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  • Writer's pictureBill Hughes

Journaling - may not be what you thought


Not everyone has journaled and truthfully, my own journals are much different than when I started several decades ago. Let me chat about it a few minutes.

When I started, I might write a bullet or three every few weeks or more likely couple of months. Sometimes when I thought about writing something in my journal, by the time I got to sit and write, I forgot most of what it was that inspired me to write. I discovered from those experiences that I might need a regular place to journal (back in the old days when I needed a book) and that the book should be close by, just in case I was inspired.

I also started using a journal for keeping tabs on my business for private notes. That was actually quite valuable to have a book with the notes that I could show someone like a boss or the Labor Board regarding a former employee.

One day I grabbed the journal along with my Bible as I headed out the door Sunday morning. I could take notes of good points of the sermons! Bill! What a great idea. I even reviewed the sermon notes occasionally during the week.

I write more extensive notes to myself now. I want to remember Logos words from the Bible when God highlights a scripture. I want to remember discussions from the Spirit of the living God when I am instructed such as with Spiritual Warriors, diagrams, and Rhema Words of inspiration.

One day I was praying for grace on a project that was right in line with my Vision Statement and Goals. But Jesus said (instead) to go back to 2 years of journals. I had no idea what was happening. But I took down the previous 2 years of journals and started from January in the oldest book and started doing a quick check on every entry. I started to see the same instruction about every quarter. Then I went to the second book, it was the same instruction almost monthly through the end.

I prayed for forgiveness and said I would follow the instructions -to complete the project He had already given that seem too difficult and required a large personal sacrafice of time and cash. That project is complete now and I never returned to my project. The point is that I had something to go back to see how I had rebelled and disobeyed.

I suggest that you write what is in your heart in complete sentences and thoughts so you can revisit later. I also at that juncture, switched to software for journaling. Now I can even make tasks that are copied to a full list of all the tasks separate from the journal or other writing so I cannot forget again. I use Evernote.

Although not by much, I type faster than I write in longhand. Did you know that if the Holy Spirit is telling you something you can ask Him to slow down or stop for a second to catchup? He will also repeat Himself if you completely missed something. Well, I should say that He does for me but He is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34).

I know some like books and writing things out. I did that for years. I had someone give me some of these thoughts:

Skip the first 5-6 pages in your book. Number all the pages. Then build a simple Table of Contents on pages 3-5 of significant information with sentence descriptions. On the first 2 pages have your information of how to return the journal to you personally because it is valuable. Don’t make the start of the entries directly adjacent to the TOC.

I changed the book annually at the same time. For me Jan. 1, was the best day. Maybe your birthday is better. I separately keep a 16 month calendar for appointments and sometimes general info. It is that many months because I use a school assignments book that has a double page spread for the whole week and extra space for notes for the week. I think it is called Big View but it is half a sheet of paper in size when closed. Buy a new one when school supplies are being sold. There are about 6 lines per day.

I am telling you this because I have talked to a couple of people in the Cohort that consistent journaling is new. I want to emphasize that it is very important. Remember, you are not just taking a class from Pastor Bill. You desire to have a changed life in a year. This is how change occurs.

I was telling Clara (your cohort mate) today that I had read the George Muller book a while ago. Even with the time between readings (maybe 15 years) some information and stories have a familiar ring. I was also shocked that the Spirit of God brought back to me that at other readings, I wanted what George wanted, to draw close to God, have his level of faith, and make some changes in my habits. Sadly, I have not made those changes. But I am journaling now about how to incorporate his habits into my life as I read again. Yes, I am a student of this cohort as well as the Capt. of the Platoon. I need to be different too when I finish this year.

Change is in the air, Warriors!

Agape & Shalom,

Capt. Bill [overcomer]

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