Keeping A Spiritual Journal

Keeping A Spiritual Journal

There was a time in my life when reading the Bible was a real struggle. I was reading the Bible and spending time in prayer but five minutes with God often seemed more like thirty minutes and I was confused about the reasons for this.

I began keeping a spiritual journal. My first spiritual journals were simply steno pads I purchased at the local drug store for less than $1.00 each. I approached the journal with a simple concept in mind.

Starting A Spiritual Journal

My first goal was to write in my journal as if I was writing a letter to God. I often began my entry with “Dear Father” and continued from there. I also have at times kept a prayer list in the back of my spiritual journal. Now that I have kept spiritual journals for over two decades I can say it has been one of the most meaningful practices of my Christian life. Now, when I buy a new journal I purchase a nice leather or bonded leather blank journal from a local bookstore.

What To Include In Your Spiritual Journal

Approach your spiritual journal with openness. I found this to be an adjustment. In the Christian life it is sometimes hard to be completely open with other Christians. There is a fear of “what will they think of me?” But remember this is a journal written to God. So be transparent.

  • Include your thoughts from your Bible reading.
  • You might even write out a few verses word for word or a summary of them.
  • Talk to God on paper. Write your thoughts to God as if it were a letter to Him.
  • Write a summary or even details of the circumstances of your life today.
  • Write down the key event, worry or concern in your life right now.
  • Write down the great things that are happening as well.
  • There is no right or wrong approach to keeping a personal spiritual journal. Keep in mind that this is your personal journey with God. It is very personal and private.

Protecting Your Journal

I feel it is important to keep your journal as private as you choose. I am careful about these journals. There are things I have experienced with God that I have never shared with others. There are also moments I have had with God that I have found impossible to keep to myself… I must tell those close to me of the great things God is doing.

The Result of Spiritual Journaling

In the past I may have spent five minutes with God and found it seemed like 30 minutes. After beginning the practice of keeping a spiritual journal, I find I can spend 30-45 minutes with God and it seems like five minutes. The journals have also become a great source of encouragement to me as I look back and read of the ways God has led in my life!

So, may I challenge you to consider the practice of keeping a spiritual journal. Don’t stress over whether you write in your journal every day, a few times each week or just an occasional entry. Anything that improves the quality of time you spend with God will be a move in the right direction.

If you are interested, I created a journal for teens several years ago. Over 15,000 teens have used it. It’s called the High Impact Teen Spiritual Journal and you can learn more about it here. Just realize that when people start keeping a spiritual, they average reading the Bible at least four days per week or more. And time spent growing in your relationship with God is time well spent. 

Feel free to contact me if you would like to learn more.

I’d love to hear from you about how God is at work in your life. You can email me, post a comment or even leave a voicemail at 423-381-0018.

Ken Turner

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Why You Should Never Give Up On High School Seniors

Why You Should Never Give Up On High School Seniors

After nearly three decades in youth ministry I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve heard people say, “By the time they are seniors… you might as well give up on them.” And it’s the one statement I couldn’t disagree with more!

SeniorsHere’s the truth. I’ve seen high school seniors make that “11th hour decision” that changed the course of their life. And I’ve seen it happen often.

In April of my senior year of high school, I completely changed course. I filled out an application to go to college, received an acceptance letter within ten days and started making plans to go five hundred miles away to study youth ministry. That was in 1981… and I’m still on that path. Thank God people didn’t give up on me.

Realize this. High school seniors are in a position where all the key decisions they are wrestling to make are what I call “directional decisions.” The decisions they are making will change the direction of their life. If adults who care about them will continue to believe in them, invest in them, nurture and guide them, you will be amazed to see what God can do. So never give up on a teenager… especially a high school senior.

Ephesians 3:20, “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us…”

