Thursday, December 06, 2007

Gift Idea: Journals


By Josh Harris @

Last night we had our annual Staff Christmas Party—always a wonderful time of fellowship and celebrating evidences of God's grace in those we work with. As a gift from the pastors, all the staff received leather PaperBlanks journals. These are my all-time favorite journals. I love them and they have served me well for years.

On the inside cover of each, we pasted this quotation from Don Whitney's Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life:

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 my recommendation—buy your friend of family member one of the many styles of PaperBlanks journals and, inside, paste this quote to start them off newly encouraged in the discipline of journaling.

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