What’s In My Study Bag?

I love the behind the scenes, real deal kind of stuff. I’m betting that is why I liked reality tv (before it got all crazy- the first few seasons of the Real Housewives was awesome- then it got stupid & way too dramatic. I mean really who goes on vacation with people they hate? No one that I know…anyway, I digress). From the time I was young I liked shows that made you feel like you where a fly on the wall. To this day, I like to know how people go about their daily lives. I like to see their homes or offices (the theeverygirl.com home & office tours are my favorites). My favorite part of Fixer Upper is when Chip & Jo are at home on the farm, but I love the end where we get to see the family “live” in their home. It’s the same thing with House Hunters, I like the last 5 minutes the most. My favorite movies are all movies that just follow people through their lives- You’ve Got Mail, One Fine Day, I Don’t Know How She Does It, etc. I guess that is why I like Instagram so much, every now & then you just get to see real life. I like real life.

A few months ago, through the power of Periscope, I caught Beth Moore taking followers through her office & study materials & how she preps & studies for what she writes. It was so neat to see how someone like her goes through the process of writing & studying. Now I am nowhere near her status or knowledge, but I have gotten a few questions about what study materials I use when writing posts or prepping to lead lessons- so I thought I would take you in side my study bag today, to follow up a post from two weeks ago that took you inside my purse.

Bibles: I mainly use these two bibles when I study. The bible on the left is an NIV study bible & the right an ESV journaling bible. I don’t do bible journaling like you see on Instagram or Pinterest (if you like inspiration for that though, check out my friends Brooke & Jessica). I like the journaling bible platform because I take a lot of notes & have a lot of stuff to write out- go figure huh?!


Inductive Study Bible– Over the last few years, I have been learning how to do inductive study. This was not & still isn’t an easy way for me to study. I really do push back against it because of the amount of work that it normally takes & the repetition. It feels like I am back in school- I hated school. But despite how much I complain about it sometimes, there is no denying the knowledge you gain from it. There is so much to dig out in the Bible & this bible is like a cross-referencing gem. Anytime I sit down to write a heavy biblical post or I just need a little extra oomph to my writing or teaching, this is the first resource I go to. I stepped away from it for a few months because I just ran out of room in my bag, but really felt like I was missing clarity that comes from the Bible proving itself rather than a theologian.


Commentary: My parents gave me this set for Christmas quite a few years ago & since my dad is a pastor, I knew it must be good. There is also an old testament volume- but I didn’t want to go get it from the other room, lol. There were kids around, I was just trying to get things done quickly…mamas know what I’m talking about. Honestly, I don’t reference these a lot for various reasons, but sometimes you just need some history or a little bit of clarification on a topic or passage or the way something is written. As long as you buy a reliable commentary from a reputable source, they can be great resources to add to your study. Just keep in mind that, just like you should with any spiritual leader, don’t take the words for 100% truth. The are after all only human & subject to mistakes. Commentaries are interpretations- expert interpretations- but interpretations & their findings, none-the-less. The only thing that is 100% true is the word.


Apps: These are the 3 apps I normally use. Most are free, but one is around $5 (I can’t remember which it is though). I use the Bible app when I need a different translation for understanding or cross-referencing. The Logos app is my go to app. I always start there when digging into a scripture. Whether it is the greek & hebrew meanings or root words or a bible dictionary. I felt like I gained a new understanding of the bible when I started using this because I can look up things I don’t understand. If you only get one app, I recommend this one. Lastly, the Strongs Con(cordance) app. I use this to look up greek & hebrew meanings. You get spelling, pronuncation, root words, word study. It is a great app. It can get a bit confusing & intimidating at first, but I’m sure reading directions would help too, lol.


Pens- I try to only use these to write in my bible. With the amount of notes I take & writing I do on my pages, I have to make sure to use a pen that doesn’t bleed through those tissue thin pages. These are .25mm tips. Super, super thin tips. I also like to use different colors. Some colors are for color coding, but others are just because I love flipping through my bible & seeing all the different color notes because at a glance I can see how God was speaking to me or teaching me about that scripture during different times of life or different days or studies based on the different colors.


So that’s it. That is what is in my study bag. Don’t forget to go to Instagram to see the actual bag I carry all my study goodies in & you can see the various places I do my study in the mornings or evenings. What about you. What are your top study tools?

Honey Flavored Lemonade by Marissa Dodgen

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