The Beautiful ESV “Illuminated Bible (Art Journaling Edition)” ~ Review & Giveaway

Have you ever marveled at the illuminated Bibles or Books of Hours lettered and painted by monks during the Middle Ages or the Renaissance?  These gorgeous works of art use vivid paints and gold leaf to bring letters and Biblical scenes to life.  We can see these today in museums, books or online…but how would you like to own your own copy of today’s version of an Illuminated Bible?

 

 

Today, I’d like to share with you about the ESV Illuminated Bible.  FlyBy/Propeller Promotions sent me my very own copy (free!) to use and review, and they’re also going to be giving a copy away to one of my readers in a giveaway!  Keep reading to learn more and to enter to win!

 

What is the ESV Illuminated Bible?

First and foremost, it’s the complete Bible (from Genesis to Revelation) in the English Standard Version (ESV).  Housed in a slipcase, this hardback Bible is navy cloth over board.  Inside, its smooth, cream-colored pages contain the Scriptures in clear, readable font.  Each page has wide margins.

But then, there’s enormous visual beauty on many of the pages.  The ESV Illuminated Bible is illustrated and lettered by artist Dana Tanamatchi.  The illustrations include:  beautifully hand-lettered Bible verses (over 250 of them in page margins), 50 full-page verse illustrations; 64 full-sized book opener illustrations; and over 100 additional illustrations.  All of these are lettered and designed in gold.

But this Bible is not only designed to bring beauty to the reader’s eyes and Scriptures to the mind and heart.  The wide page margins provide space for the reader to journal and take notes…but also to create art!  Tanamatchi’s verse and book illustrations can be left as-is or the reader can color them in.

One additional bonus that I discovered as I was turning the pages of the ESV Illuminated Bible was that the illustrator, Dana Tanamatchi, included an illustration key for the book opener illustrations.  I personally love to study art and to discover artists’ motivations for their artwork.  Tanamatchi’s musings on her artwork made the lovely artwork even more meaningful to me, as I discovered that she’d illustrated Revelation with a door (reminding us of Revelation 3:20); 2 Peter with lanterns (for the prophetic word “as lamps shining in a dark place), Psalms with a deer (as the deer pants for the water), and so many more wonderful “Word” pictures.

 

How I used the ESV Illuminated Bible

I love Bible journaling; the practice of thoughtfully illustrating Scripture verses.  I find that the process is peaceful and restful for me, plus there’s the additional bonus of the Scripture coming alive even more as I color and illustrate it.

For Bible journaling, I’ve used tempera paint sticks, colored pencils, and art pencils.  With this Bible, I found that coloring pencils worked the best.  The pages are on the thin side so the pencils don’t bleed through very much.  I appreciated that because I still want to be able to read the Scriptures on the back sides of the illustrations!

I used three different types of coloring pencils; art pencils, Crayola Erasable Colored Pencils, and Crayola Twistables.  Of the three, the art pencils and the Twistables were most effective.  For some reason my erasable pencils didn’t lay the color down as well.  The beautiful cream-colored pages might have been just a little slick to take the erasable ones.  But the art pencils (think Primsacolor-type pencils) and the Twistables created beautiful effects.   The colors did mostly turn out on the light side when they were applied to the paper.

So what could you do with the ESV Illuminated Bible?

  • Well, Christmas is coming–and this would make a delightful gift for someone!  (You could even include a set of colored pencils with the Bible!)
  • You could display it on an easel, with the pages opened to one of the gorgeous Scripture illustrations
  • You could use it in your devotional reading time
  • You could do Bible journaling in it!
  • You could even use it during family worship; give everyone some colored pencils and work on it together!
  • And if you’re a person who’s not completely confident in your own artistic ability, the ESV Illuminated Bible will enable you to make beautiful art anyway!

 

You can enter to win!

FlyBy/Propeller Promotions has provided one copy of the ESV Illuminated Bible for one of you to win!  Simply click on the pink “Enter Here” link below.  That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form.  Just follow the directions to enter!  Giveaway closes on December 2, 2017.  One winner will be selected from all entries.  Best wishes!

Enter here!

You can also check out the ESV Illuminated Bible on social media

IlluminatedBible.org

Video: https://vimeo.com/237851665

The ESV Illuminated Bible on Amazon

 

Enjoy!  –Wren

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

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ADORED: A Review & Giveaway of Lindsay A. Franklin’s New Book (Ends 11/27/17)

I have a lovely book to tell you about today.  The BlogAbout Blogger Network was kind enough to send me a copy to review AND a copy of this lovely book to give away to one special reader!

