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Archive for October, 2010

If you’ve been reading my series on Journaling and are interested in learning more, I suggest getting a copy of the book How to Keep a Spiritual Journal by Ron Klug.

I have heard about and obtained this book only recently, but already it has given me so many new ideas to spiritual journaling. Chock-full from over 40 years of experience, this book offers a storehouse of wisdom and a library of information, packed into a small paperback. Ron takes you from start to finish; from choosing a journal to editing it for reference. I highly recommend this book to any writers, journalers, or experimenters out there. Some posts in my series draw a little from what his chapters include, and he will provide more in-depth exercises for you to do. Great for helping you grow in your spiritual walk. 😀

Please click on the image to buy it from Amazon.com You may also purchase it from its publisher, Augsburg Fortress.

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As I am not a psychologist nor have much experience in dealing with bad memories, I am unqualified to talk about journaling for healing. However, I have developed my own way of recovering from these memories. I ask myself questions, look up scriptures to answer my questions, and squeeze away lies and discouraging/depressing thoughts with the Word of God. Here are a couple of steps I follow and questions I ask:

#1 Identify the Pain

What is the thorn? What happened?  How did it happen? Who are the people involved? What do I believe/think about this problem? Are there any benefits from this (character building/development, insights, etc.)?

#2 Go to the Bible

What verses are related to my questions? What does God’s word say about this? Are there any truths that oppose the lies I believe? What can I apply from these verses?

#3 Action Plan

What truths from God’s Word can I apply into my life? What are some things I can do to live apart from this pain? What are the benefits?

I make sure I see painful experiences in God’s perspective, following these two verses:

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” -Romans 8:28

“‘For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” -Jeremiah 29:11

God is always in control. Everything that happens is part of His plan, and because He loves us, He will NEVER let anything bad happen. Every experience, whether good or bad, is ultimately to mold us and shape us into the people God wants us to be. Why does God let bad things happen? To show Himself strong in our lives and make us see how much we need Him. I hope these questions can jump-start you into healing any painful memories or experiences. Remember, the Lord is always there with His arms open wide… you just need to run to Him!

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I’m sure we are all aware of the recent preparations all over the country for one of the three most popular holidays in the United States: Halloween. Yup, that means little kids dressing up from ballerinas in tutu’s to Dracula with a large black-and-red cape. Then they drag their parents down their neighborhood, stopping at almost every house and begging for candy with the well known phrase: “Trick or Treat?”

What most people don’t realize, however, is the fact that Halloween is a “Trick or Treat” itself. To the average person, Halloween is a treat: a time to dress up in awesome costumes and get so much candy that it will drive your dentist to insanity. But look beyond the treat to the trick: Halloween is a sacred time for the occult and other satanic groups; a time where devil worship and other demonic activities are practiced unceasingly. There’s more to Halloween than just candy and obnoxious costumes. There is a whole other side to this two-faced tragedy.

Halloween: Trick or Treat? is a documentary on what really happens during Halloween — informing the audience of its history and how it affects the world today. It features Pastor Chuck Smith, a well known pastor and founder of Calvary Chapel, as well as other qualified individuals. Please be warned that the occult scenes in this video are real, and parents are strongly encouraged to watched this documentary with their children. However, I am in full favor of showing this video to your church group, family, friends, and anyone else who you think will appreciate this message. For more information, please click on the picture.

This video will change your perspective on Halloween forever. You think kids have fun during this so-called holiday? Think again. For some unfortunate children, it may be the last holiday they will ever see.

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Journaling your struggles provides you with a record of your progress in specific areas. Often you may feel discouraged about not succeeding in your fight against temptation, but if you write down the times when you experienced success, it can help release you from constant frustration.

Let’s say you struggle with your temper. You are very easily provoked and often instigate arguments from the smallest conflict. You know this is wrong, and you are trying to exercise anger management. After a while, you began to notice that you’re not easily angered anymore! Your success gives you even more motivation to keep going.

