The older preacher, located at the time 40+ years in the same congregation, stood before the audience and spoke the words, “I would much rather wear out than rust out in the work of God. For Heaven is a place and rest and the church is a place of work.”
In the truest sense, the church is a place of work. Just because one has obeyed the gospel and become a member of the church, it does not mean the resting should begin. As mentioned on Sunday, once we are baptized into Christ, Satan does not consider the battle to be lost. He still seeks someone to devour (1 Peter 5.7). He plans to put temptations in your way to draw you away from God. Are you clothed in the full armor of God? (Ephesians 6.10-18)
If anything, when we are members of the church, our abilities are magnified and give rise to more opportunities. When we realize that God provides grace to each one of us, it should motivate us to use what He has given us (Romans 12.3). The grace He provides is different for each person is different (Romans 12.4). Just because the abilities He gives us are different does not mean our lives are not important. The parts of the body need each other to survive and to unite in the common purpose of God (Ephesians 4.1-15).
So, are you wearing out or rusting out in the church.
Let me leave you with the words of Jesus,
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11.28)
Several years ago I heard Jim Rohn talk about journaling and at first, I ignored it. The more and more I listened to Jim Rohn and other personal development speakers, the greater understanding I gained. I always pictured journaling as keeping a diary and I was not one to keep a diary.
Instead, journaling is a record of your thoughts, ideas, quotes, memories and anything else you want to write or fill in those blank pages. Since beginning my process of journaling, I have found myself depending on my journal at various times. My journal has been a safeguard for me to reflect on the ideas and brainstorming sessions.
I have used my journal as a mind dump for good times and bad times. It is good for me to reflect on those times and see who I can learn from them. It is an experience I appreciate.
Here are some ideas about journaling you might enjoy.
Ideas on Journaling
Get a Good Journal
Do not go out and purchase a $3 journal to begin. Instead make an invest into a nice journal. Purchasing a nicer journal will conscientiously help you to being writing. While most people do not see the value of paying money for a blank book, your journal is an investment in yourself. You are more likely to write if you have an investment in yourself.
Personally, I like a leather-bound, refillable journal. However, my current refillable journal is no longer produced by the company I have used for several years. Having a refillable journal allows me to keep the leather cover that I have broken-in over the years. The soft durable leather feels good as I carry it wherever I go.
Write as soon as you can. As soon as you get your journal, start writing. If you already have a journal, start writing. Do not delay. It may not matter what you write, but just write. Fill those pages with words expressing your current thoughts, your future thoughts of even your goals.
Spending time writing, will open your mind in ways you could not imagine. It will clear your mind of any doubts and help you make decisions because you are putting all of those jumbled thoughts on paper to see now and reflect on later.
If you are struggling to find a first entry for your journal, use the topic “Why Should I Journal?” and begin writing. Let your mind flow and the words fill the pages.
Schedule Time to Write
After you write your first entry, schedule time to write the next day. Some prefer the morning, some the evening. Whatever time you pick, stick with it. Set an alarm on your phone and be sure to take that time to write in your journal.
When you develop a scheduled time to write in your journal, you are creating a habit. This habit will be a good one to get your brain moving and your thoughts flowing.
As mentioned previously, some like to journal in the morning and they like this because it sets the flow to their day. They are able to set out their day by writing and planning before they leave their house. Others find journaling at night helps them to release stress and clear their mind.
The choice as to when to journal is up to you, but make time to journal and be consistent.
Read Your Entries
You do not have to read your entries immediately, but reading them down the road will assist you in seeing the value of journaling as well as the achievements you have made.
Reflecting back on your accomplishments, mistakes, successes, memories and writings allows you to see how you have overcome situations, found success when you did not think it was possible and how much you have grown.While you may not see the growth everyday, reading your journal entries will allow you too see how you have grown.
Once a year I will take time and read through some of the past years journals and skim through others. Reading through them allows me to see all the situations, memories, thoughts and ideas I have had and how things worked, or did not work out. This gives me confidence to move stronger into the future.
