Writing Material So Others Can Use It – 10 Suggestions

I am always in pursuit of new Bible curriculum to post in the Small Group Lessons and Bible Class Archive here on the blog. I have approached quite a few people trying to get them to submit something. Most people don’t write lessons so that they can be used by others. Some of you guys probably even just scratch everything down on a notepad and go and do an excellent job that way. Others write it in a way that it only makes sense to them. No one else can just pick it up and go. That is natural. It is important to write your lessons (if you do that sort of thing) in a way that you can teach it to the best of your ability.

It is important to consider the good that can come from formatting your lessons and their flow in a way that others can pick it up and use it as well. I no longer write a lesson for it to get taught once. I write them with other teachers in mind because I don’t want it to get used one time. One reason I do that is because I have to. Some of the lessons I write are for our small groups so I am forced to write it in a way they can all teach it with ease. In addition to that though, it is important to me that if I am going to spend all that time studying that my class is not the only one to benefit from it. It is like multiplication…you write it once and it gets used hundreds or in some cases even thousands of times. That is good stewardship. I don’t say that in any judgment of those who do otherwise whatsoever.

Here are some thing to consider when writing lessons so others can use them:

  1. Give suggested answers on tough questions. Nothing worse than teaching a lesson and get silence and not know the answer yourself because you are teaching someone else’s material. Give them a few suggestions under the tough questions in bullet points.
  2. Likewise, give definitions for words that are more difficult so that people aren’t missing the point because they don’t understand what is being said. What is more someone may ask what the word means and the teacher is equipped to answer.
  3. Use bold headings when you start a new topic/subtopic in your lesson. If the lesson makes a turn, make it obvious to the teacher.
  4. Bold all scriptures so they stand out. If I want something to be read out loud I will put Read John 3:16-19
  5. Italicize discussion questions. This makes them stand out so that the teacher easily recognizes they are reading a question. Your intonation is different with a question and it gets kind of weird if the teacher starts of reading it as a statement rather than a question.
  6. End with application questions. I will typically put the heading Application at the end followed by a few questions for the group to discuss. It is vitally important that every lesson have clear application.
  7. If there is an exercise you want them to do I either use that instead of an application section or in addition to it.
  8. Put relevant prayer needs that are specific to the lesson at the end if needed or if it fits well
  9. If you are writing it for people you know, encourage them to see it as a guide, not a concrete outline. They know their class best and can make the lesson fit better than anyone else. Give them freedom to adjust the lesson as they see fit.
  10. Send the lessons to me so I can share them with the world here on this blog🙂

About mattdabbs
I am a minister, husband, and father. My wife and I live and minister in Saint Petersburg, Florida. My primary ministry responsibilities include: small groups, 20s and 30s, involvement, and adult education.

33 Responses to Writing Material So Others Can Use It – 10 Suggestions

  1. joey says:

    Good suggestions. Your willingness to specifically prepare lessons with their use by others in mind in refreshing. I once heard a popular preacher publicly rebuke another preacher for using “his” (the first preacher’s) material. Paul said, “Who among you has anything that he did not RECEIVE.” It’s all someone else’s material.
    I am wondering about your sixth point: It is vitally important that every lesson have clear application. Hmmm…EVERY lesson? Is that how the Bible is written? Do you think that, say, the Sermon on the Mount is primarily a lesson that we are supposed to “apply”? What do you mean by “apply”?

  2. joey says:

    oops – “is” refreshing

  3. mattdabbs says:

    Jesus ended the Sermon on the Mount with these words,

    “24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice(X) is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

    He tells us it is all meant to be applied. I end 99% of my lessons with application. I am typically work under this framework (I am going to give it to you in reverse order and then explain). You can’t apply what you don’t understand. You don’t understand what you haven’t spent time interpreting. You can’t interpret something if you haven’t read it. So all the major points in my lessons get into the details of the text – what does it say. Then move to meaning question – what does it mean. Last to application – if it really means all of that how does it challenge us? How does it make our life, actions, attitudes, etc different based on the truth we have discovered…

    It doesn’t work out every time so I don’t do it that way every time but I don’t just want a lesson to be a mental exercise and a bunch of transformationless head nods.

