How Scott Kedersha Journals His Time In God’s Word
Out of all of the spiritual disciplines, perhaps none has gone through greater fluctuations and iterations in my life than how, when and why I journal. I started using a journal as a brand new Christian in 1998, and over the last 18 years have changed everything about the way I journal. The only constant is the significant role it was played in my life, helping me draw close to the Lord, learn from past mistakes and sins and wrestle through decisions and prayers with God.
What Things Stir Your Affections for God?
I love this question. A few months ago, Tommy Nelson, lead pastor of Denton Bible Church, came and visited with some of our staff and leaders. In our time together, he asked each of us what we like to do that helps us delight in God (http://www.scottkedersha.com/delight/). In other words, what are the things you do that stir your affections for God? The responses around the room were as varied as you can imagine, from things like knitting and crossword puzzles to playing basketball and skydiving. I love being with my family and with friends, but what really stirs my affection for God are things like reading (the Bible and good books) and writing. This isn’t always the case, but it’s almost like I can better sense God’s presence when I read or write something good!
What Does Your Time in God’s Word Look Like?
I am a big fan of the Bible reading plan we use at my home church, Watermark Community Church. At Watermark, every year, we read God’s Word through a guided reading plan called Join the Journey. In 2016, we are reading through the four gospels. Last year we read through the entire bible together, cover to cover. Monday through Friday we read through a passage of the gospels in the Journey. On the weekends, I typically go through a different book of the bible. So far this year I have slowly read through and studied Galatians and Ruth, and I am now going through Romans.
How Do You Journal Your Time in God’s Word?
Regardless of what I’m currently reading in the Bible, I like to read God’s Word with my bible, a pen, a commentary (i.e., Warren Wiersbe’s “Be” series), a cup of coffee and my journal. I like to write down a summary of what I read along with some personal application.
What Type of Journals Do You Have?
The answer to this questions changes often! I have tried many different methods over the years: different types of journals, different sizes, electronic journaling (Day One, Evernote), and much more. The last 9 months or so I have finally landed on a consistent method. Don’t judge me – my methods are kind of strange as I currently use three different journals, for three different reasons!
Moleskine Chapters Journal – I use this thin, lightweight journal as I read through God’s Word. As mentioned above, I write down a summary of what I read in the Bible as well as some applications. I might also write out my prayers or confessions. What I like about the Chapters Journal is that it is divided into seven different sections. I use different sections for different purposes (i.e., sermon notes, quiet time observations).
May Book Journal – I use this journal as a daily thankfulness journal. Every day I write down three things I am thankful for. As one who can struggle with being thankful (http://www.scottkedersha.com/giving-thanks/), this daily practice of remembering and recording what I am thankful for is an integral part of my time with the Lord.
DEN Journal – My new favorite. I use my DEN Journal to record key learnings from books, articles, posts and conferences. I really appreciate the index, tagging system and page numbers. Not to mention how much I like the cover, the color of the pages and the weight of each page: just right.
What Role Does Journaling Play Throughout Your Day?
I do the heavy bulk of my journaling in the morning in my quiet times, but I bring my journals with me to work in case I want to record something new or refer back to something previously recorded.
What Has Changed Since You Began Journaling?
As I shared above, my methods have changed throughout the years. So, everything has changed. What’s been cool for me is that I recently went back through all of my journals and cataloged them, meaning that I made some notes on the front and inside cover of each journal of its purpose, content, and dates. I’m thankful for all I have learned and recorded in journals over the years.
If You Could Give Someone Only One Reason to Journal, What Would You Say?
I know journaling is not for everyone. But, if I could tell you one thing is that it’s worth trying to find a method that works for you. There’s no right or wrong way, but I believe you’ll be thankful you took some time to find your way and a method of recording what God is teaching you. Maybe you’ll enjoy answering the same set of questions every day (like Michael Hyatt does – http://michaelhyatt.com/daily-journal-template.html), or maybe you’ll benefit from writing out your prayers. Regardless, make some effort to find a method that works for you.
Scott Kedersha is the Director of Premarital and Newly Married Ministry at Watermark Community Church in Dallas, Texas. For almost a decade, Scott has helped lead Merge, Watermark’s premarital ministry, which is geared towards preparing seriously dating and engaged couples for marriage. He’s been married to Kristen since 2001, has four boys and blogs on marriage and family, ministry and books/reading at Scottkedersha.com. He is most passionate about the local church, college football, marriage and family, community and reading. You can find Scott on his blog, Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.