Friday, 16 May 2014

What I have written

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When I first started preparing preaching messages away back somewhere around 1981-82, home computers were not even on the horizon. At least as far as I was concerned. I got my first computer 15 years after I started preaching, although I did previously own an expensive electric word processor. At that time, the WP was the poor man's computer. The WP had a very small screen and was probably more of a hinderance than a help. I must have hundreds of sermons all faithfully stored in my hard drive and easily retrievable at a few clicks of a computer mouse. 

In the last year, I have gone back to the old method again of writing my messages out by hand. (I am sorely tempted to refer to this method as the #oldpaths method) I simply take an A4 sheet of card of around 130 grams, fold it in two, slice the top with my strimmer, fold again and staple to make a small 8 page, A6 booklet. Then I get a good black gel pen that glides nicely over the card and start writing. 

The reason for this change: I found that I got too intense when I was typing my messages out. If I got even half the liberty preaching that I sometimes got when I was typing, then I would have had greater liberty than CH Spurgeon on one of his better days :o) Unfortunately the liberty often went  AWOL between the well battered keyboard and the pulpit, and I was left with a very stilted sermon to preach. At least, that is how it seemed to me. The old method, described above, leaves me room to put shorter notes down and (generally speaking) the liberty hangs around a bit longer. 

The main disadvantage with the old pen and card method is that I have my efforts recorded only on a solitary piece of card. My study is replete with such efforts here, there and yonder. I am not the tidiest of people, although a 5-10 minute frenzied search can usually turn up the required item. I suppose I could scan them in and store them on my computer, but it seems to be a messy procedure, particularly at the print, cut and glue together process at the end. The new fangled method of typing your sermons out on the computer certainly can claim priority on this point. 

(BTW: My untidy study reminds me of one of Sherlock Holmes stories where the great detective was aghast to find that his landlady had dusted his office for him.  This wrecked his filing method whereby he could work out the date of his various bundles of files by the amount of dust that had amounted on them.)

I am aware that the liberty of the Spirit does not flow from a particular method of recording your preaching notes. That is taken for granted. I am looking at this from a human point of view. Every man therefore to his own on this matter of sermon notes. On this matter, you can afford to be pragmatic and, if it works for you, then go with the flow...

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