Memorization

Over the last several years the habit of memorizing scripture has eluded me. It was something that I put on the back burner with excuses. I let my self talk tell me that it is too hard since I’ve gotten older. Well that is a lie and I’m leaving that and other excuses behind. Dear and I decided to memorize Psalm 19: 7-9 together and that has gone well. I’ve challenged our kids to memorize Romans 12:1-2 as part of their “getting healthy” goals for the year. In the midst of this renewed effort to train my brain a dear friend suggested a group of us memorize Psalm 1 together. Can you feel the congruence of all of this?

These days I’ve shifted to the ESV (English Standard Version) Bible. In my early years of Sunday School I memorized verses in the KJV (King James Version). During the early 70’s my Bible of choice was the NASB (New American Standard Bible). It was in this version that I first memorized Psalm 1 so I had to go back to this version for this latest exercise of re-memorizing it.

The photo I posted is from the Bible that Dear gifted me as a wedding gift in December of 1974.

So onward and upward, I’m putting my brain to the test and I’m sure the results will only do me good.

Hebrews 4:12

12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Update: Some of you have asked for tips in memorizing. Our brains work differently but here are some things that work for me and some things I’ve learned from others.

Be careful what version of the Bible you choose to memorize from. The King James Version and The English Standard Version are more poetic over all. Don’t choose The Message as it is more prose and it’s hard to grasp. Some versions have more rhythm and that’s easier for the brain to grasp. I don’t recommend the NIV version either for memorization. (Thank you Julie)

I use 3×5 or 4×6 cards to write the portion of scripture I want to memorize.

Start small. Choose one verse. Think about the verse. Dissect the verse. Write it out several times on notebook paper. Take your 3×5 card with you in the car and when you have to wait anywhere pull it out and go over it.

Try writing it out from memory.

Hand the 3×5 card to somebody (friend or spouse) and then try to recite it out loud while they check to see that you’ve got it right.

When you wake up in the middle of the night go over it in your head. It’s amazing how much more clarity you have when you are awake in the night with nothing else to do.

Now you are ready to go on to a larger portion of scripture. I hope these tips help. Here’s another truth, the process is good even if it takes a long time to get it perfect.

Heart to Heart

Keep your heart with all vigilance,
for from it flow the springs of life. (Proverbs 4:23)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10)

Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. (1Peter 3: 3-4)

As in water face reflects face,
so the heart of man reflects the man. (Proverbs 27:19)

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in your sight,
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. (Psalm 19:14)

Thinking about my heart condition while preparing my Valentine decor post.

We had light snow throughout Wednesday. We expected an inch and a half and it looks like we got about 4 inches instead. Just when the driveway was clear.

Dear is shifting from the kitchen painting project to our laundry room instead for a few days. He’s been painting non stop for over a week and needs a bit of a break from painting before he starts up again. He will be moving the door into the laundry room 6 inches. This project will involve some dry walling and framing of a new doorway.

With 6 more inches on the washer/dryer side of the room we’ll be able to move the over sized refrigerator to that side of the room and get it plugged into the appropriate type of outlet. The refrigerator is so deep we needed the extra 6 inches so we could open and close the door. We are looking forward to better use of our laundry room space.

Have a good Thursday and remember to guard your heart!

Snapshot…

I’m holding a MacArthur Study Bible in the Russian language. We are enjoying so many great interactions with people from all over the world at this conference. Our heads are ready to explode from what we are learning.

Besides a packed program with so many great speakers we have been treated to some beautiful music from a men’s choir and the chorale from Master’s College. Jubilant Sykes sang Blessed Assurance…amazing! Violin and piano arrangement of Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus was exceptional, too.

The campus of Grace Community Church in Panorama City has many food stations, water stations, coffee stations, ice cream stations, kettle corn stations. We get breakfast and lunch as part of the program and then they bring in 12 different food trucks for dinner options that we pay for. Yesterday’s lunch was brought in by a local restaurant/caterer and they served burrito bowls with all the fixins. Today I believe we get a choice of Chick-fil-A or Deluxe Hot Dogs. Several people have commented that the food offerings make them feel like they are on a cruise.