5 Things To Know and Understand About Your High School Senior

  1. They Are Happy about Where They Are in Life – There is a “spike” in their level of happiness because they are looking forward to seeing the future unfold. Don’t throw cold water on their joy. Take the opportunity to inspire them and teach them. Seize the unique opportunity you have now to talk then through true spiritual lessons of where true joy comes from. You might even set up some “one on one” talks between your teen and some trusted adults who have great lessons to share about their own experience with God and times of great joy.
  2. They Are Apprehensive – As exciting as it may be to see the “finish line” of high school, they are also apprehensive about all that lies ahead. They want and need your input but seek to give it in a spirit of a coach and mentor from the sidelines, helping them transition to confident adulthood. This is not the time to pull away even though it may feel like that is what they want. It is the time to modify your approach to “coach from the sideline” while still always being available. Before you know it they are going to be asking you, “What do you think I should do?” And you will be in a great position to answer.
  3. They Are Moving Away From Peer Pressure and Toward Adult Influencers – An 18 year old is less dominated by peer pressure. They are feeling more independent and are looking away from hundreds of classmates and looking forward to finding a few close friendships with adults. They are starting to form closer bonds with a few trusted friends. Their values and beliefs will be affected by those few close relationships. Be one of those close adult friends and pray fervently for God to bring the right “influencers” into their life.
  4. They Want You To Be Proud of Them, Not Sad About Them Growing Up – Your 18 year old is ready to roll with a high level of enthusiasm and they will make some mistakes while learning to adapt. You are proud of your accomplishments too! You raised your child to be an independent adult! But you will deal with your own sadness of letting go. Don’t let your sadness dominate and don’t burden your teen with it either. They are excited and want to see that you are excited for them.
  5. They Are About To Become More Fun Than Ever – It’s true! You will begin to see a shift in your teen’s thinking. They are going to start seeing their parents as much more valuable. They will notice and process what mom and dad have accomplished in life at home, at work and as a family unit. They start seeing parents through adult eyes and will desire more and more to be connected on an adult level to you as a parent. It’s important that you have kept a strong foundation in your relationship with your teen so you can enjoy this next stage without having to struggle through emotional baggage and unresolved hurt from the past.

Remember, of all the billions of families on earth, God placed that child in your home! He has clearly created a great plan for you and your teen. Now is the time to engage with your son or daughter and enjoy it more than ever!

Help Needed Ghana West Africa – Ken Turner Ministries

Help Needed Ghana West Africa – Ken Turner Ministries

HIT Book COVER - Because of the Hour copy_Page_1A few years ago I received a call from Missionary Fred Kearney. He explained how he had walked in to his office and found a book on his desk in his office in Ghana, West Africa. To this day he has no idea how it got there. It was a High Impact Teen Spiritual Journal for youth. My phone number was printed on the book so he called me. He said, “We really need something like this.

Our youth have very few resources to help them understand the Word and grow.” He told me about a youth conference he was holding and we put together a plan to get 75 HIT Journals to their youth. Many of my ministry friends donated to help raise funds to get the books to these youth from surrounding villages. Fred told me weeks later how God had used the HIT Journal to revive the hearts of many of their youth. They really grew through the structure and discipline of keeping a spiritual journal.


Fred Kearney has been in Africa for many years and is now in need of 200 HIT Journals for his upcoming youth conference called “Because of the Hour.” The youth will learn to have a consistent devotional life, keep a spiritual journal, keep an organized prayer journal, keep sermon notes and develop in seven areas of discipleship.

For every $12 given a HIT Journal will be provided to the youth in Ghana, West Africa. We need sponsors and donors. Could you give today to help with this special project? I have submitted the files to the printer and am trusting the Lord to provide so we can make this investment in the youth of Ghana, West Africa.

BOTH Conference Flyer

We need a total of $2400 to fund HIT Journals for 200 youth in Africa. The youth conference begins July

30 so we need to raise the funds in the next few days. I hope you will prayerfully consider a gift.

*Note: Any funds raised over the amount needed will provide HIT Journals to fatherless youth we are reaching in the outreach to juvenile detention centers.





What I Learned From 200-300 Boarding School Students – God Is…

What I Learned From 200-300 Boarding School Students – God Is…

Last week I had the opportunity to take a trip to French Camp, Mississippi to speak to the students at French Camp Academy. This was my second trip in about six months to be with these amazing people. I first learned of French Camp Academy by plopping down at a breakfast table while attending a ministry conference last winter and meeting Todd Marion. We were all focused on our stomachs and talking around the table about who we are, where we are from and what we do. Todd asked me what I do in Tennessee and I told him I work with high-risk and fatherless youth. We talked briefly about teens and Todd said, “You would love our place and you should come visit.” I asked him what kind of place he was talking about and he went on to tell me about French Camp Academy, a Christian boarding school tucked away in this little town of French Camp, Mississippi. The boarding school ministry has been there since 1885! Following that conversation was an invitation to come speak in chapel at the school last spring and another invitation to come back last week to speak in the Wednesday evening service and Thursday morning chapel. I was able to bring a good friend with me on this trip to share the ministry with him. Hoss Johnson lives up to his name because he’s a “Hoss” of a guy who played football at Alabama from ’82-’86 and had a short NFL career. Just five weeks ago Hoss left his job to go in to full-time sports ministry. Hoss shared his heart with these students and how God has worked in his life through the unfortunate death of his wife ten years ago and how God has been so faithful as he raised his son and daughter as a single dad.


