Rebekah De La Cerna’s faith journey has been transformed by a simple creative practice: Bible journalling.
“It is the most amazing way to add depth to your devotional life,” says Mrs De La Cerna. “My Bible reading has become a lot more personal.”
The part-time nurse and full-time mother of three from Spotswood Adventist Church (Melbourne, Vic) is passionate about sharing her newfound creative outlet with others, both in person and online through her Instagram (@colourfulfaith).
“Colourful Faith is a pretty new ministry. I’ve only been Bible journalling for about a year but a fire ignited within and I had to share it.”
Being heavily involved in children’s ministries at her local church, Mrs De La Cerna’s journey started when she shared Bible journalling with kids in Sabbath school.
“Even though it was for kids, it was really well received by mothers in particular and God impressed me saying, ‘Here is an avenue of ministry for you, why don’t you do a workshop in your church?’”
Following God’s call, Mrs De La Cerna has now hosted Bible journalling workshops for both children and adults in local churches, the most recent being attended by about 25 people at Melbourne City Adventist Church. Many attendees have shared with Mrs De La Cerna that her creative practice has transformed their spiritual walk.
“My personal devotions have become really personal, it hasn’t been that way in a long time,” said one attendee. “I love knowing that God’s word is personal to me and that he’s actually speaking to me.”
“I’ve been reading my Bible for a long time, but this is the first time I’ve read it with my mind still and slow. And it really works,” said another.
Reflecting on why she began Bible journalling in the first place, Mrs De La Cerna said, “It’s a way to track God’s working in your life, [it’s] very tangible and tactile. It forces you to slow down.”
Despite being a naturally creative person, Mrs De La Cerna shared how having kids and getting older has limited her ability to spend time being creative and making art. She believes that Bible journalling is the perfect medium to develop new inspiration and be really intentional about your relationship with God.
“The beauty of journalling is that it is consciously setting aside time to spend with God. We usually rush to read our Bible, we’re so busy. But [Bible journalling] forces you to slow down, gives God a chance to speak to you. It’s amazing how much I’ve heard God speak to me—more than ever before.”
Mrs De La Cerna is excited to run more workshops in the future and to share her craft with others, both Adventists and non-Adventists alike
“A workshop is a really safe place to invite non-Adventists and non-Christians. You’re there for a workshop and a purpose, and it’s less intimidating being in a hall or room than a church. . . . I provide all the materials, all [the church] needs to do is provide a space.”
At her workshops, everyone is provided with a pack that they can take home, filled with basic craft items, tutorials and print outs they can use for their Bibles at home. Attendees are free to journal in their physical Bibles, or in a separate notebook if they don’t feel comfortable.
“When we advertise, we give them the option. . . . many are not comfortable journalling in their Bible because it’s a holy and sacred book, not a note pad. Bible journalling can be done in a prayer journal or Bible study journal, and many people do that as well.”
At her workshops, Mrs De La Cerna encourages churches to provide an afternoon tea and hot drinks.
“The purpose is to bring people together,” she believes. “Food means opening and bonding a lot more. In Acts, the early church would always break bread together.”
If you are inspired by this ministry, you can contact Mrs De La Cerna via Instagram @colourfulfaith to see if she is available to run a workshop in your local church.