily understandable in a chapter, but this Bible study method is designed the opposite way—to slow you down, and help you think about it. Not only in a chapter-by-chapter context, but section-by-section, verse-by-verse, and word-by-word.
To me, that’s powerful.
I’ve barely gotten through the first chapter of Proverbs yet (I’ve been taking it slowly, because I have so many other devotional options available that it’s hard to choose some mornings!). However, even in just this first chapter, there are things that have stood out to me that I hadn’t considered before. And that’s wonderful. I also love that there’s plenty of space to write about those discoveries—that’s important to me, too. 🙂
I don’t know if there’s any way to really describe the depth and beauty the Journibles give to personal quiet time. If you’re wanting something that outlines someone else’s thoughts, this definitely wouldn’t be for you, but the freedom to discover new things for yourself was something I loved. I’d say just check it out. Perhaps it isn’t your thing—handwriting this much definitely wouldn’t be for everyone! However, even if you just enjoy writing things a little, I’d encourage you to try. For me, it would definitely be worth the investment. This is a beautiful resource!
One thing that may annoy people is that the pages don’t lay out flat, even when the spine is “broken”. The “font” used is also a handwriting one, so perfectionists may find that trying. Neither of those really bother me, but I know that might be a problem for some.
I do know I appreciated the line spacing—it may be too close for some people, but I like utilizing the maximum amount of room on the page possible!
In all, I was really thankful for the chance to be able to try out this devotional, and plan to try others in the series eventually when I finish this one.
Note: I was given a free copy of this book from the publisher, and chose to share my thoughts about it.
Reading Independently—Ages 10 – 12, 12 – 15, 15 and Above, Adults