Reviews of Journal Keeping

Gordon MacDonald - Christianity Today - Leadership Newsletter

"A thoughtful book I want to give to several people: Journal Keeping: Writing for Spiritual Growth by Luann Budd (Intervarsity Press). This book argues a hundred times better than I can for the value of a verbal "photograph album" that tells the story of a person's walk with God."  Bestselling author Gordon MacDonald. Copyright 2003 Christianity Today, Inc.

The Best Book I Have Bought This Year!, March 29, 2002 - posted on
Reviewer: A reader from Wabash, In USA

I bought this book not knowing for sure what its content would be like. After the first page I knew that I was going to love this one. I have journaled for 6 years yet this book inspired me to try journaling in different ways. It showed me how specifically to journal to help myself learn more about myself and draw closer to God. This is an absolute read for anyone interested in writing in a more meaningful way.

Publishers Weekly - review

"I find my private writing is at the core of my search for deeper intimacy with God and my ability to nurture a progressing faith," explains Luann Budd in Journal Keeping: Writing for Spiritual Growth. She encourages readers to become journal-keepers, taking time out of their busy lives for reflective moments of writing and wondering. She also tells them to keep it strictly private; real journals, she says, should not be for public consumption. Apart from that cardinal rule, she is refreshingly open about various tools to help individuals become journal-keepers, and offers beneficial (but not overbearing) tips on organizing, revisiting and enjoying a journal."  Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Lea Kelly, Knoxville, TN

I wanted to take a few minutes to thank you for your book on Journal Keeping.  It is a fabulous resource and I reference it personally as well as share it at the retreats that I teach on recording God's story in your life.  I am preparing for a retreat that myself and 3 other women will be doing with our 4 husbands in early February and will be using your book again for this. 

Pam and Bill Farrell, president of Masterful Living, authors and speakers

Luann Budd helps us all think outside the box, and form new, fresh and innovative journaling habits that will help bring clarity to life and intimacy with God. We highly recommend this book, because it will help renew your hope each day, even long after you are finished reading its pages.


Betty Adkinson, author of God's Grip in Grief - personal letter

"This spring I had the pleasure of buying and reading your book, Journal Keeping, in preparation for my grief group leaders annual meeting. I wanted to inspire and motivate them a little more so that they would encourage their group participants to write on those "note" pages in God's Grip in Grief! I was able to read many quotes from your book which in turn led to a good discussion on journaling. Since then I'm happy to report one of my leaders who just finished a group (I might add that she is not into journaling herself) was able to get them all writing in their books! Your book has also inspired me in new ways. Thank you so much for your inspiring and well written book!  God bless.


Kindred Spirit, a publication of Dallas Theological Seminary, Summer 2002 - review

"Ms. Budd has helped make sense of the challenges of ministry through journaling. She shows readers how to use journaling to help them lead, speak, and write."


Susan Kimes, Chosen Women Stadium Events, founder of the Network of Evangelical Women in Ministry (NEWIM)

"Luann is a dear friend of mine. She is a women who walks in godly wisdom She is a faithful servant of our Lord Jesus and a woman of integrity. She has written this wonderful resource that was birthed from years of experiencing the value of journal writing."


Rev. John Notehelfer, former Pacific Southwest Conference Superintendent, Evangelical Covenant Church - personal letter

"Journal Keeping is both relevant and practical. It should prove to be very helpful for beginners in journaling as well as those who have dabbled in this art form for years. I love the way you have blended practical tips with insights from your own journey." 


Nell Sunukjian, former Women's Ministries Director, First Evangelical Free Church, Fullerton, CA, Adjunct Professor of Christian Ministry and Leadership endorsement at Talbot Seminary.

"Luann has captured the magic and mystery of writing. Her book makes me want to stop reading-- and write!" 


Marty Russell, adjunct prof. Talbot School of Theology and Biola University

"Deep calls to deep. Journal Keeping helps bridge the disconnection between our outer life and our inner life through the practice of reflective writing. Luann's approach is winsome and disarmingly honest as she gently invites us to discover how God works with the 'real stuff of our life' through the adventure of journaling. Rather than rigid rules and strict guidelines, Luann's profound insights will persuade even the skeptics among us to pick up their pens." 


Loretta Miller - personal letter

"Yesterday at Bible study Heidi (youth pastor's wife) told me that the high school girls are really getting into the journaling. She mentioned how helpful it has been for them...Thanks for blessing the young girls at Metropolitan Baptist in OKC."


