Friday, January 29, 2016

She Takes COPIOUS Notes!!!

This is something my Mom always says about me - and not always in a very flattering manner I must add! When she first starting saying this to me I was pretty sure that copious meant "a lot" but to be sure I looked it up and I had to laugh at the sample sentence they used
  1. abundant in supply or quantity.
    "she took copious notes"
    synonyms:abundantsuperabundantplentifulampleprofusefullextensive,generousbumperlavishfulsomeliberal, overflowing, in abundance,manynumerousMore
    • archaic
      profuse in speech or ideas.
      "I had been a little too copious in talking of my country"

Well, it is true - I do take copious notes - always have and always will I am sure. 
Tonight I wanted to share with you how I take my sermon notes since I have been sharing with you all my journaling cards from my sermon notes lately. I have added a lot of pictures to help explain what will sound like a lengthy process, but is really quite easy and convenient for me anyways. For those of you that know me, you know I am really organized and really anal and I really LOVE binders!!!
So let's take a look at how I take my notes and really absorb God's Word spoken to me through my Pastor and my Bible each week. . . 

 This is all of my equipment - 
A = my binder that holds my church bulletins for the year (yes, I save them all)
B = my binder that holds all of my journaling cards (both binders are  A-5 or 1/2 sized binders)
C = my church Bible  all dressed up with it's "Bible belt" that I made
D = my journal that I make more detailed notes in

 This is the inside of my binder for my bulletins.I keep each one in a page protector and use dividers to separate each sermon series so I can easily find them. I use the page protectors so that I don't have to punch holes in my bulletins and I can see both sides easily. 

 This is the Bible I take to church. It is a thin-line ESV Bible (I am typically an NIV Bible reader but my Pastor preaches from an ESV and I get distracted when he is reading from one translation and I am reading another). Because it is so thin it easily fits in my purse so I am not having to carry a bunch of stuff to church. I buy a new Bible every December for the upcoming year and I only use this Bible for my sermon notes. It serves as a great way to keep my notes on scriptures as well as a sort of spiritual journal for the year. This particular Bible runs under $15 so I can easily justify a new Bible each year just for this. Also if you see the 3 skinny ribbons at the bottom  - I add those to the Bible because I hate bookmarks but like to be able to flip back and forth. They are easy to add and I take them out and reuse them in my next Bible each year.

 This is my "Bible Belt" that I made and all of it's goodies. I LOVE this thing!!!
A = the belt its self - it is made out of some fabric, wide elastic and velcro. It has little slots that hold all of my tools securely to my Bible and ensure I have everything I need when I go to church or am sitting at home ready to study. 
B = Is a card I make each year that helps me make markings in my Bible that identify each sermon series at a glance. (more on this later)
C = a highlighter - for highlighting special stand out words on my bulletin and in my Bible
D = Bic stic-pen - for writing on my bulletin and in my journal
E = Micron 02 Pen - I use this to write in my Bible because it doesn't bleed through the thin pages and I have to write so small in my Bible and it gives me nice clean lines and the biggest plus is that it doesn't smear! I used to use a regular pen and it always smeared - YUCK!
F = Crayola Colored Pencil - I use this for highlighting full verses and notes in my Bible. I change the color of the pencil for each sermon series so that I can easily search my Bible for notes and scriptures from a certain sermon series. I use a pencil because you can't see it on the back side of the page like you can with a highlighter and it allows you to still clearly read your Bible - I love these!!!

This is what my Bible looks like on it's way home from church. The little belt also holds my bulletin nice and tight on the way home so it doesn't get wrinkled or lost. It also stays right there until I finish my notes and put it in my binder. 

Okay - so those are all of my "TOOLS" now I will show you how I actually use all of them. . .

 This is a more detailed shot of one of the bulletins. Our Pastor always has "fill-in the blanks" to help with note taking and always adds lots of cross reference scriptures for us to look up on our own (it is 2-sided so there are more fill-in the blanks etc on the back). All the scribbling you see in pen are the notes I take during the sermon while I am at church. But there is always soooo much more to write but I cannot keep up during service so I make little notes and also write things like "listen to this point again". 
All of the blue markings you see are the cross references he gives us - when I get home and actually study I color the scriptures with the colored pencil showing that I have looked them up and marked them in my Bible. This way if I have to stop for some reason I know where I left off. 

