Be A Note Taker

This year, I am undertaking the monumental task of putting all of my sermon, Bible study, and conference notes into one big Word document. By doing this, I can search the document when I am trying to find an old note. I have stacks of notes so going through them to try and find something the old fashioned way is like trying to find a needle in a haystack.
 
I haven’t gotten very far, but I have already learned some things. First, these notes hold useful information. I mean if we believe that our pastors and Bible study teachers are called by God and are hearing from Him as they prepare their messages, shouldn’t we truly take to heart that these words, in fact, are coming by way of the Holy Spirit? These are relevant messages for the times, and like ancient scribes of years past, we should be writing these words down.
​Second, I have learned that my memory isn’t as good as I think it is, or it once may have been. As I transfer my notes from paper to computer, I vaguely remember covering some of the information. However, as I type the information, it is once again coming at me. Now I have the luxury of being able to press “save” somewhere other than my brain.
 
Third, I didn’t grow up taking notes in church—people didn’t even bring their Bibles to my church—so this concept is relatively new to me. Honestly, how am I supposed to remember what my pastor taught when I was in middle school since I didn’t take notes? So much information wasted.
 
Fourth, I learned the other night that my children—especially my daughter—pick up some of my good habits (and my bad habits too…but that’s for another time). My husband teaches our Bible Fellowship class (also known as Sunday school to some of you), and the other night our daughter was in our class. Somehow on the way home, the class came up in conversation, and she began to discuss some of the points he had taught. And then she said this, “Well, I took notes. Here...” and she showed us the notes she had typed into her phone.
Saturday night pastors class 3/5/16 – JOSHUA 1
 
    •    you should keep your word and promises
    •    act on trust and faith and follow the path to where God calls you
    •    be strong and courageous Joshua 1:9
    •    God says he will not leave us or forsake us
    •    Christ and his presence give us strength
    •    we need to step out in our faith and let God take control of our lives
    •    God gives us peace when we know him
    •    God gives us success if we give him glory in the process and we need to be
          obedient to him
    •    we have to be obedient to God and listen to his voice
    •    our promise land is walking with God in obedience
    •    we live to glorify God 
We were speechless. Our hearts were full. Her notes were on point, and quite frankly, well beyond her ten-year-old self (although I did have to delete all the cute emojis because they wouldn’t transfer exactly right). I thought Man if I could get adults to take notes like these….
 
Lastly, the notes I’ve read so far during my conversion project have also reminded me of where I was during certain seasons of my life. Sometimes I would scribble something in my notes in response to a question, write down a word I was feeling at the time, and sometimes even a promise or a vision I felt God had laid on my heart. Without these notes, I would have lost these precious nuggets and reminders of hope, faithfulness, and the goodness of God.
 
Writing things down is not new. The Lord told Habakkuk to write down the vision (Habakkuk 2:2). The Lord told John to write down the things he had seen (Revelation 1:19). The Lord told Isaiah to write down the words on a tablet so they would stand as a witness forever (Isaiah 30:8). These words ultimately became the Word of God also known as the Bible. Those words will never be changed, but God knew they had to be written down so that people would not forget them. If the words were never written down, they could have been lost through the ages.
 
My note taking is not as monumental as the written Word, but they serve as tools for me. They keep me engaged during the message as it is being spoken, and serve as a resource for me when I am studying, writing, going through a difficult season, or have a question and need a trusted source.
 
What kind of notes are you taking? The word “lukewarm” has been on my heart today. We know how Jesus feels about lukewarm people (Revelation 3:16), and as I was preparing this blog today, this is the message I received in my spirit: Lukewarm people do not take notes. The cold ones, well they don’t even show up to church. The hot ones, they are scribbling away as fast as they can. The lukewarm ones are those who sit, hear and walk away. Those are the people I am trying to reach.
 

As a Bible study teacher, I see those who are taking notes and those who aren’t. Several times I have thought to myself I am either a horrible teacher and I have nothing good to say, or are they going to remember anything I said, or we talked about after they leave class since they didn’t write anything down? I know I can’t, at least not for very long.
 
Be a note-taker. Be hot every time you hear the Word of God taught as if God himself is speaking to you. We need Rhema words (the revealed word of God, as an utterance from God to the heart of the receiver via the Holy Spirit) more than ever, and we need to remember them so we can talk about them and pass them on.   

Erin Olson

Founder and CEO of Sandalfeet Ministries

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