4 ways journaling could save the world

I’ve been journaling for a long time. I am amazed at how much it has helped me process my life and the world. It has given me a space to play and tinker with ideas.

Journaling has been one of the great pleasures of my life and helped me grow as a human being.  That’s why I am convinced that if more of us journaled the world would be a better place.

Here’s how:

1 ) Journaling gives us an opportunity to reflect on the world. It gives us an opportunity to process all the wonderful and beautiful things that happen in the world and how it impacts us. Moreover, it gives us an opportunity to decide what we’re going to do about it.

2) Journaling gives us an opportunity to reflect on ourselves. It’s an opportunity to reflect on and connect with one’s heart; to see ones values and how they are playing out in our lives and the people around us. Jesus says the heart is full of evil thoughts (Mark 7:2-23). We need a place to reflect on the evil in our hearts, process it and then give space for the God to intervene in our lives in meaningful ways.

3) Journaling gives us a place to express ourselves. It’s a creative space and all human beings need some creative outlet.

4) Journaling gives us a place to play with new ideas and insights. Some of these could change our lives and the world.

If we all reflected more, created more and played more the world would be a better place. Journaling gives us these opportunities.
So what are you waiting for? Start journaling.
What about you? What have you learned about journaling?

Maybe We’re the Problem?

Your the ProblemAre people in your way?
Are people frustrating you?
Are people draining your energy?
Are people discouraging you?
Are people letting you down?

Maybe you should pause a moment and consider an alternative?

Maybe it’s something else?

Maybe the problem is our attitude? Maybe it’s what we’re not doing? Maybe it’s something we’re not seeing? Maybe we’re trying to take the easy way out? Maybe it’s the obvious and we just don’t know it?

Maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to blame others? Maybe the problem is really us?

The Point of Scripture

Here is an important reminder from A.W. Tozer that reading scripture is not the point. Scripture is the means to growing in our faith in the living God.

“The Bible is not an end to itself, but a means to bring men (and woman) to an intimate and satisfying knowledge of God, that they may enter into Him, that they may delight in His presence, may taste and know the inner sweetness of the very God himself, and that He is the core and center of their hearts.” —Tozer, from The Pursuit of God.

The end of scripture is an intimate and sweet relationship with the living God. Best to keep this in mind when we are feeling pressed by other demands on our time.

How are you using scripture to grow in your faith? 

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Reflecting on God-Directed Transitions

Transition: a change from one state or condition to another.

Look, what do I know? I am not even gonna begin to pretend I understand how God works in our lives. But I am trying and one of the ways I do that is to keep this blog.Transtions

What I do know is that God will ask you to transition. It might mean you need to move in a small way–join a small group or start being REALLY generous. It might also mean that God asks you to move in a big way–adopt a child or start a church. No doubt about it, God asks all of us to move.

God asked my family to move–no literally. We’re moving to Chicago this week where I will become the Director of NewThing. (I know–it’s insane.) And so I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on our time in KC.

It’s been awesome. Kansas City in general (and Restore in particular) has changed our lives. We will never be the same. I’ve had the opportunity to work with a great team with a mission to help people find God and change the spiritual landscape of a city. Can I be honest, its down-right fun to do life with people who really believe they can change the world.

So to mark this transition, I was thinking of a writing something a bit involved. I thought it might be a kind of farewell. But I quickly realized that I don’t have the necessary perspective to do justice to my time in Kansas City. I have learned so much about God, myself, and church planting that I could write for days and barely scratch the surface.

I thought it best to not waste your time with my ramblings.

Instead, I wan to focus on you. I imagine many of you reading are in a season of transition. I am not sure of the details but one thing is clear, as a Christ-follower you are marching to the order of the King. And frankly, that can take you lots of places you never imagined.

No, I realized the best way to mark this occasion is to offer you FIVE THINGS to ponder to confirm God is directing your transition.

  1. Be prayerfully aware of how God is working in your life. Chances are God isn’t going to ask you to do something radical and insane–at least initially. The best tool I know to help you do this is journaling. Writing down your life and reflecting on it is the best way I know how to be aware of the way God is moving in your life.
  2. Listen to wise-counsel. If you’re telling people who God is telling you to move, give them a real opportunity to confirm it. God has placed certain people in your life to help you discern His ways. Pay attention to what they’re saying.
  3. It’s all about the seasons. God asks us to live life in seasons. The longer I am a Christ-follower the more I realize when God asks me to do something my role is to be obedient for a season. It’s not my job to plan my life–I leave that to God.
  4. Stay close to God. Transitions come when you’re close to God. One thing I’ve noticed is that when God shows up in my life and asks me to make some changes, it’s during a time when I am really close to Him. I don’t know about you but my relationship with God ebbs and flows like all of the relationships in my life. But when God has asked me to make a change it’s been during a season when I am spending lots of time with Him.
  5. Expect Peace. I know it might sound crazy (believe me I know what it must sound like to hear from a guy that claims to hear from God) but when I hear from God there follows a time of great peace. I know on the outside that life is gonna get crazy and chaotic, but in the midst of the mess I have peace. It’s a deep and unshakable peace. As best I can recollect, I’ve known the peace of God in this way three times now and this peace always comes during a significant transition.

I hope these help you reflect on the way God may call you to transition. Oh yeah–one last thing: When the path becomes clear and you know it, don’t flinch. That’s nothing but fear and we all know where that comes from.

To all my friends in Kansas City–I love you guys. It’s been a blast and I am grateful beyond words. To all my peeps in Chicago, God told me to come back home–and so get ready. 🙂

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10 Examples of Life-Giving Conversations

  • It was during a conversation that he asked me if I was ready to follow Jesus.
  • It was during a conversation that she said she saw “potential” in me.
  • It was during a conversation that he asked me step out of my comfort zone and lead others.
  • It was during a conversation that he asked me to sacrifice big for the Kingdom and move to Kansas City and plant churches.
  • It was during a conversation that they asked if I would be willing to invest in other church planters and coach them.
  • It was during a conversation that I asked him if he was ready to follow Jesus.
  • It was during a conversation that I told her “I see potential in you.”
  • It was during a conversation that I asked her to step out of her comfort zone and lead others.
  • It was during a conversation that I asked him to plant the church God was clearly calling him to plant.
  • It was during a conversation that I asked him to invest in the next generation of church planters to reproduce all of this again.

God speaks to us through people around us. God empowers us through the people around us. conversations

We help God speak to the people around us. We help God empower the people around us.

And it all happens in conversation. Never forget that small conversations lead to great impact in the economy of God.

What about you? How many life-giving conversations have you had this week? What’s will it look like to have more next week?

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