When Needing to Be Rescued From Darkness {Colossians – Week 3}

Oh, my heart is heavy.

But this week of reading about some of the beloved people written across the pages of His Word has brought me hope,

And left me in awe of a God who would let the stories of lives lived centuries ago – trickle down to touch my heart.

For these stories are a sweet reminder that heroes of the faith, their people, and their countries got things so very wrong at times too.

And although this heart of mine might be reluctant at times, and uncertain that the minutes scattered throughout the day are making any difference –

I can’t help but bless the Lord for His redemption and forgiveness, hope and truth right along with Paul!

And, oh, the words that we will read and write and listen to and speak and meditate on and live this week, are words that can become a beautiful prayer helping us through some of our darkest days. For they are truth! And they turn our eyes to the One who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

So whether you are feeling discouraged or broken, faithful or blessed – these words of hope and joy and grace and ultimate glory are for you!

Will you come bask in His goodness along with me!?

Colossians - Week 3 - Our Family For His Glory

As we open up the pages of this Book once again this week, we’re going to take time to really study these life-breathing Words.

For many of you, this will all be new. But, don’t worry – I’ll walk you through it (with extra-wordy explanations to help you – smile). And pretty soon it will all come much more naturally. Take this week to learn some new ways to study your Bible. What you will find on these pages are ways of studying the Bible that have truly changed my life. But, please don’t worry if you only get to a few words or verses (depending on the day). God will honor those minutes snuck in between kids and dishes, work and t-ball practice. And, if you get to nothing else – simply pray over it and read it! I know you’ll be blessed.

This week we’ll use a Bible study tool that has probably been the most influential in helping me to pay attention, engage with, and get excited to learn from these live-breathing Words of God –

It’s marking up & illustrating my Bible.

Filling the pages of God’s Word with colors and symbols and pictures and handwritten words.
(Don’t worry if you’re a little anxious to color in your Bible as I still am at times, you can use your journal writing, or any print-out of Colossians – whatever you’re comfortable with!)

Bible markings - Colossians

At first I was a bit hesitant to mark up (all-be-it in a good way) this most precious Book. But now, I absolutely love how it…

*Helps me pay attention to what I am reading.
*Provides a way to be actively engaged with the Word.
*Allows me to slow down and notice {many} things I hadn’t before.
*Gets me into the Word, as I read the text over and over while marking it up.
*Is beautiful. What a precious keepsake a Bible with loving marks and heart-felt words will be someday!
*Doesn’t (and probably shouldn’t) have to look like everyone else’s. (Here’s the “creative” side of me coming out- smile.) I can come up with my own pattern of marking my Bible, and nobody can deem it wrong. Hooray! (Now, if you like to have ideas, here’s a great list of symbols that you can print off and/or use as a reference – I’ve looked at it many times.)
*Is a great way to involve my kids as they come and go throughout my Bible reading (for they love to see the colors and pictures, and sometimes I’ll even be brave enough to let them help).

Colossians Bible markings

marking my Bible - Colossians

One of my favorite ways to do this is to illustrate the passage as I’m reading. I simply pause now and then to draw something that illustrates the words. And, no, I’m not an artist. I often use stick figures. :) But, it truly is a beautiful way to slow down and focus on Scripture.

{I usually use colored pencils, but I’ve been known to use Crayola twistable crayons when that’s all we’ve had, and they’ve worked just fine. :)}

how to mark your Bible

My other favorite way is to mark the actual words using a variety of colors and symbols. Here’s a glimpse into how I marked Colossians 1:3-14. But remember, your markings may look completely different than mine, and coming up with your own system might be even better! (You’ll just want to use a notecard to note your symbols and marking methods for easy reference!)

