Illuminated Journaling captures the moments you have met with God on the pages of His Word allowing us to return to that meeting again and again — refreshing memories and reinforcing the truths we've learned.


about jann gray

Every Bible I have ever owned has become the repository of all sorts of evidence that I have met with God on the pages of His Word. If you were to do a quick flip through one of my Bibles, you would find that sermon notes, prayers, word studies, and cross references have been scribbled in the margins and that words and even whole paragraphs have been underlined, circled, and color coded.

These marks on the pages of my Bibles were not put there to distract from the Word of God — but rather to remind me of who God is, as I studied and meditated on His Word.

It now also contains illustrations — a creative expression that I call Illuminated Journaling. Bible journaling is an expressive way to study the Word of God by writing or drawing on the very pages that inspire our creativity. It was my love of photography and the way a picture can transport me back to the moment that a precious memory occurred, which has led to my love of journaling in my Bible using words and images.

Journaling like this captures the moments I have met with God on the pages of His Word and allows me to return to that meeting again and again — refreshing my memory and reinforcing the truths I have learned.

Illuminated journaling allows me to capture my own picture — a selfie if you will — of myself with God as we stand together admiring the work of His hands.

Sometimes the picture is of me before I knew what the future would hold. Sometimes it is of the celebration of completing a task. Other times, it captures the moment when the truth finally sank in and I got it. Still others record the time I missed it yet again.

As I flip through the pages of my Bible, I see where I’ve been and anticipate where He will lead me, and I rejoice in His constancy, presence, and love for me every day, every moment of my life. And if my fickle heart even tries to forget, I have the evidence right there on the pages of my Bible that He never forgets, never fails, never leaves, and always loves. Click and there in the viewfinder of my Bible is our silhouette . . . Him loving me and me loving Him right back.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and tell you that I think this could be the single greatest thing that you can do to improve your personal relationship with Jesus! As bold as that sounds, my personal experience (and the experience of hundreds of my friends) gives me the confidence to want it for you, too!

Bible journaling has not just reinvigorated my Bible study, but also brought me to a new spiritual depth. The art and the words placed on the pages of my Bible instantly bring to my present memory the impact they had on me when I first learned them. They literally renew my mind.

Sometimes people are uncertain about their ability to journal in their Bibles. They worry about not being creative or not knowing where to begin. But there’s something important to remember: You absolutely are a creative person! We were each made in the image of God and He is the ultimate Creator! Creativity is not just found in cream of the crop artists, designers, dancers, singers, writers, doodlers, and illustrators. Creativity is in you. This spark of creativity was placed there by God. You are the only one who can present a sacrificial offering of your creativity back to Him.

Don’t miss that opportunity.