To Not Be the Same

Thursday, January 01, 2015  ::  

One of the good things that happened in 2014 is that I took a beginner's running class. The coaches helped and encouraged me along to my first goal of running a 5K in November. Many people have asked me how I did in the race. Well, I made the classic first race mistake and went out too fast in the beginning, and then by the end I needed to go to the restroom so bad I wasn't sure I would make it to the finish line or the bathroom. Yikes. So, my answer to all the askers became, "Well, I finished and I didn't poop my pants, so I did great!" You should see the faces at my response. It's fantastic. 

When I first started running (what I really mean is jogging at a pace that you could probably walk next to me), my head was filled with negativity. I asked Kyle what he thinks about while running, and he pretty much just thinks about running. I told him about my ugly self thoughts and he gently put his hand on my shoulder, and with tenderness and compassion spoke truth to me. "Mom, you have to stop doing that. You can do this!" He was so right, so I focused on new thought-life exercises while I exercised my body. I prayed for everything I could think of. I thanked God for every single thing that came to mind. And my favorite, I started reviewing every verse I could remember that I've ever memorized. Guess what? My negative self-chastisement no longer plagues me while I'm running. I can run free in my mind. 

Psalm 121 and Psalm 139 have been mediated on and quoted in my mind and heart over and over and over since my running journey began. I've had both passages memorized since college, but this fall, God showed me new and powerful truths in each passage. Once again God has used scripture memory in my life to bring about transformation, and I am humbled and grateful. 

This past Sunday, my wonderful, intelligent, bible-loving, pastor, husband stuck it to me through his message. The title grabbed me immediately: Longing and Expecting to Not Be the Same. He used verse after verse to remind me how much I need and want transformation of ideas and images I hold that are lie-based or culturally-based and not founded on the truth of Christ. Through the message I was once again challenged to press into the Word of God through reading, listening, studying, meditating, and memorizing. 

Therefore, I decided to start up the scripture memory accountability we shared on this blog a couple of years ago. This is going to be so good for us! Each month on the first, I will post some sort of blog about scripture memory, what I'm learning, suggested verses to memorize...anything that comes to my random mind. Then every month on the first or the few days following, you will leave a comment with the one or two verses you are memorizing for the month. Make sense? 

You should set a goal for how many verses you want to learn each month. I would suggest with starting with two verses per month for the first two to three months. If you find it's too easy, then maybe decide to learn one per week. When I was in college I memorized a verse a day, and retained them by reviewing them regularly. You can do this. Please don't tell me you can't or I get all Jillian Michaels on you and start encouraging/yelling at you that YES YOU CAN AND I DON'T WANT TO EVER HEAR THE WORDS "I CAN'T" AGAIN! But if you're too tender for a Jillian experience, I will just hold your hand and tell you that you absolutely can because God wants to transform your heart and mind so he will enable you to do this. 

If you would like more information on the process of how this will work, please go to this blog post that I wrote in January of 2011. It will be helpful. If you have questions, leave them in the comments or send me a personal message. I am absolutely wanting to help you grow and become more like Christ. One thing I know for sure is I'm passionate about mentoring and this is a very practical way to mentor many of you at the same time. 

One last thing, for the next few months I will be working on memorizing one of my life passages. It is funny that I've never committed this to memory, so it is time for me to stop making excuses and make it happen. For January I will work on 2 Timothy 3:1-2.

2 Timothy 3:1-2 
But understand this,  that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy

Such an encouraging passage to start 2015 with, don't you think? Whoa. 

Ok, here we go! I can't overstate it. I'm excited to do this with you! Please comment with what you are memorizing and any other lovely things you would like to say. And don't forget to let me know if you need help. Helping is my favorite. 

Blessings to each of you as we start brand spanking new year! 

19 important comments so far. What are your thoughts?

Nicky said...

Scripture memory is so difficult for me, actually in general is a tad challenging. I am so excited for accountability in this area.

So also you (Nicky) have sorrow now, but I will see you (Nicky) again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.

John 16:22 (ESV)

Emily said...

After taking way too long of a break in this discipline, I'm going to start the year reviewing my old verses before trying to memorize any new ones. So excited to have accountability in this area again. Thanks, Angel!

Jenna Miles said...

I straight-up flounder without some form of accountability in this area, so I am genuinely excited to do this together. And can I just say, I love that we can be honest about our race yet still pursue change as a group. What a great mix. Love you ladies.

"The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant." Psalm 25:14

melissa montague said...

Emma and I are memorizing together this year

Matthew 7:7-8
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 revieves; the one who seeks finds; and the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

Angela DeSoto said...

