Tag Archives: spiritual journals

OneNote for Your Journals

A reader wrote last week and asked me if I use OneNote 2010 for journaling or jotting down writing ideas. He is planning to leave a set of journals for his daughter and wondered how I did my journals.

Here’s my response …………………………..

Thanks for writing.

Everyone has his or her own way of doing things like this. I think as long as you’re asking, it means you’re open. And as long as you’re open, you’ll learn and you’ll be able to find a way that best suits you.

I like to record and date my journals. I keep several: A Reading Journal; A Travel Journal; A Spiritual Journal; and a Writing Notebook. Any one of these can be password protected if you need that kind of security. I mainly use PW protection only on my list of passwords. That way only my wife and I can access our passwords.

As far as your question about printing the journals, every once in awhile, I print a journal and make punch holes in the pages. Then I mount them in a 1.5 inch white 3-ring binder. A different binder for every 5 years. My spiritual journals are the largest, so I put them in a 2″ binder. Then I place them in my bookshelves.

But primarily I use and access them in OneNote itself. Use OneNote as your electronic index to the printed notebooks. That way if you need to see the larger context, you can simply find a topic or keyword in OneNote, then go to your printed edition and open to it. The less paper I use though, the better I like it. I enjoy the speed with which I can retrieve an idea that would otherwise be lost in the pages of my ink journals.

I still enjoy taking a book journal and pen with me when I’m in a park or on the beach, but I’m always thinking about how this will be accessed once I get back home and enter it into OneNote. I also like to scan things into one note or send photos to myself that I can print to OneNote.

EVERYTHING I need to retrieve or search is in OneNote. I never have to wonder where to find a special quote, because all of my Kindle highlights and notes have been saved to OneNote. I’m retaining a lot more of my reading that way. I can enter any keyword that I can remember from the quote or from my editing keywording of that quote when I chopped out some of the junk. I can recall that so-and-so said something about Joy. Control +E . . . BANG! I’m on it. Copy. Paste into Word. Move on.

Hope this is helpful. Hey, maybe I should post this answer to your question for others who have journals and are thinking about moving them to OneNote. Or beginning a journal on OneNote. What do you think?

He wrote back: “You should. Great answer and great process.”

Ever Been Sifted?

The following journal entries describe what I was experiencing  just prior to my six month sabbatical which began in March of 2010. The dark night of the soul was a difficult place for me. God allowed me to be sifted. At the time, I did not fully understand what I was going through. That understanding came months later:



How I desire to see you stretch forth your arm and your holy hand. We need to be touched by your love.

Some of what I have been experiencing, I don’t want to forget because I want to be able to identify with other pastors who are (or have) experiencing a similar burn-out or depression. I know that I am not the only one experiencing this.

Some effects:

  • Decision-making difficult, even in the littlest things.
  • Hiding from people I used to enjoy (and from those I don’t enjoy at all)
  • Numbness of mind (difficulty focusing, holding details in mind)
  • Short-term memory loss (intermittent)
  • Desire to not do anything
  • Extreme tiredness most of the time
  • Seems like a heavy blanket of exhaustion covers me from time to time lasting a couple of days. Then lifts for a time. Only to return again.


“As one who knows righteousness, who has Your law in my heart, may I not fear the reproach of men or be terrified by their revilings.” (Isaiah 51:7)

In the future (near or far) as more and more people deny you and my Savior, Father manifest in me the grace and love I need to lead many to you. May my most fruitful days be yet ahead. I will not look behind except at your command, to see what great things you have accomplished by your hand for your glory. I don’t want to get stuck in my “stuff.” I want to be free from it, standing solidly in the forgiveness and grace purchased for me by Jesus. Let me enter fully into my sonship. May I bring a sense of the family to everyone I meet. May I always cheer the best in them. And may I always call them higher (this thought inspired by a short-short film: The Butterfly Circus http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anR_7zM0Pkc).

I want to be like the circus owner who saw the best in people and drew it to the surface. Lord, please let me have your eyes with people. May I always affirm their BEST. May I always point them to you in themselves. Thank you Father.

Lord help me this morning to share what will build up all who hear.


Amazing how down I’ve been the last two days. That heavy, oppressive weight that comes upon me. I get so physically and emotionally tired that I feel totally immobile.

Just when I think I’m ready for anything the Lord wants to use me in, I feel that he’s finished using me. I told Marcy today that I sometimes feel like I have imagined that God has some great purpose for my life. And perhaps what the Father is showing me is that such a notion is full of pride. And has been the source of much ineffectiveness in ministry. Marcy believes that God is refining us and that He does have an important assignment for me to carry out. I don’t know. I’m too tired and disappointed, discouraged and troubled by my lack of interest in ministry. I feel like pulling my plane into the hangar. I’ve thought much about retirement, but know that I can’t afford it, nor would I truly be happy unless the Lord commanded it.

I’m extremely disappointed that all the years of writing my book seem to have been a waste. Perhaps several hundred copies have sold. But I have received only two or three emails or messages that the book has had a positive impact. Others have been silent. I cannot think of investing another couple of years for the same result. All my dreams have failed. Now I need a Savior again. To save me from my disappointment and discouragement.

I can’t think anymore about this. It’s too overwhelming.