My time at French Camp was amazing and refreshing. If you can imagine immersing yourself in a ministry surrounded by hundreds of students who are coming from extremely difficult family situations. Some of them can’t go home… it’s just not possible because home has become French Camp. Not all students that attend French Camp Academy come from broken homes but the heart and purpose of their existence is to glorify God and impact young people while providing a safe, stable, Christ centered place to heal and grow.

Here are some things I observed while being immersed in the ministry of 200-300 students and staff at the French Camp Academy Boarding School.

  1. God is good. I can only imagine the turmoil that could overtake a child’s emotions when the family falls apart but yet there is incredible hope in that God is good and He provided a new place and new people to provide love and care. One student told me with a huge smile that God is really good and he feels so incredibly blessed that God provided this family for him. Have you noticed that God often replaces things you’ve lost in life with something new? Have you thanked Him lately for that?
  2. There is a tremendous joy in serving. The staff that serve the youth at French Camp have a joyful spirit… there is a sense of value in what they are investing in with their life and it shows. Have you noticed that when you invest in others, there is a renewed spirit of joy?FrenchCampStudentsFootball
  3. The harder things bring the greater rewards. I noticed the staff working long hours, the house parents that have chosen to live with 10-15 teenagers and be “mom and dad” and I imagined by interacting with the high-quality people that lead this ministry that they have made financial sacrifices to be there but they didn’t ever mention anything about sacrifice. There was much more of a spirit of reward. It struck me that there are great rewards that come in doing the hard things. Have you considered the rewards that are coming from something hard you are doing right now? Is there something you feel God leading you to do but you are holding back because it looks really hard?

I’d love to get hear from you. Take a minute and answer one of these questions. Your comments could have a big impact on our readers.

What have you lost but seen God replace in your life? Where have you served and found great joy in doing it? What hard thing do you feel you need to start and what is holding you back?


Learn how you can join our support team for as little as $15 per month here

Man Up Conference 2013 – Marion County Juvenile Detention Center, Indianapolis

Man Up Conference 2013 – Marion County Juvenile Detention Center, Indianapolis

ManUpPhoto2013High Impact Teens and the Marion County Juvenile Detention Center in Indianapolis, Indiana have partnered together once again for the annual Man Up Conference. Our ministry team of volunteers will spend the entire day on Saturday, February 23, 2013, teaching principles of manhood to incarcerated youth. 85-90% of detained teenagers are “fatherless” and lack the daily support of a loving and engaged dad.

The Man Up Conference was provided by donations from friends who chose to sponsor  the event. 

If you would like to join our ministry support team and invest in the high-risk youth we serve, we would love to hear from you.

Consider becoming a part of the High Impact Team and support the ministry monthly or by making a quarterly or annual gift.


  1. Mail your gift to: Ken Turner Ministries, Inc., PO Box 1325, Dayton, TN 37321


  1. Give Online at
  • Ken Turner Ministries, Inc. is recognized by the IRS as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and all donations are tax deductible. (EIN number 26-2472955)

Man Up Flyer 2013-2

Inky Johnson Joins High Impact Teens for a Weekend In TN

Inky Johnson Joins High Impact Teens for a Weekend In TN


Saturday, December 15
Angel Tree Christmas Party at First Baptist Church, Kingston, TN (PRIVATE EVENT)

Saturday, December 15
Book Signing Event at Bimbo’s Restaurant, 7606 Rhea County Highway, Dayton, TN 37321 (Hwy. 27)
4:00-6:00 pm

Meet Inky Johnson, get an autograph and if you like you can purchase his book. Proceeds from the sale of Inky’s book will go to support the High Impact Teen youth outreach of Rhea County.

Sunday, December 16
Speaking at First United Methodist Church 993 Market Street, Dayton, TN 37321
at 9:00 am and at 11:00 am


Author of Inky: An Amazing Story of Faith and Perseverance

With his unique talents, Inky seemed destined for the riches and glory of the National Football League. But his future was dramatically altered late in the fourth quarter in the game against the Air Force Academy. Inky Suffered a severe injury that threatened and ultimately altered his life, in a matter of seconds crushing the plans he had for a career in the NFL and beyond. Through it all, Inky never gave up hope or faith in the One who’s plans are perfect.

You’ll be moved by this incredible journey of a life filled with faith and perseverance that will make Inky Johnson a bigger hero today than he ever could have been with a stellar NFL career.