There is a song that reminds you that sometimes you have to encourage yourself. As my baby sister heads to boot camp, I am reminded of this song. She will be going for eight weeks or so. Eight weeks without a chance to receive weekly spiritual edification from her pastor. Eight weeks without a chance to pick up the phone and call a family member or childhood friend when she is unsure. Eight plus weeks, without the encouraging words of her big sister—me.
As my sister prepared to enter boot camp, I wanted to remind her to stay encouraged in the Lord no matter what. Initially, I looked for a Bible designed specifically for the boot camp experience. However, I could not find any. I did find a Bible designed specifically for the armed forces; however, it was still missing the encouragement I wanted my sister to take with her.
To solve this problem I solicited the help of family, friends and my Bible concordance to identify 56 Bible verses that I pray will encourage my sister while she is at boot camp. I also decided to provide a quick reference guide to some common problems I think she may face while training. Both of these things I taped in the front cover of the Bible. I also included a copy of The Truth Prayer that encourages me whenever I am discouraged.
I encouraged her to use the back blank pages to include photos and other reminders to give her hope and keep her encouraged.
If you want to make an encouragement Bible, follow these simple steps:
- In a Microsoft Word document (or any photo editing document), pick a background/paper color. My sister’s favorite color is lavender so that’s what I chose.
- Download the Encouragement Boot Camp files below and then insert them into the document
- Resize the images to be slightly smaller than the Bible cover.
- Print and adhere to the inside cover of the Bible (I used double sided tape but you can use glue as well; I also used cardstock but regular printing paper will work as well).
- Highlight or underline each verse and flag it with a post it.
It is that simple, five steps to encourage someone during boot camp or at any time. I personally think this makes a great boot camp gift.
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