I have been away from the gym I work out at for over a year, last week I went back! It was really great to see people that I haven’t seen for so long and to be encouraged in moving once again. I am always amazed at the difference between exercising alone or in a group class. I sure work a lot harder when someone is leading and showing me what to do, and reminding me, I can do it! I was thinking about the similarities between the reminders from the instructor and the reminders we have been sending out as a church to you.
“Pull your belly in” – “Tighten your core” – “Use your breath” – “You can do it” – “ 10 more seconds” – “Pull your belly in” – “Grab a drink” – etc.
And these and more instructions, reminders, encouragements are repeated over and over. Why? Because, we forget!!
“Write in your Penzu journal” – “Love your neighbor” – “Listen well” – “Give it a try” – “Write what you are thankful for” – “Read your Bible” – “Connect to lifeGroup” – “God is with you” – “Welcome in Jesus” – “You are loved” – etc.
Why so many instructions, reminders and encouragements repeated over and over? Because, we forget!!
We understand your lives are busy. There is a lot that you manage and you don’t want to have to do “one more thing”. What if the “one more thing” helped you manage the other things? Could it be that the spiritual disciplines of reading God’s Word, prayer, worship, being in community, living out the Gospel in your neighborhood would help the rest of the pieces of your life?
The reminders are not intended to make you feel overwhelmed, or any kind of guilt or shame. They are meant to remind you to look up and fix your eyes, thoughts, and mind on the one true God and know that He is with you and for you. To just pause for a moment and be reminded that you are a child of God. You have a purpose. You matter. God wants to use you to share His love with those around you.
The goal is not the Penzu journal. The goal is to have every Household know they are bringing living water to those around them by Welcoming in Jesus, Engaging with neighbors, Listening well, and Loving to try. The journal is just a way for us to help encourage each other with stories of how it is going, what we are trying, and how we are struggling. To see that God is at work! To be reminded it is a lot of fun to join Jesus in what He is already doing and writing it down is a way for us to remember as we look back at what God has done so we can give Him all the glory and praise. The Penzu journal is just one way that we thought we could try.
It is not too late to start a journal if you have not done that yet. (Did you know there is an app? You can write in your journal on your phone if that is easier for you) You don’t have to write a lot, or even in complete sentences, just jot down some thoughts. The June prompts are short and sweet. Even just put in a picture of what you are thankful for, or what you saw that reminded you of God, or a part of creation that made you be in awe of your Creator. Try asking your kids to help you, or let them write in it themselves. This process is meant to be a delight not a burden. Take a minute and read some of the stories. I think you will be inspired and know your brothers and sisters in Christ a little better and even know how to pray for them. All throughout scripture God reminded the Children of Israel to remember, to celebrate a festival so they wouldn’t forget all God had done for them. We need reminders. We need Jesus. And, we need each other.