Most normal people have already checked “Christmas Shopping” off of their To-Do Lists. Unfortunately, I am a loser who was very excited today (December 18th) to notice a post my older brother Josh made two weeks ago (December 5th) about a Christmas gift idea: journals. More specifically, PaperBlanks Journals.
In his post Josh shared that the pastor team at his church had presented each staff member with a journal at their annual Staff Christmas Party. At this point Josh shamelessly plugged PaperBlank journals, saying that they are his “all-time favorite” and “have served [him] well for years.” I have a vague suspicion that Josh is being sponsored.
Actually, the real reason I’m posting has nothing to do with shopping or sponsors. Instead, I wanted to draw your attention to a quotation from Don Whitney’s Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, which the pastors had pasted on the inside cover of each journal. It really challenged me and I hope it will challenge you as well.
As a Christian your journal is a place to record the works and ways of God in your life.
Your journal also can include an account of daily events, a diary of personal relationships, a notebook of insights into Scripture, and a list of prayer requests. It is where spontaneous devotional thoughts or lengthy theological musings can be preserved. Consider the words of the Maurice Roberts about journaling:
“The logic of this practice is inevitable once men have felt the urge to become moulded in heart and life to the pattern of Christ. No one will keep a record of his inward groans, fears, sins, experiences, providences and aspirations unless he is convinced of the value of the practice for his own spiritual progress.”
Josiah Pratt noted the value of a journal in self-examination:
“The practice of keeping a journal would promote vigilance. The lives of many are spent at a sort of hazard. They fall into certain religious habits: and are perhaps under no strong temptations. They are regular at church and sacrament, and in their families. They read the Bible and pray daily in secret. But here it ends. They know little of progress or decline of the inner man. They are Christians, therefore, of very low attainments. The workings of sin are not noticed, as they should be, and therefore grace is not sought against them: and the genial emotions of grace are not noticed, and therefore not fostered and cultivated. Now, a journal would have a tendency to raise the standard to such persons by exciting vigilance.”
Consider journaling, not only “for the purpose of godliness,” but also as a way to raise up “a monument of God’s faithfulness” in your life.
So this is what I’m going to do: I’m going to somehow get a PaperBlanks journal (that’s a hint, family!) and paste this quotation inside. Then I’m going to start off newly encouraged in the discipline of journaling. God’s faithfulness in my life deserves such a monument. Soli Deo Gloria!
- Do you journal or have you in the past? What has been the purpose of your journaling?
- How does your past or present journaling compare with what is described in the quote above?
- Describe your journal. Are PaperBlanks really the coolest?
- If you don’t journal, why not?