Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Getting More Out of Books

After I became a Christian about 11 years ago, my discipler taught me to journal. I have nearly 10 years worth of notebooks tracking my progress on the path of sanctification. At first, most of the entries chronicled simple Bible verses, which after 22 years of complete neglect were suddenly singing out loudly to be savored.

About five years ago I started to journal the best quotes from each book I read along with a summary of that book's teaching. At this time we were also experiencing our first two year-old, so several of the books were on Christian parenting and family life. The teaching in those books is valuable, but once read and journaled they tended to sit on the book shelf, and the yellowing pages of my journal were seldom visited. They were a treasure, but one that was buried and daily sinking deeper. Their nuggets of wisdom were gradually disappearing altogether from my life.

During the last year I've made a daily habit of re-reading at least one page of my journals during morning devotion, especially focusing on the book summaries. When the summary is of benefit to my wife I flag the page and insert it into her daily devotion materials. In doing this, we are not only digging up a treasure, we are adding to it.

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