Nancy O'Bosky - personal letter

I am thoroughly enjoying Journal Keeping and learning so much. I am savoring each page and not hurrying myself. The last chapter I read on Reflections was so eye opening. I am "chewing my cud" on it. (Sorry, that is farm girl talk.)"

Rev. Ron Lagerstrom, spiritual director, former pastor for the PSW conference Evangelical Covenant Church

Luann Budd’s new book, Journal Keeping, is a most helpful way to integrate my Christian spirituality with my everyday life. Her all-embracing practice of journal keeping helps me connect my heart with my mind, my feelings with my will, my body with my spirit.

As a “journaler” and also as one who conducts spiritual renewal workshops on journaling, I find Luann’s resource to be an excellent roadmap for our Christian journey, guiding our jottings as we weave in and out of the “traffic” –most all the “stuff” that makes up our daily life under God.

Her writing style is delightful—very much down to earth and enjoyable to read. She uses many personal examples—written honestly and with vulnerability. She writes as if we are just having a good one-to-one conversation with each other. Being a person who always looks at the end of book chapters to see how long they are, I really appreciated her briefly written chapters—pithy, precise and practical.

Luann Budd’s book challenges me to do much more with my own journaling practice, suggesting many new ways to journal and helping me know I don’t have to be a “good” writer to be a “good” journal keeper. She encourages me to keep doing it as one of the best ways to know God’s love and to return the favor through my writing. Luann takes her journaling practice so seriously and her journaling ministry to herself and to others is so comprehensive that I regard her as one of my spiritual mentors in the art of journaling.

Journaling is a gift we give ourselves. Luann Budd’s book, Journal Keeping, is a rare find, helping me enthusiastically receive this gift with greater joy and more fervent devotion to God in company with Christ’s Church.

Great book! Excellently written! Luann’s Christian spirituality and maturity in Christ comes through every page! 

Posted on

It seems that journaling is all the rage--expensive hardbound journals fill the shelves of bookstores, as do books on how and why to keep a journal. But as with any trend, much of what you'll find merely rehashes what you already know or is just plain so much chaff. Luckily, amid this field of weeds, we have a bloom in Budd's Journal Keeping--a book which promises, and delivers, help on how to turn your daily writing into a spiritual quest for self-knowledge and a walk with your idea of the Divine. Anyone interested in making their journal a deeper experience, no matter their religious persuasion, should be able to adapt and utilize the principles contained within this volume.

The prose is quite nice. Budd's ideas are expressed clearly and with vigour, and a topic that could be dull or uninspiring is instead interesting, lively, and provocative. She doesn't restrict herself to the obvious or the safe, and invites you to add a truly valuable and revelational aspect to your journal. To grow, after all, you can't always play it safe or dwell in the known or the easy. It's good to read an author who is passionate and practical, but not pushy or impressed with her own ideas. She even cites everything! This is important when you find yourself particularly interested in some comment she makes and want to read more about that rabbit trail. Would that more writers understood this need on the part of fond readers.

The book also contains a splendid appendix--fifty journaling prompts or questions to get you started. Some of the ideas here seem simple on first glance but will likely take you on a trip within your own mind in practice. A second appendix is more specifically Christian as Budd expands her journaling prompts into the Biblical realm. A third appendix presents a hefty list of books that will compliment this one and help you on your journal journey.

Another good thing is that it dovetails nicely with an existing journal. Perhaps you're interested in the ideas expressed by Budd, but you don't want to have a dedicated "spiritual journal." You don't have to! Simply integrate some of her ideas as you go along. This book will make you think and feel, but that's all to the good and can be incorporated easily with other methods, journaling topics, or modes of exploration.

While written primarily from the Judeo-Christian viewpoint, this is a truly ecumenical, friendly way to integrate the realm of Spirit with your daily writing practice. As society progresses with more "labor-saving devices," we seem to actually have less and less time to meditate, consider those things that are most important to us, or just be alone with our thoughts. Journal Keeping is a fine start toward a remedy and could very well set you on a new course toward self-knowledge and a deeper understanding of and appreciate for the Divine, no matter how you picture (or cannot seem to picture) what that Source may be. I suspect that even atheists would have some use for this book--it's that good and that flexible.

Review submitted by Dindrane, October 2002