  4. joey says:

    (Just to be clear, my intentions are not adversarial in the least.)
    I will give a fuller response later – I have to leave in a moment. And I’m not looking for a response from you on this comment.
    How, then do we “do” “Blessed are the poor in spirit”? There’s not a command there. It is a statement. And what do we do with Luke’s recording of the same event where he has Jesus saying, “Blessed are you who ARE POOR.”? Which of the two do we “do”? Matthew’s or Luke’s? Many attempt to make “poor in spirit” mean the same thing as “poor,” but they clearly don’t mean the same thing. And we certainly don’t want to turn “poor in spirit” into “poor” and make it something that we have to “do” because we would then all have to give everything away, right? So what’s going on?

    • mattdabbs says:

      Sorry if I came across defensive or adversarial myself. I didn’t mean that in the least. I am always trying to learn from what others are saying and I think you said some really good things in your post that I should have pointed out. I look forward to hearing more of what you have to say. Sorry again. I am all ears!

    • mattdabbs says:

      I will address your points comment by comment. One point I make frequently is that we don’t have to run around like a chicken with its head cut off making application on every single fine tuned point of scripture. We would go nuts. At the same time I think it is important that we take scripture and our response to the narrative seriously enough to apply it when and where necessary.

      Another point I want to make is that when I talk about writing curriculum, I am talking about writing discussion guides. I am not asking everyone who teaches everything I write to do everything that is in there. It is a guide to help them along. It is a suggestion as much as anything. I also encourage anyone who teaches the material I write to make it their own…often that means some application questions don’t ever get asked. Some questions people feel are too personal and don’t ask them at all. Other times a group has emphasized actually doing something as a group rather than just talk about application. For instance, our small group lesson this week is on the poor and in conjunction with that lesson we are packing 40k meals for kids in Haiti. There is much good that comes from application. I am sure you can appreciate that.

      That also doesn’t mean that every scripture is equally applicable. So my conclusion is we have to have balance. We can’t say no application is necessary and we can’t apply every single fine tuned point either. This all just takes a tiny dose of common sense and if someone is teaching anything I write, particularly if they are one of my small group leaders I already know they have enough of that to make the decision for their group. Again, the lessons are guides and nothing more.

  5. joey says:

    Matt, I didn’t think you were being adversarial. I wanted to be clear about my intentions. I mean to come back Jesus’s SOTM, but allow me to say something else first. (BTW – This is your blog. Tell me you don’t have time for this and I’ll take a hike.)
    I taught a class some time ago wherein I talked about the story of Judah and Tamar (Gen 38 – you know the story I’m sure). What we in North America are accustomed to doing with stories like this one is a reflection of our belief that the Bible is an instruction manual. These stories and the characters in them become a collection of either virtues or vices that we are to either emulate or avoid (“apply”). So the story of J and T would be reduced to something like:
    1) We are to keep our word 2) We should not be deceitful 3) Men shouldn’t sleep with prostitutes 4) Women shouldn’t be prostitutes.
    By the time we’re done, J and T have been reduced to nothing more than a collection of vices that we ALREADY KNOW we are to avoid! With this approach, we reduce the biblical stories to nothing more than a call to being nice people – something that my non-believing friends do, as well.
    Isn’t this true?: Most of the “application” type lessons that we hear (Don’t take this personally. I’ve never heard you speak.) are moralizing in nature. We need to do this or we need to not do that. This is how to have a nice marriage. This is how to be a good business person. This is how to raise nice kids. And how many of those applications are things that the hearers already know and have known since they were in kindergarten? I recently heard a lesson given to a group of teenagers about Jesus’s “take no care for what you will wear.” Well, this was a group of kids who’d never had to worry about having enough clothes to wear, so they couldn’t relate to that directly, so the teacher turned it into “Don’t worry about what other people THINK about what you are wearing.” Ok – It IS true that we shouldn’t worry about what other people think. But how many of those kids, if they’d been asked before the class, “Should we worry about what others think about what we are wearing,” would have said, “No,”? They ALL would have said, “No.” And how many of them, having already known this truth and having heard the lesson will continue to worry about what other people think about what they were wearing? I think we know the answer to that.
    to be continued…

    • mattdabbs says:

      One question – have you looked at any of my lessons? I am curious because the main thrust of them is not application. It is just one part of what I hope is a balanced whole. So I am not just gearing people up to listen to a bunch of stuff and then ponder how to apply every point. I am trying to have people engage in the text, story, etc in a way that hears it contextually (usually) in order to understand it and make application if necessary. They guides are not long lists of application questions.

