What Is The Rhythm Journal?
The Rhythm Journal is an attempt to reorient our lives around some specific rhythms, patterns, and instructions in the Bible so that our lives can be in step with God’s life.
- 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.
New rhythms don’t happen by accident. They involve changes that are made intentionally; they are made on purpose with purpose. We need to RISE with purpose. We need to REST on purpose. We need to RENEW for a purpose. These are the rhythms developed in The Rhythm Journal.
As we practice these new rhythms weekly and daily we will see ourselves, over time and with the help of the Holy Spirit, walking with God at His PACE.
- P – Purpose. Everything God does is purposeful. Learning to see God’s purposes helps us to keep in step with Him; not getting ahead nor falling behind.
- A – Action. God takes action through His people. Learning what God’s actions look like and what His voice sounds like helps us to know when to step and when to stop.
- C – Choice. Following Jesus means making choices daily. Learning the ways of Jesus helps us to know what our choices are and how the Spirit leads us in which to choose.
- E – Evolve. Evolve means “change over time.” Learning to walk and work with Jesus, watching how He does it, and learning His rhythms, will grow, mature, and change us into someone who looks more and more like Jesus over time.
The Rhythm Journal is intended to help make this a reality in our lives as followers of Jesus.
How Does It Work?
Each journal is designed to walk with you through 13 weeks (about three months) of the following rhythms:
The Beginning & The End
A set of questions to help you evaluate where you are now, where you’ve been, and where you want to be in relation to God’s PACE. This is done before you start your first Sunday RENEW. It’s also done at the end of the journal.
RENEW, Review, and Preview
Every Sunday you are walked through RENEW which is a process based on Romans 12:1-2. (There isn’t anything like this out there.) Prompting questions guide you through steps to help you intentionally follow Paul’s instructions in these verses. Next, you take some time to Review the previous week’s Daily Rhythms, and Preview the coming week to map out what Daily Rhythms you might need to develop or demonstrate. You will recognize the growth the Spirit has been working in you, as well as areas that need more growth. You will also have the opportunity to pray for people who need Jesus, as well as receive a verse for the week.
RISE and REST
Just as you rise in the morning and rest in the evening every day, so it is in The Rhythm Journal. Monday through Saturday prompting questions in the morning and evening guide you through getting ready for the day as well as checking in at night to see how God worked in your life that day. Each day you develop a different Daily Rhythm; 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.
As God speaks to you through RISE, REST, and RENEW, you can check a box at the bottom of the page to “landmark” it, then make a note with more details in The Index. It serves as a record of how God spoke to you, taught you, encouraged you, and built His Kingdom through you. I wish I had been keeping one of these my whole life!
To help reduce page flipping, write your Daily Rhythms, Bible Reading schedule, and People Who Need Jesus on the Bookmark for the week. Write the Verse For The Week on the back as well as any notes you might want to make.
All done? Get another journal and do it again! Since each journal covers 13 weeks, which is basically three months, you can go through four journals in a year. Imagine being able to go back through the past 12 months and see how The Lord has worked in and through you.
Who Made This?
My name is Corby Stephens and The Rhythm Journal was my first Kickstarter project. My adult life has been spent bouncing between ministry (volunteer and full-time) and IT work (also volunteer and full-time). Sometimes both at the same time! My goal is to be a resource creator, trainer, speaker and Bible teacher. Someday I’d love to start a school of discipleship whose purpose is to spread the message that every single follower of Jesus is in full-time ministry and help equip them to do so in every area of their lives.
The Rhythm Journal is my first large-scale attempt to move in that direction.
Why Did I Make It?
It started as something for myself. Bible reading plans, devotionals, and prayer apps are great. But as I read scripture I realized that there are some core concepts to being an active follower of Jesus that are too easy to miss in our modern lives. The key concept is intentionality. Too often we follow Jesus accidentally when being a disciple is an intentional process. I chose three verses that, for me, encapsulated the why, how, and what that are needed to intentionally follow Jesus.
- Why – Jesus said so. Luke 9:23. “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”
- How – By making a choice with my time. Ephesians 5:15-16. “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
- What – Paul tells us what this looks like and why it only makes sense to do it. Romans 12:1-2. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Jesus puts it very poetically (and literally) in Matthew 11:28-30. “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
We can partner with Jesus. We can learn from His example. When we follow Him, instead of trying to lead ourselves, we experience peace and freedom. I don’t know about you, but I want and need this in my life.
That is why I made The Rhythm Journal specifically. Here is a short video sharing a bit about why I’m pursuing projects like this in general. I believe that God’s word + God’s Spirit in a person brings the realities we see in scripture to life.
But Wait, There’s More!
My desire of desires is to build a community around The Rhythm Journal which then contributes more resources to the community. To that end I am working on some materials that will supplement the value and versatility of the journal. How? They will hopefully serve as examples or templates of things that members of the community can make and share themselves.
- Rhythm Patterns – these are plug-and-play PDFs that provide six days of content around a specific Daily Rhythms that people want to develop in their lives. Take a rhythm like patience. Patience is the Daily Rhythm every day for the week. Six passages are provided for the daily readings. A short devotional is provided as a little extra encouragement for each day. Taking it a step further, a Rhythm Pattern Bundle built around a passage like Galatians 5:22 and the Fruit of the Spirit that takes you through a “fruit” per week. Now imagine people from the community of users writing and sharing these with the rest of the community in a free online library of Rhythm Patterns! I’m so excited about this!
- Music – I don’t know about you, but I like to have some music playing in the background while I do just about anything. It needs to be good, but not distracting. It needs to serve what I’m doing, not take me out of it. I’m working with some friends who are musicians to make some tracks to be used while using your journal. My hope is that they will inspire others to make and contribute tracks. Could you imagine a curated playlist on Spotify for The Rhythm Journal?
- A hardbound version of The Rhythm Journal – There are plans for a Moleskine-style version of The Rhythm Journal.
- An App – Some people just prefer to go all digital. That’s why I hope to someday have an app version of The Rhythm Journal developed.
I have big plans!