"Hungry?" the t-shirt asks," Feed yourself," it answers. That sounds pretty harsh, what's that all about? It's about learning to hear from God for yourself. Wayne Cordeiro, the new chancellor at Eugene Bible College, is encouraging the students to read the Bible daily and rather than being a consumer Christian being a producer. Many people today move from church to church looking for answers. When they feel that they are no longer being "fed" they move on. Wayne wants the students to learn to read and pray for themselves and be a resource to others.
Doing the Life Journals is not an option at the school, and not just for the students--the faculty and staff get to do them too. A Life Journal, for the uninitiated, is basically just a reading schedule of the whole Bible broken down in daily readings for a year, combined with a response method that includes journaling and prayer. For those who struggle to find something to write there is a presented SOAP study method of scripture, observation, application and prayer. Many churches have adopted and promoted this method to encourage people to read the Bible and get closer to God.
I had tried doing this type of daily devotions several times before, but with mixed results. Usually I started in January, and like most New Years resolutions, tapered off sometime in the early Spring. When things got hard, or I felt lackluster, I would start up again. I hated to admit it, but I had been using the same journal on-and-off for about four years and still hadn't done all of the readings.
But this time it was different. First, as an instructor I would be doing it for my students as well as myself, and I wouldn't be doing it alone. Each morning the school opens up the cafeteria at 6:30 and everyone who wants to meets together for a brief song and prayer and then reads together. Instead of only hearing your own thoughts on the scriptures, the staff and students get into small groups and share what they learned with each other. Not only has it kept my reading going, but it has given me insights from those around me. The morning time at the school is also open to people in the community and I have brought my mother and boyfriend along with me. Then on Saturday mornings, my mom and I have done them together at her house.
I love sharing personal devotion time with others. There are so many individualized things here in America, but it can get kind of lonely or self-centered. Also, it is more fun to do something with someone else. I had a roommate that wanted to go running every morning. In Oregon it is dark, wet and cold in the morning so the fact that she had a running buddy helped encourage her to roll out of bed as they suffered together.
If you too are trying to be more diligent about your daily walk with God, why not find a friend or two and do it as a team?