Monday, February 4, 2008

Welcome and prayer journal.

Welcome to my blog. After much prodding I have decided to enter the blogosphere. When a pastor friend of mine challenged his church to journal through the Book of Acts with him, I thought it was a good way for me to start a blog. Along the way, I will be blogging about other things that strike my interest too. Thanks for reading!

During the season of Lent, I invite you to join with me and others at Riverside Community Church as we walk through the Gospel of Luke. Our goal is to read a section each weekday and journal using the SOAP method of journalling. I invite you to pull out a tablet or open a file on your computer and create a journal of your personal devotions through Luke.

We at RCC are doing this for a few reasons. (1) To deepen our walk with God by spending time in Scripture and prayer each day. (2) To develop these spiritual disciplines so that they can become a regular part of our daily diet. (3) To experience the joy of community as we focus on the same scripture and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to us collectively.

Here's how to keep a prayer journal. (SOAP)
SCRIPTURE - Each day prayerfully read a chapter in Luke with a seeking heart and mind. Take note of verses that peak your interest (As we get closer to Good Friday and the stories of Jesus' passion week, we'll read smaller portions each day.) Choose a verse or paragraph that interests you and write it down and ask, "What does it say?"
OBSERVE - Write down the main thought or idea that passage says in it's original context asking, "What does it mean?"
APPLY - What down how you think it applies to your life or to our contemporary setting asking, "How does it apply?"
PRAY - Write out a brief prayer for the day that imbeds the thought in your spirit.

I will do my journal online to help those who want to see how I do it. Your journal needs to be your thoughts about the verses that interest you, but feel free to comment on my thoughts if you desire or share thoughts from your journal with the rest of us. I welcome the conversation.

This is an experiment which I hope will lead us to a new level of faith and action for RCC. As you commit to this, don't give up if you miss a day. Just pick up where you left off and continue on. Let's have a good walk together on this Lenten journey. Who knows? We just might find our "hearts burning within us while He talks with us on the road and opens the Scriptures to us." (Your first challenge is to turn to the last chapter of Luke and find that quote.)

The prayer journal will begin on Ash Wednesday, February 6, with Luke Chapter 1 as the reading.


Gary Caldwell said...

Pastor Bill - thanks for creating this interactive opportunity to explore God's Word together.

David Kennard said...

I'm pumped about taking this journey with you and hoping that it will add a healthy level of conversation for all of us who choose to chat together.

Julie said...

I'm excited to experience this with everyone. What a great idea to propel our community even further in thought and dimension in our journey of faith.

Linda Westover said...

Having studies the Book of Luke indepth, I'm lookwing forward to this experience. Work will undoubtedly interfere with daily interaction (health care is 24/7). But I will be as consistent as possible.

traci said...

As a kiddo, I looked on Lent with a critics brain. I saw law - cause I was peering thru the selfrightous law log in my own eye...funny how God works huh? He has been slowly but surely giving me a LOVE for Lent as He has blessed me with many SWEEEET Catholic Christian friends to help me "see" a little more with HIS eyes...(chuckling to myself)...I am lookin forward to meeting here every day - instead of giving up chocolate which (I have convinced myself) is by FAR less "spiritual" (um and WAY more painful) :-) anticipatin' what the Spirit will do.

rp said...

It is about time I joined the 21st Century and learn to BLOG.
(Great acronym for
Blissfully Leading Others to GOD!)

I am excited about this new journey and will do my best to keep it up and also interesting.

I think it's a pretty cool idea.

Michele said...

Pastor Bill thank you for doing this. I am looking forward to taking this journey with you and the rest of the church. May we all be Blessed on this journey.

Bomer said...

Luke was writing to some "God-Lover" -- I have heard speculation that it was Nero, but his letters to Paul suggest it may have been Seneca.

Paul's witness was not just teaching, though -- it was his very life and actions. I have to keep reminding myself that my witness can speak louder than my words (and more truly -- *GASP!*). But the witness of all us believers as we live out our faith gives "certainty" to others of the teachings we get from Scriptures and the messages we hear on walking the Life.

My walk is kinda wobbly at times....look at me squinty-eyed at those times, please?

Joe Murphy said...

This is great pastor Bill I am looking forward to this. I think you will find this very rewarding as well. You will be suprised by how many people click on your blog.

Frank said...

Hi Pastor Bill,
Thank you for your commentary and historical insight to the Book of Luke.
God Bless you, and looking forward to our study together.
Frank Ocel

Laurel said...

In v.3-4 Luke investigates what he has heard, and only then writes an orderly account for others.

He doesn't just believe everything he hears, but makes sure it is true. Then he shares it with others in a manner they can follow.

I need to be certain I know the Scriptural truth, not tradition or pop culture. Then I should share it with others.

Lord, help me to have the wisdom to know what to share, and who to share it with.

It's my first-ever blogging experience!! Pretty cool!

joedv1218 said...

Pastor Bill,
Thank you for doing this devotion. I have been praying that God give me more initiative to get into His word. This seems like it is tailored for me to do just that. I read yesterday, and thought and prayed about it. Not that I had just skimmed over the introduction, but your observation made mine even more meaningful.
My observation is basically this, God uses Mary, a devoted follower of God, and Zecharia, a Priest in high standing. Both of whom show a similar pattern when God speaks to them. At first, doubt and fear, then agreement, and then total surrender and worship. Which with your observation of "certainty, and accuracy" gives me hope on my walk, that I too will someday totally surrender all. I observed that everyday people, and "priestly" people deal with the same issues, and can have hope of sanctification IN GOD'S TIME
not our time.

Kathy said...

I am a new "blogger" and hope I figured out the system. I look forward to taking this journey through Luke. Thanks, Pastor Bill!

drdale said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I am so enjoying this reading of Luke that I'm already on Chapter 20 It's great to view Jesus in this spectacular way that Luke is precise with His miracles and His "hard sayings". I'm lovin it.