- Be sure you are working to memorize the reference. As I memorize a new verse, I break it into phrases and say the reference before and after each phase, gradually increasing the phrases until I have them down. For instance, "John 3:16. For God so loved John 3:16.... John 3:16 For God so love the world John 3:16" I do that over and over and over until I've got it.
- A verse here and there is a great way to start, but if you would like a little more challenge take a whole section of scripture and memorize it in context. Right now I'm working on James 3:13-18. I wanted the whole section in my heart.
- Don't forget to review what you learn. If you don't, you will probably forget it. I once knew the preamble to the constitution, but never really reviewed it so it's pretty much gone. It only takes a couple of minutes to review what you've learned. Let me know if you need help with a review system.
Monday, January 31, 2011 ::
Monday, January 31, 2011 ::
Thursday, January 27, 2011 ::
Tuesday, January 25, 2011 ::
Sunday, January 23, 2011 ::
Saturday, January 15, 2011 ::
Friday, January 14, 2011 ::
The Israelites were living in exile...like we are. The world isn't our home. It is full of darkness, pride, selfishness, corruption. But, we seek to escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires and live for Jesus. As we do this, we seek to prosper our city, to pray for it, to live in such a way that the city and its people benefit. This tragedy has spurred me on to urgent prayer for Tucson, but God has also used it to convict me of the fact that I should be praying with fervor and urgency consistently. I hope and pray that we do not experience grief as a city like this again, but I know that God's sovereign plan will be accomplished even through the evil intent of a murderer. Take time to read the passage below and ask God to remind and teach you about living as a passionate exile, one who seeks to prosper the city you live in to the glory of God and for the sake of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
Jeremiah 29:4-14 The Message
This is the Message from God-of-the-Angel-Armies, Israel's God, to all the exiles I've taken from Jerusalem to Babylon:
5"Build houses and make yourselves at home. "Put in gardens and eat what grows in that country. 6"Marry and have children. Encourage your children to marry and have children so that you'll thrive in that country and not waste away. 7"Make yourselves at home there and work for the country's welfare. "Pray for Babylon's well-being. If things go well for Babylon, things will go well for you."8-9Yes. Believe it or not, this is the Message from God-of-the-Angel-Armies, Israel's God: "Don't let all those so-called preachers and know-it-alls who are all over the place there take you in with their lies. Don't pay any attention to the fantasies they keep coming up with to please you. They're a bunch of liars preaching lies—and claiming I sent them! I never sent them, believe me." God's Decree!10-11This is God's Word on the subject: "As soon as Babylon's seventy years are up and not a day before, I'll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. 12"When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I'll listen. 13-14"When you come looking for me, you'll find me. "Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I'll make sure you won't be disappointed." God's Decree. "I'll turn things around for you. I'll bring you back from all the countries into which I drove you"—God's Decree—"bring you home to the place from which I sent you off into exile. You can count on it.
Thursday, January 13, 2011 ::
I was greeted with an unexpected experience when I stopped by Congresswoman Gabby Giffords’ prayer memorial today. Walking closer to the signs, rosary beads, gifts, flowers, and candles, a sweet smell became noticeable. It wasn’t a strong, overwhelming scent, but subtle, soft, and warm. It hadn’t occurred to me that the scent of the many flowers and candles would be part of the experience, but it certainly was. As the breeze would pick up, the smell would grow stronger and then, just like the breeze, stillness would set in and the subtlety would return.
I decided to go by on my way to another meeting because I’m planning to take my kids there this afternoon. I needed to have my initial private reaction without them because they are easily distracted by my tears. Being present to help them process will be my purpose. At first I was overwhelmed by all that was going on around me. The colors, the signs, words of prayer, hope, and encouragement, so many flowers and candles, people, the smell, cars honking to show support, and even church bells in the distance.
But that smell. It just hung over me. Such a beautiful smell.
Many of you know that smell is a big deal to me. Chad (and my friend, Emily) often say that I make smells up, that my smell memory often confuses me into thinking a smell is real. Maybe they are right, or maybe my smeller works better than theirs, but whatever the case, smell is one of my favorite senses. Esther can’t smell a thing and I’m often sad for her. I can walk by a house in our neighborhood at dinner time and instantly be brought back to times we arrived at my grandmother’s house in time to eat her chicken and rice. Or I can walk by a man in the grocery store and remember sitting in my dad’s lap as a little girl after he had showered and shaved. Or I can walk by Miss Saigon’s trash can and feel like I’m right back in China behind my favorite restaurant. Smell is a powerful tool for memory in my life.
As I walked around the prayer memorial today, God used the fragrance of the candles and flowers to remind me of Psalm 141:2. “May my prayers be set before you like incense, may the lifting of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.” I cried. Again.
Oh, that my prayers would be set before him like incense. If the smell of today’s incense is any indication it means that my prayers would be humble, sincere, not so busy and full of too many words, that they would grow stronger as the breeze of his Spirit prompts me, that they would be constant and always noticeable...in a good way...to those around me.
I will continue to pray for healing in our city, that many Tucsonans will find and trust Jesus through this horrible tragedy. I pray that as we continue to face the horribleness of this dark world that our prayers and lives would be a fragrant offering to the Most High God.
Saturday, January 01, 2011 ::
By guarding it according to your word.
10With my whole heart I seek you;
let me not wander from your commandments!
11I have stored up your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against you.