Scripture Memory…and some other thoughts..

“Moreover He said unto me, Son of man, all my words that I shall speak unto thee receive in thine heart and hear with thine ears.”
-Ezekiel 3:10

So…Chapter Four….That’s how far I’ve gotten in this online Biblical Studies program…About a chapter a week (I’m supposed to be doing a chapter a day- at this rate I might finish sometime in 2035.)

This, just like any other good habit, is slow-forming and I am sad to say that I haven’t been nearly as faithful as I had planned to be. Life is crazy…crazy busy and I am holding on by my fingernails, but something about this particular memory verse is burrowing deep, deep- under the fatigue and spiritual weariness to the thirsty soul crying out to learn more about my Father, my Lord, my Savior.  I don’t know why, but I felt compelled to share it with you, too.

Perhaps, you can decipher best what is saying to you, but to me it’s a promise that He will speak, and me AND my heart will hear.

Scripture Memory and progress report…

So beginning Chapter 2 of OT survey is an overview of the books of the Bible…I’m super excited to be learning the how and why these books were put together and in this particular order.  (I’ve never really understood why the Bible wasn’t in chronological order.)  Good stuff, Maynard…

And there are such posts in my head right now….such writing filling up my brain, I will have to write it down sometime, but life has been so hectic and crazy, it’s  been impossible to find the time….I have a plan for that, so look for a flurry of writing coming soon!

Ok, so on with this chapter’s scripture memory!

“Let my cry come near before thee, O lord; give me understanding according to thy Word.” Psalm 119:169

Oh! That is my prayer! God, give me understanding according to Word!

A New Beginning….and some scripture memory

So I have gone and done it…enrolled myself in online biblical studies classes and will be working my towards a bachelor’s in biblical studies.  I am excited about it…and already learning lots (crazy huh, it’s just my first night!)

One important piece of this degree program is scripture memory…there is a new verse to memorize with each chapter.

Guess what? Ya’ll get to help!

I’ll be posting the new verse each time I start a chapter.  This helps in two ways…

1) I will be typing in the verse manually and will help me to commit it to memory

and

2) You will get to “see” my progress through the course.  This is an important role! I need one of you faithful readers to shout at me if I go more than a week without posting a new verse! (Help me to keep plugging away at my studies.)

Got it? You guys in?

Sweet! Let’s learn this one together!

“All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in  righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” – 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Upgrade Your Spirit- Knowing by Heart

I hope that you have already begun this with us.  This journey into Scripture memorization. It’s been a little scary at times.  My fear of failure or of letting someone down (who will I let down by memorizing scripture, really?) has plagued me throughout the past couple of weeks creating an ongoing dialogue in my  head about the efficacy of this discipline.  I must be doing something right. This practice is vehemently opposed.

If you grew up in Awana or in Sunday School, you are no stranger to scripture memory.  I didn’t.  I heard the phrase “to hide it in my heart,” from my children.  Conviction comes to me in the form of children’s quiet questions and wise smiles at times.  My babies, they memorize God’s word for Awana, and they memorize God’s word for school, and they memorize God’s word to speak blessing over their spiritually ill-educated Mama when she needs to hear from the Lord and is too weak to seek it.  They are God’s greatest blessing to me.

I started to seek out passages to memorize last year when starting the practice of reserving “quiet time” for God.  I found that repeating a Bible passage over and over again became the metronome for prayer, starting out as the focus, but fading into the background after a few moments.  Then these words became blessings to me in times of crisis.  Apparently I am not alone in this.

“Personally, I regret the fact that I know so few prayers and psalms by heart. Often I need a book to pray, and without one I tend to fall back on the poor spontaneous creations of my mind. Part of the reason, I think, that it is so hard to pray ‘without ceasing’ is that few prayers are available to me outside church settings.  Yet I believe that prayers which I know by heart could carry me through very painful crises.  The Methodist minister Fred M orris told me how Psalm 23 had carried him through the gruesome hours in the Brazilian torture chamber and had given him peace in his darkest hour. And I keep wondering which words I can take with me in the hour when I have to survive without books. I fear that in crisis situations I will not have to depend on my own unredeemed ramblings and not have the word of God to guide me.” –Henri Nouwen

You can still join us.  We are memorizing the entire book of Ephesians over the course of the next 7 months.  You can read about how to make a Scripture Memory book here and why we are embarking on this journey here.

Lord, help me to learn your word. Help me to hide it deep within my heart. Help me to let it soak in and help me to let it spill out Love over everyone I touch. Guide me with Your word, Lord. Amen

What passages bring you comfort through the difficult times in your life?

Returning to Our First Love: Scripture Memory

We are continuing to memorize through the book of Ephesians, and WOW…I am so floored by what I am learning.  Dissecting the word to commit it to memory has brought so many wonderful nuggets of truth to me.  They are still clanging around in my head and not yet in usable form, but as soon as they make a complete coherent thought, I will share them with you I promise.

I was so excited when I completed my first week of memory verses: Ephesians  1:1-4…I am now progressing to the second week: Ephesians 1:5-10- again these verses are posted in the header for you to memorize along with us.

“5In love, he predestined us for adooption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption ‘through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a place for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.”- Ephesians 1:5-10

Returning to Your First Love: Make a Commitment Booklet

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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!

READ EPHESIANS…

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….

Ephesians….

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?