 

 

If you are a young woman, do you ever wish that you had someone to help guide you through the ups and downs of life, emotions, relationships, and challenges?  I know that I certainly did.  The adolescent and young adult lives that we live carry so much change, so much identity-formation, so much of the internal life that we don’t necessarily even realize as we walk through life.

Most of all, do (or did) you realize that there is a God of the universe, the God of the Bible, who doesn’t just like you or tolerate you but ADORES you?

Author Lindsay A. Franklin certainly understands this and communicates it vibrantly and joyfully, (not to mention, at times, hilariously) in ADORED.  Subtitled 365 Devotions for Young Women, this book is filled to overflowing with daily Scriptures and devotional writings that speak wonderfully to the hearts of young women.  (Or even women who’d fit more into the Titus category, or moms of children or teens, like me!)

About ADORED…

ADORED is just a gorgeous book, inside and out.  It’s a smooth hardback book that feels substantial but isn’t too heavy in the hands.  Its gold and blue artsy cover is echoed in the pages, which have illustrated blue borders plus lines for journaling thoughts and prayers at the bottom of the pages.  Each day’s reading (and there are, as mentioned in the title, 365–so one for each day of the year) begins with a Bible verse and its address printed at the top of each page.  To go along with each of these, Franklin has written devotionals that address ways we can understand the verses, be encouraged by them, or even live out their instructions in our daily lives (both inner and outer).

How I used this book…

I love to start my day with devotional and Bible reading, or Bible study.  So I really enjoyed reading ADORED in the mornings with my coffee.  Sometimes, I’d look up the daily Bible verse in my own Bible, so that I could glean more of Scripture and the contexts the verses were set in.  And although I live with men in my home (my husband and teen son) rather than young women, I often found inspiring and encouraging words that I could share with them during family Bible times or devotionals together.  They’re not the target audience, but there was so much rich content that really affects all of us.

 

 

and what I thought about it

So why did I find that ADORED was so applicable to my whole family?

I really think that it’s because all of us, whether we’re male or female, younger or older, deeply need to know that we are loved.  Even adored.  Lindsay A. Franklin makes that point in her book again and again, in different ways, with different words.  And we all need to hear that!

Here are some of my favorite words from this remarkable book:

  • “But given how much Scripture talks about waiting, specifically waiting on the Lord, we can guess patience is listed as a fruit of the Spirit for a reason.  God is never in a rush.  This God who is always the same says, “Wait on me.  See what I have for you in my time.”…God’s not in a rush, so why are we?”  (Day 23)
  • “You have a God who offers peace.  You have a God who hears your prayers.  You have a God who never backs down, even from the very gates of hell.  You are never alone and your God is never overcome.  So stand tall.  You can trust God to help you overcome those who are trying to intimidate you.”  (Day 18)
  • “Our God–the one of unchanging purpose, constant love, utmost consistency–never discovers greener grass and decides to graze over there a bit.  He knows all the grass.  He’s not wooed by the bigger, better deal.  He’s not suddenly walking alongside you in life, only to be distracted, shout “Squirrel!” and take off after it.  God won’t give up on you.  He won’t forget you.  He won’t leave you.  Ever.”  (Day 17)

That’s only a tiny taste for you of what comprises this most wonderful and encouraging devotional.

And now…my giveaway!

So who would be the perfect recipient of this lovely book, ADORED?

  • A young woman (whether she’s a teen or in her twenties)
  • A new believer, who needs to know the character and purposes of God
  • Any woman—even if she’s not the target audience—who’d like to know more about the amazing love that God has for us
  • A dad who’d like to bless his daughter with this incredible book
  • Or, anyone else whose heart is captured by the idea of ADORED

All you have to do to enter is to click on the pink “Enter Here!” below.  That will take you to the Giveaway Tools entry form.  Just follow the directions there!  One winner will be selected after the giveaway closes on 11/27/17.

Enter here!

Best wishes!  –Wren

 

DISCLOSURE:  From time to time, finchnwren may receive a free product or service in exchange for our honest opinions expressed in our blog. We are not required to write a positive or glowing review, nor are we additionally compensated for these reviews. We share our own opinions, and our family’s opinion, of these products. We’re disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.

