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1 December, 2002 3:21 PM


Did SOAP life journaling this morning with both morning congregations. Mixed response - some lapped it up while others almost dozed. It was good to have something reflective in services that sometimes can be a little one, or two dimensional.

SOAP journaling the way I've adapted it goes as follows....(from the hand out I gave today)

Have you ever sat down to read the bible, read a chapter or two and then realized that you didn't really take any notice of what you were reading? You are not alone. Many people have a lot of trouble retaining and applying what they read in the bible.

Life Journaling, using the SOAP acronym, is a way that some people find useful. The method is simply a matter of following the letters of the word soap. It is probably most effective when you work through a book of the bible, reading a different chapter each time. (some people find every day helpful) You will need a bible, a pen and something to write in. Use a journal to keep your reflections together.

Scripture - read the chapter that you have chosen. Don't skim over it or read it too fast. Try to enter into what you are reading. You may need to read it two or three times. When a verse, phrase or word stands out or catches your attention, write it down in your journal. (make it a maximum of two verses)

Observation - what is it about that verse or that phrase or word that kind of struck you? What is it that seemed to catch your attention? What insight or observation do you actually want to write down? What might this verse have meant to the original writer or reader? Write your observations of the verse in your journal.

Application - how does your observation impact you? How should that thought, that observation, that insight, actually change you? God isn't speaking to you to increase your information; He's speaking to bring about transformation. He wants your life to grow, to develop, to change. Again, write your thoughts down. What might God be saying to you through this verse? What action will you take as a result of what you are hearing from God in this way?

Prayer � Respond to God with a prayer. Write to him as though you were writing a letter. Tell him how you feel about what you've read, tell him what you think. Ask him to help you as you seek to apply it to your life. Ask for guidance as you act upon it. You may want to write a poem or draw something to signify what you've just thought about. Your prayer doesn't have to be long or deep, just try to make it come from where you are at.
Experiment with different translations of the bible. You may find noticeable differences between them.
This process can be as long or as short or as you want it to be. Mould it to suit where you are at, your time constraints etc. It can be done individually or as a group. As a group, pick a common passage and report back what you've written at the end of an agreed time. Have fun with it.

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