      As far as Judah and Tamar go, you might find this post interesting. It is a story, like many others, that doesn’t lend itself to being broken down into a bunch of tiny pieces to be examined one by one – https://mattdabbs.wordpress.com/2011/08/31/why-is-that-story-there-in-the-bible-judah-and-tamar/

      Again, if you haven’t looked at any of my lessons just have a look. Have a look at the Hebrews series for starters – https://mattdabbs.files.wordpress.com/2007/05/livingbyfaith-dabbs.pdf Love to hear your feedback. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts. You make good points.

  6. joey says:

    So is there something else going on with Judah and Tamar (or the SOTM)? Remember in the Voyage of the Dawntreader when the children are in Eustace’s room and the painting on the wall comes alive? The scene in the painting enters the room and the children enter the scene. The two become one. This is something like what happens or is supposed to happen as we read scripture. The fact is that God has chosen to reveal himself through scripture that is primarily narrative in nature. When we reduce scripture to nothing more than a collection of moral applications we fail to see how the characters and stories function in God’s kingdom. We don’t know why theyre there. We don’t see how the purposes of God are forwarded. We don’t see how the kingdom of God functions in us.
    J and T don’t function as two non-virtuous people whose behavior we should avoid. That’s not their chief purpose. That’s not the purpose of the narrative. That’s not how they function. Their place in the narrative is altogether different. Their place in the narrative makes it clear that God is sovereign and he is working things out according to his good purposes.
    Where else do we read of J and T? They are in the NT’s genealogy of Jesus. Here is this moral mess involving J and T. A real mess. And right in the middle of all that is God working out his plan of election and redemption. Among other things, we’re being told that if the plan is to work, it is God who will need to work it out. What? We’re going to depend upon J and T to work it out? We cannot depend upon sinful humanity.
    to be continued…

    • mattdabbs says:

      “When we reduce scripture to nothing more than a collection of moral applications we fail to see how the characters and stories function in God’s kingdom. We don’t know why theyre there. We don’t see how the purposes of God are forwarded. We don’t see how the kingdom of God functions in us.”

      Again, check out the Judah and Tamar post…fascinating stuff. Just want to let you know that I am pretty well schooled in narrative theology. Also, when I teach Bible class it is not the same format as small group studies. I would be more like to teach a story like J&T in Bible class over small group because it is easier to dig into these things when you have more time like in Bible class.

  7. joey says:

    More could be said about all that, but what about the Sermon on the Mount?
    We need to keep in mind that the Gospel writers are doing things with what they are writing. They are shrewd theologians. They are not merely writing sequential history. They’re all telling a story that is itself part of a larger Story and they are DOING THINGS with what they are writing. Matthew in particular is writing to Jews, as you know. Along the way, he is identifying Jesus with the nation of Israel. He’s wanting to make a connection between Israel and Jesus so that they see themselves and so that they see their destiny in him. He begins with the genealogy, evoking to the informed Jew the stories of all the people included in the genealogy – Israel’s cherished stories. In Jesus, Mathew shows a rehearsal of Israel’s story. Jesus Is exiled to Egypt. He is baptized like Israel (1 Cor 10). He has a wilderness experience where he is tempted (just like Israel). He chooses 12 apostles. And so on. He also gives a sermon that includes what sounds like moral instruction and he gives it “on a mountain.” Hmmm…where else do we read of “moral instructins” (I’m not here saying that either instance is merely moral instruction) being given on a mountain? Sinai, of course. There’s MUCH more that could be said about all of this. The point I want to make is that there is more going on than we typically talk about. And certainly more than is recognized by an instruction manual approach to scripture.
    to be continued…

    • mattdabbs says:

      Joey,

      Very thoughtful and right on track. I teach these types of things all the time. If things like this interest you, you really….really should read Mark As Story by David Rhodes if you haven’t. You would love that book! You are really speaking the choir brother but keep preaching because I enjoy reading it!

