Vol. 7, No. 37 – September 18, 2022

You yourselves [remember] how I lived among you the whole time from the first day that I set foot in Asia, serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials that happened to me through the plots of the Jews; how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable and teaching you in public and from house to house, testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. –Acts 20:18-21

This is a journal! It is what we like to read. To find out the nitty-gritty of another person’s life. It is Paul.

At Christmas, 2019, my two sneaky granddaughters, the ones in Georgia, gifted Donna, and me with journals. They were dated. They had specific questions. We had to fill them out and give them back to them. We did. That is what grandparents do when their granddaughters corner them with a project.

I just knew that I could not lay it aside. Those two young ladies would be following me up. So, I wrote. And wrote. And wrote. Then I wrote some more. It made me think that the adventures of Paul’s writings might have been easier to record. Maybe not.

I would open that journal and it would ask me questions. Questions that I did not want to answer. On more than one occasion, I thought the designer of this journal I received was just plain nosey. And, that the answers would bring me too much exposure.

Much to her chagrin, Donna got behind on hers. I reminded her of her obligation to her granddaughters. She sighed and got busy again. Neither of us finished our journals in a “year.” However, I was finished first. Ha!

I note that Paul’s journal is pointedly transparent. He said, in all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember [there is that word again], the words of the Lord Jesus, how He himself said “it is more blessed to give than to receive (20:35).

That is what you do with a journal. Right? You write things down as you remember them. (I did find myself reviewing what Donna wrote so she could be sure to get the events and seasons of our life properly recorded. You know what I mean.

The thing you notice about Paul’s journal is that it is spoken. What he says is recorded by Luke. My journal (and Donna’s journal) was written. We have returned those two journals for our granddaughters to read. We dropped them off so our granddaughters could pick them up. However, we just knew that they would be read by others. So, they were carefully written grammatically, and with correct spelling. You should not be embarrassed in those areas when you are leaving something for your granddaughters to read.

Paul does not disappoint with his spoken journal. You can hear the emotion. You can tell the significance of the events. You can tell where his heart goes. That’s the thing about journals. Journaling DOES expose the writer. And once you give it away, it is no longer in your control.

I love to read about Paul’s journey and hear his spoken journal.

Take care to preserve your life. There will be grandchildren who come to present you with the request (read expectation) of putting your life down in words for them to read.

Life Application

Acts is full of the acts of the apostles. When you read them you can sense almost being there.

Grandchildren are good at saying, Grandpa, Grandma, tell me about the old days. What will you tell them? It is bound to come up. What will you include?

It is a great time to tell your story about coming to faith in Christ. How you first became aware of Christ. And when you found out about what He did for you, what you said. Then what you did. Then what kind of difference it made in the “old days” and what difference it makes today.

When you include that, you get to enter your grandchild’s honesty about their own standing before our holy God. Neat. Telling your story so that they might have a story of their own to tell.

Your grandchild may well, then, have an opportunity to share their story with someone who needs to hear about Christ.

Why? Why would we not want our grandchildren to come to a saving knowledge and relationship with Christ? Then have the privilege of helping another come to Christ. Paul went from house to house.

Maybe you could start with your neighbor after your journal entry (make sure you speak it), with your grandchildren. Do not wait too long.

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Written by Dr. Larry Lightner

September 18, 2022

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