My Journal

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Dictionary.com describes journal as a noun, meaning, “a daily record, as of occurrences, experiences, or observations.” According to Online Etymology Dictionary, it also has roots in the Mid-14c. Anglo-French word jurnal, meaning “book of church services.”

I take lots of notes when listening to a speaker. Even though I feel a little guilty for defacing them, many books in my collection are full of highlighting, underlining and notes. As you can imagine, my Bible is a mess and getting messier all the time. I’ve always thought of journaling was similar to keeping a diary. That doesn’t really appeal to me – what’s the point of writing what will never be read? But lately I have been inspired to capture some things that are worth recording, things I want to remember.

We were in Calistoga for the weekend, attending (another) handball tournament. We had some time in the morning and took a walk through the local Farmer’s Market. One of the vendors was selling painted rocks that caught my eye because I occasionally enjoy painting, even rocks. I stopped to admire the rocks and he shared that they were “Spiritual Rocks.” He went on to say that he only uses smooth, symmetrical, pocket-sized rocks, and paints that glow in the dark for meditation extending to the evening. I thought of James 2:19, “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that – and shudder” and Romans 10:3, “Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.” He seemed like a kind, sincere man and I wanted to ask what was “spiritual” about the rocks, and how they could possibly contribute to prayer or meditation, but couldn’t find words that didn’t sound like I was judging him.

Later that day I visited with Sharon, also a handball wife, as we watched our husbands compete. Talking about our day in Calistoga led to the Farmer’s Market. She shared that she too had held similar “New Age” spiritual beliefs but, in part due to a co-worker’s mentorship, had recently come to know the power and truth of the Bible and accepted Jesus Christ as her personal Savior.

I went to sleep that night feeling like I’d missed an opportunity with the rock painter. I thought of Romans 1:25, “They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.” What could I have said to help him see the truth, to concede the futility of “Spiritual Rocks,” and know instead the truth of the gospel and power of God? I hoped to speak with Sharon again to ask what words had led her to the truth. It would be too late for making a difference with the rock painter, but next time I would be prepared.

When I spoke with her the next day, I asked Sharon what her mentor had said that opened her eyes. Her answer was simple, “Nothing… he just listened and prayed for me.”

It was too late for me to follow the strong urging of the Holy Spirit, so in prayer I asked God to reveal truth to this man. Sharon went on to tell me that in listening, her friend gently noted all the religious upbringing and experiences in her “hard drive”, and asked, “When you pray, do you pray to God or to Jesus Christ?”

So that’s where journaling comes in. God put two people in my life this weekend to humble and show me who holds the power to create change. He reminded me of the power in prayer. He taught me a lesson in obeying the urging of the Holy Spirit through the rock painter. I want to record how God works in my life, note the people he places along my path, and record the lessons. I want to increase my awareness of his presence in each day. If I ever find myself forgetting how big he is, I’ll only need to look back on my journal, my daily record of his miracles.

About Karen Campbell

Life provides lots of experiences to write about. My goal is to share how God works through them.
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5 Responses to My Journal

  1. Corvus Black says:

    As a self-identified New-ager with a deep love of spiritual rocks, I appreciated the essence of your post. The timing was perfect as I just posted my own moments before reading yours from the perspective of an eclectic spiritualist navigating that uncomfortable place between welcoming my neighbors and creating boundaries with our evangelical community. Your post reminded me that many of our Christian neighbors put careful thought into how their message is received. ❤

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    • Corvus, thank you so much for your beautiful comment. I am honored you read my post and accepted it with the spirit with which I wrote it. I hope you will consider who Jesus is. He said He is the Son of God (John 11:4) and that “I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30) He also said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) I am praying for you and would love to paint you a (unspiritual :)) rock in hopes it would remind you to keep exploring who Jesus said He was. I believe if you seek truth, He will show you.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Jennie Spearin says:

    Oh Karen, that so spoke to my heart! Thank you for your beautiful words that inspire us to be God centered and for being so transparent! Love you! jenn 🙂

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  3. Dear Karen, after reading several of your posts, I am led to share my own life experiences with you… It is the power of the Holy Spirit that will give you the right words to say, and His urging you should ALWAYS follow, especially when He urges you to witness to someone… I too was urged to share the love of Christ with someone in need, and sadly ignored the Holy Spirit’s leading.

    As a matter of fact, I only witnessed to 2 people in just over 7 years after God graced me with salvation at the age of 54, because I had somehow slowly taken back control from the Holy Spirit… I believe it was after listening to CH.Spurgeon’s preaching on “Grieving the Holy Spirit”, that I finally got down on my knees and prayed to the Lord that I wanted to start living for Him again…

    My God given peace and a joy that only living for Christ will bring into your life (John 15:11…&…Colossians 1:11), flooded back into my heart, mind and soul… The Holy Spirit was sitting back waiting for me to give Him back the control of my life !!I

    It is a combination of wearing God’s WHOLE set of spiritual armor (Ephesians 6:10-20), and total submission to the Lord (James 4:7-8) that will keep Satan in check… It is the Christian who keeps a short leash on committed sins, by praying 1 John 1:9 EVERY time they find themselves sinning…

    Walking with the Lord as a Spirit filled Christian (Ephesians 5:18-20) is sweet fellowship that will be broken by unconfessed sin. We must listen and understand what the writer of Hebrews 12:4-11 tells us about God’s discipline…and hopefully regain the peaceable fruit of righteousness that will be obtained by those trained by God’s chastising…

    Hebrews 4:11… Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. (NKJV)

    Hope this helps you or anyone who has fear, or anxiety, or doubts (especially about their salvation), as Satan will use his bag of tricks to pull the Christian down. The power of the Holy Spirit will quench Satan’s attempts every time we step back and allow Him to take TOTAL charge of our lives !!

    The Apostle John tells us this, in…1John 4:18… There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. (NKJV) Torment comes from Satan…and The Lord’s perfect love “casts out fear” as we allow His power to fight our battles…

    Blessings in Christ, bruce

    P.S. Every Christian should read this… http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/0278.htm

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    • Thank you for your thoughtful comments! I will Spurgeon’s sermon you recommended and revisit each of the verses you referenced. Most importantly, thank you for encouraging that I should ALWAYS follow the urging of the Holy Spirit! He was definitely urging me to speak and I made the wrong choice in remaining silent. Your words will come to mind next time I am presented with an opportunity to speak or remain silent and I WILL SPEAK.

      Liked by 1 person

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