Pier Press, LLC; Press Release 12/18/14
Contact: Karen Bellenir
Pier Press, LLC: 434-315-0149


Pier Press® Journals for Spiritual Discovery

Do you wish you knew what the Bible had to say about your life’s situations? Do you wish it had real answers for your daily troubles? Are you tired of listening to platitudes as other people glibly quote—or misquote—it?

Pier Press is pleased to announce the launch of a new journal series for Bible study based on the simple metaphor of walking and talking with a friend. The first journal, Walk with Matthew: A Personal Journal for Spiritual Discovery, divides the Gospel of Matthew into 88 sequential readings that take you through the entire text, allowing each passage to remain in its original context. The journal's pages provide prompts to assist you as you interact with the gospel writer's message and record your observations.

The journal's goal isn't to rush you through the gospel, but to let you take a leisurely stroll through its treasures. The design invites rumination and reflection. It recognizes that there may be days when the demands of your life divert your attention and you are left with too little time for considering an entire passage. To help with this situation, each reading offers “A Brief Word” identifying a short excerpt—a single verse or two. These verses were selected for those times when you want to read a succinct phrase and hold it in your mind until you are able to come back and consider a longer text in more detail.

On the other hand, there may be passages that capture your attention, and you want to slow down and spend extra time—even extra days—with them. The journal encourages you to take the time, all the time you need. And, if you want to hear other views regarding a passage, you’ll find suggestions for supplemental reading under the heading “Companion Conversation.” These additional verses provide an alternate telling of a story, highlight a particular concept, or describe a related situation. Sometimes they may even seem to contradict the original reading.

To remind you that you're on a journey of discovery, the journal's prompts spell out the word WALK:

  • W: Write a short paraphrase describing each passage's principal elements or most interesting details.
  • A: Analyze, assess, and ask questions about what the text might mean to you in your current situation or about anything that seems confusing.
  • L: Listen. Quietly. Take as long as you want.
  • K: Keep notes about the wisdom you encounter, the instructions you receive, or the insights you don't want to forget.

The journal's format was developed by Karen Bellenir, a writer and editor with diverse experience across multiple genres and author of Which Good Book? An Impartial Guide to Choosing a Bible Translation. Bellenir explains why she felt a new format for a Bible study journal was needed. "I have been involved in personal and group Bible studies for most of my adult life. The ones I encountered seemed to fall into two broad categories. One type focused on learning about the text—uncovering details about who wrote it, identifying the cultural circumstances that influenced the composition, and considering its role within the greater context of other Biblical writings and history. The second kind concerned itself with conveying specific nuggets of wisdom or theology discovered within the text—like a guided tour of spiritual highlights. While both types of Bible studies have benefits to offer, they left me unsatisfied."

She goes on to explain why she felt unsatisfied. "Learning about the text was interesting, but it didn’t help me understand how the principles applied to the challenges of my life. And listening to what someone else discovered was like watching a video of a friend’s vacation—entertaining and instructive. But I wanted to take the journey myself."

Walk with Matthew will allow you to take a similar journey. The 192-page, 7" x 10" wire-bound journal is small enough to conveniently carry and large enough to offer sufficient writing space. The quality paper is easy to write on, ink won't bleed through the pages, and the wire-binding ensures that the journal lays flat for easy use. The printed, wire-bound version is available for $19.99. Also, as a special introductory offer, Pier Press is also making a digital, print-your-own version (as a PDF file) available for free. For more information, visit the Pier Press bookstore.

The next journal in the series, Walk with John, is currently in production and should be ready in early 2015. Walk with Mark and Walk with Luke are also in development for release in 2015.

Pier Press is a small publisher with headquarters in Farmville, Virginia. Its mission is to facilitate a respectful conversation about topics at the intersection of science and spirit. Its objectives involve helping a community of readers increase Biblical and scientific literacy, enhance personal spiritual development, and gain knowledge about the sciences. Pier Press encourages a view that seeks to reconcile the ways in which religion and science explain spiritual and physical realities. Pier Press believes that one of the ways this can be achieved is through encouraging people to become personally acquainted with Biblical texts rather than relying on misremembered details or the potentially biased accounts of others. For more information, visit PierPress.com.