Sunday, May 1, 2011

Don't forget the SOAP

They say cleanliness is next to Godliness. In keeping with that idea, I've stumbled across a new idea for studying my scriptures, and it's been great. I adjusted it a bit to fit my specific religious ideals, rather than the other (as far as I know) non-denominational Christian place I got it from.
I have a notebook. As I am reading the scriptures, I watch for the one verse or passage that really speaks to me, that I feel is intended for me to get something out of. When I come across that scripture, I usually highlight it, then turn to the aforementioned notebook. Each scripture gets a page. The page looks like this:

Title- come up with the title after you finish the rest of the page.

Scripture- the reference
Observation- what is being taught in this scripture? What else is relevant to this scripture (background or interesting tidbits, thoughts, ponderings)
Application- how does this teaching apply to my life specifically? Why is this one being taught to me?
Practice- how can I put this teaching into practice in my life?

Then I go back to the top and create a title that summarizes what I've learned. I put that title and the reference on a table of contents at the front of the book, so if I ever need it, it's there.

I've really enjoyed this method of study. I still read a certain amount as close to every day as I can, but this lets me actually study and digest one particular passage, and I feel like I am being taught more. I don't come across something every time I read. Sometimes, it's just "so and so begat so and so and then they died". But I have been able to record my thoughts and feelings about certain passages, and personal revelations that I have received, in a way that will be accessible for me in the future. Go ahead and use it if you want it. I didn't create it. I just stole it. =)

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