    • I began by praying for guidance!
    • Then I read the entire section without marking anything.
    • I read through the passage again, marking all references to God and Christ with yellow. (I chose yellow, but you can choose any color/marking, and remember to look for and mark words like- He, His, Him, Lord, Jesus, Spirit, etc. If you’d like- make different symbols for Father, Son, and Spirit.)
    • I marked God’s actions with purple (for His royalty)- what He has done, what He is doing, and what He will do- all got marked.
    • Then, going through the passage once again, I marked any obvious instructions and commands to the reader. I chose green to mark instructions/commands we should follow (like a green light reminding me to go and do them), and I chose red to mark what we should not do (like a red light reminder to stop doing those things). In this passage there wasn’t much to mark, but I did put a red X above the word “not.”
    • As I went through the passage the next time, I circled transitional words- such as… so that, and, though, for, in this, therefore, but, yet… This helped me to notice the links between the words before and after each transitional word. (And I double underlined the words all and always and every.)
    • Then I took time to make symbols or illustrations for other things that I wanted to note…  thanks- colorful “rays” pointing up, pray- an arrow pointing up and down, faith- a purple mountain with a cross on top, love- a red heart, hope- a star, grace- a purple gift, light- rays of light shining, redemption- a hill with a cross on top, forgiveness- a shining cross…
    • I added different lists/notes explaining what I’m learning. (For this passage, I made a list of what Paul prayed for the Colossians – knowledge, wisdom, understanding, live worthy, please Him, bearing fruit, growing, strengthened, etc.) 
    • I thanked God for all He was teaching me.

It’s just one little way to soak up the Truth found in these Words. Are you ready to give it a try yourself??? (Along with some other really wonderful ways of studying His Words!?)

I’m praying that God will work in our hearts as we are illuminated by His truth.

Colossians Week 3 - Our Family For His Glory

***Click on the documents above, or this link to get your own copy of Week 3’s study guide.***
(If you have issues with printing – make sure you have the latest Adobe Reader update installed on your computer. You can also try switching browsers, and/or downloading it to your computer first and then printing it out. Please let me know if you’re still having issues, and I’d be happy to email you a copy. OurFamilyForHisGlory {at} gmail {dot} com ~Thanks!)

***The entire ten week study of {illuminated} Colossians is now available!!***
It has a little more editing to be done, but I still wanted to make it available for free to any subscribers to Our Family for His Glory – whether by email or through a Feed Reader! :) You are welcome to subscribe (or unsubscribe) at any time (If you subscribe through email, make sure to validate your subscription. You may need to check your junk folder). If you’ve already subscribed, look way down at the end of the post (in your email or Feed Reader) to get the link to download the free Bible Study. If you subscribe today or later in the summer, you will get the link at the end of the next post. Please know you don’t have to download the ten week study. You will still be able to download each week’s study separately as they’re posted throughout the summer. Choose what’s easiest for you.

Will you seek the heart of our Father and be awed by His light along with me?


We have a beautiful week ahead – where we will seek our Rescuer, our Redeemer, our Forgiver. I’m praying for you right along with the words of Paul.

Last Week: Greetings From an Apostle of Christ – Colossians 1:1-2
Next Week: The Supremacy of Christ – Colossians 1:15-23

10 Dramatic Ways to Get Kids to Love the Bible! {Colossians Family Time #2}

I don’t know about you, but I want my kids to love the Bible.

For God uses this Book penned straight from His heart to touch souls – young and old – and to change lives for our good and His glory.

The more I read it and the more I see the mighty and gracious hand of God written across each page, the more I long for each word to be deeply inscribed on my heart and on the hearts of my children.

But I know there’s tough stuff in these pages.

There’s war and famine and a whole lot of sin. There’s cruelty and betrayal and even brutal murder.

But dripping throughout these words is an incredible love story –

Of forgiveness and redemption, new life and glory.

And I do not, do not, do not want my kids to miss it. For they, too, are a part of this precious story.

dramatize it

Bible drama for kids

10 ways to get kids to love the Bible

Colossians Family {Bible} Time – Week 2
(Correlates with this week’s Colossians Bible Study!)

Although it’s nothing fancy and we won’t be winning any Oscars, one of our favorite ways to make the Bible come alive is to dramatize it.

And since we are piercing the darkness of our hearts and kindling sparks of Truth and gleaming God’s Light through the book of Colossians this summer – what better way to get to know the man God used to scratch out these words, but to act out slices of his life’s journey.

