store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and
applying your heart to understanding . . .
then you will understand the fear of the LORD
and find the knowledge of God. Proverbs 2:1-5
The Scriptures ARE a treasure trove for ALL who hunger for fellowship with their Creator . . . that includes YOU and ME. I developed Journey Notes Praise Journaling when I started counseling nearly 20 years ago. My goal was to try to break up the negative perceptions of some of my depressed clients between sessions, by having them write down daily praises to God (VERY difficult for sufferers) and by helping them dig into the “hidden treasure” of Scripture for wisdom and encouragement. Over time I noticed a marked improvement in the attitudes of clients who did their Journey Notes a minimum of three times a week vs those who did not. (Daily Journey Notes gave even better results, but “life” sometimes can get in the way.) I eventually started doing it because I was impressed by the spiritual growth I saw in my clients, even when their situations did not change! I have filled many Journey Notebooks over 15 years and continue to be humbled by God’s faithfulness to show me something new every time we meet. Wherever you are in your journey with Christ, Journey Notes Praise Journaling offers opportunity for spiritual growth as you dig into His Word and honor Him with your life.
JOURNEY NOTES PRAISE JOURNALING ESSENTIALS:
I strongly recommend that you purchase an Ampad Gold Fibre Classic Project Planner (7.25″ x 9.50″.) It has the perfect setup for this approach, tucks nicely in with a Bible and the hard back means you can write just about anywhere. I buy them in bulk online for my clients but you can actually find them at WalMart at a very good price. You will also need a RED PEN to use when you are quoting Scripture. (Use a regular pen to write out everything else.) As you begin PRAY, ask God to open up your mind and heart to what He wants to teach you. Now the breakdown as you look at the page:
- Your Praises ~ Log three (3) things you are grateful to God for in the left side column. Your praises should be different every day and written in the first person to God rather than writing about Him. They can be about His provision for you, His character or anything else that comes to your mind. If you can’t think of three praises to log, PRAY for Him to help you.
- Your Prayer Concerns ~ Write them down below your praises. I generally log the things closest to what is going on in my life and keep on-going concerns on a separate piece of paper.
- God’s Word to You ~ I & II Peter are a good place to start because there is so much encouragement to be found. Having prayed to God for a teachable heart, begin reading expectantly as you look for spiritual.treasure. Don’t worry about how many verses to read, just dig in and. When a verse or passage stands out to you (you’ll know it when you see it) write it in the section at the top of the page using your red pen. Resist taking shortcuts like only writing out the reference rather than the verse(s.) When I take time to write out the Scripture I find that I gain additional insight into the passage that broadens my understanding as to personal application.
- Your Response to God ~ You can do your praises, concerns and Scripture reading in any order you like, but it works best to save Your Response for last. This last piece should be written as a personal response to God’s provision and what He has shown you, so try to write to Him rather than about Him. (It’s a small but important distinction that can serve to broaden your overall Journey Notes experience.) If other Scripture comes to mind as you write and you want to include it, write the Scripture down with your red pen. It’s interesting and fun when you look back through your Journey Notes because you will see a conversation emerge between you and your Lord!
- New to Journey Notes Praise Journaling ~ Having finished your time with the Lord reflect on your day and rate it on a scale of “one to ten” (with “one” being “the pits” and “ten” being “totally great.” Write the number in the top right corner of the page and circle. Very often, those who do this find greater encouragement in looking at their days overall.
For those who willing to enter into the adventure, Journey Notes Praise Journaling has been found to be a delightful means of discovering the abundant life Jesus offers to all who desire to honor Him. If you are up for the challenge, it can be a means of discovering JOY in unexpected places! Why not go for it?
“Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances,
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
I Thessalonians 5:16-18