Journaling to Remember

Setting aside a time for journaling can help your group members internalize what they've learned.

I was reminded of the importance of journaling just this past week. A young friend of mine sent me an email from the university where she is pursuing a degree in photojournalism. Her short and powerful email was sent to nearly a hundred people. In it she said:

"Hello all. In case you didn't already know, I send out a mass email every year on the same day. It is a reminder to myself, and hopefully to others, how special life is. Today I celebrate the life God has given me. It was four years ago when God reminded my family and the people around me how precious life is. It was also a reminder to me of how grateful I am for everyone in my life. You have all been my family, my friends, and people to hug when I need one.
If you don't know, I was hit by a car when walking across a street, and spent the month of March 2001 in the hospital. I walked out of that hospital a much stronger person with a big smile on my face. I knew God was with my family and me. He still is! God touched us all and told me he has a purpose for me. Remember that every day God is watching out for you and to shine for him in everything you do.
Even if you didn't know me when I was in the hospital, your presence now is still the same. I still have hard times, and you all help me through them by just being there. Thank you. I have been extremely blessed to have you in my life.
God Bless,
In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise and glory. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good work, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 1:11, 2:10
Thank God always for the lives he gives us, and the people who hold on to us when we struggle! Happy March 3rd."

I am impressed that this young lady has chosen to celebrate what God has done in her life by putting it into writing and sharing it with others. Too often, we fail to remember the miracles, the healings, and the blessings in our lives because we get busy, we suffer loss or a painful circumstance, or things are going so well that we do not even think about God.

During the Bible study portion of your small group meeting, introduce a time to journal about the personal impact of the lesson's scripture or about one of the discussion questions:

Provide something to write on for each person.
Do not hesitate to be creative in order to stick with the theme of the lesson.
1. Use paper plates when journaling about the fruits of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22)
2. Use paper towels when journaling about servant leadership (Mt. 20:26, Mt. 24:45, Mt. 25:21)
3. Use blank "Thank You" cards when journaling thanksgiving for what God has done.

Allow 5 to 10 minutes to journal:
1. Give the group a prompt to get them started. (What is the challenge of this scripture for you personally? If you believe that what we have talked about is true, what changes do you need to make in your life? In what ways has God worked out this truth into your life?).
2. Play worship music quietly in the background.

Offer the opportunity to share:
1. Ask for volunteers to share their journaling (Do not put anyone on the spot; allow them to volunteer).
2. End the sharing time with prayer.

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