Monday, March 30, 2015

i read a book!

Okay, I have a confession to make. I am not a reader. Eep! I hate the sound of that. Don't get me wrong, I love books, and I love reading, but.. I am simply not a reader. I don't soak up books like those around me do, and maybe you've noticed the lack of any mention of any book, ever. Well, that's cause I am not usually reading, so I don't have any recommendations for you.

Don't get me wrong, I do have some great recommendations up my sleeve, if you are ever interested. But they don't change often, because I probably have not read any new books since you last asked me.

Recently, I read Women of the Word, by Jen Wilkin.

the rising blog: http://www.therisingblog.com/faith/2015/2/9/women-of-the-word-a-book-review

I have always enjoyed Jen as a Bible teacher, and the subtitle of her book really appealed to me: how to study the Bible with both our hearts and our minds. I know that approaching things heart first is one that is so oft taken by women. Although, I may argue that as a student of science, I put a large emphasis on evidence, or "head-knowledge" as Christians like to refer to it sometimes. But I am still a woman, and I love my emotions. Jen argues that we need to use both our minds and our hearts to study the Word, and boy is she right.

J warned me that this book would probably cover things that I have heard before (either through him or through my church's teaching - and praise God for that! I have access to really great resources). But the book was still just what I needed.

The book is simple, short, and really sets you straight about how you should read the Bible. Sure, I didn't actually have any mind-blowing realizations while reading the book. But I still think it is a superb book that all Christian women should read (the principles apply to men too, although the book is written to women).

wildbloom blog: http://www.wildbloomblog.com/2014/09/birthday-weekend-photo-diary.html

This book reaffirmed my understanding of Scripture, and gave me the necessary kick in the butt where I needed it. The Bible is about God, not me. So I ought to read it that way and ask, "what does this passage reveal about God, and his story of creation, fall, redemption, and restoration?".
  • If you have no idea how to read the Bible, this is an excellent read.
  • If you want to know God more, I encourage you to give this book a quick read. It is exactly that, a quick read.
  • If you get solid Biblical teaching from your church, your spiritual leaders, etc., then this might just be a quick summary of what you think you already know!
Ultimately, this book is a short guide to reading your Bible. In the end, I would encourage you to go ahead and do that- read the Bible!

*Note: the images above are not my own. Hover for sources.

Friday, March 27, 2015

simply steph is moving!

I'm in the process of moving my blog over to Wordpress at stephkoanie.wordpress.com. In the meantime, I'm posting on both Blogger and Wordpress until eventually I will post only at Wordpress! I haven't quite figured out when that will be yet, but I'll keep this blog around for archival reasons.

I decided to move to Wordpress because I wanted to play with more flexible layout designs, and Blogger just wasn't meeting my needs anymore. I'm now using Simply Steph to showcase my new lettering work, and continue to write about my faith (and all that interests me!).


So please, let me know what you think of the new space, and I hope to see you there!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

stop gossiping about yourself!

Do you ever find yourself self-conscious of what other people are thinking about you? Not saying about you, but *thinking* about you? You are probably gossiping about yourself, to yourself. This issue is near and dear to my heart, because I do it all the time.

I have a great knack for alienating people, and losing friends because I think they are talking about me. Are they gossiping about me? I have no idea. But that doesn't even matter, because I have already made up things that they are possibly saying behind my back.

My simple solution: don't do it.

James 3, 8-10 reads, "but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so."
"The tongue should teach us to speak well of, and kindly to, all who bear his image."
About this passage, Matthew Henry writes, "If we bless God as our Father, it should teach us to speak well of, and kindly to, all who bear his image. That tongue which addresses with reverence the divine Being cannot, without the greatest inconsistency, turn upon fellow-creatures with reviling brawling language. It is said of the seraphim that praise God, they dare not bring a railing accusation. And for men to reproach those who have not only the image of God in their natural faculties, but are renewed after the image of God by the grace of the gospel: this is a most shameful contradiction to all their pretensions of honouring the great Original."

So really, this post is written more as a letter to myself, telling me to praise the Lord and speak kindly of all others (myself included). If you are in a similar place, then I encourage you to spend more time in Scripture and in prayer, building your faith, and desiring nothing more than to honour God in all that you think, say, and do. Because that is precisely what I am challenging myself to do, too.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

52 hand-lettered project: 10 | 52

[ 10 | 52 ] home is..


This is my favourite piece to date! I had so much fun making this. I used my new dip ink calligraphy pen, and a Speedball B-4 nib. I also played around with ink splatter too. It was generally just a lot of fun to make, and I’m very happy with it!!

When I read the prompt, I naturally thought to complete the sentence with the lyrics from Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros’ song Home. It’s such a catchy song. But I actually have a very convoluted idea of home, at the moment. As a student, I move so often that the physical building that I live in changes every year. I make my home, and then I leave and have to make another place my home. So I’m not sure what home is anymore.

But, I am reassured because the Bible tells me that my true home is in heaven with the Lord, “for our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20).

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

52 hand-lettered project: 9 | 52

[ 9 | 52 ] how I like my coffee


I love a good mug, just as much as I love a good cup of coffee, if not more! I also take my coffee with milk, but no sugar. This also happens to be the way I take my tea, too! Oh, coffee and tea, how I love thee  .

Happy March everyone! I hope this month brings more warmth, as I am officially done with winter, and cannot wait for spring!!