Following are the entries from my personal journal originally written between June 12, 1996 and July 31, 1997. The early years of my walk with Jesus Christ started in April, 1993, but the entries listed in Part 1 just capture the final year before I enter a ‘spiritual desert.’ (You’ll need to wait for Part 2 to hear about the desert years).
Each post will conclude with an author’s note where I share my current reflections from the vantage point of many years of hindsight, so be sure to scroll to the end of each post to catch those retrospective comments.
The journal entries listed below are in reverse chronological order… Scroll to the bottom of this page if you want to start reading from the beginning. (New posts will automatically appear at the top of the list as they are published).
May the Lord bless you, strengthen you, encourage you, and give you wisdom as you seek after Him!
Journal Entry Date: February 27, 1997 “Had a very good discussion with Kevin tonight. I had almost decided that he wasn’t ready to be discipled, but he showed great interest tonight. We discussed everything from prayer effectiveness, reaching out to the lost, and how God prepares & equips us. We decided to continue studying Proverbs …
Journal Entry Date: February 24, 1997 God got me up early in the morning, and I had a good Bible study time. In fact, God was preparing me for the events of the day. “Dave” was supposed to meet me so we could go to Clint and Mary’s together, but he never showed up and …
Almost didn’t go to church… Didn’t want to go. But God did something in both the morning and evening services this day!
At this point, I was still really struggling with what it meant to mentor or disciple someone else. I tended to approach it in a teacher-student kind of way, which was appropriate at times, but still short of what it should have been.
It’s great to feel needed. But is that my motivation for serving God? Am I seeking acceptance… recognition… validation… self-fulfillment… Or am I motivated by love for the One who first loved me?
I spent a few years remodeling our basement… It seemed like the project would never end! I was horrified when I saw my little boy tumble down the stairs onto the concrete, and was so grateful when I saw he wasn’t seriously injured… but what does that have to do with My Abiding Life?
Over the years, I learned that setting aside specific time(s) each day was indeed an important spiritual discipline; however, I also learned how to spend even small moments with God all throughout my day… where I was constantly welcoming God into my everyday thoughts and activities.
This post is dedicated to ‘Dave,’ who had a great impact on my spiritual life… and who has now gone on to be with the Lord. Well done, my friend!
Life is messy. None of us deserve Jesus’ love and mercy, and yet, He chooses to express His love for us anyway. Can we not do the same toward each other?
When I decided to go on ‘outreach’ to share the love of Jesus with others, I had absolutely no idea that it would take the direction that it did!
Being a follower of Jesus isn’t an easy path to walk. But even in those times when we are not being faithful, God is always faithful and is always at work.
Three months had passed since the previous journal entry. Busyness and just feeling overwhelmed shut me down spiritually. I didn’t realize it at the time, but my spiritual ‘tank’ was starting to run on fumes.
Sometimes you get what you pray for, even though it wasn’t what God may have wanted you to have.
I was placing more emphasis on ‘doing’ things for God instead of ‘abiding’ in Him and developing a deeper fellowship with Him. I displayed my busyness for all to see, like some kind of badge of honor.
I’m trying to do my Bible study, but I keep falling asleep on my reference book. I’ve just been too tired. How am I going to find time for everything?
I have been convicted. We were interviewing new deacon candidates tonight. All the questions and all the responses kept hammering me with my own failures.
When we choose to be a conduit of God’s grace, then we can really begin to make an impact!
The Holy Spirit inspired human authors of the Bible to write God’s message… and it convicted me of my ungodly ways all these centuries later.
I have become very intolerant of certain people at work. It’s OK to be intolerant to sin, but not to personality traits that I find irritating.
People are watching and become curious when they observe something that seems “different.” Those become opportunities to share Jesus.
My wife and stairs have a painful relationship with each other, forcing a difficult decision of whether to stay and recuperate or go and become more equipped for ministry.
Am I good enough? Do I measure up? I know I must answer to God for my actions (or inactions). Sin always has a price.
It’s difficult to truly praise God when we have learned to accept God’s work as commonplace and have lost sight of His majesty.
From journal entry dated June 12, 1996… “I feel the need to begin a journal. Several hours ago, I could tell that the Holy Spirit was bringing my shortcomings to my attention…”
Something happened… and it changed everything!