I believe everyone can benefit from writing. Each person will benefit in a different way, but for those wishing to grow, journaling definitely helps.
While I avoided the idea for years, when I finally picked it up and began journaling, I found it to be refreshing and enlightening. For me, it helps to clear my mind and relieve stress, while at the same time generate ideas and thoughts that I am able to develop later.
I wish you well in your journaling projects.
Below are some additional thoughts and a video you might want to watch to get some more ideas.
Add pictures to your journal – Adding picture to your journal makes the memory more impressionable but also adds some color to the pages. A good example of this is journaling on your vacation. When you write the entry about the beach, include a picture of the beach to remind you as you reflect back later. You can print off pictures taken from your phone and add them to your journal. A simple piece of tape to hold the picture on the page can help solidify the memory.
Divide your journal – For two years, I divided my journal in to three sections: Notes, Brainstorming, Goals. Dividing up my journals into sections assisted me in keeping my thoughts in order. I used a piece of white duct tape and made sections in my journal by folding a small piece around the pages and titling the section.
Where to find a Journal? If you are looking for a journal, may I suggest looking at http://www.startjournalingnow.com and see their selection of different types of journals. You can also use their search bar if you are looking for a specific type of journal.
Thoughts from Jim Rohn
Here are some thoughts I found on YouTube from Jim Rohn regarding journaling. This will give you a few ideas to start.
Human emotions are tricky. One day your emotions are perfectly fine and another day they seem to be all confused. Life, aka – the human experience, can be a roller-coaster ride and your emotions flow right along with it. Throughout a person’s life, they have feelings of guilt and loneliness. Each time, the emotions may differ in strength, but they still have their effects.
There are times when guilt and loneliness can be overwhelming and start to hinder the progress of our lives. It is then time to find the steps necessary to begin to break free from our burdens and begin to grow again.
Here are two recent lessons on Loneliness and Guilt are you free to download and use. The links to the Microsoft Word and the Microsoft PowerPoint files are below the picture.
For Your Information: The outlines and PowerPoints above are provided for your benefit. I encourage you to take the information and make it your own instead of just downloading and using it without study. Do not become lazy in learning, but let these become seeds of thought for future lessons
I might have posted this before but I was not able to find a date, but the words provide a very interesting look at the description of a Christian during the second century. Take a moment and give it a quick read and see what you think.
This description was found in a letter from a letter to Diognetus, Second century A.D., Rome.
The “Christian” Described
“Christians live in their own native lands, but as aliens; as citizens, they share all things with others; but like aliens, suffer all things. Every foreign country is to them as their native country and every native land as a foreign country.”
“They marry and have children just like everyone else; but they do not kill unwanted babies. They offer a shared table, but not a shared bed. They are at present ‘in the flesh’ but they do not ‘live according to the flesh.’ They are passing their days on earth, but are citizens of heaven. They obey the appointed laws, and go beyond the laws in their own lives. They love everyone, but are persecuted by all. They are unknown and condemned; they are put to death and gain life. They are poor and yet make many rich. They are short of everything and yet have plenty of all things. They are dishonored and yet gain glory through dishonor.”
“Their names are blackened and yet they are cleared. They are mocked and bless in return. They are treated outrageously and behave respectfully to others. When they do good, they are punished as evil-doers; when punished, they rejoice as if being given new life. They are attacked by Jews as aliens, and are persecuted by Greeks; yet those who hate them cannot give any reason for their hostility. To put it simply – the soul is to the body as Christians are to the world. The soul is spread through all parts of the body and Christians through all parts of the cities of the world. The soul is in the body but is not of the body; Christians are in the world but not of the world.”
