I’m not exaggerating: this is the best Bible reading and prayer journal I’ve found.
I was first introduced to The Good News Dudes by my friend Ian McConnell. I checked out their website, was intrigued, and ordered one of their prayer journals. Then I ordered one for my wife. Then I ordered one for all the guys on our leadership team at our church. Then I considered ordering one for my 3 year old’s birthday, but figured I should wait until he can read.
When I’m reading my Bible in the morning I’ve found that journaling helps in a number of key ways.
- Journaling keeps me disciplined. I don’t like journaling very much. Yet, when I have a journal, a record of my devotional life, I’m more consistent. I need that.
- Journaling focuses my reading. If I know I need to crystallize what I’ve read into something I can write down, it helps me focus.
- Journaling helps me think “out loud.” Sometimes when I’m stuck I’ll summarize verses, or ideas, in the text. I’ll see patterns. I’ll better understand the text.
- Journaling keeps a record for reflection. I can look back and see what I’ve been learning over the last week, or last month. Reflection can help me see “Hey God is really emphasizing this theme in my reading this month.”
Now, the only problem has been that no journal has quite been what I need. I’ve tried journaling my daily reflections on Scripture on a trusty Moleskine, on cool recycled notebooks I’ve discovered in independent bookstores, on less fancy notebooks, even on my phone. All of them worked to some degree. But none of them felt quite perfect.
This one does.
a few things I love about this journal
- Just the Right Amount of Space: I’m not great at journaling and I always feel guilty I don’t journal more. An open ended journal can feel intimidating. But that roughly half page looks inviting. “I can fill at least half that,” I think in the morning.
- Simple, Undistracting Layout: I’ve seen prayer journals that try to do too much. This is just enough to get going and get out of the way.
- Helpful Progression: The journal leads you through writing your Scripture, reflecting on it, praying according to it, and then ends with a gospel reminder (#gracealone). I love that it won’t let me leave my Scripture reading time without praying. And I love that it won’t let me leave my devotional time without seeing grace on the pages of Scripture as I head into my day.
- Size & Quality: The journal has a nice weight and feel in your hands and pages are good quality. This makes me want to open it and use it. The bookmark is a nice touch. The size is just right–not too thin to lose, but not too big to throw into your backpack. There’s also a bit of room to toss in a couple sheets of paper, like a Bible reading plan.
After a thoroughly unscientific analysis I’ve concluded that these journals could be beneficial for:
- Christian friends (especially as a not-so-subtle hint that they should be reading the Bible more)
- Pastors (especially during Pastor Appreciation Month, or as a not-so-subtle hint that their last sermon was weird and that they should study the Bible more)
- Literate children (illiterate toddlers will enjoy them as well for their size, weight, and ease with which they can be thrown across the room)
- Students (they can double as your literature class notebook in a pinch)
- Mean people (especially if you underline the word “grace” on each page before you give it to them)
So here’s the thing. The guys at The Good News Dudes are graciously and eagerly providing a giveaway for one of these journals. Here’s how to enter:
- Leave a comment on our Facebook Page, Twitter or the blog about your journalling experience. Pro/con/hate/love/whatever.
- Put the hashtag #PlantReplant in the comment because we want to spread the word!
- One entry per person! Entries limited to U.S. addresses.
We’ll pick a winner this next Monday at 7am, Central Standard Time. We’ll then announce it that day and the Good News Dudes will take it from there.
While we’re at it, let’s throw in something else. The Good News Dudes are providing you gentle people with a 20% off discount for any purchase you make through their store just for making good reading decisions… ahem, I mean, for reading Plant/Replant. To get the discount, stroll over to their store, kick the tires and poke about, and enter the code PLANTREPLANT at checkout.
Have fun! And don’t shoot your eye out!