Welcome to our first week of Journaling through the Book of John: A Journey for Lent and Beyond ! The purpose of this journey is to linger longer in the presence of the Lord and not create a sprint through the Bible. We don’t want to minimize our relationship with the One who created everything … with a capital E – Everything – to a bullet on our task list, do we? When I look around at the state of the world today, I dare say many people have. I go further and say, I am in danger of doing this daily! When God becomes a bullet on our list of things to do, friend, I fear He has been removed from the place He desires in our hearts and relegated to an unrecognizable blur in our days.
What’s an ordinary person to do? Put that pen to paper and prepare to meet your Maker, because when you take the Word of God seriously, knowing, believing, trusting and hoping in it, you are putting feet on your faith and fighting the good fight we all must face every day.
I want to encourage you NOT To make this about the extraneous details, but to be careful to consider and weigh carefully – as Eugene Peterson puts it in The Message (a translation that will shake up your world in the best way), in Psalm 1:2, to ” … chew on Scripture day and night.” Or as I like to say, just linger with the One who longs to linger with you…
In Luke 10:21-24 (Read Here) Jesus claims we as Holy Spirit filled followers are privy to something that many prophets and kings desired to see but did not- and I do understand He is addressing the Disciples who are actually with him BUT it stands as true for us! Even more so as we have Him with us always.
“At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.” (NIV)
I don’t make this stuff up people!
Approaching Quiet Time:
I want to just share my tips, and you are welcome to share yours in the comments below. I do not have a formula for quiet time. I just show up and try really hard NOT To get distracted. The best way for me to do this is to keep it simple, I mostly go to my small desk, but sometimes it can vary. My small desk has nothing but a lamp on it, sometimes a candle or flowers. In other words it’s not my office or crafty space. For me this helps me to study, pray, reflect , research and take notes better. It’s not that I might not use creativity in my quiet time, but I just filter out the things I know will mostly distract me from my goal of developing my relationship with the Lord and hearing him clearly.
I find if I have this time of focus offering my attention and desires to God, my creativity is like an abundant wellspring with a continuous flow! Truly overflowing.
I believe for each unique person who desires to know His creator, our creative God will joyfully allow communication and connection in the ways that best fit the way He has created and gifted them. Does that make sense?
I also believe your journey is precious to our God. Your journaling journey is your own-there are NO RULES to follow. There is NO ORDER in what you should write, pray, scribble, doodle, or scratch. It does not have to be beautiful or perfect. Legible is helpful…trust me on this one. As one who sometimes writes extremely fast to keep up with fast thoughts and insights…and then struggles to decipher the scrawled illegible writing!
I date my entries. That’s my one rule. I also usually have a time of journal consecration. Nothing fancy. But whatever feels right at the time.
For my designated journal for this journey, I did include a simple overview timeline of the book of John which I copied by hand from one of the Bibles I am using.
The purpose of these weekend posts is just to have a place and time to check in, converse, share thoughts, insights, questions. ALSO to get me back to blogging consistently. I made a commitment to YOU but also to me! So thanks for being here, because you are supporting my efforts in that direction (which I believe is also God’s will for me!).
So jump in and journal – your journal is between you and the Lord. Be as free in it as you are before Him.
All of the posts will be linked in the original INTRO post HERE.
This week, we are reading chapter 1- which gives me chills and delights me so (primarily verses 1:1-18). BUT the whole chapter one has gems beyond what is just at the surface level of reading. This Word is Living and Active- it can be a wild ride of discovery as you allow yourself to be led into the depths. I keep a few study supports available. Matthew Henry’s commentary, a concordance. There’s online Bible resources (Bible Gateway, Bibehub) AND of course Google. Ha. But the Holy Spirit has always been my best teacher. I pray He is yours for this journey as well!
With you on the journey!
Below are two videos I absolutely love by The Bible Project on the Book of John Warning: SPOILER ALERT. Hahahahahaha! Watch and re-watch to your heart’s content!