Faithgirlz’ Backpack Bible ~ Review & Giveaway

I have another lovely giveaway for you all!  The BlogAbout Blogger Network has sent me a fabulous, compact Bible for young women called the Faithgirlz Backpack Bible…plus one to give away to a reader!

 

 

So what is the Faithgirlz Backpack Bible?

Have you…or has a young girl you know…ever wished for a compact Bible that could be easily carried in a purse, messenger bag or backpack?  I know that Bible apps are widely available these days on phones and devices and I use those myself.  But I always go back to my actual Bible each day during devotional times or Bible study.  Or when I just need to find a particular verse for myself or to share with others.  So I really do appreciate an actual Bible that I can hold in my hands.  And one that’s compact yet not too heavy to bring along with me?  Perfect!

And this one, the Faithgirlz Backpack Bible, truly is the perfect size to hold, use, and carry.  It measures at almost 4 1/2″ x 6 3/4″ and just over 1 1/2″ thick.  It’s a leathersoft, opens and lays flat, and colored in a soft pink with an embroidered message on the cover that reads “Follow your heart.” The Bible version is NIV and the text, while compact, is still highly readable.  (Jesus’ words are even lettered in red!)  There are 12 brightly colored pages containing encouraging messages, Scriptures that are perfect for a young girl’s heart, and even an invitation to begin a relationship with Jesus.  This Bible is designed for girls aged 8 and up.  There’s also a pink ribbon bookmark attached.  It retails for $24.99.  Though it’s beautiful and very girly, it’s also very sturdy and should last for years to come.

 

Who would enjoy the Faithgirlz Backpack Bible?

Any girl, really–whether she’s 8 years old or an adult!  Anyone who’s interested in a Bible that can be easily carried around in daily life, or even on trips or vacations.  Or, a mom or youth leader who wants to bless a special young woman with her own Bible that’s designed especially for her.  Or maybe you know a young girl who has just given her heart to Jesus.  This would be a wonderful gift!

Because it’s a lay-flat Bible, it’s perfect to just open up and use during Bible study, during Bible sharing times with others, or simply during Bible reading.  (Sometimes small softcover books won’t stay open if you’re trying to keep them open to a certain page.  Not this one, though!)

 

 

Why should young women (or any women) read the Bible?

I know that, even as an adult, I need the truths of God’s Word to remind me of what is really important.  There are so many reasons to read the Bible.  Here are just a few!

Our culture, with its focus on physical beauty, acquisition, and the here and now is pretty forceful.  Yet God’s still small voice still beckons us with real truth and real beauty:

  • “People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (from 1 Samuel 16:7)
  • “Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30)
  • “Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”  (1 Peter 3:4)

In addition, my relationship with God is a relationship with a Person.  And reading His Word helps me to get to know Him:

  • “The LORD is faithful to all His promises and loving toward all He has made.”  (Psalm 145:13)
  • “This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all.” (John 1:5
  • “And He passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness…”” (Exodus 34:6)

And what about help in my relationships with others?

  • “When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness.” (Proverbs 31:26, NLT)
  • “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”  (Proverbs 18:24)
  • “Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father Who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions.”  (Mark 11:25)

I could go on and on…these are just three categories that one can discover from God’s Word.  But they’re a great place to start for any woman!

And now…I have an opportunity for someone to win!

The BlogAbout Blogger Network has provided a copy of Faithgirlz Backpack Bible
to bless one special reader with.  All you have to do to enter is click on the pink “Enter here” link below.  That will take you to the Giveaway Tools entry form, where you can enter to win!  Giveaway ends October 1, 2017.  Best wishes!

Enter here!

Enjoy!  –Wren

Disclosure:  From time to time, finchnwren may receive a free product or service in exchange for our honest opinions expressed in our blog. We are not required to write a positive or glowing review, nor are we additionally compensated for these reviews. We share our own opinions, and our family’s opinion, of these products. We’re disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.

 

Traceables for Bible Journaling…from Kelly O’Dell Stanley

Y’all might remember that I am a fan of both the creativity of Bible journaling and Kelly O’Dell Stanley’s fabulous Designed to Pray prayer journal.  (You can see my review of Designed to Pray by clicking on the book title.)

 

 

I do love Bible journaling.  In fact, as you can see in the image above, I actually even have a Bible journal with extra-wide margins made just for drawing, painting, and journaling.

