What does the 13 week journey look like?
Like anything, it depends on how much a person invests in it. It’s like practicing an instrument, exercising, or learning a new hobby. There will be days when its a pleasure and exciting, and days when it’s a discipline. Keeping the “why” in sight is key; learning how to walk with God at His pace.
Take a look at the Overview page. Getting the free Printable Preview PDF will give you a pretty good idea of what you do on a weekly and daily basis. Instructions to get the PDF are at the bottom of the Overview page.
Do people set their own spiritual goals or are there more specific prompts to follow?
The Rhythm Journal isn’t so much about goal setting in the usual sense. There are no check-lists, per se. If you have the goal of reading the Bible and praying more consistently, The Rhythm Journal will do that for you. Those are great spiritual goals.
The Rhythm Journal is more about learning habits that will foster life-long transformation like Paul describes in Romans 12;1-2. This is done through adopting weekly and daily rhythms (habits) that then make to make us ready to respond to the Spirit’s leading at any point of any day.
The closest thing to spiritual goal setting might be the Daily Rhythms. A Daily Rhythm is a Godly characteristic that you can partner with the Holy Spirit to cultivate in your life. Examples of these are patience, brotherly love, compassion, creativity, leadership, or servanthood. Really, if you think about it, there isn’t a way to map out a plan to reach a goal of “be more patient in six weeks.” Instead, we need to learn now to recognize moments when the Spirit wants to build patience in us, and then rely on Him for it.
Since you mention prompts, the weekly and daily rhythms of RISE, REST, and RENEW do involve responding to prompts. They help you reflect on where you’ve been, where you are now, and where you want to be in regard to the scripture you read, how you are led to pray, and how you integrated these things into you day,
How is it different from me journaling in my own journal?
People journal differently. Generally speaking, journaling is a kind of free form writing down thoughts and events of a given day. This can include recording what you read in your Bible, thoughts and discoveries from what you read, and perhaps prayers. Journaling is a great exercise that helps you process, well, life.
The Rhythm Journal is different in that there really isn’t free form writing space. While one could call it a “fill in the blank” workbook, that would be an oversimplification and and miss the intention of what its supposed to be. The “elevator pitch” of The Rhythm Journal goes like this.
The Rhythm Journal. A guided journal to help you walk with God at His pace.
- It’s guided in that it walks you through steps weekly and daily to help you notice God’s voice and presence in your life.
- It’s a journal in that it becomes a record of God speaking and building His Kingdom through your life.
As you respond to the prompts and “fill in the blanks” you are creating a record, a journal, of your growth in your relationship with The Lord. Because you are recording the same kind of information daily and weekly, you can discover larger patterns about yourself you never saw before.
Think of if like a spiritual EKG. This is a device that monitors the electrical activity of your heart from many different fixed points on your body. The doctor looks at the recording of the activity and can see good and possibly bad patterns of activity. While could keep a journal of how you feel from day-to-day from a heart-health perspective (which isn’t a bad thing) and take it with you when you see the doctor, your own free-form journal isn’t going to let the doctors see the patterns of activity over time because you aren’t always going to record the same kind of information.
That’s probably the best way I could illustrate the difference. Having said that, I would very much encourage someone to do both. Use The Rhythm Journal, and carry on your normal journaling habit if you have one. You are going to capture different things in them and have a fuller picture of God’s work in your life for it.
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