How to THRED
HOW TO THRED
Using a THRED Journal is really quite simple. We break down the process into four easy steps: read, write, title and share. Let's look at each of those here.
THRED Journaling is responsive; a responsive reflection to something you've read in scripture. That's where we begin, in the inspired Word of God. As you read the Bible, look for something to jump out at you. It might be a particular verse, a turn of phrase, a situation that you can identify with. Perhaps what will stand out to you will be a question that comes to mind about something that you just don't understand. It may even be just a single word that leaps off the page for some reason. What you read, how much you read, and what it is that inspires you on any given day is all completely up to you. THRED Journaling is not prescriptive. In fact, we're convinced that unless it's highly personal and versatile, this discipline won't be sustainable.
Once you've found something in your reading to write about, it's time to put pen to paper. As mentioned before, this is not prescriptive, you can write whatever and however you want, but we do have a few suggestions that seem to help people as they get started.
- Begin with a quick rewrite of the verse or couple verses that are the source of your reflection.
- Consider writing about why this particular passage of scripture captured you, and how you might apply anything you learned from it to your life today.
- End your entry with a written prayer in response to what you've read and thought about.
- Try to keep your journal entry to one page, and if you write less than a page that's totally okay. The goal is to have frequent and consistent time responding to scripture, not necessarily pages and pages of writing. Try to keep your reflection succinct and to the one page limit. You'll find you have better recall of what you wrote, and your discipline will be easier to maintain over time.
Have you ever thought to put a title on your Journal entry? It's a fairly unusual thing to do, but it's a critical and distinctive part of using a THRED Journal.
When you finish a quick reflection, which typically just takes a few minutes, sit back and consider how you might title it. What's the headline? What's the lead? How might you sum up, or capture the gist of what you read and then wrote about in a few words. The goal here is to create a title that would prompt your memory to recall the point of your reflection even if you were to read that title weeks from now.
There's a bit of an art to this that is learned over time. Have fun with it and don't stress over it. Pithy, descriptive titles tend to work best to jar your memory when it comes time to share your reflection. Put the title on the top of your journal page with the date.
There's one more important step - flip to the Titles Page at the front of your THRED Journal and add your new title, date, and page number of your entry to your list. In no time at all, you'll have a remarkable record of what you're learning on a daily basis.
This is what it's all about. THRED Journals are meant to be shared, or as we like to say, "Dropped." Your relationship with God is of course incredibly personal, but it's not supposed to be private. We need one another, and sharing your journal with a friend is an incredibly simple and powerful way to grow in faith, together.
Whether you meet with just one other person or in a group, the act of sharing your journals begins by dropping your journal on the table and exchanging with someone else. In so doing, you're giving permission for the other person to open to your Titles page, and that's it. Your journal entries are for you. The Titles page is to share.
Now the power of the titles come into play. Pick a title of interest to you from the other person's journal and ask them about it, and allow them to do the same to you.
This can be a powerful accountability tool, as you'll both be able to see in an instant how often or not you're getting time in God's word. Be careful not to allow any guilt to creep in, for you or the other person, relating to how many or how few titles you have. Celebrate what has been done!
As you share aloud what you discovered for yourself in private something significant will take place. Your learning, whatever it may have been, will become deeply solidified in you. You'll also quickly discover that your reflections on God's Word has the power to greatly encourage other people as well.