3 Reasons to Journal

Recently, I wrote about Journaling.a post that of course got zero likes. It sounds somehow odd. “Why should you journal? That sounds so… un-Baptist!”

Well, as I mentioned yesterday, I’ve been working on getting my blog posts from 2012 in Scrivener, my latest blogging tool (you could also use Evernote). It’s great to be able to see where you were spiritually back then, and compare it to now. Good way to see if you’ve gotten off course, or possibly even more on track! Hopefully, option 2.
So, let’s look at 3 reasons to Journal, and 3 ways to do it!

  • You can see how off track you were, or how off track you’re getting spiritually. I know, I just said that above!
  • It can help you make decisions. I wish I’d gone back through my pastoring journal years ago – I’d written things about my old church in there, concerns about certain things right from the start that unfortunately, it turns out I was completely right about. If I’d reviewed it earlier, I might have left there long before my decision to finally withdraw.
  • It can help you to see where you need to go spiritually! By comparing where you were spiritually, what the Bible says, and then where you are NOW spiritually, it can help you get back on track, or can show you the direction you need to proceed! If your journal says “I need to read my Bible more” and “Skipped Bible reading today AGAIN” – now hey, that’s a hint!

So, how are some ways to Journal?

  • Microsoft Journal. They’ve abandoned support for this program (hint for OneNote users – the only program Microsoft has shown long term support for is Microsoft Office – go to Evernote NOW before they get bored with OneNote in a couple of years and yank that one too! I mean… remember LiveWriter? Frontpage? Frontpage Express? Outlook Express?), but you can still download this and use it. ALWAYS KEEP BACKUPS OF PROGRAMS YOU DOWNLOAD!!!! Anyway, this one is kind of set up like OneNote, except it’s suited more for journaling.
  • E-Sword. Yup! This bear of a program still has one of the best Christian Journaling functions ever!
  • Evernote. Evernote doesn’t seem to have a journaling function, but here’s how to do it… create a notebook called Journal, or 2017. Then just create notes in it titled with the date! Tag it Journal, and WRITE!
  • Bonus round – Quickverse 2010! I used to do my journaling in Wordsearch, but the truly ugly interface made me, well, completely uninterested in journaling in it. Moving to Quickverse (an older program) actually works better for me – if I can remember to stop, slow down, and – actually journal! Create a user book (by date format), call it 2017, and then add a note every day, and write!
  • Super Bonus Round – The Pastor’s Study. This program even has a function to allow you to journal. I’ve actually taken the journaling from all my other failed attempts and stored them all into the Pastor’s Study, then every month since then I go and store the latest ones. The way it’s laid out, you can see all your journal entries. It’s password encoded, which is annoying to me, but there’s a way to bypass that and make it remember the password – I just need to stop procrastinating and DO IT!

To me, journaling is an essential function for fundamentalists! Get into the habit of it, and try to review periodically. You’ll see that all those promises you make yourself that you forget about prayer, fasting and Bible reading will finally get done!


5 Reasons Christians should journal daily

Going through my Journals, I’ve uncovered all kinds of thoughts I’d had, many of which I’d forgotten about. I’d done some work in Wordsearch, which of course makes me feel guilty – because I never finished it.
It’s interesting to see what burdens the Lord laid on my heart. So, I thought I’d spend a minute and address this.
I have journaled in Wordsearch (not so good), The Pastor’s Study (somewhat better) and Quickverse. I’ve had more success keeping track in Quickverse, but I think eventually I’ll either do them in just The Pastor’s Study, or in both Quickverse and in The Pastor’s Study.
Strengths: It’s a little easier to miss a day, week, or even a year in The Pastor’s Study. If I was a full time Pastor, then yes, I’d me more inclined to use the Pastor’s Study. However, the calendar format of Quickverse is stronger for not missing days. The strengths of The Pastor’s Study is now, they’re layed out top to bottom, and you get a quicker look in them.
Weaknesses: As noted above, eisier to miss days in the Pastor’s study. Easier to lose what you’re writing about in Quickverse.

