Category Archives: Journal Entry

God’s Slow, Steady, and Wise Hand!

One year ago today, the Lord began stirring in me a desire to move to another church. Granted, I cannot explain how this “stirring” works. This stirring is like feelings. They can’t be trusted. This stirring could or could not be from the Lord. Therefore, it must be tested. John tells us, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (I Jn 4:1). I think “spirit” is partly “feelings.” So, your feelings need to be tested with scripture.

The main point I want to make in this post is slowness. We live in a world that wants, whatever it is, immediately! A dear brother pointed out to me that God is content to work in decades, centuries, and long periods of time. The entire Bible begs this point. I don’t say these things as one who does not struggle with the temptation of wanting things to happen quickly. Nor am I saying that some things don’t need to happen quickly. They do. However, waiting is often not an option for us.

I have a journal entry to show how God worked “slowly” with me and all the others involved. In fact, that slowness is still part of the scenario. I see this slowness as healthy and good. May God grant me [us] patience and mercy through this transition.

Journal Entry September 20, 2013

While praying yesterday morning, I prayed part of Psalm 69 “Deliver me from the mire and do not let me sink.” I began to think of moving my family to Davis Memorial. I imagined what it would look like for my family to be there. I really was encouraged by the thought. I need more evidence that I should do this. My feelings are not firm foundations. Actually, they can be “mire.” We will see how the Lord might lead and confirm.

Our first Sunday at Davis Memorial was July 9, 2014. I became convinced early on. The evidence was slow. I ran it by my wife first. It took time for her to see it, but she did. I ran it by the pastor of Davis Memorial and it took time for him to see it, but he did. In time, I hope the members of Davis Memorial will see it.

I am aware that some of the members might read this. If you do, do not feel rushed. Take as long as you need. I hope you are encouraged by this post to wait on God. Also, I hope to reveal more of the process and reason for moving in later posts. If anything, I hope you see this was not a spur of the moment decision. Also, don’t see my process and understanding of this without error. I trust that God was working things out long before and He is still at work now. To God be the glory forever and ever!

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Seeing Evidence of Grace in My Life

Journal Entry September 5, 2013:

I reflect on the amazing grace in my life as I fill up an entire notebook even before the year is up. This is a first. I have been unable to do this for more than a week at a time in the past. Yet, this time consistency stayed. I don’t say journaling is some superior discipline to be achieved. Its value will be in remembering what the Lord has done for me resulting in more trust and more praise. May it be so. My plan is to begin blogging again starting January 1, 2014. I hope to review the corresponding entry on the same day of the year and use it to write a post. This will have me looking back and remembering and it will help me in writing. Writing in this form will hopefully restart some of those gears that sit idle for the moment. And lastly, I hope the blog will be a help to others. May the grace You have shown me Father be used for your glory!

O Lord, may I see and hear Your word now!

~Jason


Still Believing!

Journal Entry Tuesday, September 3, 2013

I am still believing today! I am sure I will be tomorrow and the next…not because of me but because of Christ. I need you O God my salvation again today, for my soul is sinking. I feel like letting go. But for some reason I don’t. Therefore, I say to my soul “Why are you downcast? Hope in God, for I will again praise Him.” Waiting….

 

Rise up, be our help and redeem us for the sake of Your lovingkindness!  


The Temptation of More

The title could lead you in multiple directions. So, I need to begin by stating what I mean by “more.” I’m sure you understand what it means to be tempted. You could think from the title that the temptation is about “more” stuff! And that is a common temptation. It is one that needs to be subdued. However, the “more” I speak of is more ministry.

I am going to quote from my journal. The date was September 2, 2013. At that time, I was a member of a church waiting for God to open a door for ministry.

I was renewed yesterday (Sept. 1, 2013) to press on today! O Lord, renew me today that I might press on tomorrow. A quote that was helpful to me: “Nobody made a greater mistake that he who did nothing because he could only do a little” (Edmund Burke). I look at my life and think I am doing nothing for Christ (wasting my life). Yet the enemy would have me believe and desire more, more, more. More, for me, has not come. Therefore, I am tempted to stop what little I do if I can’t have all that I want. O how subtle! Father help me be faithful with the small ministry. May it bear much fruit! May I be content. Grow me in grace. Forgive me for giving in to the “more” temptation. It was consuming me. Lord, if you never give me more than I have right now, I will still follow you.

May I hear from your word today!

Today is a different day. It has much more. I still your grace!

~Jason

Here is something I heard from the word that morning:

From 1 Samuel 26, we again see David patiently waiting for the throne. Though David had lost his place in Saul’s kingdom, he had not lost his place in God’s Kingdom. David was doing nothing for God while hiding from Saul. Yet, God was at work in David. He was being prepared for what was to come!


Fighting the Fight of Faith Together

It is Valentine’s Day. I have to be honest. I don’t know what it means–past or present. How one participates in such things may or may not reveal knowledge of the event. Nevertheless, we do use it in our family to think of others in a special way. In particular, my wife and I take time to focus on each other with a gift and letter to each other.

