Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Don’t Just Rehash Scripture, Scrapbook It When You Write

by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

Blah. Limp. Not enough. I scanned my paragraphs again and knew they weren’t sufficient. Where was the oomph? After all, I was talking about Scripture. My words had taken up space, but they weren’t useful or vibrant. I realized I was just rehashing what Scripture said, not adding any nuance or understanding in my book. I needed to “scrapbook” my writing. 
I scrapbook for therapy. After all, scrapbooking is taking treasured photographs and adding color and personality to them by pairing them with patterned papers, cardstock, stickers, paper flowers, and bling. What girl doesn’t like a little bling? 

Just as scrapbooking photographs allows me to tap into my creative side and add some visual appeal to my pictures, scrapbooking my presentation of Scripture allows me to infuse creativity into my writing. As we write about God’s word, we can share sparkling insights, vivid illustrations, and relevant stories. Writing about Scripture should be anything but blah and limp. The Bible is alive and powerful on its own, but it matters how we present it. It can be “scrapbooked.” 

If you’re a man, I don’t want to leave you out of this post. When I teach about making Scripture come alive in our writing, I talk about landscaping for all of the men in the room. Just as scrapbooking adds visual appeal to photographs, landscaping adds curb appeal to houses. Going to the trouble of adding just the right trees, shrubs, and flowers can enhance a home and create an inviting atmosphere. Going to the trouble of adding just the right elements to our writing can invite our readers to understand Scripture better and apply it to their lives. 

To fix the paragraphs that sounded redundant, I needed to add color and vibrancy to my writing. So I would like to share with you three ways to scrapbook your presentation of Scripture, whatever form that takes. Don’t just rehash what Scripture is saying. Bring out the beauty and relevance of its words by using one or all of these ways to share your message. 

3 Ways to “Scrapbook” Your Message:

1. Share a slant.

A haunting melody—that’s how I pictured guilt. I had heard its lyrics and understood its incessant nature. When I wrote “Silencing Guilt” in Breaking the Chains, I wanted to write about the woman with the alabaster flask from Luke 7 in a fresh way. I used the metaphor of music to contrast the melody of guilt and Jesus’ song of love and forgiveness. 

When you share a familiar passage of Scripture, find a slant that enhances your message. A metaphor or illustration sticks in the minds of our readers and serves as a good springboard for application that appeals to their hearts. Whatever slant you use as a lead-in for your chapter or article, carry it all the way through your writing, and use it at the end for an unforgettable finish. 

2. Share a story.

I may love a little bling, but I’m a tomboy at heart and a basketball player. My “pow in the gut” story turned into the perfect illustration for my Bible study on 2 Timothy. In 2 Timothy 1:8-12, Paul urged his son in the faith to share with him in suffering and to persevere in the work of the ministry. 

Instead of taking a head-on approach in talking about this passage, I shared a story about the time I took a pow in the gut on the basketball court. Instead of falling to my knees, I regained my composure, pivoted toward our goal, shot the ball, and it went in! A pow in the gut could have stopped me in my tracks, but it turned into a goal for the team. On a much more serious note, we can receive a pow in the gut as we serve the Lord, but He doesn’t want it to stop us in our tracks. He wants us to persevere so Hecan turn it into a goal for the team. 

3. Share some sparkle.

As you study Scripture, write down the definitions, cross-references, or commentary notes that are especially meaningful to you. Record the special principles in a passage that God highlights as you read. Pray through a passage, and write down how to live it out in everyday situations. Share some sparkle in your writing by including the relevant insights that helped you to understand Scripture better. Remember to filter out the notes that detract from your point or bog down your paragraphs. Infuse sparkle that adds value to the writing and makes your message clear and relevant. 

Are you ready to scrapbook, or landscape, your writing? Scripture is a treasure, and so is the writing that reflects its beauty and relevance.

Which of the three ways above do you use the most? Which would you like to use more? Tell us in the comments below, and join the conversation!


Katy Kauffman is an award-winning author who blogs at The Scrapbooked Bible Study. She is also an editor of Refresh Bible Study Magazineand a co-founder of Lighthouse Bible Studies. A 2019 Selah Awards finalist, her compilation,Heart Renovation: A Construction Guide to Godly Character, uses the metaphor of house renovation to show how God renovates our hearts. Katy’s writing can be found at,,, two blogs on writing, in online magazines, and on devotional blogs. She loves spending time with family and friends, making jewelry, and hunting for the best peanut butter cookies. Connect with her at her blogand onFacebookand Twitter.


  1. Oh how I loved this portion of your class at CCWC Ms. Katy. I wish there were videos of this I could share with my wife. She's the "Queen of Scrapbooking." :-) Thank you for sharing with us how to make scripture come alive in our writing. God's blessings ma'am.

    1. Thank you, Jim! That's great she loves scrapbooking too. I'm so glad you enjoyed the workshop.

  2. Thank you, Katie. I appreciated this and your class at the CCWC. Since I write Christian non-fiction, I want to showcase what the Word of God says. But people tend to skip over lists of verses. You've given me some great ways to draw attention to what the Bible says in a captivating way.

    1. Hello, Barbara! I'm so glad the post was helpful and gave you ideas. Thank you for coming to the class, and may God bless your writing.

  3. I enjoyed seeing you at CCWC in Spartanburg SC. What a wonderful event! I am so happy to know more about you and your message. I enjoy scrapbooking. :-)

    1. Thank you, Melissa! It's always nice to meet writers and find scrapbookers too! It really was a great conference.