Moxie Memorizers :: A Guest Post

Sunday, July 15, 2012  ::   8 important comments

Sarah was one of the first people to pop into my brain when I decided to do these awesome guest posts. She has embraced scripture memory in fantastic ways and I'm so glad you all get to hear about some of her journey! 

Sarah is kind, merciful, creative, skillful, artistic, musical, beautiful, compassionate, and much much more. When I first met Sarah, I struggled a little with my own insecurity because she was so fashionable and didn't really talk which I perceived was her extreme sophistication. Well, she is, in fact, very fashionable. And, when you first meet her she doesn't talk a lot because she's observing, taking in information, and a little on the shy side. Her genuine humility encourages and challenges me. Sarah is in a season of deep spiritual growth and it has been my pleasure to see how pliable she is in God's hands. He is molding her into a deep woman of faith who desires to lead out and be used by him in great ways! 

To admire some of Sarah's creativity, please check out her creative blog. To read more of her heart, please check out this blog. I'm sure you will enjoy both of her spots on the internet. Did I mention she's in a band? I could go on and on. She's just cool.  

I want to address two things today.
I'm going to start with the practical: 
"How I figured this whole memorizing thing out" side of it-
and end with the:
"This is how it's affected my heart" side of it.

Memorizing scripture has come to mean so much to me over the last year and a half.
When Angel first posted the idea for Moxie Memorizers last January- 
I didn't really know what to think of it.
I wasn't expecting to be able to memorize anything.
I thought I'd tried it in the past and failed miserably.
I'm not good at memorizing, period.
I can't remember specifics and I just didn't think it would happen.
But I thought it would be challenging...
And I needed a challenge!

I was wrong about the memorizing thing.
I can memorize scripture.
And over time, I realized I could memorize a lot of it!
If I can do it, you can do it...
Trust me.

I haven't always kept up with memorizing them within the two week time-
And I didn't always have them very memorized... 
But I did keep up with picking a bi-monthly verse.
And in time- 
(honestly, probably after the first year)
I finally figured out how to be consistent with it.

When I look back on the verses I chose, I recall the times God has spoken truth to me and seen me through my circumstances:

Because I knew the challenge would mean some discipline I started there:

"For the moment, all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteous by those who are trained by it. Therefore, lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather healed."  -Hebrews 12:11-13

When I lost my job and felt like an unemployed failure, I sought hope in these verses:
"And I am convinced that nothing can separate us from God's love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today or our worries about tomorrow--not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below--indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord." -Romans 8:37-39

"Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, those who he has redeemed from trouble." -Psalm 107:1-2 

"I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God." -Isaiah 41:9-10

When I was blessed with a job, I will never forget how joyful that time was:

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
"The LORD is my portion," says my soul,
"therefore I will hope in him."
-Lamentations 3:22-24

Over and over, 
In the times I've learned about
love, fear, freedom, honesty, justice, hope, worship, stress, peace, accountability... 
I can recall how God worked in my heart through scripture. 

One of the best journals I could ever have, really.

I have seen how impactful it is to have God's word hidden in your heart... 
And I fully intent to keep storing it up.

Right now, I feel like I'm in the middle of learning a lot...
And in the midst of all this stuff I'm learning I sometimes feel like I'm drowning in it.
So, here's my second verse for July:

"And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. -Philippians 1:6 NLT

Thanks, Sarah!

Friends, as you post your verse today (or later for many of you) please pray for Sarah. Ask God to continue to open her heart to His great love, to great and unsearchable things that she does not yet know, and any other specific prayer the Spirit lays on your heart for her. 

Thanks for continuing to come back twice a month to share what you are memorizing. It is such a great tool of encouragement to many of us. Please type out all the words so we can read each verse along with you.  

My verse is John 14:26 ESV

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things and bring to remembrance all that I have said to you. 

Marriage and Grace

Tuesday, July 03, 2012  ::   6 important comments

Seventeen years.

I've been married to my best friend on a crazy adventure for 17 years.

During our first year of marriage I taught seventh grade language arts and social studies while he finished school.

Second and third year we spent overseas studying a new language and developing friendships with locals.

Fourth year we were back in our home town of Las Cruces, NM to work with youth at the church we so loved.

Fifth through eighth God allowed us to lead a college ministry in Emporia, KS where we met some of our life long friends.

Ninth year we hung out in Lincoln, NE because we were running from God because starting a church seemed terrifying. Thankfully, even in our running, God brought good friendship into our lives and reunited us with highly influential people from our past.