  8. joey says:

    Included in what Matthew is doing is “The Kingdom.” What Kingdom would that be? What every Jew thought of when they heard “kingdom” was David’s Kingdom and God’s promise to restore it. So, a major theme in Matthew is “Kingdom.” Jesus is here to restore the Kingdom of David. But the Kingdom is also God’s Kingdom and not like any other kingdom the world has ever known. The restoration of the Kingdom will involve an entirely new state of affairs. The world will be turned upside down. The world as it is presently will need to be dismantled from the top down and restructured according in light of the new King.
    (Here’s where I’ve been going with all of this:) In the Sermon on the Mount (evoking images of God giving the Law from Sinai), Jesus begins the process of SHAPING PEOPLE FOR THE KINGDOM.
    “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Is there moral instruction (“application”) in the SOTM? Well….yes…but….There’s much more going on. What would need to have happened in order for the “poor in spirit” to inherit the Kingdom? We don’t think of the poor in spirit as inheriting anything, do we? It’s usually the mighty in wealth, political power and influence who do the “inheriting,” isn’t it? The world will need to have changed – and radically so – in order for the poor in spirit to be the ones who do the inheriting. We DO worry about “what we’re going to wear” (pay for this; pay for that; etc). What is it going to take in order for us to not worry about such things? It will take a radical restructuring of the world. And Jesus is saying that that restructuring is occurring in him and in the restoration of the kingdom.
    AND IN HIS SPEAKING and in the HEARING by the people of all this, Jesus is beginning the process of shaping the people according to the new kingdom. There is no “apply” to it. The people are being shaped, defined, motivated, driven, created by the very words; by the “Kingdom speech” coming from the mouth of Jesus. Moral instruction? Well, yes, but much more than that and not primarily that. Scripture (including the SOTM) is not primarily a command-response document. It functions as a people-shaping narrative.
    to be continued…

  9. mattdabbs says:

    Have you ever looked at the structure of Ephesians? Many people point out how Paul only gives 2 imperatives/commands in the first three chapters to “Remember” (2:11, 2:12). Then he gives roughly 41 commands in the last three chapters. The point people make is that you have to understand the indicatives (who Jesus is, who God is, what they have done for you, etc) before you can hope to do anything about it or take any commands seriously. Yet he still spends 3 chapters making application from the first three chapters. I call that finding balance. The truth is, we need both indicative and imperative. At least Paul seemed to be thinking that way when writing Ephesians. I would rather have application and not need it than just talk and talk about things and understand it to pieces but do nothing with it. As James said in James 2:14ff,

    “14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

    18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”

    Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.”

    Thanks again for the discussion. I really appreciate where you are coming from on this. I think we often swing pendulums too far one way or the other and this is an issue where we need to embrace both information and application.

    • joey says:

      Paul does give moral instruction. It’s true. But the instruction he gives is all narratively based. It’s all rooted in the Story. Furthermore, we mustn’t think that the letters that he wrote are the way that he preached. The letters were occasional, dealing with very specific issues. The few sermon snippets that we have of Paul (and Peter) in the Book of Acts were Stories.

      • mattdabbs says:

        Help me see how to put these two thoughts together in a way that is consisten:
        “There is no “apply” to it. “Be you transformed” (Romans 12), an active passive.”
        and
        “Paul does give moral instruction. It’s true. But the instruction he gives is all narratively based. It’s all rooted in the Story. Furthermore, we mustn’t think that the letters that he wrote are the way that he preached. The letters were occasional, dealing with very specific issues. The few sermon snippets that we have of Paul (and Peter) in the Book of Acts were Stories.”

        I don’t see how it can be both ways. If there is no apply then Paul goofed. If there is apply based on stories then Paul and I both have a leg to stand on.

      • joey says:

        We can give people people all the verbal, moral instruction in the world but it does not compare to a single insight made by the person themselves. People are morally shaped by the stories that they hear. People are shaped by the Story they see themselves participating IN. Goodness! Churches have been giving “application” sermons and lessons for decades now. Is it working? Do we sin any less now than we did, say, twenty years ago? Are we retaining our children? Our rhetoric need to change.

    • joey says:

      Oh, and by the way, we are peers here. You are an accomplished, capable, diligent student of scripture.

