Thank you for accepting God’s invitation and ours to “Write Them on Your Heart,” a scripture-writing project for the year. My wife, Phyllis, and I like to do things together. We pray, walk these beautiful Texas hills, serve, write, and enjoy our lives walking hand in hand. So we decided to do this project together.
As a theologian, professor, philosopher, and Bible teacher, I have spent my life studying God’s Word and the world’s philosophies. After all these years I have come to the same conclusion as many before me–all truth comes from God, but to know what is true and what is not, we must turn to God’s Word to find Truth.
When I wrote the book HEALTHY FAITH, which is a manual for developing a healthy and fulfilling relationship with God that engages your head, your heart, and your hands, I stressed the importance of daily Bible study. It is there you will find the recorded stories of God’s activity in human history and the characteristics that make Him holy. There are many methods of studying the Bible. We have found the spiritual discipline of writing and meditating on God’s Word is a highly productive way to keep you in God’s Word and to help the Truth you find there become the fabric of your life and faith.
In this guide, each month you will find a key theme found in the scripture with a related verse or short passage for each day. Your scripture writing will only take you about ten minutes each morning. I would suggest you print these pages and put them in a three-ring binder where you may add your pages of “scripture scratching” and your journaling.
You might begin each day by reading the passage and asking God to help you truly listen and move beyond your own limited ideas of what this biblical text is saying. Then as you write the passage, meditate on each word, asking what the text is saying specifically to you. As you finish, I would suggest you pray, using the text and asking God to help you apply it to the way you will live out your life today.
from Phyllis: You’re probably scratching your head at the phrase “scripture scratching” when scripture writing has been around for a long time. When I started this discipline as a part of my daily devotional life, I realized I was doing more than just copying verses. I had images of birds scratching in the grass and soil for seeds and kernels, and that was exactly what I was doing—searching for a kernel of truth or a seed of hope. And since “scratching” is what some call their handwriting, thus the phrase “scripture scratching” was born. As you “scratch,” I hope God’s Word will become three-dimensional for you as you meditate and pray. And I hope the passage will come back into your thoughts throughout the day and that you will even have opportunity to share it with someone else.
Having used many scripture-writing guides that were practical, I explained to Bill that I wanted this one to be also visually attractive. The Bible is filled with mentions of birds, from eagles to sparrows, and these passages and our own birdwatching have taught us many life lessons. All the images you see in this guide are from actual oil paintings hanging in our home—Bill’s paintings of the birds that we feed, see, and enjoy every day. He takes photos and then uses them as subjects for creating these paintings. I hope you will enjoy and ponder these beautiful images as you turn the pages. My prayer is that you will feel God’s care for the sparrow and experience His strength in the wings of the eagle.
Bill Nichols, PhD, has given his life to helping people develop a healthy faith. He was senior pastor of three churches, founded the South Georgia Pastoral Counseling Center, and has been a popular public speaker. Dr. Nichols taught Christian apologetics and faith communications at the nation’s largest Protestant seminary, helped establish the nation’s first 24/7 faith-based, inter-denominational television network, and founded America’s first health television channel.
Dr. Nichols has also authored Heathy Faith: A Strategic Lifestyle Plan to Transform Your Head, Heart & Hands and Devotions for a Healthy Faith. Bill is an accomplished artist, enjoys traveling, teaching, and nature. He and his wife, Phyllis, live in the Texas Hill Country.
Phyllis Clark Nichols was raised in the deep shade of magnolia trees in Cairo, Georgia. Now she lives in the Texas Hill Country with her husband where red birds and axis deer are her ever-ravenous neighbors. She is an English major, seminary graduate, concert artist, and co-founder of a national cable network for people with disabilities. For over a decade she has worked in the orphanages of Guatemala and currently serves on non-profit boards where she works with others who are equally passionate about bringing hope and light to those who need it most.
As an author of eight books, Phyllis believes everyone could use a little more hope and light. Her character-driven Southern fiction explores profound human questions from within the simple lives of small town communities you just know you’ve visited before. With a love for nature, art, music, cooking, faith, and ordinary people, she tells redemptive tales of loss and recovery, estrangement and connection, longing and fulfillment, often through surprisingly serendipitous events. Phyllis is the author of the Family Portrait series, the Rockwater Suite series of 4 novels, Christmas at Grey Sage, and Silent Days, Holy Night.
Intro to Website offer for Guide
My wife, Phyllis, and I put this guide together because, for both of us, the spiritual disciple of writing and meditating on God’s Word has significantly enriched our relationship with God. The practice has also helped us keep God’s Word in our minds throughout each day and become a normal part of the fabric of our lives and faith. We trust is will do the same for you.
In this guide, each month you will find a separate page with a copy of one of my bird paintings, a note on one key theme found in the scriptures with a related verse or short passage for each day. We suggest you print these pages in color or black and white, put them in a three-ring binder where you may add your pages of “scripture scratching” and your journaling.
Join us in a brief but meaningful way of following our Heavenly Father’s invitation about His words, “Write them deep within your heart.” Proverbs 3:3 NLT