But one day you blew it. You’ve hurt a lot of people with your outburst, and everything seems to be a mess. You keep getting angry at almost everything after that, and you don’t know how you’re ever going to get back on track. Now would be a great time to turn back to those days of success and see your slow but steady growth to peace. Hey, you did it before; why not do it again? It will take some time, but you know you will succeed!

I’ve done this with many of my personal struggles, and it is always so encouraging to go back and see those days where I was able to overcome temptation. I also add information on my struggle so I can have a library of battle strategies. It sure comes in handy!

So in this exercise, write down a couple of your struggles, and pick 1 or 2 to work on. As time goes on, work on succeeding in your fight against it, and write down how you got there, what resources you used, and how you feel about succeeding. It might take a long time, but success is all worth it. Take it from someone who’s been there and done that.

At times of discouragement and frustration, flip back to your success days and give your spirit a boost. You can do it!

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The Modesty Survey

One of the best resources I’ve found for sisters on the subject of modesty is The Modesty Survey taken by The Rebelution. I strongly encourage guys and girls alike to read through the survey and maybe even sign the petition (guys only). Please click on the button below to view the Survey.
TheRebelution.com: The Modesty Survey

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Journaling provides opportunities for you to set goals… and later review whether if it is completed or well on its way. It’s amazing when I look back in my journals and see all the goals I had throughout the years. Even more amazing is the fact that all the goals according to God’s plans for me came to fruit… and all the ones that aren’t never even begun.

Try this exercise: list out what goals you have and how you plan to achieve them. They can be academical, spiritual, physical, or life goals. But list them out, then consider if they are in line with what you believe is God’s plan for your life. Make both short and long term goals. Some of mine included establishing daily devotions, play basketball, and get better grades in math.

As time passes, go back and review your goals. What happened to them? Have you started on them? Are they in progress? Are they completed? Setting these goals let you understand what God wants to do in your life. The goals you achieve are most likely part of God’s plans for you. The ones that don’t progress mean that God probably thinks you’re not ready, it’s not time yet, or no — the goal isn’t for you.

I really enjoy doing this activity from time to time. I probably have a new goal every week… and pretty soon I can see whether or not God wants to bring that goal to completion or not. It helps me grow in faith and trust in the Lord in doing what He wants, when he wants, in my life.

I hope you will see these results in your own life as you journal out your goals. ^_^

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Basis for Faith

Having been a real believer for 3 years and grown up in church my whole life, it’s not hard for me to fall into certain traps. As I mature in my faith and gain deeper understanding of God’s Word and His plans for my life, I often forget the basis for why I believe what I believe, why I do the things I do, why I have standards set up for myself, and why I participate in Christian activities. I believe this is a common problem among many believers. God’s greatest and only commandment is to love Him and the second is to love others. It can be placed so simply, and it sums up the whole 10 commandments. The first four describe in more detail how we can love and honor God — by setting a day a week aside for Him, to not swear using His name, not to have any gods besides Him, and not worship anything you made. The last 6 describe how you can love others — honoring your parents, not murdering, not participating in immorality, not stealing, not coveting, and not lying.

This is such a simple truth, yet has so many layers. In serving in my church’s Vacation Bible School Program, I have learned that there is such a difference between a child and a teen or adult’s faith. The children learn truths that they apply in their lives, which is much simpler than ours. But the truths are the same for us. We have just delved deeper into more understanding of truths such as salvation, God’s love, and His plans and will for mankind and every individual.

Why not spend some time reviewing some children’s songs, poems, rhymes, Bible translations, and biblical curriculum and return to a child-like faith. One that listens to those in authority, to do good instead of evil, and learn to love others as you want them to love you? I believe helping in children’s ministry will be greatly beneficial in recalling the basis of your faith. In the one week I have served and listened to the teachers instruct the children, I have probably learned more than 1 month. I went back to my childhood in my mind, dancing during Singspiration, and recalling the basics of my faith, being motivated to obey my authorities as a child would, to unconditionally trust in their plans, in God’s plans and love, and the simple truth of salvation — believing in Jesus, repenting of your sin, and letting God into your life and pursue a life of service to Him.

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