Easy Peasy Chalk Painting

5 Steps to Create Your Special Oasis to Read and Study

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using this link.

Do you have a special place for reading God’s Word, for planning your day, for reading your favorite book or magazine?

Psalm 84:1 says, “How lovely are Thy dwelling places, O Lord of hosts!

With just a little creativity, you can create a lovely, inviting space to meet with God and plan your day!
Do you have a bookshelf you can devote to your books, notebooks, library books, magazines? Check out these options from Amazon, or get out some spray paint and refurbish something you already have. Make it colorful, classy, inviting. You may have something around the house already that you can just move to your “spot”.
If you are in the market for something new, here are 3 choices for you:

Click on the picture and it will take you to the Amazon site.

Now, gather some special items to make it a little oasis for yourself. Surround yourself with beautiful things that help you focus on God’s glory.

I sit by a bay window overlooking my backyard. In front of the window are some beautiful plants. Fresh flowers from my yard sometimes decorate my table, along with a beautiful card holder with the words to a hymn. Right beside me is my bookcase which holds my Bible, commentaries, study Bible, current books I am reading, notebooks my calendar, pens, highlighters; everything I need to sit sand study, or just be with the Lord.

You will find that having a special place set aside for your study will cause you to want to go there. It will be your place to talk with the Lord, to journal your thoughts, to pray, and to listen. Here are links to some study helps:
Click on the picture to go to the Amazon site.

So we have the “place”, we have a “bookcase” for all of our study needs, we have a “study Bible”, we have a “notebook” along with “pens and highlighters”. Now decorate a little with flowers, pictures, pillows, etc. Something to add a touch of beauty.
Click on the picture to see and purchase on Amazon.

I would love to hear about your special study place! Send pictures to encourage others with their decorating.
I would love for you to sign up with your email address, so I can let you know when new posts are out and also update you on “freebies” I am offering.
If you sing up today with your email, I will send you this “freebie”. It is a prettier version of, Five Questions to Ask When you Study a Passage of Scripture.


1-What do I learn about God from this passage?

2-Is there a warning for me about something; a sin for me to avoid?

3-Is there a promise for me to claim and trust God with?

4-Is there a truth about myself in this passage?

5-Are there specific things I can praise God about in this passage?

So make it your goal to establish your special “spot” for study this week!

-Decide on the place
-Add a bookcase for your books
-Gather your study materials: Bible, notebook, commentaries, pens, highlighters, etc.
-Add a special pillow, throw, or picture
-Pick some fresh flowers and display them on your desk, by your chair, or on your table

Don’t forget to sign up with your email, so I can send you a pretty copy of, “Five Questions to Ask When Studying a Passage of Scripture,”. You can make as many copies as you would like. Use a three-hole punch and put several in your notebook.

Last, but not least, share your pictures with us!
Until next time……



This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using this link.


The Jewel of Discipleship

“Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17 (NASB)

Even though iron is not what we think of as a jewel, it is a metal that was used for jewelry in ancient times.  During the time of Moses and the conquest of Canaan, iron was a rare metal and used mainly for jewelry such as  bracelets and rings.

The presence of iron in the Promised Land was a symbol of the richness of the land.  Because it was a harder metal than copper or bronze, it had to be extremely hot to work with it.  It was pounded out with an iron hammer and then sharpened with an iron file.  Later it became the metal of choice for tools and weapons.

The imagery of iron sharpening iron in this Proverb is worth our consideration as we think about the “jewel” of Discipleship.

How Does Discipleship Work?

The Proverb mentioned above speaks of one believer sharpening another believer.  In the New Testament this is the picture of discipleship.  One believer sharpens another believer by involving themselves in their lives;  sharing with them the lessons they have learned in the Christian walk.

As I reflect on God’s hand in my life, I marvel at how He used others in my life to disciple me.  Sunday school teachers, GA leaders and Youth ministers tied into my life as a child and teenager.  They taught me the Bible, encouraged me to memorize scripture, and exposed me to mature Christians whom I could look up to and follow their examples.  What a treasure that my parents saw to it that I was involved in church!

As a college student, God brought mature believers into my life to disciple me in studying Scripture.  I was encouraged to memorize scripture in a systematic way.  Then as a young wife and mother, precious friends entered my life and taught me so much through their walks with the Lord.  I was exposed to many wonderful authors. I consider many of those authors as my mentors.  Even though I never met them personally, they shaped my walk as a Christian.

At a significant point in my life, I realized that God had used all of these people to disciple me.  He  brought special people into my life at just the right time.  They lived their lives next to mine, shared books with me, and taught me the Word of God.  They modeled before me how to walk with the Lord.  I will forever cherish my dear friends, Amy, Leslie, Paul, and John (later became my husband) and the impact they had and continue to have on my life.

Tools for Discipleship

That brings me to my Post for today….

Why “Jewels of Life”?

Mama Jewel
My dear grandmother’s name was Jewel and the grandchildren loving called her Mama Jewel.   She lived with us her last years and she and I would sit and talk often. She had a quiet, sweet spirit about her and a laugh that always brought joy to my heart. She and I had a special relationship that always made me feel loved and accepted.

