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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Donegal Creek
Donegal Creek
The lavendar "weeds" along the creek are butterfly weeds and will soon be teeming with butterflies.

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"Post-it Notes For The Soul"

"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates" (Deuteronomy 6:4-9). "So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things" (2 Peter 1:12-15).

Post-it noteOne of the great office inventions in our lifetime has been the Post-it® note, a small piece of stationery with a re-positional strip of adhesive on the back, designed for temporarily attaching notes to documents and other surfaces.  Post-it notes are most commonly 3-inch square and canary yellow in color, although they now come in many colors and designs. A unique low-tack adhesive allows the notes to be easily attached and removed without leaving marks or residue. This is one illustration the majority of our readers can identify with since most have used Post-it notes.

But relatively few people are aware of the role of the hymnal and a church choir in the history of the Post-it note! You see, the Post-it® Note was invented as a solution before there was a problem. Dr. Spencer Silver developed a unique, repositional adhesive, but the 3M scientist didn't know what to do with his discovery. Then, six years later another scientist, Art Fry,
a colleague of Dr. Silver, remembered the light adhesive when he was daydreaming about a bookmark that would stay put in his church hymnal without damaging the page. The rest is history.

Post-it note remindersWe use them extensively in our own home office and we see them a lot in the course of our business chaplaincy as well. In fact I would say they are practically ubiquitous. Joe, a marketing and communication specialist in one of our companies, may be one of the heavier users as can be seen in the photo on the right. His desktop is plastered with post-it note reminders!

As we get older we tend to be more forgetful and may speak of "senior moments" or
"data overload" as a younger friend describes it. I saw a little abbreviation on a plaque on a desk that read, "I have CRS". Curiously, I asked the older man sitting at his desk, "What does CRS mean?" Is it referring to a disease or disorder that is known by its abbreviations such as TS (tourette syndrome) and OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). He chuckled as he pointed out, "The initials stand for Can't Remember Stuff."

Photo of Doug getting Spanish language reminders!But memory issues aren't related just to seniors. Doug Matangelo grew up in the church I pastored in northern Pennsylvania.  This photo illustrates the frustration he experienced as a young man while preparing for mission service in Peru. He was having a hard time grasping the Spanish language so his teacher is (figuratively) hammering it into his "hard" head.

As we get older we generally deal with short-term memory loss (like forgetting where we put our wallet, coffee cup, car keys, cell phone, etc.)  These are increasingly common sources of minor frustration in our home as we transition through life's cycles. Apparently a different part of our brain is used for long-term memory and it is not necessarily related.
My mom had a serious fall resulting in a major head injury when she was 78 years old. During her recovery we were advised to expect the greatest impact would be her short-term memory and that proved to be true.

We all need certain prompts to keep us on track, like using Post-it notes. Today we want to share about the most important memory prompts, reminders of spiritual truths, which we will call "Post-it notes for the soul"!

In the first daily text Moses shares some ideas regarding primitive post-it notes used to help the people remember spiritual truths. They are known as phylacteries. The Law of Moses prescribed the wearing of phylacteries to serve as a constant reminder of God's Holy Word. These were small boxes containing slips of parchment on which were written portions of the Law. They were worn ostentatiously by the Jews on the head or left arm. In fact among the orthodox Jews they are still used to this day. 

The closest I relate to anything like this was during the years of Bible College. I, along with other Greek and Hebrew students, often walked around with a ring of index cards that had the Greek or Hebrew words we were learning. We would thumb through these cards repetitively while standing in the long cafeteria line. It was a good way to memorize the Greek language and an efficient way to use free time.  

Post-it note Scripture In the second text although Peter was confident his readers not only knew the truths he had shared but were also established in them. Nevertheless he pledged to be steadfast in reminding them of these things. He was determined to "make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things."  That's a faithful minister!

Today we consider the nature of post-it notes for the soul. Actually in our own home these may very well be literal post-it notes with a Scripture verse that serve as a memorization aid. However in a spiritual sense we need to consider God-ordained means which will keep us on the right path.

Let us list several that we believe serve as these post-it notes for the soul:
  • Daily time in God's Word and prayer.
  • Resources such as books, music, magazines, radio programs, internet sources and so forth that build up our faith.
  • Faithful attendance in a Bible believing church.
  • Restricting influences that tend to draw us away from spiritual things and a godly outlook.  There are many influences that we must fully eliminate, but in reality there are situations such as an unbelieving household or work situations that are out of our control, so we must ask God to guard our hearts and minds from ungodly influences in these matters, seek to be a solid witness and declare I John 4:4, "Greater is He that is in me than He that is in the world."

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer:
Father, we thank You for the inspiration of Your Holy Spirit that enabled the writers of Scripture to record that which would show us the way to You through Your Son, Jesus. The words of Scripture not only show us the way to salvation but guide us in our life's journey.  May Your Words be impressed upon our hearts as we give regular attention to them through reading and memorizing the Scriptures, participating in Bible Studies, listening to godly leaders expound Your Word, teaching them to our children.  We don't want a casual attitude about Your Holy Word, but rather we want to be earnest students of Your  Word contending always for the faith once for all entrusted to the saints. Amen.

Additional thought: I have on occasion taught a senior class. Most class members have been believers for many years and are familiar with the teachings of the Bible. I realize particularly with this group my function as a teacher is to remind and reinforce truths they already know and spur them on to faithfulness toward God. Certainly I hope that I periodically share a new insight or perspective on an old truth but I am fundamentally committed to "earnestly contending for the faith once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 3). I am not interested in tickling ears (2 Timothy 4:2-4).

Let me ask you a question as a maturing believer (if we are a believer we should all be in the process of maturing whether young or old in age).  How do you respond when you receive teaching that you are familiar with?  Among some I have noticed a critical spirit expressed by a cavalier, "I already know that" attitude, while many clamor after "new teachings".  I so appreciate those who have a sweet, receptive spirit and accept the reminders of truth with joy often declaring a hearty "amen". That's how I want to be as I "mature" in years and Christian experience.  May old well-known truths bring reassurance and refreshing to my inner soul.

Post-it note thank youPost-it notes are also used to express a brief word of thankfulness, encouragement and blessing! We received this note awhile back from friends in Ohio.  In fact we often get post-it notes from our daily encouragement readers.

Today's photo of Joe's computer and desk area plastered with Post-it notes reminds me of several other interesting computer setups we see in the course of our work.

Kenton with dual 30 inch monitors
Kenton is a CAD designer who uses two 30 inch monitors mounted to his desk via a post on each side so the area below the monitors is completely open. It's the "coolest" system I've see so far.

Keith with vertical monitor
Keith works as a purchasing manager using a large vertically oriented monitor with the windows stacked on top of each other rather than side by side. Note that Keith also uses Post-it notes!

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Remember Me"
 Video  Steve Camp

"Communion"  Video  Third Day

"Draw Me"
 Video  Keith Green

"Take Time To Be Holy"  Video  Collingsworth Family

Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord;
Abide in Him always, and feed on His Word.
Make friends of God’s children, help those who are weak,
Forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.

Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;
Spend much time in secret, with Jesus alone.
By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be;
Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.

Take time to be holy, let Him be thy Guide;
And run not before Him, whatever betide.
In joy or in sorrow, still follow the Lord,
And, looking to Jesus, still trust in His Word.

Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul,
Each thought and each motive beneath His control.
Thus led by His Spirit to fountains of love,
Thou soon shalt be fitted for service above.

Finally today: These two frames are from the page about the history of the the Post-it® Note.

Post-it note history

Post-it note history

a message to Stephen & Brooksyne.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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