Monday, May 26, 2008

How do I become a Prevailing Man? Part 4

Private Disciplines Cont.

D. Journaling
Psalm 78:1-4 - O my people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth. [2] I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter hidden things, things from of old-[3] what we have heard and known, what our fathers have told us. [4] We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done.

I have had the enormous pleasure and privilege of recording and journaling my life since 1969. It began with an English teacher in 9th grade at the American School in London. At the time I was not much of a student and very much into sports. She challenged us to begin writing and recording events, thoughts and feelings. I have continued to this day.
As my journaling has "matured", evolved, and developed, people often ask what and how do you do it?
I initially put the following thoughts together for Training Faithful Men back in 1995 in Reston, VA. However, as I have continued to develop my ideas and practices, I have put it into a 101-301 process. (See practical ideas section)
It is important for me to state that my "Spiritual Pathway" is the way of a "contemplative". I love to read, think, pray, study, meditate and write for hours in quiet and solitude. This is not everybody's pathway. You must find your own way in which you best relate to God. (See Sacred Pathways by Gary Thomas or Courageous Leadership by Bill Hybels)
I simply hope that these ideas will exhort and call you to write and record God's constant and daily activity in our lives. We owe it to the generations to come.
1) What is journaling?
-    Recording the activity of God in my life as seen in Scripture and life experiences.
2) Some Important Presuppositions:
A. God is very active in the world and in my life.  (John 5:17-19)
B. God is leading and intimately involved.  (Matt.10: 29-31)
C. God is still "speaking."  Mark 10:32-34
3) Why journal?
A.     Ex.13: 1-3; 17:8-16 – To record and remember the work of God in my life.
B.    Psalm 78:1-8 – To pass on to the next generation.
C.    Habakkuk 2:1-3 – To help you think through, pray for, and write the vision God has for your life.
D.    Psalm 3; 4 – To help us pause and reflect on the goodness of God.
E.     Psalm 42 – To pour out my soul to God.

Journaling 101
1.    Get a notebook or steno pad – Start small
2.    Write regularly versus daily.
3.    Write day, date, time, and from where
4.    Always carry it with you.
5.    Record Scripture, promptings, and circumstances.
6.    Consider writing out your prayers.
Journaling 201
1.    Seek to capture the big idea for the morning.
2.    Write out the idea or Scripture in your Table of Contents to carry with you throughout the day.
Journaling 301
1.    Review each month to see what the Lord taught you and where He has led you.
2.    Create a "Year in Review" document that you are building month by month
3.    Review quarterly with your spouse on your quarterly get away.
I believe this practice of daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual reflection will help us become more anchored, Prevailing Men.

1 comment:

jason malec said...

Thanks for posting this, John. It's an answer to a question I posed to you a few weeks ago... :) Jason