Reading the Ending First … and Thriving


Thrive Cover 3

I enjoy watching the last ten minutes of a movie … just the last ten minutes.

I’m one of those folks who skip to the end of a book to see how it’s going to come out …

I like to have everything planned out  and everything known in advance …

… So no surprise that I skipped to the ending of Thrive!  An Interactive Journal to Inspire Spiritual Growth by Linda Freeman, even though  I am only at Day 6 right now.  

I have posted several times about Thrive!, which is designed as a 40-day  structured program of spiritual transformation and growth.  It is actually designed to be linear … you know, start at the beginning, go in order from one day to the next, until you finish:).   

I noticed something as I was reading ahead …

 At the end of each day’s reflection and activity are five questions, the same ones every single day.  These recurring questions prove the real depth of Linda’s understanding of the change process and are the most valuable part of the book, if you faithfully address them every day.

The five questions come with blank space for your personal responses to each one:

Thoughts for Today …

Where you can jot down those thoughts and reflections which come from the day’s focus.  

Otherwise you are just dreaming about what might be.  Capturing your thoughts and reactions is essential as the starting point of planning for change.

So read, reflect, and allow your thoughts to describe …

Plans for Today …

Where you have to think about how you will act in accordance with those thoughts.  

Too often, spiritual growth treats the action phase as somewhat magical by not insisting on specific plans for implementation.  Just pray and everything will happen … in my experience, it does not work that simply.

So make plans that address your thoughts …

Challenges for Today …

Where you can identify what make get in the way.  This is not some pie-in-the-sky program, but one that acknowledges the real-world issues which hamper our growth.

When you can name your challenges, you are better equipped to deal with them.

So think honestly about what might stop or slow you down, including your own thinking:)

Prayer for Today …

Where you have to put it all in words and invoke two valuable practices:  Asking for help and turning things over.  

One allows you to acknowledge that you need help and the other clears the way for you to see and accept that help in whatever forms it comes to you.

Prayer is powerful through its form and through its experience … 

Today I am thankful for …

This question is a little different, not just in composition, but in direction.  You are asked to consider what is working and what is positive in your life.

We sometimes get caught up in the day-to-day hustle and the occasional trauma of life.  Our thoughts, plans, and prayers have to do with meeting challenges.  This last question tells us to consider the goodness of our existence.

I suspect that your entries for each question will relate to all that thinking you are doing about whatever the focus is at the moment in the Thrive! program.  

These questions are powerful … specific almost always beats general when it comes to thinking, planning, praying, and thankfulness.

Continuing to enjoy the journey with Pastor Freeman in the Heartland ….

John

Disclaimer:  I received a copy of this book for review.  
 
Pastor Linda Freeman has written an interactive journal to help you go from surviving to thriving in 2013. THRIVE! An Interactive Journal to Inspire Spiritual Growth will be officially launched on January 20, 2013, and will be available at bookstores nationwide and on Amazon
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