Introducing Known: A Study on John

I've spent the past several weeks in a new Bible study with a wonderfully beautiful and diverse group of women here in Brandon. Known is a chapter-by-chapter, verse-by-verse study on the Gospel of John, and it's been so sweet to open up the Word with these women each week.

John (along with Matthew, Mark, and Luke) is all about the person and work of Jesus Christ, so there's really no better way to prepare our hearts and minds for Easter than to spend the weeks leading up to it meditating on his life and studying his words.

We're about halfway through the study, and a beautifully honest picture of Jesus is emerging. He works wonders and wields words with the power and authority that belongs to God alone. He is unapologetically truthful, using truth both as a sword to cut through false assumptions and as a balm to soothe weary souls. For those who would look past his human exterior and behold the glory peeking through, he offers grace, truth, and a wellspring of eternal life.

My prayer for this study is that God would make himself known to us—that by gazing upon the Word that became flesh, we would see his glory with wonder anew. That is, after all, why he came. That we may know him, and that we may spend our lives making him known.

If that sounds like something you're interested in, you don't have to be local to take part. That's the beauty of the internet, friends! You can find everything you need to get started, including the learner workbook and weekly podcasts, on the Known Bible study page.

I hope you'll join us! We'd love to have you. Until next time, grace and peace.

Hope in the Darkness (Advent Week One)

This is the first of a 4-part Advent series posted each week before Christmas. Each post corresponds with the free Family Advent Wreath Devotional, available for download in the LAJ Shop.

Light Has Dawned. Devotions and readings for Advent from Leslie Ann Jones. #LAJQuotes #Scripture #LAJVerses #Advent #Christmas

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably noticed that the world has gone a bit crazy over the past few weeks. I thought for sure that things would get better after the election, but it turns out that I was wrong. It could get worse. And it has.

Those with her were convinced that she was the answer to all our problems. Those with him were hanging on the promise that he would make America great again. And when the results rolled in, half the country grieved while the other half exulted. 

It's never been more obvious that we are a people looking for a savior. It seems that all our hopes and dreams were pinned on the one we thought would save us all, but no matter how much power the president of the good ole U.S. of A. wields, it's not nearly enough for that. Only Jesus can save.

The world is a dark place these days, y'all, but it is not so dark that the light of Christ can't pierce it. Jesus called himself the Light of the World, and it is his light that we cling to when the darkness presses close.

In moments when darkness lays heavy and thick upon us, even the tiniest flicker of light can give us the hope we need to carry on, but thanks be to God that the light of Christ is not a flickering candle in the wind. It's the steadfast and sure glow of a lighthouse warning us of danger and guiding us to safe harbor. 

The hope of Advent is the promise that Christ has come and that he's coming again. It's not wishful thinking. It's not an empty promise. It's a certainty—a forgone conclusion based on the rock solid ground of God's faithfulness. His word promises that something unimaginably better lies ahead for those who place their trust in him. And because his word is based on his character, we can rest assured that it's trustworthy indeed.

He will not leave us or forsake us. Though the world is quite dark, he has not left us stranded. He came into this dark and dreary world to save sinners, and he's coming back someday to take us home. Now that's something to look forward to.

Amen and amen.

Until next time, grace and peace.

Introducing the Printable Dwell Journal™

Hello Friends! Today, I'm excited to share a new collection (and a little freebie) that I quietly launched a couple of weeks ago: The Dwell Journal™ Printable Collection.

From the beginning, I had a long list of ideas for features I wanted to include in the Dwell Journal™, but putting every single one of those ideas into a printed format would result in a HUGE journal at an equally large price point.

But I didn't stop dreaming or designing. I kept working on pages for my own ideal journal—pages for sermon notes, scripture memory, and gratitude. I also needed a place to keep track of Bible reading and prayer requests, so I laid those pages out as well. And I knew I needed a place for general note-taking and written prayers, so I went ahead and developed those pages too.

The result? A printable Dwell Journal™ collection that you can build into your own perfect quiet time notebook. Each Dwell Journal™ printable will guide you through your time alone with the Lord. Whether you’re using the Dwell Daily pages for your Bible study, the Be Grateful pages to record blessings, or the Pray Often pages to note prayer requests, it’s my hope and prayer that the simple act of writing things down will help you remember the things that matter most. 

Since the printables are sold both separately and as a package, it's simple to put together a Bible study notebook that works for you. Each printable is available in both letter and half-letter formats, so you can easily print, punch holes, and place in a binder. You can print as many copies of the pages as you need as long as it's for personal use, and extended licensing is available upon request if you need to print copies for your entire Bible study group or Sunday school class.

Sound good? Visit the shop for a closer look at the individual pages. AND because I love you, and because you've made it this far, I think it's only fair to tell you that for a limited time, I'm offering the Take Note page (pictured below) as a free download.

The Printable Take Note worksheet for the Dwell Journal™ is a plain and simple lined page to use for note-taking. Sometimes you just need a place to write things down. The Take Note worksheet is perfect for everything from grocery lists to sermon notes. Download it today and get a feel for the printable Dwell Journal system.

I hope you love the printable collection as much as I do! What else would you like to see in a quiet time journal? Let me know in the comments, and I'll see if I can make it a reality.

Until next time, grace and peace.