Read or listen to a light-hearted conversation about faith, the God Notes book, and being still. We talk about why people don’t want to be still and can be afraid of silence.
Introduction with Host Marty Guise and Author Jackie Trottmann
You’re listening to Encounter here on the Bott Radio Network. I’m Marty Guise from Lay Renewal Ministries. So pleased you can join us as we talk about some of those different issues of faith and life and this wonderful journey we have here as we’re trying to live out our faith. We’re going to talk about a book by author Jackie Trottmann that’s two tt’s and two nn’s. The book is called God Notes – Daily Doses of Divine Encouragement. Jackie is actually here in St. Louis. So, she is available if you’re looking for somebody to come and speak to your church or to a different group. She’s available to speak, but she has her book called God Notes.
You know, it’s so much fun for me to explain books to people but when you have the author here, it’s a lot better if they explain it. So, first of all, let’s say hi to Jackie.
Marty Guise: Hi Jackie!
Jackie Trottmann: Hi!
Marty Guise: Thanks for coming into the studio and spending some time with us today. Let’s talk about St. Louis first of all. You’ve been here for a while. You were born here, right?
It’s a St. Louis Thing
Jackie Trottmann: I was born and raised here. South St. Louis, (Marty and Jackie) Woo Hoo!
Marty Guise: 55 and Loughbough myself.
Jackie Trottmann: All right! That’s where I was. What high school did you go to? (It’s a St. Louis thing.)
Marty Guise: I was a bussing student. My parents divorced and so my mom moved to Fenton. They bussed me out to Eureka. So, after a year of prep south they started bussing me out to that wonderful city of Eureka. But, anyway, what about yourself? What high school?
Jackie Trottmann: Cleveland.
Marty Guise: Cleveland?!!? I know a lot of people that went to Cleveland.
Jackie Trottmann: By Ted Drewes. (A famous frozen custard place.)
Marty Guise: Yes, and across the street from Guise Photography Studio. We’re going way back. But we’re not talking about the book! (Laughter) Our listeners are going, wait a second, what about this book God Notes? What is it all about Jackie?
What is the God Notes Book About?
Jackie Trottmann: Well, it came during a month-long prayer retreat. I say that God is the God of surprises because I did not expect to write a book.
I was on retreat – and I was not locked away for a month. We would meet once a week and were told to pray for 20 minutes a day and to allow God to show up and to put all our worries and cares aside. So every day we were supposed to say, “I’m on retreat,” which I really loved that! So my very first day on the prayer retreat I settled down to pray.
I’ll backtrack a little. I was in the advertising business started here at an agency in 1977 and when I walked in every day I would say, “Okay, what’s my word for the day?” I kind of learned advertising one word at a time.
So, as I settled down to pray, I asked God to give me a word and God answered. God said, “Believe.” There were about 50 sentences that tumbled out and what I was able to capture afterwards was along the lines of:
Believe you are worthy. Believe you are able. Believe I am yours believe you are mine. I believe in you. After that day, I still had some words that God would give to me, but I felt led to pull 365 words out of the Bible. During my time in the mornings I practice meditation and read and I have this very quiet time of being still, I would just allow my eyes to fall on a word until the inspiration came and out of that became God Notes.
How Readers are Experiencing God Notes
Marty Guise: Lets then talk our listeners through just a little bit of the book. This is not intended to be a 365 day devotional, right? It can be.
Jackie Trottmann: It was. It can be, but it’s not. I’m finding from readers that people are literally just opening the book to a word to see what word God has for them that day. It’s been really amazing the response.
I had one personal trainer who was very obsessed about, you know he has to be in shape because he’s kind of a living billboard for his clients. He was getting really obsessed about his body. When he got God Notes, the very first word he opened to was Body. And it said to not obsess about your body that your body is temporary, and your soul is eternal. He found that so refreshing. He opened the book again to the word Body. When his wife read the book, she opened the book to the word Body.
I had another gentleman that emailed me the other day. He had a heart transplant a couple years ago and he had turned to he said page 230 which was the word Yes. He is totally reframing his goals for the New Year based on that word. A lot of it was saying yes to rest any us to listen to your body, yes to opportunities that come your way, yes the world can live without you but that doesn’t mean that the world doesn’t need you. It was along those lines.
Marty Guise: People always say be careful about opening your Bible to just any page. But I guess God Notes is little different. You’re safer just opening to God Notes to any page and reading it and reflecting on it.
Jackie Trottmann: Well, I don’t know. A lot of it is based on Scripture too as I was reflecting on a lot of the words you’ll find come directly from Scripture.
An Old Pastor’s Joke
Marty Guise: There’s just that old pastor’s joke about they opened it and it said, “Judas hung himself go and do likewise.” No, no, no!