Sometimes, though, I have a hard time coming up with what to do with those journals.  Sometimes the creativity is brimming over and sometimes the well is dry.

However, my favorite author on prayer, Kelly O’Dell Stanley (see my Designed to Pray review *smiley face*), published a really neat printable on her blog to jump-start Bible journaling creativity.  And it’s free for anyone to download at Kelly O’Dell Stanley.

Here’s just a sampling of three cool pages you can get:

With these, you just place the rectangle underneath your page in your journaling Bible, trace, and then you color or paint!  So fun–and they’re all Bible truths straight from God’s Word.  Paired with lovely images!

You can get these free from Kelly O’Dell Stanley’s blog.  Just click on Free Bible Journal Traceables to print or download your own.

Enjoy!  –Wren

B is for Bible Journaling: Blogging Through the Alphabet

Welcome back to Blogging Through the Alphabet!  My friends My friends Amanda from Hopkins Homeschool and Annette from A Net In Time are co-hosting Blogging Through The Alphabet.  This week’s letter is B.

 

blogging-thru-alpha-b

 

When I first saw examples of Bible journaling on Pinterest, I was immediately captivated.  Then, I was blessed to win my very own Bible journal in a giveaway.  It’s an NKJV Bible designed especially for journaling and creativity, with two-inch wide blank margins on each page.  Some pages have lines for writing.

 

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How does Bible journaling work?

So how does one use a journaling Bible?  You can highlight verses that are special to you.  You can letter a key word or words.  Or you can illustrate a scene from the Bible.  Personally, I’ve been jotting down verses that are meaningful to me as they come to me.  Sometimes, images pop into my mind along with the verses, or that are connected to them in some way.  Then, I’ve drawn them into the blank spaces provided in the Bible.  Sometimes I’ve drawn them on printer paper first, then traced them into my Bible.  I’ve also traced images from a coloring book, then colored them in.  I’ve used colored pencils, erasable colored pencils, Micron pens for outlining and lettering, and I’m looking forward to using paints as well.

 

blogging-thru-alpha-b-pic-2Why Bible journal?

I can only speak to my own experience.  But sitting down with art media and my Bible is the most wonderful and beautiful adventure for me.  Engaging creative work with Bible meditation (which really does happen as one sits down to illustrate a verse) is peaceful.  Encouraging.  And a new way of worship, for me; another method I can use to seek God in my relationship with Him.  It can bring God’s Word to  life for me in rich and vivid ways.

You don’t need to be a fabulous or experienced artist to Bible journal either; I am neither of those.  But the experience is truly enriching and grace-filled.

 

blogging-thru-alpha-b-pic-3

Blogging Through the Alphabet Linkup

Just click on the button below and you’ll be taken to the linkup.  You’ll be able to see lots of others’ ideas about the letter B!

blogging-through-the-alphabet-1

 

Enjoy!  –Wren

 

Make Your Bible Journaling Amazing with this Bible Journaling Kit~A Review and Giveaway (Ends 12/7)

**Congratulations to Ken O, selected as the winner of the Bible Journaling Kit!”

I have just had the opportunity to be creative with the neatest product!  FlyBy/Propeller Consulting, LLC sent me this Bible Journaling Kit from Ellie Claire to review.  It has been so fun to integrate into my Bible journaling and has really inspired me!  Best yet, you have two ways to enter for a chance to win your own kit!

bible-journaling-kit-banner-2

What is Bible journaling?

I believe that there has been a true resurgence of the creative arts lately in America.  You can see this even at the grocery store, where you can see neat coloring books with incredible drawings just waiting for you to fill in with color.  This creative expression has found its way into Bible study and devotional times, as individuals have taken art into the white spaces of their Bibles.  Lettering, drawing, painting, and stickers all bring verses or ideas to life with vibrant color.

Publishing houses are even creating Bibles that have margins or pages especially made for Bible journaling.  I am blessed to own several Bibles for my own reading and Bible study; but I was given a Journaling Bible (published by Crossway) which I use for journaling.  You can also use a plain journal.  All you need are colored pencils, ink, and whatever else you might like to use to color and illuminate verses.

