The benefits outweigh the costs

| September 25, 2011 | 0 Comments

PREPARATION

Why are there not more believers keeping journals? Perhaps, too many of us have been deceived into thinking our lives aren’t worth journaling about. Or, maybe some of us are just plain lazy.

Over time, a journal becomes a confidential record of what’s going on inside, while you’re still kicking on the outside. I’m not talking about a traditional diary, a collection of daily happenings and observations. Writing in a journal is more powerful and personal; it’s serious stuff. And, as critical as it is in this generation, very few actually journal.

Fewer still, keep a spiritual journal, a faith journal. This discipline encourages soul searching; writing about fingerprints of God, holy ground moments, and divine appointments forces us inside the soul.

So, why is journaling so critical? Before you can show others what faith looks like, you’ve got to recognize it when you see it. Remember, we live forward and understand backwards; these understandings, after-the-fact, are like creative conversation-starters with God. In many ways, your faith journal is a written record of our “holy ground” moments, an account of our vista-point stories, and a reminder of our confessions, aha’s, understandings, and revelations. So, what’s your story.

Journaling is like writing a storyboard of your life. Writing it and reviewing it helps you stay focused on “God things.” In a culture overloaded with distractions, and churches filled with believers who are uncomfortable venturing out of the shallow end, we are desperate for deep-water faith.

Journaling is the discipline that helps us understand and explore the deep. It forces us to get serious and authentic as we clarify our experience of personal faith in a fearful and doubt-filled world.

Think of it this way…God put his journal in writing. Scripture points to why this writing-discipline is so powerful: “The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers. Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:7-8 NLT

So, how do you get more earnest and disciplined in your prayers? Write! Does that help you SHOW love? Yes!

Invest in journal-time and God will bless you with more to write about, share secrets with you, encourage fresh understandings, infuse you with new courage, and pour into your life new opportunities to “show deep love for each other.”

Be the story then write about it.

INSPIRATION

Anne Frank wrote more than a diary. She blessed the world with a deeply personal record of her journey. Her writing was transformational. It helped her see the unseen in her limited “Annex” world. In journal entry after entry she refused to stay hidden, she learned how to jump, first-hand, into the process of living while hiding. We can survive anything when we find the core of our spiritual freedom. Even as a teenager, Anne’s words teach us how to live fully to the end, no matter when the end might come.

“It’s a good thing that, at the height of my glory, I was suddenly plunged into reality…a person who has courage and faith will never die in misery.” She was transformed by her experience and energized by her journal.

“I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to all people, even those I’ve never met. I want to go on living even after my death! And that’s why I’m so grateful to God for having given me this gift, which I can use to develop myself and to express all that’s inside me! When I write I can shake off all my cares. My sorrow disappears, my spirit is revived! But, and that’s a big question, will I ever be able to write something great, will I ever become a journalist, or a writer?”

On August 4, 1944, the annex was raided and everyone was taken away to the death camps. Anne was 15 years old. She had dreamed of becoming a famous writer… her journal had helped her live to the full, while trapped in the Annex. She survived. In fact, she thrived, and her dream came true.

The diary, which was given to Anne on her 13th birthday, is more than a collection of happenings and observations. It’s serious stuff; powerful and personal and still filled with courage. It empowered her to show deep love to others.

MOTIVATION

So, where to begin? Choose your format: digital or handwritten.

Digital: Set-up a Journaling folder. Protect it with a password; this way only you and God know what’s in your journal.

Handwritten: Start with a binder-style journal so you can add pages as your go.

Write, not to be a writer, nor a journalist; write to be the faith adventurer God you to be intended.

Pray, report what you are seeing in people, confess distractions and blinded eyes. Write about what God is teaching you. Write about people who are challenging and inspiring and surprising you. Write about dreams and visions and questions. Muse with God and write. Read scripture and ask God for understanding. Write about roadblocks, fears, struggles, and failures. Write about dreams and miracles.

Review what you write, not to edit. Read to understand what God is doing in you.

Write… for the power to “show deep love.”

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Category: Faith Notes

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