Then we moved to Tucson, and here we remain, prayerfully, to live out our days working for His glory in this city and sending out people to wherever He asks them to go.

Through all the adventure of moving to experience the training God had for us in different types of ministry our marriage has remained strong. Don't get me wrong. We aren't perfect. In fact, both of us are selfish sinners and can be quite obnoxious. But our heart's desire through the last 17 years has been to love, cherish, communicate, defend, lift up, and depend on one another. We intentionally work on our relationship through deep conversation on how to communicate more clearly, we read books about marriage together, we laugh a lot, we listen, we strive to fight fairly. We love each other deeply. We work on our relationship. It is worth it because the work often doesn't seem like work.

Seventeen years. It has flown by. I'm looking forward to many more years with this man. He's a good one.

P.S. Braggy posts about how great life is has come to paralyze me in blogging. I have no desire whatsoever to set my life up as one the that is superior to anyone else's. ONLY by God's grace is my marriage thriving. ONLY by God's grace have I learned some things about parenting. ONLY by God's grace do I lead a women's ministry. But do you know when I am more aware of God's grace? When I fail in selfishness as a wife by being too lazy to meet my husband's needs. When I yell at my kids and have to ask for forgiveness. When I overlook a woman's needs because I'm afraid of what may be required of me to minister to her. Let me be clear, friends. My life is not perfect. I so desire to live out the truths of scripture through the power of the Holy Spirit by Jesus working in my life. I want to throw off everything that hinders and run with perseverance. But lots and lots of times I don't. I am a wounded soul that weeps at the base of the cross because I need him and know His grace enables me to do anything that I do. His grace alone. His grace alone. I'm thankful for my 17 year marriage that His great, free, redeeming, glorious grace has allowed me to experience.  

More thoughts on this to come....  

Linking up with Jami

Moxie Memorizers :: A Guest Post

Sunday, July 01, 2012  ::   11 important comments

Meet my friend, Jenna. She recently graduated from the University of Arizona. She is a talented artist, the lovely fiancĂ© of Curtis, a trusted friend to many, and a devoted follower of Jesus. Jenna and Curtis will be offering their gifts and time to invest in college students through Second Mile starting. They love Jesus and long to see university students know Him. It will be awesome to watch God grow and use their leadership in our church. 

When Angel announced that she would like others to share their experiences with memorizing scripture, I knew I needed to share what God has been doing and continues to do with His word in my life. While He has refined my character in other ways, He has been focusing on my insecurities since Moxie Memorizers started. I am going to start from the beginning, and hopefully not be too long winded, but I think the detail is important because He has brought me out of some dark places, and scripture has been key to my healing as well as my fight to believe the truth.

Due to unstable family situations and just old junk, I was pretty messy coming to college. I struggled with body image issues, perfectionist issues, and not-knowing-my-own-worth issues. In my journey of healing, I distinctly remember telling Him, “This is what I believe about myself. Can You prove me wrong?” Faithfully, He did. He told me that I am precious and honored in His sight, loved and not traded for anything or anyone else (Isaiah 43:1-4). He also told me that He bestows glory on me (Psalm 3:3), is a wall of fire around me (Zechariah 2:5), and that I can trust and steady myself in Him (Psalm 112:7-8). In struggling to choose to believe those truths, He commanded that I don’t throw away my confidence- it’s the key to endurance and has a reward (Hebrews 10:35-39).

While I can list off verses that God has told me, it only shows the beauty of God answering me. I think the gift of memorizing scripture is that He allows us to cling to Him and to fight to believe Him, no matter where we are. We can repeat verses to ourselves over and over, scribble them on papers, let them change us, and give it to others when they need truth too. 

Since we’re fans of questions: Have you sat in front of God, asking Him to answer you? If He has, do you cling to what He said or throw it away? What rewards are you missing out on by not believing what He said? Have you considered how blessed you are to have the truth, when many people don’t have that opportunity?

Great questions, Jenna! I've asked God a fair amount of direct questions in my life. Some He saw fit to answer quickly, some I'm still waiting for His reply but trust His timing in all things. He has a beautiful way of pointing us to Jesus, making Him the center of our lives and not ourselves. I'm thankful that His kindness has led me to repentance and truth time and time again. 

Jenna, thank you for sharing! Let's all pray for Jenna. Pray for her coming marriage, pray she will continue to know and believe that she is a valued daughter of God, pray that God will refine, sharpen, and use her for His glory. 

Post your verses, friends. I'm looking forward to the encouragement I find in reading the verses you are memorizing and praying for each of you as you stay the course.  I'm continuing on with Jeremiah 17:7-8.