*      *      *

David, crucified people don’t struggle. They don’t strive to figure things out. They’re DEAD! They live only for revelation. They are at peace. They rest in me. They wait for my word and then walk in it. You must surrender. Cease your striving. Wait in my presence. Be still and KNOW that I am the Lord. Go off by yourself and be quiet. Be still. Stop thinking about yourself and your future. Enjoy me. Be with me. Enjoy the quiet and enter my rest.

*       *      *

Thank you Father.


The sabbatical given to me by my church-family, gave me the time I needed to rest, reflect, and be refreshed. My wife, Marcy, and I had extended time to go to the mountains and the shore, visit friends and family, and spend unhurried time with the Lord. We came back from our sabbatical renewed and ready to serve from a more solid center–anchored in the love of the Father. He was refining, by allowing the enemy to sift me. I now understand that anyone who wants to know the deep love of God must pass through the valley of the shadow of death. This is the valley the produces trust, endurance, and perseverance.

Prayer for My Nation

An Excerpt from my Spiritual Journals: The following was a time of intercessory prayer for the United States and my fellow citizens:

Feels like we’re on the brink of breakthrough. As though revival were about to begin. I sense the Lord moving. Also, in our nation it feels like some huge thing impending–war in the middle east? Revolution? The Return of the Lord? An amazing move of God in our nation?

I know that personally, I’m drawing nearer to the Lord. I’m sensing the need for His total leadership in my life. He has me focused on Him and the ministry of Jesus. I can’t imagine our nation turning around unless God’s mercy moves powerfully through our land. We’re a lost nation unless God restores us to His original intent for the United States. We were meant to be a blessing to the nations. A light of liberty for all people. That they might see what God could do with a nation committed to the freedom that he has created for all people, regardless of origins.

Only God’s grace and sovereign power can remove our sin and the judgment that stands against us for abandoning Him. Yet “Mercy triumphs over judgment.” He will have mercy in answer to our intercession. We, God’s intercessors, have the greatest responsibility for our nation. And as a result, the greatest power, authority, and ability to turn this huge ship around in order to sail toward our true port. What an honor.

Father, please remove the sin. Please remove the stain of unbridled pride and self-centeredness. Father forgive our waywardness. Forgive our rebellion. Cleanse our sinful hands. Hands that have been responsible for the murder of millions. Forgive our blind arrogance. Let the peoples see your power, your mercy, your generosity. Open the eyes of the blind. Set the captives free. Turn this great nation away from the course it is currently set on. Forgive. Restore. Remake. Lord, you forgave the Ninevites. Surely, you could send a prophet to this nation that has been a launching-point for the Gospel to the nations of the world. Surely your mercy is not too small a thing to wipe out our judgment. You can triumph and make a name for yourself. Our citizens could yet see your love in action, and turn from their wickedness. You could begin a people-movement unlike anything the world has yet to witness.

Raise up a prophet or prophets. Give them the same word. Make an openness in the heart of our nation for their message. Please bring your greatness to bear on our shame and defeat. Remember your word through Paul–our enemy is NOT people, but the powers behind.

Speak a word through your prophets that will devastate your enemies. Work through the church to crush the head of the serpent. Father, help us to recognize that you do whatever your heart dictates. May your heart be moved to make the Untied States a righteous nation. A nation that gives instead of takes. A nation United in You.

Lord, empower our ministry to bring all things in heaven and earth under One Head–Jesus Christ. Show the world the stark difference between Islam and Christianity–between evil and good, Satan and God. Open eyes. Change hearts. Pour out your Spirit. Let young men and women see visions. Let old men dream dreams.

Remove the sin of political correctness which was substituted for spiritual correctness. Remove the leaders, teachers, and influencers, who have taken our nation in its current direction. Raise up a new media. Remove those who have tried to shape our nation in their own image rather than in yours.

‘Father, this is my official intercession before you and your Sodth (the heavenly Council) for my nation. And for the sake of your great name. Make the sacrifice of my Savior and Lord Jesus and his resurrection effectual for my fellow Americans and the nations who will turn to Him and love Him.

Father, bless our leaders who love and follow you. Depose and dismiss those who don’t or won’t. Please remove tyrants and godless men and women from heads of government all around the world. Father defeat the strongholds of the principalities and powers over this present darkness. Bring in the Kingdom of Light. Release us by the blood of Jesus into the ineffable freedom of the sons of God. Thank you for giving us our lives in Christ. We will stand with you to reign with Christ until ALL his enemies are under his feet. Defeat the demonic hordes once and for all. Bring the world to your throne of mercy and love. Destroy evil–wherever you find it. Save your people from this present darkness.

* * *

Lord, would you also stir up the gifts in me. Show me how to focus and use them. Give me a revelation of your choosing so that my final years will be my best. Let me finish stronger than I started. Grant me a fruitful word. Grant me an influence beyond my understanding. Empower the bread I cast upon the waters. Focus my pen. Focus my heart. Keep me doing “this One Thing.” Ordain effectiveness for me. Show me how to serve with Marcy to the best of our capacity and potential. I trust YOU to do it. I am aware of my many limitations and my aging. But I know that even into old age, you can make our leaf green and our fruit will ripen and nourish those who pick it. Thank you for choosing us. Thank you for sending us. Thank you for fruitfulness. Keep us fruitful until we breathe our last, then even after that, should Jesus tarry, use our music, writings, and memory to bring people into relationship with you, or to deepen their walk with You. May we see our many spiritual children and grandchildren in the Kingdom. Father, as we desire to honor you, please honor us in the presence of many witnesses to the glory of Christ. Amen.

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