5 Reasons to Journal as a Christian

  1. Personal Accountability. You get to see where you were at spiritually. At one point, I was taking Psalms from my devotional readings, and inputting those into my Journal. I know where I was at that time.
  2. No more Lost ideas. I am almost obsessive about constantly trying to think up ideas. I carry a note book every day, and ideas constantly pour out of me. But unless you’ve got a double entry system where you then copy them in somewhere by date, the ideas get lost.
  3. Eerily Prophetic. It’s absolutely bizarre to read my Journal from 2013, and see all of my concerns about my old church’s future came true. And very upsetting.
  4. Remember goals! Remember that goal you had to study the Bible 20 minutes a day 4 years ago, and how you wanted to be at 45 minutes a day by 2016? I didn’t either. Now I do. Guilt! Still at about 20 minutes a day!
  5. Keep on Track. At one point I wanted to keep track of my sinus headaches. I had no idea I woke up on Thanksgiving with a headache! Well, now I know. What was I reading in the Bible that day? Now I know! What book was I struggling through in Logos that day? Pentecostalism. I’d described the book as being as bad as root canal surgery.


Journaling can help you keep on track as a Christian! It’s possible to do it in a number of programs – Evernote, E-Sword, Wordsearch, Quickverse 2010 Platinum, Pastor’s Study, and Bible Analyzer. Give it a try, try to be consistent, and see if it benefits you too as a Christian!

8 Steps to Effective Bible Study

Here’s a way to do effective Bible study with Logos. As I’ve mentioned before, you can do a LOT with Logos 7 Basic. It’s free, and you can get the King James for only $10. Yes, they should offer it for free, but Logos has so many tools… Like many of you, I was opposed to Logos for many years (despite being a Logos user back in the 90’s), but yeah… once I tried it… I was sold on it. I don’t think I could go back to anything else. It’s funny though, I still find myself turning back to Quickverse out of nostalgia. This was how I started in Bible study with computers in 1994, Quickverse and Logos. I used to alternate between them every day. If Logos had offered the “How to use Logos” videos back then, I might not have used Quickverse as much.

So… how’s the first and easiest way to start Bible Study with Logos?

  1. Set up a one year reading plan… Twice through the New Testament in one year, once through the Old. this is the David Cloud reading plan. Go to Documents, start a new reading plan, choose Old Testament by pericope in the King James in one year by yourself (you can invite others as well…). Then do the same, but for the New Testament by pericope in the King James in six months by yourself. Go to the documents again, and COPY the NT reading plan, then open it and edit the copied one to have a July 1 start date.
  2. Start your Bible reading, by clicking on it from your home screen. Now, go to Layouts, and choose Bible Journaling.
  3. Open the TSK if you bought it or if you bought a package that has it. Keep it in your Bible window, not the Journaling one.
  4. highlight a single word in the verse, and choose “add note to Bible journal”. The entire verse will highlight by default, but in the context menu you still can choose the word if you just want to comment on a single word.
  5. Notate anything that is Law of First Reference (the first time it is mentioned in the Bible), if it is a contrast (today I’m reading Psalm 22, and David constantly and clearly contrasts his own situation with Christ’s), if it is a Hapax (something mentioned only once in Scripture). you don’t have to write commentary right now on the level of a John Walvoord here… you can just write “only time this word is mentioned” or “first mention of straw” or whatever.
  6. If you looked something up in Greek or did a word study on it, notate that. you’re trying to record your Bible study, and no, you WON’T remember what you just learned today!
  7. If you see in the TSK anything else in the Bible related to this verse or word, notate that as well.
  8. If you looked in a commentary and found anything of interest, HIGHLIGHT and DRAG that important part into your Bible Journaling window INTO the verse – otherwise, it ends up at the bottom. Logos is hard wired to have the right priority – Bible first, commentary second.

READING something in the Bible does not work. I attended schooling once where you were required after you got home to type up your notes that you took by hand. Why? It aided memorization.

you’ll find by USING these techniques, your understanding of the Bible will grow by leaps and bounds. But start TODAY, otherwise you’ll get the same results you got from your diet and exercise program… you’ll get very good at procrastinating and nothing else!