How To Annotate: James Smith’s Suggestions

1. Your notation should be a way for you to keep track of the thread of an argument. So on one level, you should be underlining and putting notes in the margin that help YOU keep a handle on the argument. Ideally, you want to do this in a way so that when you return to the book, you can quickly reorient yourself to the argument and the main moves of the text. This requires watching especially for transitions and turning points in the argument.  (I use the top of the page to note themes I’ll want to find quickly when I page through later.)

2. You need to develop your own way of noting gradations of emphasis. This might be a simple as single underlining and double underlining. Or could be different colored pens, or ink vs highlighter. Whatever. I just find it helpful to have some layers. (This is especially important when you return to read a text again and again—look for ways to distinguish annotations in later readings—you might have to buy purple and green pens!  And sometimes you’ll find you need to later scratch out juvenalia.  My copy of Of Grammatology is filled with this because I first read it as an ardent undergrad who was clueless.) 

3. Use numbers in the margin to track different parts of an argument as it unfolds.

4. Write marginal comments to try to encapsulate key points in your own language. If you’re reading a translation, at some points you might want to note key terms in the original language.

5. Put circled question marks in the margin where you just can’t figure out some point. Don’t get bogged down there, however. Note it, mush on, and it might become clear later.

6. Cross-reference. You know how some Bibles have those elaborate cross-reference systems?  Do something like that yourself: point back and forth with marginal notations like: “Cp. p. 17” and then go back to 17 and note the other page.

7. Argue with the author in the margins. Put big Xs (or “B.S.”!) beside passages that deserve critique. Perhaps briefly note your critical point.

8. Finally, and maybe most importantly treat the hors-texte blank pages at the back as space to create your own personal index, tailored to what’s at stake for you. You’re always reading a book with some interest, from some angle, so create an index that helps you come back to the book later and immediately get back up to speed. This might include tracking some specific themes and noting the page numbers where it appears, then drawing some lines of connection, etc. It’s also a space to perhaps summarize your taken particular issues, etc.

Joy Dawson’s Tips On Praying For Friends

1. Ask God for His miraculous intervention in our friend’s circumstances
2. Ask God to be glorified to the maximum in their lives:
– God’s ultimate goal for every believer is that they be conformed to the image of His Son Rom. 8:29
– that they will recognize and desire this above all else

3. Ask God to show us what He’s trying to teach *us* through our friends’ trials, and give Him time to speak.
4. Thank God for the blessings received through our friends Phil. 4:6
5. Ask God to show us whether there’s anything in our hearts that would our prayers from being effective for them
6. Ask God to fill us with His love for our friends, and receive His love by faith (Romans 5:5b, Gal. 5:6b)
7. Ask God to reveal Himself to our friends:
-with a greater revelation of His character
-with a greater understanding of His ways
8. Ask God to reveal to them the utmost importance of maintaining a life of vocal praise and worship
9. Ask God to draw our friends by His Spirit to regularly read the Bible
– and that as they do scriptures will be quickened to them which will build their faith Ps. 119:50
10. Ask God to stir our friends to ask Him what it is He is trying to teach them
11. Ask God to keep them from presuming upon His answers because of past experience Ps. 19:13a
12. Ask God to meet our friends deepest needs and thank Him that He will
13. Stand against the powers of darkness and command them to be driven back from our friends in the name on the Lord Jesus and on the authority of His word Jas. 4:7
14. We need to communicate love to our friends, and that we’re praying for them. Ask God to show us any practical ways to help them, and obey His promptings.

YWAM wants to ‘disciple nations’

But what does this mean?

Discipling nations means:

– engaging in all spheres of society as incarnational servants,

– empowering people to live transformed lives,

– equipping nations to grow in understanding and applying the ways of God.

To disciple means to influence and empower towards a developmental process of transformation. A nation is being discipled when it is moving towards God’s fullest purposes. A transformational tipping point is reached when individual and corporate relationships – with both God and neighbor – reflect the mercy, justice and humility to which God has called us.

We give ourselves to God’s dream of seeing nations discipled not because we have all the answers or do all things well, but because we seek to love God and all people.