Bible Journaling Tutorial: Be Transformed

Romans 12:2 says we should “be transformed” by the renewing of our minds. You’ve probably heard this verse quoted before…but have you ever thought about what it means, or how to apply it to your life? In this Bible journaling tutorial, I’ll show you what I’ve learned about this verse, and how to re-create a similar journaling page in your own Bible.

Bible journaling tutorial - Romans 12:2

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This past Sunday, I got hit by one of those “aha” moments.

I’d just finished watching church online (via Facebook Live), and for the moment, I had my head buried in my sermon notes. A little while later, I looked up at the computer and realized that Facebook had automatically moved on to another Facebook Live broadcast…from Pastor Steven Furtick at Elevation Church. And I knew Pastor Steven always has some great insights (which he delivers in his over-the-top enthusiastic way of preaching), so I turned up the sound and started listening.

(If you’ve never seen Steven Furtick preach before, and even if you have, check out the full sermon here. Heads up…it’s a long sermon, and the most juicy stuff starts at about the 30-minute mark).

And boy, it was a timely message! He was talking about how, in this pandemic and the “new normal”, we’ve been forced to adapt. And we’re in such a hurry to get back to “normal”, but…WHAT IF God doesn’t want us to get back to our previous normal? WHAT IF…our old normal was choking the life out of us? WHAT IF…God wants us to have a BETTER normal than before? To rest more…take more time for family…do more for our neighbors…and so forth.

And then, in his characteristic way of dropping major truth bombs, Pastor Steven said “What if there are some things we need to UNlearn?”

Ooh, boy. I can think of a lot of things I need to UNlearn! Like, putting tasks and things ahead of people. And, only saying the minimum I can get away with, instead of asking more questions and learning more about the people I meet, say, in the grocery store. And also, letting myself wander down the road of distraction, rather than deliberately pulling myself back to the task at hand.

Are there some things YOU need to UNlearn too?

At it’s core, this question of unlearning just means “What do I need to UNlearn about the world’s ways, so I can LEARN God’s ways?”

Pastor Steven brought up Romans 12:2…

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Romans 12:2 (NIV)

And he said, there’s a BIG difference between those words “conform” vs. “transform”. To CONFORM = the world worming it’s way into us from the outside. But to be TRANSFORMED = God working in us from the inside out! Which leads us to another truth bomb: It’s easy for God to change our hearts, but it’s hard for us to change our habits accordingly.

Gee, no wonder I have so much trouble doing the right things!

Seriously, go watch the whole message!

Bible Journaling Tutorial: Romans 12:2

Since this was such a great lesson, and I don’t want to forget it, I decided to do this Bible journal on Romans 12:2. And I wanted to use some new art supplies that I hadn’t tried before (iridescent Gelatos, and gel press printing plates). Follow along with me, and create your own version of this page!

NOTE: I should mention that I used clear gesso to prep my Bible page, before I added any paint. I highly recommend using gesso any time you want to add paint or ink to your page, to ensure the paper is strengthened and there won’t be any tearing or bleed-through.

STEP 1: Iridescent Gelatos for the background

Faber-Castell Gelatos make such a great background, y’all! And I’m so impressed with this new ‘Iridiscent’ set that I got recently. It’s even more shimmery than the ‘Metallic’ set. The pictures just can’t capture the shimmer, although you *CAN* sort of see it in the close-up just a little bit. The shimmer looks like little teeny-tiny white specs…you can especially see them towards the center of the page.

Romans 12:2 Bible journaling tutorial step 1

Bible journaling examples - gelatos

What color do you think ‘transformation’ would be, if it were a color? I chose blue, which ended up looking more like a very faint green-ish color. But, I think it works, since green represents new life and growth!

STEP 2: Gel press

This was my FIRST TIME EVER using these gel press printing plates. They’re flexible shapes, made of gel for spreading paint on, and pressing onto paper (often with a pattern drawn onto the paint, or a stencil pressed onto it). And they really are wiggly little things! They look solid in the photo, but they’re quite jello-like.

Romans 12:2 Bible journaling step 2

I bought several sets of different shapes, and this brayer to roll paint on with. But I’m not sure how I feel about them just yet…my first attempt, I pressed a bit too hard, and ended up smudging the pattern of it. Second attempt, I might’ve not put enough paint on it. But still, even though it didn’t look quite like I expected, it still works.

STEP 3: Add words with gel pens

Since the shapes were quite dark, I decided to write on them with a silver glitter gel pen. I could’ve done it with a white paint pen, but you know me…I love sparkly things, so glitter it is! (I did sketch the words in pencil on an index card beforehand, to make sure everything would fit).

My idea was to put ‘DO NOT CONFORM’ (the world works from the outside in) in the first diamond, and ‘BUT BE TRANSFORMED’ (God works from the inside out!) in the second one. And then I added “God, what mindsets and habits do I need to UNlearn?” in dark blue glitter gel pen.

I know it’s super hard to see the silver words in the photo…in reality, they’re much more visible.

I can already tell, this will be something I’ll refer back to a lot, to ask that same question. Because even if I’m successful at UNlearning certain habits and mindsets now, there will probably be other habits that I’ll realize I need to UNlearn in the future.

STEP 4: Outline and underline the Scripture

Finally, the finishing touch. To emphasize Romans 12:2, I outlined the whole paragraph of verses 1-2 with silver glitter gel pen. And then I underlined the first part of verse 2 with a blue Tombow Twintone marker. And, I dated the page at the bottom with the blue glitter gel pen.

Romans 12:2 Bible journaling page close-up

Romans 12:2 Be transformed

What resonates with you in this Romans 12:2 message? I hope you go and do your own Bible journaling page about it! Happy journaling.

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