The Percolating Life

Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly…

(Colossians 3:16)

The best part of grocery shopping with my mother was the coffee aisle. Millions of beans waited in a line of plastic dispensers, each with a distinct scent. As soon as the other shoppers had moved on, I’d drift from one end of the canisters to the other, nose up close to the spouts, taking in every smell along the way. (I was an odd child.) Mom would bag up her beans, take them home, and the air would smell like heaven a few minutes later.

Just as the most fragrant cup of coffee takes time to develop, so I need a percolating process to let the Word dwell in me richly. When it comes to Bible intake, most of the content gets stuck between my head and my heart. I could play with context and grammar all day. But for Scripture to move from information to transformation, I have to study it and then let it study me. This is where meditation comes into its own. I’ve recently begun using what a cheesy blogger might call a “personal blend” of techniques—thank goodness no cheesy bloggers are around! Anyway, I’d love to share the format with you. Feel free to tweak it with your favorite translations and questions.

Passage of the week: ______________________________________


  • Write out the passage using the English Standard Version.
  • Read back through it slowly, savoring each word and phrase, underlining or highlighting what sticks out to you.
  • Where does this passage touch your life?
  • Turn the text into a prayer, reading it thoughtfully out loud to God.


  • Write out the passage using the Amplified Bible.
  • What does this text show you about who you are? about who you are meant to be?
  • What are five ways this passage makes God look worthy of praise?


  • Write out the passage using the Living Bible.
  • Ask the Holy Spirit to show you your biggest blocks to believing this text. Write them here.
  • What are five things that would change if this passage fully invaded your life?
  • What text-inspired questions could you sit in?


  • Write out the passage using The Message.
  • What is God inviting you to do? to be? to believe?
  • How can this passage lead you to adore God? to confess/repent? to offer thanks? to ask for help?
  • Spend some time praying through the things you listed.


  • Write out the passage using The Voice.
  • How could you illustrate part of this text?
  • What are five ways you can remind yourself of the truth and beauty of this passage when you forget?


  • Write out the passage in your own words.
  • What did you learn during this week’s meditation that impacted you most?
  • How did this text affect your emotions and draw you closer to Jesus?
  • How do you plan to respond to what God showed you this week? Be specific.

That’s it. Pretty simple, right? Bonus: it pairs perfectly with a morning cup of coffee.

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