A few years ago, I strolled up to a door of a nearby house without a thought in my head, as I began to knock on the door I looked around to my see my door-knocking partner one house down. He had already knocked on the door and was passing along information about the upcoming gospel meeting. As the door opened I invited the resident to our meeting and heard the fateful words, “Sorry, I’m Baptist.” I gladly smiled, handed the resident some information and proceeded back to the road to walk to another house. As I told me friend the news, he smiled and told me he had gotten the same response. I asked what he said to the lady and his response was simple, “That’s OK, you can come too.”
How many times have we let our religion get in the way of truly seeking to understand the message of the Father and His Son?
If you have done any door-knocking you have heard them all…
“I’m Baptist.” “I’m Methodist.” “I’m Lutheran.” “I’m Presbyterian.” “I’m Episcopalian.” “I’m Mormon.” “I’m Catholic.” “I’m Pentecostal.” “I’m Church of Christ.” (yeah, I have heard that one too.) “I’m Community Church.” “I’m First Baptist.” “I’m ______________________.”
All of those labels and nothing about, “I’m with Jesus.”
I often wonder what Peter, James and John would say when asked with what religious group they identified. I have found a pretty close answer in Acts 4…
“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.”
(The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Ac 4:13). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.)
Did you read that? “And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.” They knew that Peter and John were not educated at the greatest schools or the greatest secular teachers, but they realized they had been with Jesus.
Can people tell you have been with Jesus?
The labels of this world should mean nothing to us, instead our focus should be the label of “Christian.”
While the disciples of Christ were first called Christians in Antioch, the name with which their character was founded has become the focus of their lives. Even today, Christians are seeking the majesty of the Creator God and that, only that should be the continual goal of our lives. Being close to the Father is not a position to be won, but a life to behold.
Can those around us see that the religious labels of the day hold nothing to the power of the Almighty?
Our lives should not be a reflection of the building we attend, but the life we are following!
Whether the world desires to believe it or not, casual sex is having powerful effects on the lives of thousands of teenagers. The effects are not only felt immediately, but linger for years in a person’s life. No book speaks to the effects of casual sex in the lives of teenagers and adults than “Hooked: New Science on How Casual Sex is Affecting Our Children.”
The research behind Hooked is staggering and powerful; from the immediate effects in the lives of teens, to the lasting effects into the lives of adults, to the quotes of real people on the choices they made, and last but not least, the statistics behind the facts.
The book begins with a discussion of popular culture and current thinking regarding casual sex before digging into the science and makeup of the brain. In simplistic terms, while adding the science terminology, the authors describe how the brain develops and how vital the chemical makeup of the brain is when making decisions.
The language is simple and the facts are powerful:
“Another study had similar findings. It showed that adolescent females who being sexual activity at age 15-19 years will have, on average, more than seven voluntary sexual partners during their lives.”
“In contrast, females who maintain their virginity until age twenty-one will have, on average, two sexual partners during their lives.”
“Data also shows that delay of sexual intercourse for males also significantly reduces the number of lifetime partners.”
(Source: Hooked, electronic version, Chapter Four, Page 7 of 36)
Following the discussion of brain development, a discussion begins with “Baggage Claim” in chapter 4, “Thinking Long Term in chapter 5 and “The Pursuit of Happiness” in chapter 6 before giving the “Final Thoughts” in chapter 7. Each chapter is filled with information, research and statistics which blow your mind; such as:
“Only one in fifty adolescents in the 1960’s was infected with a sexually transmitted disease. Today, one in four sexual active adolescents is infected.”
(Source: Hooked, electronic version, Chapter six, Page 13 of 36)
Who should read this book? Parents, counselors, ministers, youth ministers and others teaching youth moral principles.
In case you are wondering, this is not a Biblical book. It does not cover what the Bible says about sex, it covers the research and the effects of a casual sexual life. Its words are powerful, the research is eye opening and the material is valuable.
Give it a read today.
On a personal note, I would not by the electronic version. I bought the electronic version and wish I would have bought the hardcover. I would have worn out a highlighter and pen while reading this book. Get the hardcover and use the information.
Just my thoughts,
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