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Writing/Speaking To Know


When I use the word writing or speaking in this piece, you can generally assume that I am referring to either or.  For example, if I may write, “You can use speaking to learn,”  I am in fact meaning that you can use writing or speaking to learn.


One of the magic alternative ways of knowing is writing or speaking.  These two can cause you to access the deep mind which has already sorted the facts out.


This phenomenon was discussed in homiletics class.  There was a student that was called on to fill in Sunday preaching at a small church.  

a country church

He came back all excited.  While delivering the sermon, he received inspirational thoughts about the subject that he had not noted before.  I call it inspirational because it was so out of the blue to him that he thought that information or knowing had been inspired by the Holy Spirit.  [I do not know if he thought he was St. Paul or St. Peter.]


The professor smiled with a knowing smile.  He then used this incident to tell us about a common side effect of preaching.  You have studied for your sermon, and all the research information is in your head, somewhere.  Then when you start to preach your prepared sermon, some things that have been sorted out in subconscious mind, pops into the conscious mind.  


This phenomenon, when it happens, appears so out of the blue that many interpolate it to be a gift from the Holy Spirit.  This quite commonly happens with preachers.


How can we use this phenomenon to know?  When you have done all the research or you have the facts, you can make a speech.  I am not talking about a real public speech.  Find a quiet place and stand up as if you are going to preach or give a lecture.  Then deliver a talk about whatever it is.  You will be surprised at the insights and knowings that might come up.  Just start speaking.


In my years in the pulpit I did this regularly during sermon preparation.  I would do my research and go into the empty auditorium and just let a sermon rip.  


I was not worried about proper homiletics and such I just let it out.  Almost always I came to know insights that I had not seen and probably would not have noticed if I had not done the mock preaching.  


Often the knowing was so profound that it completely redirected my message that I would deliver.  Several times I had worked and worked on a sermon and this still happened.  One time I had been called upon to give a lecture at a conference.  I had worked for two months on the message.  I was so proud of the work.  


Two days before I was to leave for the lectureship I went into the empty auditorium


and preached that sermon.  You know just a practice run through.  It was the perfect sermon on this subject which I had been given.   Hours and hours of work had gone into it.  


When I left the mock presentation, I rewrote the entire sermon in a different direction.  In the presentation, I came to know that some of my points did not hold water.  I knew this  because I gave the speech.  I am so glad that I did this because surely someone in the assemblage of preachers would have called me on it.  


You can alternatively know by speaking.


I had an aspiring writer talk to me about a writer’s block

a writer's block


that she was having.  She ask what to do about it.


I said, “Write.”  


She said she did not know how to start.


I said, “Write.”  


She said that what she would write now she knew would be no good.


I said, “Write.”  


She started writing, and she came to know her voice.  


I had a professor in seminary who almost every class would start us off with an assignment.  He would say, “I want a two page article on …”  He would give us a topic sentence.  “You have 5 minutes.”  


Time was short, and you had to get to writing, just writing.  The words were going along as you started.  But suddenly you started knowing what to write next.  It was one of those out of the blue experiences.  There is something about writing that taps into the deep mind and gives you knowing.


To write you have to think, move your hand, be grammatical, be logical, flow in the process, etc.  All this gives you the lubrication to slide out the knowing of the dispassionate subconscious.  It is an amazing alternative way of knowing.


Here is a way that might apply this in your everyday life.  Let us say that you are having a problem with a co worker.  

a workplace problem

It has been a while, and you do not know what to do.


Quick … give me a two page article telling people how to handle a situation with your same problem with a co worker. [You could also go give a lecture.]  “You have 10 minutes.”  [Remember murder is not an option.]


Then when the writing is over.  Write down what you came to know and how you are going to apply that in your situation.  It is amazing what you will often come to know.


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