In addition to the sweet memories of Mama Jewel, I want to view all of life as jewels God has blessed me with.  Everything from His Word, my marriage and family, hobbies, talents, friends, and interests. Thus “Jewels of Life” was birthed.

My desire is to encourage you to look at your life the same way. Precious jewels are sometimes hidden beneath the everyday dirt and grim of life. With a concerted effort on our part, we can excavate those jewels, rinse them off, polish them up, and enjoy them the way God intended us to. So….let’s begin…..

Scripture – More Precious than Silver

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A popular Christian song says, “Lord, you are more precious than silver. Lord, you are more costly than gold. Lord, you are more beautiful than diamonds, and nothing I desire compares with You.”

Psalm 19:10 says the judgments of God (the Word of God) are more desirable than gold.

In other words, God’s Word, the Bible, is a precious jewel. It is like the two MOST precious jewels: silver and gold.

That being true, should we not search the scriptures daily for the precious jewels God has given us in His Word?
I hope that is a daily practice for you.

Reading God’s Word is the way we get to know Him. It is during the reading of the Bible that the Holy Spirit of God speaks to us, warming our hearts to God. It is a very natural thing to begin praising God, pouring out our hearts to Him, and seeking His guidance as we read.

Let me encourage you to create a space and time for spending time alone with God everyday. For me, this is first thing every morning at the breakfast table. Sometimes, while I am having my coffee, sometimes after breakfast. I always begin by reading the Bible. Without fail, as I am reading, my spirit is moved with a truth about God’s power, or I am overwhelmed with His majesty. Maybe I read about His provision, His holiness, His love, His forgiveness. My heart responds to that and I begin to pray. It is not something I have to work at. The Holy Spirit uses the Word of God to draw my heart to Him.

Set a time
Create a space
Gather your Bible and a notebook
Start with 10 minutes

Why did I mention a notebook? When God speaks to your heart, you may want to write your prayer down. If you are asking Him to help you in a certain situation, write it down. Then when He answers, go back and record and date it.
Having a journal to read of God’s promises to you, His help in hard circumstances, His answers to your prayers, the promises that He gives you from Scripture is a precious jewel of remembrances.

You must have a plan. I have heard on old saying, “He who aims at nothing always hits it.” Make a plan and start tomorrow. Maybe your best time is at night before you go to bed. There is no right or wrong time. Just do it.
I am including a Bible Reading Plan for you that my church uses. If you have another one, great! Just use a plan. We are more likely to do something when it is laid out for us step by step.

If you are new to this, I also have a worksheet for you to help you study a passage of Scripture. Ask these questions about the verses you read:

-What do I learn about God from this passage?
-Is there a warning for me about something, a sin for me to avoid?
-Is there a promise for me to claim and trust God with?
-Is there a truth about myself in this passage?
-Are there specific things I can praise God about in this passage?

Please feel free to make copies of this worksheet as well as the Bible reading plan.
We will discuss in another session how to incorporate these into a notebook. Hint: I use a Daytimer notebook to keep up with all areas of my life. These areas include a calendar, addresses, daily to do lists, menus for the week, prayer requests, etc.
For now, use whatever you have; a composition notebook works. Get a pretty color, and pretty pens to have in your special place! I am including some choices for you that you can order from Amazon. Go ahead and order what you need while it is fresh on your mind. If you put it off until later, it probably won’t happen.

I would love to hear about your Bible study progress.


This blog is an Amazon Affiliate blog.


Welcome to Jewels of Life!

Hi, it’s me, Julie!
 Welcome to Jewels of Life!  Let me introduce myself.  I am pursuing a new adventure of blogging and I am delighted to have you join me in considering the “jewels” of life that we are blessed with.
The precious jewels in my life include my husband of 40 years, John who is my best friend, pastor, and mentor.  It is with his encouragement that I jump in and go with this new direction.
God blessed us with five children:  Jennifer, Josh, Jacob, Justin, and Jonathan.  The term precious jewels, defines them perfectly.  Each one has their own unique qualities that give priceless meaning and joy to my life.
They have added to my treasure chest of jewels wonderful mates: Josh (son in love), Talia and Lauren (daughters in love) and nine grandchildren:  Knox, Harris, Olivia, Whit, Eli, Zeke, Kye, Aubrey, and Zane.  What can I say?  Delightful!
The crowning jewel of my life is my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  He is the joy of my soul, the light of my life and gives me purpose for living.  It is Him that I desire to please in all things.
My educational background is a BA in Piano Performance.  It has been my joy to be a church pianist, organist, and keyboardist for the past 40 years.  Additionally, I have been a private piano instructor for most of those 40 years.  You know, our workplace is an opportunity; a place for God to refine and polish us as a jewel, while at the same time, use us to teach and minister to others.
I invite you to join me on a new adventure.  Let’s work together at finding the hidden jewels that are already in our lives.  Even those hard things, God can use for good in our lives.  Scripture speaks of God refining us like silver.  After going through the fire, a beautiful, precious. and useful jewel of silver emerges.
 Join me weekly for words of encouragement, Bible Study Ideas, Family Issues, Tips on Wardrobe and Make Up, Discussions on Current Events, Household Tips, and More!