  10. joey says:

    So, we gather together on Sunday mornings. We take our Supper that rehearses the Gospel (and all that that means). We sing our songs that speak of Jesus as King. We might witness a baptism. We hear a word from God. And we speak our prayers. In all of this we and in the gathering process itself we are SHAPED. We are especially shaped if our eyes are opened to all that is going on. We then go out into the world having been shaped by all that we heard and saw on Sunday and we return the next week to be shaped some more. There is no “apply” to it. “Be you transformed” (Romans 12), an active passive.
    Scripture, I believe, and many others do, as well, is primarily a people-shaping narrative. We allow ourselves to be shaped by the story it tells. Go watch The Lord of the Rings again. Be reminded of how you are moved by the story. You’re not just moved – it affects you – it has shaped you. (I’m assuming you’re a LOTR fan. Who isn’t?) And there is no “apply” to that story. Try to “explain” LOTR to someone. You can’t do it. Go to the Branch’s website and find the sermon that Cope preached there several moths ago (I think it’s “Intubated by Friends”). Notice that there is no “apply” to the sermon. People are shaped in the hearing alone and they don’t even know its happening. A better narrative-type sermon you will never hear. Go to the Ina Road Church of Christ’s website and listen to one of Billy Wilson’s sermons. Billy has no “application” in his sermons. They are pure narrative and well-done at that.
    Ah well…I’ve taken up too much of your space and your time. God bless you Matt.
    joey

  11. joey says:

    I am overstating the case of “no apply” to make a point. I give my kids moral instruction all the time that I, of course, expect them to apply. Eventually, however, I want their behavior to reflect our story together.

  12. joey says:

    I was typing away and not seeing all of your posts. Sorry. I will look at them. Don’t take any of this personally. I hate the internet.

  13. mattdabbs says:

    I just read through the Sermon on the Mount and that thing is full of teaching with application. I started quoting all the examples but it was just about the whole sermon so I deleted it all…He does it with lust, with letting your light shine, anger/murder, oaths, and so much more. Then even more in chapter 6…it is application every where you turn. Can you help me understand why you picked the sermon on the mount to show application isn’t necessary or shouldn’t be a major part of our approach. Well, first correct me if I am reading you wrong on that being your conclusion.

    Looking forward to hearing more feedback from you if you get a chance.

    • joey says:

      It is with application….but at the same time it isn’t. Throughout the SOTM Jesus tells little stories. Even the final “He who hears and does” is compared to what? He says it’s “like” and then he tells another story (the wise man). The stories Jesus tells are part of the story that the Gospel writer is telling which is itself part of a larger, overarching Story – a Story that, I know I’m repeating my self, shapes, defines, creates, motivates, etc. It is a STORY that is being told. Yes, we can atomize each verse (and we do!). “This verse means we are to do this and this verse means we are to do that.” And what results? How many sermons and commentaries give a different explanation/description of what exactly we are to “do” the SOTM? Take note of the history of the controversy over the application of the “moral instruction” given in the SOTM. Do you have The New Interpreter’s Bible commentary? That author does a good job in laying out that history. And, once again, what are the types of things that are typically said in application? Isn’t it true that the things we usually hear are things we already know?! Things that we have heard from birth? (yawn)
      The SOTM, like the Mosaic Law, is not exhaustive. If Jesus (with the SOTM) and YHWH (with the Law) were chiefly wanting to give detailed, moral instructions with application, why aren’t they exhaustive? Rather, what we see with the Law is the frequent repetition of the phrase, “I am the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt.” God, there, is evoking a Story – a Story that defined and shaped the Nation. In other words, God is saying, “Remember your (our) Story. Let that be what shapes you.”
      I need to go to work. But one more thing…
      I’m not saying that moral instruction or “application” are never necessary. I think that much of the time moral instruction needs to be given on an individual basis.
      I’m happy to continue this if you wish.

      • mattdabbs says:

        The strength in what you are saying is that you are addressing a major issue Christianity has had over a lengthy period of time. Coming out of modernity we have gotten really good at fine tuning every tiny detail. We boil things down but miss the story. Books like Alter’s and Rhodes’ offer a much needed corrective or balance to that approach. I think you have hit on a point that many people are still missing. I appreciate that.

        I will say it one more time. I think we have to have common sense and balance. What good is application if what you are trying to apply is ripped from its context and genre? One thing you haven’t mentioned is that there are different genres and not everything is a narrative. I know you know that🙂 Also, Jesus makes it very clear in the SOTM that it is more than listening to a well crafted story. The story is supposed to do something to us and if it takes root in our heart we will have to do something with it.

        Let me give what I would call the prime example of how this all fits together. Read Hebrews 11 & 12 together and see how the narrative drives some explicit application and how it is all connected with “therefore” – that is what I am talking about! He tells dozens of stories and then says exactly how that applies to us and what we are to do. It doesn’t really get much more direct than what you find there.

      • joey says:

        I don’t disagree. But most of the “application” we hear is moralizing in nature. Personally, I am sick of it and consciously so. I’m convinced that most other people are sick of it, even though they aren’t consciously aware of it. It’s (part of) why we’re losing out children and not growing. Our people don’t know the Story and they think that Christianity is ALL ABOUT our (moral) fine tuning (as you insightfully point out). Overly emphasizing “application” makes it about ourselves. It puts the focus on ME and MY behavior. But it’s God’s Story that we need to be hearing and it’s that Story that we need to allow ourselves to be transformed BY.
        How many times has Brueggemann made the point that “words create realities”? We don’t tell “well-crafted stories” as just another technique for bringing about the same result that an “application” lesson intends. Stories (THE Story) shape our inner world. We become the Story that we tell about ourselves. I have, perhaps, reacted extremely in refusing to teach another, moralizing, application lesson. But I think people will still have plenty of opportunity to hear such lessons from others.
        Again, I was overstating the “no application” position. (As, apparently, you were overstating the “every lesson needs an application” position, since you are well aware of the importance of narrative teaching). But our people don’t know the Story. How many people don’t know what the Abrahamic covenant is? The Davidic covenant? Why we were created? The narrative of baptism? The narrative of sin? The continuity between Israel’s story and ours? Why Jesus “became human”? What God’s plans are for creation? etc, etc.
        Every Sunday we take the Supper. And what are we doing? We’re telling a Story. There is no “apply” to it. (there I go again) We are shaped by the Story we tell at the occasion of the Supper (and, it should be hoped, we ARE in fact taking the opportunity to tell something more than the same, old, tired, rote statements.)
        Now I’m rambling.
        It’s the Story we need to hear.

      • mattdabbs says:

        Joey,

        Have you had a chance to look at any of my lessons on this blog? You can find them under the Bible Lessons link at the top. Have a look at the whole lesson…just skim it and see what part and percentage application takes on. I would like to get your feedback/opinion on two things:

        1 – Do you think the application I am including is just moralizing in nature?
        2 – Do you think in the whole scheme of the lesson the application is “over emphasized”?

        Let me give you two lessons to look at in this series – https://mattdabbs.files.wordpress.com/2007/05/livingbyfaith-dabbs.pdf

        Try lesson 5 (page 10-11) and/or Lesson 7 (page 14-15) and give me your feedback at least on the two questions I just asked. Thanks for your time if you are able to do this.

        Last, lets say I wrote the application into those lessons in a way you thought was insufficient, moralizing or faulty in whatever way. You read it and point out all the holes to me. It would seem to me that you would want me to listen to the facts and apply them/change my approach and how I actually prepare the lessons. You wouldn’t think much of it all if I said, “well that’s all just great and I agree completely but I don’t care to do it different…people will just have to get a subpar lesson.” You would want me to apply what you taught me to how I do the lessons = application🙂

      • joey says:

        Ha! I will look. And it should be pointed out that I’ve NOT been critiquing you specifically. I have NOT read any of your lesson. So, again, don’t take my remarks personally. What I have been responding to (that is, taking you seriously) is your one statement in the middle of much, other, good advice regarding a necessity for “application.”

      • mattdabbs says:

        I learned a long time ago not assume everything is about me (still a struggle though sometimes). I also learned that I have much to learn from those who are willing to share their insights even if we disagree on some points. That is why I am specifically referring to the lessons and asking for your feedback. If there is a better way and I can see it and do it I am willing to learn🙂

  14. joey says:

    Matt, I’ve read over the two lessons you directed me to. I will give you a response later. I am busy this weekend, so it might not be until next week that I get back to you. If you’d prefer that I respond by email, mine is jbazf[at]suddenlink[dot]net

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