Book Review: Simply Color
by Sheryl Aeschliman
Reading Scripture can be difficult. We don’t always understand the words, the context, the meaning of phrases. We don’t know what applies to us, what we’re supposed to be learning. We feel like we don’t have the adequate time to study the Bible for true comprehension and become despondent. It can become so overwhelming and discouraging that we either read just to check it off our to-do list or we simply don’t read. We let our Bibles sit on the shelf and pick them up only when we go to church.
Or we pick up our Bibles when we REALLY need some help, encouragement, or comfort and leaf through the pages hoping that a verse or two will jump off the page and provide the temporary relief that we need. We may use a concordance, an online search engine, or simply scroll through social media looking for fulfillment from the Scriptures.
When I realized that in order to grow my roots deeper in Christ, I realized that I needed to find a different way to read the Bible, a method that would help me to truly comprehend what I was reading. I didn’t want a book that would only take me through one book of the Bible or a study about a certain topic. I wanted to learn strategies to help comprehend whatever passage I was reading in the Bible and be able to apply this method to my regular Bible reading.
Simply Color by Sheryl Aeschliman gave me just that.
The subtitle to this study is “the art of creative Bible study.” When you employ this method, you are “simply” coloring words or phrases in your Bible that will help you to comprehend the passage in a deeper level. This study is divided into 17 days where you explore the possibilities of using seven or eight colors to help determine the meaning of the passage and how it relates to you. In addition to the workbook, Sheryl also offers 3 weeks (8 total sessions) of Facebook Live interactions to help you learn this process and be able to comprehend the basics of the Bible more fully.
In this study, Sheryl is quick to point out that this process is to be led by the Holy Spirit and that each person will color their Bible differently. There is no right or wrong way to color it. Each time you read a verse or phrase, the Holy Spirit may speak into your heart in a different way. Each verse may have multiple colors. Some words may employ many colors.
Here is a quick summary of the colors and their meanings:
- Red – Our position in Christ: In Christ, In Him, Through Him, In God
- Blue – Commands to do
- Green – Words related to salvation – salvation, gospel, righteousness, justification
- Purple – Nature or attributes of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit
- Yellow – Promises (can be positive or negative)
- Orange – Warnings
- Black/grey – Sin and consequences: trespass, transgressions, iniquity, sin
- Favorite color – verses to memorize
While going through this study, I found my comprehension of the Bible increased exponentially. This method has forced me to SLOW DOWN and truly READ the Bible for comprehension instead of out of obligation. I was able to better comprehend not just what I was reading in my personal life, but what the pastor was preaching or Scripture I heard on various podcasts. This is a method that I WILL be using going forward, even though I have finished going through the study workbook.
One caveat – some of the Facebook Live sessions are lengthy, longer than I had expected. But they are filled with truth and spoken with love. You are able to relate to Sheryl as a REAL person who, while she created method of study, is still learning and studying the Bible right alongside you. However, when I approached the Live teachings with the attitude of learning something, I did! The teachings helped me to go back in my faith and look at reading the Bible as a new Christian, desperately trying comprehend and apply the truths and principles.
When talking with friends who did this study with me, they were also disappointed in the length of the Live teachings and even commented on the seemingly excessive amount of white space in the workbook, but also commented how they loved the simplicity of this approach and how it has helped them as they read the Bible. (By the way, the “white space” is there to provide you with ample room for rewriting and coloring the Scriptures into your book. I personally found this to be helpful.)
By using this method of study, I feel more confident in my personal Bible study, leading small groups, teaching Sunday School, and even explaining Scriptures to my son. I love that I am able to apply this method to ANY passage in the Bible, not just the ones mentioned in the workbook.
This study is great to do individually and is also wonderful to do as a small group. While it’s only sold from Sheryl’s website, she is quick to get them shipped and even includes a nice bookmark reference guide to keep with you.
If you’re wanting to grow deeper in your understanding of the Bible, I highly recommend this study.
**This is an independent book review. I have not been paid or otherwise compensated for my personal opinions of this book.**