You’re either a fan of journaling, or not.
If not, let me try convert you to the benefits of this growing Art of ‘communication with God.
First of all, please be assured this is not about ‘automatic handwriting’, the sort practised by New Ager’s. This is for Born Again, Spirit-filled Believers who desire to talk to God and to hear God speaking to them – to develop their relationship with Father God and continue to seek Him.
I guess you could say that Journaling would help if you enjoy writing; but this is not necessary true. I kept a journal for many years before I became a Christian. I found it remarkably therapeutic in committing my thoughts, plans, ideas and concerns to paper. I love writing, but this is not about writing per se. It is about developing a relationship with Father God
So here goes with your first step in relating with God through Journaling.
1. Get yourself a handy writing pad; not too small, you’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll fill it.
2. Find a convenient time of day to journal and a favourite place to spend time with God. (Actually it can be anywhere; cafe’s are my favourite place!)
3. Settle your mind. Pray. Welcome His presence. Perhaps read the Bible and meditate on His love for you.
4. Begin writing.
Begin writing what? You may ask.
Well, you could begin by asking God about something that concerns you. Write it all down. Get it off your chest. Detail it. Express any confusion, hurts, fears or whatever. And now wait to see what comes to mind, then write it down! Write it as it comes to you. Don’t worry about grammar, accuracy or scriptural relevance at this stage. You can always test it later with the Word of God and trusted friends/partner. The important thing is to get into the flow of writing, without feeling anyone looking over your shoulder!
You could begin with writing about how you feel. What’s troubling you, exciting you or challenging you. Just allow yourself to write freely. Let it all out. Hold nothing back. After all, no one is going to know about it except you and God. (Unless you lose your Journal, so guard it with your life!)
As an example, I often write my plans and ideas for ministry, outreach, business, relationships and finances. It really helps to get my thoughts out of my head and on to paper. Sometimes simply reading it back begins to inspire (from God) my thoughts, solutions, creative ideas. In response be ready to write down quickly what is coming to mind. It is so easy to forget what God is saying. – if you do not commit it quickly to paper.
There’s no need to analyse it at this stage what you have written. Just enjoy the spontaneity of writing from your mind and from your heart. And believe that God is right there with you – listening, reading your words and beginning to release solutions, answers to questions and encouraging remarks. He’s your Heavenly Father and desires that you flow in your relationship with Him.
In the Bible we read in John 10:27 that: “My sheep hear my voice…” That’s us! We hear God’s voice speaking to us. Yes, primarily God speaks to us through Scripture – but also spontaneously where the Lord wants us to apply Scripture to a particular life situation. His Word is tailored, as it were, to each of our circumstances. Which is why of course we must never assume a relationship with God outside of regular reading of the Bible.
In a ‘nutshell’, Spiritual Journaling is about what God is saying to you through your prayers, questions and understanding. The journaling process will sustain you in times of hardship, inspire creative solutions to problems and bring clarity and focus to what God is saying and doing in your life.
The writer Henri Nouwen wrote: “To my surprise, I never lost the ability to write. In fact, writing became part of my struggle for survival. It gave me the little distance from myself that I needed to keep from drowning in my despair.” (From the Book: Inner voice of Love.)
If you would like to be coached in ‘Spiritual Journaling with God,’ please contact me by e-mail and we can schedule a Free and without obligation ‘Introduction to Spiritual Coaching. lease email me firstname.lastname@example.org
Cafe Culture in the heart of Birmingham, during the 1920’s
The “Park Cafe” was, from all accounts, a well patronised ‘Hub’ on the east side of Birmingham city centre, close to the famous Football Club – Aston Villa.
Business Travellers, Merchants, Shoppers and Mothers would while away their time in the warm and comforting establishment, along with their young children ‘skiving-off’ school on such cold and polluted days. Many little friends and dolls were lost and made under those tables.
My Great Grand Father owned the Cafe and his long suffering wife ran it. She worked night and day to keep the establishment viable whilst her Husband gambled away the profits doing questionable deals with his cronies.
Toasted Tea Cakes would have been prepared hours before the Cafe’s doors opened along with great pans of Soup and Bread. Meanwhile Silver Urns of Tea and Cakes would have graced the Travelling Salesmen, interspersed with great drawers of cigarette smoke.
My Grand Father was one of four sons, each of whom would have been known for their excesses. There was my Grand Father who was a Gambler (An unlucky one by all accounts!) Another son a wheeler-Dealer. Then there was the Artist, a thin young man given to fears and illnesses! The fourth of the son’s was an Adventurer; a day-dreamer who was convinced his fortune and future was as a Writer & Producer of films in the burgeoning West Coast of America. I have caught a glimpse of his name from time to time but am not sure this is truly the destiny of one of my English ancestors (although I would love to think he is!)
Dreams and plans are truly birthed in the nurturing atmosphere of Cafe’s
Written by Peter j Foster.