The Life… Punctuated summer teaching series is designed to help you gain insight to what God is doing in the story of your life—in this chapter, the previous one, and those yet to be written. One way to continue learning from and thinking about a message is to write about it. You may even find that God’s voice and Spirit chime in in the process! Click here to watch or listen to the Life Punctuated messages.
Each week of this series, we’ll provide you with a journal prompt related to that week’s message. We hope you’ll take it to a quiet space, along with your paper, notebook, or tablet. If you’re a regular journaler, you can incorporate these prompts into your practice. If journaling’s never been your thing, give it a chance! Start with a few words and see where they lead. There’s no “right” answer. Give God the chance to meet you this summer—in writing.
The journal prompts for each week will be available here and on our Facebook page.
WEEK 1: PARENTHESES
(JUNE 25, 2017)
Embracing the parentheses—the breaks in the flow of life—takes trust in the author of all stories. Is there an area of your life where you wish you understood what God is doing? A season about which you’d love to receive some extra information? Or are you on the other end of a parenthesis situation? What did it reveal about your story?
Summer is a wonderful time to reflect on these things. If you don’t journal regularly, there’s no pressure! Write from any of these questions that sparks something in your heart.
WEEK 2: EXCLAMATION POINT
(JULY 2, 2017)
God designed you for exclamation points! List several interests and/or people who add that meaningful spark to your life’s story. What do your passions tell you about God—your creator—and His heart? Do you ever struggle to express something that excites you, or to incorporate it into everyday life? Brainstorm ideas of how you might more fully or frequently express one of the passions God has given you.
WEEK 3: QUESTION MARK
(JULY 9, 2017)
What keeps you from pursuing the question marks in your life? Are you too tired or busy to be curious? Does it seem foolish to go chasing the questions? Are you afraid of the answers you might find—or afraid there won’t be answers at all? Explore these thoughts in your journal, and then make yourself write a few questions. Things you wonder—things you dream about—things you don’t understand, but are willing to bring to God.
Then imagine the excitement of Jesus, meeting you on a hot summer day, eager to lead and teach you as you live curiously in the world your father designed.
WEEK 4: COMMA
(JULY 16, 2017)
Sometimes it seems like our sentences have nowhere to go—or that the ending can’t possibly be good. Life seems to have gone off-course; a dream or a goal drifts farther away instead of closer. The plot takes a turn we didn’t choose, and didn’t see coming!
Yet God is an author who does not waste words. Write about an experience or season of your life that you struggle to accept as part of your story. Be honest about why. Affirm your trust in God that there can be more to this sentence. Offer him the use of the comma.
WEEK 5: QUOTATION MARK
(JULY 23, 2017)
“You can quote me,” God says. And he tells us we are loved, we are valued, we are not accidental, and we are not irrelevant. We are his children, seekers after his own heart. But what does God say about you that you find hard to believe? Where in your life does the competing story come from—and why is it tempting to listen? In your journal, allow yourself to imagine: what might change if you believed God’s version?
WEEK 6: PERIOD
(JULY 30, 2017)
Period—end of story! Or so the saying goes. Has an ending to something in your life ever disappointed you, or left you dissatisfied? Was it really the end of the story? What can you see in hindsight? Maybe you’re coming toward a period now, or in the space where a sentence has ended but the new one seems yet to begin. In your journal, ask God to help you give him—the Alpha and the Omega—control of both endings and beginnings.