There is an amazing book tent with prices 40% below cost on many books. One group in the book tent is offering leather Bible restoration.

So much to digest brain wise and food wise!

Eye Has Not Seen…

1 Corinthians 2:9 (NKJV)

But as it is written:

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

It’s time for me to forewarn that ellen b. will be away from the computer and all reading material for a time. On Monday I am scheduled for Vitrectomy Surgery in Spokane. My right eye has enough floaters to form my own galaxy. They affect my vision in my right eye. The surgery will involve removing the vitreous (the clear jelly like substance that fills the middle of the eye). They will replace it with saline (a saltwater solution). I’ll be under Dear’s care who will have to instill 3 different eye drop medications in my eye at different intervals for days. I don’t really know how long it will be before I feel like typing or reading so when you don’t see anything on my blog you will know why. I hope some of you will pray for me when God reminds you by His Spirit. Thank you in advance!

This is the latest devotional book that I am reading along with my daily Bible passages.

It’s proving to be a book I copy quotes from into my journal. Piper shares this quote from C.S. Lewis and then I’ll share a subsequent paragraph from Piper.

In the middle of the last century the British writer C.S. Lewis got it shockingly right:

A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic–on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg–or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill him as a demon; or you can fall at His fee and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. (Mere Christianity)

Then Piper goes on to say:

In other words, Jesus will not be domesticated. But people still try. There seems to be something about this man for everybody. So we pick and choose in a way that shows he is on our side. All over the world, having Jesus on your side is a good thing. But not the original, undomesticated, unadjusted Jesus. Just the revised Jesus who fits our religion or political platform or lifestyle.

These quotes are just from the preface. I’ll be jotting down many more thoughts to ponder as I continue to slowly read through this one.

Happy Monday to you all. Hope to have Dear add an update on this post on Wednesday to let you know how things are going.

Thoughtful Thursday ~ The Door

John 10:9 (ESV)

“I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.”

James 5:9

Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door.

Rev 3:20

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and eat with him. and he with me.”

Matthew 7:7 (NIV)

“Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday and we have entered into the season of Lent. Are you doing anything to observe Lent for the days leading up to Easter?

Lent can be a time to open the doors of our hearts (eyes of our heart) a little wider and understand our Lord a little deeper.

Could I suggest a course on Lent in Art, a visual devotional that our sister-in-law, Kelly, has prepared. She’s an educator with many years of experience. You can view the first visual Lent in Art course here.

Looking forward to this course and all the new things that Spring will bring…

Psalm 19 (ESV)

The Law of the Lord is Perfect

The heavens declare the glory of God,
    and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
    and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
    whose voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out through all the earth,
    and their words to the end of the world.
In them he has set a tent for the sun,
    which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
    and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.
Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
    and its circuit to the end of them,
    and there is nothing hidden from its heat.

The law of the Lord is perfect,
    reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure,
    making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right,
    rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure,
    enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is clean,
    enduring forever;
the rules of the Lord are true,
    and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold,
    even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
    and drippings of the honeycomb.
11 Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
    in keeping them there is great reward.

12 Who can discern his errors?
    Declare me innocent from hidden faults.
13 Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins;
    let them not have dominion over me!
Then I shall be blameless,
    and innocent of great transgression.

14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
    be acceptable in your sight,
    O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

Break Thou the Bread of Life

Break Thou the Bread of Life

Break Thou the bread of life, dear Lord, to me,
As Thou didst break the loaves beside the sea;
Beyond the sacred page I seek Thee, Lord;
My spirit pants for Thee, O living Word!

Bless Thou the truth, dear Lord, to me, to me,
As Thou didst bless the bread by Galilee;
Then shall all bondage cease, all fetters fall;
And I shall find my peace, my all in all.

Thou art the bread of life, O Lord, to me,
Thy holy Word the truth that saveth me;
Give me to eat and live with Thee above;
Teach me to love Thy truth, for Thou art love.

O send Thy Spirit, Lord, now unto me,
That He may touch my eyes, and make me see:
Show me the truth concealed within Thy Word,
And in Thy Book revealed I see the Lord.

Words: Mary A. Lathbury, 1877. Verses 3-4, Alexander Groves