Jackie Trottmann: No, no! You won’t find hanging yourself in God Notes. It’s encouragement. Daily doses of Divine encouragement.
Marty Guise: That’s so much better.
Jackie Trottmann: So much better.
Being Still and Meditation
Marty Guise: Let’s talk about your website for a little bit because I know that on JackieTrottmann.com you have your blog and there are some different notes of encouragement and good things that you have on there, but one thing that jumped out to me also that you have these CDs and MP3s and downloads are available for the daily meditation. But explain to our listeners a little bit about those particular projects. I know that they’ve been out there for a while but explain to our listeners about those as well.
Jackie Trottmann: Oh, sure. Growing up in the Christian faith meditation was never mentioned. There was always prayer and Bible study. I went to in advent retreat in December and it was really interesting because the leader who is brilliant, Wayne Mueller is a wonderful author who wrote a book called Sabbath. He said, “How many of you in the room came to meditation out of desperation?” There were about 50 people in the room. Half the room flung their hands up in the air.
And I thought, that is interesting? That’s how I came to meditation too because I was a busy marketing executive. I thought meditation was doing nothing and I didn’t have time to do nothing.
Coming to Meditation Out of Desperation
One day I was a consultant for company and this conference call kept getting moved. I was supposed to have lunch with my son. It kept getting moved. We didn’t have lunch and then I was literally sitting down to eat with him and the call was on. I was standing at my kitchen counter with my headset on. I had the mute button on, and I was losing my mind.
So I decided that day I was going to turn to meditation. Once I did that, I was instantly peaceful and I just couldn’t get enough of it. So I decided to create my own that was based on God as the center of focus of the meditation because so much meditation out there is Eastern or emptying your mind. For me, it’s more of what the Psalmist says, “Be still and know that I’m God.” Until we are still, we can’t listen. To me, prayer is talking to God and meditation is listening to God. And that’s why I’ve created these meditations to help other people have a deeper connection with God and to listen.
Why People Don’t Want to Be Still
Marty Guise: I found it so challenging as I’m talking to people as they are thinking about prayer, the idea of stillness and silence just scares them. And they don’t want to be silent. They don’t want to be still, and yet that’s such a vital aspect of prayer and unless it’s cultivated I think we’re missing out on the blessing of what such an important part of prayer really is.
Jackie Trottmann: Getting silent and still will bring up things that may be wounds from your past, things that you stuffed down and have been festering. And let’s face it, we don’t want to face those things. But they have to heal and come out into the open so that we can be whole.
Marty Guise: Amen.
Let’s get back to God Notes, it’s available at Jackie Trottmann.com. That’s Trottmann with two t’s in the middle and to nn’s at the end. You can find out more about the book and about the guided meditation CDs and also other things on there.
What Particular God Note Stood Out for You?
Marty Guise: Jackie, is there a particular one for you, and I know that’s a daunting question, but is there a particular one for you that really stood out as you were trying to write and prepare them that you just hope that all the listeners would perhaps reflect on? And again, I know that’s a challenging question, but I’m going to throw it out there anyway because that’s just the type of guy I am.
Jackie Trottmann: Believe was so important because it kind of flipped the whole aspect of, you know, we always talk about believe, believers, and believing in God and that kind of flipped the whole thing on its ear as far as God believing in us and for us to really believe in ourselves.
And of course, I can’t find the word that is what I wanted to do, what I learned from putting this together was I need to do an index so I can find the word I really like! I would say the word is Enough.
Because more people that I talk to they don’t feel that they’re enough or that they do enough or that they have enough and the word really from that was God saying, “Enough.” You are enough, you’re smart enough, you’re able enough you’re worthy. So, I would say that was one of the big words the resonated with me.
There so many and you know what was amazing about this was when I went back to do the edits and to put it into a manuscript form because I literally have three handwritten notebooks. Someone recently asked me, “Did you really write this by hand?” And I said, “Yes.” I didn’t remember writing the words. It was just really such inspirational time with God. And when I went back and read them, each one I would say, it’s hard for me to say. “I really like that, and I really like that one.”
The God Note and Word – Enough
Marty Guise: Wow. I’m going to take that one with me as I go throughout today – Enough. We often feel so pressured to do more and more and more and to be more. And to others we let them put that burden on us.
Jackie Trottmann: Our culture does it. It’s hard to fight it because that’s what our culture is about.
Marty Guise: So, check out God Notes. Again the website JackieTrottmann.com two tt’s and two nn’s. Go there to find out more about God Notes – Daily Doses of Divine Encouragement. Unfortunately, that’s all the time we have so to JackieTrottman.com check it out and you’re listening to Bott Radio Network.
God Notes makes a great gift for graduation, Mother’s Day, birthdays, Father’s Day, and for anyone that can use daily encouragement.