Rhyming Sermon Notes: Philippians 4:10-20

Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. Psalm 96:1

A few days ago we were at a missions conference at Grace Church in Middleburg Heights. At the end of the evening, the leader gave a summary in the form of a rhyme he had written that included many elements of the event and key points from each speaker. Elyse and I weren’t sure if he had seen their notes and wrote the poem in advance or if he wrote it on the spot. Either way, it gave me inspiration as a new way to take notes in church that would help me to focus and process the message, while also making it interesting as a tool for review.

I decided that for my notes this week, I would take them as a rhyme. I found this to be an all around positive experience. It kept my full attention. Actually, it got a bit tiring since I had to be constantly processing while listening and couldn’t just sit back, listen, and take “normal” notes, but it certainly helped me to focus! It was also nice that our children were more interested than ever to hear my thoughts during our family’s sermon review after church. (Dr. Suess goes to church :o)

I’m looking forward to continuing to practice and hopefully improving in future weeks!

Here are my notes for the Sunday Sermon (along with a link to the actual sermon on YouTube). 

My notes from Sunday School on Philippians 1:9-11 will follow in a few days.

Update 2023/02/15: This was the first of what has continued and grown (see all my rhymes). Here are a few benefits that I have found:

  • Focus – This has really helped my focus, to pay attention. (Previously it was easy to somewhat zone out. Now, I’m all in.)
  • Processing – Beyond just focusing to hear, this has forced me to consider the meaning. I’m not just mindlessly copying words, but interpreting what they mean. While I try to keep the original wording as much as possible, I also need to make changes to make it rhyme. This causes me to really think about what is being said.
  • Review & Internalize – Taking any notes can give opportunity to review. Having these rhyming notes has helped to make the review fun. Typing my notes has also helped me to process them as I type and make any small changes. Many times (with these or any notes), I may really benefit from a sermon at the time, but honestly, it is quickly forgotten. These have caused me to process them repeatedly over time, which has really helped the truths of God’s Word sink in and impact my life.
  • Sharing – Most weeks we have a family “Sermon Review”, where we share our notes and takeaways. Having these rhyming notes has given opportunity to summarize the sermon, while also being interesting, like a song.

A few things I have learned:

  • Stars – At the end of a sermon I would have a lot set of notes, but didn’t have an indication of anything that really jumped out to me to share with my family. I have learned to put a quick star next to any key points that I want to revisit. I often don’t have time to put my comments, so this quick star is helpful.
  • Rhythm – There are different ways to hold a steady rhythm and rhyme. I have a few patterns that I naturally default to, but have discovered that there are various rhythm and rhyme patterns that work and allow more freedom for complex ideas, but can be harder to keep the rhythm in my head while writing. I’m still growing with these different rhythm patterns.
  • Multitasking – While taking notes like this needs focus, so it is hard to multitask. I have started to get to the point, where I can be sitting with my four year old (who stays with us for the whole service), and help him as needed, while also taking notes. I couldn’t do this at the beginning, as I got totally lost, but it is getting easier… and he is getting more used to being in service.

– – – – – – –

Grace Church of North Olmsted – 2022-07-24
Joel Huffstutler (Guest Pastor from Falls Berean Bible Church)
Philippians 4:10-20 – “Learning Contentment”

The law teaches the knowledge of sin,
that the work of salvation can begin. 
From covetousness we must turn,
in light of the Lord’s impending return. 
Longing for more we must forsake,
in generous giving we must partake.

Contentment, delight in God does bring,
this truth against our flesh does ring. 
Our flesh desires pleasure…
more, not to open up our store.

God commanded in Exodus 20,
“You shall not covet” in me you have plenty. 
Desire’s not wrong, but to desire what’s right,
in me and my gifts to have your delight.

Hamen, Ahab, and Satan, too,
in discontent their sin it grew. 
Desiring more than God gave,
led to a life of sin, depraved.

Desire a house, an ox, a wife?
These are not wrong to have in life. 
Not yours to have, your neighbors’ things.
That desire of idolatry rings.

Obeying God the given call,
otherwise into sin we’ll fall. 
Clinging to all our worldly stuff,
helps us to see our faith’s not enough.

Following Christ it brings a cross,
in the world it brings a loss.
But the glory of heaven, our great reward,
clinging with joy to our risen Lord.
Seeking the world with our time, efforts, ways,
a covetous heart clearly displays.

Observe ourselves and ask to know,
do our desires from covetousness flow?

Lying and covering our sin,
the path to death it does begin.
The kingdom of God shall not be had,
cry out for forgiveness and be made glad.

Turn from sin, salvation found,
repentance brings this sacred ground.
Do I have ways I need to turn?
Of God and sin and repentance learn?

“Do not refuse me before I die,
help me Lord not to lie. 
Make me content in what you give,
that a holy life I may live.”

In want, In much, to covet not,
but to trust God’s goodness as my lot.

God doesn’t need what we can do,
to provide our needs for me, for you.

Never desert. Never forsake.
In this promise to drive our stake. 
Does God provide? Do I have trust?
To walk with God, this is a must.

Thankfulness should naturally flow,
when the Lord’s goodness we experience and know.
The Lord’s presence is all we need,
from covetousness to be freed.

Use his blessings, to others bless
and in his provision to have our rest.

God gave his son, that all who believe,
eternal life should freely receive.
God is a giver, and calls us to give,
to give our lives that we truly may live.

One thought on “Rhyming Sermon Notes: Philippians 4:10-20

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: