Bob Tamasy: Remembering Not To Forget

Sunday, June 23, 2013 - by Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

More than three decades ago, one of my first assignments as a new CBMC staff member was to attend a one-day training session to learn how to properly use the daily planner which then was called Time:Systems. (You know a daily planner must be good if you need training to use it right.)

Actually, I did learn a lot, especially that every day significant mental energy is expended trying to remind ourselves not to forget important things. The training taught me a simple solution to such forgetfulness: Write it down.

When you write down things you want to remember, all you have to remember is where you wrote down the stuff you need to remember. Got it? Don’t forget.

I also learned to maintain only one to-do list, not separate lists for work and for personal concerns. That helps you avoid making commitments at work when you already have family obligations, and vice versa. Write it down, keep everything together, and simply remember to review your list occasionally. This frees up your mind for more pressing matters.

One other memory trick I discovered – actually this one I taught myself – was when I think of something I don’t want to forget, wherever and whenever that occurs, write it down immediately. Even if I awaken from a sound sleep.

Early in my newspaper career I learned this lesson the hard way. On a couple occasions I woke up in the middle of the night with great ideas for articles or columns. “That’s good. I’ll have to remember that in the morning,” I thought, before turning over to return to dreamland. Come morning the marvelous idea, whatever it was, was gone. Vanished, like a vapor.

Perhaps it could been the seed for the next great American novel, the secret to world peace, or something of that magnitude. But whatever it was, it had been withdrawn from my memory bank.

So I resolved that whenever I have an idea good enough to wake me up in the wee dark hours, I’d write it down. Right then and there. Whether in a notepad on the nightstand next to my bed, or actually getting up to type it on my computer. In fact, I did that just last night. I woke up with a crazy idea rattling around my mind – no idea where it had come from – but I thought, “If I don’t write this down, sure enough, it won’t be there when I get up in the morning.”

Now whether this idea ever amounts to anything, time will tell. But the point is, I didn’t have to fret about forgetting it. I lost no sleep reminding myself not to forget.

This is one reason God often tells His people, in essence, “Write it down.” For instance, after God used Moses to lead the Israelites to a decisive victory, He directed him, “Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered…” (Exodus 17:14).

Instructing His people to never forget the greatest of all commandments, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength,” God instructed fathers in Israel to “Impress them on your children…. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:4-9).

New Testament authors frequently explained the importance of putting into writing the truths and principles that undergirded their faith. The apostle Paul wrote, “Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you” (Philippians 3:1).

There are numerous other examples, but the point is simple: Write down what God has done in your life. So when times come, and they will, that you want to ask, “Lord, what have you done for me lately?” you have a supply of written reminders not only to help you remember His provision in the past, but also His promises for the future.

You can maintain a spiritual journal, make notations in the margins of your Bible, whatever works for you. How you do it makes little difference – just do it. Write what God has done in your life and periodically review what you’ve written.

And while you’re at it, be faithful to regularly read what others have written – in the Word of God. Even Jesus, when tempted by Satan, would respond, “It is written…,” and quote from the Scriptures. If it was good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for us.


Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, a former newspaper editor and magazine editor. He is presently vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit focused on mentoring and coaching business and professional leaders. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and has authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” “Business at Its Best,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. He also posts regularly on two blogs,, and He can be emailed at

"Forgetting Who God Is" Is Topic At Middle Valley COG On Sunday

Middle Valley Church of God announces that Pastor Mitch McClure will speak on the topic, 'Forgetting Who God Is' in the 10:30 a.m. service on Sunday.  This is part of a series of messages from his 'Living Where We Are' series.  Pastor McClure will lead the congregation in a time of water baptism and worship in the 6:30 p.m. service on Sunday. Each Sunday at 9:30 a.m. ... (click for more)

First Cumberland Presbyterian Church Celebrates Pastor Gary L. Carver's 50 Years Of Ministry

First Cumberland Presbyterian Church of Chattanooga will celebrate its pastor, Dr. Gary L. Carver in a service of worship this  Sunday, at 11 a.m . The service will commemorate 50 years of ministry by this long-time Chattanooga pastor.  First Cumberland is at 1505 N. Moore Road in Chattanooga, and the general public is invited to attend. The service will include ... (click for more)

2 Pedestrians Struck By CSX Train

Chattanooga Police responded on Thursday at 2 p.m. to 900 North Sanctuary Road  to an accident involving a CSX train and two pedestrians. Both victims were transported to a local hospital. Chattanooga Police are working with CSX police on the investigation.   Information will be updated as it becomes available. Chattanooga Police ask anyone with information ... (click for more)

Volkswagen US President Says Probe On To Find Out Who At VW Authorized "Defeat Devices"; VW Will Not Try To Certify 2016 Diesel Models

Volkswagen US President Michael Horn told a House committee on Wednesday that VW is conducting a thorough investigation to determine how "defeat devices" came to be placed on its emission devices. He said Volkswagen first admitted the massive deception in a meeting with EPA and California regulators on Sept. 3. Mr. Horn also said that Volkswagen will not try to certify 2016 ... (click for more)

Erlanger Settlement Understandable, But Disgusting

Re: Erlanger Reaches Settlement With Former CEO Understandable from a legal liability standpoint but disgusting non the less. Gus Bryan (click for more)

Roy Exum: An Unfortunate Sentence

There was a most unfortunate line in a recent email written to me and, in retrospect, I should not have included it in some examples of the huge response regarding the bicycle lanes now being installed on Broad Street. I’ll admit I misread the line because I feel certain I know what the writer was trying to convey. As a matter of fact, I received enough of an outcry I want to clarify ... (click for more)