Before you begin, I need you to put down that bar of Dove. I know, I did say that you were going to use SOAP, but you won’t need soap. Confused? Sorry. Let’s get back to Bible journaling.
Note: if you’re Bible journal didn’t save properly, please read the FAQ at the bottom of this page.
The Think Step. The TTW app provides a place to record your thoughts with every Bible chapter. We call it the think step, and it’s basically your own private Bible journal. Journaling through the Bible is great. When you take the time to record your thoughts, you end up actually reading it, instead of skimming it while your brain is trying to remember where you put your cup of coffee. (By the way, if you’re a parent, check the microwave. You tried reheating your coffee a while back.)
What do I write? You can write down anything in your journal: insights, questions, answers, confusions, applications, prayers. It’s private, so feel free to open up. But if you’re like me, there’s something scary about that blank page. Where do I start? If you need help, start with SOAP.
How to SOAP. SOAP is an acronym. It stands for: Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer. It’s a simple journaling method used all over the world. And TTW makes it easy! After you read a Bible chapter, tap the “Think” button at the bottom of your screen to open the journal page. Up at the top of the journal, there’s a small bar of soap. Tap it, and the journal will be formatted for you to use SOAP!
Ready to jump in? Here’s a simple step-by-step.
SCRIPTURE: Write out a verse or passage from the chapter that is meaningful to you. You can copy and paste it in, or you can take the time to type it out. Typing gives you more time to meditate on it, but pasting is good too.
OBSERVATION: What do you see in the verse? You can write the verse in your own words, and write some thoughts about it. What does it say? How does it fit the context of the chapter, or the audience? Are there repeated words that give you clues? Write your insights and even questions here.
APPLICATION: This is where we get personal. How does the passage apply to your life? What does it say to you about your present situation, trials, and challenges? Make it personal – don’t write how people should respond – write how you should respond to this passage.
PRAYER: Pray about God’s Word. Ask Him to change your heart or life, in accordance with this passage. If there is a sin you are convicted of through the passage, confess it. If there is something you feel called to do to follow up, pray for strength to do it. Writing your prayer will help you to focus and be clear.
That’s it! The entire process will take you between 5-15 minutes, depending on how deep you want to go in the passage. When I finish, I like to go back to the top and add a title for the entry (even though TSOAP doesn’t make a very good acronym).
Here’s an example:
Title: Deep Roots, Bearing Fruits
Scripture: “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”
Observation: Who is blessed? Those who trust in the Lord, who have faith in Him.
And what kind of blessing is it? It isn’t financial or material, but spiritual in nature. Even when trials come (heat, drought), it doesn’t bring fear, because the blessing is rooted deep in the water. We are like this tree with we trust in God, and when trials come our way, we can stand strong without fear, for God will continue to supply our needs.
Application: Having gone through difficult times, I know that when I stay firmly planted in God, and trust in Him, He carries me through the trials. I must remain firm in my foundation, trusting in Him for all my needs. Doing so, I will continue to bear fruit, bringing life to others who are walking through the drought with me.
Prayer: Lord, help me to trust in You always. When I face times of difficulty and drought, may you continue to provide for me. Help me to trust in you, and not my own ways. Help me to be a source of life to those struggling around me. My I always be rooted in your word. Amen.
Think Step (journal) FAQ
- Do I have to journal? No. You can mark a chapter complete without a journal, but you’ll get more out of it if you take time to write.
- Do I have to follow the SOAP acronym? Of course not. You’re free to write as you please. You can write freeform, or even change up the acronym. I’ve been known to record SOASAOAOOP in my own journal.
- Can I record two journals in the same chapter? If you arrive at the same chapter a second time, just add more content at the end of the first entry. Add a new title, and start writing again. In the future, we plan to add features to create separate pages for the same chapter. For now, just add more at the end.
- Can I share my journal? Yes! Just highlight any portion that you want to share, tap “Copy”, then tap the Connect step at the bottom right. That will give you options to share your journal by text or social media. We’re working on features to speed up the process.
- Can I export my journal? Not yet, except by cut and paste. But we’re working on an easier solution for a future TTW upgrade.
- Help! My journal didn’t save the last thing I typed! We found a minor glitch in the new TTW and we’re working on a fix. The issue is this: if you type a journal entry, the app will only save when you tap the “Return” button on your keyboard. If you type a sentence, then tap “Done” without tapping “Return,” it may not save the last bit that you typed. Sorry for the frustration. For now, just tap “Return” each time before you finish your journal. We’ll launch the fix as soon as we have it for you.