 This is my journal that I take all of my "copious notes" in. Remember above I said I make notes like "listen to this point again"? Well, on Mondays (sometimes not until Tuesday) the church uploads the sermon online (complete with the bulletin to print if I have to miss a Sunday) and I watch it again. Now I am in CONTROL!!! I can pause Pastor Ray as many times as I need so I can write my notes and make full thoughts instead of just scratches!
 This is what the inside of my journal looks like - I always date it (I use the sermon date not the date I take the notes) and I list the series name and sermon title as well as the main scripture at the top of the page. 
mostly I do bullet point notes

 This is the inside of my Bible and you can see there is little bit of highlighting to draw attention to that word/phrase and then you also see that there are some red and some blue markings as well as handwritten notes. The red is from the first sermon (not a full series) of the year. The blue markings are the current sermon series "Reboot" This is a 6 week series so for 6 weeks I will use the blue pencil for my markings and then I will change colors. I also band my handwritten notes with the colored pencil so that I know what series those notes came from. Often we will reference a scripture in more than one series of sermons and this keeps my note easy to understand and relate to the topic that was being studied at the time the notes were taken. 

 At the top of the page you see these little marks with the red and blue pencils. These are made using the card I made that sits in my Bible belt - you can see a close up of it below. I slide the card under the page I am reading and the one behind it making sure it is even with the top of the page and then I color a little vertical line that corresponds with the lines on the little card I made. This way I can easily fan the pages of my Bible and see where all of the scripture references are for a particular sermon series. The card is not necessary I guess but it keeps all the little lines in the same place on each page which makes the fanning better - you can see this is a picture towards the bottom that shows last year's finished Bible. 
I make this as soon as I get my Bible and color in every other line with a different color. Then as we start a new series I add the series title and the date started in that colored in area. When we finish the series I add the finished date. 

This is the back of my Bible. My Bible has 6 blank pages in the back and in the front. I use the front for more notes and I use the back to log the different sermons. I write the date and the title, the main scripture reference and a short description. I color code this too!

So, once I have gone to church, got my bulletin, listened to the sermon, listened to it again online, made my notes, read and marked all of the cross references I get to draw! There is always something said in the sermon or a certain scripture that really resonates with my spirit. Something that I really want to sink in deep - something to chew on all week, the big take-away from the sermon. Those are the things that end up on my journaling cards. I try to pray and meditate as I draw - but if I am honest I am not always successful at focusing only on the meaning - I often get distracted by the actual process of drawing. 

So that is how I work what God has to say to me through my Pastor down deep into my heart and into my mind. I am very disciplined about this. Even when I am feeling spiritually dry or struggling with issues in my life - I do not neglect doing this. I especially need to do this when the hard times arise. I need to fill myself up with His Word and His presence even when I don't feel like it or when I don't feel Him close by! 
I also don't think God asks us to go to church and merely sing some songs and warm a pew and check it off of our to-do-list for the week. I think He wants us to worship Him, fellowship with other believers and I believe it is essential to our spiritual growth and strength! 

Hebrew 10: 23 - 25 
23Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

I know that while I was away in California this summer for my Granddaughters treatments for her brain tumor I MISSED being at my Church and having that fellowship with my church family! But I was so thankful that my church cares enough to have each sermon online so that I could still be fed that way. And yes - I did this while I was away too. It was harder to do  but I needed it! 

My hope and prayer is that each of you reading this has found a church family of your own that preaches the Word and feeds you well each week!

 Lastly - this is last year's Bible and Bulletin Binder. The little card is all full - the binder is full and the Bible is really full! (this picture shows the blank pages in the front of the Bible that I fill up with extra notes)

 This is what the edges of my Bible look like when you fan the edges. There are 9 different series represented here!

 I love how colorful my Bible looks by the end of the year - and I love going back through it and remembering all that I learned that year.

 There are 2 more pages of this in the back with all of the sermons listed. So even if I don't have my notes or my bulletins I can easily go back and find the scriptures I need to find and refill my tank!
And when i put my Bible on the shelf when the year is over I just paperclip the marking card to the front cover.
I hope you enjoyed  seeing how I take my "copious notes" and I hope it encouraged you to dig a little deeper in God's Word!

Till we meet again. . .

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