Moments in the Meadow--Back to School Basics (Part 2--'Rightin')
Research and statistics show
if we take the time to write something down and
invest in the memory skills to write it down,
we will retain and remember what we've written.
We can already see how vitally important it is to write down our Teacher's instructions and encouragement. He felt it important enough to write and record it in The Bible.
Our Pastors, Sunday School teachers and Bible study leaders recognize the importance of writing their messages and will pass out outlines, lesson goals and key word prompts to encourage us to hide God's Word in our hearts. (Psalm 119:11)
What are the writing lessons God has for us? He truly doesn't care for your penmanship. He does, however, delight in watching your desire to record and retain His instructions to you.
A-) Take notes during sermons, studies and Sunday school:
We've already mentioned the benefits in retention and remembrance of writing down instructions. Another benefit is the prompting it causes to actually complete a task or idea presented during the lesson.
For instance, let's say the preacher is expounding on sin and The Holy Spirit convicts you of your sin of gossip, over eating, laziness, etc. After the exposure of the offense, God will have your Pastor include the instructions to overcome that sin. When you are taking notes and write down those victory steps, you'll be more apt to actually follow through and you'll be able to get victory over the sin.
It also encourages the Teacher and His assistant (Pastor, SS teacher, Bible study leader), when they see people taking notes and writing things down. It spurs them to keep studying and delivering what God lays on their hearts.
B-) Write prayer requests and praises
This is a big one for me!
Think about it like this..... If someone is going to invest the time in overcoming their fear of talking in front of others to give a prayer need on their heart, the least I can do is write it down. Also, writing down that request is a surety that you will pray and that it's important to you enough to write it down. This translates to your brother or sister in Christ that THEY are important to you. Have a prayer and praise notebook. Record the answers of requests and praises. Update it often. When the storms of life are beating on your ship, run to this notebook and remember God's goodness. It will calm you.
C-) Write to others
I had a Pastor's wife and wonderful friend who is just awesome at this. I love to go to the snail-mailbox and pull out an envelope with stickers and encouraging quotes all over it. I can't tell you how many times over the course of the years the Lord has used her to pull me out of a pit using simple stickers, bright colors and sweet cards. Amazing!!
When our kids were away at college, we sent them cards dotted with stickers, verses, etc. Our mailman stopped one day when he saw us outside and commented on what a blessing it was and an encouragement to him just to see the envelopes headed to Pensacola or Tennessee.
Write a card of encouragement to your Pastor, his wife, their children. Do this other months than just October (Pastor appreciation month). Pastors are committing suicide by the handfuls all across this country. How many of them would've/could've been saved with some encouraging and grateful words?
Find college students addresses and send them a quick card. I sent one to a young lady who was a little homesick. I only had $5. Sent it to her, let her know she was on my heart, and instructed her to buy something just for her. (tube of lipstick, fingernail polish, candy, etc) She sent me a letter later on, thanked me and said she had prayed for the $5 to buy a clearance book she wanted and my card arrived the next day. Glory! I still smile when I think of God showing Himself real to her that day.
Many times, when I've been down and out and have gone to The Father in prayer, He has brought to mind someone who is also going through a stormy time and encouraged me to jot them a note, a text or just a smile as they've walked by. As I've penned words of encouragement and faith to others, my troubles flew away on the encouragement's wing.
Many times people will say to me, "I don't know what to say". I promise you this, if you'll take time to ask God what to say, He will flow through you. The most wonderful 4 words you can hear or read when walking through a fiery trial is, "I'm praying for you". No dissertation is needed. No, just the realization that your storm has validity. That someone realizes you're hurting and struggling. What hope is cultivated when a fellow sister in Christ throws you the rope of prayer, encouragement and comfort.
Dear sweet Christian. Write. Write what, to whom, and where God has directed. You don't have to be a published author to be an instrument of light to a dark place, distressed soul or disturbed heart. Obey HIS voice. Don't be concerned with how well you communicate, your penmanship, or your spelling ability (or the lack thereof). ALL of those concerns are tools of evil to hinder God's work in your life.
You have homework. (no sad face) Send a quick, sincere request on wings of prayer to the Father, asking for one person or group to send a word of encouragement to and do it. I'd love to hear from you as to the blessings that blossom from this one little seed.
We've worked hard and guess what?!?!?!?!?
Time has flown and it's.......
I bet you a million when we open our sack lunches, there'll be a loving note from our Father! I can't wait!!
Til after lunch...............