As I've said multiple times already, I'm so excited we're doing this again. There are so many verses to memorize, but I'll start with these two for January:
"But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ" (‭Philippians‬ ‭3‬:‭7-8‬)

Erin Anderelli said...

I think God is asking me to remember that the reaping is worth the sowing so I will be working on Psalm 126 this month.

Tori Einstein said...

Took me a few days to get my stuff together and figure out which verses I want to commit to memory. I'm looking forward to integrating scripture memory into my disciplines this year!

I'll be working on Psalm 1:

Psalm 1
1 Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.
4 Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
6 For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.

Sara Davis said...

My memory pack was misplaced in the chaos of moving and I'm pretty sure it's sitting in a storage unit in Oklahoma waiting for me. :-/ so I'm working on transferring what's in my brain to a phone app in the mean time, and I will begin working on Psalm 1.

Sarah Ling said...

As part of my word for the year (focus) I'm going to review my verses from previous years and add verses from what we are studying as a community, Hebrews :)

We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. (‭Hebrews‬ ‭6‬:‭19-20‬ ESV)

Rachel Yourison said...

The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day. Proverb 4:18 (NIV)

...being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Phil 1:6 (NIV)

These verses remind me that God is always changing us.

Taylor Carlton said...

I'm super excited about this and it takes me back to my first ever college group when it was hosted at Angel and Chad's house last summer. Angel had talked about memorizing scripture and afterwards I was super excited and picked a couple verses that really stood out to me that I wanted to memorize. Unfortunately I didn't stick to it and completely memorize them. One of them I wrote down and want to commit to this month is Matthew 6:33-34, every time I read it, I am always reassured that God has my life taken care of.
Matthew 6:33-34
"Seek first God's kingdom and what God wants. Then all your other needs will be met as well. So don't worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will have its own worries. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

christy.anne said...

If I have to confess, I was afraid of joining this effort. If I am honest, I was worried about warping it into a 'good enough' contest, losing focus on the beautiful and transformative word of God and turning it into a task or yet another way to measure up. Oh, but how I deeply do want to meditate on and soak in the word of God this year! And I think the accountability will be welcome. So here I am, baggage and all. :) That said, I would probably rather a hand-hold than Jillian Michaels. :)

I am starting with Philippians 4:8 (ESV):
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, anything worthy of praise, think about these things."

I would prefer to post as I memorize. This holds me personally more accountable. :) So perhaps my comments will be more sporadic than the first of the month, but hopefully this will encourage deeper follow-through for me and remove the temptation for any comparison. Running my own race. :)

Looking forward to this. Thanks, Angel. :)

Tia Edwards said...

I was planning on using this month to review verses that have become rusty with the neglect of regular review, but I haven't located my memory pack since moving :( So, instead, I'm going to work on committing to memory some of my favorite verses to use as prayer.
Starting with Phillippians 1: 9-11:
And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

Lindsey Rae Walsh said...

Scripture memorization needs to stop being a "nice idea" in my life and rather become a reality for my daily living. Thank you Angel for rallying the troops and motivating me (and everyone else) in this area.

My first verse is pretty short so I will not be spending much time on it. As I just started my first full time job, I find this verse encouraging.

Colossians 3:23 (ESV):
"Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,"

clepeau said...

I've come to a new understanding of forgiveness and want to commit this to memory:

Then Peter came up and said to him, "Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?" Jesus said to him, "I do not say tot you seven times, but seventy-seven times."
Matthew 18:21

ofcoffeeandgratitude said...

I have two, each for different reasons.

1. "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." --Philippians 4:8

2. "In sacrifice and offering you have not delighted,
but you have given me an open ear.
Burnt offering and sin offering
you have not required."--Psalm 40:6

christy.anne said...

My old memory packet went through the washer some months ago (pockets!), but I see it as a chance to start over, and really take to heart verses that I half-memorized before or forgot the reference for. It also gives me a chance to change the version (from NIV to ESV).

This past week I have been meditating on Habakkuk 3:17-19.

Habakkuk 3:17-19 (ESV):

"Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD. I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength. He makes my feet like the deer's, he makes me tread on my high places."

That word "my" at the end gets me. Not just any high places, but my high places, the places that daunt me the most. God is good. :)

Krystal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Krystal said...

Boy, am I late, huh? Not to fear, I'm ready to make the most of these last couple of weeks to live in these two verses:

Romans 8:31-32 (I hope to memorize more of this as the year goes on)
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?

And this. Psalm 46:10.
Be still, and know that I am God.

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