Photo by Ann Voskamp, A Holy Experience
Several weeks ago I was preparing to lead a retreat for my home church. Tasked with filling three hour-long sessions and taking last year’s success to a whole new level, I felt the pressure of perceived expectations. And, ya’ll “pressure kills everything it touches.” I felt that pressure squish and squeeze every creative idea from God. Every new thought, every different approach, every visionary idea…shut down in a moment by the riotous spirit of self-doubt echoing through my brain.
I finally hacked out the first two sessions exactly a week to go before the retreat, but the third remained elusive. Completely blank. I had nuthin’…
And then, 4:30 am on a Saturday morning, God wakes me from a restful (albeit Nyquil induced) sleep.
READ EPHESIANS, he said, in the quiet of the pre-morning.
I was petulant…sulky….my thoughts went something like this (imagine teen angst, heel kicking into the bed here) But, Goooodddd, it’s 4:30 in the moooorrrnnningg….on a Saaturday!
So I rolled out of bed and drug myself to the living room. Snuggled under my Snuggie, opened my Bible and began to read.
I have to admit that I have never read the book of Ephesians entirely in one sitting, and I strongly recommend it. A guidebook for Christian life it is, young paduwan…but even still I didn’t understand how it was to be used in the flow of the retreat weekend that was beginning to take shape. The whole weekend was to be about returning to our first love, and I was just not quite sure how the book of Ephesians fit the theme.
I finished my reading and hopped on the computer to read a couple of my favorite blogs and was delighted to see that one of my favorite writers, AnnVoskamp, had already posted that morning. Even better, her post was entitled: Returning to Your First Love- Bible Memorization: Make a Commitment Booklet.
That’s what I am talking about God…a clear, undeniable sign!
I began to read this post about scripture memorization and memorizing entire books of the Bible and wisdom in the age of Google. And then this:
“Communing with the Holy comes in committing the Holy to the heart.”
It was sealed right then and there for me. This was my third session. We would make these memory commitment booklets and memorize entire books of the Bible together! I was excited…and terrified by the prospect, but somehow, doing this with my girls didn’t seem nearly so scary.
Ann even provided a suggestion and a template to start us off….
Doesn’t God just blow your mind sometimes?
So that is what we are doing. Over the course of the next 31 weeks, my IBC Princesses and I have committed together to memorize the book of Ephesians. But, you can do it too! I have linked to Ann’s original post so you can make your own book if you want…We stretched the original 26 week program to 31 so no one would use the holidays as an excuse. If you would like a copy of my template, leave a comment or email me and I will be happy to share it with you. I will be posting each week, the new memory work in the Scripture Memory header, so you can follow along that way too if you would like. We’ve already been so blessed by this process, it’s amazing how the Word seeps into your very being when you dissect it to commit it to memory. . Do this with us! Hide his word in your heart and no power of hell, no scheme of man can ever it pluck it from you!
Will you join us?