And why would you want to write or draw in your Bible anyway?  To make special note of meaningful verses.  To help you remember those verses.  To express creativity with the words of life that the Bible contains.  To use art time to create something that inspires your spirit.  I’m sure there are more reasons…those are just a few that I came up with!

bible-journaling-kit-1

What is in this Bible Journaling Kit?

This kit has everything you need to get started with Bible journaling!  (Except your own Bible or a journal.  You’ll need to provide that.)  All of these art supplies are neatly boxed in a sturdy blue slipcase:

  • 8 colored pencils which twist to advance
  • A felt-tip archival pen
  • 3 sheets of 24 sticker tabs
  • Alphabet stickers (4 sheets of two different fonts)
  • Clear stickers with inspirational phrases and symbols (4 sheets of these, too)
  • A plastic protector mat with 8-inch ruled lines on one side, and wavy borders on the other
  • A lime green zippered case to keep all your supplies (it even has a strap to slip around the cover of your Bible)

bible-journaling-2How I used the kit and art tools

I am pretty new to Bible journaling.  I have a Pinterest board that is devoted to Bible journaling ideas.  And I have that Bible that’s made just for journaling.   I also have a TON of art supplies (we love doing art in homeschool and I teach an art class at our local coop).  But somehow, prior to receiving this Bible Journaling Kit, I just hadn’t quite been able to make the jump INTO Bible journaling.

It turns out that having the right supplies can make all the difference!

One of my favorite verses, Psalm 20:7, reminds me of a special time I spent in Russia.  So my first experience with this neat Bible Journaling Kit was to illustrate that.  I chose the famous Russian landmark, St. Basil’s Cathedral, for my drawing.  I pulled up a picture of the cathedral online and drew it free-hand (in pencil, of course!).  Then I used the twisty colored pencils from my kit to draw it in.  I was pretty excited that I had all the colors I needed!  After I colored everything in, I used the felt-tip pen to highlight and outline.  Last, I wrote in a phrase from the verse.  (I clearly need to work on my lettering some more!)

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Next, I was reading my Bible one day and ran across this verse:  “But be glad and rejoice forever in that which I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem to be a joy and her people to be a gladness.” –Isaiah 65:18.  I loved that!  There are many places which are wonderful to visit, but how many of them were actually created to be a joy?  I knew I’d found my next verse.

I didn’t freehand this one but used outlines from a coloring book that I own, that I thought really communicated the idea of an Israeli city.  Again, first I used pencil, then the twisty coloring pencils, then outlined with the felt-tip pen.  (I still need to work on my lettering!)  Then I wrote a phrase from the verse and, at the bottom of the page, the verse address.

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Wren’s Ideas for Bible Journaling:

First of all, don’t be discouraged if you think you’re not creative or you don’t know where to start!  ANYONE can do this.  Do an online search for “Bible Journaling.”  Browse Pinterest.  There are some amazing ideas out there to get you started!  Then, get (or win!) your supplies.  Then, jump in!  You can see below that I’m doing a heart for my next journaling project.  It’s coming along, slowly but surely.  🙂

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Here’s a process which has worked for me that you can try, if this is new or seems overwhelming to you:

  1. Think of a verse that you love or that is meaningful to you.
  2. Brainstorm; what images do you think of when you meditate on this verse?
  3. Practice.  Draw those images on printer paper.
  4. Trace or draw in your Bible or journal with pencil.  (Unless you’re a super-confident artist, in which case, you can just draw already!)
  5. Color in your drawing.
  6. Find a font you like to letter a phrase or the address for your verse.  Print it out, place it under your page, and trace.  Color it in!
  7. For interesting definition, highlight your colored drawing with a black felt-tip pen.  It really makes things pop!
  8. Now—enter my giveaway.  Maybe you’ll win this cool set of Bible journaling supplies!

bible-journaling-6

Enter here for a chance to win–two ways!

First, you can enter here via my Giveaway Tools entry form.  Just click on the pink link below, which will take you to my Giveaway Tools form:

Entry Form for Bible Journaling Kit

In addition, the publisher is also giving away 5 Bible Journaling Kits!  Just enter via this link for your chance to win:

http://bit.ly/BibleJournalingKitGiveaway

Where can you purchase your own Bible Journaling Kit?

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/BNBibleJournaling
Amazon: http://bit.ly/BibleJournaling
Books-A-Million: http://bit.ly/BAMBibleJournaling
Christian Book Distributors: http://bit.ly/CBDBibleJournaling

Enjoy!  –Wren

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”