It is particularly important that you think and plan what you will do on Valentine’s Day. The gift is important but the thoughtfulness of the gift and the planning of the gift are more important. It says something when you go pick out flowers (or whatever) days in advance rather than stopping by after work to get them. You might ask, “How will they know?” They know. Okay. They know.

I recently watched a promotional video for a book by the Ken and Joni Tada. I have not read the book but I imagine it is great. In the video, Ken mentions that he has realized more clearly that they are in a spiritual battle. Then he says something like this, “I cannot imagine fighting this battle with anyone else in the world except my wife Joni.” She is a gift to Ken to fight the fight of faith together.

I applaud this. That night, after watching the video, we are on our way to church and I reach for my wife’s hand then tell her about the statements made by Ken Tada. I then tell her the same. Marriage is an army that fights the battle of sin together. She is my eyes at the mall to protect me from seeing things I don’t need to see for example. I was glad to read last years journal entry. It revealed my joy in walking WITH my wife in the journey. Here is entry:

Valentine’s Day is not very significant in our home. It is a day to help us think of others. And that is simply what we do. A break for my wife–out for dinner. A small gift of flowers to show that I thought of her yesterday (everyday). They should be delivered today to “my earthly dearest.” May she know how special and loved she is to me. Thank you Father for the gift my wife is to me. She is a means of growth and perseverance. She has (and for more that I could imagine) kept me from a multitude of sin. Grace. More grace. Father please strengthen and grow our marriage.

Hebrews 13:4 “Let marriage be held in honor among all.”

1 Peter 3:7  “Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.”


Weekend Opportunities

I must say, discipline during the week is easier for me. I have a set schedule. I get up and go to bed pretty much the same each day. I know what I can do with each minute. However, the weekends often fall apart for me. The schedule changes. There are different things that need to be done. You cannot plan when things around the house will break. Therefore, I usually fit time in with the Lord when I can. Now, you know what that means. Sometimes I miss it altogether.

Those weekends that are void of time with the Lord are not fruitful. I need a daily diet of truth from God–especially on the weekends. It seems I was struggling with this a year ago. I wrote:

Lord help me with weekends. I desire more discipline in the word and prayer. Forgive me Father. I need you.

I can say there has been some progress since asking for help. One of the things that I miss is the praying for members of our church. I have specific people divided over each day of the week to pray for. I noticed those who I pray for on the weekend were being missed. My relationship with them was off. I had not been setting my mind to think about them and their needs. Therefore, this has been a motivation to be more diligent on the weekend.

There are multiple opportunities to have a deeper and unhurried time with the Lord. As good as the weekdays are I still have to stop and go to work. But, on the weekend I could spend much more time and see many more wonderful things in God’s word. So, let me encourage you with this if you struggle like I do. One of the elders of our church suggested that I keep the same schedule of going to bed and getting up as the weekdays. This is the key for quality time everyday. I could say much more but this is by far the main reason I miss it. He is worth sitting down with on the weekends–and everyday of your life!

Psalm 143:8 “Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.”


A Prayer of the Needy

From my journal Feb. 1 2013

LORD,

Please use me, your adopted child, today for your glory. May I live as a child of the King and proclaim your rule. All that is allotted to your children is not yet but let us live in anticipation of it. Come Lord Jesus. Come.

2 Peter 3:3-9  “…knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”


Intentional, Persistent Christ Conversations

Keeping a journal has been something I have started several times.  However, last year I started and have been consistent all year. Somewhere along the way, I decided to read last year’s entry as part of my quiet time. It would be a time to remember what God had been doing in my life. In addition, I also wanted to begin blogging again. I have to admit, this is mainly for my benefit. Writing helps me. So, I decided to combine these two ideas and put some of my journal entries with some commentary into a blog post. I hope these will also be an encouragement to others.

In this post, I want to encourage intentional, persistent Christ conversations with this testimony to God’s faithfulness and power. The following is the result of God’s work through the means of conversations about Christ. These varied depending on what I had been reading in the word. These went on for about a year before any visible evidence. Here is my journal entry after hearing the news from a delivery driver that I encountered each week:

Friday, January 25, 2013:

“[The driver] had a major break through this past weekend concerning the gospel. I’ve been talking to him every week about something (gospel, life, work). He claimed to be a believer. He had not attended church in years. I tried to find him a place to visit (he lives 120 miles away) but no success. However, God nudged this man in a way that only He could do. Last week we had an ice storm in the area. He had an experience that scared him very much. So, he decided to go to church . He also took his eleven year old son. While there his son made a profession of faith. [The driver] was shocked but over-joyed. We will be praying for this ongoing situation. [The driver] said it was his turn this Sunday. May the Lord cause the gospel to do amazing things in their lives.”

This was a real encouragement to me. I was struggling with usefulness. I had begun to think I was wasting my life in my current life situation. I believe God has called me to pastoral ministry. As I write this post, that has not become a reality. However, the Lord revealed to me the ministries already going on. In the space of a week, I realized this ministry with my friend, my daughter and another customer who had asked for prayer concerning work. As of right now, the delivery driver and his family have come or returned to the Lord and are actively seeking His Kingdom. My daughter made a profession of faith and was baptized. The customer found work. Praise God for His amazing grace.

1 Corinthians 3:6-7  “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.”