So we flip through the pages of the Bible right into the book of Acts to see what God has done in the life of Paul.

Humble costumes are put on, and props are dragged out – blankets as water, and boxes as boats, and that old rickety shelf makes such an interesting prison.

And here under the crabapple tree, right next to the garden, the Bible comes to life in the eyes of my children.

As we learn of the stories of a man who was transformed by Jesus – we find an ordinary man, one who at first was so wrapped up in what he thought was right that he was blinded to the truth, and later was so dazzled by the Light of Christ that his life changed completely. A man who became bold enough to preach the gospel, but knew it had to start with fixing our eyes on Jesus.

He was real and he was broken, yet God loved him deeply and used him in marvelous ways.

And as the scenes play out in front of us, we see our lives too, as if they were written right there on the pages.

Sinful, striving, ordinary people – made lovely by an extraordinary God – it’s breathtaking.

act out the Bible

kids and the Bible

Favorite ways to dramatize the bible

Bible drama

kids acting out the Bible

dramatize the Bible

acting out the Bible

kids love the Bible

10 dramatic ways

Our 10 {Favorite} Dramatic Ways to Get Kids to Love the Bible:

1. Act it out – with or without costumes, props, and lightsabers. ;)

2. Put on a puppet show (make your own puppets).

3. Build the scene with Legos or blocks and use little people to tell the story.

4. Illustrate it (color or paint a picture).

5. Compose a song about the story (use a tune you know, or make up your own).

6. Make it into your own book.

7. Construct the characters and scenery out of clay or play-dough.

8. Record an audio drama – your own “radio theatre.”

9. Brain-storm a modern version of the story.

10. Make a movie of it.

11. {bonus!} Call a friend or relative to tell about it.

Any way to make these stories come to life in the hearts of our children.

***Some stories of Paul in the Bible (all found in the Acts of the Apostles): His persecution of believers (Acts 7:58-8:3), Saul’s conversion (Acts 9), Paul commissioned and first missionary journey (Acts 13), persecuted by Jews (Acts 9:22-25), second missionary journey (Acts 16), Paul and Silas in prison (Acts 16:16-40), third missionary journey (Acts 19), Paul arrested (Acts 21:26-) shipwreck and travels (Acts 27-28)… and many more (Here’s a good list.)***

Colossians Family Bible Time

Colossians {Bible} Times: #1 Colossians Introduction “When Our Kids Need Light in the Darkness”

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The Day My Baby Turned Four

The day my baby turned 4

So it was four years ago yesterday that I held you all swaddled in my womb. And those pitch black hours of the early morning were the last time I felt kicks from the inside – The last time I heard the thumping of a heartbeat so loud and beautiful – The last time the […]

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the day in and day out of loving for 13 years


The stars glistened bright, and this man got down on his knee. And I could’ve sworn that the whole enchanted universe was tilting our hearts together. And now it’s been thirteen years since we walked down that aisle hand in hand as husband and wife. I’m not sure where in this crazy world those thirteen […]

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illuminated – A Colossians Bible Study


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When Desperate for More of God – a {free} Bible study for those longing for Light in their darkness

illuminated - Colossians at Our Family for His Glory

I feel this deep longing again – This ache that reaches right down to my soul. A desperate plea to know God better. To let His light shine through my darkest cracks. To be illuminated by Him. Amidst melt-downs over toothpaste or tackling mountains of dishes. Amidst little girl smiles that can melt any heart […]

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For All of You in Your Ordinary (and an Announcement!)

For All of You in the Ordinary

It’s a blur now – The days of having half a dozen kids in just as many years. Moments of tears and beauty and a whole lot of Band-Aids have wrapped together to make this lovely, heart-stretching thing that I call ordinary. And now somehow we’ve finished another school year and all the day in […]

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To the Girl Who’s Taught Me So Much – on Your 9th Birthday


Sure, the whole world might’ve thought us crazy to have one more babe while still toting around two nurslings at home. But none of us could have ever guessed that you would be this blue-eyed beauty that taught me to breathe through grief and find joy in the sorrow. And today, nine years later, you’ve […]

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