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 But whatever it was, it had been withdrawn from my memory bank.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

Bob Tamasy: Peace - Pursuing The Elusive

Peace. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? Seems peaceful just to say the word. “Peace” – aaaahhhh! If only finding and experiencing peace were so easy, right? When was the last time you truly felt at peace? Maybe you’re an easygoing, glass-is-half-full type of person that’s seldom ruffled. If so, congratulations. Your “peace meter” probably registers a lot higher on the scale than for ... (click for more)

First Presbyterian Christmas Concert Will Be Dec. 3, 4

The First Presbyterian Church of Chattanooga adult choir, soloists and Tabernacle Praise Orchestra presents the annual Christmas concerts on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 4 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 4 at 3 p.m. in the sanctuary of FPC. The concerts will be conducted by Kelly Stultz, Glenn Draper and student conductor Laura Neff, and will include an opening set of well-loved Christmas favorites, ... (click for more)

Howard Simmons, 47, Shot And Killed In St. Elmo Monday Morning; Police Interview Person Of Interest

Howard Simmons, 47, was shot and killed in St. Elmo Monday morning. Police said they had interviewed a person of interest in the slaying. Chattanooga Police at 8:30 a.m. responded to a person shot at the 5000 block of Florida Ave. Upon police arrival the victim, Simmons, had already succumbed to his injuries. Ms. Simmons suffered at least one gunshot wound. At this time ... (click for more)

Erlanger To Open Cancer Center On Gunbarrel Road At East Campus

Work is set to begin soon on construction of a new Cancer Center by Erlanger Health System at its Gunbarrel Road East Campus. Erlanger is joining with a development firm, Chatt East 3 LLC of Alabama, on the four-story project located just south of Women's East Hospital on a wooded five-acre tract. Erlanger will be leasing the bottom three floors at a rate of $16.05 per square ... (click for more)

October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Picture a sold-out baseball game at Wrigley Field or Nationals Park packed with 40,000 fans. That image represents roughly the same number of women and men who die from breast cancer each year.  In Tennessee alone, an estimated 900 women will die from the disease in 2016. It is a sad statistic, but there is some good news: thanks to early detection and improved treatments, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Testerman Forum

I badly misjudged how long it would take me to do my “early voting.” I was in-and-out in no time so I got to the Hamilton County School Board’s agenda meeting well enough beforehand to have an “educational forum” with board member David Testerman. If you haven’t noticed, forums and summits and “community enlightenment” groups are the new rage and, as my friend David laughed, “They ... (click for more)